Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Livin' is Easy

I have a few more cottage photos to share with you. Grab a fly swatter and some bug spray and come join me for a wander by the lake.

The day we arrived, it was raining hard. It had been dry, hot and humid, and we needed this downpour to rejuvenate plant life, animal life and ourselves.

With the weather change, came strong winds and cooler air. It was quite refreshing to venture outside after the raindrops stopped falling. Frank stood at the edge of the dock to assess the fishing conditions, and little Bayley scampered up behind him to help.

Benny and the kits played around together for a while. Benny generally initiated the chasing as JRTs are wont to do but every now and then one of the kits would pursue him and he'd show his displeasure about being the hunted.

Mostly, Benny liked to run circles around them and nip them gently while they tried not to keep their backs to him. Here's how they typically interacted.

After playtime, Bubbles and Bayley were ready for their bottles, and both drank with gusto for a long while. They became even more cuddly afterward, and Bayley nestled into my arms for a snuggle. Theresa warned me that being such a young one, he was prone to pooping when content with a full tummy and a warm nuzzle but I decided to take my chances...

Suddenly, it was laundry day! Bayley had indeed proven his contentment.

The last light of day provided a good peek at the sun, and the promise for a lovely day ahead.

On one of the last mornings spent at the cottage, I woke up with the awareness of a pink glow outside the cottage. It was just after five, and that could only mean that a glorious sunrise was about to occur. I stumbled out of bed and brought my camera to the living room window to capture the first, colourful light of day. That strange glow to the left is the reflection of the bedroom lamp.

While standing there, hummingbirds were already busily starting their own day. I snapped the above two photos for my pal Cricket who has eloquently rhapsodized the wonders of the early hours of morning.

Later, it was time to check out the fishing. Frank needed to start up the bilge pump to empty water from the boat. This of course fascinated Benny.

He suddenly decided that he must have every last drop of it. He peed a lot that day.

The fishing wasn't wonderful but photo opportunities were fine. A much needed fly swatter (mosquitos and horse flies were bad) rests on the cooler, creating an interesting shadow on its lid, and on a colourful lure.

Frank had some fishing success later on in the week, and Mother Nature continued to provide us with lovely sunsets and copper clouds. It was a fine time all around.

I might be disappearing again for a few days. I will definitely have a Posts of the Week up for you folks on Wednesday, and hopefully an additional post set up for Thursday but no promises there. If you don't hear from me after Wednesday, you'll know that more cottage time fell into place for us. I'll try to get back to visiting your blogs and responding to comments as soon as I can. Right now, it's summertime and the living is easy. I sure hope yours is likewise.

A Happy and Safe 4th of July to all of my Amurikan friends south of the border!


DJan said...

You have such a wonderful eye. I love those dawn pictures, and the raccoons, and... well, all of it it so beautiful and special. The fly swatter is a favorite, too. I hope you have a wonderful, safe, fun-filled holiday!!!

ellen abbott said...

Gorgeous skies up there. I especially liked the shot of the laundry with the sunset behind and the next one of the grass being lit.

CiCi said...

I would have held Bayley too, poop on the consequences, or is it the other way around? Anyway, nice pictures. My favorite is the two drinking bottles. So cute.

Friko said...

wonderful! again!

I watched the video and I can't get over your Jack Russell. Isn't he meant to hunt your babies?

Any and all JRs of my acquaintance are yappy little terrors who will go for big dogs, cats and certainly all the wildlife they come across, proper little terriers in other words.

pam said...

What beautiful images!

Tabor said...

I can tell from your lovely photos that you had a wonderful respite in the woods at the cabin. I hope that the raccoons don't feel too safe around dogs in the future.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Wonderful, charming shots here Hilary. Bubbles and Bailey are darling.

The pic of laundry hanging on the line is great! Makes me want to paint it.

Keep on enjoying your summer.

Cricket said...

Heh, heh... and you still love raccoons, huh? That's ok, I get it. When I think of what my children have done to me over the years, a little raccoon poo seems tame.

Hope Benny doesn't get the wrong idea about raccoons, though. I'm sure he's smart enough to realize the adults are different critters entirely?

