17 August, 2018

All About Clove - The First 18 Days

On 13 December 2017, Clove arrived in our lives.  She was about 10 weeks old.  She and her brother (who was set to go to another household) were the 2 survivors from a litter of 7 born to a mother dog who had been bred too many times at too frequent intervals and then neglected.  As we later learned, neither her brother nor her mother survived the next month.
24 Hours, 5 meals, 3 baths, 5 nit-combing sessions later ... 
Those little golden seeds are nits and lice.
Such a little thing, more parasite than puppy. The only good thing about the louse infestation on her was that there was no room left for fleas!  I saw only a couple of fleas on Clove, and those were in the rinse water of her baths.  Poor Clove also had intestinal worms. 

Clove playing with the weasel balls - s plush toy weasel attached to a ball that rolls eccentrically.  She loved that weasel to death.
Even though Clove had been neglected and was malnourished, she was friendly, inquisitive, and playful.
Falling asleep with her weasel ball.
Those first few days she spent playing, sleeping, eating, pooping, and peeing.  Funny, that's still mostly how she spends her time now.
Clove was so small that a cat harness adjusted to the smallest size fit her loosely.  She soon grew into it and then outgrew it, too.
I combed her for lice, which I had originally thought were mites, several times a day.  And we bathed her 5 times that first week.  The first time I combed her with the nit comb, I was horrified by the sheer volume of nits, lice, and dead skin that came off on the comb - easily 2 tablespoons worth.
Her second favorite toy - the sparkling wine cork. Perfect for her sharp little puppy teeth and too big for her to choke on.
Two weeks later, Clove is a new puppy.  She still has bald spots from the lice (and probably mites, too), especially on her tail and left rear foot and moth-eaten patches on her torso.  But the fur that remains is healthier looking and she has grown incredibly larger.  She went from 4 lbs to 8.6 lbs in 17days.  The cat harness had to be loosened all the way.
Growing every day.
"I am Clove."
Clove and Barnie are half-sisters from the same mother.  Barnie is 1.5 years older than Clove.  It was love at first sight for those 2.  But with Barnie being so much bigger and stronger, we thought it best to let them play for a while through the gate and rail.  We put up a run line for Clove's leash situated so that she could be next to Barnie or not, as she chose, but she couldn't go through the rail and fall off the 10 ft high veranda or escape down the stairs.  That worked beautifully for about 10 days.
Visiting time for Barnie and Clove.
Barnie and Clove chewing on each other.  You can see Clove's splotchy fur and bald tail.  Clove is defending her coconut husk toy. 
Barnie playfully stealing the coconut husk.
Big sister Barnie letting Clove nap with the husk.
The next weeks were spent with more bathing, deworming, treatments for lice/mites/fleas.  And more time with Barnie.  As I look at these photos from 8 months ago, I can hardly believe it's the same dog.  More Clove updates to come.

08 August, 2018

Cornwall, Part I

After a couple of days in London, my family and I went by train to Cornwall for 5 days.  The weather was clear and hot the entire time.  We and the local population were overjoyed with the sunshine, although wilted from the heat.  We stayed in Newlyn at Cooper's Cottage, a holiday cottage, from which we explored Newlyn itself and made day trips to Mousehole, Penzance, and St. Michael's Mount.
Rather than not feeling welcomed, we opted not to drive at all, much to the increased safety of everyone.
 Newlyn is a lovely seaside village, cascading down the hillside to the harbor.
The very tippy top of the cottage where we stayed is just visible on the right side of the photo.
Cooper's Cottage is located just off the main road.  We could, and did, walk everywhere.
The window of my attic bedroom is in the very center of the photo, just below the green tree.
The door of the cottage opened onto a short lane.
Most of the group (except for 1 sister who took the photo) -brother at the front, sister at the left, me in the middle, and 2 brothers-in-law at the back.
View from the attic window across Newlyn rooftops towards Penzance just to the north.
Looking SSE just after daybreak. 
We took off down the lane into the village.
Steep lane toward the harbor.
The first evening, after a rough start finding the "right" Cooper's Cottage (an effort that may have involved breaking and entering into 2(!) places that were not the "right" Cooper's Cottage), we ate at a wonderful seafood restaurant called Mackerel Sky.  It was delicious and relaxing - just what we needed to settle in.  Over the next days we wandered around Newlyn and environs.
Talking to locals to find out about bus stops, etc.
I had my new camera with me, and put it to good use.  Such good use that I have way too many photos crammed into this post.
The stream which Mackerel Sky patio overlooks.
Lovely house further up the same stream.
Dawn view of St. Michael's Mount in the distance across Mount's Bay.
 I took lots of photos of the harbor.
The lighthouse at the harbor entrance.
The "wrong" Cooper's Cottage is in the lane to the right of the building with the blue door and window.  Oops.
The calm, sunny days yielded interesting reflections on the water.
Definitely a fishing port.  All the boats are out at sea at this early hour.   
More reflections.
I love the bright colors of the containers.
Later in the day, we all went for a walk along the harbor wall.
Brother, sister, brothers-in-law, dwarfed by neatly bundled ropes.
The inner harbor.
This boat was being stripped of rust and repainted.
Next up - a short walk along the Coastal Footpath to Mousehole.

