We’re just back from a short week with good friends Jim and Peg in northern Georgia. Heavenly! They live on a gorgeous 200 acre farm and we got to enjoy the fun of 80+ new born lambs, and none of the work, thanks to our hard working hosts. Maggie and Willie got to work sheep every day, along with numerous long walks with the seven resident Border Collies on the property. Basically, we ate (Jim A. is the best amateur chef I know), walked (two stunningly beautiful hikes and lots of dog walks) and worked dogs (Peg is one of the top handlers in the country and gave me some invaluable advice). Sounds rough, doesn’t it? Here’s a huge shout out to Peg and Jim for their gracious hospitality.
I thought you’d enjoy a sequence of dog play that I took with the camera on rapid fire “continuous shooting.” I originally inserted more photos, but then had to make them too small, so I’ve only included a few of the most interesting:
Here’s Willie in the center, playing with 14-month old (intact) Joe. (That’s young pup Henry running off happily in the foreground.) Joe thought mounting Willie was great fun, which is typical for dogs Joe’s age. When Willie mildly objected, Joe responded appropriately with a tongue flick.
Immediately afterward, Joe comes up to Willie with tail down, tongue flicking again. Note Willie’s high tail and “on his toes” posture.
Joe tried another mount, but this time Willie rises up too (a bit hard to see). Lots of vertical play can be a sign of potential trouble, but I had no worries here with any of these dogs. They all played beautifully the entire time we were there.
This play sequence ended when an older male, Cap, trots over. Note both the older males have high tails, but Cap’s is curled forward and Willie is now doing an appeasing tongue flick. Ah language of dogs! So much has been “said” here, right?
Switching taxons (from animals to plants), here are some of the many wildflowers that were in bloom when we visited:
I believe that this is Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia), surrounded by Toadshade or Sessile Trillium (Trilllium sessile). Any local naturalists want to confirm for me?
And here’s a flower familiar to many, White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum), which will not make its appearance here in Wisconsin for another month or so.