Categories
Out and About Pug Life

Centennial Lakes Park in Late October

This afternoon, my mom, my puggles, and I visited Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minnesota. These photos were taken from 3:13–4:10 p.m.

Walking labyrinth/meditation maze
Prairie grass
Pugsley
Missy
Pugsley and Missy
Missy
My mom and our puggles next to a Rotary International clock at the entrance
Categories
Out and About Pug Life

Leaf Peeping 2022: Excelsior, Minnesota

For my third outing leaf peeping this year, I visited Excelsior, Minnesota, with my mom and our two puggles. I took these photos today from 11:42 a.m.–12:11 p.m.

Small plane that started flying over the Excelsior Commons as soon we got there
Scarecrow in someone’s yard
Licks Unlimited
Port of Excelsior
Tommy’s Tonka Trolley
Staircase to a pier
Pier Four
Missy, Pugsley, and my mom
Categories
Personal Life

My Dad Agrees to a Rare Family Photo, With Conditions

Sometime within the last week, I bought flags for my mom, my dad, and myself. I did this because I wanted a family photo on the Fourth of July, since I realized there weren’t any photos of my dad on this blog.

I almost forgot about my photo opportunity this evening, but luckily remembered just as my dad was about to go upstairs to his bedroom. When my dad came outside this evening for the family photo, I told him where I wanted the photo—by a tree—but he started yelling loudly at me and saying he can’t go down that far in our yard.

My dad is in a walker and likes to stay at home in the kitchen, presumably because it’s hard for him to get around. (With that said, he always liked spending most of his time in the kitchen even when he wasn’t in a walker, which basically amounts to all my life.)

Back to the story, he said he needed to be in front of my mom’s flower garden. But not only that, he insisted that he rotate his walker such that a compost bin and his old SUV in our garage are my background. Yet my parents got to have flowers as their background. When I asked if we could rotate ourselves a different way—so that the compost bin and his old SUV in our garage are not by me—my dad started crying loudly. Interestingly, he stopped crying immediately after I let him get his way.

Indeed, I acquiesced, since I wanted a photo with the flags on the Fourth of July. The photo below, which was taken by me with my smartphone, is probably the one where the compost bin and garage show up the least (my head is blocking most of it).

My dad’s T-shirt reads, “RUNNING THE COUNTRY IS LIKE RIDING A BIKE,” which is apparently a reference to President Biden falling off his bike. Most of my dad’s shirts have a political message.

In other news, I’m eight months sober. No alcohol, no nicotine, no drugs. Also, a hard pass for Delta-9 THC, which became legal in Minnesota on July 1. If everyone else in my family followed suit, many of our problems would dissipate. #NQTD

Note: The backward flag was unintentional (at least on my part).

My family holding flags in our yard on the Fourth of July

UPDATE, 07/04/2022: Since I’m not one to end a holiday (or any day, really) on a bad note, here is a photograph of the grand finale of Chanhassen’s fireworks display at Lake Ann. I stood across the street from Paisley Park to get this photo. It’s where I was last year as well.

Chanhassen’s fireworks display at Lake Ann (I was standing across the street from Paisley Park)

UPDATE, 07/05/2022: I took a portrait of just my dad this morning. Now I have recent portraits of my mom, dad, grandpa, and grandma. Although I recently visited my grandparents’ house, my dad stayed home. This portrait was taken in the same place as the photo with the flags from yesterday evening. The lighting is harsh and could have been ameliorated by using fill flash, but I currently do not have a flash for my Canon camera. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to get one.

Portrait of my dad

UPDATE, 07/08/2022: While watching “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News (with Raymond Arroyo filling in), I discovered my dad’s shirt is a reference to a video taken by a reporter named Nikki Schwab.

Categories
Out and About Pug Life

Visiting My Grandparents for the First Time During the Pandemic

Today, my mom and I drove to see my grandparents in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. I had not seen them in person since the pandemic started, though my mom had. It was nice to see them, since it seemed like it had been so long. The temperature was mild, it was sunny, and there was no noticeable wind, which were all perfect for hanging out in their backyard during the start of the Fourth of July weekend.

Pugsley
Missy
My puggles, mom, and grandparents
Portrait of my mom
Portrait of my grandma
Portrait of my grandpa
Portrait of my grandpa and grandma
Categories
Out and About

Late Spring at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Today, my mom and I checked out the 40,000 blooming tulips and completed the Three-Mile Walk at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota.

Red, orange, and yellow tulips
Pink tulips
Red and white tulips
Idyllic path near the beginning of the Three-Mile Walk
Athyrium filix-femina, the lady fern
Fallen Quercus rubra, the red oak
My mom sitting on a bench
Fallen cones from Pinus wallichiana, the western Himalayan pine
Scenic view
Male red-winged blackbird on cattails by a pond
Mushy path in a bubbling bog
Signpost along the Three-Mile Walk
Categories
Pug Life

Carver Park Reserve Off-Leash Dog Park in Autumn

Today, my mom, puggles, and I made it to Carver Park Reserve Off-Leash Dog Park (that’s a mouthful) in Victoria, Minnesota. This dog park is actually the only dog park we knew about after getting Pugsley, and it wasn’t for quite some time that we found out about all the other dog parks in the area.

