{Over 40 photos today … Heidi & Stella} Today has had a pretty good start. It’s not raining!! As we ride the ‘yoyo’ weather here in ‘the tropics’ Stella and I had one of our best walks in a long time this morning. She didn’t eat deer scat and I didn’t have to do any verbal herding. She walked at her pace, I walked at mine. The skies were clear. We saw the moon, passenger planes and a flock of geese. With 3″ or more of snow on the ground just a couple of days ago, and ~12 hours of nonstop rain I wasn’t sure what to expect on our walk this morning. Which boots to wear? … hiking or the snow/rain boots. You would think with all the melted snow and all the rain this week that the field would be saturated beyond belief. One solution to that is have a temperature of 20° with a windchill of 14°. We had a chance to walk the half mile without getting my boots wet and Stella’s paws wet. I put on the snow/rain boots just in case.

When I looked out the window a few minutes before 8am as Stella hydrated herself before the walk with the daily routine of gulping water as I put on my parka … it was still pretty dark outside, a little overcast or so it seemed. I thought if I was going to get good photos for the walk today then I should take the old reliable standby, my Nikon D3200. I used that camera the other morning on our walk. Then I decided, “no … this is what we do. We take a daily walk at 8am with a camera in hand, as long as it’s not raining.” I’ve made some adjustments from the reviews I read yesterday so “lets see if the Canon G9 X is going to work for what we do or does it go back to the store.” As some people would say the Canon G9 X Mark II and I had our “come to Jesus meeting” or others might say “let’s see it when the rubber hits the road.”

It was either going to work or it wasn’t. I turned the dial to ‘M’ on top of the small camera, like always, or at least most of the time. I did not plan on going past the limit when zooming and understand that I have a 84mm zoom lens for the max, not the Tamron 18-200mm lens. I would also make sure that Stella was in those green squares that were telling me the points in focus. Even if that put her off center. Basically I was going to work within the limits of the camera and see what the results would be when I got back to my desk. I could see that Stella again had some early morning energy.

I have to admit this photo of the moon isn’t bad. Zoom’d within the camera limits and handheld. The moon was dead center of the green focus square.

I moved the lever to the left to reduce the zoom distance. Sure, I’d like for those trees to be more in focus but they were not the point of interest. The moon was. I can live with the burred surroundings because based on the lens type, the price range of the camera, it is doing what it is designed to do.

With each step I could hear the crunching sound of the frozen turf. I could even hear that same sound as Stella marched through the frozen grass. She was on what I call our return path and a little zoom added to bring her closer to the camera.

I need to start remembering just to hold the shutter down when I am trying to capture her running. When I don’t, with the 2 second delay in processing the photo and getting refocussed, she has ran by me. I have the setting for ‘continuous’ so it’s just user error that I did not have more photos of her running since the camera will shoot 8fps.

Once again she wouldn’t let me stay in front of her. Each time I took the lead she would walk around me … then stop to check something out. Notice the bottom half of her tail is a ‘black and tan’ from a parent. Bloodhounds are either ‘black and tan’ or ‘red’. Because her tail is like that plus the added story as a puppy where she got loose in a garage, getting her tail mixed in with some automobile oil … she arrived at my house after our 4 hour drive in August 2015 with the name of “Dipstick” … She adapted to her new name Stella within hours without any problem.

As we approached the first turn I was willing to let her go anywhere she wanted. After all it had been months since she has gone next door, years since she took off running after deer or anything else of interest. Plus she does not run sprinting speed anymore but she will run faster than I can. She didn’t disappoint as she moved way ahead of me.

I thought it was interesting that she was staying on the path this morning with all of the fresh deer tracks in the usual places between our path and the woods/brush line.

The frozen ground did a pretty good job recording the deer traffic from this morning.

She was still walking on the path … I zoomed out to 35mm to take that photo.

Here I turned the lever to the right to max out the zoom at 84mm but not into the yellow scale on the progress bar.

She knew the deer were following this path and heading this direction this morning before we even thought about being outside.

Another thing this Canon G9 X has shown me … it was not the Nikon that was crooked, needing adjustment … it’s my hands holding the camera about 2° to the right. I can always tell when I take a photo of this cell tower, because I have to crop the photo to get the tower straight.

I stood and watched what she was doing and where she was going. She was well past our turn towards home. If I would have let her go, she would have followed that deer scent around the tall power cable tower, and north all the way to the woods.

I wanted to keep the ground dark to capture the sunrise a little after 8am. 

As I moved the camera closer to the frozen puddle of water, it automatically changed the landscape of the photo to a vertical position.

Again I didn’t think about just holding the shutter down to catch her running. She was so fast that she was up on me just like that, within seconds.

