It’s still a Monarchy – dog gone it!

It was fun to have Journey North/ Journey South  – a premier educational Web site that helps students learn about and follow migrations of Monarchs and many other creatures – feature a picture that first appeared in Gooseberry Journal in their Monarch migration news of the week.  You can see the the news reference and link to the photo by scrolling down on this page.

Meanwhile, the parade of Monarchs to Mexico continues to pass over Gooseberry.  We had a less-than-satisfactory visit yesterday at 4 pm in which we saw about 30 Monarchs in a space of about the same number of minutes while walking on Northeast Beach.

The Monarchs were delightful, as always, and every sighting brings a fresh sense of awe of what these tiny creatures are doing.  I also learned from the Journey South Web site that they don’t fly until the Sun and air can get their body temperatures up to 55 degrees! See this slide show for more details.

What made yesterday’s visit less than satisfactory was it was preceded by one of those frustrating visits to a new car dealer in which, after a couple of hours of back-and-forth it turned out they simply didn’t have the car Bren wanted and couldn’t get it – a car they had said before we came in that they had. That meant a late (4 pm) trip to Gooseberry with Eliza and Higgins and we were both tired and my blood sugar was dropping due to my screw up in taking my medication, all of which contributed to an air of general tenseness. That air was peaked when we headed back from East Point and saw there was a couple walking towards us with three unleashed dogs of various sizes and who-knows-what temperment.

I stared at them from a distance – we paused – I maybe shook a fist in their direction, I’m not sure.  Did they see it? i don’t know. Maybe they just were trying to be nice and understood they shouldn’t be doing what they were doing. In any  event, they stopped walking our direction, slowly turned around and slowly meandered in the other direction.  But the whole thing just added to my irritation.

I love the idea  of dogs running free. I wish we could let our two do that. But there are three problems with it.

  • First, large dogs are a threat to small dogs.  Recently in Barrington, RI a small dog was killed by a larger dog at a dog park where both were running free – and the larger dog was a greyhound, not known for their viciousness.
  • Second, dogs running free pose a threat – or at least an irritation – to people who are afraid of dogs.
  • And finally, dogs running free poop wherever they want and even if the masters intended to pick it up – as we do – they frequently don’t know where the dog has chosen to go.  Cleaning up after your pets is just common courtesy to others walking the same paths.

Westport has a leash law. I assume it applies to state property as well, which is what Gooseberry is – but regardless of the law, common courtesy means dog owners should keep their pets under control and that means leashed in public places.I have no problems with the dogs – I do have an issue with the people who own them and behave in this way.

OK – off my soapbox  – the Monarch part of the experience was very postive 😉

I continue to be amazed at total absense of shore birds and appreciate that I have seen what I’ve seen because I’ve been here at the right time of year and day and tide and weather.

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