Thursday, April 30, 2009

More of my photos...

Misty Boulder morning, looking south-soutwest from my apartment

The Irish kids- Rosie sniffing fox scent; Remy looking for squirrels

Rosie at rest with her ball

Princess Suki, mother of Boo, grandmother of Jane Reller's Champion Starquest's Eyes of Kohl (aka Kohlbi)

In Memoriam: Jane Reller, 1956 - 2009

Jane Reller was a wonderful person; she was 20 days younger than me, and she passed away at 1:40 yesterday afternoon. She was surrounded by family, her husband, her cats and dogs; and she left us peacefully, losing a battle with pancreatic cancer. The above photo is of Jane and her husband, Michael Prewitt, and was taken in February of this year.

Jane worked for Ball Aerospace in Boulder for 30 years; she had been invited by NASA to be in the control room at Cape Kennedy on May 12th for the space shuttle launch to repair the Hubble Telescope, and she had been looking forward to seeing it. Jane raised and bred Samoyeds, was a certified Agility Judge by the AKC, and worked with several Samoyed Rescue agencies. Jane loved her family, her animal buddies, and life.

She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and managed to "beat the odds" for 13 months. She took part in several cancer studies, and kept going strong until the second day of this month. I, personally, will always remember her smile, her quiet strength, and her love of all of nature and the creatures of this planet. Rest in peace and without pain, Jane.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A few of my photos...

A nesting hole in the crab apple tree

A daffodil that survived the last snow storm

The pile of dirt that marks the fox den; the entrance is to the right

Some of Boo's blown coat; Suki's legs at right, Boo's at left


bridless sidepassing horse riding

Sarah Shalda shows how to perform a sidepass on a Clydesdale without saddle or bridle

Man O' War

Racing great Man O'War, 2 years after retiring to stud

gem twist :)

The Olympic jumping great Gem Twist (who liked to lick my arm)

The Rs

As I went to bed early last night, and woke up at 4 this morning, I thought I'd have finished my blog well before now.... but there was a bunch of new down-loads and updates, and it's taken nearly two hours for everything to get going again. So I had my walk early this morning, only seeing a couple of raccoons and bats out and about with me. At 6:30, Monty was at the patio door, so I gave him some nuts; and gave the kits some Temptations as treats as well. Yesterday evening, I had the patio door closed and I realized it was shaking; looking out, I discovered Monty, wanting more nuts. I guess I'll be feeding him twice a day now.

Just before I went to bed I received an e-mail asking if the rabbit hutch was still available; I called Kathy and Jim at 8:10 (a short while ago) to ask if the hutch was still there, and woke them up. Apparently Jim turned his alarm off and they both went back to sleep - Kathy sounded panicked when I told her how late it was. Rosie, Remy, and I had a fantastic walk yesterday - we took a long route over to the middle school baseball and football fields, then up to the assisted living home, west on 36 and then back along the creek to visit Suki and Boo for a few minutes. The dogs had a blast seeking squirrels in K & J's backyard, Rosie had a few good runs chasing her bone, and it seems that Boo has almost finished blowing her undercoat... And I'll be wearing my sunshade today, trying not to get burned.

I've almost finished The Judas Strain and am ready to start The Last Oracle... I have 5 new history books that I need/want to read, also. We're expecting a high of 75 today, 65 tomorrow and 55 on Friday - rain might occur Friday through Monday. Saturday is the Kentucky Derby, and horse fever is once more rearing it's head within my system. I'll try to see the post draw for the Derby on ESPN today, and see what odds Mike Bataglia has assigned the different entries. I'll be house-sitting for Rosie and Remy during Pony Penning and the following 2 weeks - so I can't say that I'll go stir-crazy at that time! Have a good hump-day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Shots

Beautiful rainbow

A rainbow-haloed tree

Deerly Beloved

"Deerly Beloved" at Arlington National Cemetery

Bohemian Waxwing

A Bohemian Waxwing at the Dunes State Park in Indiana

Tueday (Yes, the misspelling is deliberate!)

The sun is trying to break through the clouds this morning. Yesterday at 2:30 in the afternoon, the Flatirons were still obscured by clouds, mist and fog while I was on my way back from seeing my therapist. With 3 days left in April, we have had 5.86 inches of liquid precipitation so far this month - it's a record high for the past 10 years! Lovey, who has been curled up in my lap, just got a peculiar look on her face - I looked and saw that Monty, the squirrel, was perched on my toe, looking for his morning meal. As soon as I shifted, he bounded off and Lovey got into the cat tree (for better observation purposes, I'd guess); I put a handful of dry-roasted unsalted peanuts on the floor inside the door, and Monty has now seated himself for breakfast. Both cats have him under close inspection.

