Archives for the month of: August, 2011

This happened yesterday evening.  Here’s Holly standing on the empty road above our house, baahing:

And here’s Misty, her voice too deep to do much baahing:

I’d been taking pictures in the garden, but the goats wanted my attention.  Vesla was there too of course, but she was preoccupied.  She was staring at something and I think the others could see it too:

Whatever it was was up on the hillside among the old tree stumps.  Thistles and small hazel bushes have grown up in the past two years since the spruce trees were cut down, and there is a pine tree on the ground that blew over in the wind last winter.  It would be easy for a lion-sized predator to hide in plain sight here:

She stood there for ages, maybe fifteen minutes, moving around but not taking her eyes off whatever it was.  This is Vesla’s job, watching out for lions; the others never do it.   I’m pretty sure she was looking at something:

I’d get her a pair of binoculars if I thought she’d accept them.  Actually there’s nothing wrong with her eyesight or her sense of smell.  Not being too worried for my own safety I walked up the hill to take a closer look, but all I could see was thistles.  It’s too bad the goats don’t eat them.

I happened to open the front door this morning at about 7:30 and I saw shafts of sunlight coming through the trees.  Everything is slightly damp with dew and old raindrops.

In my non-expert opinion these are pictures of a frog.  We often see toads, but they’re much smaller; this one was about four inches (10 cm) from nose to bottom.

Something about the way it was resting its weight on its left arm, it looked as if it might make an earnest speech

or tell me the logic behind Norwegian tariffs on imported plastics .

What you really want is goat pictures.  I’ll  try to take some today while the sun’s out.

Yesterday evening, I went to the dog run with Topsy.  As we walked down the hill towards the lake, I was knocked to the ground by one of a pair of Irish wolfhounds that must have been doing about 30 mph (50 kph). I’ve injured my knee so painfully that I can barely walk, and I spent today in bed. The wolfhounds were bigger than a Shetland pony, probably four or five feet (1200-1500mm) tall at the withers.  It had no trouble in flattening me.  In fact, it was so intent on pursuing another, smaller dog that it probably didn’t even notice as I went down. Even after I’d hit the ground with a cry it went charging along like a freight train. No thought of an apology or a dusting down of the frail old codger. Enormous bodies and appetites, Irish wolfhounds, teeny-weeny brains.  In typical Norwegian fashion one of the ten-or-so onlookers asked me which of the Irish wolfhounds was to blame, the small one or the big one?  “The big one”, I said.  They both looked about the same size, actually. “Oh no,” he said, “it was most probably the smaller one.”  “So why did you ask?” I said, like I wanted to stop for a dog-spotting lesson.  As I limped back up the hill and homeward the woman who appeared to be the owner of the dogs asked me if my knee still hurt.  “Yes, it does,” I said, thinking that on Monday, if this were the USA, I’d probably be suing her for several million dollars.  Next time we go to the dog run I’m wearing cricket pads and a motorbike helmet.

What has eight legs and lives in the garden?  Our new badebur, or bathing cage:

It’s a complicated story; suffice it to say that due to a water leak upstairs in our house we’ve had to remove our old enameled bathtub and replace it with a shower.  The plumber can’t install the shower until next week and in the meantime we decided we’d take baths outside.

The new location has a good view, and bathing outdoors is a delightful luxury.

Next to the tub is our outdoor birdcage.  It hasn’t been occupied since Tango the parrot flew away last summer.  We thought of selling it, but never got round to it.

Suddenly we thought of the badebur, or bathing cage: a permanent outdoor summer bathroom.  No planning permission is required, and when you get bored with the view it can be moved down to the berry bushes.  It’s rather like a Victorian bathing machine.

I’m not wearing clothes because of excessive modesty, I was merely trying the new location out for size.  The bell (top left, below) is to ring for more wine.

This is the current view from inside the badebur: