Friday, April 29, 2011


As I thought, I can't use the home PC where I'm staying. Password protected. So I'm at Ooch's on my way to the Rs, to walk them. Ooch is really starting to look 21 years old. He's thin, his entire body vibrates when he purrs, and his once-beautiful long-haired coat is in a nasty series of knots and mats. His owner is talking about shaving him.... I think I'll have a go with the scissors on a few of the worst spots before she returns home. Today is beautiful - sunny, light breeze, a high near 70 expected. Of course, that'll be followed by rain and snow tonight, and a gray, cold, and very damp weekend... But we need the rain, so I won't complain!
> And I did see most of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton... including the kisses on the balcony at Buckingham Palace!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Working Vacation?

I'm about to head out to take care of Sadie and Lucy until late Sunday night. I don't think I'll have access to a computer while I'm away, so blogs might be scanty or entirely missing until Monday - we'll have to see what happens! Have a great weekend, otherwise!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Norfolk's Mother Eagle & Babies

April 1, 2011 - Thanks,!

Mourning an American Icon

I have been watching, along with thousands of people around the world, the two American bald eagles at the Norfolk Botanical Garden on the "eagle-cam." We have watched the mother sit on three eggs, seen the eggs hatch, and watched the babies being fed, and then feeding themselves. Tuesday, the eaglets lost their Mom. "The plane strike happened sometime between 8:30 and 8:50 a.m. A US Airways regional jet coming from Philadelphia was preparing to land at 8:50 when the pilot reported the bird strike.
Shank (Who is Shank? Is it the pilot, or a spokesman for the Norfolk airport?) says the eagle was reportedly feeding at Lake Whitehurst with another eagle when the strike was reported. The plane landed safely and no one was hurt, said Shank. He added that there was minor damage to the aircraft. Shank told that this is the second eagle strike in several weeks and fourth in 10 years; the others occurring in 2005 and 2002. Shank said the airport is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife office to see if anything can be done to protect airline passengers and wildlife.
The mother's remains are still at Norfolk Airport in a refrigerator until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials decide what to do with them. He notes that the Norfolk Botanical Garden would like to have it mounted for display and that process has been started.

Wildlife Center Of Virginia Eaglet Care Plan:

The three eaglets will be placed in an artificial nest that has been constructed in the Center’s 200-foot eagle flight cage. Other adult Bald Eagle patients may also be in this enclosure. While the chicks will be separated by a physical barrier from direct contact with other eagles, the eaglets will be able to see other eagles flying and feeding. As they begin to fledge, the barrier will be removed and the young eagles will have full access to the long enclosure, to build their wing strength and to learn to fly. The goal would be to get the young eagles ready for release back into the wild in late summer."

While the father eagle fed the eaglets late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning, it was decided that he would be unable to meet the feeding needs of the three eaglets, whose appetites will increase exponentially within the next few weeks. It was decided by wildlife experts that it was best to move the hatchlings to the Wildlife Center in Waynesboro. - Goodbye, Mama. We're doing our best to save your babies.

More Critters

A brown hare

Cats and a pigeon in Portugal

A round-up near Three Forks, Montana (note the mule at far right)


A man in Ohio awoke just before midnight on Easter Sunday to go out to the barn to check on his pregnant Quarterhorse, who was due to foal. When he stepped outside he was shocked to see all of the barn walls glowing orange with the heat of an internal fire - he could hear his seven horses and a week-old foal screaming in fright. Painted on the outside of his barn walls were two very hateful and hurtful sayings: "Fags are freaks" and "Burn in hell." He tried to save his horses, but couldn't get the barn doors to open. The fire was so intense that the heat melted the metal parts and engine of a tractor inside. The pedigreed horses were worth somewhere in the hundreds of thousands dollars; but what has hurt the owner most is the death of his beautiful companions, and having to listen to them burn to death in their own barn. He considered the horses "his children" and mourns the loss of the bonds of friendship and their company. - I agree with the bereaved owner: the people or person who performed this act of arson has no true human feelings. Why destroy perfectly innocent animals? - I realize that Ghandi's quote, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind," is true. But right now, I'd like to burn the arsonist(s) alive myself. - My only other comment is that this horse-loving man has the perfect right to live his life in any way that he sees fits. Anyone else's perception of his life is their own, and their opinion isn't worth used toilet paper!
> Yesterday was pretty in the morning and overcast in the afternoon. Rosie and Remy and Lucy were great during their walks. Lovey and Nedi were super about coming when called inside. It's very pretty, but cool, out today. The weather folks say we'll have sun through Friday, with highs in the upper 60s - until the weekend, when it will be cloudy and rainy again. That's fine with me, as we still need the rain! ... Most of the mountain areas still have more than 100 inches of snow on the ground (with more due to fall this weekend), and are beginning to worry about flooding with the Spring melt. Those of us who live near Boulder Creek have already received warnings about being prepared to flee due to rising waters (even though Boulder Creek is currently running low).
> Connections have announced that The Factor will not be running in the Kentucky Derby. ... Sadler's Wells, a 30-year-old son of Northern Dancer, died from natural causes at the Coolmore Stud in Ireland. Sadler's Wells was internationally known as both a race horse and as a stallion. ... Tom Durkin will no longer be the track announcer for NBC's broadcasts of the Triple Crown races. NBC has not renewed his contract. ... Yesterday, jockey Eibar Coa walked to the winner's circle at Gulfstream Park and presented Paco Lopez with his second straight riding title cup. Lopez was also in the accident that broke Coa's C-4 vertebrae back in February.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Castillo - Fort Marion

The Castillo de San Marcos at Saint Augustine, Florida. Originally, wooden forts were built, but in October 1672, this fort, built of native coquina rock was begun. It took 23 years to build.

The Castillo at night... This was also known as Fort Marion, and, as it has never fallen in battle, it was chosen as the best place to keep "troublesome redskins."

Kiowa chiefs at Fort Marion - from left: Lone Wolf, Sky Walker (who died three days after this photo), White Horse - other two Kiowa are unidentified

Kiowa and Comanche warriors at Fort Marion...

Fort Marion? - The Castillo...!

I am much better today than I was yesterday. It's kind of gray out, and we have a 50% chance of rain through this afternoon and snow this evening. But it's 40 degrees outside, and I have the patio door open so the kits can run around before I deliver brownies and walk doggies. Nedi just came running back in, smelling of rich damp earth, and making me want to plant something and watch it grow... Thirteen of us appeared for the Easter gathering at Kathy and Jim's; Grandma Anne was snowed in up on Sugarloaf Mountain and had a pea-soup fog to contend with, so she decided to stay at home. Nephew Mike was a whiz in the kitchen - he baked the ham, cooked and mashed the garlic and rosemary potatoes, made a gravy from the ham drippings, and baked fresh pineapple in teriyaki sauce. I had my friend Bret make a fresh fruit tart for me to take, as well as taking fruit cookies and teeny Easter baskets for all the Mom's who were attending. (The baskets had Jolly Rancher jelly beans and Dove dark chocolate eggs in them.)
> In reading about Native American/ Indian history, I have, lately, come across multiple references to "troublesome redskins" being sent to Fort Marion in Florida. I've dug through my memories of state history that I was taught in Florida, and the only place I could think of was the Castillo de San Marcos in Saint Augustine. Having dug through the detritus in my brain, I then looked it up on Google, and was pleased that I had correctly identified the place. No wonder the Indians, who had grown up on the Great Plains and the Southwest, thought going to Fort Marion was such an awful ordeal. They were right on the ocean; the year round heat and humidity would have been oppressive after living out in the open west; being confined inside the Castillo and forced to share the areas with other natural-born enemies; and, of course, the cramped areas and more exposure to the white man's diseases, against which they had no immunity. I can't think of anything more inhumane. - Or is that my 13-times great grandmother's (supposed) Powhatan blood speaking? - All I know is I agree with the old standard, "Don't Fence Me In" ! And every time I see open plains with few fences, I want to climb into a saddle and just ride on forever....

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Damp Day

Today was wet and rainy and gray. I spent most of it in bed (due to a migraine) with both of the kits. I made 4 batches of brownies for my bus-driving friends yesterday, so I'll need to deliver them tomorrow before walking the red kids and Lucy. Not much else going on. I'm just vegetating and hoping for a pain-free head.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Colorado & Kansas Scenes

The Smoky Hill River Valley Trail in Kansas

Kansas landscape near Fort Harker

Bent's Fort, Colorado - established 1832

The brown lump, directly behind the trees, is Haystack Mountain, just outside of Niwot

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter items

A 19th Century Easter card with chicks...

An Easter bonneted and ruffed kitten...

And Easter bunnies....

Snow and Books

When I woke up this morning, I glanced at the curtains and thought: umm, either rain or snow out there. It was snow, and it came down through mid-day. The weather guy just said to expect one to four inches of snow in the morning - that makes it kind of hard for the Easter bunny to hide eggs outside! The kits have run in and out both this morning and this afternoon. Lovey seems to be upset because he feet are getting wet and muddy. Nedi is just oblivious to how the snow makes him wet. It is still warm enough that the snow is pretty much melting as it hits the ground, sidewalks and roads - so it's just damp out. But I did get a couple of photos of Nedi with snow flakes on his back and shoulders this morning.
> I've been thoroughly engrossed in a book titled Halfbreed. It's the biography of George Bent, who's father was a white trader (he set up Bent's Fort in 1834), and who's mother was the eldest daughter of the sacred medicine man of the Southern Cheyenne. George was raised as a Cheyenne warrior, spoke 6 languages, could read and use Indian sign language, and could swear in a multitude of other languages. He acted as an interpreter for the US Army and the US Government, and he fought as a warrior against both. He was instrumental in getting the Southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe to agree to settle on the reservation near Colony, Oklahoma. And he wanted to leave a "true record" of the history of the Cheyenne people - so he spent weeks and months speaking to and answering the questions of ethnographers. He knew and met many of the famous and infamous personalities from across the United States. This book about him and his perceptions is very interesting. ... Occasionally, to take a break, I have been looking at a book titled The Ultimate Alphabet. I originally picked it up in the children's section of a used book store, and thought it would be perfect for my grand daughter, Kennedy. The more I look at it, though, the more I think I'll keep it for myself, and get her a copy of Anamalia. Mike Wilks, the author and illustrator of TUA, has made a painting of multiple objects for each letter - his total of items that he has named (and purposefully painted) is 7,777 items for the total 26 letters. Each time I look at a specific painting, I see something that I hadn't noticed before. It's an intriguing book.
> Two more prep races for the Kentucky Derby were run today. The Jerome Stakes at Acqueduct has a surprise winner - Adios Charlie. In the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, Derby Kitten was the winner. The favored Silver Medallion finished fourth and probably will not be heading for Churchill Downs.
> Hope tomorrow is happy and hoppy for you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Three Favorite Views