I'll be off walking the Irish kids in a little bit - yesterday's walk was cancelled by the family, as Rosie had played hard on Sunday and was very stiff and sore that night. My cousin Sarah found a treasure trove in her grandmother's house this weekend - a lot of old photos, an old family tree record, and lots of Super-8 film, including some still undeveloped film. She plans on sending it off to a firm here in Colorado that has processed old film for her before... And I finally got around to putting Sarah and Pam in contact with cousin Stephanie, whose family has been stationed back in the States (from Germany), about a two-hour drive from Sarah and Pam. - I put Kathy and Jim's two free rabbit hutches on Craig's List back on April 17th; one was taken on the 20th; last night I had three people contact me about the one remaining hutch within 45 minutes.... It's amazing what spring and spring weather brings about.

I'm getting more excited about the Kentucky Derby, to be run on Saturday... I guess spring, spring weather, and new grass affect me too! My therapist wants me to see if I can figure out a way to get involved with horses again... She looked at the photos of me with Avalon and Court Jester and said she had never seen me look so happy... Of course, she also wants me to get back to doing volunteer work at the Carnegie Library (history and genealogy) - I think her suggestions are due more to do with human interaction, rather than being blissful with more critters... The snow has disappeared from the ground down here, but it's still very visible up in the mountains - it's turning into a gorgeous day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

More sea...

Where is the water

Low tide at the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada


Invernaver, Torrisdale Bay, Sutherland, Scotland

One of the prettier views of Christmas Island.

A view of Christmas Island, Australia


The weather folks said that snow would fall only above the 6,500 foot mark and that the rest of us would get rain... They were wrong! I awoke at 3 this morning, and thought that things sounded muffled, so I peeked out of the window, and, by golly, there was snow on the ground! It's a heavy wet snow again, and the roadways and sidewalks are clear, as the stuff is melting as it hits - but I saw 4 inches on the roof of a parked car, and the grass in the backyard is completely blanketed. Again, I am not complaining about it - we can always use rain (or any wetness) in this semi-arid area! Monty came to the patio door at 7:30 this morning, so I gave him a handful of peanuts just inside the door. He's eating right now - Banichi is sound asleep in the cat tree above him and Lovey is studiously ignoring him while ensconced in my lap. The snow is currently tapering off in amount, so I've e-mailed the Irish kids' family and asked if they want me to walk them as scheduled, cancel entirely, or walk them this afternoon. Any of the three options is fine with me.

I did everything I planned to do yesterday, except down-loading my camera program to my PC. I did watch The Ox Bow Incident on the Western channel yesterday; it was the first time I've seen the classic in its entirety. I ended up starting to read The Judas Strain (another Sigma series book by James Rollins) and couldn't put it down... I fell asleep reading it last night. - Yesterday was my friend Michael's birthday; and it was also his and Jane's first wedding anniversary. While having hospice care at home, Jane is doggedly hanging onto life, enjoying her time with Mike and all their animals (2 dogs and 4 cats). - This Saturday is the first one of May, which means it is time for the Kentucky Derby... I was flipping channels the other day and happened to see Hattie McDaniel (best known as Mammy of Gone With the Wind) singing "My Old Kentucky Home", and was quite taken aback to hear the original lyrics being sung: "...'tis spring time, the darkies are gay..." and then I realized that the film had been made in the 1930s and that was well before the change of Stephen Foster's lyrics.

At the moment, Colorado has no known cases of the dreaded swine flu. Governor Bill Ritter already has emergency measures in place, just in case there is an outbreak. I can't decide if it's because of my depression, or if I'm just old enough to look upon death without fear, or what - but being a student of history, and knowing of the waves of plague in the past and the "Spanish" flu pandemic in 1917/18, I just can't get myself to be afraid anymore... I think that, possibly, having been so close to the Pentagon on September 11th, that I just can't be scared all the time anymore... I just want to thumb my nose at the world - and say - "What ever happens will happen! - Let me get on with my life!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Water, water

Calm day at Godrevy

A calm day at Godrevy, Cornwall, England.

