Five Photos, Five Stories #1

A fellow Virginia blogger, Suzi, has invited me to participate in the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge described thusly:  I am to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

Five consecutive days of my blatherings. I apologize in advance. Here goes:

In preparation for yesterday’s big Westie Rescue fundraiser held in northern Virginia, I got my good ol’ country boy, Max, neatly groomed so he could hold his own next to all those canine Beau Brummells in their little plaid outfits.

Just as we were ready to leave, he made a final swirl around the yard and reappeared like this:

Screenshot_2015-05-18-18-31-48-1

Those little green thingies? We call them “hitchhikers.” Never let it be said, however, that regional terms are dead and gone. Here are the names I’ve heard for them since posting this on Facebook for the amusement of friends and family:

Jan calls them “beggar’s lice.” Sue says “tag-alongs.” David in Kansas calls them “stick-tights.” My uncle in Minnesota says they don’t have those there. Ha!

Turns out the actual name for these little green devils is Virginia Stickseed. Sounds rather like an Edwardian author, doesn’t it? “The Adventures of Max the Westie” by Virginia Stickseed. 

I’m supposed to invite another blogger to participate in this challenge. How about you, charming Woodland Gnome? Are you game?

Thanks for reading,

Barbara

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About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. Blogging about whatever happens to catch my fancy - sometimes nonsense, occasionally not.
This entry was posted in Challenges, The Boys and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to Five Photos, Five Stories #1

  1. John says:

    We call them a Burr in Michigan, tough little buggers to remove.

    Like

  2. Oh gosh, are those things alive! Do
    you need to do a treatment to get rid of them? Oh that naughty doggie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. suzicate says:

    I’ve always called them beggar’s lice, but I sure love the term hitchhikers! I prefer those any day to what we are dealing with currently….took the dog with us to Kiptopeke State Park on Eastern Shore, Va and she is now loaded with ticks, and the majority are so small (size of a pinhead!) we can barely see them. We’ve been picking at her for two days. I fear we might have to have her dipped! And yes, we do use Frontline on her, but I guess it doesn’t work as well toward the time it’s almost due for the next month’s treatment. Perhaps I will call those little @#$@%!s hitchhikers since it’s much more polite than what I’ve been calling them, ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh NO! First of all I love Kiptopeke – we camped there a few summers ago. And yes, Frontline doesn’t work as well towards the end of the month. My experience with ticks is that they don’t die until they have slurped up enough blood to get the poison in their system. We’ve found fairly big ones on our boys before that when we pulled them off were dead. And I pulled my own first tick off two days ago. Nice and snuggled in behind my knee. Rotten thing. Good luck, Suzi, it sounds like it might be a bad year for them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • suzicate says:

        Yes, we love Kiptopeke as well and have never had this before, even this time of year. Hubby found some on him as well. He usually sprays himself down but didn’t this time. I sprayed myself with an essential oil mosquito/tick repellent I made last year…so far haven’t found a single one on me!

        Like

      • You made it, Suzi? Is there a recipe on-line?

        Like

      • suzicate says:

        Yes, I’ve found several online. I just googled it. I took several recipes and then altered it a bit according to which oils I had on hand. We bought some at the wildlife refuge center on ES and that’s what gave me the idea of making mine…the one they sell is really good. What is your email? I will look for my recipe and send to you.

        Like

      • I’ll send off-line. Thanks!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Barbara, you fiend (friend without the ‘r’) … From your opening paragraph I was holding my breath hoping my name didn’t come up. But it did. You have told such a charming story here, with your handsome Max (all boy, obviously) and you narrate so beautifully. My attempts will not hold a candle to your clever tales. But I will make the effort, and only because you asked so nicely. I won’t promise “consecutive,” but I will faithfully execute the challenge at hand. And I won’t tell you how often my partner and I have found our work clothes covered in those blessed sticky things. We hadn’t heard the proper names, and so used some appropriately descriptive profanity while picking them off one another. I hope poor Max was patient while you cleaned him up. Your proposed book title reminds me of the tomes penned by Lemony Snicket. I hope it sells as well. Giant hugs to you,and yours Barbara, ❤ ❤ ❤ WG

