Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Small Animal Swap Meet In Gouverneur, New York - Part 1

On the morning after the dog agility trials (see yesterday's post), I drove to the county fairgrounds in Gouverneur, New York for a small animal swap meet. It was sponsored by the Northern New York Poultry Fanciers Association:

I parked my car and began looking at the many tailgate cages with birds and other animals for sale:

I was hoping to add some new blood to my Fantail Pigeons, but would enjoy looking at everything. These, I believe, were white Old English Game Bantams. And what a cheap price! Apparently someone wanted rid of them:

This couple was purchasing some very large Partridge (colored) Cochin Chickens:

A grand mixture of birds, including some colorful Polish (with the topknots):

This truck had lots of Golden Pheasants for sale:

 I walked around to the back of the truck, where folks were already crowded around for a closer look:

A pair of Silver Golden Pheasants:

And Lady Amherst Pheasants:

Then I continued walking. There was a food vender, but it was much too early for lunch:

Someone was selling a Vietnamese Potbelly Pig:

I entered the Poultry Barn and discovered lots of birds and other animals for sale. Many of them were clearly labeled with breed names and prices, which was very nice. But I still hadn't seen any Fantail Pigeons, so I kept looking. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dog Agility Trials In Canton, New York

The annual St. Lawrence Valley Dog Club's Agility Trials at Canton, New York was billed as the occasion where the north country's best agility dogs would compete for AKC titles. I drove there and found this great hall:

Parked outside were cars, at least half of which had bags of dog poop behind them. Folks staying in campers along the side of the building were walking a variety of dogs, including a little pooch in a wheeled support buggy:

There were license plates from all over and bumper stickers proclaiming favorite breeds. This car had the bag of poop, two stickers with pictures of Corgis on it and also the window decal which read, "My Corgi Ate Your Stick Family:"

Inside was what appeared to be a hockey arena and a judge was explaining the course and rules to the participants of the next trial:

I appeared to be the only person there as a mere observer, but I was allowed to walk around freely and take pictures. I noticed that most people smiled when I took a photo of their beloved pets. This couple had a Corgi and I wondered if that was their car outside with the bumper stickers:

Border Collies (I think):

A Weimaraner:

And Shetland Sheepdogs. The woman on the left was holding a black Standard Poodle in her lap. Needless to say, it wasn't nearly the size of my Seamus - but he's a giant:

A Doberman:

The next trial hadn't yet begun, but folks were warming up by having their dogs leap hurdles. I watched everything from a Chihuahua to this Golden Retriever to a Boxer and many more, their owners adjusting the height of the bar to give their dogs a warm up:

This Boxer could jump well but was so fast that most of the photos were blurred:

In fact, when the trial began, I quickly discovered that the indoor lighting, distances and fast movements of the dogs combined to make nearly all the photos unusable. This Corgi was just beginning:

The Chihuahua was so tiny that I could barely see it in the photos I took. This Boxer was too fast, but I managed to snap a photo before it began:

And I caught the Golden Retriever scaling the ramp. I began to fantasize about training Clover for agility trials until I realized that I am unable to travel and would be only able to enter this one event, once per year. I decided that Clover was having a good life going on hikes, and agility trials would have to be left for other folks. I didn't stay long, but was happy I got to see the action and talk to some of the dog people:

the North Country's best Agility dogs compete for AKC titles at the annual St. Lawrence Valley Dog Club's Agility Trials. - See more at: http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/upnorth/comcal/#sthash.5hQlXVPn.dpuf

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pets At Home

I figured it was just about time for an update on the household pets. We'll begin with Georgette, who was exploring a new (to her) cat tree when I took this picture. She has her favorite cat tree and her very own spot reserved at the top of it, but she was feeling adventurous on this day:

PeeWee still sleeps most of the time, but he's had an upswing in his health. His appetite is enormous and he's happy most all the time. Of course he's still mostly blind, deaf and senile, but he doesn't let that slow him down - except when he's sleeping:

Bramble's two weeks on antibiotics had an unexpected consequence. The daily handling increased his friendliness and willingness to be petted. He often sits on this chair now so I'll pet him as I walk by:

And many of the dogs and cats continue to share the fleecy dog beds on the kitchen floor:

This is a popular spot:

Georgette seldom comes downstairs, but one day she came down to watch me while I was at the computer:

Bramble has always liked dogs - more, in fact, than he likes other cats or people:

I caught Fergus, PeeWee and Seamus enjoying the sunlight coming through the kitchen window by the side door:

And the dogs still enjoy their fenced yard. In this photo, PeeWee was sniffing the grass while Fergus watched the chickens on the lawn:

And a rare photo which captured all five dogs in one shot:

Clover, Bramble and Daphne:

At the foot of the stairs - Seamus, Fergus, Daphne and Clover:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Floodwood Loop Trail, From Little Pollywog Pond To The Pollywog Pond Extension

We had made our way from Middle Pond to Pollywog Pond to Little Pollywog Pond and were on our way back toward the trail head:

The forest was scenic and fragrant, the dogs happy and playful. We never saw or heard another person, either in the forest or on the lakes:

We continued back the way we'd come. In this photo, we were crossing a small peat bog:

The forest was lovely, reminding me of the fairy tale Black Forest pictures of my childhood:

Daphne kept an eye out for big bad wolves, ogres and the like:

The moss covered sides of the trail lent a soft aura of comfortable mystery to the hike:

We took a detour when we reached the canoe carry trail, however. This canoe carry was a portage between Middle Pond and Pollywog Pond:

And this was the destination we sought. It was Pollywog Pond again, but a distinct "lobe" of it, almost a separate lake:

This quiet section of Pollywog Pond was quiet and wild, and the dogs did some exploring out on that peninsula. I didn't follow them because I was sure I'd sink down in:

And then we began returning to the main loop trail. I noticed that the canoe carry was broader, wider and easier walking than the regular hiking trail. But of course that made sense because those using it would likely be carrying their heavy canoes:

The dogs began to slow down, even the "Silly Sisters," Daphne and Clover:

The forest turned from mostly coniferous to mostly hardwood as we neared the trail head:

All in all, it was a spectacular hike, and one to which I hoped to return - especially since there remains so much of it we never got to see: