Dixie has graduated to hiking solo.
She has learned, 'Come' and she runs hard when I call.
She has learned 'NO!' and stops whatever she is doing immediately.
Yesterday I decided that I'd take her by herself on a walk so that I could see if she has developed some independence...and
just chasing Morris for fun.
And, well, I had to do some more experimenting with the 50mm lens, of course.
I took the short cut across the meadow and went down the steep hillside into the valley with the creek.
Across the meadow and down the steep hill, Dixie followed me at 'heel' position, every once in a while she reached up and nudged my hand as if to assure herself that I was fine.
When I started taking shots of interesting ice formations, she hovered close. She did not bowl me over.
I shooed her away a few times.
Gradually she realized that I was not doing something that was very interesting to her hound dog nose.
And she began to explore a bit.
She discovered that she enjoyed walking in the creek.
I don't know if she saw some brown trout or not, but suddenly she wouldn't get out and kept wandering back into the water as if to search.
[this shot not taken with the 50mm, taken with the Fuji Camera]
This was good because a month ago she avoided water like the plague and was tentative about it.
We followed the creek towards my fence line and I looked for photos, Dixie checked out the deep pools of water, I'm thinking of the trout I've seen flit around there...
we began to ignore each other, both of us busy, yet both of us checking in on each other.
Soon enough we came to the huge dry run that is filled with mossy boulders. I'd been there a couple of weeks ago when the temps had reached 49 degrees and it had rained hard. I'd taken photos of the mini water falls.
The boulders were covered mostly in snow, but there were ice formations.
What a good dog Dixie was to go first and find out that the snow would slide out from under neath her!
She was good and only hovered at my shoulder [of course to make sure I was okay!] as I tried to get a shot of where the water falls had been.
It made scooting around the boulders a bit more interesting.
So I decided to walk a bit further up the creek bottom. In one spot the creek was running clear. So clear in fact that I was able to catch bubbles from one of the springs coming up through the rocks.
This creek has many springs.
Then I turned around and saw the iced creek bottom. It was wall to wall ice, like a glacier and it was evident where the run off had cut through it.
No adventure is complete without a shot of Dixie and her flapping ears as she runs to me.
Dixie is learning independence.
She is venturing out away from me and investigating.
She is even leading the way.
On our way home up the 'ridge' road .. she ran ahead of me and would wait. If I didn't come fast enough, she'd come back and investigate.
Soon my training with her will be done. Oh I'll still work on her leash behavior and her manners.
Can You see her??
All of these shots were taken with the 50mm lens. There is no zooming in and out with this lens, you have to work at composing your shots.
All the more reason to practice.