Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Walk in the Dark

Tropical Storm Lee stalled over Northern Virginia last week. The hype surrounding Hurricane Irene's arrival a few weeks ago was intense. In contrast, Lee came in practically unannounced and caused an amazing amount of flooding. The only reason I mention it is because our little lake flooded. Bigtime. The same storm that did this (click this for a short video) to our backyard, made the lake a very inhospitable place for Ray and I to take a walk. It wasn't only the volume of water that caused problems, it was the after affects of the flood that caused Ray the most problems.
Ray and I weren't able to walk any of the trail until Monday when the water had finally receded. Because of the mud, we were only able to navigate a short section. The mud line on the trees along that section of the path was my eye level. On Tuesday we walked another section of the trail. The mud line there was higher, just above my head. Thursday we walked the final section, the mud line on the trees was higher than my arm could reach.
Each time we walked, I noticed something unusual. Ray was weaving along the path like a drunk coming home late from a bar. At first I thought maybe it was just that there were so many new smells that he was trying to get to. But then I realized that it could be because everything smelled the same. Everything was covered with a layer of mud; from the leaves on the trees to the grass on the ground and whatever scents Ray uses to navigate his way around the lake probably weren't there. For a dog totally dependent on his nose to see, it was like taking a walk in the dark
It didn't stop him though. Didn't even slow him down. He just got twice as much exercise with all his weaving.
The trail is on the far side of the shrubs (about 10 feet high) that are 'floating' in the lake. Notice the mud-covered benches (one is still wet, the other dry).

The trail, in this photo, is on the far side of the ball field


  1. We are having our garden totally redone this week and it is interesting to see how Conor negotiates each time he ventures out, the landscape has changed and the only thing remaining the same is the boundary of the garden and the path and patio, but he seems to find it a bit of an adventure, its just amazing how he takes it in his stride really.

  2. It's that curiosity factor. Seems to me that dogs gotta explore or destroy.
    DOG: "Wow! What's this? I wonder if I can take it apart?" or "Wow! What's that smell? I think I better go find out"
    Cats' curiosity just gets them in into trouble
    CAT: "Wow! What's this? I wonder if I can wedge myself into it?"