Tag Archives: photography

Meet Mr. Belvedere


Good morning Everyone!

Meet Mr. Belvedere, the latest addition to the growing list of buskeys (and buskey photos) people are kind enough to share with me.  Even better, Mr. Belvedere’s friend, Sara, has one of those rarest of photographs – a picture of a buskey as a puppy!

Puppy, basset hound, husky, buskey

Mr. Belvedere at 10 weeks old! Who can resist those puppy eyes?
Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Sara works at a shelter, and is responsible for temperament testing all of the shelter dogs, so she also had more training than many of us on managing a buskey.   Belvedere sings, howls and talks, and is very smart.  He likes to play a “find-it” game and food games with Sara that use the exceptional sense of smell he received from his basset hound forebears.

basset hound, huskey, buskey

Mr. Belvedere at Two Years Old
Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Belvedere is the first buskey I have “met” that is not, ummm, shall we say, vertically challenged.  Sara says he looks sort of like a basset hound on stilts, being long, tall and thin, with the loose skin around his neck and the long nose of a basset hound.  He also has the smelling acumen of a basset hound.

He is full of personality, another trait most buskeys share.  In addition to his vocal talents, he likes to play in the sprinkler and in water.  (Something I am not at all sure our Mandy would do – although I have seen her step and then sit in a bowl of ice water that we left on the porch once when we had to leave the dogs outdoors in the summer.  We did that several times that summer, and it took me forever to figure out how they managed to splash the water everywhere while we were gone!).

Mr. Belvedere also gets along very well with the other dogs in the household.  In this picture, he is napping with his brother.

Dogs, basset hound, husky, buskey

Mr. Belvedere and his brother together Photo Credit: Sara Kyser

Sara had his DNA tested and it came back as 1/2 basset hound and 1/2 husky, with pure bred parents as far back as the DNA people could go.  

Sara has noticed, and been working with, a tendency to “resource” guard, which she believes comes from his husky half.  It’s good to know that he does that, because I have often been frustrated watching Mandy take a good 45 minutes to eat the same bowl of dog food that Darwin could scoff down in about 10.  She waits until everyone else (people included) are done eating in the morning before she starts.

Sara also wanted to share the following with anybody intending to intentionally create the buskey mix (or, for that matter, those of us who were just lucky enough to match up with one at a shelter somewhere.)  This is what she wrote:

He can be a bit of a husky with handling, somewhat sensitive. I have worked on this and resource guarding issues from the time he was a pup, and continue to this day. I mention this because I think it’s important for people to understand that both hounds and huskies are known to have resource guarding issues. Huskies are known to be difficult to handle in general. Crossing these two breeds makes for an amazing, funny, intelligent dog but positive training is essential, and they might not be for the first time dog owner.

As you may recall, one of the readily identifiable characteristics of every buskey I have encountered so far is a strong independence streak, which is why the positive training is needed.  We have noticed that streak in Mandy, also.  If you tell her “bad dog” about something, she looks at you thoughtfully, as if to say “that’s an interesting point of view,” then goes ahead and does what she wanted to do originally anyhow.

Mr. Belvedere, however, was lucky enough to find someone who knows how to train him – and I think Sara thinks she was pretty lucky, too!

Have a great day!

Nancy

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Memories of a Sweet Dog


Hi Everyone!

I can still remember picking Tyra out at the Humane Society.  We had lost our first dog, Shadow, about a year before, and our other dog, Woof, didn’t like being alone, so we decided to see if we could find a second dog so she would have some company.  Woof didn’t like the shelter much; it was too noisy and loud, so we put her back in the car and returned.  (It was February 14, so the weather was not an issue.)  The first run we encountered had two dogs in it, and two placards with their names on them attached to the door.  One of them said “My name is Tyra, and I know how to sit!”  Mark looked at both dogs, said sit, and one of them, a pretty dog with black hair and white, brown and tan markings did.  (She rarely sat on command after that, but the one time in her life it counted, she certainly did!).  We asked the shelter volunteer if we could adopt her, and the attendant said, “I think that’s an excellent idea!”

