Hey, why not? Okay, I know, really I do. It costs a fortune to get there, no way around it. But hey, I’m going to do a two-day seminar outside of Auckland on November 27th and 28th, of this year, and what better excuse to take the trip of a lifetime? Besides, the air fare rates just went way down . . .
I’ve been to New Zealand before, and hands down, it is one of the most beautiful place in the world. Ah, it’s true, I haven’t been everywhere, but I’ve been in some drop-dead gorgeous places, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Denali Range in Alaska, and the fjords of Norway. All of these places are awe-inspiring, but New Zealand still has my heart as the place I just had to go back to with Jim. I seriously considered moving there when I visited, so impressed was I by the people, the scenery, and okay, the food. When I was there the first time (a gazillion year ago? or maybe just 20 +?), I vowed I would come back. And now I get to, thanks to the good people at Learning About Dogs.
The seminar I’m going to do includes discussion, demonstrations, slides and videos on “Advanced Canine Behavior,” “Dog-Dog Aggression,” and “Play.” You can learn more about it on my host’s site, Learning About Dogs. Granted, you could come to a similar seminar in the U.S., if that’s where you live, but don’t you need an excuse to treat yourself to a special trip? You could travel to Auckland, have your plane fare be a business expense, and then take a well-deserved vacation. (That’s my plan.) Besides, I’m winding down on seminars, wanting to spend more time at home and less time traveling, and I don’t know how many more I”m going to do. Here’s a site just to get you thinking about New Zealand itself.
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Baby birds everywhere. The barn is full of newly fledged barn swallows, the fat, matronly Robin babies are sprawling out of the nest on the porch light, the hapless Phoebee continues to try to raise her young in a nest inside my garage–which means she’s closed in or out anytime I’m gone and have shut the door. The wren is nesting again in the vent that leads to the bathroom fan, which hasn’t worked in years because I don’t have the heart to take away the wren’s favorite nest site. The first year the wrens nested I’d turn on the fan switch and hear “cheep cheep cheep” as the air blew across the nestlings, so we stopped using the fan. Now the fan doesn’t work at all, but the wrens raise 2 to 3 sets of young from it every summer, and it means the house has baby birds growing and twittering on three sides. Surrounded by bird life, I love it.
Here’s the center of one, looking far more elegant than any peony deserves.
And here’s Mr. Hope, whose 2nd ear just popped up like a piece of toast. He’s covered in grass and baby burrs, a dog of the country.