05 August, 2018

Forgotten Dreams and Everyday Wonders

I continue to go through photos from the last 9 months or so, playing catchup on the blog.  This post features the last shots of 2017.  In 2016, Norwegian Cruise Lines opened their new dock and exclusive facilities about 8 miles to our north onHarvest Cay.  The route the cruise ships take to Harvest Cay passes directly in front of our property, about 8-10 miles off shore.  During the high activity of the winter cruise season, we see one ship a day come in from the south at sunrise and depart back to the south at sunset.  Every now and again there are two ships in one day.  The ships never stay overnight in Belize waters.  In the slower summer season, we see one or two ships a week.
Norwegian Cruise Lines ship headed to Harvest Cay.
We have been worried about the impact of the cruise ships on this part of Belize; so far the impact has been fairly minimal.  But Belize conservationists, including us, are totally pissed off that the Belize Government granted NCL an exemption to have an endangered scarlet macaw in a cage at the facility to "greet" cruise ship passengers.  Not a good example of protecting the wildlife that is a major draw for tourists in Belize.  It is likely that money changed hands on that exemption.

Time does march on in Belize, although it seems to be slower here than more developed places.
The footpath that goes past the site of the former resort called "Bob's Paradise".  This is a section of the path I run almost every day.
All that's left of Bob's Paradise are stumps of dock posts and some of the concrete columns that supported the restaurant.  Dennis and I never had the pleasure of staying at Bob's.  It was booked solid in 1999 the first time we came to southern Belize, although we did boat past it.  It was in it's heyday then.  And then in 2001, it was pretty much wiped off the map by Hurricane Iris and was never rebuilt.
The remains of the dock posts at Bob's Paradise.  That is Great Monkey Cay in the distance.
On the same stretch of beach is another abandoned resort.  It is still standing, but gradually being reclaimed by the jungle and the weather.  This place was built after Hurricane Iris.
Lush vegetation.
Again, the docks are what go the quickest without constant maintenance.  A big earthquake in 2007 with an epicenter only 50 miles away caused the dock posts to subside deeper into the ground.  That happened to our dock, although not quite as much as this one.
There used to be a nice palapa at the end of the dock; a perfect place for relaxing with drinks and casting a lazy line in the water for fish.  Little Monkey Cay is in the distance.

The dock being slowly reclaimed by the sea.  Forgotten dreams.
The footpath connecting the properties of Englishtown is not very long, only about 1.4 miles including three small side spurs.  Short though it is, there are always everyday wonders to see along the way.  Like these false parasol mushrooms, Chlrorophyllum molybdites.
I see these mushrooms several time a year in this same spot not too far from the Phallus sp. in the last post.
They start off looking like flocked eggs on a stalk, just like the prized true parasol mushrooms, Lepiota spp.  The true parasol mushrooms are frequently collected edible mushrooms.
Just popping up from the soil.
Then they open to form the parasol shape that gives them their common name. BUT - they are false parasols, and as indicated by their other name of vomiter, should not be eaten.  They aren't deadly, just make you wish were dead.
Tempting, but best not eaten.
The key characteristic that gives away its true identity is the pale green color of the gills that with time turns a dark mossy green and leaves behind a green spore print - the color of chlorophyl, hence its scientific name.
Gills are just beginning to show green.  I forgot to get a shot of it after it turned a darker green.
I was disappointed that these weren't edible.  Some people cook them well and drain all the liquid before eating them with no problem, but I don't feel like risking it.

Barnie loves to be with me anytime I am outside.  This slightly blurry shot shows how big and muscular she is.
One muddy back leg from stepping into swamp water.  Look at the muscles on that girl!
We both get pretty hot on our walks, so the return trip is often wading in the sea if the sea is calm.
Barnie, leading the way.
Barnie loves to chase fish and stingrays through the water.  Not that she has ever actually caught anything.
The water is good way to escape the biting flies, too.
We see fish, stingrays, eagle rays, starfish, brittle stars, whelk, conch, and jellyfish in the shallow water in front of our place.
Here, a little fish found shelter inside the bell of a jellyfish.
No shortage of insects either.
Just look at those big eyes.
Back at home, one of the plants that we keep to attract hummingbirds is this Mother-of-Thousands plant.  It is often classified in the genus Kalanchoe, but sometimes in the genus Bryophyllum. Like the familiar kalanchoe plants, it makes small plantlets at notches along the leaf margins and each plantlet is capable of growing into another plant if it lands in the right place.  Hummingbirds feed at the flowers, which are quite long-lasting.
Slowly, but steadily catching up to current happenings.  Next time I will include more of the holiday with my family.  And soon a post featuring Clove.