Looking west from my apartment parking lot, I see blue skies, snow on the mountains above the Flatirons, and CU's Folsom Field (the football stadium). Snow on the grass in April is common.

Nedi, aged one year - April 2011

Morning sun on the snow in the back yard; the snow is gone by noon.

Earth Day 2011

Yesterday was gray and blah. I woke up with a bad sinus headache and that finally rolled over into a migraine about mid-morning. I spent most of the day in bed, trying not to be ill. The wind started picking up last night, and has been roaring off and on ever since. We're expecting gusts up to 60 mph today. It's bright and sunny out, but there's the wind to contend with. Lovey and Nedi spent most of yesterday under the covers with me - when they were awake, they spent half of their time chasing each other at high speed all over the apartment. Lovey is curled up, sound asleep in the middle of the cat tree, with her back to the sun. Nedi is outside, stretched out on his side, soaking up the rays. - And the weather person just said our expected low tonight is 28... oh, boy.
> Today is Earth Day. Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this first Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 International Mother Earth Day.
> Did you know there is an Earth Day Anthem? There are many songs that are performed on Earth Day, that generally fall into two categories. Popular songs by contemporary artists not specific to Earth Day that are under copyright, or new lyrics adapted to children's songs. Creating new lyrics that are easily translated into multiple languages, and set to a universally recognized melody in the public domain, does not appear to have been attempted.
The "Earth Day Anthem" below satisfies these requirements for a universal song associated with Earth Day. Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" melody is already the official anthem of the European Union (in that case purely instrumental without lyrics), the melody is widely recognized and easily performed, in the public domain, and originally composed for voice. Lyrics for the Earth Day Anthem set to "Ode to Joy" are provided below:

Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love through out all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world

~*~*~ Let's preserve our mother for future generations! ~*~*~

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just Photos Today

These photos of the Canada goose with it's new gosling on it's back,

and the new-born calf getting it's first bath from it's Momma's tongue,

were both taken by photographer Robin Loznak

in Oregon state.

These meerkats are enjoying an early Easter treat of
mealworms served in ostrich and rhea eggs. The
photo was taken by Andrew Milligan at a safari
park in Scotland.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Misty Day for CU's Smoke-In

In Boulder and around most of the state of Colorado, today is known as the "Great Smoke-In", and people from near and far come to the Norlin quad to smoke marijuana and thumb their noses at local police. The CU police and Boulder police generally have a few people posted around the outskirts of the crowd, but they don't try to ticket partakers within the quad limits. This gathering has been taking place since the mid-1960s, and I just try to avoid campus and downtown Boulder on this day. Today has been misty and cloudy with a few rain showers. Not a really "super" type of day.
> The kits have been very loving today - but last night, Nedi's nose discovered the duck jerky treats for the dogs, and I spent over an hour giggling at him as he tried to get intomy messenger bag and then open the zip-locked bag. He was determined. He succeeded. But he was funny!
> Toby's Corner, one of the hot contenders for the Kentucky Derby, was born and raised at Snooty Fox Farm in Alachua, Florida. Dianne and Julian Cotter own the farm, 2.7 miles off US 441 on County road 239. Toby's Corner won this year's Wood Memorial, beating favored Uncle Mo. Bellamy Road, who was bred by the Cotters, but raced for George Steinbrenner, is the sire of Toby's Corner. Bellamy Road won the Wood Memorial, also, in 2005. So I have to say at the moment that my sentimental favorite for the Derby is Toby's Corner - after all, he's a Florida kid, like me. Snooty Fox Farm is also the current fixture for the Misty Morning Hounds, a fox-hunting group. (Now - don't get upset with me... Fox hunters here in the US may chase a fox with hounds and horses, but the foxes are not killed. If the fox is treed or denned, the pack master will recall the hounds, with praise. If the fox's line is lost, then the pack is recalled and set out to find a new scent. - It's all about the thrill of the chase - riding on a strong horse or pony, jumping whatever comes up, following the sterns of the baying hounds...) Tally-ho!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Photo Mishmash, Too

This is Max. He lives in California. His owners let him out for the night, and were concerned when he didn't return as usual. Forty-eight hours later, he was heard meowing at the front door. His people opened the door and saw him with this arrow through his skull. The arrow has been surgically removed, and currently, Max is doing well and seems to have no after effects.

Allergy sufferers beware! The "mist" in this photo is pollen from the cedar trees...

In Karachi, Pakistan this donkey was dyed with henna for a religious holiday.

This is a controlled burn at the Flying W Ranch in Kansas. Currently, the wildfires in Texas have burned over 1,000 square miles, taking homes, livestock and wildlife.

A Tuesday Mishmash

Yesterday morning was glorious - sun shining, a slightly cool breeze, birds chirping, flowers and trees in bloom. I walked Remy and Rosie, and then took Bentley out with Annie, and then Bentley again with Olie. Today I add Lucy to the walk. It seems that most of the dogs I care for now have restricted diets - just now, the only treat I can safely give everyone is dried duck. Nedi is out on the patio in the sun right now, while Lovey is on the top of the cat tree; they both snuggled with me last night, especially during the very brief rain we had.
> I know that Donald Trump made a lot of money in real estate deals and in the many companies he now runs. But I cannot envision him as President of the United States - to me, his ego is his biggest enemy. ... I know that it was, is, and forever will be a fact that history cannot be changed; but I frequently wonder what this nation would be like today, had our fore-fathers had the availability of almost instantaneous communication across the country. How many men would not have been elected President? How many scandals would have been thrown to the public for consumption? Would Thomas Jefferson have made it to the Presidency? Would Teddy Roosevelt been considered a bully, himself? Could FDR ever have been elected? Would the Civil War have been fought? Would the "United States of America" spread across this continent, or would the Native Americans have been able to create a border and their own country and been able to stop the tide of European and Russian encroachment? ... I know. It's all nonsense - but I can always fantasize....

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Old North Church Steeple

...and the statue of Paul Revere in Boston.

The "Midnight" Ride...

...'Twas the eighteenth of April in 'Seventy-five.... > 236 years ago, two men left Boston with the news that "The regulars are coming!"; their object was to warn two men in Lexington, and then carry the news on to the town of Concord. One rider took a longer land route, and ambled his mount past a British sentry post to leave Boston; the other took a boat and then borrowed a horse. Paul Revere, the silversmith and Son of Liberty, stopped along the way in his northerly trip and warned any house that was near the road. William Dawes, Junior, a tanner and a Son of Liberty, did not warn anyone, except the two men in Lexington. Both men made it to Lexington, to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were on their way to place them under arrest, but neither made it to Concord. The man who warned Concord was a third man who joined the other two after they had left Lexington, a Dr. Samuel Prescott. > ...On the evening of April 18, 1775 Dr. Joseph Warren summoned Paul Revere and instructed him to ride to Lexington, Massachusetts. He was to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to arrest them. Several associates rowed him across the Charles River to Charlestown. There he borrowed a horse from his friend Deacon John Larkin. And, he verified that the local "Sons of Liberty" committee had seen the pre-arranged signal. Paul had arranged for these signals because he was afraid he might be prevented from leaving Boston. There were two possibilities. The British could march "by land" out Boston Neck. Or they could row "by sea" across the Charles River to Cambridge. One lantern hung in the steeple tower of the North Church would indicate "by land". Two lanterns would indicate that the British intended to come "by sea". Robert Newman, the church sexton, snuck out of his house and went to the church where he was joined by John Pulling. John locked him in the church. He hung the lanterns for only a minute so that the British would not become suspicious. After hanging the lanterns, he left through a window. The British subsequently questioned Newman about the incident but no charges were filed. > On the way to Lexington, Revere reportedly stopped at each house "alarming" the country-side. He arrived in Lexington about midnight. Approaching the house where Adams and Hancock were staying, a sentry reportedly asked that he not make so much noise. Paul Revere is reported to have replied: "Noise! You'll have more noise than this before long. The regulars are coming out!" > After delivering his message, he was joined by William Dawes, a second rider sent on the same errand by a different route, who reportedly arrived about 12:30. They decided on their own to continue to Concord, Massachusetts where weapons and supplies were hidden and left about 1:00 AM. On the way, they were joined by a third rider, Dr. Samuel Prescott. It seems that he had been visiting his girlfriend at a Lexington tavern. The story is that she was the tavern owner's wife and that he was discovered with her and fled the tavern when he met up with Revere and Dawes. > Shortly after that, British troops stopped and arrested all three. Prescott immediately escaped. Dawes escaped soon after. Revere, however, was held some time before being released. As he had no horse, he returned on foot to Lexington in time to witness part of the battle on Lexington Green on April 19, 1775. It was the first battle in which British troops were killed. Dawes also did not make it to Concord. He got lost in the dark and unfamiliar surroundings. The only one who actually made it all the way to Concord was Dr. Samuel Prescott.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Southwest Scenes (USA)

The Three Sisters in front of Black Mesa and Agathla Peak

Granite Creek in Colorado - a vital winter feeding ground
Jaguars are now found in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona

A Fantastic Day

Today is another beautiful day in Colorado, just like yesterday. I have to admit that, other than leaving my kits at home, I had a ball Saturday! I brought my pajamas, clean clothes for today, books to read, Coke to drink, and food to cook. I made several pans of mini-muffin-size brownies before lunch, and made a pitcher of green tea with mango and peach juice for a cooling drink in the afternoon. Sue Stone brought her Labs over about 12:30, so Finn had two girls (one aged 2 years and one 5 months) to play with and romp with and dive into the koi pond with for two hours. As Sue, Sadie and Lucy were leaving, Joel brought Rosie and Remy over for two more hours of running and playing. So Finn and I got to play with friendly dogs all afternoon. I have to admit that once Finn came in for the night, he slept like a rock. I also spent several minutes each hour with Skippy, grooming him, and telling him how handsome he is - he ate it up, and slept next to me last night. I'll be heading home to my kits in a couple of hours, and will love them to pieces before opening the patio door so they can go out and play.
> Yesterday's prep races for the Kentucky Derby made the choices for that race even harder. In the Arkansas Derby, most folks believed that either The Factor or Brethren would win and solidify their chances for the Triple Crown. Long-shot Archarcharch (at 25 to 1) won the race at Oaklawn; with Nehro (9 to 1) second and Dance City (7 to 1) third. The Factor was in seventh place, Saratoga Red (my pick) was tenth, and Brethren was eleventh. ... The Blue Grass Stakes was considered to be a wide open race with any of the 12 entries a possible winner. It was a fantastic finish, as Brilliant Speed (at 19 to 1) won by a nose over Twinspired (24 to 1), who was only a head in front of King Congie (4 to 1). My pick, Queen'splatekitten finished seventh. ... My choices for the prep races have certainly been wrong so far!

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Different" Critters

An emperor scorpion in Ghana

A sucker-mouthed catfish from Suriname
A leaf-tailed gecko in Madagascar

No Snow Today

Yesterday, Eibar Coa walked away from the hospital. His neurosurgeons call it a miracle. For more information, visit: Go, Eibar! ... And, while Uncle Mo has been cleared by the vet to train for the Triple Crown after grabbing his quarter, he is now fighting an intestinal infection, too.

> It's 35 degrees outside, but all of yesterday's snow had melted by 6 in the afternoon. The local weather folks say that Boulder actually got 3 inches of snow plus the rain; while Nederland received 14 inches of snow. The Irish kids were extremely happy to see me, and we spent over an hour walking around the neighborhood. Then I took out Lucy, having heard that a tree limb had fallen on the power line in their back yard causing a fire, and service trucks and crews were there until noon. Lucy seemed to be very happy to get outside. My kits ran in and out whenever I opened the patio door, and Lovey enjoyed herself by wiping her feet clean on my chest when she came back inside. ... With the rain and snow, the Silver Lake Irrigation Ditch was running with lots of water; there were several blockages, and my brother-in-law Jim spent most of the day cleaning out the sticking points. I was able to get him into a few backyards using gates that he didn't have the combinations to. (Nobody was at home during the day and the blockages in their yards were causing flooding in other peoples' yards.) And a part of the contract for using the irrigation ditch is that access is available 24/7... so I don't feel bad about going into those yards.

> Have a great weekend! I'm spending Saturday and Saturday night with Finn and Skippy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ute Tribe

A Ute warrior and his wife in 1873

1881 - Utes crossing a river
Chief Ignacio and his best horse - 1904

Pre Cip Eh Ta-ae Shun

Or, more correctly, precipitation! It was misty all day yesterday, and it turned to light rain around 6 p.m. - the kits kept getting themselves wet, then drying off on my sweats last evening. I heard thunder around 2 this morning, and thought - ah, well... we really need the rain. When I got up and peeked out the window, I said a few other words. There was an inch of snow on the ground, on top of the 3/4 inch of rain we had yesterday. Hooray!! I'll walk Rosie and Remy and Lucy early this afternoon, as the snow was still falling at 9 a.m. It's due to end, and a westerly Chinook is predicted for this afternoon. I'd rather have just had the rain, but the rain and snow mix is a blessing to those who are recovering from last year's and this spring's wildfires. The heavy, wet snow helps to hold the dirt and little bit of mulch down - a heavy drenching rain would cause too much run-off and, probably, mud slides. > Saturday's Arkansas Derby has 13 entries - with betting favorite The Factor leaving from gate number 3. D Wayne Lukas has a 30 to 1 shot named Kentucky Red in the 13 hole. ... The Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland will have a solid field of 12 running - Santiva, breaking from post 3, is the 3 to 1 favorite. I like Queen'splate kitten, a late running Ontario-bred, who is breaking from post 12. ... Rick Dutrow, who trained Big Brown, has been denied a training license by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The KHRC questioned Dutrow about "the lengthy list of violations on his record and inconsistencies on his license applications this year and in previous years." Dutrow is also facing hearings in New York regarding two suspensions of 30 and 60 days for violations of his training license there. Dutrow was visibly upset when he left the hearing, but made no comment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Keep It Up, Eibar Coa!

