Superior Moments

While the city slept
we gave it the slip
stealthily escaping
on awesome road trip

Joy Ride
by Melvin McGee

Noses to the sky
Primed for the drive
Scenery and scents
invigorating ride


Heading up North
for Superior shores
artists’ colony and
hiking trails galore.


Our first dining stop
a roadhouse cafe
was tucked cozily
along Beaver Bay.


A double-decker advert lured us in.
The name didn’t seem very prescient then.

Like a Pinkerton detective
who sniffed but rarely spoke
along came a snooper
alert to city-folk.

Assured we weren’t marauders
just hungry traveling strays
he tottered back beneath the bus
and curled up for the day.

A hefty lunch plate
was delivered to the table
sumptuously arrayed
and full of local flavors.

flaky, tasty salmon
minimally salted and
seriously slammin’.

 Dotted wild rice cheese
served with crusty bread
paired so tastefully
with lingonberry spread.

While H sampled my salmon
her eyes grew big and moist
her tastebuds regretting her
salmon-less lunch choice.

Not that her meal was bad
her dish was quite delicious
but sometimes she be greedy,
and sorta avaricious.

Hey, that’s kinda harsh,
she laughs at my description
but words I do not parse
when food is that delicious.
I’m just joshin’ I explain
a libelous tradition.

Blame those Northern chefs
infusing food with flare
exploring cookery’s depths
so you might forget to share…



From all the world over
hungry visitors abound.
On wall maps they pegged
the site of their hometowns.

Local Minneapolitans’
possibly drunken fandom
bored through their homespot
with gleeful abandon.

An alien flower outside the Rock Shop
bloomed on the edge of a parking lot.

What the he## is that, H sputtered on sight.
I have no idea, I answered in fright.
Agreeing they appeared other-worldly and weird
yet freakishly enchanting, let me be clear.

Occasionally we peeked in at artist retreats
nestled within Shoreline’s woodsy reach.

In Grand Marais, the sun was near setting
pastel lighting colored lakeside jetty.

Dusk drew swirling lavender hues
harboring purples, pinks and blues.

Overlooking the harbor
perched just starboard
the Bear Tree sculpture
illustrates the culture
of Ursus Americanus’
modus operandus.

If Black Bear Mama
senses danger or trauma
she shoos cubs up a tree
amid aerial shrubbery
heightening pups’ safety.

For hours and/or days
cubs may stay plastered
till Mama has deferred
any possible disaster.

The night before the Festival
consuming things digestible
at Sivertson’s who hosted
the artists to be toasted.

With rustic music smokin’
and catered fare, no jokin’
t’was a flowing artsy jamboree
of wine-song-nosh and liberty.

*   *   *

Into evening’s spooky darkness
we departed drunk and artless
sated and indeed inspired
wine-fueled senses duly fired.

As lights winked across the bay
all seemed calm in Grand Marais

The following morning
at festival’s dawning
we crawled past booths
collectively yawning

Hearing snippets of chat
we patched together,
the scuttlebutt generally
followed this tether:

“Say did you catch last
night’s celestial glow?”

“Do you mean that
awesome phenomenal
Northern Lights’ show?”

Our heads snapped to,
Could they be serious?

Looking sober as church mice
no one seemed delirious.

At the RV park the night before
some guy said, “No, it’s just too warm.
The lights will only appear, you see, if it’s
butt-freezin’ cold in the atmosphere.”

Alas we knew so little of the skies
to know just how wrong was Pleistocene guy.

Crushed we’d slept
through the blazing display
we cussed like sailors
the rest o’ the day.

So we turned our attention
to the range of art
and all of the challenges
good citizens impart.

Aiming an SLR lens
at peoples’ proboscis
can sometimes bring on
a self-conscious focus.

Using reverse psychology
as you balance
on your haunches
do instruct your subject
to be sure and
act self-conscious.

Works every time
just like a charm

Perhaps a little foul
but no real harm.

Other mystical creatures
with celebrated features
while presenting very precious
and being naturally infectious
need far less of such directions.

When H snuffled out
a sweet installation
hopes were dashed
as harsh realization
meant this delectable
scrumptious creation
was a members-only
hands-off station.

Adjacent to bustling Art Fest beat
harbor’s peaceful rocky retreat.

Sue Rowes’ sayings
bear-centric usually
sometimes veer to
bare profundity.

Her bears are tarty
and terribly droll
metaphoric stand-ins
for folks’ foibles.

