Showing posts from 2009

The Beginning of a Long Term Bit

After our recent trip to New Mexico we began discussing all of the places that we've been and realized that the list was pretty short. We decided that it would be a good idea to make a list of all the states that only one of us or neither of us had been to and finding something that we'd like to do in those places. Places we'd driven through on the way to somewhere else or layovers at an airport didn't count. Some of the states don't have much that we're interested in and will be lumped with one or more nearby states to make a pleasant road trip (the midwest/rustbelt states were notorious for this), some states only had one thing that we wanted to see and will be seen on a nice long weekend, and then there are the places that there is so much to do that we will be in that one spot for a week or longer. My new job will give me several three day weekends a year, plus a spring break and most of the month of July off, so we've got our vacations planned for …

Maine, Part 2: Flora & Fauna

Did you know that the Maine State Parks are a major source of revenue for the state? Boy, that sets them apart from Texas then. Anyway, that's an indication of the tremendous natural beauty of Maine. Let's have a look-see, shall we?

Camden Falls in Camden, ME:

Here's an interesting zoological fact: Two out of three ducks in Maine have no head.

An unusually sized picture, but I wanted to get all the different kinds of waterfowl in here. The one with its wings spread out on the rock is a cormorant. Know the phrase "water off a duck's back"? They don't have that magical power, so they have to dry themselves out in the sun.

Here are some shots of Acadia National Park from our nature boat cruise (way more fun than the puffin trip from three years ago).

Still on the boat tour--an island covered in harbor seals. Turns out only walruses can walk on their tails, so apparently they look like slugs flopping on the rocks when they're out of the water.

Sea birds flo…

Maine, Part 1: Maine the Mercurial

By coming to Maine in July, we bypassed an apparently miserable June that featured constant rain and highs in the 50s. Chris said that sounded like his idea of a good time, but the notion of being trapped in a hotel because it's too awful to go out doesn't really appeal to me. Nonetheless, the weather was absolute perfection some of the time and held off the rest of the time. We were also blessed to have a room with a view, so the view of Lincolnville Beach from our rental across the street is a good jumping-off point to show you how wacky the weather could be.

The bay could be beautiful and sunny ...

... or slightly cloudy ...

... or quite cloudy ...

... or kinda scary ...

... or you could've sworn there was a beach there yesterday ...

... but it was never not beautiful.

Need further proof it was beautiful? Chris and I spent an evening walking along the beach after the crowds had departed.

And here's a shot of the Lobster Pound (which has some killer lobster stew--lobst…

Trent in pictures

Boy, this is a tough one. Trent didn't die during the night (he had zero interest in dying), so we made the tough choice yesterday to take him to the vet and have him put down. So we're minus one cat now, and he was definitely the hardest cat to lose. We've been everything from alright to beside ourselves. The last week we had him was great: He was full of love and purrs for us, and I know we both value that time. Owl, who was with him after he first got sick, spent awhile being antisocial with us--Trent was his best friend and he taught Owl to be a cat, so it's no surprise that he wanted to just be alone. Estelle was the real surprise: She went in and out of the room all night checking on Trent, even getting over her fear of humans enough to sit close to Chris while he was by Trent. She's already taken over the job of alpha cat (as we suspected she would) and is comforting Owl and making sure he eats. Estelle may hate humans, but that doesn't mean she's a …

Very sad news.

Trent is not just dehydrated--he's got a heart problem. There's nothing the vet can do about it. He got better but suddenly took a nasty turn, and the vet wanted him to go to the emergency vet to be watched overnight. Now that we know his case is terminal, Chris is bringing him home so he can be with us (and Owl and Estelle) when he dies. I'm glad he'll get to come home--I need these last moments with this cat.

What happened this morning seems sudden, but looking back on it I see that he'd been going downhill over a long while. Shortly after he turned 12 he started looking old. Lately he had been eating but not throwing up, and while that sounds more healthy I realize now that he probably hadn't been eating as much. He came back from the vet this week looking really bad and really old. I thought he just needed brushed and loved on. But nothing really ever seemed wrong until this morning.

I'm glad I get to say goodbye.

Think a good thought for an old cat

I usually enjoy a lengthy snooze after Chris gets up, but he came back in after feeding the herd and said, "Something's wrong with Trent." Apparently he didn't get up to go get breakfast (highly unusual, as persistently hungry as he is), so Chris picked him up and set him by his food, where he immediately fell over. (To give credit where credit is due, sweet little Owl stayed by him the whole time.)

Trent's walking with almost no control over his back legs. While he doesn't seem to be in pain, he is noticeably weaker. He's been whisked off to the vet with an unusually low amount of resistance and protestation on his part, and Chris has instructions to call me when he knows more.

UPDATE: Trent appears to be dehydrated. The vet's working to pump him full of fluids, and they'll keep him there for the rest of the day to observe him. It looks, however, that things are going to be just fine. I can't wait for him to come home so we can love him to deat…

5th Anniversary, Part 7: Fort Davis National Historic Site

Daughter of a history professor, wife of a history major--if I wanted to steer clear of historical sites on vacation then I ought to have had another life. Still, I chose the hotel that's on the register of National Historic Places, so I can't lay the blame at other people's feet when I choose not to vacation on sun-drenched beaches. But Fort Davis was a very cool place--good job on the part of the Department of the Interior. Chris could tell you better than I could its historical significance (he's wired that way more than I am), but I can tell you that they picked a magnificent spot for a fort!

Kudos to Chris for incorporating the sign, the flag, the redonk agave, the barracks, and the mountain into one shot.

Pretend its an eagle. It's probably a vulture or a hawk, but this picture is way cooler if you pretend it's an eagle. Because eagles instinctively know to fly over important sites in American history.

Pay attention to these next two shots:

That's a gat…

5th Anniversary, Part 6: Davis Mountains and Indian Lodge

Davis Mountains State Park was the only place we did any hiking. We rose early in the morning to take advantage of the cool weather (and low UV rays) and hiked what we thought would be relatively flat but turned out to be up a cliff. Those foothills are daunting buggers.

Going up the hill. We ended up atop the cliff on the left.

Love those blue skies.

The first view of Indian Lodge from above. Indian Lodge was built by my favorite Depression-era works program, the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Kinda cool: Ferns growing in the rocks on top of the cliff.

More views from atop the cliff. Hard to want to come down the hill.

A good shot of part of Indian Lodge. There's something about white adobe and the desert landscape that look like they belong together. And take a good gander at that giant agave. They're all that huge out there.

From the first scenic overlook on the Skyline Drive that went up a foothill. Pretty stuff out there.

This picture cracks me up. We turned to go back to …