Category Archives: Dog Park

Day of Rest

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the things I learned from my dad is photography. I learned how to love the process, to enjoy looking for things to capture and figuring out how to frame them, how to notice things. In honor of him, of this gift, and of Father’s Day, here are a few pictures I took this weekend.

this is what happiness looks like, sam running in the dog park

purple thistle in the green

heart-shaped petal with a heart-shaped hole

lone songbird

stormy sky

accidental magic

Things I Forgot to Tell You

I forgot to tell you that the other day on our morning walk, we saw two turtles digging holes to lay their eggs. In fact, they may have been actively laying when we saw them. They were only about 20 feet away from each other, and both tensed but didn’t move when they saw us. One was over the hole that has been used (by the same turtle?) for the past 5+ years. Later, we saw an empty nest, it’s edges littered with shells. I chose to believe those babies hatched and are swimming around deep in Wood Duck pond, rather than breakfast in a raccoon or fox’s belly.

The robin who spent all those weeks throwing herself against the bathroom windows of my neighbor and I’s houses is a mama. She finally built a nest on the light over my neighbor’s back porch, but still spends a few hours a week throwing herself at the window. There are at least three babies, and they look really close to being ready to leave the nest.

Also seen on our morning walks this week:

  • two sets of baby geese (one already colored like the adults, only miniature, and the others still with baby fuzz),
  • two herons being chased by smaller birds who repeatedly dive bombed them,
  • a white tailed deer,
  • a kid sized inflatable pool and float toy both fully inflated and abandoned in a grassy field,
  • a probably rabid skunk by the Little Dog Park (Eric and the boys saw this on their walk, but it’s worth mentioning),
  • a letter to the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Employment and Training, Benefit Payment Control that had clearly dropped out of someone’s pocket or backpack, so I brought it home and mailed it,
  • an abandoned homework and grade report for a 7th grader that’s apparently failing,
  • new graffiti on the Soft Gold Park bathrooms (970 B.P.L., Brown Pride),
  • a wild rose growing and blooming in the middle of the Little Dog Park,
  • and a river so black and full of soot, it smelled burnt.

This particular day

Remember that this particular day will never happen again. ~Susannah Conway, from this i know: notes on unraveling the heart

A few moments from today:

Sleeping in until 6:15 am (yes, this counts as “sleeping in” when you typically get up at 4:30 am), Sam stretched out beside me, his warmth and deep breath lulling me back to dreams.

Roses from my garden, white and deep red, in a Mason jar on my writing desk. The open window lets in cool air, bringing with it morning bird song and the smell of rain, which mixes with the scent of the roses. I write in my notebook, but not about that.

Walking with Eric and the dogs, we see a man park his truck, get out dressed in nice work clothes (button down shirt and slacks), pull a pair of dirty work boots out and put them on. With a rake slung over his shoulder, he walks towards the ball field. We walk one lap around the dog park, and when we get back, he’s still raking lines in the dirt as if it were a giant zen garden.

I clean up the house a little more, folding sheets and sorting laundry. At first, the dogs follow me from room to room, but finally settle somewhere and sleep.

A blog post that brings me to tears of gratitude and recognition, exactly what I need to hear, and I wonder once again “how will I ever thank her?”

A shower while Eric barbeques steaks for lunch. The 1/2 side of organic beef we bought at the beginning of the year allows such extravagance, midweek and midday.

Another walk, at a different park. We try to identify trees, guess the types. Everything I don’t recognize, I call an Elm–Honey Locust, Kentucky Coffee Tree, all of them Elms.

In the backyard, reading this i know: notes on unraveling the heart, the sun making leaf shadows on the pages. Sam drops a toy for me to throw, and when I do, he jumps across my chest, over my lap and the chair to go after it, like some crazy agility move or circus trick. Later, both dogs are sprawled out next to me, Sam hoarding all the toys.

This particular day will never happen again…

Small Stones


I’m brushing my teeth and Sam is pressing his head into my leg, one eye buried and the other looking at me in the mirror. I imagine that attention and longing as love for me, but my rational mind knows it probably isn’t.

What it probably is:

“Mom’s brushing her teeth, that means getting ready, that means a walk–I love walking”


“Mom’s brushing her teeth, that means brushing my teeth–I love the way the toothpaste tastes, like chicken” *drool*

Either way, I love the feeling of his head pushing against my leg, the weight and tangibility of that gesture, and the longing in that one eye, looking at me while I look back. It doesn’t have to mean love for him for it to mean that for me, to be love for me.


At first light, in the still dark of dawn, a heron flies overhead like some kind of prehistoric bat. It lands high in a cottonwood. I feel like I am walking in a dream, it’s so strange to see a heron perched so high, its form black against the dark blue sky.

picture by rhys asplundh

Signs of Spring at Lee Martinez Park

Grass greening up, trees budding out, sprinklers back on. Porta Potties gone, doors to bathrooms unlocked and water turned back on.

A warm wind and four tennis balls in the dog park, two laps around.The lightening flash of the backside of a White Tailed Deer excites Dexter, makes him pull at his leash. As soon as we are past it, he slows, stops and checks behind us, hoping to see it again.

People we’ve never seen out on bikes or running with their dogs.

A woodpecker flies into the metal dome covering the lights by the basketball courts and taps a message that echos out.


The noise I first think is my neighbor moving her trash can to the curb is actually the robin back on the fence, flying against my window for the fourth morning in a row.

I wonder again if it’s one of the babies we “raised” last year. Has he found his way back? Will he find love?

one of last year's babies, having just learned to fly

Small Stone(s): Spring in Fort Collins

Small Stone(s): Spring in Fort Collins

buds are opening on my lilacs

Birds singing at dawn.
Green blades of grass.
A warm wind.
Even Sam wants to go two laps around the little dog park.
Mama fox by her den.
Ten robins on the ground, searching for breakfast.
Our hearts soften towards Spring.

Small Stone: Day 29

Small Stone: Dog Park

Big V and little v, two formations of Canadian Geese fly over our heads. When they come close, the vibration of their wings sounds like giant bumblebees.

Eric is on my left, pointing out a hawk sitting high in a tree, and Sam stays close on my right, running away and right back, over and over in circles, getting close enough on each return to bump his head into my leg.

Dexter searches in random patterns, nose to the ground and ears back, across the entire width and length of the dog park, looking for an abandoned tennis ball.

It already feels like Spring.