A lively walk

As we approached the little zoo in Atlántida, a large songbird dive-bombed Benji in the road. Twice (he might well have caught it a third time). This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture.

A block later, Benji suddenly ran behind a car parked at the zoo, and a goose loudly launched itself into relative safety inside the short chainlink fence. This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture. (Why are the geese outside their pen?)

On the way back, Benji encountered a dog, but didn’t notice a second one, inside a trash container. This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture.

Dog just jumped from trash container
But honest, it really happened
So what did I get a picture of? Sticks.

dog throwing sticks on beach

Yes, those sticks from two weeks ago. The crooked one, our favorite, has gone up and down the beach a few times since then.

A good stick is hard to find

When we began to walk with Syd’s dogs, Syd pointed to an area that would flood, come winter. That seemed unlikely at the time, but sure enough —.

For the last few months (it’s spring now) the dogs have joyfully frolicked in the water there, Benji settling in like the water dog. Yesterday he not only did that, he also rolled in it. Unfortunate, because the “pond” is drying up, and becoming mud. And, given cows that sometimes graze in the area, rather smelly mud at that. Cleaning a dog that smells of cow dung is not my favorite thing, so …

… today I took him to the beach instead. Our usual walk is about three kilometers (a bit under two miles). Depending on the hour, sunlight level, and wind, we walk one direction or the other, but one thing is certain: during the half kilometer on the beach, I will be throwing a stick for Benji, into the waves, the entire time.

But only if he drops the stick directly in front of me, or very close. Which he does. Sometimes he actually throws it in my path.

And good sticks are not always available. Much of the crap that washes up ends up breaking. So, when I get a good stick, I like to leave it in the dunes at the end of the walk. I took a picture a few days ago at the east end; thinking it remarkable that one in the foreground had been with us for at least four walks (good stick!).

sticks for the dog, Atlántida, Uruguay

Today we started again at the west end (afternoon; bright sun behind), and I was amused to find a collection of three sticks, obviously mine, at the west end, the buried boardwalk.

sticks for the dog, Atlántida, Uruguay

Here one has joined the collection at the east end.

For some reason, brings to mind T. S. Eliot, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

No, sticks. Silly dogs and sticks.

The jacketed dog

A couple months ago, we approached an older dog, complete with dog jacket (almost an obsession in Uruguay). Benji was eager to engage the target. I told him, no, we don’t hassle older dogs, but it turned out to be young, and very eager to play, and though loose, more or less inclined to stay within the borders of its large yard.

I say its large yard — I actually have no idea even now to what house it belongs. Its owner cares enough to worry about him being warm, but not about being loose and possibly hit by a car. Go figure.

We saw him the other day, and the two chased each other around that yard. The little guy has a tighter turning radius, so it’s not as one-sided a chase as might appear. However, when I noticed Benji grabbing the little guy by his jacket, I decided enough is enough,put Benji on the leash, and continued toward the beach.

The little guy followed. So, next thing I know, he’s followed Benji into the water (Benji loves it when I throw sticks for him, and loves to splash around in the water).


Something in me says that a jacket designed to keep the dog warm in the air might have the opposite effect in the water. Maybe not. It’s probably polyester.


And with all the running, it probably makes no difference. But it’s winter here; this was a t-shirt/thin hoodie/windbreaker day. Not for the first time, I had to ask myself, is this dog in the water with its jacket my problem? Is it my responsibility?

Answer: absolutely not.

A block shy of our exit from the beach, little dog turned tail and headed home.

We’ll see him again.

Today’s walk: three observations

Actually yesterday.

  1. An interesting roof enhancement. Probably to be finished with stamped metal sheets. The spacing of the whatever-you-call-them horizontal slats appears to large for plastic imitation-clay tiles.

Wood framing for a second roof over quincho, Atlántida, Uruguay

2. Well, this is moving at a decent clip.


Compare with the photo I posted on March 7:


Granted, a “dry” construction house could have been completed in this span of time, but this seems fast compared to another construction on the same street, which I’ve documented.

3. Duneshrooms, next to the dead snakes.


Syd has collected some edible mushrooms recently during dog walks in Villa Argentina, at the base of eucalyptus stumps. Which seems a reasonable place to expect mushrooms to grow. But here are some growing out of — what? I have never seen mushrooms in the dunes before. And OBTW a meter away (top) are the dead snakes.

Two dead snakes, where snakes shouldn’t be, then two clusters of mushrooms where mushrooms shouldn’t be. OK, maybe not massively weird, like elongated skulls and impossible stone construction (I’m foreshadowing: we’ll be exploring in Peru and Bolivia in July). But, a little weird nonetheless.

Beach. Wheel. Dog.

OK: granted, one of my more worthless posts: but here in the off-season, odd shit washes up and you have to (maybe) wonder about its origin. In this case a wheel.


In context, with the Oriental Spinky-faced Sand Hound.


Create a short story based on this in 50 words or less? Not sure I can. But try?


Dead snakes in the dunes


A few days ago, at the end of the boardwalk, edge of the beach. Why snakes would have been there is beyond me. No obvious evidence of what killed them. A month or so ago, I encountered a local man trying to kill a snake at the other end, near the parking area. I told him it wasn’t harmful. But he wanted to kill it anyway, “por las dudas” — just in case. Idiot!

No respect

I have not much effort lately to pick up the trash the fishermen leave behind on the beach. Today, walking barefoot, a clear piece of fishing line caught my eye. For some reason, I bent to pick it up. It wasn’t very long. Only then did I see what my unconscious eye had already spotted.


This is why I have almost no respect for those cerdos humanos who fish on the beach.

The season ends

A dreary, stormy weekend ends Semana de Turismo, as Uruguay refers to Easter week. Which means it’s over — the high season that runs mid-December through mid-March, and includes this past week. Flash back to a couple of summer sightings:


Vacaciones — a reminder what many people associate with the beach I take for granted year round.


A fleeting tribute to a significant amount of time.