Thursday, January 14, 2021

Remembering Agramonte

Ten and a  half years ago, Agramonte and I celebrated my birthday in Batavia, Illinois. In his third year of life, the purebred Tibetan Mastiff was such a good friend:

He was our canine Grandson (Nieto). Our human Neitas took part in the celebration (Why are there only 7 1/2 candles on my cake? I think they know why!):



They welcomed Agramonte into their home just before Christmas in 2007:


He knew he was loved:

Agramonte played in the snow. His winter fur was so dense that he could sleep in a snowdrift:

We first met him when we "migrated" back to our second home in April, 2008. Agramonte was 5 months old:

He grew up very rapidly. Here he is at 10 months of age:

When one year old old, he weighed 108 pounds and his mane was growing:

Neighbors sometimes thought our granddaughters had a lion on a leash. He loved the girls and was very protective of them, not in a fierce way but he would stand between them and any possible threat. One day I walked Agramonte with them to a small playground in a nearby park. The girls played on the swings and slides, so I decided to walk Agramonte a little way down the path. However, when we reached a turn where he could no longer see the children, he stopped dead, sat down and absolutely refused to go any further. I tried to make him stand and lead him on until I realized he did not want to lose sight of his treasured little friends:   

Here he is at 10 years of age in 2017, as he watched me barbecue a chicken in the back yard. If he wanted to, he could have overpowered me and inhaled that bird:

Moncada, another Tibetan Mastiff and Agramonte's little "brother," joined the family in 2018.  This is how the mastiffs spend most of their days:

A few days later, Cazador, a black Standard Poodle puppy, made them a doggie threesome:


Agramonte, the alpha, greeted the newest member of the pack:


Agramonte always loved the snow. His mane became huge during winter:



We last visited Illinois and saw Agramonte in early April, 2019. Sad to say, this was my last photo of him, with Cazador, back in September, 2018:

Our Illinois family flew down in April 2019 to join us for a short but memorable vacation on the Florida Keys.  "The sun comes up and the sun goes down. The hands on the clock keep going around..." And then there was the Coronavirus.

Tranquility Bay sunset:




April memories: Sedate Black-necked Stilts in formal garb, reflecting... 


...and a Northern Cardinal. There are old traditions-- “When a red cardinal visits your yard, it’s a visitor from heaven”. . . "The red cardinal bird symbolizes the phases of restoring when going through great difficulties with greater hope in God"... "Seeing a red cardinal after a death can be a message for you from the divine"... “When a cardinal appears, a loved one is near...,”

During our last visit to Illinois in May, 2019, it was clear that Agramonte's health was failing, He retained his sweet disposition despite a loss of energy.

The COVID restrictions have kept us apart since then. 

Despite treatment, his attempts to walk became increasingly painful and impaired. Finally he could not even stand up. For a large breed at 13+ years, his "dog age" calculator says that both he and I are about the same age. 

The veterinarian just made a home visit and helped Agramonte say goodbye.

A little spark of consciousness has been extinguished, and the universe is somehow diminished.

Goodbye, Agramonte, you big friendly, fluffy, furry phlegmatic doormat of a dog.

Sunset in Batavia, Illinois:

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Linking to:

Fences Around the World


Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

BirdD'Pot

Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Our World Tuesday

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Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display
________________________________________________

 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Crops & Clips: Flashback to January, 2018

As I do each month, I enjoyed looking back over my archived photos, taken three years previously, to remember how things were then and maybe get some idea of what to expect this year. As usual, I searched for images which reflected favorite memes: critters of all kinds (especially birds), skies and clouds, reflections, flowers and fences, as well as scenes which speak for themselves. 

We kicked off the New Year with a visit to the local Bald Eagle nest, where the male (Pride) and female (Jewel) were tending to their eggs.  They were laid on or about December 7 and expected to hatch 35 days later, on January 12 (the first egg actually hatched two days earlier, on January 10.)  

On January 1, Pride was standing guard...


...and Jewel was incubating deep in  the nest:


We witnessed an incubation exchange on January 6, when Jewel (on the left) flew in and replaced Pride:


On January 22, I captured some of my favorite eagle moments, as the pair exchanged nest-tending duties. The female (Jewel) was sitting high in the nest. Soon after we arrived, the Male (Pride) flew in and joined her, sitting to the right of her in these images. Both looked down into the nest but we did not see the eaglet(s). The adults interacted for several minutes. 

Jewel seemed to be reluctant to turn over duties, but finally she flew away and disappeared behind the nest to the east.



One of the two eaglets present at this time disappeared between January 24-27. The surviving eaglet fledged successfully on April 2. 

View from the gravel road through the local Wounded Wetlands as rain threatened, on January 9:


A male "Gray Ghost" Northern Harrier flew methodically over the wet prairie:



A Loggerhead Shrike, another gray bird on a gray day:



Yellow-crowned Night-Herons had populated the rookery and soon would be developing breeding season plumage with plumes and bright yellow crests:


Just ahead, a Bobcat crossed a grassy field:



Brown Thrasher with fiery eyes:


A male Common Yellowthroat:


An American Kestrel on a flimsy perch:



I stitched together multiple images of a Gray Fox as it crossed the gravel road:


Great Egret early morning liftoff:


Little Blue Heron in flight:


Tiny Blue-gray Gnatcatcher:


On January 28 I obtained my first  photo of the surviving eaglet as it was being fed by its father:


Full Super Blue Blood Moon rose over our backyard on the evening of January 30...


...and at sunrise the next morning, set over the Wounded Wetlands:



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Linking to:


Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters

BirdD'Pot

Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Natasha Musing

Our World Tuesday

________________________________________________

Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display
________________________________________________