Today is Olive’s last day at the beach this year. The weather is incredible and she has been so happy being in the water almost every day.
We bought her this green flying saucer type thing which really soars on a windy day. She swims out to get it and then comes right back.
Except yesterday when Cris was playing with her. Olive paddled out to the saucer and then started to swim out a bit farther into the ocean. Cris couldn’t figure out what was going on, and then spotted dolphin fins. Olive must have sensed them as well. It is hard to know what kind of interaction there would have been if she hadn’t come right back when called. You would like to think that it would have ended in a nice “Flipper-like” scenario with lots of cavorting and intra-mammal bonding, but you never know.
Thanks to Bob and Kath for having us in the house again this year, and it is so great that they have been here for the latter part of our stay. Heading back North tomorrow.
Due to the great generosity of my brother and sister in law, we are back at the beach for a bit. Olive is thrilled.
Happy New Year to you all.
I haven’t posted much of the Olive lately. She has developed into a really good ball dog, and has a particularly interesting way of keeping it on the side of her mouth. She is really a good girl and a wonderful companion.
The past few days have provided what might be the last warmth before the autumn ends. Olive and I had a nice walk in the woods yesterday.
There wasn’t any water for her to mess about in, but she seems to enjoy rooting around in the leaves looking for mushrooms.
I never remember what this plant is called, but there are tons of them livening up the forrest floor.
The Amherst Farmer’s Market was quite busy today. This is turmeric, and I don’t ever recall seeing it fresh like this. I didn’t buy any, but did get some amazing fresh ginger that will go in the freezer.
Olive loves to go shopping with us and is so well behaved in town. She has been a great comfort to us in the past couple of weeks. The world has felt a bit topsy-turvy of late.
I have been spending my afternoons walking around Kathmandu. Whenever I see bricks (and there are a lot of them here) I think of my friend Richard Pieper. He loves bricks. It is nice to be a photographer as it is impossible to ever be bored. I see bricks, I think of Pieper, I see motor scooters and I am interested because I have a Vespa, I see people giving water to a stray, injured dog and I am touched, I see rivers and I think of Peter Carroll’s brother Alan who worked on water quality here a long time ago, and I see young children reading and I think of all the work Cris does in helping kids become literate. I see these things, but I don’t always photograph them. I am a bit self conscious about poking a camera into the lives of people who are just going about their days. It always takes me a while to be comfortable, and the only way I can do so is to engage with the people I see. It is a bit more difficult in a place where many speak only a bit of English, and I speak no Nepali. But after today, I am beginning to see things that I want to photograph, and I know I will eventually wrap my head about how to go about it. So today I am showing you bricks.
And another representation of Krishna.
Here is the Bishnumati River. I almost didn’t take this picture, and I almost didn’t post it here because it felt exploitative in a way. Coming to a place like Kathmandu and pointing out what we Westerners think of as being messed up largely misses the point. Water quality is a huge issue here. This river is everything from a sewer to a rubbish heap and then some. It is easy for me to say it should be cleaned up. And it is easy for governments and NGOs to put money into doing just that. But it is not easy, and there are a lot of people putting a ton of effort into sorting this problem out. I just wonder what it will take. Somewhere at its source this river came out of the mountains clean and pure. Along the way it became this. I’m not really sure how to end here, but it is important for me to be a little optimistic, which I guess I still am. Maybe someday.
We had a lovely walk in the woods this morning. The trees are just starting to show new growth, and I was pleased to see that some of these water plants (identification anyone?) are starting to appear in the small streams. This one is right near a spot where Olive likes to lie in the water and rub her back on the moss covered rocks.
This is from a few days ago. It might be time for a bath.
Now that the snow is all gone Olive and I have started spending more time in the woods. It rained most of the day yesterday, so it was pretty wet. Nice.
She is a total stick (or should I say log) girl. This could have been record size for her. She carried it for about half a mile.
I have been seeing a lot of green lately, and these fungi are just beautiful. Can anyone out there tell me what they are?
I think I post a version of this photograph more than I probably should. We have had a ton of rain in the past few days, and Olive and I had a lovely wet walk in the woods this afternoon. But for some reason, the water, the leaves, and the dog make me feel quite happy and I wanted to share it.
When Judy Berde and I were making arrangements for my talk on Roosevelt Island, I got an email from her asking if I had a dog. The question came out of nowhere, but I told her about Olive. When I finished my talk she presented me with a box with this amazing gift inside. Olive now has a new bowl, and she loves it! (Well, it has food in it and she is a Labrador; what’s not to like?) I think these bowls are for sale through the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, as well as mugs with the same text. Any of you who live in the metro New York area should think about joining the organization; Judy does a great job and the island has a really interesting history.
Olive is also now rocking a new Red Sox collar, which is a gift from my sister Karen. Thanks Sis.
I have just created a direct link to all of the suitcase posts for those of you who have very little interest in my dog, or the other bits of my life that I like to post here. If you look to the column on the right →, under “Pages” you will see a link to “All Willard Suitcase Posts”. I hope that it makes it easier for folks who are looking for all the suitcases in one place. I will still upload all suitcase stuff to this site.
We are in South Carolina for a bit and seeing tons of interesting wildlife. This bobcat was just hanging around on the deck yesterday.
And this little lizard was on one of the dining room chairs.
Olive has been swimming every day, and it doesn’t take much to get her to nap between dips.
Happy New Year’s everyone, thanks for following, and be well. Cheers, Jon