According to the Minnesota DNR’s Fall Color Finder, now is the perfect time for fall colors in Victoria. However, fall colors this year are not as spectacular as other years because of the drought we had this summer. Nevertheless, it was a nice day to visit a dog park and get some photos.

Missy and Pugsley by a fence
Pugsley and I looking at each other
Pugsley by a fence and entrance to the area for small dogs. Ours were the biggest dogs there.
Missy and Pugsley take a break off the path to enjoy the smell of grass
Pugsley smelling more grass with my mom and Missy walking toward Lake Zumbra in the background
A nice portrait of Pugsley in the grass
Missy walking over some fallen leaves on the path
Categories
Out and About Pug Life

My First Visit to Stillwater, Minnesota

On October 9 (one day before my birthday), I visited Stillwater, Minnesota, with my mom and our puggles. This was my first trip to Stillwater, and, boy, have I been missing out! It’s a beautiful, touristy city on the St. Croix River and Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

They were also having their Stillwater Harvest Fest at Lowell Park on the river, though I did not know about this until I got there. It was crowded and, I’m sure, relatively difficult to find parking (see where we parked in the last two photos).

Here are 19 photos I took today. All but the two from the restaurant, which were taken with my Google Pixel 4a, were taken with a Canon EOS R and kit lens.

My mom and our dogs after arriving at Lowell Park
Pumpkin sculpture
Boy on a bungee trampoline
Line for amusement park attractions
Missy getting petted by children
My mom and our dogs by the St. Croix River with the famous Stillwater Lift Bridge in the background
Boat on the St. Croix River
Black Letter Books
Pugsley and Missy drinking water outside a store
Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop
A much bigger dog next to Missy
Festive display next to outdoor dining
Chestnut Street and the Stillwater Lift Bridge
Patio for Domaćin Restaurant & Wine Bar
Roasted vegetables. Delicious!
Where we found parking on hilly 2nd Street
View from 2nd Street
Categories
Out and About

Road Trip to Tennessee

For Memorial Day, my parents and I traveled by car to visit the family of my brother’s fiancée. All but one of these photos were taken when we stayed at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch in Missouri, though I do have more photos that were taken with my iPhone. Unfortunately, I can’t open the photos taken with my iPhone on this Linux computer because they are .heic files, which this computer does not recognize. That being said, I am grateful the weather cooperated when we were at the Gateway Arch, since these are some of the best photos I’ve taken with my Canon EOS R.

A portrait of my mom in front of the Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch next to the St. Louis skyline
My mom walks our dogs by the Gateway Arch. (Yes, the Hyatt is dog-friendly.)
Missy and Pugsley near the Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (in Tennessee)
Categories
Out and About Pug Life

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park at Peak Fall Colors

Today, my mom, my puggles, and I decided to visit Charles A. Lindbergh State Park in Little Falls, Minnesota, because it was the closest state park at peak fall colors according to the DNR’s Fall Color Finder*. It was a decent state park situated near the Mississippi River. These are the photos I got. (* Update, 12/29/2020: Because of today’s political climate, I am compelled to add that I don’t agree with the political views of the historical figure for which this state park is named.)

My mom and our puggles stand on a bridge over a creek
Maple leaves in full flame
My mom and our puggles in the woods
Missy smiles amid a bed of pine needles
My mom and Pugsley smile for the camera on a bridge
Here we are back at the entrance near the parking lot
My mom sits on a bench close to the Mississippi River
Sign for Charles A. Lindbergh State Park
Categories
Gear

Buy a Hummingbird Feeder, and the Hummingbirds Will Come

A couple months ago, I read a gear review on Wired.com about hummingbird feeders. Since my mom is a huge hummingbird fan and has tons of hummingbird decorations, I told her to read the review. We bought a hummingbird feeder—and, later, a second one—and ever since we have been inundated with hummingbirds. If you like hummingbirds, it makes so much sense to have a hummingbird feeder (or two) so you can enjoy hummingbirds every day rather than waiting for perhaps one the entire summer.

Even though the high was around 60 degrees today, and I’m guessing the hummingbirds are beginning to migrate from Minnesota, it wasn’t long before I captured this hummingbird at one of our feeders this evening.

A hummingbird drinks sugar water out of a hummingbird feeder

The hummingbird feeders we use cost $30 on Amazon. The ASIN for the feeders is B00P91VK4U, so you can just copy and paste that into the Amazon search box. We followed the instructions for the sugar water that were included with the feeders, and the hummingbirds seem to love it!

My mom has a view of the hummingbird feeders from her new home office, which I assembled

My mom had previously counted about 20 days in a row seeing hummingbirds.

And that is so much better than just one sighting for the entire summer.