I have a morning routine that rarely varies except for an early appointment, something I try hard to avoid.
I wake up. I lay there a while, contemplating if there’s any chance I can go back to sleep. I can’t. I never can, so I don’t know why I keep trying. Hope springs eternal.
I brush my teeth, throw some clothing on. Grabbing the telephone and cell, I cross the hall to my office put the phones on the desk, look to see if anything needs to go to the kitchen. I gather yesterday’s coffee mug and any dishes and head to the kitchen. Down the hallway, I open the gate that keeps the dogs out of places I don’t want them going unsupervised. They greet me. I greet them. They are extremely glad to see me, and act like they haven’t seen me for years rather than a few hours. A biscuit is coming, oh boy, a biscuit and if they can manage to be extra cute, maybe two. They know my routine better than I do and can hear me as soon as I stir in the bedroom.
Mistress of perversity that I am, I make them wait. I go to the sink, put mugs, dishes, glasses, etc. and wash them. The dogs are going nuts by now. I push the button on the coffee machine. The reassuring sound of coffee beginning its drip through the coffee into the canister begins.
“You want biscuits? You want biscuits, do you?”
Pant pant moan yip grumble. Woof. Yowl. Grrrumble.
Each dog has his or her own special little sound to indicate how very much a biscuit would improve their morning and how starving they all are. Bishop, an Australian Shepherd who lacks a tail, wags his entire rump with excitement, tongue lolling. Bonnie hops around like a messy black pogo stick and Nan grumbles loudly and tries to eat my fingers. I give a medium-size tasteless dry biscuit to Bishop and a tiny one to each of the terriers. They are ecstatic. I, like most dog owners, have tasted a bit of one of these biscuits and they are completely tasteless and incredibly dry. But the dogs act like it’s caviar. They will perform tricks for them, and if it makes them happy, who am I to argue?
Is there enough coffee yet ? Nope, not yet. When I turn around, I am engulfed by dogs. I’m just a stupid human and probably don’t remember that I already gave them biscuits. I discuss the issue with them at some length, and sometimes, they wangle a second biscuit … not that they really need one, but they are awfully cute.
I get a clean mug, put sweetener and half-and-half in it, and go look in the living room to see just how much of a mess they’ve made. Usually the entire room is covered with Bishop’s fur. He’s blowing his coat now, so it’s worse than usual, but it’s always bad. He has a heavy coat and seems to lose an amount of fur equivalent to one small dog per day this time of year. The rest of the year, it’s only half that much. If it’s really horrendous, I grab the special pet hair vacuums in which I invested not long ago and try to clean up a bit so Garry won’t have to do it when he finally gets up.
By then, coffee is done. Into a cup, off to the office, followed by a parade of dogs. I never go anywhere unaccompanied. I am always leading a parade of canines who feel I shouldn’t be allowed to go to the bathroom without supervision.
It was such a pretty morning. The sun was up and it was that yellow amber you see only in the middle of October in New England. It makes everything glow … barring rain. No rain this morning. Nice. We have had a lot of rain recently. So, instead of pouring myself that cup of coffee, I go back to the office and grab the camera. I love the way the light looks as it comes into the windows in the morning so I have to take a few pictures, even though they will probably look identical to all the other pictures I’ve taken of the same windows. No matter. You never know when you just might strike gold and one of them will be something special. Then I hobble down the stairs to the front yard. My arthritis doesn’t begin to loosen up for an hour or two after I get up, but the light is not going to wait.
The woods on our property is usually uninteresting — even in October — consisting mostly of bronze oak trees. This year for some reason, many oaks have turned brilliant yellow and some have sections of scarlet … most unusual. I roam the northern edge of our property, then into the back yard shooting east toward the morning sun. I’ve been trying to capture a particular quality of light as it filters through the leaves. I’ve been trying to capture this for more than 40 years. I’m still at it. Maybe you can’t capture it except with your eyes. I’ll never give up trying.
Back into the house and out to the deck, where I have a higher angle to work from and can also shoot south and high up into the east woods.
Down from the deck, through the yard, in through the front door … and three of the fur children are waiting at the top of the stairs, completely blocking my path. They love doing this because their heads and mine are at the same level as I come upstairs. They think this is the best game in the world and get crazed with excitement anytime anyone comes up from the lower level. This happens quite a few times on any given day, but for them, it never gets old. I take a few pictures. Blurry, of course, because they are in motion, but maybe one or two won’t be useless. I’d use flash, but they hate it and will instantly vanish if I use it. Worse, they actually know when I pop the flash up and will run before I fire off a single shot.
That’s the story of today’s picture gallery and a snapshot of my world.
There are too many pictures to use them all today, but over time, I’ll probably post all of them. Every photograph was taken no more than a few yards from the house, and all on our own property.
The sun went behind clouds just a few moments after I finished shooting, so it’s just as well I didn’t wait.
Coffee time! And photo editing time, too. Another day has begun.