We’ve been doing some travelling this fall, though not on the Yellow Brick Road, and have actually seen all the above-mentioned animals. It all started with Jeff’s trip to Seattle for his Boards at the end of October. I decided to go along, so I could visit my friend Stefani, of Emerald Park Farm, while Jeff was taking tests & attending lectures. We had a wonderful visit, which was also a great educational opportunity for me, as Stefani is an incredibly knowledgeable Dexter breeder. It was great to be able to have some of the finer points of conformation explained, with good examples at hand.
After that weekend, we took a couple days & went on up to Anacortes, then took the ferry out to Friday Harbor for a whale-watching tour. What a fabulous experience! We were hoping to see some orcas, as they’re common in that area, but though they didn’t show up for us, we did see some other exciting things. As we were heading out on our tour, the crew explained that there was a pod of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins nearby, which was not a very common occurrence, and that they were quite a lot of fun to see, so they were our first “destination”. It was estimated to be a group of about 70-80 dolphins, and they were as energetic as the crew had promised. We spent quite a long time with them playing in the wake of the boat & “bow-riding”…so neat!
When another tour-boat came along, our Captain waited for the dolphins to key-in on the newcomers, then we moved on, out to deeper waters where a few Humpback Whales had been hanging out recently…also a rarity. We found one, off by itself, and watched it for a while…surfacing for air & blowing several times, then tails-up for a deep dive. Then we went even farther out, near Canadian waters, to find the others. There were two that had been hanging out together, which the local crews had named by their identifying marks…Split-Fin & Split-Fluke. Their synchronized swimming was mesmerizing.
While there with those two, our Captain was radioed that the other lone whale was headed our way, and it showed up right before he decided it was time for us to head back in. As he turned the boat around, somebody shouted, and we all looked just in time to see a huge splash. One of the humpbacks had “breached”, where they make a powerful jump straight up in the air then crash back down with a splash. As rare as it is to see these whales in that area, it’s even rarer to actually see them breach, and the crew were beside themselves with excitement…as were the rest of us. We saw two or three more breaches, hard to remember now, it was so exciting. Absolutely amazing! We didn’t care so much about not seeing orcas after that.
One week after returning from Washington, I made another trip, this one to Georgia for a Dexter. I had previously sold one of my girls, Ebony, to friends Herb & Susan Lea, on the condition that if she had a heifer I could buy it back. I had Ebony AI’d to Woodmagic Hedgehog III at the time and was desperately hoping for a heifer…and she didn’t disappoint me. Mrs. Tiggywinkle was born in April, and was now weaned & ready to come home. I picked her up this Monday, Nov. 10, and she is currently getting settled into her new home. And I now can look at her with more educated eyes…and I like what I’m seeing. She’s a well put-together heifer, and seems to be a sweet girl. I can’t wait to see her mature!
Now that cold weather is upon us, I’m ready to stay home for awhile! Besides, I have a new heifer to play with now. And though her picture may look out of place in this post, I want to introduce NewHope Mrs. Tiggywinkle. Welcome Home!