Sail for America 2

A tall ship and a lot of smaller sail boats - New York Harbour.

besides ponies...chincoteague is all about marshes

Approaching Chincoteague Island (VA) on the causeway...

Mist, sun, rain/snow

Daybreak was plain, but nice: the sun rose in a cloudless sky. I had been out walking for a while by that time, and had noted that there was frost on the windows and hoods of cars, and that my breath was distinctly visible. I was wearing a T, jeans, walking shoes and a sweater - luckily, the wind didn't blow, as it turned out it was 37 outside. Monty, the squirrel, came inside and had some peanuts yesterday - he appeared to be a little more restrained than usual, and I moved to see better and realized that Banichi was was crouching less than 6 inches from Monty's face - no wonder he was moving carefully! Lovey had a ball running in and out yesterday - she positively revelled in the wetness and in leaving her prints all over me and my clothes! Banichi went out about 3 times, always at a slow pace, and usually trotted back in (he really does not like wet weather of any kind). Both kits are on the patio soaking up the morning sun; the patio door is cracked open, and I have the curtains wide open. While it's nice out now, we're expecting a rain/snow mix tonight and tomorrow morning.

I was sorry to hear of the death of actress Bea Arthur yesterday. She passed away from cancer at the age of 86. Most younger folks remember her for her role in The Golden Girls on TV, but in my mind, she will always be Maude. The show made a lot of waves when it first debuted - an older, out-spoken, wry and dry woman making commentary on the traditional roles of women in society, women at home, in families, and - oh, my God! - comments on menopause and sex. I loved it. My husband and I were able to catch her at a staging of Mame! in Washington, DC in the late '90s - Bea Arthur was stupendous! (And so she should have been, as she won a Tony for her role in the same play on Broadway.) She will be missed.

After I re-program my PC for my photo downloads, I plan on (a) reading the paper, (b) enjoying the sun on the patio, and (c) starting some more digging on my son's family tree. On Monday, I'll be walking Rosie and Remy again, Monday through Friday. They are delightful companions - good natured, loving, happy, giving and sharing; I always have to smile when one of them turns and looks at me over their shoulder while we're out walking. It's as if they're saying, "Thank you! This is fun! Are you having fun, too?" and their tails are wagging the whole time... The last time we walked, a herd of mule deer decided to cross the road less than 5 feet in front of us - a group of about 12 does, a couple of yearlings, and two bucks... That was the only time the kids were tempted to bark; and it was the only time they lunged out on their leashes. I kept telling them, "Hey, you are bird dogs, not deer hounds!", but it didn't make much of an impression! - I hope you have a marvelous Sunday!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This sceptered isle...


A cottage in Bosham, Sussex, England.

Scottish Croft 2

An isolated croft in Sutherland, Scotland.

The Black Mountains, near Abergavenny, Wales

Looking toward the Black Mountains near Abergavenny, Wales.

A soft day

As I've always backed up my family tree files whenever I've made any alterations, including additions, I was able to find my son's family tree and restore it after I finished blogging yesterday. Other than the afternoon cloud build-up, yesterday was picture perfect... I did not set my alarm this morning, as Lovey usually awakens me at 5 or 5:30 each day. I awoke today at 7:15... Lovey was still curled up on my legs, while Banichi was in the cat tree looking out. Today is what the Scots call a "soft" day - misty, grey, patches of fog, and temperatures in the 40s. I walked to the bakery and grabbed a bagel and returned home in a T-shirt and jeans - had no water build-up on my glasses, and didn't really feel damp at all. I laughed at four teens who were huddling inside sweat suits and complaining about how cold it was.

Lovey has already left a multitude of muddy paw prints all over my chest, back and lap, as well as on the desk, my note paper, and she's managed to sling some mud that has stuck to the monitor face. Banichi has ventured out once, realized that it was wet and immediately curled up in a ball in his favorite chair. Lovey, however, keeps trekking in and out and doesn't seem to notice that her fur is wet and bedraggled. She is having a ball digging in the soft wet dirt - I can't really blame her - like mother, like daughter ... Right now I have an old western, made in 1957, The Tomahawk Trail, starring Chuck Connors and John Smith playing as background noise. The newer tenants in the apartment building make rather odd noises throughout the day, and seem to party in the hallways - so I've started keeping either music or the TV on to blanket the loudest sounds.