Adopted Dog, Shelter, Homecoming

Tyra’s Second Day at Home

No matter how hard a kennel or shelter tries, dogs that reside there acquire the very potent “Eau de Dog” scent, so as soon as we got her home, we popped Tyra into a bathtub, and washed her. From then until the day that she died, that dog never put a foot onto the tile portion of a bathroom in any house we resided in. Apparently, we had inadvertently scarred her for life!

Every dog has a unique personality, and Tyra’s outstanding characteristic was her eagerness to please – not in the goofy, sloppy, wonderful way a lab does, as if his whole world revolves around that instant in time his owner asks him to do something , but in her own quiet, determined way.  She had been left at the kennel by her first family because they had a baby and no longer had time for her.   I always had the impression that she was determined that would never happen again.  Of course, she couldn’t know at first that our family has one firm rule about adoptions of any animal, canine or human – once you’re a member of the pack, you’re always a member of the pack – but I suspect she caught on after a while.

She adapted quickly and well, as this picture from that first summer show.

Dog, photograph, sleeping in the s

Tyra in the back yard in Montgomery

Even better, Woof regained the ability to sleep in the sun and be happy even when Mark and I weren’t in the yard.

Dog, Sleeping in the Sun, Old Dog

Woof in the Back Yard When Tyra was There

We didn’t know it at the time we adopted Tyra, but she was not going to be the only new member of our family that year. In mid-November, at long last, the people at the Alabama DHR told us that they had a child they would like us to consider taking in as a foster child, with hopes that we could adopt her eventually. By December 1, 2004, Kayla had come to live with us. Here is a picture of all five us right about then:

Family Photo

Family Photo

We all had new experiences to share that winter, including the dogs experiencing the joys of having a child on the floor with her Dad and a bunch of Lincoln Log train tracks.

Dogs, Child, Play

Train Tracks, Family and Paws

Kayla and Tyra bonded quickly.  It really helped Kayla understand what was going on with her when we could explain to her what happened to Tyra – and it helped Kayla trust us to keep loving her when she saw how we loved Tyra.

Kids, Dogs

Kayla and Big Dog

Sweet Kisses

Sweet Kisses

There are so many things that made her unique – like the fact that even when she was old and blind, she could hear you peel a banana from 50 yards away and arrive instantly to demand her fair share, or that the only time I ever knew her to intentionally go after another person or dog was when she thought one of us was threatened. She did it twice – once when she thought another dog was attacking Woof, and once when Kayla was four and answered the door when the doorbell rang, then screamed because she didn’t recognize the person there. That time, Tyra had four teenage boys treed on the trunk of their car in the few seconds it took Mark to fly from the back yard to the front door himself. I felt sorry for the boys – all they wanted were directions. Both times, there was not a mark on either the dog or the boys when all was said and done but she had made a believer out of all of them!

Her story here came to an end on March 22. We hadn’t really thought we were that close to the end, even though she was 14, but that weekend she simply couldn’t seem to lift herself up off our wooden floor or go down the stairs at all, so I dropped her off at the vet’s that day, afraid of what I would hear.  When the vet called me back, I think I knew what she was going to tell me before she said it.  Tyra’s back had many osteophytes on the spine that had grown to the point that they were impinging on her nerves. Dr. Mitchell explained that Tyra would be in constant, worsening pain from then on, and we made the only decision we could.

I am comforted by the thought that Tyra knew without a doubt that we loved her; Mark, Kayla and I all made it to the vet about 1/2 hour in advance so we could be with her, petting her and telling her how much we loved her, and then it was time.

I also expect that it was only seconds after leaving here that Tyra was with Shadow and Woof –  trying to help Woof explain to Shadow exactly what Mandy looks like.

Sleep well, sweet Tyra Belle.

Nancy

Symbiosis: Lichen


Good morning Everyone!

Today we are going to take a walk into improbable reality:  the lichen.  While we tend to think of and treat lichen as one organism, it actually is composed of two (or more) organisms living together for each other’s benefit:  a fungus and an alga.  The fungus provides structure, support and water for the lichen, while the alga produces food through photosynthesis.  Because of this symbiosis, lichen are not considered to be plants.  (They aren’t animals either, nor minerals – so how do you answer the question “Is it animal, vegetable or mineral?” when it comes to lichen?)

