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, April 17, 2017

Team Nookies Easter Run

I haven't made it to the mountains with the sled this winter.  The mountains are my sanctuary. Easter morning was a now-or-never opportunity. The weather prediction was for a major, wet, snow melting storm. Sunrise did not bode well...
 but as the fog lifted, a clearing over the mountains could be seen.
We drove to the Ray Benson Sno-park on the Santiam Pass since being the highest altitude Sno-park, it had the best possibility of snow covered trails. We found several feet of snow at the trailhead.
 The temperature was in the 40s. The snow was ungroomed and sticky as we flew south.
 Our first view of Mt. Washington about 1/2 mile into the run.
 Gravet Butte cliffs about 1 mile.
 A pause to catch our breath and take in another view of Mt. Washington.
 The mountain goes in and out of view as we round corners.
 Our turn-around/snack point about 1/4 mile past the Circle Lake trail junction.
 The sun came out briefly as we headed back uphill and north.
Mt. Washington on our way back.
 First look at Three Finger Jack.
 A long way, mostly uphill as the storm looms over Three Finger Jack.
A last look at Mt. Washington. At this point the dogs convinced me that we needed to take a trail off to our right. I was clueless and have found that the dogs are usually correct at trail junctions near the trailhead. I knew we were close because I could see Hayrick Butte.
Our shortcut took us straight north (from south of the TH on the trail) past the east end of the Sno-park and around to the north end adding a little over 1/4 mile plus a drag across the parking lot to the south loop where the van was parked.
The dogs spotted the parking lot and headed full speed off a 7' high cutbank dragging me and tangling themselves.
By the time we had drug the sled across both loops and the center snow island of the parking lot, Team Nookies was a tired, tangled lot.
 Dogs watered and fed. Van loaded. And a last look at Three Finger Jack.
 Clouds made this shot difficult but the sled is cradling Mt. Washington.
We made it home just before the thunder, lightening, hail and pouring rain.  A very Happy and Adventurous Easter for Team Nookies.

Easter Vinebunny

On April Fools Day, Vineman became Vinebunny.
 Koyuk was not impressed.
 April 8th Ma Nature gave us another blow.
Vineman's mask was no match for the tree toppling winds but air conditioned Vineman only slightly tipped. Soon after this photo, the bunny mask completely disappeared.
As a child, my sister and I were dressed in a new dress complete with a fancy hat, gloves and purse. (Lind is wearing my hand-me-down dress. I could not find a favorite picture of Lind and me the year before in the same, matching dresses.)
Even at 6 years old, I was a fan of dogs.
An April 15 search of Trask's favorite stashes located the mask. Bunny Mask found, VineBunnyman needed a fluffy tail, fancy hat and basket purse for Easter.
 VineEasterman gained a heart and lost the slightly creepy mask for a Easter Eve photo.
Happy Easter Eve from Koyuk, Trask and Cedar. (I didn't even try fancy hats on my fur kids. I have a hunch they would be as excited about wearing them as I was.)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Waiting

Papa BrownStone Cascade Mt. Trask just in from lolling in the grass.
Miserable mama Mountain Thunder Calamity Jane lolling in the whelping box.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Papa Trask

Trask is about to be a papa again. His few hundred thousand swimmers had travel in a tube, via Fed-ex from Portland to Chicago to accomplish the deed.  But, two survived.
Mom Calamity Jane is relieved a second pup was found this exam.

You can see one skull, shoulder and spine near the top of each view. Looking for the spine makes them pop into view.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dog Treats, Bears and Cougars