I had a marvelous chat with my cousin Sarah in Missouri yesterday. I wished we lived closer to each other than we do - I'd be out helping her and Pam with anything they wanted to do.... including putting all the grandkids into life vests and going out on the river with every single one of them. I'm going to catch up on my Facebook requests today, and then tomorrow I'll start doing genealogy research again. The public library is hoping that their stop-gap measures to prevent leakage around the many skylights have worked - last week, with the heavy wet snow and rain, the entire second floor roof leaked like a sieve. - I hope you have a wonderful weekend, where ever you are!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Furry Friday

An expecting lynx

A lynx

Montana Grizzly Encounter...Very Good

A Montana grizzly bear

The Begging Starling in the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog's Home (November 2, 2007)

The starling wants the prairie dog to share its dinner!

Only in Colorado...

It's a beautiful morning - the sun is shining and there are a few clouds up high. Today is supposed to be very pleasant, with highs in the mid-70s and with clouds building up this afternoon ahead of the cold front. Once again, I was able to keep the window wide open all night. (I usually turn down the heat at night and crack the window for some fresh air at night, unless it's below 20 degrees out...) I had wild and crazy dreams last night, and at one time both of the kits pounced on me... I have no idea what I was doing to invite that! Squirrels and birds continue to visit the patio, looking for a meal - and one squirrel continues to come inside, so I feed him peanuts in the living room.

Yesterday, in Colorado Springs, a young pregnant woman was out taking her daily walk on a popular hiking trail just northwest of the town. About halfway through her walk, she saw a cinnamon-colored black bear alongside the creek. She paused, but continued walking, deciding to ignore the bear. The bear followed her, first at a walk, and then at a run; when the bear started running at her, the lady started jogging... She feels that the bear was just curious, and that if it had wanted to catch her, it could have done so easily, but it stayed about 10 feet behind her for about a half mile. As the trail passed by a road, the lady climbed the embankment, and stumbled out in front of a slow-moving car. The car struck her; the bear turned and left the vicinity; the driver stopped to check on the lady, but then left the scene before the police arrived. The woman and her child are fine; police are still looking for the driver who hit the lady; DoW trapped the bear, and having ascertained that it had also approached three other people in the past few days, the bear was killed. The woman who ran from the bear is very upset. She doesn't know whether her child will be a son or daughter, but the child's middle name will be Bear, in acknowledgement of the one who lost its life.

While talking on the phone with my friend Kathryn last night, I discovered that when the PC was infected earlier this week, one of my genealogy files disappeared. So I will be attempting to find and restore my son's family tree... I can find the tree on-line, on its web page, but my file with names, dates, etc has gone. Hopefully I will be able to recover it easily. - Have a good weekend, my friends!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Night Critters

The Possum in Our Wall


Come one, come all... $2 to feed a bat!

Fruit bat

Hummingbird Moth              Mvc-163f

Hummingbird moth

Running, Health, Crime

Today's sunrise was absolutely stupendous! The cloud colors defy description, and it was already in the low 50s (with no wind) when I walked, so I did not need a sweater or jacket... it was great. It was even warm enough to keep the window wide open over night. The kits have run out and about and are now sitting inside, sunning, even though the patio door is open. Jim had a wonderful time at the Boston Marathon - he and Kathy went to all the associated dinners and presentations and had a blast. Jim returned with his Boston Marathon T-shirt, a jacket commemorating his part in the 113th running, and a poster of him running, with his name printed on it. Kathy said he smiled so much that his face hurt from grinning.

My friend Jane Reller has taken a turn for the worse in her fight with pancreatic cancer. She has been doing exceptionally well - considering her initial diagnosis was in March of last year. This month her body has finally given way to the invader - since her kidney function is so low, the MDs won't treat her with anymore chemo or radiation therapy - and her body keeps building up excess fluid in her abdominal cavity: so far over 7 liters of fluid have been removed in two ops.
She is now at home with hospice care, and with her husband Michael, dogs Kohlbi and Nikki, and cats Abby, Shadow, Boris, and Natasha. She told Michael that she knows she'll be crossing the Rainbow Bridge soon, and knows that her previous companions will be waiting with tails wagging. I have told them both that I'm ready, willing, and able to anything they ask of me...