Hailing from the land of tea and tarts
this sentiment doth tug at one’s heart.

As this saying clearly demonstrates,
as politicos, bears be independents.

Furry onlookers survey the fair
minimally hampered by hirsute stare.

Eager to flex their acting skills
a pair of thespians posed for a still.

Brimming with zany, tireless zest
determined to make a splash at the Fest

This lady I’m obsessed with
Her name is Betsy Bowen
I often sneak a pic or two
of her printmaking showing

Or maybe it’s three or four
I’ve really stopped counting
either way, it’s kinda hard
to find her not daunting

Magnificent are her woodcut pieces
not above messing with geese and meeses

Using flotsam and jetsam
and random hardware bling
this artist creates the most
phenomenal figurines

In fact all of her creations
are finagled with great patience
involving the rusty or ethereal
like fencing and tv interiors

A hike to mysterious Devil’s Kettle Falls
before we return to city’s ruthless maws

This artful metal worker’s shop
broke the mold for patio crop

Colors and patterns
rippling curtains
ions and atoms
colliding in circles.

Cognizant spectators
using early indicators
anticipate auroras
before they go all glorious.

News of solar activity
sun’s radiant proclivities
means shooting clouds of gas
emitting forcible impact
hurtling towards earth
and magnetic field mass.

The collision that occurs
disturbing atmospheric turf
ensures magic-cosmic birth.

If I may offer a picture
I can tell you now Mister
that it’s a light trail show
of a comet tail aglow.

The higher the color
the rubier the red,
but just below sixty miles
blue violets are bred.

Whereas middling heights
ignite neon green lights.




Speaking of colors,
oh The Blue Moose shop
another wonderful stop
where green thumbers
heavily invest in its stock
well known for its flora
and garden fauna
compelling some to buy
much more than one oughta

cough – H – cough

Photo by Brian Peterson
The Star Tribune/AP Photo

Oh Aurora Borealis
how your nature doth confound us
and how soundly
and how roundly
did we miss your blazing boundness.

In the headlines the next day
celestial photos were displayed.
Bewitching colors did amaze
kaleidescopic skies’ parade.

Accidentally slept through lightshow too…

* * *

Thanks for visiting !


Mutiny on the NxGen

Our new database sucked so baa-ad.

Its design was so torturous, so convoluted,
ritual seppuku often came to mind.

Luckily, most opted for retirement instead.

To combat some of the madness and mayhem,
the Agency invented the “NxPert.”

Sort of like an expert, but not.

Recruiting willing victims
was key.

 The title carried obvious risks.

Snark being one of them.

“Don’t know the answer, huh?
Thought you were a NxPert.”

One day, with a little smile playing on her face,
B casually halted me in the hallway.

This is gonna be good, I thought..

To my shock, she was wondering if I
wanted to fill the NxPert vacancy.

My initial reaction was,

“Huh?  Who?”

Thereafter, upon
careful consideration,
I followed up with:

“No seriously,
are you talking to me?”

Truthfully, I could not have been more eager
to attend NxGen training in DC.

But I also knew the role
would require a Zen-like approach…

Observe everything

Judge nothing

And don’t take anything personal.

And oh yeah, stay hydrated.

It was immediately clear
the role of a NxPert
held little glamor.

Everyone knows
NxGen Analysts are
the true front-line
flag bearers.

In class, conflicts between instructors
led to nose to nose confrontations.

During especially WTF moments,
Jodi kept threatening
to hurl a block of faux cheese
across the mystified room.

Harry Potter and the Golden Snitch,
meet Jodi and the Cheese of Distraction.

For historical analogy,
I’d venture to say the Agency’s choice of
a data program was as perplexing…

…as the founding fathers’ geographic choice
for the country’s capitol:

A mostly mosquito-infested swampland

In 1801, ten years after the city was founded,
Thomas Jefferson and the Marine commandant
rode their horses all over Washington.

History tells us they went searching
for a suitable home base for soldiers
“within easy marching distance” of DC.

No record of them dropping
into any swamps along the way.

Today, Washington’s Marine Barracks
is the oldest active post in the U.S.

Not long ago, Barracks Row was honored with a
“Best Main Street in America” title.

The delicious build-your-own-yogurt shop
probably helped tip the scales.

 This military neighborhood
is slightly off the beaten path.

 Its visitors tend to be the loyal… and dogmatic sort.

