Our beagle is on a chain in the yard
because we have newly weaned calves.
Calves that are just weaned are very noisy,
but more importantly,
EXTREMELY paranoid, easily scared into a stampede,
by any unfamiliar sight or sound.
We live along a beautiful prairie creek.
HEAVEN for a beagle.
Beagles are hounds born and bred to track and hunt rabbits
with their nose.
If you are not familiar with hounds,
you must know that they make the most
high-pitched, writhing-in-pain, kind of sound
when they are on the trail of something.
This braying sound is why Toby, the beagle,
is chained up when we have weaned calves.
Normally, I walk with the beagle unleashed.
So he is quite untrained . . . a free-range beagle, we'll call him.
However, with the weaned calves I must keep him with me.
White Owl Creek is perhaps the most
explosive in fall color beauty
that I have ever seen.
Usually we have fall frosts and rains and winds that knock down the leaves.
But, despite the drought,
there is gorgeous-ness.
So I adventure WITH the beagle into the creek.
With his oversensitive hound nose.
It is a miracle that I got ANY clear shots.
The creek is home to
It was a battle of wills the entire way.
Me with my camera hunting for light and color and contrast
Toby with his nose hunting for all kind of vermin and varmint.
My kids had just gotten on the school bus
when Toby and I left.
And I noticed how one tree
that was vibrant orange
was brown and almost bare.
I thought about how little time
I have to get photos of the trees
once the leaves start to turn yellow.
How I had to go with the beagle through the creek,
even though it would have been much
more peaceful to leave him at home,
or tempting to wait until he didn't have to be leashed.
But how I would have missed the moment.
Which turned my mind to my kids on the bus
and how we have moments
that are fleeting
The years of being home with me all day
so our evenings, mornings and weekends are
To savor and to really listen to them,
to hear what they have to say,
what they are excited about
what they are struggling with
what they are learning.
Every stage of life has its challenges
and every stage of life has its beauty and wonder and newness.
Beagle on a leash = challenge.
Fall leaves = beauty.
Kindergarten = wonder at learning to read.
Fifth grade = excitement about volleyball.
Seventh grade = newness . . . transition.
Challenges for each of my kids.
Challenges for me.
Challenges for my man on the ranch in a drought.
Living it all. Doing these things together.
Is the beauty of it