Our small area seems to have been hit with a mini-crime wave - someone "tagged" 28 RTD buses with graffiti while they were parked overnight at their garage; a man was stabbed by another man near the Central Park band shell here yesterday afternoon; and a young man in Longmont was stabbed to death by two females (aged 18 & 20) for "hitting on" the hostess of a party... On a happier note, Rex (the tortured Shiba Inu) had gone to a foster family and will probably be adopted within the week - and the folks that have Lucy and Pepper (that I pet-sit for) have new baby chicks. (I really had to laugh - their daughter said the chicks are cool, except when they poop on you and "then it's like being at the Grand Canyon WITH NO RECEPTION!"
- The caps belong to Rachel, not me...) I'll be taking care of Pepper, Lucy and the chicks at the end of May.... 82 is expected today, with a high in the mid-40s on the weekend - Typical Colorado! Have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The U S Mail Boat, circa 1885, on it's way to dock at Chincoteague Island.

Tom Baker as Doctor Who

Alley Springs, Shannon County, Missouri - Thanks for the photo, Sarah!!

Happy Earth Day!

"There's no place like home." It's an age-old platitude, but is very true - whether referring to your den, residence, neighborhood, town, area, country, or world. I was always amazed at the amount of questions that the Environmental Protection Agency received each year about Earth Day - when was it and what was the EPA sponsoring. Earth Day began as a grass-roots movement, and other than sponsoring a few localized events in DC, the EPA has absolutely nothing to do with Earth Day... other than the fact that they support its premise and goals. Of course, I learned a lot about what the EPA does and doesn't do during my 5 year stint there - and found that most Americans have no true idea what "powers" the EPA has and doesn't have. Check out their web site at - it'll be an eye-opener!

I'm back at home with my kits, as of 10 p.m. last night. Lovey immediately claimed her space on my body, while it took Banichi until 4 this morning to bring me his dream-catcher and his shoe-strings. Nichi-ji has been very quiet and rather limp after his ordeal - but seems to be returning to his usual self. I walked the Irish kids around the elementary and middle schools yesterday, and then had a short visit with Suki and Boo. Silver Lake Ditch was flowing over the weekend and Monday, but was dry yesterday - while Four Mile Creek is going great guns; enough to foam when it travels over a few rocks. The "ugly" pine trees I described are still sitting out in the backyard - I went over and read their tags, so I can report that they are "Vanderwulf Limber Pyramid Pines."

I have "recovered " almost all of my files on this PC - all I have left to do is program the thing for downloads from my camera, otherwise, everything else seems to be OK. I took photos yesterday of the fox den, all four dogs, the Creek, and one of the nesting holes in the crab apple tree. I hope to download them and share them soon. It's going to be in the mid-70s today and above 80 tomorrow; it's currently 50 outside. I have the window wide open, and the patio door is half open. Banichi is prowling the fence line, sniffing each patch of grass, but not trying to eat any of it. Lovey is enjoying the sun and keeps talking to me, trying to get me to come outside and sit in the sun on the patio with her. Other than walking the Irish kids, there's a dearth of jobs out there - I'm next scheduled to house-sit around May 12th for the shuttle launch; and then the next engagement is June 12th and 13th.... The economy has definitely slowed in Boulder!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Short Blog

Yesterday afternoon was a disaster - Banichi ate something that caused him to vomit, salivate excessively and hyperventilate for 90 minutes. I wiped away the drool and checked his lips, mouth, tongue and throat with a pen light, but could not find any damage... while checking on his breathing, my PC crashed (completely) with a Trojan Horse and a Mal virus (actually 9 of them, altogether)... so I'm having to "recover" all my programming from the beginning. And I did have my Virus protector, shield, and firewall ON.... don't know what happened. Three nice things happened in the late afternoon, evening, though: Banichi seemingly recovered; the Cheyenne episode had Sugarfoot and Bronco Lane in it; and I got to let off steam and worry by calling my friend Kathryn and telling her all about how pitiful I felt.

Brother-in-law Jim Snow ran in the Boston Marathon yesterday; his bib number was 21234, and he finished the race in 4 hours, 34 minutes and 18 seconds. He finished 141st in his division (non-pro, aged 65 - 69), and 20,112th over all. Jim had been working so hard to get to and stay at a 4 hour and 15 minute finish time... between the bot flies in his calf muscle and the swelling of his right arm and hand (cause still unknown), he's been a little slower than he'd like. But, considering that he started running at age 60 and will celebrate his 66th birthday in September, I think he's done a terrific job!!

Hopefully, I'll be able to restore my PC to its' former self and will be able to post photos and blog more later... Gotta run! (Blogging from Kathy and Jim's this a.m.) Take care and watch out for nasty bugs!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

All in the Family...

