Sunday, May 3, 2009

Miscellaneous weekend stuff...

Weekends never last long enough...

The forecasters all told us not even to THINK about getting any yard work done this weekend, it would pour all weekend long. It's now 8:30 on Sunday night, I think we had a few sprinkles over night last night and maybe Friday night as well. Wrong again! I would have planned my weekend differently and finished spreading mulch in my back flowerbeds if I hadn't been expecting rain. Oh well. I did get a bunch of annuals planted in my pots on my deck. This weekend was a big weekend for returning birds by my records from last year. I had rosebreasted grosbeaks out the wazoo all weekend, usually at least three on my feeders at any given time. I had a new yard bird, a field sparrow; and a rare yard bird, a baltimore oriole, who was absolutely gorgeous but stayed in the tree tops and didn't venture within camera range despite my offerings of oranges, grape jelly, and string for nesting. Hopefully he will tell his wife and they will be back. I also had a return of a wild turkey. They were frequent visitors to my yard and the woods behind my house, even at one point having a dozen or more roosting under my deck every night in the fall. However, I hadn't seen any since last summer prior to the oil spill that happened in the creek just a few yards upstream. Saturday night as I was on the deck planting I could hear them gobbling away like crazy down in the woods, but I didn't see any and didn't really have time to look closely for them. This morning when I got up I could still hear them; but this time I sat down with my binoculars and started scanning in the woods. Voila! There she was.

She sat on the log for a while, then meandered up through my neighbor's yard and back down into the woods.

A few minutes later she came up into my yard and foraged around under the bird feeders for a little while.

After a few minutes something startled her and she jogged back to the woods and then flew- sort of- off.

Here are pictures of the female rose breasted grosbeak to go along with the pix of the males in our last post. As you can see, they are much less striking, but very pretty in their own way.

And here's a picture of one of my female red bellied woodpeckers peeking through my newly planted geraniums and lobelia. Still no sign of my red headed woodpeckers or my hummers...

Getting back to dogs...pictured below is one of my patients, CH Whiteoak Dealer's Choice II, or "Brett". He's the dog on the far right. Last week was the American Shetland Sheepdog Club's national specialty show, a week long extravaganza that includes competition in herding, agility, obedience, and rally as well as the breed ring. Futurity is for puppies bred by ASSA members and nominated before they are even born, and lasts all day on Monday. Breed judging starts on Wednesday morning; it takes all day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to judge all the dogs and bitches and arrive at Winners Dog and Winners Bitch (best nonchampion dog and bitch shown who will earn championship points). It takes all day Saturday to judge all the finished champions, as well as both winners, to arrive at the dog who is Best of Breed. At approximately 3 minutes generally allowed per dog, that's a lot of dogs! This year the national was held in Perry Georgia. There were 43 herding entries, 429 agility entries, 259 obedience and rally entries, 122 futurity entries; 512 "class" dogs and bitches competing for WD and WB, 33 veteran dogs and bitches, 13 stud dogs and 7 brood bitches; and 117 champions competing, along with WD, WB, and the winners of the veterans classes, for best of breed. All shelties, of course!
Brett and his owners, Myra and Tom Flynn and Kathy and Ron Rhoades, had a VERY good national. Brett WON the stud dog class, which is where the stud dog is shown along with several of his offspring. The offspring are judged on their quality and consistency; winning this class at the national is truly an accomplishment. In addition, Brett made all of the cuts in BOB all the way down to the last cut.

Brett's babies had a good national too! Pictured with him above are, from left, BISS Solange Surround Sound "Dolby" (8 pts, both majors), Fairway High Maintainence "Barbie" (8 pts, both majors), and Solange Significant "Signi". Dolby won the 9-12 month dog class in Futurity and was third in 9-12 mos sable dogs in the regular classes. Signi was 4th in 9-12 month puppy bitches. Another Brett baby, "Reba", Laurelen Storyland Legacy of a Dream, was 4th in 6-9 month sable bitches.
Dolby and Signi are owned by Linda Nicholas of Solange shelties and are out of her Solange Body Language, who won 2nd in the brood bitch class with them. Barbie is owned by Jennifer Tuttle (who shot this photograph) of Fairway shelties and is out of her CH Fairway's One Under Par.
Brett is littermate to "Annabelle", the mother of my Cory. And we did AI's on both bitches when they were in to be bred to Brett, so we were cheering from home and following online.
Way to go, Brett and company!

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