In the middle of February, jockey Eibar Coa was in a terrible accident while race riding. His cervical vertebrae were broken, his spinal cord injured. When he arrived at the hospital, he had no sensation below his chin. Tomorrow, Ebar Coa will be released from the hospital. His voice isn't very strong, but this resilient, positive, and determined man can now walk again. He will continue to undergo physical therapy for several months. My kudos to this very wonderful man!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Our" Mountain Lion

This is a photo that Lesley Kinder took of "our" mountain lion in Githens Acres. This was taken after she made the deer kill, but before she ran and hid from the DoW officers and the Boulder County Sheriff's Deputies, last Wednesday, April 6.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I sat out on the patio in the sun for 45 minutes this afternoon - what an idiot! I had already walked the red kids (without my hat) this morning, so I now have a sun-burned face. I also had my summer haircut this weekend - the hair on top is 1 1/2 inches long, on the sides and back, 3/4 inch. I look like the boys in elementary school who got a buzz-cut at the beginning of spring. But I am not complaining! This is how I asked for it to be cut, and it's very cool and comfortable; not to mention easy to care for. Lovey and Nedi joined me on the patio this afternoon - Lovey just plopped in the shade, while Nedi was chasing bees. (I wonder how many stings it will take to teach him that insects can "bite" back?) > Uncle Mo, who finished a surprising third in the Wood Memorial, apparently over-reached and grabbed a quarter in the early stages of the race. He is still being pointed at the Kentucky Derby on May 7. ... The two "big" races leading to the Derby this upcoming weekend are the Arkansas Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. Plus there's a 4 mile steeplechase at the track in Atlanta, Georgia. > The Crystal Fire, north of Boulder, is finally completely contained. The Evergreen Fire is still burning, but is 90% contained. The fires in Texas, though, seem to continue unabated. A judge who lives in the area said the scenes he saw were terrible - horses and livestock aflame and running into the wind, charred carcasses in heaps, and the stench of the burning livestock and grass and homes. I'm very glad that I haven't had to view those scenes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Southern Ute Reservation, Colorado

Ancient Ute petroglyphs

The Southern Ute Reservation encompasses 1059 square miles...
A modern-day Ute and her son prepare for a Pow Wow gathering

Fires, Fires Everywhere

Our local firefighters are still working on the Crystal Fire and the Evergreen Fire. There were also three other fires burning in Colorado this morning - one outside of Las Animas, one that has spread into our state from the panhandle of Oklahoma, and another smaller one. The fire that has me the most concerned is the one burning in Texas - 125 square miles of land, buildings, livestock and wildlife have been lost. The fire is in Stonewall, King and Knox counties. When the news service said it was in "west Texas," I though it was over around El Paso. Nope. It's just to the southwest of the Oklahoma state line, near the Texas handle. I guess I should apologize for carping about these fires, but they worry me. > There was less than an eighth of an inch of snow next to the fence this morning. I'm guessing it was a thunder-snow, as I heard and saw thunder and lightning around 2 this morning, but I never heard any rain fall. The sun is currently out, and the kits are sunning on the patio. I'll go out and join them shortly. Yesterday I read Grandmother Spider by James Doss - I loved the mystery and the final solution. It was a super, surprising mystery with lots of twists. I'm still grinning like a fool. And I'm currently about half-way through The Moche Warrior... > The Illinois Derby was won by Joe Vann. Watch Me Go, who had won the Tampa Bay Derby, ran sixth. Joe Vann is not nominated to the Triple Crown races. ... Midnight Interlude, a Bob Baffert trainee, won the Santa Anita Derby by a head over Comma to the Top. Mr. Commons was third and the betting favorite, Silver Medallion, was fourth. ... The Kentucky Derby field just keeps getting more and more cloudy, murky, muddy... whatever adjective you'd like to use.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Ballabriggs, with shadow roll, on left, was the winner of today's Grand National at Aintree. This is a photo of the jump known as "the Chair."

I Remember Red Rum...

Nedi's problem yesterday seems to have been from an insect sting. He was absolutely hale, hearty, and fit as a fiddle this morning. But yesterday afternoon, about an hour after he first came inside, he curled up in bed, under the covers, and slept for four hours. He was still limping last night, but less so than earlier. And once he went to sleep, Lovey slept on top of the covers next to him, until he started stirring yesterday evening. I have to admit that I was very upset about Nedi. I've let the kits run outside for several hours today, but, generally, I have been right there on the patio watching their antics. > Today was the running of the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree - Ballabriggs, a 14-to-1 long shot, was the winner of the four and a half mile chase. Ballabriggs was trained by Donald McCain, whose father, Ginger McCain, won acclaim in the 1970s by winning the Grand National multiple times with his horse, Red Rum. ... Bettors and sports writers had decided that today's Wood Memorial would be another victory for Uncle Mo. Uncle Mo finished third, behind Toby's Corner and Arthur's Tale. ... And in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, 48-to-1 shot Lilacs and Lace won over Wyomia and the heavily favored Kathmanblu was third. ... I'm awaiting word on the results of the Illinois and Santa Anita Derbies. > The Crystal Fire is 85 % contained; the Evergreen Fire is 75% contained; and there is a 61,000 acre fire burning in West Texas that is totally uncontained. We are supposed to get rain and snow tonight, and rain tomorrow morning. I sincerely want some type of precipitation to fall. It would be nice if it fell long enough, and consistently enough, to put an end to all the fires in all the states.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Nedi's Lame

