It’s Autumn for sure. Rain, leaves on the ground, cooler weather, and the last harvest from the garden. I like this time of year because it isn’t so hot and dry. And I am a pretty lucky dog, because my peeps are stalwart, and they will take me to the trails for a hike in almost any weather.

When it’s very rainy, they sometimes dress me up (I think I look pretty good in green, don’t you?)

You may wonder why I like to go to the woods so much. There are lots of reasons. I’m a big dog, with very long legs, so I like to get out and run and be wild. When we go to the woods I can be free, without a leash. And even when we take the same trail, it always smells different. There are smells of wild animals, and dogs who have walked before me, and leaves and trees rotting and making fertilizer for the forest floor. When it rains the smells are different.  And then there are the animals that we see and hear. While I’m looking down and sniffing, Caryn is looking up at the birds. The other day, on our way into the woods, she saw this:

Which I know doesn’t look like much. But it was clearly a pileated woodpecker – he was so big we could see him way up in that tree, and then he flew past us close by, but Caryn couldn’t get a picture of him. Here’s what they look like:










(photo credit: Marc Barrison)

And let me tell you that, for a bird, they are BIG! As big as 19 inches, they are easy to see in the forest, especially with that cool red hat on their heads. They have a lot to say – listen to one here  – and when they eat bugs that are hiding in trees, they whack away at the bark and into the tree, and they make these perfectly square holes, like this:

I am glad I don’t have to do that to get my food. Caryn serves my dinner in a bowl. I hope woodpeckers don’t fly around with permanent headaches…

Hummm, other things about the forest. …Teedally-dee, I asked Caryn what she liked and she said, “I like the trees.” It’s true, the main thing about forests is the trees, isn’t it. So many trees! There are big trees and little trees, and the big ones can be massive. Like this beautiful fir tree (you’re seeing about a third of it here):

Trees are pretty cool. One day I’ll write a whole blog post on trees. To entice you to come back and read it, I’ll tell you one thing I found out about them: trees talk to each other!!!!!

I asked Caryn what else she liked about the forest, and she said “texture”.


So she showed me how there are so many different shapes in the forest…from big leaves

to tiny ones

to leaves shaped like moose antlers

and then there are the mosses and lichens, which have interesting textures all of their own

“It all adds up to texture”, she said…, “a feast for the eyes.”

It’s interesting to see things through human eyes sometimes. I hadn’t thought about texture. Just the aromas and the sticks to chew on and running up ahead on the trail and waiting for my peeps to catch up.

Sometimes there are surprises in the woods, like this:

Ah, yes, Halloween rocks. Happy Halloween! That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so be good and stay safe out there ♥♥♥