Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Colorado Springtime Views

Both photos are copyrighted by Sara G Photography

End of May Miscellany

It's gorgeous here, once again...  bright, sunny skies, a few clouds, birds singing, squirrels and baby cotton-tails running around, and my kits sitting on the patio in the sunshine, taking all of it in.  I've already taken care of two different households, and will depart to walk the red kids soon.   ...  Jim ran the Bolder Boulder in 54 minutes on Monday, while Kathy easily made her guessed walking time.  Our trash is usually picked up on Tuesday, but was set back to yesterday because of Memorial Day.  Usually the recycling or compost is picked up before 7:30 a.m., and the trash is grabbed between noon and 2.  Yesterday, the recycling was picked up around noon at one house, and three at the other; the trash was picked up at 5:30 at the first house and has yet to be grabbed, as of now, at the second house.  With the raccoons in the neighborhood, it made for an interesting morning.  ...  Archaeologists believe they may have found a broken jar of "anti-freckle cream" on the island of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean, and think that it might be something left from the possible crash of Amelia Earhart.  A three day conference regarding the last flight of Earhart begins Friday.  ....  Zoe Ripple, the CU grad who was shot during a home invasion, says she is "disappointed" that she is now being charged with felony trespass, after being shot by the frightened home-owner.  Give me a break!  Her alcohol level was  twice the amount needed to be charged with being drunk.  She claims she thought she was at the home of a friend - but she doesn't remember anything after leaving a bar at 1:45 in the morning, and being shot at 3:26.  She was driving a vehicle while she was that drunk.  She could easily have killed other motorists, or folks on the sidewalk.  She could have parked her car and died from alcohol poisoning.  There are all sorts of scenarios that might have happened.  - A woman was recently put in jail for 33 years after her 8th time of  DUI; this time she struck and killed two young parents and their infant.  To escape being arrested, she dove into a local reservoir and tried to swim away.  She was caught.  When pulled up into the boat, her first question was, "Who did I kill?"  Drunkenness has been a problem of civilization from day one - maybe we should finally start implementing some DUI laws that have teeth.  .... Back home on the island, the Island Roxy Theatre is getting a new life.  Renovations are being done, and the theatre will begin showing movies next week - and they have also booked their first musical endeavor, a string quartet.  Go, Roxy!  ....  Louis J. Feuchter, 1885-1957, was a renowned Baltimore artist who painted maritime scenes of the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore.  The Museum of Chincoteague Island is presenting an exhibit of his work in paintings in oils and watercolors, as well as many sketches. These works provide a visual record of the vessels that plied the area waters in the early 1900s.  The works are privately owned and have never been exhibited publicly before. They have been loaned to the museum specifically for this exhibit which runs for three weeks only, opening Saturday, and running through June 24.   Feuchter's artistic talent was recognized early in his life, and he was admitted to the prestigious Maryland Institute of Art when he was 12. In the 1940s, he was commissioned to paint the murals in the Mariners' Museum of Newport News. Today, his works are featured in many museum collections.  The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and closed on Mondays. Admission is $3 for adults; children 12 and under are admitted free with accompanying adult.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Photos of Contentment ...

... in Germany.

... in China.

... in Egypt.

... in India.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Wet Leopard in India

Yesterday, near Sangatram in New Bengal, in India, a leopard somehow became trapped in a water retention pond at a tea plantation.  A wildlife worker was called, a ladder was dispatched, and the leopard was free...

Warm, Quiet, and Peaceful

It's warm, quiet and peaceful out this morning.  The North Boulder neighborhood where I'm house-sitting was lovely - the only sound was that of birds singing, and an occasional dog barking.  Here, at the apartment, I can hear the rumble of traffic on US 36, the voices of two people playing tennis behind the privacy fence, and the sound of birds (and squirrels chittering at my kits).  The kits are outside, playing in the sunshine - and I have a sleepy feeling, like I really need to curl back up and go back to sleep, even though I got a good 8 hours last night and this morning.
  About 51,000 people ran or walked in the Bolder Boulder yesterday - that's not counting the professional runners, or the wheelchair racers.  Patrick, a friend who's a barrista at Starbuck's, said he was totally over-run by customers - especially since they had a $2 frappucino grande special running from 4 to 7 p.m. - Patrick worked by himself from 5 to 7, and couldn't even start to break down the work stations until 7 last night.  ...  The Boulder Creek Festival was its' usual success, and ended yesterday with the rubber duck race down Boulder Creek. 
    In the news:  The man who was attacked in Miami has lost about 75% of his face, according to a local TV station.  Larry Varga, who witnessed the ferocious attack, said: "The Police officer came over, told him several times to get off and a police officer climbed over the divider and got in front of him and said, 'Get off!' And told him several times and the guy just stood his head up like that with a piece of flesh in his mouth and growled."   That was when the officer shot the assailant.  The victim is still in critical condition.  ....   Florida, Colorado and New Mexico are not the only states with wildfires - the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has a wildfire that has burnt over 34 square miles and destroyed over 36 residences.  ....  Shackleford, who won last year's Preakness, won yesterday's Metropolitan Mile Handicap, in his usual front-running style.  Caleb's Posse was closing fast, but couldn't catch the big chestnut.  .... Black Caviar, the Australian thoroughbred, will soon arrive in Great Britain.  It had been hoped by the Jockey Club that she would be entered in the 1-mile Sussex Stakes; an offer was made to "sweeten" the purse from 300,000 pounds to one million, if Black Caviar faced Frankel in the Sussex.  However, Black Caviar's connections have rejected that offer.  (Black Caviar is unbeaten in 21 races, while Frankel is unbeaten in 10.)
  Hope you have a good week!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Old Glory

A Busy Day Already - Memorial Day

Normally, I would be standing, or sitting in my chair, alongside Folsom Street and yelling encouragement at people competing in the Bolder Boulder 10K right now.  Instead, I have just finished a late breakfast (I consider it late because I've been up and going since 5) and am starting to blog...  I have the screen panels in place at the French doors, so I can hear the waterfall, as well as the interior water feature, gurgling gently.  I've watered the organic garden and all of the potted flowers and plants outside, have fed the koi, have fed and played with the cats and dog, have walked the dog, and have taken Jim and Kathy to a drop-off site near the Start line of the Bolder Boulder.  Jim's running group was to leave at 7:15, and I dropped he and Kathy off at 7:00, 6 blocks from the starting line.  Kathy is walking the course, with her arm in her sling, as her arm and shoulder still give her some twinges.   I'm about to go over to their house and "dognap" Boo and Mona to come play with Tessa in the back yard.  I have to admit to allowing Tessa to stay in the back yard with minimal supervision; if she starts barking, I'll bring her in, but the owner only allows the dog outside to use the bathroom - and I think Tessa needs time to run and play and just be a dog.  I'll go home and spend time with Lovey and Nedi later this afternoon or evening.

   Today is Memorial Day.  A day to give respect to those who have fought for our country, and those who have died serving our country.  The majority of my family arrived in the United States back when it was a British colony - where the dissidents, trouble-makers, and those seeking religious freedom came.  People on both sides of my family have fought for (a) the British Colonies, (b) the Continental Army during the Revolution, (c) the War of 1812, (d) the Mexican War, (e) on both sides of the Civil War, and so on and so on...  I am extremely proud of my ancestors who fought and bled for this country, and of everyone else who has served the United States.  The armed forces of today deserve every one's respect and thanks.
    I humbly thank all members of the United States armed services, whether they have served us in the past, are serving us now, or will do so in the future.  America depends upon  it's citizens who, willingly, serve our country.  God bless you, and thank you.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Boulder and Bolder Boulder Photos

A view from south Boulder, looking at the Flatirons, with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) tucked under them.

There are entertainment spots all along the Bolder Boulder race route - this is one of the performing belly dancers from 2011.

After the racing ends, the Memorial Day Salute begins at Folsom Field, with fly overs and parachuting displays by local armed forces, and a special tribute to local military veterans.

A Windy, Smoky Saturday

Yesterday it got pretty windy in the afternoon and evening...  I enjoyed my time with my kits yesterday, and had a ball with Tessa and the kits at Lynn's.  This morning, after watering the garden, I helped myself to a handful of fresh, ripe strawberries from the strawberry patch - golly, they were sweet!  The tomato plants are producing blooms, and the carrots are sprouting, as are the asparagus plants.  I would love to take Lovey and Nedi with me back to the house, but it will upset Lily too much.  The other kits and Tessa welcome my kits, but Lily is the queen of the house, and she dislikes change of any kind.  Lovey and Nedi are outside in the sun, running around and chasing each other like maniacs.  With the Bolder Boulder tomorrow, I'll come back and visit them again tonight, and then come back tomorrow afternoon.  The kits won't be thrilled, but I think that's the best option, and I've already told my buddies at Safeway that they will not see me in the morning.
   I've read two of the seven books I got at the library the other day, and am half-way through the third.  The air around here yesterday was terrible - the fire up in Poudre Canyon is now out, but we got the smoke from the wildfire in New Mexico that has burnt over 130 square miles.  We, of course, are under a fire and fireworks ban - and there's a fire on the west side of the mountains (the Paradox fire), that has burnt 3,000 acres in Colorado near the Utah border.  It looks pretty and clear outside this morning, while it was extremely hazy yesterday. I can still smell smoke in my apartment, this morning.
   I had to do a double-take and then read an article today - it was about an incident in Miami, Florida.  A woman driving across a causeway from Miami Beach Beach back to Miami, saw two men "fighting" alongside an exit ramp near the Miami Herald building.  One man was naked and was chewing on the face of the other, clothed, man.  Police arrived, and ordered the naked man to stop chewing, or eating, the other man's face.  The other man was screaming and struggling.  The naked man did not cease and desist, even after he had been shot twice.  Reports say that the policeman put at least 6 bullets into the naked man before he died - still chewing on the other man's face.  The victim of the attack was taken to a hospital and is in critical condition, having had "almost half of his face eaten" by the naked assailant.  Now I remember why I try to avoid Miami, when I visit Florida....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Boulder Creek Festival

A scene along Boulder Creek at the 2010 Festival

Faux Renwah performing at the Boulder Creek Festival

Finding a quiet spot along Boulder Creek will be difficult this weekend...