I have been looking forward to starting Catherine Coulter's Split Second - and I charged into Barnes and Noble to purchase said book, so that I could begin reading it last night. Boy, was my face red when I found out that the book won't be released until July 5! But that's OK, 'cause I have plenty of other books to read. The Irish kids were super today, and I had a good chat with Lucy's owner. Lovey and Nedi were very active this morning before I left to walk the dogs, and seemed to be thrilled when I let them out again once I returned home. But, while I was leaving a message for a friend, Nedi came charging in on three feet, with Lovey right behind him. So they've been grounded most of the afternoon. I have examined Nedi's right front paw as closely as I can, and can't find any cut, thorn, or bite. But his little foot did swell up a bit - I think he was stung by a bee or a wasp. His foot is back to normal size, but he is still limping a bit... I think what was so odd was that Lovey knew something was wrong with him, and she wouldn't leave him alone, even though he hissed and struck out at her. I think she remembers that Banichi left us a year ago today. Is it my karma? Lovey's karma? Or is Nedi going to follow in Banichi's path? If he has a temperature, swelling, or anything weird in the morning, we'll be visiting the Emergency Vet. > The Crystal Fire is still burning to the north of Bouler, and three new fires have cropped up south of us, in Jefferson County. The town of Evergreen, a setting in Diane Mott Davidson's mystery books, is being evacuated. In the last 100 years, there have been an average of 3 wildfires in April; the count this year is at 30, and it's just the 8th of the month. > Horses. A.P. Indy, the super racehorse has been pensioned from stud duty. He covered 25 mares this year and none of them are in foal. The stallion is 22 years old. ... To Honor and Serve, who ran third in the Florida Derby, is out of contention for the Triple Crown with a suspensory ligament strain. Premiere Pegasus will undergo surgery this weekend for his fractured cannon bone. Jaycito has been scratched from the Santa Anita Derby tomorrow due to a bruised foot. The big three-year-old races tomorrow are the Wood Memorial, the Carter Stakes, the Illinois Derby, and the Santa Anita Derby. ... Jockey Jean Crueget, who rode Seattle Slew to his Triple Crown victory in 1977, hasn't ridden a competitive race in 15 years. He wants to ride a filly at Keeneland this month, at the age of 72. Kentucky racing officials have stated that Crueget will need, essentially, "a permission slip" from a physician stating that he is physically and mentally able to compete on the track while in the saddle. > I totally enjoyed watching Ken Burns' The Civil War on PBS this past week. I was, however, a little put off by a national magazine complaining that the series was being "shown for the umpteenth time." Dummy me, I hadn't put together that this Tuesday is the 150th anniversary of the first shot of the Civil War being fired at Fort Sumter. All I know is that I've been getting some strange looks as I walk down the sidewalks and in stores; because the series has put a lot of the old Southern songs back in my mind - Dixie, Goober Peas, The Bonnie Blue Flag, and Lorena - and I find myself wandering about humming and singing the songs. Let me tell you, people singing in Boulder is not unusual, but when the lyrics include: "and let another rousing cheer for Tennesssee be given; the single star of the Bonnie Blue Flag has grown to be eleven. Hoo-rah, hoorah, for Southern rights hoo-rah...." one can garner some very strange looks. > Have a great weekend! (And, go, Tiger, go!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Viewpoint...

Tons of Mulch

Today was beautiful - cloudless at dawn, cloudy mid-day, and now cloudless again. But beautiful does not create rain or snow, which we need. The kits have enjoyed the day thoroughly - going out this morning and all afternoon. I'll have to round them up soon. Rosie and Remy were grand for their walk, and so was Miss Lucy. I mailed an out-of-print book to my cousin Sarah in Kansas, and also mailed copies of old US Census' to Carolyn. I've been reading Christmas Mourning - it is so good. >Tuesday and today I noticed several 18-wheelers loaded with wheat straw headed up Boulder Canyon. I just realized that is what the county and state is using for mulch to cover the burned areas of the FourMile Canyon fire from last September. They are mixing the straw with dirt and water and dropping it via helicopter on burned ridges and draws, in hopes of controlling erosion run-off when we get our spring rains. Otherwise, there will be mud-slides on top of the burn devastation. ... And speaking of burns, the Crystal fire is still less than 50% contained; but officials believe (and hope) that the worst is over. >Premiere Pegasus was the betting favorite in this weekend's Santa Anita Derby. He has been scratched due to a hairline fracture of his left fore cannon bone. That leaves 10 other entries in the race. ... Jockey John Velaquez will ride Uncle Mo in Saturday's Wood Memorial at Acqueduct; then he hops on a plane to ride Life at Ten (in her debut race of 2011) in an allowance race at Gulfstream on Sunday. ... The Illinois Derby will also be run this weekend.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2-Year-Old Female Cougar Relocated

I just got the information from DoW Officer Kristen Cannon - about 3:30 this afternoon the cougar was spotted in the back yard of a house in the 2200 block of Oak Street (about one block from Centennial Middle School). The female was tranquilized, measured, tagged, and then DoW officials turned her loose in Rocky Mountain National Park. - A very happy ending.

Cougar, Mountain Lion, Puma...

Sunning by the creek...

A definite cougar print...
Who's that knocking at my back door?