A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on Kenyan Coast

An orphaned baby hippo bonded with a centenarian giant tortoise after a tsunami in Kenya took his parents.

This Dachshund Mom is fostering a Piglet named Pink, like her own.

This Dachshund adopted Pink, a piglet, and raised him as her own...

Millie the labrador and Rory the Shetland Pony

Rory, the pony, was raised by Millie, the Lab; like his adoptive mom, Rory wags his tail, fetches sticks, and rolls onto his back to have his belly rubbed.

Lupus Walk, Boston Marathon, Kentucky Derby

Aren't they a good-looking pair? This is my son and daughter-in-law just before their participation in a Lupus Walk for Life in Washington this weekend. They walked in memory of a friend, and raised over $300 for Lupus research. It's a joy to be Kevin and Etoye's step-mom!

Jim is running in the Boston Marathon today; sometime yesterday evening, Suki and/or Boo found a quart-sized plastic bag that had multi-colored candles in it, and they consumed all but one lone specimen. I'll need to check with Kathy as to where the candle bag was and how many items were inside; but the girls usually have no problems getting wax candles through their system. I walked the girls to Wonderland Lake yesterday - don't know where we'll go today, yet; plus I have the Irish kids this morning. Lovey and Banichi are somewhat upset with me, because I'm not sleeping at home; but while I'm home they get to go play in the yard, so they aren't sure whether they should be miffed with me or not.

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings/tragedy and that is the main subject of the local news. - A medical mystery in Wellington, FL, where 21 ponies from the Lechusa Caracas polo team died within hours of each other, during and immediately after being unloaded from their trailers. Poison is suspected, but their "home" stables (while in Florida)were checked and are clean. - And it's less than 2 weeks before the running of the 135th Kentucky Derby; recent winners who are pointed at the Derby include Papa Clem (winner of the Arkansas Derby), Friesan Fire (winner of the Louisiana Derby), General Quarters (winner of the Blue Grass Stakes), Advice (winner of Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes), and Dunkirk , a striking grey, who would win only his fourth start, if he wins the roses. Pioneerof the Nile, Musket Man and I Want Revenge are also pointed at the big race; as are two Godolphin entries from the UAE, Desert Party and Regal Ransom. Here's to a great race, with no injuries!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hairy Babies

Sturbridge MA New Born Calf_b

A twelve-hours-old calf

We sold Rosie bred to Kimberly Dibble in Meeker, OK & she foaled 5-24-05 big chestnut foal with

Jazz with Mom Rosie

12-buffalo cow & calf, yellowstone

Yellowstone buffalo cow and calf

Books and Converter Boxes

Bright sunshine and a cloudless sky are outside my window today. Yesterday was overcast and it rained for a good part of the day and evening; but during a break in the precipitation about 3, Nancy and Joel brought Remy and Rosie over to visit Suki and Boo. We had a 45 minute party in the backyard - chasing balls (the dogs), visiting the fox den, and just chatting. The drive to DIA was interesting - we ran through rain until about a mile from the airport, and then it was sleet. I took "the back way" home and missed a turn on 96th Street in Commerce City, and ended up in Brighton - but I only drove 5 minutes out of my way, and I got to see some areas I hadn't seen before. I've been captivated by the chickadees that are nesting in a knot-hole in the crab apple tree in Kathy's backyard; and the rhubarb is growing like mad.

Coal Creek Canyon, to the southwest of Denver, recorded 52 inches of snow over the past few days - Boulder had 6 inches of snow and over 4 inches of rain. Some ground is visible in my backyard, and the snow cover is less than an inch thick. A squirrel just came into the apartment, looking for food; Lovey and Banichi just looked at him... I gave him a handful of peanuts... (Feeding him inside does not constitute feeding the birds and squirrels on the patio! - If he chooses to come inside an open door, braving both cats, then he deserves a treat while sitting at the base of the cat tree!) This rain was just what was needed by the land - and, other than the initial snowfall, it was not bad enough to kill the newborn calves, lambs and foals out on the plains.