Memorial Day Weekend

Yesterday was kind of crazy - when I stepped out in the hall to go grab a fresh bagel, one of my neighbors and I stopped to chat.  As we were about to part ways, we realized there was a pair of legs visible on the landing of the north stairs.  I told the man that I'd check out the person, and we parted.  I paused at the bottom of the north stairs - I could see dirty tube socks and hairy white legs.  I was not sure if the person was alive, dead, drunk, high, or what...  I projected my voice and called out, "Sir?  Sir?   Hey, mister; are you alright?"  His right foot moved, but there was no other response.  I went to the bakery, then returned home.  The legs were still on the landing.  So I called the non-emergency police number, and told them there was a white male that I did not recognize as a tenant, asleep (or possibly passed out) in our stairwell.  The police came and it turned out the man was so drunk he couldn't stand without aid, and he is also homeless.  I felt badly about calling the police, but I like to feel safe in the hallways of the apartment building.
   Speaking of which, a couple was awakened the other morning by the sound of someone wandering around in their house - the footsteps came closer, and the man grabbed his licensed gun from his nightstand.  Before the intruder walked into the bedroom, both husband and wife yelled warnings - that they had a gun, and that they would shoot, if the intruder entered the bedroom.  A woman entered the room, and continued to approach the bed, even though both people were yelling warnings.  The woman was shot in the side, just above her hip.  Turns out, she was dead drunk, and had just graduated from CU last week.  She managed to find the one unlocked screen door in a $2.75 million home, and entered, trying to find her own room.  (She lived two miles away.)  Colorado has a "Make my day" law, under which, if a verbal warning is given, the home owner has the right to protect him or herself with deadly force.  The young lady survived the shooting, and announced that she is "disappointed" that the state and home owners are still going to charge her with felony trespass.....
   My kits are super, but I missed sleeping with them last night.  Instead, I had Dhisana, Lily and Lyra in bed with me, and Tessa on the floor next to the bed.  Before 6:30 this morning, I had fed all the critters, re-filled the bee water dish, watered the organic garden, and watered all the potted and hanging plants that are outside.  When I left to come back to see my kits, the morning newspaper had yet to be delivered.  The Boulder Creek Festival begins today, and since it pretty much encircles the Public Library, the library is closed until Tuesday.  There are arts and crafts exhibits and sales, music, dancing, face painting, tumblers, environmental displays, food tents, ...  just about everything you can think of.  Monday, the 10k Bolder Boulder will be run and walked and wheeled - there are wheelchair races, and both pro and amateur contests for runners and walkers.  Monday will also see the Rubber Duck Race on Boulder Creek, for the Creek Festival.  I'll come see the kits Sunday in both the morning and evening, and then return Monday evening - because the four blocks immediately around my apartment building are closed by roadblocks on Monday from 4 a.m. until 2 p.m. for the Bolder Boulder.
   I hope all of you have a nice Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nature Shots

Burrowing owlets in Florida

Bee in a rose

An ocelot kitten


We had a nice thunder and lightning storm last night - so much so that I made sure I'd turned the PC off and turned off the power source, too.  It was 46 this morning, and breezy.  The breeze is still going, while the temperature has climbed to 55 - even so, I walked the red kids in jeans and a T-shirt this morning.  It's very warm in the sun and cool in the shade; the kits keep running in and out, trying to decide where they are most comfortable.  Nedi has found/made a new hidey-hole that is somewhere in the closet - he went in there with the first clap of thunder last night, and I didn't see him again until this morning.  Lovey, on the other hand, snuggled as close as she could get - I think she would have burrowed under my skin, if she could have done so. 
   I've been at the Thore house, and received detailed instructions on caring for the pets, house, plants, waterfall and garden for the next two plus weeks.  Then I walked Rosie and Remy, and ended up at the Snow house, so Remy could lay down and rest, and Mona could chase Rosie for another 30 minutes, trying to take Rose's blue squeaky bone away from her.  ...  I did make it to the library yesterday, and made a somewhat "splashy" entrance - I tripped over a paving stone and landed flat my face in front of the main doors.  Today my right knee and hand are sore, but (other than my dignity) I'm fine, otherwise. It's awfully embarrassing to feel yourself falling face forward, in slow motion, and hear other people around the entrance of the building gasp - and the kids laugh, asking why that lady fell down...  But I got 8 new books to read, so I was happy.
  I just realized that I missed seeing Tom Selleck's Jesse Stone movie that premiered Sunday night - I kept my TV on PBS and missed one of my favorite police chiefs.  ...  Tonight I'll be heading over to stay with the red kids again for a couple of hours, then I'll walk them in the morning, and move into the Thore house tomorrow afternoon. ... Kathy and Jim are still deciding on their options for the running of the Bolder Boulder on Monday - I'm pretty sure I'll be driving them to, or from, or both ways.  ...  And Creative Cause, who ran in the Derby and placed third in the Preakness, is going to skip the Belmont on June 9.  John Velasquez has been named as the jockey aboard Union Rags for the race.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

I just love these dogs!