Thanks again for the lovely dawn photos. I'll offer you two songs in return:

My Cabin In Caroline by Flatt & Scruggs. It may not be in Caroline, but it does appear to be a "cabin in the shadow of the pines..."

The Black Fly Song by Wade Hemsworth. I'll be surprised if you don't know this Canada-approved gem already but, if you don't, you're in for a treat. It'll put a song in your heart while you're slapping those "l'il bastids."

Thanks for your good wishes for the 4th. #1 son and I will blow something up for you. We're Americans... it's what we do.

Don said...

Thanks for taking me to the lake! Great photos!

Merisi said...

After looking though all your images, I can't but wish you a speedy return to that paradise and many leisurely summer days ahead!

LadyFi said...

Wow - fabulous photos - each and every one. Early morning is a magical time! And aren't those baby raccoons just adorable?

Enjoy those summery days to the full...

Mage said...

Oh, simply wonderful images, thank you so much. Your talent sweeps me away sometimes. Thanks.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Those sunrise photos are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing as it's been awhile since I was up early enough to witness such glory.

Susie @ A Slice of My Life said...

I can't help but think that life at the cabin is what heaven must be like.

Dawning Inspiration said...

Oh Hilary- what a rather LARGE slice of heaven that place is - fabulous images - so glad you get to enjoy that place... wow.
Happy 4th!

Maggie May said...

You certainly manage to get some wonderful action packed, beautiful pictures.
Love those little creatures and the bird on the feeder during dusk. Brilliant.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Brian Miller said...

brilliant pics hilary...just cant get over that reccoon...that is so cool. love the sunsets too...what a display of color...

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary.. Totally enjoyed the video of Benny and the babies. Looks as though they could have gone on that way for hours of bantering back and forth.

Your photos are gorgeous. Especially love the grass at the end of the day.


ds said...

You MUST frame that first sunrise shot--such incredible color! Such cute 'coons, too. And then there's Benny. Is there no water source he will not drink from (bilge?! eww). Bless his heart...
Spend as much time at the cottage as you can. We're not going anywhere.

Cheryl Kohan said...

Well, that was really fun to read! The video is priceless...loved how the little kits peeked out of their box to see where Benny was!

Never in a million years would I have held Bayley if there was any chance of an "accident"!! You are a good person.

The sunrise just awesome...don't you love it when you just happen to see a sight that beautiful?

There is no need to rush back...just enjoy yourselves.

MaggieGem said...

Another lovely day at the cottage! Thanks for taking us along!

Sueann said...

Beautiful pics. The skies are amazing!!!

Tammie Lee said...

It sounds and looks as though you had a wonderful time. Some gorgeous captures too. Such cute little critters to have fun and cuddle with~

Scott Law said...

What fun photos, and a beautiful place to spend some time off. Love that final photo of the pink/orange cloud.

xxx said...

You've told a beautiful tale with these photos and video...

are the little creatures that your are bottle feeding racoons?
i want to know more about them... they are so little and cute and how did they get to be living with you?

great post

best wishes

Karen said...

Thanks Hilary. Love that video, so cute! Your sky pictures are lovely. It's amazing how heavens colors can change each day.

Cloudia said...

THIS post embodies all that is exciting and wonderful about blogging!!!!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Louis Duke Photography said...

These are so wonderful.
Your photography is awesome.

Grayquill said...

You out did yourself. The pictures were awesome. I hope you never have to depend on Benny to defend you. Very SAD!

kazia said...

Such beautiful colors
beautiful pictures congratulations :)

Kerri Farley said...

Oh the cottage life ~~ How fun! Great pics as always!!!

Pauline said...

A perfectly splendid post! And it sounds (and looks) like a perfectly splendid summer. Copper clouds - what an amazing color! I really enjoy seeing the world through your eyes :)

Daryl said...

Oh that Benny, he thinks he's a border collie herding his flock!

messymimi said...

Bottle raising kittens has similar pitfalls -- many are the times I've changed clothes more than once a day when a kitten proved well fed!

Lovely photos.

Mental P Mama said...

I don't think I would ever leave there! Nor would I give up the opportunity to have a sweet kit poop on me!

beth said...

those coons just totally and completely make my heart all mushy !

Hilary said...