When I return to Kathy and Jim's today, I get to puzzle out how to connect their converter box to their TV, VCR and DVD player. Most of the local TV stations switched over to digital/HD TV broadcasting this past week, and as K & J don't have cable or satellite, they now receive only one PBS channel. It's a snap to connect the TV and the converter box - the fun part is trying to connect the DVD and VCR to them, also. I think I'm going to have to purchase some more AV connectors. - I finished Sandstorm, the first Sigma Series novel by James Rollins, and am about a third of the way through the second book, Map of Bones. I still have two more to go, and can't wait to open the covers of the second book again; they are addictive! Will be running back and forth between my apartment and the Snow house through Tuesday night - oh, joy....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Photos of Belward Farm

Belward's lone oak at the corner of Rte. 28 and Muddy Branch Road.

The farm house and barns at Belward Farm

A different perspective of the farm house and barn at Belward

Out of the Blue...

After I blogged yesterday, I looked over my e-mail and hestitated about whether to open one letter or consign it to the trash file. It had a woman's name as the sender, and started out, "Hello. You may be wondering why you're receiving an e-mail from Maryland..." Luckily my curiosity got the better of me, and I read the letter. It has sent me digging into newspaper archives and sending off information to a plethora of my husband's relatives - a great way to spend a snowy and rainy day! It all goes back to Ignatius Pigman Ward - he who had so many offspring that spread like crazy all across the States... He was my husband's fourth great-grandfather; his granddaughter married James O. Gingle (upon whose farm the NIH built the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda), and their daughter married Charles M. Devine, becoming my great-grandmother-in-law. Since I had mentioned Ignatius Pigman Ward in a previous blog, I received the letter regarding the fate of Belward Farm.

What is left of the original farm of the Ward family, around what was then known as Hunting Hill, has been steadfastly preserved by the last of the line in the area. Elizabeth Beall Banks refused to sell off any portion of her 138 acre farm, lately used for raising cattle. She wanted to preserve a little bit of country in the area between Gaithersburg and Rockville, Maryland, refusing huge offers from land developers so they could build housing on the idyllic farm property. She reached terms with Johns Hopkins back in 1989, and sold the rights to her property to them for $5 million (much less than the $40 million the developers offered), with the stipulation that, after her death the land would be used for "agricultural, academic, research and development, delivery of health and medical care and services, or related purposes only." It was not long after Banks passed away in 2005 at the age of 93, and when the plans for the Gaithersburg West Master Plan were underway, that the intent of the deed was ignored. Today, Johns Hopkins and the Montgomery County Park and Planning Commission (MCPPC) are proposing 300 housing units and commercial establishments in Belward. They wish to build a "Science City" encompassing 800 acres, and covering the farmland with multiple-storied buildings, rising between 4 and 10 stories high. Of course, according to them this will generate 60,000 jobs just in that area. At the end of today's blog are several URLs regarding this travesty, if you have any interest.

There is currently about 3 inches of snow on the ground, and it is raining, as it has done since yesterday evening. Nederland has received 34 inches of snow so far; most of the interstate highways have been closed since yesterday morning, and the state and the Red Cross have opened multiple emergency stop centers for people trapped on the roads with nowhere to go. It's 36 degrees outside, we're expecting 59 tomorrow, and the 70s for the rest of the week. The kits have run out and ran right back inside. Lovey knows that something's up - she is sitting in my lap and doesn't want to budge - I'll be leaving at 10 to run Kathy and Jim to the airport.
Satellite map: - scroll to bottom of April 5, 2009 to see photo of lone oak tree on farm - same tree at sunset

Friday, April 17, 2009

Photos for Friday


An expectant vixen

Artur having a rest

Artur at rest


Itchy-kneed stag

Snow and Critters

It rained off and on all day yesterday, and was still raining at 4 this morning. Sometime between 4 and 6 the precip changed to a rain-snow combination, and when I went walking this morning, the clumps of snowflakes falling against the water-proof material of my jacket and hood made the soft slushy sounds of overly wet snowballs hitting a target. We currently have all of one-half inch of snow on the ground in Boulder, while Estes Park has 12 inches already. The temperature is falling and the forecasters are now saying that we'll end up with over 20 inches by Saturday evening. Several airlines have cancelled their out-going flights, so Kathy and Jim are having to take a wait-and-see stance about their flight to Boston for Jim's run in the marathon. Jim's other tests came back positive, so upon his return from Boston, he will undergo a needle biopsy aspiration of his bone marrow - checking for multiple myeloma. My friend Jane's pancreatic cancer has been nasty to her for the past week, so her first anniversary get-away has been cancelled. She and Michael are hoping they'll be able to make it to Florida for the May 12 launch of the Hubble Telescope repair mission of the space shuttle.

There is good news, in one respect: the owner of Rex, the tortured Shiba Inu, has given up his ownership (or guardianship, here in Boulder) of the poor dog. Rex is now in the care of the state at the Humane Society. No word has been released about Peanut, the chihuahua owned by the female torturer. - With the snow falling and carpeting the grass, the little birds are appearing on my patio, looking for food. I feel terrible that I cannot feed them, just for today and tomorrow. My nosy neighbor checks my patio 2 or 3 times a day, whenever she goes out on her patio... I don't need a citation for ignoring a management directive - otherwise, I'd do it in a heartbeat! Right now there are 3 sparrows sitting on my patio light, twittering away... I want to feed them so badly! - Banichi is on the top platform of the cat tree, looking at the sparrows; Lovey is fast asleep in the middle of my pillow. Both kits went out this morning - Lovey took a quick trip out in the snow, while Banichi touched a toe to the wet concrete and returned inside post-haste.

The snow falling is very wet and heavy - yesterday afternoon 4 ugly pine trees in pots were placed in the backyard prior to planting. Their branches are drooping down in the shape of an opened umbrella now, while earlier, in the rain, they were almost upright - like a U. I would have placed other types of trees in the backyard, but maybe the only thing the budget would allow were pines. There are a couple new fruit trees planted at the front of the building, as well as about 10 of these pines. This is after the management cut down over 100 feet of juniper bushes and 15 cottonwood trees that shaded the north end of the parking lot. ... Ah, the folly of man!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Easter Parade 2007 026

A Volksbunny in a local Easter Parade...

Abergavenny Tywysog (3yo Colt)

A 3-year-old Welsh Cob, Abergavenny Tywysog


A stream near Abergavenny, Wales

Weather, Rex

We are expecting a high of 50 today with rain this afternoon. It was 74 yesterday, and there were a few sprinkles of rain while I was walking Remy and Rosie. It is currently snowing at the Continental Divide, and I just received the following notice from the local weather team: "...The National Weather Service is assuming most of the precipitation will be snow and has issued a WINTER STORM WATCH and a WINTER STORM WARNING for the entire Front Range from tonight through Saturday morning for 10-20 inches of snow. Again, that snow amount could change depending on the temperature. Locations in the foothills and mountains east of the Divide could see 18-36 inches of heavy, wet snow. ..." We need the precipitation, so I won't complain. I just wish I knew whether we'll be getting rain, snow, or a combination.

The photo at the top of today's blog is of Rex, a Shiba Inu, about 2 years old and weighing 12 pounds, at the isolation kennel at the Boulder Valley Humane Society. Rex has been the center of attention for the past several days - although it was originally reported that he was named "Dixie" and was a 6-month-old puppy - His owner, a college student was having a domestic dispute with his female friend, and the dog ended up taped to the refrigerator. Yep, you read that correctly. The girlfriend bound the dog with rubber pony-tail holders and then taped him upside down to the 'fridge door. There was also another dog, a Chihuahua named Peanut, in the apartment. The couple had gone out and returned to find urine and feces, which the female stated was from Rex... she demanded that the male "get rid of the dog", and that if he didn't, it proved that he didn't really love her. (Oh... come on!) The male went into the bathroom, and the female bound Rex, and then used clear packing tape to tape his body to the 'fridge, after using the tape to over-wrap her hair bands. The dogs' paws, ears, tail, and muzzle were bound. When police responded to a domestic disturbance call, they found Rex ... his bound extremities very swollen. Rex and Peanut are now at the Humane Society. Rex's swellings have gone down, but he now growls at anyone who comes near him ... and who can blame him? The girl, while being booked for felony animal cruelty, was also found to have a small amount of black heroin on her person. Several Shiba Inu owners in the area have already offered to take Rex into their homes.

I walked early this morning. The cloud cover was awesome - and the low stratus clouds were hugging the Flatirons and foothills like a bridal veil. Just the lower foot of the first Flatiron was visible, while Mount Sanitas and Flagstaff Mountain were completely invisible. It's a damp day, too - humidity is at 70%. The kits ran outside a few times this morning, but when a neighbor on the second floor stood on his balcony and yelled "Good morning, Viet Nam!", both Lovey and Banichi decided it was time to come inside. I am still snickering to myself because all yesterday and so far this morning, the pigeons that my gardening neighbor abhors so much have been strutting around and about - even going onto her patio! (He, he, he!! - Does this feeling make me evil, or just plain human?)