A Quiet Wednesday Morning

Boulder reached 89 degrees yesterday, breaking an 80-year-record.  Today, a front is passing through, and we hope to have a high temperature of 72.  It's grey outside, even though the sun is shining; there are just a few streaks of snow left on the Indian Peaks and Mount Audubon.  Forecasts are for thunder and lightning storms this afternoon, and then highs in the 60s for the rest of the week.  My kits are outside, observing the birds, squirrels and insects.  I stayed at home yesterday, read and did research.  One of my neighbors gave me an interesting job - find information on her birth parents.  I've been able to trace her maternal grandparents back to 1788; but her maternal grandfather appears from nowhere - no family history, no family ties, and not in any Census until after he marries the grandmother...  It's a fun puzzle.  I'll go to the library after walking the red kids today - first, because I need more books to read, and, second, to use free on the library PCs.  Maybe I'll be able to find something else about the grandfather....
   Not much going on here - the Poudre Canyon fire is completely contained, and fire fighters are now performing clean-up details there in Larimer County.  ....  Peyton Manning appeared in a volunteer Broncos' three-day practice - the public wasn't allowed in, but the press was. ....  Meadowbrook Farm, the birth place of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, was sold several years ago to a group that was producing the Virginia State Fair.  The property went into foreclosure, and was sold again this week for $5.35 million. ....  I'll be staying at Lynn Thore's house beginning Friday; then switching over to the Munsinger home.
   This Monday the Bolder Boulder 10k race will be run - but, for once, I won't be sitting here at the edge of the parking lot and yelling to encourage the runners.  I'll be staying in North Boulder.  Kathy is scheduled to walk the course, and Jim is scheduled to run it.  It looks like I'll drive them in to a drop-off point near the starting line,  and will come pick them up when the race is over and the crowds have cleared a bit.  (I'll probably visit the kits Sunday night, and then again Monday evening...)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Farm Scenes

A barn in Ontario, Canada

A farm scene in Idaho

A creek and old barn near Nowata, Oklahoma

A Day "Off"

I usually have a day "off" on Tuesdays - I don't walk dogs, and I'm currently not house-sitting, so I have the day free.  Well, I still get up at 5:30, feed the kits and clean the litter boxes (but I occasionally go back to bed, afterwards).  But I don't have anything planned that I must do - sometimes I clean house, sometimes I do laundry, sometimes I wander the Pearl Street Mall, sometimes I go to Denver.  Today, I might go to the library, but other than that, I plan on staying at home - especially since we're expecting a high around 90 degrees today.  It's already in the low 70s, at 8 a.m.  My kits are out chasing squirrels and birds in the back yard, and then taking a break and lying in the cool dirt at the bottom of the fence.  I already have the window and the patio door wide open, with the curtains drawn, as they face east; I've had breakfast and read all my usual news sites on the web.  I'll probably play with genealogy today.
   I finally up-loaded the new version of the Snow family tree yesterday afternoon/evening.  That was 242 pages, which I can only send to the Rootsweb page at a rate of 4 pages per "send" package.  So it took nearly 2 and a half hours to get all those pages sent to the system; then I had to up-load the file, which luckily, takes only about 2 minutes...  That's the only complaint I have about doing family trees.  But, of course, I was putting up information on 5,600 individual people - so I really can't complain.  I still haven't finished checking the dates and off-spring of the Sanborn family, and I still have another half of the family to enter data about....  Ai, yi, yi....
  I have my fans set up, but not yet plugged in, for use this afternoon.  I hope the weather forecasters are wrong.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Belgium Ardennes Drafts

A chestnut version

A bay roan version

A bay version

The Weekend

Yesterday the peaks were snow covered; today they are three-quarters bare of cover.  It wasn't particularly warm yesterday, we had periodic rain showers, but I think the wind was the factor that removed the snow.  A light Chinook was blowing most of the day.  The Snow family and I got together to celebrate Sarah's birthday (a day late) at Reubens Bistro in the afternoon, and I got home in time to see Finding Your Roots on PBS.  Saturday evening I spent a couple of hours with Rosie and Remy, and I'm getting ready to head back over to walk them this morning.  My kits are enjoying the sunshine, even though Lovey keeps running in to check on me every 5 minutes or so.
  I found the other day that I can no longer multi-task doing important things.  I was watching the video of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition sing "Just Dropped In to See What Condition..."; I was really into the music and was tapping my fingers along with the beat.  That was when there was a close-up of Kenny Rogers, and I realized that it looked like my nephew Mike.  I was also working on my brother-in-law's family tree. His maternal family has a large number of members, and (thank goodness!) a relative documented the family up to 1898.  In my enjoyment of the music, and the startling sight of "my nephew" on the video, I managed to click the mouse twice.  Once to delete the original citation, and once to say, yes, of course I want to do that.  As I was clicking the second time, I realized that I had just erased the citation documenting over 3,000 relatives for Jim's family.  I freaked.  My cousin Sarah told me to do a system recovery, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I did the recovery.  Then I realized that my PC thinks my family tree is a document, so the system recovery did not work.  I have spent the past week trying to get all the citations back onto the various relatives...   Aieee!
   The clouds cleared just in time for Boulder to see last night's eclipse of the sun.  ....  Gary Sinese and the Lt. Dan Band played in Parker yesterday (I would have gone, had I been aware of it).   ....  I'll Have Another has arrived at Belmont Park, and will begin to prepare for the final race in the Triple Crown.  Jockey Steve Cauthen, who was aboard Affirmed, the last Triple Crown winner in 1978, compared the two chestnuts yesterday, and said that he believes that I'll Have Another can win the Belmont, too.  He stated that the compact chestnut colt has the same quiet drive and will to win that Affirmed possessed. ....  Tangier Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, is disappearing into the  Bay.  The water level is rising, there is a good deal of soil erosion from the waves, and there is land subsidence, all contributing to the permanent loss of land.  From the air, Tangier used to look like a fish hook - now it looks like a teardrop.  The island town of Saxis, in Accomack County, is also disappearing.  If breakwaters and dredging are not done quickly, both of these towns with 400 years of history apiece will soon sink under the waters....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lola, A Filly of My Dreams