    Like

    • Ha! Or should I say bwahahaha! Seriously, E., only consider it if you feel as though you may enjoy it. I am doing it because I am trying to live up to on of my Personal Principles which I shall reveal later. And why are my David Austin newly bloomed roses all wilted and shabby-looking? I am beside myself!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m reading Mika Brzezinski’s new book “Grow Your Value: Living and Working To Your Full Potential,” which might interest you, too. It has inspired me to accept your challenge, Barbara, and so I might as well have some fun with it 😉 My roses are drooping in the mid-day heat, too. If yours are newly planted, their roots might not be keeping up with the moisture evaporating from the flowers. Did you see my post today? I tried to cut roses for a visiting friend in the middle of the day on Friday, with the Mayflies buzzing around my head, and could find only floppy, wilted looking stems. I cautioned her to let them soak for a while, then re-cut and arrange them. Cut early in the day, Barbara, like before 8 AM, and you may be able to enjoy some inside. Am waiting with baited breath for your personal principles… 🙂

        Like

      • Can’t wait for the reveal! I feel your pain on the rose front. DA’s are gorgeous but can be difficult at times. What beautiful woman isn’t?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Linda, this is the first year I’ve actually dipped into my wallet and paid the fifty bucks for a rose which I blame entirely on Woodland Gnome and her inspirational David Austin roses. When I saw it last night, I was so deflated. It’s looking much better this morning. I’d love to know which varieties you are growing!! Mine is the St. Swithun which they claim will grow well as a climber. It is planted near my arbor. Fingers crossed I haven’t planted it in a spot which will be too hot for this delicate English lady.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    That photo made me laugh out loud. Good to see dogs are really no different than small children. And why should they be? Life is too short to worry about a little Virginia Stickseed!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Okay, I’m here with the suggestion that you write this book! “The Adventures of Max the Westie” by Virginia Stickseed….sounds like a winner to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jodi says:

    Oh thank you, sweetie, for the smile and laugh! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. nrhatch says:

    Didn’t you mean : “The Adventures of Max the Westie AND the Woodland Gnome” by Virginia Stickseed. ?

    My word, the book would write itself, populated with hitchhikers and beggar’s lice, and tag-alongs and cows and burros AND a well tempered Woodland Gnome.

    Like

  9. Attaboy, Max! You can’t beat a dog for knowing how best to present himself!

    Are these things from the plant we call goose grass..a trailing plant with sticky, beastly things that cling to you as you pass…

    Like

    • Goose grass sounds right, Helen. It trails and has these little sticky things all along the plant which adhere instantly. His entire snout was green but BH got him cleaned up before I was able to snap that particular image.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Poor adorable Max! I’m sure he held his own with the other
    Westies. You can’t beat class.

    Like

  11. reocochran says:

    Max is a magnet for sticky seeds and he sure doesn’t plan to dismay his mistress. I like the challenge you took on, Barb! The author made me chuckle xo

    Like

  12. Max looks happy though. I would give him an extra bone.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bkpyett says:

    We have sticky weeds here too, and some would be called ‘burrs’, though I can’t think of the name of this green one. Another sticky seed is from the forget me knots. Dear Max looks as if he knows what is coming!

    Like

  14. Dianna says:

    That looks like a fun challenge! Thankfully we don’t have those sticky things in our yard.

    Like

  15. redosue says:

    He looks like he’s transitioning from a dog to a herb. I hope he wasn’t hurt by mean ol’ Virginia Stickweed. I think she’s a terrible bully.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m trying to remember if she is a seasonal nuisance or not, Sue. I think she retires once the heat officially arrives, but somehow there always seems to be something else he gets into. Ah, the travails of the country dog.

      Like

  16. KerryCan says:

    Oh, Max–just this once, couldn’t you have stayed pretty? He looks pretty smug, like he had given you his answer to all that primping!

