Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Day Early

I got to go on a very special adventure today to celebrate Earth Day.  Even though Earth Day isn't until tomorrow, Momma said the weather is going to be icky tomorrow which I think means it's going to be yucky.  Here's tomorrow's forecast:

Occasional rain with thundery downpours possible, blustery, chilly damp and raw. East/SE winds 13 to26 and gusty. Highs in the low 50s.

Momma told me that every year she celebrates Earth Day and that last Earth Day was very special because it was Stubby's last.  He got to visit a very magical place where he talked to Mother Earth.  He talked to all the animals of the forest and all the plants, sharing what he knew about the world with them and learning from them as well.

Momma already took me to Stubby's magical place when I first arrived at my new home so she thought I should have a magical place to call my own.  She knew my place had to have lots of open space since I can't see very well, and that it had to be big because I like to explore.  So after lunch, she slipped my harness on me, put me in the car, and drove us to Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve.

Rollins Savanna covers over 1,200 acres of mostly former farmland.  Extensive restoration projects since the mid 1990s have turned this preserve into an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society.   After today, I am designating it an important pug area, too!

We came across this sign as soon as we got on the trail.  Momma said we were lucky that the trail was open at the creek because we've had so much rain lately.  She even mentioned that she's had to slosh through the trail when it was flooded before.  What?  Yuk!  There was no way I was doing any sloshing today.

One of these days I'm going to get Momma to bring a regular camera when we go out.  She only ever carries her phone so the pictures aren't very good.  A zoom lens would have been helpful here because you can't see what Momma could.  I couldn't see it either but I could hear it, I mean them.  There were lots of tree swallows flying overhead and hanging out in the birdhouses scattered throughout the preserve.  I could hear the birds zooming by and could tell they were very quick. 

This is a close-up of a tree swallow.  Momma says their feathers are iridescent. 

As the tree swallows were zooming overhead we came upon a bird kill.  Momma saw it and I smelled it.  You may have to biggify the picture to see the feathers.  Momma thinks they belonged to a robin.

Momma mostly had her eyes peeled to the sky looking for birds (which she saw) and to the trail looking for snakes (which she didn't see).  Me?  I had my nose to ground checking for pee mail.  Lots of dogs had visited the preserve today so there was lots of mail to pick up.

Momma also spent lots of time looking at the dead plants.  Don't ask me why.  I don't get it but that's my momma!  She loves milkweed and she found this milkweek pod that was open on the grass next to the trail.  She turned it over, touched its seeds, marveled at its beauty, and did everything except put it in her pocket.  She takes only memories and told me that I must do the same.

I wish I could take credit for finding this cool mushroom but I can't.  My sniffer is highly sophisticated but it's no match for Momma's eyes.  These shelf mushrooms didn't smell very good but that didn't stop me from checking them out.  Momma liked the way they looked on the fallen tree.  She wanted to sit so she could get a better look, but I had other plans.

An important bird area needs an observation deck, right?   Momma says this desk was built a couple of years ago so that people could get a better view of the waterfowl and other wading birds.  I couldn't care less what the purpose was.  It was there and it needed to be checked out.

Momma tried to look through the viewing scopes but I wasn't cooperating.  I had to finish checking things out and had no time to look for birds I couldn't see.

Momma decided we should walk on the boardwalk by some ponds but I freaked out as soon as my paws hit the wooden boards.  I walked very tentatively for a few feet until a man approached us.  The sound of his footsteps hurt my ears so I froze in place.  Momma tried to get me to move but I backed up and almost fell into the water.  The man stopped walking when Momma bent to pick me up.  She carried me on this boardwalk but then I walked on the next two.  I'm not afraid of the them anymore as long as there's no one else on them.

I really tried to obey the rules of the preserve but all the good stuff was off trail.  Who knew? 

Too soon our walk was over.  I made one last stop at the trail map to make sure I hadn't missed any mail before I jumped back in the car.  We walked the big loop on the map and covered 3 1/2 miles.  Momma was really impressed that I walked that far.  I was really impressed that she walked that far. 

I told Momma I would like to visit my magical place once a week.  I think that's reasonable, don't you?


  1. Hi, Tiffy!

    Wow, what a neat magical place you have!

    3.5 miles??? I am impressed, indeed! I love to walk but my old hips will only let me do about 3.5 BLOCKS!

