Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spring is Here and We Got Our Dog “Fix” Too!

Spring is a glorious time of the year!  It’s all about renewal and rebirth… The older I get the more I appreciate this time of the year.  I thought that I would do a little summary related to new beginnings…a timely departure from my historic blogs and restaurant reviews. 

Let’s start with Laurie’s new great niece…little baby Elliot Jane.  She was born in March and she’s a delight for her parents, grandparents and sisters.

This is baby Elliot Jane with her sisters, Avery, Charlie Kate and Delany.   With mom Kasey, dad Kevin is completely outnumbered 5 to 1! 

FYI…With the addition of Elliot Jane, Laurie is now up to 14 great nieces and nephews!

Another happy spring time event is the early spring blooms.  While neither of us are gardeners, we do enjoy these signs of spring…in our yard and in the woods next to our home.  This is the quince, which is always first to flower but with our mild winter this year, this bush never really stopped blooming.  As it burst into full flower, it was spectacular!

We have a few Jonquils here and there…

We even have a number azaleas…

These Lenton Roses do well in the shade along the south side of the house although their growth rate is slow…

Other early bloomers are our crimson fire loropetalum bushes along the front of the house.

These wild violets were blooming in the ditch across the street from our house.

Our  Mountain Fire Japanese Pieris, which is next to our garage, has really taken off this year.

Of course, this time of the year in East Tennessee, the stars of the show are the redbud and the dogwood trees.  They are all over our neighborhood!

Redbud blossoms are really delicate…and even more beautiful up close!

A bit later, the redbuds are finished for the season but the dogwoods morph into their full glory!

Yes…this large blue tail skink is also a sign of spring!  The warmth brings them out.   Fortunately this one didn’t get into our screened porch as J.D., our cat loves to eat skinks even though they make him sick…

Moving on...J.D. doesn’t like dogs but we do…especially other people’s dogs!

This is Holly and Joel’s new puppy, Dolly Parton.  She’s a Wheaten Terrier and she’s adorable!  Right now, she looks like a cuddly stuffed animal.

The Wheaten was bred in Ireland for over 200 years to be an all-purpose farm dog whose duties included herding, watching, guarding livestock and vermin hunting and killing.  These dogs don’t shed like most dogs…their hair keeps on growing and they need to be groomed regularly.  Wheaten Terriers are hypoallergenic and are more easily tolerated by people allergic to other breeds.

This is Winston, Joel and Holly’s West Highland White Terrier.  He’s not so sure about the new puppy in his house.  Dolly Parton has really sharp teeth!  I wonder what Winston will think when she grows up and reaches roughly 18 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs about 35 pounds.   

Joel and Holly are Winston and Dolly Parton’s proud and doting ‘parents’. 

Joel took this photo of Laurie and me just before we left after our visit and ‘dog fix’.  It was a chilly spring day.  Thanks to Holly and Joel for our dog fix and a couple of slices of very tasty cake!  

Yup…more dog photos.  This is Romeo, a rescue pup who is now part of Larry ( and Bev’s household.

More dogs!  Cindy, who lives with Larry and Bev, and who is our house sitter/J.D.’s servant in our absence, is holding Frankie (back) and Teddy (front) but they wouldn't hold still! Larry and Bev hosted our group wine tasting/dining experience this past month which provided us with yet another dog fix!

Since I’ve been reprimanded by J.D. for all these dog photos (the enemy!), he insisted that he be featured in this spring recap too!

This is his ‘regal’ master of the universe pose!  He is the boss and he knows it… There is only one thing that he likes better than attention/servitude from either of us.

…and that is sunshine!  Laurie calls him her ‘sunshine baby’.  He loves the heat and he wanders the house each day following the sun, looking for yet one more chance to bask in its warmth.

We have had one other pair of visitors this year that didn’t stop by last year…
We love northern flickers!  They are beautiful birds.  A pair must be nesting close to our house as they are frequent visitors to our bird bath facilities and our feeder.

The flickers really love our suet cakes that are heavily laden with yummy seeds as well as seeds and nuts in our feeder!

For those who might not know much about northern flickers, they are a medium-sized member of the woodpecker family.  They are native to most of North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands.  Interestingly, they are one of the few woodpecker species that actually migrate.  According to Audubon, "flickers are the only woodpeckers that frequently feed on the ground".  Although they eat fruits, berries, seeds, and nuts, their primary food is insects.  Ants alone can make up 45% of their diet!  Flickers also use the formic acid from the ants to assist in preening, as it helps keep them free of parasites.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them...

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. Woo hoo! Love all the fur buddies! JD is just too cool, very regal looking! Our ex-DIL had 2 Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, the 12 year old just died last month, and they have a younger one, 8 years old. Great fun-loving dog and best buddy with our grandson!
    I really miss Louisville this time of year, we had many beautiful Azaleas, then Dogwoods, Redbud and Magnolia trees. Nothing around here compares to them and Springtime down South! Happy Spring!

  2. What lovely photos, Dave! And Laurie has a beautiful family!!! Thank you so much for sharing all these delightful photos! :)

  3. what lovely and cute baby girl !! Love her!! congrats to all!
    and lovely pictures of spring David !! hugs!!