This is not a Barracks Row visitor, this is Katie.
I just wanted to give her a shout-out
cause she’s romping around in Minneapolis
on a rigorous exercise program.

So far she’s dropped almost 20 lbs.  Go Katie !!

On my way to yonder Barracks
as I munched a midget carrot,
up ahead a scraggly soul
came yawning down the dusty road

weaving, panting, oh so sweetly
sweating through his tongue completely,
just a sudden apparition
wandering in a dazed condition.

Further complicating things,
the summer’s been so beastly hot.

For a while, even Montanans
were gripped by the hellacious temps.

Although thoroughly
trained in deep-woods survival,
field-tested boy scouts
eventually succumbed
under DC’s sun.

As bad as it got,
I couldn’t help thinking of Firenze,
who was halfway across the world,
rickshawing and paddling her way across
the swelteringly humid Orient.

With honorable daughters
nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in tow.

Hot or not, whichever way you slice it,
it’s always delicious providence to
mix business with pleasure in the District.

During my stay,
while I was out walking about,
I kept bumping into this
rivetting creature.

Although neatly shaved for the summer,
he unexpectedly sported tufted ears.

In a word, captivating.

His name I egregiously neglected to record.

The more I ran into him,
the easier it was to imagine him as
some sort of Manchurian candidate experiment.


The military could be planting
a new breed of domestic security animals
among an unsuspecting public.

The pooch’s piercing peepers
could be used to disorient a hostile.

These surgically-implanted
laser-contact orbitals could also
operate as a brainwashing tool
as part of a secret security agenda.

Although what that agenda
might be wouldn’t be revealed
since the military rarely spills
its hidden security agendas.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

But yes, maybe I watch too much tv.

At the National Botanical Garden

Exotic plants, sample salads
lots of interactive fun stuff

 Nature’s Mr. Microphone


The Plant that Sacked the Bounty

As weary, bleary sailors
scrubbed the Bounty’s deck,
and Captain Bligh flayed them
for some inconsequential speck
it wasn’t till his thirsty and
traveling breadfruit plants
took watering precedence
over sweaty, parched deckhands
that singularly pissed sailors
decided to dispose of his ballast…

Once again at that week’s end
I bumped into my “fateful” friend…

(TM Sari)

When Sari was little,
she loved to use the phrase,
“my fateful friend!”

She must have meant faithful
but she’d say “fateful”
with such alacrity,
it would’ve been criminal
to correct her.

Reminds me of her gleefully
referring to her Mom’s Grand Prix,
as the “Grand Pricks!”

Didn’t correct her there either.

*   *   *

As NxPerts, we were tasked with
assisting, as well as inspiring,
those who needed it.

However, not even Churchill,
who inspired an entire generation,
could have swayed
outraged NxGen objectionists…

Because objectionists
have a fairly strong argument
for NxGen’s obliteration,
(if not unrealistic at this juncture)

Sir Winston’s historic oratory
seems all the more fitting
for this embattled group…

“We shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,

we shall fight in the fields
and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;

In conclusion,

We shall never surrender…

At least not until every last kink
is worked out of NxGen…

Diehards might insist that
Mr. Churchill stooped to pet a kitty
as a future nod to NxGen’s predecessor,
the beloved CATS database.

Surely it was unfortunate coincidence
that the furry face evoked a bit of a
Herr Kitler meets Snidley Whiplash.

Sara was so in-demand and thoroughly booked,
Jenny and I had to schedule an appointment
just to schedule an appointment with her.

Filled with wisdom beyond her years,
Sara is often sought for her wise counsel.

This time around, her sage advice to Jenny and me,

“Invite strange men to your table.”

…still resonates.

*   *   *

One night, Roxie was crossing Thomas Circle.

Two years ago,
when her owner rescued her
she was in rough shape.

I noticed right away she was friendly,
but in a guarded, non-committal way.

All the same, a remarkable thing happened.

While I chatted with her owner,
she suddenly rolled over
exposing her belly in an
intimate request for a skritch.

By her vulnerable trust of a stranger,
Roxie had crossed the Rubicon.

She probably crosses it every day,
but it’s nice to think you’re part of the healing.

Too bad humans don’t utilize something
similar for instant people-reading.

*    *    *

Capitol Hill Books –
Where bibliophiles disappear


Because death by book avalanche is entirely possible.

Believe me, I’ve heard it, witnessed it once,
and almost experienced it.


Owner Jim Toole’s Rules

On top of the rules,
he’s pretty cranky.
And proud of it.

That weekend,
a percussion crew
drummed up infectious,
bluesy beats
outside Eastern Market.

A little boy wandered in
spontaneously bopping.

“Dance, little man, Dance!”
the bongo drummer exclaimed.

And so he did.

Really boosted the band’s haul, too.

Word was there was some tasty
smoked salmon in the open-air market.

Word was major accurate.

*   *   *

In the middle of the Market,
I spotted some fantastic glass art pendants
fronted by this smiley dude.

The dude turned out to be the artist,
otherwise known as Ryan Eicher.

“Don’t you have some pieces at Beadazzled
on Connecticut Avenue?” I asked him.

“Hmm,” he had to think about it. “Maybe!”

Somehow, I wasn’t surprised this guy
might not know or remember where
he may have unloaded his artful creations.

Demonstrating the glass top spin.

A way with the wee ones

His most magical pendants
evoked star-filled galaxies,
the Milky Way, the Northern Lights.

Breathtaking stuff.

Ryan exemplified
people with that “Shine.”
(TM David)

And I don’t mean shine like the kid in The Shining.
No, I’m talking that indefinable quality,
spirit, that certain something.

Whatever it was he had,
I could not pry myself away
without buying at least a piece
of Ryan’s vision of the Galaxy.

Centurion sandals.

Not my cup of tea at first.

But now when I spot this intricate,
Caesar-inspired footware,
I can’t help thinking:

“Come sono belli i sandali!”

*     *     *

The next weekend, while I was skulking
around Eastern Market,
I came upon this artwork.

The artist seemed to be off on a break.

he came around the corner,
startling us both.

“OH!” he said.  “Hi !  How are you?”

I told him I loved his work,
that it was kind of John Lennon-ish
and brilliant in its sparsity
and minimalism.

That’s when I realized
my description of his art
was more convoluted than
anything he was trying to impart.

Which reminded me of
my Dad’s favorite mantra:

Keep your lip zipped,
your eyes open,
and your ears open
even wider.


And if you can’t keep your lip zipped,
at least shoot for concise expression.

*    *    *

Carved from Minnesota limestone,
the American Indian Museum brings
elemental, sensual harmony
to the National Mall.

Inside, its Mitsitam Cafe is renowned
for offering regionally-diverse native dishes,
so exotically delicious and interesting,
that if the Mall wasn’t so bleeding big,
I’d have gone there every day for
breakfast lunch and dinner.

In the Native language of the
Delaware and Piscataway peoples,
“Mitsitam” means “Let’s eat!”

George Caitlin’s initial frantic sketchings
of American Indians in their native habitats
morphed into the colorful, rich paintings that
record a fascinating historical snapshot
of Native Americans’ daily lives.

*     *     *

During the Second World War,
twenty-nine Navajo Indians were recruited
by the U.S. Marines to write a secret code.

Never cracked by the Japanese,
it’s reputed to be the only
uncrackable code in the history of warfare.

Lesser known is the Choctaw’s natives’
similar role in the First World War.

Their story illustrates the first time
the American government recognized the
unique and critical skills Native Peoples
could bring to the military table.

This elegant lady, a descendant
of a Choctaw translator,
was regaling visitors
with her grandfather’s story.

The unsung WWI warriors.

*     *     *

Before I turned my attention back to NxGen,
I had time on the weekend to traipse around
and visit my favorite art museum,
the National Portrait Gallery.

I spotted Grandma Moses
seemingly puffing a major stogie
in the one of the galleries.

Could it be?

The painting by Kristen Helberg
is an homage to Ms. Moses,
with perhaps an inadvertent
tip of the hat to cigars.

One hot sultry night,
the warm scent of chocolatey butter
suffused the air.

It was Cupcakery for Chrissakes.

The remains of a semi-demolished piece of
Northern Beauty red velvet cakery

Kristen, Rachel and Jenny,
three beauties who will probably
smack you if you call them cupcakes.

So I will call them ladies who drink and eat
and drink some more at Oyamel.

After a hard day’s NxGen’ing,
we decided to march our way to Oyamel.
Kristen had a terrible time with her work heels.
Washington’s sidewalks and streets are not pump-friendly.

By the time we got to Oyamel, her poor feet,
chronically slipping and sliding out of those
professionally cruel shoes, were bruised and
battered by our brutal pace, and screaming Uncle.
Yet all the while, under her stoic soldierly mien,
Kristen hid her murderous pain
from us clueless cloppers.