Does she hear the small barking dog again? See or hear the school bus like yesterday? No …. 

She heard the flock of geese heading SE. I decided not to crop the photo because if you didn’t know it … I have not edited one of these photos today. They are just the way they were coming straight out of the Canon G9 X into my computer photo editor.

You can tell by Stella’s ears and the flipped front paw … she is at high speed running away from me. The lens is at the safe maximum of 84mm.

You can barely see the ‘Y’ in our return path. Either straight ahead to the north backyard or to the left, and follow the ‘old’ way home. That path is right above the word “or” in this sentence if you cannot see it.

I usually let Stella make the decision on which path we take. The old path is just left of her and left of the tall grass … so it’s the ‘old’ path to take home today.

She is in her ‘strolling pace’ … no hurry and no worries … just another day to her.

I moved my lens into the “Digital” zoom for this photo. That means on the progress scale I passed the ‘yellow’ caution area and went all the way to the ‘blue’ Digital Zoom area. I tapped a little color and some definition for this photo.

Again she was faster than the speed of light this morning. The VetriScience GlycoFlex supplement seems to be working for her. It was just a few months ago where she yelped trying to get on the couch one night and had been walking gingerly sometimes on our morning walk. Looking at the product facts on the package I am tempted to try one of those small soft chews myself.

I zoomed a little on this photo … but nothing on the one below.

Last night she was in prime form. I was watching the National Geographic channel where I have my DVR set to tape all of their National Parks shows. I was also eating an apple. Heidi and Stella love apples but before I give them the core I remove the stem and go to the kitchen to cut out or pry out all of the apple seeds. There are times I don’t want to stop the show or the ballgame to make that trip to the kitchen and I don’t do a good job getting those seeds out with my fingernail .. so she and Heidi will only get a little apple from the pieces I chew off.

This is Stella’s patented look telling me she wants not only a piece of any kind of food I am eating but she wants ALL of it. She will sit for as long as it takes if needed. During this stare she never blinks, might drool, doesn’t move her head … only looking at that piece of apple, a carrot, almonds, whatever I am eating.

On the opposite end of the couch Heidi barely raised an eyelid when she heard the sound of me eating an apple. After assessing the situation she decided that sleep was her higher priority and didn’t move from that position, only lowering her eyelid and going back to sleep.

Stella decided if she got closer to the two apple pieces, I slid into my side pocket you see there in the photo, that might help her getting the apple core that still had seeds in it.

She gave up trying from the right side. Slowing walking in front of the tv, she decided it was time to try me from the left side and again … get as close to me as possible. She sat here for about five minutes before getting up on the couch to put her stare about an inch away from my face. Even a good macro lens would not have been able to get a photo of that. That stare lasted the time it took to go from one commercial on tv, view the show, then to the next commercial. This look is borderline between begging and pouting.

Finally she gave up and decided it was time to call it a night with a nap while I finished watching multiple National Park shows.

All of those last photos inside were taken with my iPhone 8+ camera.

I was about to write my closing paragraphs and post this when Heidi woke up from her morning nap. She always comes to my desk chair to let me know she needs to go outside. This is her daily routine lately. You will see she ends it with a sprint to the living room and some aerobic exercise.

The best bbq around is from that black trailer.

All photos of Heidi were taken with the Canon G9 X, NO EDITING, a flash was used inside.

One of my morning readings is all the articles collected automatically from categories I choose on Flipboard. Today there was an interesting article about Grain-Free Dog food. That was a product I used for years as I tried to figure out what the cause of Heidi’s skin allergies were. The cost was not a consideration and over a 2 year period I tried all different kinds of protein sources with no grain. One thing interesting in this article was they mentioned that most allergies in dogs are NOT caused by food. One of the four vets I took her to told me he had completed a study on causes of allergies in dogs and their study found that only 3% of allergies in dogs were caused by food ! In February 2017 (?) I went back to a basic dog food with Chicken Meal and Rice … this specific brand or blend of food cleared up her allergies.

For those that feed Grain-Free dog food … here is some information to consider:  Stop Buying Grain Free Food.

We have all thought it … maybe. How do I disappear from the Internet?  This might help to show you how:  Delete Yourself From The Internet.

Well the sunshine is out, it’s already almost 11am as the hounds walk near my computer room to remind me that I fed them breakfast at 6:30am and it’s time for their lunch kibble. Not sure what I am going to do today but it might be nice to take a drive in the local country and take some more photos.

The camera? A keeper?  I think after this morning’s photos on this blog, it has shown me it’s a camera I can use and the photos are of good quality. Case closed.

Time is flying these past few days in ‘the tropics’ of Southern Indiana.