BrownStone Chinooks is devoted to fostering the excellent health and wonderful temperament of Chinook dogs. Hard-working Chinooks excel in many activities such as agility, obedience, back yard play, hiking, dog powered sports, search and rescue, and as service dogs. The affectionate Chinook is an excellent family dog matching its activity level to that of its companions - be it strenuous exercise or snuggling on the couch.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Fall 2019 Update

At the same time the BrownStone pack was busy supervising remodel workers, there were other photo opportunities.
construction supervision
Jake stakling an electrician's arm moving in the wall.
The weather during the week of November 30 was cold enough for Ma Nature to decorate with frost crystals. I was kept  busy with popping tiles off the mudroom ceiling to burn in the fireplace for heat.
Cedar celebrated her 14th birthday on December 8
Party Pooch
Cedar with Grandson Trask
BrownStone Pack: Daughter Koyuk, Cedar and Grandson Trask
September through December was spent hanging around awaiting permits and trying to keep warm. 
Staying warm in an empty house.
Never one to miss decorating for the holidays, the Christmas tree went up on the front porch where it remains as a flight perch for birds taking advantage of the porch feeders.
Who needs a cat bed when you have an inbox?

Sunday, March 15, 2020

A Long Time Coming

For those who do not know, since the beginning of September, I have been (and still am) camping in the mudroom with Jake the cat and my three Chinooks. My furniture consists of a camp chair, stool and dave's hospital bed. Add three large dog crates, a litter box and all possessions deemed to be too fragile or unable to handle moisture and our living space is a bit cramped. With a lot of road blocks thrown our way, the remodel is slowly progressing. Until recently we did not have heat and were exposed to the elements through the walls, ceilings and floors.
January snow inside the house
I am happy to say that we now only have one 6' X 2' ceiling hole draining our excess heat skyward. We even have walls.

The dogs have done an amazing job socializing to all sorts of visitors. One of the most curious was seeing 8 Spanish speaking guys, in full hazmat suits. on a break, wandering around the yard looking for signals for their cell phones. Even I was suspicious at the sight of them. Different crews have learned the hard way that Trask and Koyuk are not shy at all about getting into unattended rigs and stealing food. One day I even found sushi wrappers in the yard.

The drive and yard were dug up to replace the main electrical line and transformer. Add Oregon winter rains and mud has ruled around here. About the same time as the trench dig, the dogs started to blow coat. The resulting mud caked, fur-rug flooring in a cramped, unheated space became intolerable. Time for a spa day.
Cedar 
Koyuk and Trask
Trask
This post was a long time coming and is just a quick update. More about the dogs soon. I promise.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Old McKenzie Pass

I every year I take my "Put the Mountains To Bed" trip in September. Even as a small child we always went to the mountains in September. Because of being out of the country and then the unprecedented fall rains, my trip this year was put off until yesterday and did not include backpacking.
Between rainstorms, Nonna, Cedar and I headed up the old McKenzie Pass. First stop and probably our favorite place in the world, was Camp Lake. The recent storms had brought a few inches of snow to the mountains but the pass road was still open.
I must have hundreds of photos of Camp Lake but can never have enough.
Already camera-shy Cedar refused to sit for a photo.
I chased her about with the camera as she explored all the interesting new smells and I took in the beautiful vistas.
With the weather rapidly changing, it was off to the Dee Wright Observatory at the top of the pass.
Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington and Mt. Jefferson are behind Nonna as we climbed to the top.
Looking to the south afforded a view of the Sisters. The once formidable Collier Glacier on the North Sister has receded so much it is no longer in view. I need to go through my archived photos to see this view from the 1960's until today.
Except this small stand on the shore of Lava Lake, as far as you can see, all trees east of the Observatory almost to the gate, are dead from disease and fire. The view is totally shocking.
Cement barriers have been built along the road to prevent the rocks and soil from the once lush Ponderosa and Lodgepole pine forest from avalanching across the road. I was startled to see the Cascade mountains to the north as we drove east. They have never been visible from the road because of the dense forest. Now they stand forth as if seen from a scenic view pullout.
Nonna and I drove on to another tradition: lunch at Three Peaks Brewery in Sisters. We sat outside with Cedar enjoying another of their amazing meals and of course a brew.
What was to be a celebratory trip was sobering. Ma Nature is still trying her best to ornate the pass with brilliant fall colors but she can't compete with climate change. Her glaciers are disappearing. Her forests are all but gone.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

High Arctic Day 6 - Bears!