• DJan, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thanks, Ellen. Yes, the sky never fails to provide great colours. Thanks for the visit. :)

• TechnoBabe, that's exactly how I felt. He was so worth the bother. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Friko. JRTs are indeed were bred for hunting down creatures, and Benny sure has the chasing instinct intact but he doesn't tend to show aggression toward them. He taunts my cat and engages him to play fight all the time. All he wants to do is chase and be chased. He'll nip him lightly on the ear or the back of the neck and then pull back expecting retaliation which he often gets. They have a love/hate relationship.. mostly love. He's like an annoying little brother. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Welcome, Grey Like Snuffles and thanks for the kind words. :)

• Tabor, not to worry. Every kit that Theresa has raised were living among her dogs (she has two English sheepdogs) but have become wild and cautious about everything including the hands that fed them. They go back to their natural ways when on their own. She just makes sure that they survive until that time. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Bonnie, thanks kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Cricket, I adore those little critters. Come on, look at those faces.. those "hands." I know you'd be smitten if one of them just sat on your foot and looked up at you as they tend to do. Yeah, I still love them. ;) Benny instinctively knows the difference between a tame and a wild animal. He's a chaser/guarder by nature and goes nuts when a raccoon or squirrel enters my yard. Not to mention that the raccoons would be defensive and run away if they saw a dog approaching. There wouldn't be a play-intended approach by Benny. Ah yes, The Black Fly Song perfect for cottage country in the early summer.. black flies, mosquitos, horse flies or gnats. They're all the same annoyance. Good song choices as always. As for the 4th, I hope you blowed it up real gud (SCTV reference). Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Don. I'm glad you could join me. :)

• Thanks kindly, Merisi. That might just be happening very soon. :)

• Lady Fi, thanks very much. You're right about that magical hour.. and yes, I adore those little critters. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Maggie, thank you so much. Such kind words. :)

• VM, that was a first in a long time for me too. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Susie, that same thought has crossed the minds of most who visit. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• SD, thank you so much. I'm glad you joined me to enjoy it. :)

• Maggie May, thanks very kindly. I was very lucky and I'm always glad that I keep my camera close at hand. Thanks always for the kind words. :)

• Brian, thank you. I never tire of spending time in their sweet little masked company either. They're great critters. Thanks for the kind comments. :)

• Snappi Di, clearly you understand the tenacity of a JRT. If not removed from the situation, he would have indeed gone on for hours. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

Hilary said...

• DS, thank you. Yes, Benny will go after anything and everything. It's in his crazy JRT nature. Snow shoveling in winter is a double-duty chore when he's around. Thanks so much for the kind words. They're so appreciated. :)

• Thanks kindly, Cheryl. I suspect you would have held Bayley if you took a look into his eyes as he was climbing your leg, on his way up to get cuddled. They're hard to resist. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the video and photos. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

• Thanks for joining me, MaggieGem. :)

• Thanks very much, SueAnn. Much appreciated. :)

• Tammie Lee, thank you. They are indeed a lot of fun. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Scott, thanks very kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the images. :)

• Thanks kindly, Robyn. Those are indeed raccoon kits but they're not living with me. They're with Frank's sister, Theresa who rehabilitates them and returns them to the wild when they can fend for themselves. These two orphans were found by different people who brought them to her. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing them. The previous post links to the story about last year's orphaned kits which were born under my front porch, if you care to read that. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Karen. There's rarely a day when the sunset doesn't present itself beautifully. We're very lucky that way. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you so much, Cloudia for such kind words. :)

• Welcome, Louis Duke and thanks very much for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Grayquill, thank you kindly. Oh Benny hides behind our legs when he feels he has to defend us. He'll bark and defend us if glass separates us from the intruder but remove that glass and he's all whimper. ;) He likes to pretend, though. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Kazia. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Kerri. :)

• Pauline, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. It's always nice to have you along. :)

• Daryl, you might be right. I bet he'd get along great with Kate's George, eh? :)

• Messymimi, I suppose it's the same for any baby. It's part of the parenting process. I didn't mind a bit. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• MPM, this is why we're heading back up before too long. ;) And what's a bit of raccoon poop in return for purry cuddles? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Beth, mine too. They're just so sweet. Thanks for the visit. :)

Paul C said...

That picture at dawn from the dock reveals the beautiful vista you enjoyed. Looks wonderful!