Lichen, Wood

Lichen on Firewood by a House, Photo Credit: Nancy Eady

I became curious about lichen while we were living in our rental house.  The house owner had cut up a tree on the property, and placed the logs by the house.  Over time, rows and rows of fan-like shapes began to grow on the ends of the logs.  I took a picture of them, above.  As best I could determine, they were a kind of lichen.

Lichen Wood

Lichen in Wood, Photo Credit: Nancy Eady

Lichen are ancient survivors.  The oldest known fossil showing both symbiotic components of a lichen is 400 million years old, FN,  so it stands to reason that lichens are even older – it is highly unlikely that the first ever lichen was also the first lichen fossilized!  The variety and distribution of lichen is astounding.  There are over 20,000 known forms.  There are lichen that can colonize the most inhospitable of places, such as bare rock in the arctic, lichen that process and help break down inorganic matter such as wood, and lichen that seem to drift airily down in strands off of bushes and live off of the air.

Lichen, Letharia

Feathery Lichen. Photo Credit: Letharia vulpina JHollinger crop” by Jason Hollinger – Mushroom Observer. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Lichen can live for astoundingly long periods of time; in fact, one lichen from the arctic circle is estimated to be 9000 years old!  I keep looking for a picture of this ancient lichen, but I haven’t located one yet.  I do know that the ancient arctic lichen is a member of what are commonly called “map lichen.”  As you can see, they get their name from the shapes they form on rocks, which resemble maps.  Their growth rate is incredibly slow, yet predictable, so they can be useful tools in dating other objects.  The use of lichen to date objects is called “lichenometry.”

Lichen, Rock, Map Lichen, Arctic

Map Lichen Photo Credit: Rhizocarpon geographicum on quartz” by User:Tigerente – Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Lichen also provide scientists with helpful information about air pollution; most lichen are highly sensitive to air pollution, so if there is an area that normally would host lichen, yet has none, the air quality around the area is likely poor.

Aaliyah Gupta, Lichen, Acrylic on Duralar

Lichen, Acrylic on Duralar, By Aaliyah Gupta, Copied with Permission from the Artist

I have a friend in Seattle who is an artist, Aaliyah Gupta, and she worked on a series a few years ago exploring the symbiosis that creates lichen.  Her work is stunningly beautiful, delicate and unique, capturing the intricacies of a symbiotic dance that has persisted through the ages.

Aaliyah Gupta, Lichen

Lichen, by Aaliyah Gupta, Acrylic on Duralar, All Rights Reserved, Copied with Permission from the Artist

God’s handiwork is astounding.  Nature’s variety and inventiveness is unparalleled.  Taking the time to learn about other organisms on this planet always pays dividends – if only to make us realize how privileged we are to be part of the complex web of life traveling on Spaceship Earth!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

 

FN.  400 million years ago was the “Early Devonian Period.”  During the Early Devonian, plants and animals began to colonize land, while aquatic life was farther along and more diverse.  In other words, lichen pre-date dinosaurs, flowers, trees and grass!

Time Lapse


Good morning Everyone!

2004, Age 3

Kayla, right after she came to live with us
Kayla, right after she came to live with us

2015, Age 13

Kayla, 2015

Kayla, 2015

Enough said.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Buskeys Rule: Additional Encounters with Husky-Basset Hound Mixes


Good morning Everyone!

In August, 2011, I wrote a post about Mandy, our husky basset hound mix.  Since that date, that post has been visited over 4000 times!  People have been kind enough to tell me sometimes why they wanted to read it – most of the time, someone has either just adopted a puppy or dog who is a buskey.  (For those new to the blog, “buskey” is the name I’ve decided to use to call this most unusual, but beautiful mix.)

I’d like to introduce you to a new member of the buskey family:  Stella.  As you can see, she bears a striking resemblance to other buskeys, as most of them do.

