Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Chincoteague Views

Aerial view of Chincoteague Island - from the Point (south end of island) to Wildcat Point at the north end; the white line above the island is part of the beach on Assateague.

A pony herd on the way to the holding pens on Assateague Island - Saltwater cowboys have been cropped out of photo.

Sailing between the mainland and Chincoteague Channel


Today appears to be a beautiful one - especially since I discovered my favorite weatherman was snatched up by a rival station back February, and I can now see his forecast several times a week. Nick Carter's contract "was not renewed" by the NBC Denver station, KUSA. I ranted about it in this blog some time ago.... Last night, while trying to ascertain channels available for background noise while doing research, I managed to click onto KDVR, Fox channel 31 - and there was Nick in all of his glory!! I will be watching their news and weather whenever Nick is scheduled to be on!

I hope that the number of chicks I was left with is 10 - I counted 10 when I got here, and I have had 10 at each head count - but something managed to get into the pen (not the coop) last night. I know this because I had given the chicks a handful of chopped apple pieces and there were 8 left when I put them in the coop last night. There were only 5 pieces left this morning - of course, it might have been field mice having a huge picnic.... I don't know.... I met new clients yesterday: two 12 year old Border Collies, named Sophie and Walt. They are absolutely lovely! And so loving - even though Walt knew there was "something up" - he kept giving his Mom these terribly woeful glances and eye rolls. But he licked me before I left, and so I am accepted as the family's new pet sitter. Sophie? I had a grand time massaging her spine and rubbing her belly... she was an easy conquest. Lucy and Pepper have been out for a morning walk with me, and both are now sound asleep. The chicks are enjoying their feed and fresh water and the new day... I'm getting ready to go to the bus stop and go home to my apartment to see my kits. Besides the kits being ravenous, and convinced that I'd never return, I'm sure that Gimpy has wreaked more havoc on my window screen - I plan to replace it on Thursday or Friday.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Farm Photos

A Booted Bantam rooster

Kune piglets are friendly - especially if you have food!

The Barred Rock is both a good egg producer and a meat chicken....

Saturday in the Country

I had a nice quiet night out in the country - and shall have 5 more... I put the young chicks to bed at 8 last night, having had a nice long walk with Pepper and Lucy around 6:30. There is some cloud cover this morning, so while it got light around 5, the sun is not yet shining. Jim, my brother-in-law, was kind enough to ferry me out here to Brigadoon so I would not have to make multiple trips with my supplies (being my food and drink and my books to read) and clothes. Lucy and Pepper were ecstatic to see me, and after loving them and giving them a treat, I walked through the house and around the yard. The chicks are adorable, ugly, and hysterical at the same time. Their bodies are about the size of my fist, and their feathers are just starting to grow out in their tails and wings - and two of them have feathered legs. A couple of them did not want to be cooped up last night, but I caught them and gently placed them inside their night-time house. When I first went over to look at them in the afternoon, one orange chick had caught a big worm, and it announced the fact to everyone! Then it had to run to make sure the others didn't steal it. It ended up standing with its head in a corner of the pen to be able to gobble down the tasty tidbit.

Jess Jackson, a co-owner of Rachel Alexandra, announced late yesterday afternoon that she would not be running in the Belmont. Chip Woolley, Mine That Bird's trainer, immediately contacted Calvin Borel, and Calvin has agreed to ride the Bird in the Belmont. If Mine That Bird wins the Belmont, he will be the first horse in 14 years (since Dust Commander in 1995) to winner the Derby and the Belmont. - And, if Bird does win, Borel will have won a person Triple Crown on two mounts. Me? I'm cheering for Mine That Bird! And I'll probably pick another horse to run as an exacta bet.....

Niece Olivia just graduated from Johnson and Wales in Denver, and I hope to be able to attend her celebratory family get-together this afternoon in Niwot. It'll be nice to be able to sit and chat with Tracey and David again (Olivia's parents). - Not much else going on at the moment: even though I do miss the kits tremendously. But I'll see them tomorrow morning! - The Denver Nuggets lost the Divisional title to the LA Lakers last night. And the Denver Rockies fired general manager Clint Hurdle after 7 years - but they say they have offered him another position in the club. I've always liked Clint Hurdle - he certainly does deserve the nickname of "Mr. Nice Guy"!! Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Photos

The seasonal creek that runs behind Kathy & Jim's house - 28 May 2009

My Miss Piggy hat and me before the Bolder Boulder - 25 May 2009

A bright splash of color - flower by the roadside, Boulder - 28 May 2009


It's bright and sunny and 55 degrees outside right now; and the kits are sunning on the patio, while keeping an eye on Gimpy, who is eating peanuts. I had wondered which squirrel was bold enough to attack my window screen in an attempt to get food and I got my answer yesterday morning - Gimpy is the culprit. I've been feeding Gimpy since I moved into this apartment - I first felt sorry for the guy because it looked like someone or something had taken a combination saw and rasp to the bridge of his nose, as well as tearing a strip of fur and skin that was about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide off his side, and he was dragging his right hind leg. He was a bloody mess! He now has a slight limp, and his fur has grown back on his nose and side - but the fur on his nose stands up like a crewcut, so he's pretty distinctive.

Boulder news - The triple murder-suicide was committed by the husband, who was known to have a temper. He was an ex-firefighter and had worked for Boulder Police 30 years ago. It was a planned action, and the man left detailed funeral and memorial requests for himself, his wife, and their 23 year old son. It's so sad. .... Ex-professor Ward Churchill will get a one-day hearing on July 1st regarding his reinstatement and/or monetary compensation for the loss of his position at CU. .... We have had a rash of car tires being slashed, and about 10% of the tires were on police vehicles. The culprit was caught with knife in hand outside a police substation, having just slashed two tires on a police cruiser. The 31-year-old man, who has confessed to slashing the tires on over 46 vehicles, says that three things are to blame for his crime spree - radiation from the Rocky Flats Arsenal, braces that he didn't want in 1992, and his mother. .... And the rumor mill is working hard up in North Boulder - the neighborhood families where the red kids live have received an anonymous e-mail stating that the mountain lion sighted earlier this week is eating the livestock at the Waldorf School at a rate of one critter per night. I have spoken with David and Shawna Snow, who own and operate and live next to the school, and this is not true. (And, no, they are not related to my brother-in-law!)

Chip Woolley, the trainer of Mine That Bird, says he will wait until Rachel A's owners make their announcement about her entry in the Belmont before they decide upon a jockey. .... D Wayne Lucas is taking both Luv Gov and Flying Private to run in the Belmont. ... Friesan Fire, who was the favorite in the Derby and had a disappointing race in the Preakness, was checked out by Dr. Larry Bramlage - he has a good excuse for not doing well - he has a stress fracture in his left foreleg and a bone chip in his right fetlock. He will be out of training for at least 3 months.
And I will be house sitting out in Brigadoon for the next 6 days... am not sure about photos for the blog - but i will write! Have a good weekend!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009



Cara (or how I would appear as a cat)

Lucy checking something out....

Something has caught Lucy's attention...

Lipizzan Horse foals on a visit in Vienna

Lippizan foals (from the Piber Stud) visiting the Spanish Riding School in Vienna

"Winged" Cat; Mountain Lion Near

It wasn't a dry day at my house yesterday; as I stepped outside to walk the red kids in the afternoon, I was met with gusty winds, light rain, and huge thunderclouds. It had cleared by the time I reached Boulder Station, but my place had a good 30 minutes of light rain. I laughed when I got off the bus to walk Rosie and Remy yesterday morning; I leave the bus at the corner of 19th Street and Riverside Avenue, and ysesterday, there at the stop was a large sign warning of prowling mountain lions. (I'll try to remember to take my camera along today and take a photo of the poster.) The reason I laughed was because at that corner, on one side of Riverside is the Tara Performing Arts High School, and on the other side is the Waldorf Kindergarten School for ages 12 months to 6 years. I guess I'm terribly callous, 'cause all I could think of was sweet, tender meat for the cat. But I truly think the main draw for a mountain lion in that area are the new livestock babies at Waldorf - they have 3 new baby goats and 2 new lambs.

A cat a little over a year old is getting tons of attention in Chongqing, China - a seemingly normal kitten, at the age of one, the cat started growing wing-like appendages. The vets in China say that the growths do not harm the cat; and last year in May, there were documented reports of feral tomcats in Seichuan Province that had also developed "wings". It is being passed off as a genetic mutation, as the cat's owners won't let the cat be experimented upon. .... In thoroughbred racing, a stallion can be the father of anywhere from 1 to 300 foals a year; therefore, if a horse is described as a half-brother (or -sister) to another horse, they share the same mother, and not the father. Paul Saylor owned the half-brother of Mine That Bird prior to the Derby, and a share of the colt was sold for $485,000 to Dogwood Stables, run by Cot Campbell. Dogwood has named the colt Brother Bird, and he is in training with Todd Pletcher. .... Someone in South Dakota has won the PowerBall jackpot, so I guess I'll continue to plod along in my usual way **sigh**

It is beautiful out, but the weather people just said that we might get thunderstorms with pea-sized hail between 3 and 6 this afternoon. My kits are out sunning on the patio - and there is a lone squirrel sitting on the mat inside eating peanuts. I had really weird dreams last night and didn't sleep well. All I want to do this morning is crawl back into bed and pull the covers up over my head!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday's Waters

Crater Lake 11

Crater Lake (National Park), Oregon

Grotto Falls Gatlinburg Tennessee Enhanced

Grotto Falls at Gatlinburg, Tennessee

 Assateague State Park MD, July 2006

Ponies on the beach - Assateague State Park, Maryland

An Actual Dry Day?!?!

For the first time since last Thursday I have been able to see the Back Range... The peaks that were mostly brown rock on that day are once again glistening with a new mantle of snow. The sun is shining, very few clouds in the sky, and the robins started singing at 4:30 - so I got up and took my walk. The kits are sunning out on the patio, after both of them stuck to me like glue in bed last night - I think they overheard plans for me to start house-sitting for a new family new month. I'll be walking the red kids twice a day today and tomorrow, and then Friday morning before I head out to Brigadoon to take care of Lucy and Pepper and the new chicks for 6 days... the new client is just a couple of blocks away from Brigadoon, so I'll meet the family (both 2 and 4-legged) this weekend, to see if we fit together.

I do realize that it's a ridiculous hope, but I bought two PowerBall lottery tickets for tonight's drawing. $222 million (before taxes, I know) - I think I could live on that. It is nice to dream, you know! ... The town was rocked yesterday by the discovery of 3 bodies in a house in the Whittier neighborhood. Police are now saying that it was a planned murder and suicide - it was a couple in their 60s and their son who had recently returned home from college. It hasn't yet leaked out which of them planned it. ... Calvin Borel is still waiting to find out which horse he'll ride in the Belmont Stakes on June 6; Rachel A whom he won the Preakness with, or Mine That Bird on whom he won the Derby. ... And there's a nice video covering the career of Eddie Delahoussaye that's available for viewing on-line at It's 13 and a half minutes long - be prepared to sit back and enjoy!

The weather folks say we'll be sunny and dry through the weekend, with highs in the 70s and 80s. - I think I've heard that before somewhere. - It got down to 40 last night, and my heater came on, which surprised me. The apartment heating system is usually turned off from May 1 through October 1; if it's cold out, you just have to layer clothing, even when you're inside. Maybe this new management isn't so bad after all - this I say with 3 squirrels sitting on a mat inside the patio door, eating peanuts! Gosh - it's already hump day! Have a good rest of the week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dreaming of Florida

Poe Springs Park, Alachua County, Florida-A small backwater on the Santa Fe River

Poe Springs Park, a part of the Santa Fe River, in Alachua County

The Old Senator  (600 year old Live Oak tree)

"The Old Senator", a 600+ year old live oak in St. Augustine

Ocala - An Old Barn - 8/10/2007

An older barn near Ocala

Wet, Cool Tuesday in Boulder

It's 50 degrees and misting outside. They weather folks said we'd have low 70s yesterday, and we got up to 59; they say 60 degrees here at noon today with a high of 65 around 5 p.m. I'll believe it when I see it. We've had an inch and a half of rain since Friday, which might not sound like much, but for this semi-arid climate, has been a very pleasant surprise. And it's been cool as well, with temps in the upper 50s and lower 60s - not the mid-70s that was forecast. - The floor of my apartment is made of square tiles - three different shades of what I call "industrial" brown (light, medium and dark) that is laid in a random pattern. I had the door open for the kids to run in and out last night, as usual, and didn't really think about it.... This morning, I got up in the semi-dark, and as I was walking to the bathroom, stepped on something soft, damp, and round, that *squished* under my foot. Yuck! Banichi apparently brought in several of his dead earthworms last night and left them lying on the darker-colored tiles. I guess I'm going to have to sweep the floor before I go to bed these days...

Calvin Borel exercised Mine That Bird yesterday at Churchill Downs; Rachel Alexandra was also worked, but her owners and trainer have yet to announce their decision about running her in the Belmont. So Borel and the Bird crew are kinda sitting on a bubble.... A young jockey at Arlington Raceway brought his horse over in front of jockey Rene Douglas's mount Friday. Douglas' mount clipped heels with the horse in front of her, and flipped, somersaulting Rene over her head and then falling and rolling on top of him. The horse is reported to be fine, other than shaken up from her fall. Rene Douglas underwent a 7+ hour surgery on his back, and now seems to be paralyzed from the neck down, and may never walk or ride again. The young jockey who caused the accident has been suspended for 30 days for "dangerous riding." ... And the Denver Nuggets have tied the series with the LA Lakers at 2 and 2.

Lovey is having a ball with the dampness. My desk is covered with muddy pawprints, and she delights in coming in, sitting in front of the PC monitor, and shaking like a dog, flinging rain water and mud al over the place. Banichi, of course, is having a great time playing with the earthworms, but otherwise doesn't appreciate the dampness outside. The screens on my window and patio door are provided by the management, of course. They use the new lightweight plastic screen (of course). Yesterday, while I was out cheering for the Bolder Boulder racers, the squirrels had enough waiting for me to come back inside so that they could eat. Luckily I had put the metal child gate inside the window so the kits couldn't escape. It also kept the squirrels out yesterday. When I returned inside, I found a large hole ripped into the screen, and small pieces of screening laying on the patio. There were also two squirrels who looked angry sitting outside the patio door. I guess I'm going to replace the screens with good old-fashioned aluminum screening - hopefully that will keep the squirrels at bay.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bolder Boulder; No Voice Left

Members of the Centennial State Pipe and Drum Band were playing one block away from my place. They also kitted the statue of Olympic Gold Medalist Frank Shorter (marathon runner) with a kilt and tam.

The first part of the Bolder Boulder race was the Wheelchair Section - the race began at 7 a.m., and I was cheering for the winner when he passed me at the 9K point at 7:20. I kept cheering whenever another participant appeared - and before the last of the Wheelchair racers went by, the First Wave of Citizen runners came by. A man from Kenya came in first, and one from Ghana came in second. I gave a big cheer for the first woman runner to pass by - she's a Scot, and she won. Just before 8 a.m. brother-in-law Jim ran by - I hollered his name and cheered, and he waved and yelled back. A few minutes after 9, sister Kathy ran by; waved and yelled at me, as I was yelling at her.
I have to admit I had a lot of fun. I yelled almost continuously from 7:30 until 11:15, when they moved the citizen race, which had slowed down to a trickle, off the road and onto the opposite sidewalk. This was done to clear the way for the Elite Runners - internationally known road racers, who ran like they were possessed. They knocked several minutes off the current record, finishing the 10K before 30 minutes had passed. I say "they" because it was a group of Ethiopian runners who passed by me in a knot, and then finished up almost simultaneously at the finish line. - Now, here comes the part I have to admit to... I was wearing a pink felt pig hat the whole time. I was the only person cheering the runners on in a 3 block section, and after people finished the race, and were walking around to cool down, they came over and chatted with me, and told me how much it meant that I was there, cheering them on, in the last 1/4 mile before the entrance to the stadium. I now have no voice. I truly will be a dog whisperer tomorrow when I take the red kids out!

Memorial Day

Uncle Elmer, Aunt Hazel, Uncle Joe.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Usual Mix

Rock of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar leading in the 2002 Irish 2,000 Guineas

Boulders in Bright Angel Creek

Boulders in Bright Angel Creek, just before it joins the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

Nell Gwynn's house

The facade and sign at Nell Gwynn's townhouse in Windsor

Sunday's Saga

Wow. The new grass in the backyard seems to grow every time you look away from it. There is a fine veil of green appearing all over the black topsoil that was spread. My neighbor who complained about me feeding the birds and squirrels walked out into the backyard this morning, and left her patio door wide open. Next thing I heard was her scream from inside her apartment because one of my friendly squirrels had gone inside her open door by mistake - she chased it out and it ran to the fence for protection. Luckily it didn't to a 180 degree turn and run back into my place, where it had been eating peanuts. Not much going on... since I don't have the bird feeders up, more earthworms seem to be committing hari-kari on the concrete patio. I didn't give this much thought until I found that Banichi (with his penchant for string) was gathering dead worms and lining them up in the bath tub. - Oh, the joys of having a little boy!

Let's see.... Horses. Zenyatta, the undefeated 5-year-old mare, ran her first race since the Breeder's Cup Distaff (7 months ago) and won easily by 4 1/2 lengths; she was ridden by her regular jockey Mike Smith. She's a perfect 10 for 10. * In Ireland, at the Curraugh, Mastercraftsman won the 2,000 Irish Guineas for trainer Aidan O'Brien; he was ridden by Johnny Murtagh. The winner is a chestnut son of stallion Danehill Dancer. ... The Denver Nuggets lost their first home game in the Western Division NBA playoffs last night - the Lakers now lead the series 2 to 1. ... The Bolder Boulder is expected to have more than 50,000 participants tomorrow. I know of one racer from Washington, DC, two from Jacksonville, FL, three from Boston, and three from Seattle. The Boulder Chamber of Commerce says that the out-of-towners spend an average of $285 per day into the local economy, and quite a few come early for the race to acclimatize to the altitude, and then stay for another week to be tourists.

High temperatures have not been what the weathermen have expected - they said we'd have temps in the 70s, with occasional rain. We've had temps in the low to mid-60s, with quite a bit of rain. I am not complaining. The ground can use it! We haven't had searing temps with low humidity since last Wednesday, when it was 91, with a humidity of 8%... This has made a nice break, other than the fact there have been showers for the Boulder Creek Festival.
I finished reading Clive Cussler's Corsair last night - I couldn't go to sleep until I finished reading it. If you like action-adventure that's tied into news headlines, it's definitely a book for you to read! I met a new friend on FaceBook yesterday -we had agreed to be friends several days ago, and I read his profile and looked at his photos with interest, and then looked up the city he lives in - Accra, Ghana. To my surprise, in the middle of Instant Messaging yesterday evening, Samuel gave me a call from the marketplace in Accra. He seem to be a very nice young man, and wants to make contacts/network all over the world - and he is very interested in community development. I hope things go well for him.
Have a great Sunday! And please remember those veterans who have given their service and their lives to keep our nation free.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Boulder's Memorial Day Weekend Celebrations

Waiting alongside Boulder Creek for the release of the duckies at last year's Great Rubber Duck Race during the Boulder Creek Festival...

The first wave of runners leaving the starting line in last year's Bolder Boulder...

About mid-way through the Bolder Boulder course...

Memorial Saturday

We had an actual, honest-to-God thunder and lightning storm with rain last night. I was on the phone with Rosie's Mom (more about that later), when I heard what was either rain or hail hitting the edge of the patio. It was rain, and the drops were making wet spots the size of old-fashioned silver dollars on the patio concrete. Lovey was sitting by the door, but there was no sign of Banichi. After we finished our conversation, I looked out the door and still couldn't see the Neech-man anywhere, so I called him. The wonderful thing about Banichi is that he comes when he is called - and he came out from between the boles of the aspens and the privacy fence like a silver arrow. He looked quite aggravated with me, 'cause I made him run in the rain - but when I gave him and Lovey some turkey breast, everything was then OK....

When I started to walk the Irish kids yesterday, their Dad told me that Rosie had had a bad night, and that her right hind was bothering her. She pulled on her lead when we left the house, and about half-way through the walk, she was no longer pulling, but she did not indicate any kind of distress. We stopped at Suki and Boo's prior to the last two blocks home walk, and both Rosie and Remy took off at a run when I took off their harnesses. After 10 minutes of play in the backyard, i hooked the kids back up and started to walk them home. A neighbor stopped me to chat, and I noted in my mind that Rosie laid down in the grass, while Remy was sitting next to me, begging for attention. Got them home, with Remy pulling as always, and Rosie walking along calmly. When I turned them loose in the house, Remy went out back immediately to check on the men working on the pond; Rosie got a drink of water and laid down on the sofa. Duuuhhh! It should have clicked in my mind that she wasn't feeling well, as she would normally have bounced out into the backyard with Remy... In any event, she refused to eat her brunch, and her Mom gave her her medication for her leg pain, and with 45 minutes, she was back to the usual Rosie... So she's back on her pain/nerve Rx for the next few days...

For the past two days, we haven't been able to see the tops of, or, the mountains, at all due to fog and low clouds. Today, it's grey and cloudy, but you can see all of the Front Range. After the rain of last night, the teeny, tiny grass blades in the black dirt at the edge of the patio look as if they have tripled in height. I think I mis-wrote recently that the Bolder Boulder was a 5 K race - it's actually 10 K. I think I must have had a brain fart when I wrote 5 K... If any of you are interested in our annual Memorial Day weekend events, please feel free to visit the following URLs - they have tons of info and lots of great photos, too! and/or Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chincoteague Island

Chincoteague - Scenery Supervisor

A gull watching traffic near the Chincoteague Channel

Chincoteague - Adult Toyland

Shops on Chincoteague try to cater to everyone's taste....

View across Chincoteague  Channel

The east side of the island, looking across Assateague Channel to the lighthouse

Grey Friday

Yesterday, the tops of the mountains, foothills and Flatirons were wreathed in clouds and mist. Today one can't see them at all due to the moisture in the air. I swept the patio early this morning, and discovered that some of the grass seed is actually sprouting. There are quite a few patches of thin, quarter-inch high greenery appearing through the black topsoil - at the moment, it looks like rye grass, but I'm probably wrong about that, as most newly sprouted grass looks the same. Lovey was adamant about going outside last night - it was drizzling and in the mid-40s - and I was just as firmly convinced that she was staying inside. She stayed inside (for once). The sprinkler beside my patio just turned on and startled a squirrel - it ran inside, across my reading chair, and then up the cat tree. When I turned around and said "Hey!" to it, it went tearing outside with both kits in pursuit.

The city is gearing up for the big Memorial Day weekend - and I was surprised by a headline in today's newspaper: this is the last year that the Boulder Valley School District will honor graduates with the titles of Valedictorian and Salutatorian of their class. And a group of high school students is planning on leap-frogging the entire 5 K course of the Bolder Boulder, to raise money for charity. - Also in the news, ex-professor Ward Churchill has petitioned the court to make a decision about his reinstatement at CU (and/or his monetary compensation) before the 12 June, so that he can be prepared to teach for CU's fall semester. CU has countered with a 31-page document stating that Churchill should not be re-instated, and that the jury's award of $1.00 to him should show that he does not deserve the amount of compensation he is demanding. They also show evidence that Churchill has not tried to get a job equal to his professorship at CU. (Oh, boy!)....

The Denver Nuggets came back and defeated the LA Lakers last night to tie the Western Division Finals at one game apiece. They play again Saturday and Monday nights in the Pepsi Center here in Denver. - The WWE? - Vince McMahon has accepted the offer of the Staples Center in LA, and Monday Night Raw will be broadcast from there. Vince likes to stir the pot, so I'll probably switch back and forth between the two shows to see what outrageous thing he can come up with. Because they cancelled the Pepsi Center visit, wrestling shows were also cancelled in Colorado Springs and Loveland. WWE has already re-scheduled all three shows for early August. ... Several newcomers to the Triple Crown trail have worked out at Belmont, while Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird have had good workouts at Churchill Downs. The owners and trainer of Mine That Bird have agreed to wait until the owners and trainer of Rachel A. have decided whether they will run her in the Belmont before naming a jockey for Bird - in hopes they might be able to get Calvin Borel back on board the Derby winner. Of course, if Rachel A. runs in the Belmont, Bird will have another "new" jockey for the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Thursday, May 21, 2009




A David Austin English Rose

A David Austin English rose

Nov - 8 Honey bee

A honey bee visiting a flowering vine

Cooler Boulder

It's a little cloudy this morning, and it's 53 degrees outside - and the humidity is 54%, so it's muggy for Colorado. I took my morning walk wearing jeans, and ended up drenched in sweat, so I'm in shorts right now as I blog. The local school teachers have been staging "sick outs" as a complaint against the newest contract offer - a pay raise of 1%, with no further raises for 5 years - and they haven't even received a cost of living raise in the last 3 years. (I'd be a part of the sick out, myself!) - The weather forecast has changed slightly - they are now saying we'll get rain, but it will just be scattered showers over the next 4 days, and it should be clear for Monday's Bolder Boulder race.

My right heel is getting more and more painful - I guess I'm eventually going to have to go to the MD's and get a referral to a specialist. I already know what the diagnosis is, I just don't know if I'll have to be fitted with orthotics, and/or how much they'll cost. The diagnosis is heel spurs and plantar faciitis - I've had it in both feet for the last 10 years, but I guess my walking has really aggravated the right foot; the left foot hurts once in a while, but lately the right foot makes me want to scream. - Lovey decided to let me "sleep in" this morning; since the robins did not sing early, Lovey didn't awaken me until 5:30. And it looks like the alley behind the shopping center to my north is going to be re-paved today.

I picked up 6 new books at the library yesterday - one is Clive Cussler's latest Juan Cabrillo adventure (Corsair) and the latest Margaret Coel book (Blood Memory). I also grabbed a new P C Doherty, two Bernard Cornwell's that I haven't read, and a Susanna Gregory. So if it does rain, I'll have plenty of brain fodder available. Since it's cooler out this morning, both kits are running and chasing each other like maniacs, while leaping over the squirrel sitting in the patio doorway eating peanuts. Once again, Remy and Rosie did not want to go back home yesterday - they wanted to stay and play in Kathy's backyard following our walk. - I have yet to see the new Star Trek movie, but my friend Michael has seen it twice and says he needs to see it once more to catch all the nuances and action; as you might guess, he likes the new film. - And, finally, I received an e-mail from one of my husband's distant relatives, wanting more information on a family in Berks County, PA. I sent them all the information I had on that particular family, but haven't yet heard anything in return..... Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Country Views


Swampy Sunrise

Get out your easel

Sunset over Medicine Bow Peak

Amber Waves Of Grain

... Amber waves of grain ...

Weather, Critters

There was a nice breeze yesterday, so while we made a new record for high temperature, it was bearable - and then we had high-based thunderstorms build most of the afternoon. We saw no rain from storms, as it evaporated before getting to the ground, but there were several small fires caused by lightning strikes. It's already in the mid-60s, but we're not expecting another high record today; in fact, tomorrow's high will be only in the upper-50s, with low 60s Friday and through the weekend... nice spring weather, and with rain, to boot!

After our walk yesterday, I stopped off at Kathy and Jim's with Rosie and Remy. The trouble came in trying to leave and take them home - neither red kid wanted to leave, and I spent 30 minutes gathering them up. I could have used a treat as a bribe, but I don't like to do that, even though I may have to start. When we arrived there, Suki greeted us, but there was no sign of Boo - then I heard voices to the west, and saw Jim and Connie walking back along the ditch, and Jim was carrying Boo, who had climbed the fence and left on an adventure.... Banichi scared me yesterday; as long as I've had him, he's never coughed up a hairball - he did yesterday and then immediately disappeared. He didn't reappear for another 6 1/2 hours, and then was quite blase about it - turns out he'd made a nest in my jeans drawer that that open just a crack....

Robins started singing at 4:35 this morning, so that's when I got up and went walking - I couldn't get back to sleep. Of course, that meant I walked while it was nice and cool outside, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. ... The Denver Nuggets lost to the Lakers in the first playoff game by 2 points last night - and the Staples Center, which is hosting games 1 and 2 of the playoffs, has offered use of their place to Vince McMahon on Monday night, hoping to avoid the clash between the WWE and the NBA. ... I've read all my library books, and have just ordered two more books from the History Book Club, so I'll be stopping by the public library for new reading material for this (possibly) rainy weekend. Have a happy hump day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Little Critters

Baby Fox

A fox kit keeping a look-out

PICT2955ac Lovely Fawns Encounter

Twin fawns in a mountain meadow

Female Cougar and her cub

Mother and child - cougar/mountain lion/puma

Hot Boulder; Local Sports

Things are back to normal around here... the kits are running in and out, and we're expecting to make a record high temperature for this date. It's bright and sunny out, and I'm expecting the sprinklers to start at any time, meaning that Lovey will come in and leave muddy tracks on me. Sports are the big news items around here - the controversy over Todd Helton's hit in the 9th inning last night (was it his 2000th hit, or was it an error?); the crush of folks expected in Boulder over this up-coming weekend for the Bolder Boulder and several other events; and the fact that the Pepsi Center (in Denver) signed a contract with WWE wrestling to appear on Monday the 25th, but now that date is also the 4th Playoff game at home (in the same Pepsi Center, at the same time) for the NBA Divisional Finals between the Lakers and the Nuggets. Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, says he has a contract and he doesn't plan on changing venues, as his show is almost sold out. I find all of it funny.

More than 50,000 people are expected to converge on downtown Boulder for Monday's 31st annual Bolder Boulder 10k race. Thousands more will flock to the 22nd annual Boulder Creek Festival, running Saturday through Monday, while more than a dozen high school graduation ceremonies later this week at the University of Colorado should draw even more visitors. I'm going to have to deal with people overload... A world famous Ironman triathlete was riding his bike here in Boulder and was run down by a car - he's had to have his clavicle pinned back together.... And a 60-year-old lady was out walking with her exercise group, when she was hit by a cyclist on the CU Cycling team. The rider was shaken, the bike was bent, but the lady fell and struck her head on the Boulder Creek Path, and is now in critical condition in an ICU. Be careful when you're walking on the Creek Path!!

If Rachel Alexandra doesn't run in the Belmont, then Mine That Bird might be reunited with Calvin Borel for the race. Jockey Mike Smith, who rode Mine That Bird in the Preakness, has a previous commitment on June 6th and will be riding races in California. So Mine That Bird might get a third rider for the third leg of the Triple Crown. ... Today is niece Sarah's birthday; she and her boyfriend had dinner with her parents last night. ... I was asked this morning if I could house-sit for someone who's going to China in August/September (hmmm... he told me he has a Golden Lab, and when speaking with his current lady, she told me he doesn't have a pet at the moment, but that he used to have a Lab...) - interesting! ... I need to get ready to walk the red kids.... Have a good day!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Jim's bone marrow biopsy came back "Negative" for Multiple Myeloma. Kathy says a great weight has been lifted from both of them, even though they didn't realize it was there. Jim is already embarking on new fix-it plans around the house....

Monday's Picks


The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off on 9 May 2009

Portrait of a Raven

Portrait of a young crow - the person who took this shot says it's a raven, but it's definitely a young bird, and the beak is not heavy/thick enough for a raven's...

Unique and her colt Confiado

Andalusians - Unique and her bay son Confiado

Monday Miscellany

This morning I feel like Mr. Rogers, and want to wander around singing "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..." It's a sunny morning, there's a west wind, and while it was in the mid-40s earlier, it's expected to hit 90 this afternoon. I saw a huge variety of birds during my morning walk, and was followed for about a mile by a raven that kept clicking at me from nearby trees. I also spied a skunk, several squirrels, a fox kit, and a whole bunch of cottontail rabbits. All combined, it made for a good walk.

The kits are running in and out - as they did most of yesterday evening. I spoke with my friend Michael (Jane's widower) for about 2 hours last night. We finally hung up when our cats got too raucous over the phone - Natasha was howling at his end, and Lovey was howling right back... it was really funny. - Well, maybe I should clarify that: they were both meowing at the tops of their lungs, not actually howling... - Tomorrow is niece Sarah's birthday, and this afternoon we get the results of Jim's bone marrow biopsy. I'll pass on whatever the results are tomorrow. .... Nothing much else is going on around here - I walk the Irish kids, as usual, about 10. Denver is in the throes of Nuggets fever, as the NBA team is going to the Conference Finals for the first time in 24 years - facing the Lakers.

All runners in the Preakness came back without injury, and both Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird are already back at their respective barns at Churchill Downs. Belmont Park has yet to meet all of its accreditation standards, but is expected to do so before the running of the Belmont Stakes on June 6. While a decision on running Rachel (in the Belmont) is due soon, three horses are confirmed entries: Mine That Bird, Flying Private, and Luv Gov. Possible entries who ran in the Derby, but skipped the Preakness include: Chocolate Candy, Dunkirk, Summer Bird, and Mr. Hot Stuff. Two other possibles have been named, those being Charitable Man and Miner's Escape. - The day after the Preakness, Calvin Borel was riding a long-shot in a $7,500 claiming race at CD; with a 3 furlongs to go, he headed his mount to the rail, burst through on the inside and won the race. He told a cub reporter afterwards that it was riding the claimers that made him into what he is, and he isn't going to forget his roots.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


They have the most amazing eyes

A close-up of a mountain lion, with many thanks to Roberto DeMicheli.

black bear looking for some lunch

A black bear looking for lunch in Yellowstone

Dogs are a smile generator and a heart warmer - Mazen

"Who's that in my house?"

Will I be accused of plagiarism?

When I looked at the headlines on the MSNBC website this morning, I was amazed to find that someone else had used the phrase "You go, girl!" to head their write up of the Preakness Stakes; then on The Bloodhorse website I saw "Mine That Bird proves Derby no 'fluke'." Gee, I guess I know how to use all of the current buzz phrases! Who'd'a thunk?

The kits seem to be happy to be back at our place - especially in that I let them roam most of yesterday afternoon and evening, even though they spent most of their time on the patio. The management appears to have fixed the sprinkler system while we were gone - it seemed to run without trouble most of yesterday afternoon. But, somehow, I had forgotten how much Lovey adores wet earth... I got covered with muddy tracks, and, at one point in time, I looked out to see her happily sitting in the direct fall of water, while digging in the ground. I can't complain - I did the same things at her age. Banichi has snuggled close to me each night since we've been home, which makes me wonder if his previous owners didn't take him on a vacation before abandoning him...

A mountain lion took another little terrier-mix dog for it's dinner last week; the owners and neighbors are complaining about not feeling safe. They want the DoW to kill anything they deem dangerous; they are the people who chose to live in the foothills area, knowing full well that it is the territory of natural wildlife. They purchased homes and/or built their homes there... what part of wild do they not understand in the word "wildlife"? - They want to be close to nature and then they complain when it rears its (ugly?) head! ... A Yorkshire terrier just south of here (a couple of miles) was bitten by a rattlesnake and passed away. So word has been spread to keep a sharp look-out on your pets and children. ... A local filmed a wonderful video of a bear attacking a "bear-proof" garbage can in the foothills; it shows the bear trying to tear the can open, throwing the can around, and finally, the bear jumps onto the overturned can and jumps and pounds on it for about 5 minutes. The garbage can won. The bear finally wandered away. ... And at a PetSmart in the Denver metro area, there is plenty of trouble. A groomer (who is also the manager of the grooming area) placed a Yorkie on the table to be groomed, then stepped away to answer the phone; a pit bull in an unlocked cage bumped his door open, grabbed and killed the Yorkie. The horrified owners got the call that their beloved pet was DOA at the closest vet office. Then stuff really hit the fan when it was revealed that the groomer was the pit bull's owner and she has received numerous citations regarding her aggressive pet. Both the groomer and PetSmart are facing lawsuits.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

You Go, Girl!

Rachel Alexandra broke an 85-year drought for the girls and won the Preakness. While she did not lead exactly from the starting gate, she led most of the way - at least for a mile of the mile and 3/16 race. Mike Smith kept Mine That Bird near the rear of the pack, and no one would open a hole on the rail, so he took the long way around the outside of the field, and finished a hard-driving second, followed by Musket Man and Flying Private. I had chosen Rachel to win with Mine That Bird second... I had no idea how the rest of the field would finish. According to Calvin Borel, Rachel's usual jockey, she was struggling with the track - the footing wasn't to her liking - but she emerged the winner. Calvin struck her twice with the whip during the stretch run, and the rest of the time just sat chilly, winning by a coasting 3/4 length over his mount in the Derby. Mine That Bird showed that he was not a one-race wonder or that his Derby win was a fluke. He ran hard and battled hard - he just didn't have enough to beat the girl. Musket Man's performance showed that he is a true, hard-working guy that will keep grinding on, no matter what. Flying Private was the surprise to me, finishing fourth after his last-place finish in the Derby - but that's why D Wayne Lucas is a trainer, and why I'm not. - The last filly to win the Preakness was Nellie Morse in 1924. You go, girl!!

Saturday Shots

7-20-07 Black Eyed Susan's Along the Side Road.

Today's Preakness is the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans - here are some wild black-eyed Susans growing along a country road.

 Rachel Alexandra 3493207898_2691fbe7b7

Thanks to Jamie Newell Photography,a photo of Rachel Alexandra and Calvin Borel crossing the finish line in the Kentucky Oaks.

Llanrwst Tea Rooms, North Wales.

The ivy-covered Llanrwst Tea Rooms on the River Conwy in North Wales.

I just woke up...

Sorry for the lateness of this post. I woke up about 10 minutes ago, stretched, looked at the clock and freaked. I guess being back home in my own bed, with the kits in their usual sleeping spaces on me, combined with a cool and cloudy morning, made for a perfect sleep-in day. So I'm writing this blog "blind" today - usually, I've read the local paper, looked at international, national and local news, checked my e-mail, and checked out The Bloodhorse (at this time of year) before I start even thinking about what I'm going to put into this space. Today, you'll get a "cold" blog...

I know that NBC is televising the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico today at 4:30 on the east coast and 2:30 my time. Of course, the actual race won't be started until about 5:55 (EDT) - but the reporters will have a field day talking about Rachel Alexandra and how she's running against the boys, and how Calvin Borel agreed to ride her (one of his usual mounts) and not Mine That Bird. I am surprised that D Wayne Lucas is running Flying Private today, especially with his last-place finish in the Derby... I haven't even looked at the other runners' pedigrees yet... so I have no idea who I'll be rooting for, other than Rachel...

Kathy and Jim returned safe, sound, and pooped but happy, from their trip to see the Atlantis take the last load of equipment up to the Hubble Telescope. Please excuse the pun, but they had a blast! They attended a few Hubble parties and saw the launch and spent two days exploring the Space Museum and visiting Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. They also slept in a day and wandered the beach, and had a very relaxed time. Jim looked refreshed when he returned, but the weather front that moved through yesterday evening knocked Kathy out. I got stuck in a one hour traffic delay due to an accident on the Boulder Turnpike on my way to the airport - and I had just parked the truck and run up to the baggage level, when Kathy and Jim spotted me and waved... they had had a 55 minute delay in flight, flying around a massive storm cell, so things worked out OK. - But it is nice to be home!

Friday, May 15, 2009