No matter what you call them - cougar, puma, mountain lion -

they are big cats!

Mountain Lion in Neighborhood

I received an e-mail at 8:05 this morning, letting me know that the mountain lion killed a deer this morning on Emerald Road. I passed the news on via e-mail to all the neighbors I have e-mail addresses for at 8:15. Department of Wildlife personnel and Boulder County sheriff's deputies went door-to-door telling residents to stay inside and keep their animals inside. They said they would try to trap the lion when it returned to the kill. Jim told me at 1 p.m. that all the extra people had left - so he guessed the lion had been trapped. I have both a telephone call and an e-mail in to Kristen Cannon in the DoW, asking for an update. Hopefully, I will be able to report soon - both in the blog and via e-mail to the residents.... There is nothing on-line or in the news about the mountain lion at present. Lovey and Nedi are having a blast running around today - they went out 4 times yesterday and have been out three times so far today. Rosie and Remy were quite happy, today, too. It's been gray and misty all day here - occasional sprinkles of rain have fallen, but not enough that I'd call it a shower. ... Up at the Crystal Fire site, one family was given 5 minutes to get dressed and leave during the weekend - the people left, with their dog, but they had to leave their 5 horses behind. The family's house and barn are totally gone, but the horses escaped the fire and were found a couple of miles away, eating grass and drinking sweet mountain water in a small draw. The family cried with joy to hear that their four-legged kids had survived; they said they could rebuild the house and barn, but they couldn't replace their friends.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Luna and Regina

Luna is wearing galloping boots...

Luna does all her work for treats and love...
Luna and Regina clear a 2'6" jump.

Warm... But Windy

We have a wonderful Chinook blowing from the west. Or, rather, it would be wonderful if we had snow on the ground. Since we are dry, dry, dry, it is a problem. The Crystal Fire is only 15% contained, and we have a Red Flag warning through noon tomorrow, warning of winds with gusts up to 70 mph. Hoooo, boy.... Lovey and Nedi cuddled with me all night long as the wind blew, even though it was pretty warm outside - it was 50 degrees at 7 this morning. They are now having fun chasing blowing leaves in the back yard. Rosie and Remy were very excited to see me, and we had an excellent walk. Then I took Lucy out, and had a discussion about cutting back her walk days to just the two T-days with her owner. Since her Mom was at home, Lucy was happy to go out for a walk, but she didn't want a long one. ... The SWAT team got the young man at Boulder Community Hospital to surrender to them yesterday, and he gave them his .357 Magnum without a struggle. And the young man in the suitcase has been identified as a 17-year-old foster child - police are continuing their investigation. ... Clive Cussler, the best selling author, and his group (NUMA) helped discover an 1830s ship-wreck in the southern part of Lake Michigan. They were searching for the remains of Northwest Air Flight 2501, which crashed into the great lake in 1950. Photos and more information may be found at: .... And, in Germany, a young lady named Regina Mayer has captured my heart. Two years ago her parents said, "No" to purchasing a horse or pony for her to ride. Regina then made her own plans. She began working with a new-born calf named Luna. Now 15, Regina may be seen daily riding Luna around the large family farm near the Austrian border. Luna has also been trained to jump obstacles. I salute Regina for coming up with a unique way to be able to ride!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two TV Shows...

Wow. Derek Jacobi was stupendous as Cardinal Orsini in the opening episode of Showtime's The Borgias. Too bad that his weaselly character was poisoned (by his own poisoner) so early in the series. Jeremy Irons was stunning as Rodrigo Borgia, Pope AlexanderVI; and I am really looking forward to the next 9 episodes. - Can you tell what I was doing last night? - And PBS is also showing Ken Burns' The Civil War again. I watched episode 1 of that last night, and thrilled to the sound of John Hartford's voice. And getting to listen to Shelby Foote's commentary, as well as looking at him, was fantastic. Isn't it terrible that my two favorite people on that show are now dead? ... So, Saturday it was almost 80 degrees; yesterday we had hail, rain and snow, and the temperature dropped to 24; this morning I got up to about a half-inch of snow accumulation on the grass and covering cars. Our high was 49. It was also windy all day. The weather guys say we'll be up to the low 60s tomorrow, but with higher winds. ... This does not bode well for the Crystal Fire, as it is still only about 5% contained and still has over 4,500 acres both smoldering and burning. ... Right now, a suicidal man is camped out in the local medical center; the man has a gun; and the SWAT team is there. ... A couple of teen-aged boys opened a suitcase sitting near a park in Denver and found the body of a 17-year-old boy. ... Life around here is getting a little strange....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crystal Fire Update

The Crystal Fire is less than 5% contained. It has now burned over 4,500 acres, including one shed containing a motorcycle and an ATV; plus the fire spokesman said that they believe that at least 15 homes have been destroyed. The temperature has dropped to 30 degrees, and we've had intermittent rain and light snow since 11 a.m. - We need much more rain and snow, but this system is already moving well to the east of us. .... And Nick Zito-trained Dialed In won the Florida Derby (worth $1 million) by a head over 68-to-1 Shackleford. The betting favorite, Soldat, finished fifth.

Crystal Wildfire