Stella, a basset hound husky mix

Stella, photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella has the body shape and the striking blue eyes common to the buskey, and you can see that her tail has longer hair on it than a hound’s tail would.  Her coloring is interesting, since she appeared to pick up more of the basset hound brown then some of the other buskeys we have seen.

husky basset hound mix

Stella enjoying a car ride.
Photo from her Mom, Amelia.

Here’s a picture of our Mandy enjoying a ride in our motor home.  You can definitely see the resemblance!

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

Mandy Out for a Drive!

Just like all the other buskeys, Stella has a laid back temperament, a generally sunny disposition, and a marked aptitude for foraging/scavenging kitchen counters and any other surfaces which may have food lying around loose.

Stella as a Puppy - Photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella as a Puppy – Photo from Amelia, her mom

We are fortunate in that Ms. Amelia was able to send us a rare photo of a buskey as a puppy.  A lot of the people who now have buskeys adopted them from shelters as rescues (including us) and never had the opportunity to see our buskeys as puppies.

Stella and one of her people puppies; Photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella and one of her people puppies; Photo from Amelia, her mom

This pose looks familiar to me – it is one of the poses Mandy uses when she has decided to get me up in the morning.  It’s usually a warning shot before she starts to walk across my hair, which always gets me up.  (It hurts!)

While we are always happy to meet new buskeys, it’s nice to hear from some of the others we have already met.  Sawyer’s owner, who was the first buskey owner to ever contact me. recently sent me some updated photos.  Believe it or not, Sawyer is now 8!  That hardly seems possible.

Sawyer, Husky Basset Hound Mix, Buskey

Sawyer at age 8 with his family. Photo from Neda, his mom.

He looks happy, doesn’t he?  Here he is on the front steps of their home:

Husky Basset Hound, Buskey, Sawyer

Sawyer in the front yard: Photo from Neda, his mom.

Sawyer’s resemblance to Mandy can be almost uncanny – since he originally was adopted from a shelter in Birmingham, both families have speculated as to whether they might be related – but that, alas, is something neither of us will ever know for sure!

Huskey/Basset hound mix, Sawyer, buskey

Sawyer napping; Photo from Neda, his mom.

Compare that picture of Sawyer with this one of Mandy sharing her bed with Tyra, and you’ll see what I mean about the resemblance.

Mandy buskey update

Tyra and Mandy Sharing a Bed

It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?

If any of you other buskey owners out there who have or will visit here to find out more about these unusual dogs want to share pictures, I’ll be happy to share them!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Kayla’s Turn: Photo Essay, Charlotte, North Carolina


Good morning Everyone!

When Mark and I first married, we lived in North Carolina for three years.  While most of that time was spent in a small town called Rockingham, North Carolina, we did have the opportunity to live for at least a few months in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Even back then, in the late 80’s, Charlotte was a beautiful city.  It ended up being one of the places we enjoyed living in most out of everywhere we’ve been.  We had a chance a few weeks ago to go back to Charlotte for the first time, and we took Kayla with us.  While we were driving through downtown Charlotte, Kayla took the following pictures, which I think (proud mama alert!) are quite extraordinary for a 12-year-old armed with only an iPod.

Charlotte, North Carolina

This one is probably my very favorite of all of the pictures that she took.  One of the unique features of Charlotte is the quantity of trees the city, even the downtown, still has.  Early on in its urban development, Charlotte’s city fathers passed ordinances requiring trees to be kept intact whenever possible.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte got its start as a town in the first gold rush that ever occurred in the United States – gold was found in Charlotte in the early 1800’s. Now the city is a financial services mecca, headquarters to many different banks and other financial institutions.

photo 1

 

We were riding through on a misty morning, and the tops of the skyscrapers were hidden in the clouds, a fact that fascinated Kayla.

photo 2

 

I, of course, hardly recognized anything downtown from when we lived here over twenty years ago, and yet I still recognized the spirit of the city.  The city that can maintain the balance between old and new and still retain its original identity is a rare city indeed.  But then, that’s Charlotte!

photo 3

 

Have a great day!

Nancy

Southern Spring Show


Good morning Everyone!

