It's been quite a week here at PFHQ.
The joy of new puppies was tempered by the reality of a very sick puppy, who still is not out of danger. I have spent 4 of the past 5 afternoons in the Vet's office ... so, you can imagine how many wild Florida pictures I took this week.
That's right ... about two.
Gumbo was only maintaining, not improving so yesterday I rushed him to the Vet after work. He was having trouble walking and did not want to put his left hind leg down. THAT was a totally new symptom added to his general malaise.
It actually helped though, as his high fever and lameness narrowed the selection of possible problems.
This puppy may have Lyme or a similar tick transported disease. The Vet wanted to keep him on an IV and begin a course of antibiotics ... so Gumbo is in the hospital for a few days.
I'm just going to switch my paycheck direct deposit from the credit union to the Vet's office.
Here's a non puppy, actual wildlife photo ... believe it or not.
Yes, I am not turning PF into a DogBlog ... it just seems that way this week. The plant in the picture is a Cherokee Bean growing amongst my blueberry bushes.
About midweek, I was picking some blueberries in the evening, when the hummer showed up to feed on Cherokee Bean nectar.
I set my bowl of blueberries on the hood of my broken down old truck (this is the South, you know), and slung the camera off my shoulder and into position.
Immediately the hummer buzzed off.
I sat down to wait, and about 15 minutes later, the hummer returned.
Cherokee Bean is a wonderful tough plant that is only showy for a little while, but it's worth the wait. Pretty indestructible, a quality that makes it highly desired here at PFHQ.
Above, the glamorous, high tech equipment of the nature photographer.
When the hummer flew off at the sight of the camera, I grabbed an old bucket of drywall compound and sat down on it to await his return.
We spare no expense here at PFHQ in the construction of our wildlife photography blinds.
This is where Gumbo and I slept Thursday night. I think now, as sick as he is, that the decision to do that and keep him hydrated with Gatorade during the night was a very important one.
I'm thinking right now how amazing it is that this time last week, I had not met him yet, and now he's stolen my heart and on my mind constantly.
Puppy power I guess.
Speaking of that power, Bear is doing just fine and keeps us in stitches. We are spoiling him while his brother is away in the hospital.
One of this week's events that didn't get posted was this blueberry cake Emma and Corinne made from fresh backyard blueberries.
It was incredibly good with coffee ... one piece was not enough.
My usual self discipline went right out the window.
Maybe this one pic sums up the whole week.
I did miss one incredible photo opportunity this week.
At twilight a few days ago, I carried sick little Gumbo outside in my arms for a bathroom break. As I got to the end of our little stone walkway, there was a rustling in the oak tree in front of me.
Still holding Gumbo, I looked up, expecting to see a pair of tree rats chasing each other.
Suddenly, out of the tree swooped a swallowtail kite just 10 feet in front of me. He was only a few feet off the ground.
I stood there transfixed with the little pup in my arms instead of my ever present camera as the kite swooped back and forth in front of me, over and over again.
It was right there ... so close, so preoccupied with something on the ground that I could not see ... perhaps a lizard or small snake. The kite did not want to give up and it seemed to go on forever.
All the while, I'm saying, "Oh my God, Oh my God ...", not believing what I'm seeing ... not believing that my camera was behind me on the porch, not in my hands.
And then the kite swooped up to normal treetop level, circled twice, and slipped away.
With trembling hands, I set Gumbo down to do his business, grateful for the moment, hoping it might come again someday when I'm ready.
Ce la vie, no?