25BAR said...

That looks like a gr8 place to visit and photograph!

Reb said...

Lovely as always Hilary. I like the photo of Benny being chased for once. The fly swatter makes a lovely shadow.

She Who Carries Camera said...

I can just smell the crisp, country air in all your photos and that sunrise is breathtaking!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Laundry day is beautiful at your cottage :-)

All great pics Hilary.

Hope your holiday weekend was great.

Indrani said...

Great captures as usual, takes me there.

Rajesh said...

Wish you Happy Independence day. Beautiful shots. They are cute.

Unknown said...


What a fabulous update. You have such a generous and nurturing soul. Those raccoon babes look so content.
The sky photos make me jealous for outdoorsy getaway. I've been kind of internet absent, still nursing my injury , and sharing a computer with too many babes. :)

Hope you get to do the cottage thing again. Have a sunrise coffee and a sunset cocktail for me .

imbeingheldhostage said...

You live such a rich life! Gorgeous little holiday you just gave me in the middle of a very hectic day. Thank you!

Suldog said...

Magnificent colors and shadows, and Benny is a hoot, as always! Thanks for the fond July 4th wishes, my friend in the attic!

Clowncar said...

love those little stems catching the last rays of the sun.

and the lure hiding under the swatter. dig those crazy shadows!

Leah J. Utas said...

Gorgeous pics. The top one is amazing. And those raccoons. Of course you couldn't resist. Who could?

Deb said...

I can't find the words to express how much I respect you and your photography. I wouldn't even try to pick a favorite one. I don't know what you do in real-life but I hope it involves writing and photography because you are one talented lady !

Country Girl said...

These are gorgeous images, Hilary! The kits drinking their milk, the awesome sunrise, and just everything. I love when you go to the cottage.

SandyCarlson said...

I love the shot of Benny not wanting to be the pursued. The raccoon has an "aw, shucks" look that melts me.

Thanks for visiting my blog, Hilary. You are great.

Hilary said...

* Thanks very much, Paul. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

* Thank you, 25BAR. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks, Reb. Yes, Benny being chased is a rare occurrance and I quite like that turnaround too. Thanks for the kind words. It sure is nice to see you out and about in the blog world again. )

* Thanks kindly, Jillsy. It is indeed lovely up there and I'm quite anxious to return... which we'll be doing tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very much, Joanna. I can't think of a place I'd enjoy doing laundry more. ;)

* Thank you, Indrani. :)

* Thanks, Rajesh. Much appreciated. :)

* Deb, thank you so much for such kind words. I hope you are on the mend and that you'll be able to enjoy a little more online time. Until then, I will indeed have a coffee and cocktail for you. :)

* IBHH, thank you kindly. I'm glad you got a bit of a lift from the photos. :)

* Thanks very much, Suldog. I quite like being considered in the attic. Your always kind words are much appreciated my stellar, cellar friend. ;)

* Thanks kindly, Clowncar. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

* Thanks very much, Leah. I wasn't sure how others might feel about that rainy shot, but I loved how it looked through the window and the viewfinder. I'm glad you like it. And I know you wouldn't resist the raccoon kits either. They're just the sweetest things, aren't they? I'll be seeing them again this week - which means that hopefully, you'll be seeing more of them too. :)

* Deb, thank you SO kindly. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kind comment. I do design layouts for labels, so no, no photography or writing involved but it sure feels great to know that you think I should. Thank you so much. :)

* Thanks very much, Kate. You're going to be happy to know that I'm going back there tomorrow. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

* Thank you so much, Sandy. You're quite rightr about that "Aww shucks" look on that kit's face. Benny will get his yet! Thanks for the visit. :)

Frank Baron said...

Yeah, you are indeed going to be away for a few days. I suspect we'll be back in a little while with a blog-full (or two) of post-worthy pics - like these. :)

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I really need to get my rear end out of bed to see the sunrise. Seems that's about the time I get to sleep.

Enjoyed the visit to your lake. I hung my sheets on the line the other day. I relish the scent of "real" clothesline fresh.

lime said...

bubbles and bailey are just adorable. i like the picture of one of them with benny too. the hummingbird shot is just amazing and the sunset is gorgeous.