While this spring has sported unusually cool weather for Alabama, the azaleas had a brief chance to put on their usual fireworks show.  Here are just a few of them:

2013-04-17_07-58-25_284 2013-04-17_07-58-32_49 2013-04-17_07-58-36_512 2013-04-17_07-58-41_412 2013-04-17_07-58-43_790 2013-04-17_07-59-01_961 2013-04-17_07-59-05_590 DSCN1264 DSCN1244 DSCN1243 DSCN1242 DSCN1240

Have a great day!

Nancy

A House With a View


Good morning Everyone!

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the chance to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Huntsville during October.  When I got ready to leave, I was stunned by the view outside the house.  Here’s why:

fall mountain fog

The Fog LIfts off the mountain

In this next picture, the sunshine has reached part of the mountain, while the upper parts are still shrouded with fog.

Fall leaves mountain

The Sunshine Reaches the Mountain

This next view has all but a few spots in the sunlight.

Fall Leaves

Even More Sun

In this view, the sunlight has advanced even further.

View 4

For this final view, I took my cell phone camera off of “Zoom” to get a perspective of the clouds lifting off the mountain and the neighborhood.

Clouds, Mountain

Neighborhood View

Breathtaking, isn’t it?

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Nancy

Kayla’s Clouds


Good morning Everyone!

One of the advantages of being a parent is the chance to see the various and amazing (sometimes potentially infuriating)  ways that your child finds to fill time when he or she is bored.  Having finally procured a card reader the other day, I was able to download all of the pictures from  Mark’s Nikon, about five months worth, and in the middle of the download was surprised to see a number of pictures of skies and clouds which Kayla must have taken one day when she and I were driving somewhere together.  She took some through the sunroof, some through the side window and some through the windshield.

Cloud, photography

Through the Sunroof

Although the entire batch was a little bit repetitive – if you look through all 56 of them, several times you feel like you are watching a movie that has disjointed frames – several of the pictures were interesting and noteworthy.

Cloud, Photograph, sunroof

Also through the sunroof

I picked out a few of the more notable/representative photographs to share with you.

Cloud, Photography

Cloud 3

I could tell, for the most part, which clouds were photographed through the windshield/side window and which were photographed through the sunroof, but the picture above is one I am not certain about.

Cloud, photography, windshielf

Through the windshield

This picture was taken through the windshield. I am certain of it, due to the angle of the roadside and an idea about the road we were on at the time.

Cloud, Photography

Illumination!

The glow of the sun behind the cloud in this picture makes the question of whether it was taken through the sunroof or the side window seem irrelevant, but I still couldn’t tell you which this was.

The final picture I am sharing with you is like a kiss from God.

Cloud, photography, sunroof

Kiss from God

Maybe I should leave her to her own devices more often!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Which Tree? (A Puzzle!)


Good morning Everyone!

Today I am going to try something just a little bit different – the six of us, Mark, Kayla and I as well as Tyra, Mandy and Darwin, took the hour and a half drive over to Callaway Gardens Saturday.  (More about that tomorrow!)  I am sure you will be relieved to know that Mark, and not Mandy, drove, although Mandy did spend most of the drive standing with one set of feet on the middle console, with her head pressed against either Mark’s or my shoulder, and the other set of feet in the back seat.  We’ve never had a dog that could do that before. 

While we were there, I took the following two pictures of the same two trees.  My challenge to you is to tell me which one is the pine tree, and why do you think so?  (Bonus points to whoever can tell me what type of tree the other one is; I don’t really know the answer to that, so I’ll learn something too!)

Guessing is permitted, of course; however if you are guessing, please note that your reason for picking the pine tree as the one on the right, or left, is a “WAG.”  (WAG is a term that is sometimes used around my firm – it stands for Wild *** Guess). 

Ready?  Okay; here they are:

Trees 1

Trees 2

I’ll let you know the answer tomorrow!  Please, guys, play along with me on this one; I have an ulterior motive I’ll share with you tomorrow, too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go rescue a stray handkerchief that has fallen into the clutches of Bad Dog and convince No No to leave her alone about it before he gets in trouble, too!

Bad Dog Caught With A Handkerchief!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy