Saturday, August 29, 2015


Tractor and Baler

If you don't GoPro. Alan and I went up to look at the hay field his dad has been cutting and to pace off the distance in some target shooting he had been doing (inch and a half groupings at 330 yards, shooting prone on a hay wagon at gong targets on the hay bale in this story. His new .223 the tool involved.)

Same tractor from the top of the hill, through the gateway using full zoon

Then we went up Seven-County-Hill to take some photos and just look over the valley and the mountains beyond. I have been trying forever to get shots that give an idea of just how high that hill is and how far you can see.

Tractor from the top with no zoom.
Gate is between the two large trees in the center,
one being the hickory tree that Hickory Tree Field,
 to our right here, you can just see the corner of it is named after.
Tractor can be seen through the gate....sorta

It was pretty clear last night, lighting and shadows were good, so you can kinda get the idea from the photos.

And I got the idea to make a GoAmateur video so you can really get a feel for it. The video was shot over Alan's shoulder as we descended the hill on his quad. The blurry parts are because I had to keep my distance glasses on...not enough I couldn't see at all what I was shooting.

Hang on! That blob in the center of the cut field is a bale of hay...the target holder.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Montezuma...all Birds, no Revenge

We ID'd this as a Caspian Tern.
It was as big as the Herring Gulls it was hanging with

Thursday is one of my favorite days of the week. With writing chores done I can putter at other stuff with no deadlines hanging over my head.

Thus when Alan and I were shooting the breeze in the backyard early yesterday morning and mention was made of the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and he said, "Let's go."

We could.


We did.

Great Egret

 Mistakes were made. Two birders. One pair of binoculars. We broke off halfway through and ran to Bass Pro so he could buy himself a pair. He got good ones....which we really wished we had earlier when we were on the ponds in the rain looking at brown ducks and little sandpipers.

It was a great day. One of the best I have ever had birding...ticking off life birds for him like jelly beans in a bowl and a few for me too. It took us a good two hours to drive a quarter mile there were so many to see and hear.

Now comes the fun of sorting the horrible photos we got into was quite dark and rainy in the morning. So many shorebirds were in fall plumage and I am awful at them. Can barely tell a Willet from a whale. Is that a Yellowlegs? Maybe....but which one? I am going to be keeping the Nat Geo and Facebook Bird ID Group busy for a few days I guess.

And of course we saw a nifty little flycatcher, and got a reasonable shot of it, but it wasn't talking. I think it was one of the Traill's splits, but....dang...this is hard.

Anyhow, another great day for the books and a list of 26 IDs so far, with at least four or five others to figure out.

Our chariot awaits at the end of a long walking trail we took

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Liz wanted me to share this because we grew everything but the pan it was cooked in. She was the chef by the way and it was delicious. 

National Dog Day 2015

l to r Gael, Nick, Mike (you can see just how much BCs love cameras)

Mike...he had a tennis ball in his mouth here

Brandy, abandoned at the animal hospital where I worked as a kid
His folks didn't want to pay the bill and didn't want him any more
Their loss, my gain today, so this seems like the perfect time to make an announcement that I had been holding off on. 

First of all I have been blessed with some pretty cool dogs over the years. There have been many, sometimes five or more at a time, but the real standouts are above, Mike, Nick, Gael, the three collies, and Brandy, a dog I rescued from impending death at the animal hospital where I once worked.

I had a lot of fun with all of them.

Now we are turning in a little different direction. I used to show Smooth Fox Terriers for a well-known kennel when I was younger. Soon Alan is getting me a Jack Russel Terrier. They are kinda, sorta similar.

This will be a big change from the eager-to-please cooperation of the herding breeds, but I had terriers before obviously, and they are pretty cool dogs too. Not particularly obedient, but smart and entertaining.

I think Daisy knows something's up....she's been real clingy lately.

I Wonder

If tiny winged ponies flutter through the morning glories just at dawn and pretend the perfect spiral buds are unicorn horns and dance with them stuck to their little foreheads. 

I dunno, but if I should see them I will tell this little one about it.