Lancaster Sound - Tallurutiup Imanga. Sunrise 0356.
During the night we sailed past Bylot Island and then turned west into Lancaster Sound toward the south western shores of Davon Island in search of the ice pack blocking the fabled Northwest passage.
The aft deck definitely was not a breakfast spot. I took my hot coffee and warm croissant to the bridge to watch the sea and radar for ice.

As we sailed, the morning presentation was on "Cetaceans of the Arctic" was given by our ever enthusiastic Whale biologist Connor. Not interested in the next scheduled presentation, I went up to my "Happy Place" the Library. The Library is part of the observation deck at the top of the ship and has banks of windows, leather chairs, hundreds of books and quick access to the open deck above the bridge. Throughout the voyage only a handful of us occupied this space. We were likeminded, quiet and hauled around large cameras and laptops for editing photos. The crew quickly realized that I enjoyed lunch in the library. Lunch was served more formally on the observation deck but after a couple days, I always found a table set for me in the library complete with place setting, hot roll and butter, a bowl of the soup of the day and my glass of ice water. All I needed to do was go into the dining area and grab my salad, entree and desert. Life was Very Good in the Library.
The presentation after lunch was "Seeing Artic Wildlife Before Seeing It".  Serguei Ponomerenko barely got a word out when the call of "Bear!" came from the helm.
We had hit the pack ice and hunting bears were spotted. There is a bear in this picture somewhere. Or at least that is what I was told when I took it.
We had learned by this time to always be prepared with coats, hats, cameras and binoculars no matter what we were doing on the ship. He is out there.
This is my "Where's Waldo Bear" photo. He is there.
I zoomed in a bit once I clearly spotted him.
 By now we all had a clear view.
Not knowing how long we would see him and this being the first polar bear of the trip, I took a LOT of pictures.
 He chose to approach the ship.
Looking down on those on the forward deck and the bear. At this point there was total silence in the ship. We were so in awe and didn't want to scare him away.
 He kept coming towards us.
It became evident he was going to jump this open lead. A hundred or so cameras were poised to catch him in flight. My camera wasn't fast enough to get more than the start of the lead. Others got some amazing in-air shots.
 He landed and kept coming.
I don't know if you can get too many pictures of a polar bear. I do know it is nearly impossible to eliminate ones you have taken let alone decide on the best ones to post.
My travel-mates are probably facing the same dilemma.
He was so curious and just hung around the bow of the boat for over 1/2 hour.
His tongue thrust and yawning behaviors were similar to what I see in dogs approaching an unknown, possible threat.
 Right below the bow on the ship.
He actually did disappear from our top-deck view as he got within feet of the hull. Then he decided we weren't anything  to eat or maybe he just satisfied his curiosity. He ambled off from where he came.
 Though occasionally looked back.

 Then he settled in to watch us.
About that time three more bears were spotted. The ship maneuvered so we could get a better look. This is my "where's Waldo Mom Bear and Two Cubs" shot. They actually are in this picture but never approached the ship.
 The edge of the ice pack.
 We backed out and sailed away.
We never did get the "Seeing Arctic Wildlife" presentation but after tea, Matthias Breiter, the National Geographic bear guy, researcher and photographer, was scheduled to present a talk on "Polar Bear Biology".  The session turned into answering questions about the bears we had seen and am impromptu slide show of some of the pictures taken earlier. Biology would have to wait.
You could tell we were getting further north. Sunset was at 2234.