    Like

  17. We call them burr. Our oldest dog was a shepherd chow mix and she run through the bushes like the wind, she was covered in green one day when she came back. I almost fainted. I put her on my worktable and gave her the “summer cut” ..had to. Gosh I love Max, cuddle him for me 🙂

    Like

    • I will cuddle him for you right now. He is clean and staring at me with those anxious eyes because he can tell I’m ready to head out the door. They can always tell, can’t they? I understand completely about the summer cut. You just have to. And I remind myself that all of this preferable to the diabolical roll in a cow flap!!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. These look suspiciously like the hitchhikers that attach themselves to my clothing occasionally. And I live in Minnesota.

    And how, pray tell, did you remove these from Max?

    Like

    • We have this cool little flip-open plastic brush that the airlines provide in a little kit when we fly overseas. It works like a charm. Except BH broke it during this clean-up. I think there’s another one around somewhere because I’m sure we’ll need it again. Yeah, I figured MN wasn’t immune from hitchhikers either.

      Like

  19. shoreacres says:

    In Kansas, I heard them called sticktights, after I — uh — encountered them, and stopped at a local coop to inquire. It’s just as well no one was around when I made the entirely logical decision to change clothes in the middle of the Pawnee Rock parking lot. I believe I might have to tell that story. I need to take a photo of the sweater so I can finish pulling them out, on a really slow day.

    Like

    • Oh NO! Sticktights by any other name are still a menace. Was this in the day before obsessive cell phone video-taking? I hope so. If you were to go viral over something, better it not be in the Pawnee Rock parking lot. I’ll await the sweater story!

      Like

  20. We call them stick tights in MissouREE and they are a PIA!
    I love Max! He gets the most out of life… even though he gets stick tights!

    Like

  21. He’s sending you a message ??? ☺ Van

    Like

  22. Almost Iowa says:

    My neighbor dropped a load of sheep manure near our garden. Guess where Scooter chose to roll after his bath?

    Like

    • Oh. My. God. I cannot even imagine, Greg. I am well-versed in the different aromatic qualities of horse vs. deer vs. cow (deer is pretty awful, fyi) but somehow I think sheep would be the worst of all. My sympathies! And of course he did it after a bath. Bad Boy!

      Like

  23. Oh yes. I am familiar. We call them burrs. When I hiked all over Red Hill Cemetery in Lee County, Virginia I musta brought back more than 100. I feel for Max, because my clothes did not have feelings.
    We seldom get them here, but Sadie enjoys her wire brush. (I stick them on cotton pads after.) Does Max enjoy a good brushing? Poor guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. kristieinbc says:

    I don’t think we have those plants here. If we did I’m sure Fergus would have discovered them by now. Max looks hilarious. I’m quite sure the universe is going to send a similar thing back my way for saying it, but it’s true. When I saw this picture on Instagram is laughed so hard! 🙂

    Like

  25. Sticky burrs! UGH. Trying to keep the ones in the yard from going to seed – they love all this rain. Max looks like a Westie rescue we had named Sherman. Always loved his little ice cream cone like frosted tail and that little hair curve from ear to chin (He never knew he was short…ruled the neighborhood for almost 20 years)

    Like

    • Oh, you had a Westie. Aren’t they a marvelous breed and you are, of course, the heart of a German Shepherd in that fierce little shoebox body of theirs. You were so lucky to have Sherman for almost 20 years -what a joy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They are fiercely devoted and protective. Sherman, like most of our animals, had a time finding us. He was highly blue blooded from a distinguished line, but his owner dropped him off at the vet to be put down as he kept attacking his new wife’s Goldens and those 2 dogs were terrified of him. Sister in law grabbed him up and took him home – only he refused to let her German Shepherd inside his own house – even went through a window to insist the dog should leave and find a new home…even thought the shepherd was old and had hardly any teeth left – much less the interest or ability to fight for position. Sherman arrived at our door unannounced and sister in law quickly left. We looked at Sherman and said, “well, you have to ask permission from KC cat” – who was large, ancient, and under the couch watching. Sherman walked up and started to open his mouth to which KC whacked him across the face and said. “I was here first. Here’s my rules.” And that was that. They, being close in size became fast friends, shared the cat door and backyard. We often saw them sunbathing like beached whales side by side backing in the backyard. KC relinquished guard duties gladly…(He’d never really been that interested in that chore.) As you say, Westies have a giant personality….there was the time he herded 3 large dogs under a pickup truck and would not allow them out….and one poor meter reader came in the yard by mistake – no biting, but the terrified man was being held hostage under a bush until we could get out there to rescue him…Fierce is an understatement. (hmmm, Sherman stories may need a post.)