Is this how you dog paddle?

I can do dressage moves!

Lola, after shedding her baby coat

I have fallen in love with a 2-year-old filly.  Her name is Lola, and she lives at the Pelton Vanners Farm in Lady Lake, Florida.  Her dam is a beautiful, mostly black Gypsy Vanner; her sire is a bay roan Ardennes stallion, imported from Belgium.  ...  If I had the means, I'd go to any length to purchase and train this girl!

Solar Eclipse; Wildfires; Preakness Wrap

Do NOT look directly at this evenings' solar eclipse; it can and will cause permanent damage to your eyes.  And, having to wear corrective lenses for the past 45 years, i can tell you that it's not fun.  Special eclipse viewing "sun glasses" are available at McGuckin's Hardware here in Boulder - they were the only folks who thought to order, and/or stock up on, these very unusual, and specially-constructed items.  These glasses allow one to look directly at the solar eclipse, and are in great demand, as CU has opened Folsom Field, the football stadium, as a viewing and party area.  The Field makes a perfect viewing spot, as the sun will sink directly opposite the stadium, behind the mountains. - And, speaking of the mountains, while we had rain and drizzle yesterday, the Indian Peaks and Mount Audubon all have fresh new mantles of snow.
   Our wildfire in Poudre Canyon is now about 85% contained, except on the north side...  the fire has burned nearly 8,000 acres.  Yesterday's light rain helped damp the fire down, but as the fires are in areas without roads, it made travel difficult for those fire-fighters hiking in to try to control the fire - mud, slippery slopes, loose stones, etc.  We have had over 600 fire-fighters on the ground, as well as several large tankers dropping water and slurry.  Wildfires also have charred terrain in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah.
*In Nevada, a fire grew to 27 square miles and threatened sage grouse and mule deer habitat. No homes were in danger, and no injuries were reported. The blaze was about 50 percent contained Saturday and remains under investigation.
*In Arizona, slowing winds aided firefighters battling three major blazes. The state's largest fire, the Sunflower Fire, continued to burn about 16,600 acres just north of Mesa. Officials say nearly 600 firefighters helped keep it from spreading. A 10-mph breeze helped 900 firefighters get the Gladiator Fire below 13,000 acres and 10 percent contained. The Bull Flat Fire, which has struck more than 2,000 acres in the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, was about 80 percent contained.
*In New Mexico, crews battled a lightning-caused fire that has scorched 545 acres in the Gila National Forest in the southwestern part of the state. No structures were at risk, and no injuries were reported. About seven trails remained closed in the forest and more than 110 firefighters around the state were helping battle the blaze Saturday.
*In Utah, rain and cooler temperatures helped slow a wildfire that burned nearly 2 square miles in the western part of the state. Firefighters contained the blaze late Friday. No structures were threatened, and no injuries were reported. Authorities say the fire was sparked accidentally Thursday by a passing car.
*In Southern Oregon, crews worked Saturday to extinguish a 462-acre wildfire near the California and Nevada borders. The fire eight miles east of Lakeview, Oregon, near Highway 140 was not immediately threatening people or property, but firefighters said they were concerned hot spots could ignite later in the fire season. The fire is believed to be human-caused and is burning on private land and in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.
  And, going back to the thoroughbreds....  I'll Have Another has come out of the Preakness in fine shape, and will be heading for Belmont Park (and the Belmont Stakes) in New York.  He will try to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, when Florida-bred Affirmed won it, under teenage jockey Steve Cauthen.  Connections for Dullahan, Hansen, and Union Rags have said that they plan to run against the chestnut colt in the Belmont.  ... OK, so I picked I'll Have Another - because I like his looks and his pedigree.  My other three choices finished 6th, 7th, and 8th - so they weren't good bets. The complete order of finish for the Preakness was:  I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, (4) Zetterholm, (5) Teeth of the Dog, (6) Optimizer, (7) Cozzetti, (8)Tiger Walk, (9) Daddy Nose Best, (10) Went the Day Well, and (11) Pretension.  Attendance at the Preakness was 121,309 (another new record), and, during the 13 races on the card, visitors made $80,463,005.00 in bets.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'll Have Another Wins Preakness

I'll Have Another (chestnut, on left) wins the Preakness Stakes this afternoon, beating Bodemeister (bay, on right) by a short neck.  Photo by Patrick Smith for Getty Images.

 My pick to win the Preakness did. Bodemeister led all the way again, and Mario Gutierrez sat chilly in the saddle until the top of the stretch.  I'll Have Another began to make up ground with each stride, catching Bodemeister about 100 feet from the finish line. Bodemeister hung tough, but I'll Have Another was a good head in front at the line.  Creative Cause finished third.  I'll have more tomorrow.
  In Lingerie, the filly who won the Black Eyed Susan Stakes (the fillies' equivalent of the Preakness) yesterday, is doing well.  She won the race Friday, but it was noticed that her left fore was bleeding heavily in the winner's circle.  She apparently grabbed a quarter coming out of the gate, and is sound and happy today, according to her trainer.

Neva of the Arapaho; George Bent of the Cheyenne

Neva and Spotted Wolf, Arapaho Delegates to 1863 Visit Abraham Lincoln, with imprint of Addis & Noel, Leavenworth, Kansas. Neva (standing) is wrapped in a masterpiece of porcupine quillwork embroidery on a brain-tanned buffalo robe of the type that was sometimes presented as a special gift from a mother-in-law to her daughter's husband. Such robes were made as sacred vows by Cheyenne and Arapaho members of the Woman's Sewing Society. Also, such work was often pledged as a prayer for the recovery of a sick relative or the return of a loved one too long away at war. Once the work was completed, the vow was considered fulfilled, and the maker was then at liberty to give or trade her work however she wished. Twenty was considered the minimum number of quilled stripes for such a vow; 30 or more was deemed extraordinary. This robe has over 80 stripes running the entire length. It represents a year or more of daily work by the woman who created it. Among the property which George Custer reported he had destroyed with Black Kettle's Cheyenne/Arapaho village at the Washita in November 1868, were "573 tanned buffalo robes, many decorated." Spotted Wolf carries a pipe and a beaded tobacco bag, indicative of his position as a Council Chief. His painted and quillwork-decorated leather shirt with locks of human hair indicates his earlier career as leader of one of the warrior societies. Neva grasps a bow and a single arrow in his left hand. The nock and fletching of the arrow are seen against his bare right shoulder.

George Bent, half white, half Cheyenne, and his wife Magpie, a Cheyenne (1867)

Preakness Saturday

It's grey and overcast here - the clouds are hugging the foothills, and I can only see the bottom 50 feet of the first Flatiron.   Hopefully, the rain that is falling around the area will manage to help the fire fighters up in Poudre Canyon; that wildfire has spread to almost 8,000 acres, and is about 45% contained.  It turns out that a man was camping there in the Poudre Canyon, and the wind over-turned his alcohol-burning stove.  He tried to put the fire out, then fled.  He has been ticketed, which has a cost of $350.00, but as the state has had to declare an Emergency Disaster, there is talk of holding him responsible for damages done by the fire. 
  The forecast for Pimlico is sunshine, and officials are hoping for a good turnout of fans and revelers.  Coverage will begin at 2:30 on NBC Sports Channel, then switch to NBC at 4:30 (EDT).  I am still  sticking with my picks - I'll Have Another, Cozzetti, Tiger Walk, and Optimizer.  I still fear Bodemeister might shoot to the front and slow down, making it difficult for the closers to get into gear.  If Bodemeister can do that, he might be unbeatable today.  But I'm pulling for I'll Have Another.
  The Boulder History Museum opened a new exhibit yesterday - it's called Chief Niwot: Legend and Legacy.  There are no known photographs of our Chief Niwot (which means Left Hand in Arapaho); there are photos in existence that capture the images of his brother Neva, and his sister Snake Woman.  Niwot was an exceptional man - he spoke at least seven Native American languages, as well as English, and Coyote French.  He grew up near trading posts, and knew well the ways of the white settlers.  Niwot and his band of Southern Arapaho lived peacefully in this area, following the buffalo, which formed the basis of their subsistence and played a key role in their culture. When gold was discovered in the mid-19th Century, fortune seekers flooded the area, as did settlers. Niwot, who had learned English from his brother-in-law, a white trader, sought to make peace with the newcomers, hoping to share the land. He was mortally wounded in the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864. After that, the Southern Arapaho were sent to Oklahoma, and the Northern Arapaho were moved to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.  If you are interested, I highly recommend going to the exhibit, and the perusal of two books:  Chief Left Hand by Margaret Coel, and Halfbreed: The Remarkable True Story of George Bent written by David F. Halaas and Andrew E. Masich.
   My kits and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Re-Enactment Photos - New Market & Olustee