Fortunately, the lime-spiked guacamole,
prepared by the shy hombre sonriente,
took Kristen’s mind off her feetsies.

We devoured the guac in dainty little bites,
all of us racing to the bottom of el tazon.

Or, maybe that was just me….

Salt Air-Topped margaritas

Wonderful.  But full of salt.

Because of my phenomenal
ability to retain water,
I must eschew salt
even if it’s only airily
rimming a margarita.

Did I mention the girls were
full of hopes and full of dreams,
full of laughter, full of tears,
full of dreams to last them years…

Clearly, their “youthful exuberance”
(TM Firenze) was showing.

Listening to these ladies
discuss their husbands and boyfriends,
not necessarily in that order,
I realized something. . .

Another glimpse of the devilish Red Velvet Cupcakery
which I totally blame Sara for getting me fixated on
cause last time I was in DC she and Dee indulged
whereas I eschewed them cause they had sugar.

I realized my list of eschewing
was getting mighty seriously long.

So when I spotted the
sugar-free limited edition this time,
I almost had a cow.

Instead, I had a cupcake.

And God saw that it was good.
I mean really deliciously good.

*    *    *

Back in Minneapolis,
upon hearing about the training
experience, Roger mused,

“So you drank the Kool-Aid, eh?”

An observation that, at the time,
seemed not only totally unnecessary,
but mildly insulting.

Yet to be fair,
on closer inspection,
disconcertingly spot-on.

While I sifted snark from the straightforward,
half a globe away, in a much safer environment,
Florence cuddled her new scaly friend in Vietnam.

“Yeah he licked my face after this photo,” F said proudly.

Interesting how even a tropical snake
will give you a sneaky lick first.





R. I. P. Lily



Glacier National Park
Photo by
Deanna Montana

More Canine Shiz








Zen Masterly

Downward doggie



Hot Doggery







Stella, Briefly

Mischief, chiefly

Come hither, rakishly

Infra red, invisibly

Rin Tin Tasha, mimicry

Josh’s pitcher, coppery

T-Bird’s Ecstasy – Part I

Part II

Part III

As the Fur Flies



Once in a while, at the Dog Park,
a bad element infiltrates the proceedings,


…that is to say, someone comes lookin’ for trouble.

Most times, dogs look to their owners
for behavioral standards.

Amid the delicate tension of social interaction…


…one immediately notices the innate
scientific nature of these creatures.

Doggedly tailing their fellow sniffers,
with their ever-curious forensic noses
sifting, scrutinizing the rich scents of the earth.


That day, we crossed paths
with a Bernese Mountain Dog,
whose search for mountains in Minnesota
is destined to go in vain.

And who, after centuries of breeding,
doth not possess a thieving bone in that body.

Whereas Cooper, depending on your values,
is either blessed or cursed with a klepto streak.

Turns out Cooper’s owner thinks it’s a curse and a half.  As Cooper bolted off with someone’s glove, his owner grumbled, “He thinks everything is play!”

Probably just frustrated.  But when Cooper bounded back from his victory lap, the man lunged forward, seizing the dog’s nose, and with sheer adrenalin, began one-handedly hoisting Cooper up by his curly snout.

In slow motion, as if Moses were parting the Dog Park, everyone in the vicinity began to disperse.  Unnerved, even the dogs retreated.  In the universe, a thought bubble:  Chillax.  Cooper’s a dog.  That’s what they do…


Some time after the incident,
Louie the French Bulldog loped over.

 Offering a disarming grin,
and canine congeniality.

And his speckled ears


And his love of sticks.

We didn’t see Cooper anymore
or whether he and his owner had left.

But out of the blue
excitable visitors continued to arrive,
like this honking-sized
thick and curly labradoodle.

Tasha looks downright diminutive
around some of these visitors.


*    *    *


Apparently thievery is catchy,
cause just as Tash and I were leaving,
Blue’s doppelganger ran off with my glove.

After retrieving my slimey mitten,
I couldn’t resist taunting the
wide-eyed pickpocket through the fence.

T appeared to be judging.

Spurred by the need to break routine,
we ditched our normal course home,
opting to slice through the private golf park.

Of which one entire side was peculiarly snow-free.

Both of us were deeply baffled
cause on the other side of the hill…

Lay a winter wonderland…

…blanketed with pristine snow.

Tasha was beside herself.
Not only were we exploring uncharted territory,
we were illegally trespassing.

Further exploration revealed multiple secret trespassers…


Suddenly, the tinkling of distant sounds.

As we topped the ridge,
we were startled to see sledders
exploiting the broad undulating hills…

That is to say, in golf parlance,

Busted !



 Tasha could not believe we had missed out
all winter on that secret-sledding ground

And here it was, almost Spring!

 This called for a stiff slurp (of snow) and meditation


Later, as we watched Animal Planet
reflecting on our day,
Tasha looked over as if to say,
a little military discipline never hurt anyone.



Earlier in the season,
during a dreadfully cold day,
wee Snickers dropped by the park.

Officially, Snickers is listed as a “Chiweenie,”
a cross between a Chihuahua and Dachsund.

When his owner lowered him to the ground,
 he daintily inspected his circumference
while quivering like an aspen. 

Snickers’ beaming owner,
pausing for a few brisk beats
 just smiled inscrutably,
before gingerly scooping up the little hybrid
and tucking him back inside her snowsuit.


“Snickers – for any time”

Snickers clearly philosophizes,


*   *   * 

At the end of the day,
the greatest thievery is
stealing someone’s heart




Rumspringa Spring

The Spring arrived entirely too early.
Freakishly early.
Global warmingly too early.
Causing dogs’ frolicking to have a hint of the…

 Rumspringa in their step.

The springy one’s owner reminded me of…

Ron Livingston, I presume

From left: Damian Lewis as Major Richard Winte...
Image via Wikipedia

 He of the Band of Fine Looking Gents


I come in peace, fellow Rompee

Great Dane !
Come for the chips, stay for the game

Drakkar Musk


The lure of prostration






 Six and a half months on this planetary coil

Bounding, tailing


The Tao of Tobi-Wan Kenobi

Photo by Josh
(long hidden in the depths of his smartphone,
recently recovered by archivist Sari)

A Dee Sunset



Photo by Dee



A Wintry Discontent

Cold and colorless is the inside of my heart

 Since my Mama died

Easter had just passed
when she succumbed
to mighty Death

We all grieved, but individually
threw ourselves on different paths

The weeks and months passed

And sadness prevailed
tinging almost every waking moment.

And if perchance sleep did come
waking meant remembering
and remembering meant
a heaviness forcing you down
making it harder and harder
to drag yourself out of bed

Some days were better than others

But that wasn’t saying much

And crying doesn’t do jack
if you even let yourself go there
alerting the dog to such
scared, sandy-eyed emptiness

But the dog instinctively
comforts you in all its furry glory

Once your Mom’s sufferings were over
you thought you’d be able to move on, grieve, surely,
but move on from the horrors of watching her slowly die

Instead every day is a sentence
and every move or moment
is both monumental
yet so purposelessly unimportant,
so far removed from what you’re not feeling

And then you realize you’ve stopped feeling
because that’s easier, but what’s left ?

You feel disconnected from people and things

You wonder if Mom is looking down on us
and tsk-tsking at our inability to move on

Anything you do accomplish is from sheer robotic tenacity

Not from any passion or want or desire

You watch others and see their smiles and enjoyment of life
of simple things, of big and not so big moments

You envy their energy and silliness

You’d pray for the same
but you don’t really pray anymore

if you ever did

The dog park offers whimsical relief.
Watching dogs’ sheer focus on play is de-compressing.
Their joyful physicality, delirious romping
rejuvenating your mind and body.

Circumscribing your wallowing.

Like when a puppy shows up in his Eddie Bauer vest
and some dogs will put a bead on him, just cause he’s a pup,
initiation time for fresh meat…

And when you see that pup
stand up and fight for himself,
it’s a rare and awesome thing,
cause in these fracases,
puppies get the short end of the stick
generally yelping for help
or running for their owner’s cover

In this case, the owner felt compelled to step in,
but the puppy was not willing to be rescued.

He embodied scrappiness

Sustaining some serious double-teaming !

Hair-raising to watch, as the young referee tried to put the brakes on.

Tenacity shakes off one transgressor…

…and finally the last of the hazers

A particularly sweet-faced mug

At Silverwood, a wedding party featured ice candle holders

Tash was unusually reticent around this sniffer.

It was nice to see her take a back seat to the inspections

Nice and kinda strange,
but she’s not been herself lately.

None of us have.

Spring is in the air.

It’s not even March.
But the eagles have returned
Gearing up for the hatching

Padding the homestead
busy as can be

Every day arising
as if from
the phoenix’s ashes