    Happy Earth Day!

    Lick ya later!


  2. Tiffy, that looks like a fantastic magical place for you! Maybe one day I can go for a walk there with you and your momma. I think that would be real fun. Happy Earth Day, Tiffy and Michele!

  3. I'm so glad you have a magically place like Stubby did. Stubby knew all about the Earth and the Sky and the Forest and I hope you will learn about them too. Stubby is part of the Universe now and he will send you special bubble messages on what to do. And Tweedles will help you too. I'm very happy that you get to go once a week to explore. You are having a wonderful life so far!

  4. My sweet friend Tiffy
    Oh what a beautiful Earth Day post. The Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve, is the perfect place for you to learn about Mother Earth. Your mamma is right about you needing your own special magical place to connect to the Mother Earth.
    To hear the birds, smell the smells and listen to the winds breeze as she sings through the trees. Oh Tiffy,,, could you hear the wings of the little swallows as their wings danced in the sky?
    The photos your mamma shared with all of us- AWSOME!
    We can see the magical world that Mother Earth has in store for you to learn about.
    Your very first Earth Day,, and you gave such tribute to the Earth,,, as you walked along sniffing and investigating,,,, and following in Stubbys footsteps and your mamma's footsteps too. To look but not take,,,you are already learning Tiffy. Stubby was my teacher,, I learned from him,,,,,I could have learned so much.
    Now you and I will walk in Stubbys footsteps.
    I hope you do get to walk those trails once a week,,, that would be so awsome.
    Your Earth Day Post of one of bravery, recovery, healing, hope and a beautiful tribute to Mother Earth. There is so much more for you to enjoy Tiffy,, so much more

  5. Tiffy its Tuni here! That is a great place to go and see every week...tee hee hee. I would be riding in my Tuni 'wagon' and missing all the pee mail and awsome muchrooms. Mom loves finding funny mushrooms. We hope you have a happy Earth day...we are getting a tree this weekend to plant in our yard to celebrate!

    Tuni (and Sequoia who is sleeping loudly....keep it down over there!)

  6. Very reasonable! Scarlet's favorite place is the beach, there are lots of awesome smells there. She's not sure about the water but she likes the sand between her little puggy toes.

    To honor Earth Day we picked up trash on our walk today.

    Happy Earth Day Tiffy!
    Meredith & Scarlet

  7. Tiffy, this here is AnnieBee, you've come a long way babeee! I'm so glad you have a bigger back yard now, an entire nature preserve that is all yours. Mommy's eyes got a little leaky when she read this post, thinking what a wonderful life you have with Aunty Michele and Unky Gerry. I worry about her, I think she needs to eat more fiber or something...
    love and little kissies,

  8. hi tiffy!
    happy happy earth day little girl!
    what a wonderful special place you and your momma have.
    i know angel stubby loves it too.
    we love all of your photos and think at least a once a week visit is in order!

    a & m

  9. Tiffy,
    First of all, it’s very nice to meet you and congratulations on finding your forever home! I had only just been introduced to Stubby (via the Daily Puglet) at the end of his wonderful life and was so saddened that I didn’t get a chance to know him better. There were so many words of praise for him on all the pug blogs that I just new he was a great guy. I had wanted to reach out to his mom and dad, but by the time I got my words together, I wasn’t sure they visited Life of Stubby anymore. Then, just when I was wondering how they were doing, I stumbled upon your blog!
    I am so happy I now get to tell your momma how much her tribute to Stubby touched my heart. My sweet little girl, Payton, has Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE). Although she is quite the miracle by surviving and thriving despite having the disease for over half of her life, the journey has not always been smooth sailing. We have had to make so many sacrifices and are constantly reminded of the severity of her condition. It was such a comfort to know that we are not alone in our devotion and love of our pugs. Your momma has shown me that the pain and grief we will one day feel is normal, and I only hope that I can face it as courageously as she did. Next time we are in Chicago for one of Payton’s neurology check-ups, we are going to walk one of the forest preserves in honor of your brother.
    With all of the love that has poured out from Life of Stubby, I know that you, Tiffy, have found one of the best homes. Looking forward to hearing about all of your adventures!
    Christy (and Payton) from Mascoutah, IL

  10. Hola Tiffy!!
    What a great trip!!!
    Happy Earth Day!!!
    Spongy & Licky