Blue and Gray re-enactors before the Battle of New Market

Battle of New Market

Battle of New Market

Battle of Olustee in Florida

Poudre Canyon Fire; New Market Re-Enactment

The wildfire near Fort Collins in the Poudre Canyon area (being called, officially, the Hewlett fire) has now spread to over 7,300 acres, and is only 5% contained.  Some folks who were evacuated from their homes have been allowed to return, while others are still on stand-by, in case the fire blows in their direction.  It's a pretty morning here, and I'll soon be heading out to exercise the Irish kids.  Lovey decided to accompany me to the bakery this morning - she trotted along beside me until we reached the front corner of the building, then she retired to an area of planted bushes.  I went in and quickly purchased my breakfast, then rejoined my adventurous girl, and we returned home.  I don't think she would have followed me, if I hadn't seen her about to jump a baby bunny, and said, "Lovey! Don't kill any more babies!"  She looked startled, and then picked up a trot so she could join me.  My kit believes she's as good, or better, than any dog.
   When Jeff and I lived in Crows, we weren't that far away from New Market, the home of the Virginia Military Institute.  More than 1,000 Civil War re-enactors are packing their hardtack and wool uniforms for the 148th anniversary of the Battle of New Market.  The re-enactors will gather this weekend on Virginia Military Institute's New Market Battlefield. VMI says it is the oldest battle re-enactment in the nation and one of the few held on the original site.  During the real battle, VMI cadets entered were under the command of Confederate Gen. John C. Breckinridge. His 4,000-man army included 257 cadets. They went on to defeat Union forces totaling more than 6,000.  Weekend activities include historical interpreters who will provide a civilian perspective on the era. The battle re-enactment is scheduled for Sunday.   I miss going to see Civil War re-enactments - my favorite was the Battle of Olustee in Florida.
   We're supposed to have rain during the weekend.  I hope that Larimer County gets plenty of rain and no lightning! (Of course, we're expecting thunder and lightning storms with high winds this afternoon and evening, too.)

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The wildfires in Arizona now have covered over 20 square miles.  The wildfire here in Colorado has spread from 980 acres yesterday to over 5,000 acres right now.  There are mandatory evacuations in Larimer County, and multiple road closures.  The Poudre Canyon fire began Monday and was first reported at a size of 10 acres...  Flames have been seen shooting 10 to 15 feet above the tree tops, and you can smell the smoke in Boulder.  Winds have been gusty and erratic today, and the winds are supposed to become very gusty tomorrow ahead of a cold front that is supposed to bring lightning, thunderstorms, and, hopefully, rain.

Person of Interest Season Finale Tonight

It's a lazy, warm day.  I just woke up from a nap, and am getting ready for lunch.  The kits are basking on the patio, and Ernest Borgnine is playing a Basque on "Wagon Train" - oh, my, there's Leonard Nimoy...  He must be playing either a son or nephew of Ernie....
   About 6 last night, a very insistent squirrel demanded some nuts through the window screen.  He (definitely a he) ate  or buried all but two of them - then at 9:30, two raccoons cruised by and the the nuts.  The critters provided good entertainment for my kits.
   Saturday is the Preakness, and it's also my niece's birthday.  Sunday night, the 20th, I'll be watching CBS to see Tom Selleck in a new Jesse Stone movie.  On May 26, Encore Westerns is celebrating John Wayne's birthday by showing 19 of his movies - a wide sampling from his career, including Rooster Cogburn.  And tonight is the season finale of Person of Interest;  I'll definitely be in front  of the TV to see Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel tonight. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Picks For Saturday's Preakness Stakes

Eleven colts will be in the gate for Saturday's Preakness, unless there is a scratch.  Six of them ran in the Derby, the other five are new to the Triple Crown races.  I'll Have Another is the only possibility of being  a Triple Crown Champion; and he races against Bodemeister, whom he just bagged in the Kentucky Derby.  Other runners from the Derby include Went The Day Well, Creative Cause, Daddy Nose Best, and Optimizer.  The fresh, new colts are Tiger Walk, Teeth of the Dog, Pretension, Zetterholm, and Cozzetti.  If Bodemeister can get an easy lead and slows the pace down, he might be  uncatchable.  I still like I'll Have Another, and I'm adding Tiger Walk and Cozzetti  (and Optimizer has to stay on my list because he's a cousin of my babies...).

1967: Kenny Rogers

I was 10 and 11 years old in 1967 - and I carried a little red and white transistor radio with an ear plug around with me constantly when I was at home.  I listened to WGGG, the home of rock, and WUWU - and I knew the lyrics to all of the top songs.  I totally loved the Beatles, and a lot of the British groups, but I also had several favorite US groups.  One of them was Kenny Rogers and the First Edition - yes, the now famous country singer, Kenny Rogers - listening to an oldies station yesterday, I heard "Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In," and, decided, for a lark, to look for a video of that song.  I found it.  I played it.  And during a close-up of Kenny Rogers my jaw dropped.  If my nephew let his hair grow longer, and allowed his beard to grow, he'd be a dead ringer for Kenny back in 1967....  Here are three photos of Kenny Rogers back in the late 1960s:
This is the jaw-dropper from "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"

Kenny is on the far right in this album cover

Up close and personal in a publicity still from Reprise Records

Usual Mish-Mash

It started out nice and bright this morning - now clouds are coming in from the west, and some look like thunder storm doozies...  We are expecting thunderstorms this afternoon.  I'm definitely in favor of any precipitation we can get (just, please, not hail).  I've already exercised Rosie and Remy and have returned home; the kits were on the patio until a minute or so ago, when the maintenance man went by on the riding mower - now they're inside, peeking out through the curtains.  The weather folks say we'll hit 90 by the end of the week, and I'm ready for it:  I have my two fans unpacked and ready to go, once the warmth gets to be a little too much.
  I didn't have anything on my hallway door for the past month - yesterday I saw an iridescent metal gecko, and had to have it.  It's now on the front door, with it's tail curled around  the apartment number and name holder. ... The wildfire in Poudre Canyon has grown to be 1000 acres now.  People are still on alert to evacuate at any minute - and these afternoon thunderstorms are supposed to kick up the winds to 40+ mph, which will not be of any help to anyone.  ....  Denver is having a security drill today, with Nighthawk choppers making landings and hovering above public buildings.  And we had three choppers hovering over the CU campus for an hour this morning, doing a very detailed aerial survey.  It's been a little noisy.
   Pretty soon the post positions will be drawn for Saturday's Preakness, and I'll be able to look at names, pedigrees, and posts.  I know that Bodemeister and I'll Have Another, the one-two finishers in the Derby, will both be running.  That means I've got to dig deep for my analysis.   ...  I totally freaked out at the ending of the season finale for NCIS last night.  I like the group as an ensemble cast, but I really watch it just to look at two people - Mark Harmon and David McCallum.  When Duckie collapsed on the beach, with an incoming tide, I was completely horrified.  I even had trouble sleeping last night - and found myself saying,  "Not Duckie!  Anyone but Duckie!",  every time I turned over in bed.  -  Now I'll have to see what's in store for the season finale of Person of Interest on Thursday!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Horses and MMM

Horses on Broad Acres Farm

Singer, poet, rancher, cowboy: Michael Martin Murphy

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary; photo by Frank Staub.

Wildfires Are Back

I awoke with Michael Martin Murphy's song Wildfire, running through my mind.  I love the lyrics, the music, and MMM's voice - but I think the song is running through my brain because of the wildfires in Arizona, plus the one here in Poudre Canyon, just northwest of Fort Collins.  In Arizona, there are two major fires burning - the Gladiator fire has burned over 2 square miles and has 0% containment; the Crown King fire was started by man, and has burned over 1,300 acres.  North of us, the Poudre Canyon fire's cause is unknown; luckily most homes in the area are on the other side of the Cache le Poudre River, but there are concerns that embers might be carried by the wind across the water.
   I was just thinking that when I was growing up in north-central Florida, we were watching out for cotton-mouths and rattlers - but I never remember being concerned (or my parents being concerned) about the possibility of a wildfire.  Times have changed.  With this almost nation-wide drought, wildfires are a concern across the entire United States.  There are controlled burn bans, and just plain outright fire bans, already spread across the country, and it's only half-past May.  That makes this summer a time of foreboding and fear - especially if you have livestock scattered across a wide area.  Me, I always think of the wildlife.  I realize that wildfires from lightning have occurred throughout history - but I get particularly upset by the fires caused by humans.  The loss of needed habitat, nests, dens, lairs, feeding and watering areas is horrendous.  The loss of native wildlife is terrible.  Please do whatever you can to prevent any fires from occurring!
    It's a beautiful day here - sunny, warm and bright.  My kits are enjoying the sunshine.  I'll be house-cleaning today.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Osprey in Flight

An osprey in flight at the Snake River in Idaho

Mona's Ancestry

The Indian Peaks have a lot of snow left on them - I'd say they were 4/5 covered with the white stuff.  It's the first time I've been able to see them since Thursday.  Today it's sunny and clear, with a pretty stiff breeze coming down from the mountains  - we're supposed to reach the mid 70s today, and the weather guy just said that today will be the coolest day of the week.  All I know is that the birds have been singing outside since 5:30 this morning, and it was a glorious walk to and from the bakery earlier.
   This up-coming Saturday is my niece's birthday, and it's also the day of the Preakness at Pimlico.  Other than I'll Have Another, I don't know who is running - so, once again, I'll wait until Wednesday afternoon when post positions are drawn to make my picks.  Not much going on for me this week - other than walking Rosie and Remy, I have the week free to clean house, do laundry, and play with genealogy.  I should have an excellent time!
    I've spent a lot of time these past weeks looking at Mona, and trying to figure out her breeding - Mike was originally told that she was part pit bull.  She was about 6 months old when he got her, and she had been through about 6 prior owners.  She is a wonderfully trained dog (now), thanks to Mike's hard work.  She is also a very possesive dog regarding her territory.  She barks at me from inside the house, and inside the back yard, until she can actually touch me; then she's immediately all tail wags and bowing to invite me to play.  I've been looking at recognized breeds, and I've found two that pretty well fit Mona - one is the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog; the other is a cross between a Lab and a Plott Hound.  Here are two examples:
This is a Catahoula Leopard Dog

The dog on the left is half Plott hound and half Lab - and looks a lot like Mona.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Saki and Two Utah Views

Sunrise at Dead Horse Point, Utah

A white-faced Saki

A view of Arches National Park in Utah