This saga starts with a really good deal on NY steaks. Around here we feel that if you are going to eat meat, eat the best. If you can get a great price on the best, stock up. However you can't stock up if the freezer is full. "Clean out the freezer" has been on the top of the to-do list for a couple of years now but has been largely ignored. Each season's harvest of fruits and vegetables along with Costco packages of  beef and chicken have been just crammed in until freezer capacity was maxed.
Before I could clean out the freezer, I had to empty the bottomless compost bin. We have had a long standing (20 year) joke about how no matter how many harvest scraps and coffee filters we add to the top, the compost bin never fills up. I knew that out-of-date frozen fruit and vegetables would probably exceed even it's "bottomless" capacity. Time to clean out the compost bin. Twenty plus year's of worm castings are compact and heavy. After a couple bucket loads taken out the bottom door, I realized that the only way I was going to empty it was to tip it over and move it. Of course I had to make a new place to move it. That done, over it went. Using a garden tub I made enough trips from the compost bin 50' to the Kubota to fill up the dump bed. Then I took several trips with the tub to the chip pile to cover up and fill in the first compost bin location. (Rotting compost can be deadly to dogs so I placed 6" deep of chip to dissuade them of feasting). I could/should have used the wheel barrow but it was full of firewood and unloading the wood into the house would have been another step. Multiple trips with the garden tub seemed the best option at the time.
Since I need my Kubota dump bed to continue my Icemegeddon cleanup, I had to empty it of worm castings. Due to standing water in the garden until August, my garden consists of tractor tires with rims cut out. Each year I dig out the old dirt and refill with compost before planting. I have not yet dug out the old dirt but decided the worm casting are so rich, mixed in with last year's dirt, I would still have excellent vegetable beds. Last month we had record rain fall. The standing water in the garden is up to 10" deep in places and the ground is very soft. A simple trip to dump worm castings evolved into getting the tractor to wench out the stuck Kubota. De-winterizing the roto-tiller and tilling in the worm castings ended that task and filled my boots with water in the process.
Work supervision crew.
The new steaks were still chilling in the refrigerator. Now it was finally time to clean out the freezer. All of the frozen vegies and dried fruit went into the garden tub and meat into a large cooler. Multiple trips throwing away labor/energy intensive preserved fruits and vegies were made to the quickly refilling compost bin. I am sure the poor worms were in shock after being bombarded with frozen beans, tomatoes, peppers and fruit.
Then came time to sort the meat. Both age and 8 days without power had caused a lot of freezer burn. Some was still edible. Some was good to be cooked and made into dog treats and the rest had to go. We don't have garbage service out here. On the way to town, I chased down a garbage truck to see if I could persuade him to take my cooler of frozen meat for some cash but he declined.
Plan B. A couple days ago there was a very large, dead raccoon on our drive. When I came back from my town trip, it was gone. Apparently major predictors have moved back in close to the house. Known bear, cougars, lynx and fox inhabit a far corner of the property. I decided to leave them a feast and hopefully draw them away from the house side of the ridge. I drove with my cooler to the far corner of the property; scrambled over the tiddlywinks of ice downed trees until I found bear and cougar tracks and; left a frozen feast.
The steaks were still chillin' and it was almost time to put them in the near empty freezer but first they had to be shrink wrapped. That done, it was time to create training treats for the somewhat patient dogs.
"OK, now where are our treats!"
Sorry guys, the meat has to defrost before I can slice and dry it into jerky.
A Really good deal on NY steaks turned into a really involved series of tasks. But now I can erase "Clean out the freezer" from the to-do list and I have a stash of NY steaks; the dogs have NY steak jerky and; the predators have large helpings of meat to enjoy for my efforts.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Icemageddon Clean-up Progress

The 2016-2017 Icemageddon created a massive, at times overwhelming, clean-up chore. At first I needed to clear the road so we could get supplies.  Then it evolved into a rush to remove branches before the grass grew up through them making removal more difficult and mowing impossible. The series of storms were a whack-a-mole with the clean-up process. The snow and ice re-covered branches I wanted to remove and continually brought down more trees and branches. Of course there have also been plenty of opportunities to play in the snow and enjoy the beauty.

