Here is how most mornings in these parts go:
The alarm goes off sometime between 5:30 and 6AM, depending on when we went to bed the night before. (Lately, Sherlock via Netflix Instant has been keeping us up - so good!) I usually get up first and start Nathan's breakfast, make the coffee, and feed the dogs. Then I sit at my computer for about an hour or so, working on a fiction project (currently: the first thirty pages of my novel, which are due in workshop in just a few short weeks) while taking short breaks to tend to Nathan's breakfast and/or make him lunch, depending on how awake he is after he gets up (Nathan is very bad at mornings). Nathan leaves for work at around 7AM, and then the house is (mostly) quiet and I make good progress on my writing. I keep at it until the dogs start pacing, whining, wrestling near my desk, banging into my chair - basically, until they convince me that it is time to go for a walk, no more excuses, they don't give a damn about fiction at all. And because they outweigh me and I love them, I save my work, close my laptop, and we head out the door.
We walk the same loop nearly every day, though sometimes we switch up the direction (walking it backwards makes them think we're going somewhere new). The loop is about 1.25 miles long, and between sniffing each inch of sidewalk, peeing on every tree, attacking sprinklers, and rolling in the grass on the best lawns, this journey takes us about 30 to 40 minutes, give or take. I don't know if I've just been paying better attention, of if the ever-so-slightly cooler weather has woken up the world, but lately we've been seeing some weird things on our walks. In the last week alone, we have come across:
- Magnolia seed pods, bursting with bright red seeds (seen in first photo above).
- A fallen bird's nest, which the dogs sniffed thoroughly.
- A turtle, who took one look at the dogs and then immediately retreated into his shell.
- An orange cat, which pulled a small snake out of a bush and proceeded to torture it, as cats do.
- Not one, not two, but THREE other sets of matching dogs, walked by dutiful owners. (It's really strange, but it seems the majority of people in my neighborhood have two nearly identical dogs. Including me, even though one of mine is fat.)