        Like

      • Good morning, Phil. I meant to reply much sooner to this post and then…..forgot! Imagine that! Apologies, truly. I’m happy for Sherman that he found his fur-ever home at last. Many of the Westies who end up in rescue are medical cases usually related to their quite common skin issues.But a fair amount are behavior issues too. Without a terrier-savvy owner, their behavior can quickly degenerate into one of dominance and that simply won’t do in this house. Max is a very gentle soul with an enormous affection for other dogs. That tail of his goes in curlicues when he encounters another one regardless of breed. All of the Westies at the rescue event were extremely sociable; you can be sure the ones that aren’t simply didn’t come. I love that Sherman was tamed by an old grumpy cat who wasn’t intimidated by his bravado at all. I do think Sherman should have a post. With pictures, please.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. ritaroberts says:

    Hi Barbara, Yes we have those dam sticky thingies here. My dog Ben was always getting stuck all over with them and he had a long coat so it took forever to get them out. Sometimes we had to cut them out. However Ben was good and stood still while we picked those burrs of him. My other half has just informed me that were he lived in South Shropshire they used to call them Love Hearts because if you were walking through a field they stuck to your clothes. I think he’s pulling my leg don’t you.

    Like

  27. Behind the Story says:

    Under the green, I can see that his fur is silky and well groomed, neatly cut on his chin line. But how do you keep a dog from having fun!? Do you remember the song from Sound of Music: “How do you solve problem like Maria?” Something about “How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh dear, the best laid plans… Luckily, they do brush off pretty easily. Better than burdock any day. We call them Sticktights as well.

    Like

    • I find they brush off easier when they’ve dried a bit. And the dog’s fur makes it easier too. They came off Berkley much easier than Max whose coat is coarser. Burdock, huh? I need to look that up. Might it be the little football-shaped things? Those are awful.

      Like

  29. We don’t call them anything because we don’t have them. Except I am itching to take a comb to Max. I am a fur puller on Pippa and because Snowy is albino I remove anything instantaneously.

    Like

  30. Grace says:

    Oh, how I hate it when Popeye gets covered in those! I don’t know if ours are the same but I just call them pricklies! 🙂

    Like

  31. Pingback: Five Photos, Five Stories: Hot | Forest Garden

  32. Heyjude says:

    Stickybuds over here, they stick like velcro! I like your name ‘hitchhikers’ though and I really think you ought to write that book. “The Adventures of Max the Westie” by Virginia Stickseed. Brilliant!

    Like

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  35. Angie Mc says:

    Cute as a button! Nothing green here in the desert that sticks…just glochids, ouch!

    Like

  36. Beggars lice?? Ew.

    I hear Ms Stickseed had quite a time of it getting her book published but she stuck at it.

    Like

  37. We have those little buggahs out here, too and our Max is always wandering into them. They can be the absolute devil to remove form his hair. The names we use for them are unprintable, however.

    Like

  38. Outlier Babe says:

    In downstate New York, we just called them “stickies”, and came home daily with them all over our jeans and socks. They stuck even when dried and brown, although less so then. The word “burr” was reserved for the balls. slightly elongated (your “footballs”?) covered with Velcro-like hooked hairs. Those were particularly nasty if caught in sweaters–or hair. They will feature briefly in a post of mine.

    I never encountered them upstate, or in Ohio, North Carolina (the few times walking in the woods there), or Florida (same).

    I laughed at this and loved Max all the more. What a good dog! You made him feel fresh and beautiful, and so he was ready to run and have fun–a perfectly natural reaction!
    🙂

    Like

  39. I’ve always called them hitchhikers, too. I hate those thing! And I agree with you about Virginia Stickseed. Too funny! 😀

    Like

  40. cat9984 says:

    Kind of like getting kids ready for a party or church. 🙂

    Like

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