12/14/2016 The first of freeing rain - beautiful - even Holiday Vineman was adorned, sparking for the Holidays. Already without power, the extra sparkle was especially appreciated.
12/15/2016 The freezing rain continued. Branches crashed down throughout the night
12/16/2016 Softball size ice balls coated fine needled trees topping and even bringing down trees. The ground shook at 80 year old deacons crashed to the ground bringing branches from nearby trees with them.
 12/17/2016 The yard was a jumble of ice coated branches...
creating a new opportunities Chinook Tag. The dogs did not like the 1/4" ice coated grass cutting into their feet and did limit their play.
12/18/2016 With the road finally passable, the Lind family came to play and help with the bigger log removal. Lupin joined us for an extended stay.
 Like hundreds of others, this tree top came crashing down under the weight of the ice coating.
12/19/2016 More trees fell across the road needed removal.
12/20/2016  Yes there is a road under there. John Lind helping clear our exit.
12/22/2016 Another ice storm brought down more branches on this finally cleared section of the yard.
12/28/2016 With clear ground another round of clean-up began in earnest.
01/01/2017 My New Year's Resolution was "One dump load of branches per day no matter what". Ma Nature laughed and immediately covered the ground with a new layer of snow.
 Lupin checking out Topydog with his snow covered New Years horn and hat.
 Vinesnowman bringing in the New Year.
01/02/2017 More snow and more downed trees and branches. It is difficult to describe the noise of giant trees and branches falling 100' to the ground.
Cedar, Lupin, Koyuk and Trask finally tired enough from a serious round of Chinook Tag to pose for a group picture.
01/03/2017 Trask helping me check out the new devistation.
01/04/2017 brought even more snow. Vineman became truly a snowman.
The temperature remained way below freezing along with the snow. We were still without power, water or telephone and the pond was frozen over.
The next storm was on the horizon at sunset.
 01/05/2017 Almost 10" dropped during the night. With it dropped more branches and...
 enough snow to finally break out the sled...
and make wonderful noises on the frozen pond...
 and generally frolic about.
01/06/2017 We got in two sled runs
Well almost two successful runs. I had broken the sled brake on a frozen branch in the road not long before Trask and Cedar spotted a squirrel.  A mass of downed branches tangled the dogs and my sled preventing me from too going down into the roadside ditch.
 Dave caught the end of the second run as we passed the house.
This was also the first day of sun reaching the backyard. It was about a week early this year because of all the downed trees on the ridge behind the house.
01/07/2017 More freezing rain on top of the 10" of heavy wet snow causing more crashing trees and branches.
01/08/2017 Continued Freezing Rain.  The weight on the roof was impressive. I had to again shovel both the kennel and flat roof.
 01/09/2017 Yard Damage
 01/15/2017 I have seldom had snow on my birthday - what a treat.
 The snow was on top of ice covered snow and brought even more branches down with it.
 Trask enticing me in a game of Chinook Tag amongst the new jungle of branches.
01/17/2017 Chinook's 100th Birthday
02/11/2017 Serious tree pruning begins. I had kept up my vow of a load of branches/day but by 2/11 the moss covered trees were dry enough for serious pruning and I needed to clear passage up to the cabooses. Fortunately Andreaus, a former caboose tenant, is also a professional climber and loves a challenge.
02/26/2017 More snow and freezing rain - more branches finding their way to the ground and snow for dogs to play in.
02/27/2017 Freezing Rain - even the dogs look miserable. Everything was coated with ice and footing was treacherous.
03/05/2017 More Snow.  A branch from above took out the huge horizontal branch on the century old oak tree.
 This area had been all clean-up.
 TpoyO'dog
 "But this is fun mom"
03/06/2017 Any thought of a dump load of branches went out the window this morning though new snow did bring many within easy pruning reach.
With the branches also went the power and water.
Koyuk and Trask
 VineO'Snowman
 Enough snow for another sled run...
about this point we went over the downed powerline without noticing it.
The snow cover was a little thin by the time we got back to the house but we did make it before the 4 big power company trucks came in and completely destroyed any chances of another run.
03/25/2017 Throughout March I sawed, removed and piled branches in earnest creating a huge burn pile I wanted to burn since I still had about the same amount to go from the garden and lower yard.
What do you get with three Marine Special Ops; a Camp Fire Girl/Outward Bound Instructor; a Boy Scout; a mom with two girls; three dogs; three flares; 5 gallons of gas; 3 gallons of diesel; one gallon of kerosene; cone case of fire starter fluid; two Marine made napom bombs; a box of matches; and a leaf blower: A lot of laughter, bit of smoke and a burn pile that will have to wait until fall to dry out before we try again. Our first attempt at the burn was to pour 3 gallons of gas on top of the pile, stand back 30 feet and throw flares at it. By the time the Marines got the flares going, the gas had evaporated - no big boom - just a little smoke.
 After 1/2 hour various accelerants were being poured directly on the "fire"...
 with little success and me reminding everyone that an ambulance was at least 1/2 hour away.
 Trask and Koyuk helped K. during her boredom with the process.
After another hour, the last of the gas was poured on the "fire" and the Marines decided it was a failed mission and went off to do some target practice.
The Linds and I went to work on the garden. The two rows of espalier fruit trees had taken the brunt of the line of the neighbor's oak tree branches.
By the time the Linds had left, I had a weeded garden, branch free yard and pruned giant maple trees.
03/27/2017 Not to worry, there are still loads and loads of branches in the yard to make sure I continue my New Year's Resonlution.
When I started this post, I really didn't remember all of the various storms we had this winter. I was thinking a before and after saga but alas it was fun review icemageddon in it's entirety for each of those various ice and snow storms contributed to very impressive landscape damage.