Firelight Bird Dogs

Firelight Bird Dogs

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Which one to keep?

I am in puppy heaven. Tweed's puppies turn 5 weeks old tomorrow.  Between 4 - 5 weeks is my very favorite age for pups.  They are old enough to be mini-dogs yet are still soft and fuzzy babies.  I am keeping a female but am still undecided on which one.  I usually don't have such a hard time choosing, but the two orange girls are twins and the blue half-mask girl is also adorable.  I might have to close my eyes and just pick one up!  Except for pups who have a large color patch like the girl in the first pic, English Setters are born all white with pink noses and eye lids.  In these pics you can see the pigmentation coming in as well as their freckles.

                                                             Thank yoooouuuuu for looking!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Home, Home on the Range

I wish the computer had little musical notes to add to the title of this post so it would make sense to others and not just in my own little head.  But anyway, it looks like Firelight has a home base!  We love both Kansas and New England and shopped for homes in both but in the end, Kansas won out.  We flirted with a number of lovely properties both east and west but kept reminding ourselves of our priorities: very rural and private; strong wild bird numbers out the front door; price that would allow us to keep our present lifestyle; and easy and low cost upkeep that would not tie us down so we can still load up the Open Range and hit the road.  Well, here is the one house we found that meets all of that criteria and more:

 It is located on the far edge of a tiny town called Netawaka, Kansas and is located at the end of a long drive off of a dirt road.  There is one other house on the road but then no others for a couple of miles, just hundreds and hundreds of acres of farming and habitat.  There are good numbers of quail, pheasant, turkey and deer all around.   The drought has lowered the nice pond to about 1/3 of its normal size but it is still deep enough to hold fish and for the dogs to go swimming.

Interestingly, it is a berm house, or earth contact as they are called here in New England.  This style home is pretty common in the midwest since they are great for ducking out of the winds plus there you do not have to deal with rock - you can simply dig into a hillside.  They are very energy efficient and good models of living "green.".  The electric and heating costs of a home like this are significantly lower and maintenance is also lessened.  Yet the inside of a berm home is indistinguishable from any other home with windows on both front and back and normal ceiling heights.  The center of this home is a cathedral ceiling great room that will be perfect for our casual, companionable lifestyle.   (note: that tall tower is actually the TV antenna for the house and no, the house did not come with it's own Brit, that is Dee :-)   )

Despite the remoteness of this house it is only a 45 minute drive to Topeka and a couple of hours to the major cities and airports in Kansas City, Omaha (NE), and St Joseph (MO).   A real bonus is that it is centered between where Mike's son and daughter and grandson live which will makes him very happy.   We think that all of us, including the pack, will be happy there but importantly we will also still be able to hitch up the OR and spend time anywhere we want.  There will always be friends to visit, new areas to hunt and baby puppies to deliver to their new homes.

Mike is out in Kansas right now trying to close the purchase of the house.  Once that happens he will be fencing in 3-4 acres for the dogs to just run and play instead of being kenneled or shut up in the house.  He will head back here to the cabin in Maine just about as Tweed's puppies will be heading to their homes.  Sometime in April we will be loading up the whole gang and headed......home!