Wednesday, 29 April 2009

And the cacti get going again.

This is the first post about cacti in this blog because they'd already gone to sleep for the winter by the time I started it so there was nothing to post about them....until now. Now that spring is well underway, they have started growing again...and flowering. I'll have a wait a little longer for the chinopsis hybrids to start putting out their large spectacular blooms but many are budding already so I should have some pretty good shows to look forward to.
At the moment, it is mainly rebutias, echinocereus, mammillarias and a steno that are starting to bloom. Rebutias always put on a good show.
I have tonnes of seeds I collected from hybrid cross matings last year but I haven't gotten around to sowing them yet. The seedlings from last year are growing like mad and looking very well. They are still in the proagator and I'll be taking them out and potting on soon enough. There's adult plants I also want to repot but can't because my back hasn't recovered properly since I pulled it so I'm still restricted as to what I can do.
I recently did a swap with another echinopsis grower in Italy. I sent them a pup of schick 'Candlelight', and they sent me Schick 'Celeste'. A new one to my collection of Schicks.
Those who already know about my cactus growing will know that I started my own breeding programme involving echinopsis hybrids and related types such as lobivia, chamaecereus and trichos. The oldest batch of crosses I produced are now reaching flowering size and I think there are one or two that are budding so I am excited about that. Here's hoping that they have decent flowers on them. If not, on ebay they go.
Here's a photo from today. Mainly rebutia and two echinocereus. The show is just getting going.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Sleet and Wren training pics.

I finally got some more photos of Sleet and Wren flyball training on Sunday. Taken by my sister as I was running them. They are getting there with regards to staying in the hurdles now with just wings here and there if they forget sometimes. They've not done bad being as I usually can't attend training due to having to work most Sundays.
Here's Sleet. She looks weird in all of hers with her back legs tucked under her rather than spread out like all the other dogs seems to do. If you watch her in real life, it's like watching bambi going up and down to the box. She springs over the hurdles like a Gazelle. Very weird!!
She jumps far higher than the 7" hurdles and does better over higher ones.

Wren looks more normal when she jumps. Again, she jumps much higher than the small hurdles. She looks quite graceful to watch and rushes back quickly too for her tuggy. She had a naughty day on Sunday though where she decided to chase one of the other dogs and pinch the ball from their box in the next lane instead of going for the one she was supposed to go for. Little madame.

She'll need more practise with a dog running in an adjacent lane but she never bothered with dogs in the next lane at the two starters tournaments she's been to.

During her second batch of runs, I managed to badly pull my back and I'm still crippled now three days later with two weeks off work sick because of it. All I did was straighten up after releasing her.

Here they are all running around afterwards. Sleet was returning with a ball that had been launched.
And again....
Some of us standing about watching or launching balls. I'd pulled my back by this time so was standing there in pain in this pic. Kath had to take the free run photos after training this time. I couldn't squat to get any myself. Look at that cloudless sky.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Sleet and Wren tricks.

Whilst at our flyball tournament on saturday, I got Kath to take some photos of Sleet and Wren doing a few tricks. Here's a few of them.
Double act: Never done this before because I normally teach them seperately but they just decided to do it. Wren jumps on my back and Sleet weaves between legs. I'll graduate to walking forward with Wren on my back and Sleet can do the walk weave.
Dual heelwork on the same side...they've never done this before either. We haven't done a whole lot of work on this but they seem to be quite good at it. I'll have to work more on it.

Sleet jumps Wren. She then circles me and jumps wren again and keeps repeating until I give the signal and toss the ball.

Wren on my back.

Sleet on my back.