Tag Archive | dog

Illinois State Beach Park ~ What a View!!

Last weekend we went to Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois State Beach Park to camp. We got right in since many folks weren’t thinking about swimming in May… at least not here. Lake Michigan doesn’t get warm enough for swimming until early July. We did walk by the beach and I could walk with my toes in the water, for a short time. No more of me was going in! Brrr.

This is a IDNR (Illinois Deptment of Natural Resources) park, one of the most protected areas in Illinois. I love coming here, as there is such a diversity of plants, animals, birds and insects. We also had a great view of the dormant Zion nuclear plant. Awesome…?

General Information and History

This area is 4,160 acres and has a recorded 650 plus different plant species. Long recognized for its unique geological features, native flora and unmatched beauty, the Lake Michigan dunes area originally was, in the 1700s, part of the “Three Fires” of the Algonquin Nation: the Potawatomi, Chippewa and Ottawa.

This area was slated to be a preserve as early as 1888, when Robert Douglas, a Waukegan nurseryman, and Jens Jensen, a famous landscape architect (If you live/visit Chicago, you’ve seen a lot of his work), worked together to make the area a regional park. With the threat of industry progressing from the south and sand mining ravaging nearby dunes, legislative efforts to save the area finally began in the 1920s.

In 1948, the state obtained the first parcels of what is now known as Illinois Beach State Park. The Illinois Dunes Preservation Society was established in 1950 to protect the area. Through its efforts and the determinations of the Department of Conservation, in 1964 the area south of Beach Road was dedicated as the first Illinois Nature Preserve.

This area is unique, as it is a sand dune area and the rest of Illinois is nothing like it. I was on the hunt for Opuntia – Prickly pear & Juniperus horizontalis – Trailing juniper, both of these are native to this area. In 1804, explorers Lewis and Clark noted that trailing juniper “would make a handsome edging to the borders of a garden”.

Our bedroom is in the back of the camper and furnished with a large window to gaze out of. You can barely see it to the right of the photo, however there is a small window right where my head is. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a window less than 3″ inches from your face. The fresh, night air is wonderful to sleep by.

The real view, not through the window. Lake Michigan.

     

We were back to balancing rocks. Here’s a simple one that took a bit of patience.  ||  I don’t think anyone was home.

This is the coolest thing. It’s an ice fishing house, that’s also a travel trailer! It’s on hydraulics and lowers to the ground / ice for fishing. So neat.

As far back as 1982, the federal government began collecting a nuclear-waste fee, paid by electricity users through fees tacked on to their bills and earmarked to pay for disposal of the radioactive spent fuel rods. Starting in 1998, the U.S. Department of Energy was supposed to start picking up spent fuel rods and taking them for storage, according to Everett Redmond, senior director of fuel cycle and technology policy for the Nuclear Energy Institute, a power industry trade group. But there was no ready storage option to hold them. So power companies were forced to store more and more of them at their own facilities and eventually successfully sued to recover costs for this storage.  Chicago Sun-Times 2017

Someone likes to dig.

     

We keep trying to outdo each other on the rock stacking. Well played husband, well played.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Twin Tuesday ~ Easy Weimaraner

Bon Chew-y… nugget bars!

I didn’t have to go to Google translate to translate what ‘Bon Chew’ meant… Most of my two semesters of French have stuck in my head. Of course I remember the swear words 😉 Or an insult… Vous êtes une tête de merde!

I can’t remember how long I’ve been following the antics of the Weimaraners here at Easy Blog*. Yes, that was plural. Easy the Weimaraner had me following him at the first post I laid eyes on. I laughed my ass off!! He was so smart and wise as he taught class on his very own king-sized bed-classroom. His students may not have been able to hear, see or smell Easy’s class, due to MIA body parts caused by a bon chew… butt that’s neither here nor there… Easy also loved to help the staff do chores around the house. Most of the time this consisted of opening packages from the post (wo)man, sometimes not in the most gentle way… Letting the woman know that it was time to get rid of some shoes… And many times he tried to guide the staff in DIY projects, however they usually ended in disaster, whether it be the woman’s fault or the man trying to cut his own parts off.

Sadly, Easy the Weimaraner had to go to the Rainbow Bridge last year. It was unexpected and very sad for all of us. 😦

However, there is a new kid in town named Da Phenny, and he’s not far behind his beloved brother Easy in his style and grace!! Da Phenny has already proven himself worthy of opening packages, directing the staff on DIY projects, digging to America and other chores around the pad.

As the new kid in town, Da Phenny is still a bit wet-behind-the-ears… He still as to learn a few things about cohabitation with the staff. This is where the pad of shame comes in. Sadly, it seems Da Phenny tends to land here many times. Many, many times.  Even the woman gets a dose of the pad of shame! Although I’m sure the Weim did probably have something to do with it!!!

I’ve come to learn about the pad of shame at my own house. Here I am trying to explain to Breck that it wasn’t my fault that the Dog store was out of Liver treats!!!

  • I think it’s been 4 years!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Punked my Pups!

I don’t like to waste food, and lucky for the boys there was some left over ham from the weeks sandwiches. Instead of cutting it up and mixing it in, I decided to be an a$$hole and stick it to the bottom of the bowl, under their food >:-D

   

I don’t normally feed them in the living room, however I knew I’d be documenting their progress.

Oreo went straight to working on getting the ham out.

Breck was just gobbling! So much so, his bowl was rolling all over.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Second Chances for Single Socks

cute-dog-socksIt’s hopefully coming to the end of ‘sock season’ soon and the need to wear socks will be over. I hate wearing socks. I do buy cute ones tho, usually with dogs or other cute animals or patterns on them. My husband, on the other hand, buys the same, white brand so they actually ALL match. Whenever he gets a hole in one, it’s not like the pair is trash, just the one with the hole. Easy-peasy! There’s never a single sock in his drawer.

I actually don’t seem to loose many of these cute pairs. It’s the plain Jane colored ones that go MIA. I had a pretty large pile of loners and was about to throw them out when I looked at Oreo sitting next to me. Ah Ha! I tied them all together and a new pull toy was created! Fun!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

Where’s Your Food?

We never spent a bunch of time training our boys to do parlor tricks. They do enough cute things throughout the day to entertain us! However, sometimes it’s not so much dog training as much as human training. Their food and treats are kept in this pantry. I started to notice Breck would paw at the door while I was in sight of it. Every time he did it, he would try to eyeball me. Who was being trained here?!? I started to ask him, “Where’s your food?”  After a little while, I was able to ask him and he would paw the door. Oreo can’t be outdone. He didn’t paw the door, his answer was to point his nose at it.

     

Where’s your food???

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Grass Flip-Flops Brings Summer to Winter

When it’s cold outside and there’s snow on the grass… These grass-lined flip-flops sure bring back memories of summer.
wp-image-242543188jpg.jpg

Brrr! Only about 4 more months till summer… Sigh.

wp-1486843816516.jpg

PS – (Added to post much later than above was originally written) To a keen eye or another Midwesterner… This photo was clearly taken over a month ago, back when there was actually snow on the ground. True. It’s been floating in my ‘Scheduled’ folder for awhile. I almost thought about pushing it off yet again, until there was some snow on the ground to exaggerate my point of needing these grass-lined flip-flops… After checking the forecast for the next few months… I feel there’s very little hope in seeing any decent amount of snow the rest of this winter. Oh. so. NOT. sad!!!! Seems we may have an early spring. I sure hope so. Toes crossed!

© Ilex ~Midwestern Plant Girl