Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dog Days of Summer, Van Buren County Style, Part II

Checking for more turtles!

Today Storm joined me for a walk on the trails at Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery. Storm is our ten year old male Landseer Newfoundland. As he left answers to the p-mail he read on the bushes and posts, I remembered that it really is a lot more fun to walk Shine, most of the time. But after a few minutes, I reminded him that all those obedience titles before and after his name should be good for something in everyday life. Being the good-natured dog he is, he settled in to walk with me.

The big soft-shelled turtle was sunning itself again today. It uses one of the big logs in the small pond immediately south of the viewing platform. If you walk up quietly, as I did today, it might not spook. We ran across another big turtle on the back side of the big pond. Storm was highly intrigued by the big snapper we found sunning itself on the shoulder of the trail. I was relieved to find that I'm younger than I thought, or maybe we're both just equally old, because I was able to drag Storm back before the snapper latched on to him. It had a couple of good chances to get him, but was actually pretty mellow for a snapper. It didn't even hiss much.

After a refreshing stop to soak his paws in the pond, we made our way back to the car. Storm gathered in a few new fans around the visitor's center and parking lot. He loves people and it shows. After we shared a bottle of water, he surprised me by being able to leap lightly back into the car, since often after a walk he needs a boost.We headed home happy that we made the most of this beautiful day, in this amazing place.

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