Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gosnold's Hope Park, Hampton, VA

The dogs are going stir crazy staying in the house! It rains for days, then it's bitter cold (by Virginia standards, anyway!) and then it snows! So I pulled out my Christmas present from last year, a pair of LL Bean snow boots, and I took them to Gosnold's Hope Park for a walk.
It was pretty quiet at the park. A few hardy joggers. Mostly just snow covered fields and park shelters.
While I was picking up a pile, a man in a truck stopped and said, "I don't envy what you're doing--but you're a good person for doing it." Just then Sammy kicked a big pile of snow all over me!
What is that smell?
The pond is frozen. No one sitting on the bench feeding the ducks. You may notice, too, that I had to put the old "I heart NY" collars back on. Their new beaded collars kept coming over their heads and falling off in the snow. They still have the beaded tag collars. Come on, Spring!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oxford Run Canal Trail, Poquoson, VA

After 5 days of rain and a day of snow--the dogs were really ready to get outside and walk somewhere! Anywhere! So we drove to Poquoson and walked on the Oxford Run Canal Trail.

The start of this little trail is right next to the Poquoson Library and City Hall. We did a dog dancing demo there one Saturday last year and came across this little gem.
As the name implies, this is a trail along a little canal. The path is flat gravel and easy to walk.
It's not the prettiest time of the year to be walking through the woods--but there's something to be said for silent, winter trees. We went one time to walk on this trail in the summer; and Sammy came home with so many ticks, that I thought I'd wait till winter to go back.
Even in winter, it's a nice walk. Sammy barked all along the way! When we got back to the parking lot, one of the ladies that I've taken dog training classes with showed up in her car. She said, "I heard Sammy barking and thought he was loose!" I live over 5 miles away from this park but was surprised that she came looking for us when she heard Sammy barking. His barking is becoming infamous!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pet Blogger Challenge

 Today I'm taking the Pet Blogger Challenge. It's good to stop every once in a while and take stock.

1. When did you begin your blog?
I began my blog in June of 2012 shortly after my birthday.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
My original purpose for starting the blog was to share different places around Hampton Roads that were dog friendly. I like to take my dogs with me as many places as I can; and I'm always looking for parks, walking trails, pet-friendly restaurants. I thought, if I'm always looking for places like that--others must be looking for places like that, too. So if I can help them out with showing the hidden treasures of Hampton Roads, that would be great. And ever since I could remember, I loved postcards. Love getting them and love sending them. This seemed like a way to have perpetual postcards!
3. Is your current purpose the same?
My current purpose is still the same. I think I've met my goals because I've had people email me or message me on Facebook and ask me more extensive questions about the places I've blogged about so that they can take their dogs to those same places.
4. How often do you post?
I try to post once a week. I walk my dogs somewhere--a park, a beach, a trail--almost every day but don't seem to have time to blog about every walk. And we walk at the same places sometimes so I don't want to blog about the same places over and over again. 
5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
I don't publish on a schedule because I don't always have time. I usually publish something on the weekends. I try to make all my topics "post-worthy" by having some photos and finding out interesting facts about the places we visit.
6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.
I spend about an hour per week writing my blog. And I probably spend about an hour per day visiting other blogs. I usually visit other blogs on my lunch hour at work. I feel like I know some of the other bloggers that I follow--even though I never met them face to face.   
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?
I think I measure the success of a post by how many comments/questions I get about it. I don't really look at the numbers very often. But when I do, I'm sometimes surprised by them. Some of the places I visit I think are really wonderful--and those posts sometimes get less traffic than places that I find mundane and everyday.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
I would like help with some of the gadgets. I'm still not sure what all the gadgets do.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
My goals for the blog in 2013 are pretty much the same as when I started it. My goal is to visit a new place every week and post it on the blog. I'm sure my hounds will love it!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Beaverdam Park, Gloucester, VA

This morning we were in Gloucester for some other business and decided to visit Beaverdam Park. The main entrance is at 8687 Roaring Springs Road, a few miles off Route 17.
As you enter the park, there is a huge parking lot and the Ranger's station next to the lake.
The lake has been in existence since 1990. The flooded areas consisted of open fields, woods, wetlands and about 3 miles of streams. There are lots of noisy water fowl. The park rents canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, and jon boats.
There are several trails. A hiking trail, a multi-use trail, an exercise trail and a nature trail. We picked the nature trail that went along the lake.
Sammy and PG really wanted to go into the water! And it was so cold! They were intrigued by the geese and ducks. I didn't let them go in--the sign at the entrance said, "No Swimming!"
They had to settle for crossing the bridge instead!
There are lots of picnic tables and benches along this waterfront trail. PG thought this one looked like the perfect place for someone to sit and paint au plein air! We will have to return in warmer weather and try some of the other trails. Or bring along our paints!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG