Saturday, May 31, 2014

Coyotes, Boulder Creek, and Neighbors

  It was cloudy this morning, then bight and sunny until 3 this afternoon; now it cloudy and thundering again.  Yesterday I visited the Boulder library to get some new books to read, as I was leaving, I caught a flash of water from the corner of my eye, so I walked across the parking lot to Boulder Creek.  The water was up over the banks on either side.  I went home and looked a the Creek at the south end of my apartment building...  While it will take a rise of four feet to approach my building, the pathway beside the Creek, which is an underpass walk-and bike-way, was under water and closed.  I suppose that since one could see the water flowing across the concrete path, quite a few folks felt that the the "Closed - No Trespassing" sign did not apply to them.  In the 10 minutes I was beside the Creek, I saw 6 bicyclists and 10 people on foot ignore the signage, walk around the edges of the barrier, and use the "Closed" path.  At that point in time, the water speed was running at 8 times its usual speed - over 800,000 cubic feet per minute.  When I went into my apartment, took care of the cats, and turned on my PC, I found that all of Boulder County was under a Flash Flood watch until 9 p.m.  I'm sure that if someone had accidentally slipped into the Creek at the Folsom underpass, they would have wanted to sue either the City or the County for their act of stupidity.
   We are, once again, under a Flash Flood warning, and will probably be under the warning for most of the hours between now and 4 July.  Tubing is now banned on the St. Vrain River, joining Boulder Creek, Clear Creek and the Cache le Poudre River.  We also had  small wildfire yesterday afternoon in Lefthand Canyon; fire fighters had it contained within 3 hours.
      I had a very nice chat with a new neighbor this morning - I met Meredith and her dog, Izzy.  Izzy is a trained service dog, and she is extremely well mannered.  She finds my cats fascinating, but doesn't chase them, and, if the cats come inside, she stops at the door.  Lovey pretty much ignores her (Izzy), but Nedi hasn't made his decision about her yet.  In any event,  we had a very nice introductory conversation, and the two of them met the three of us.  Only Nedi has any reservations about either of them.  ....  Britta, her dog Boulder, her cat Baby, and her four parakeets have moved out, but according to the maintenance men, the place is a wreck.  I don't want to hear what they'll think of Nancy's place when she moves out by 5 June...  The air inside her place takes my breath away, between the litter boxes, her refrigerator, and her burning of different herbs and incense.   At least the two guys dealing drugs in 101 have also moved away.  I hope the other new neighbors are also nice, quiet, and don't deal.
    I had fallen asleep last night before midnight, but awoke with a start.  I was trying to decide why I had woken up, when I heard the chorus again - 5 coyotes here in the cul-de-sac.  Five of the six houses here have dogs, and one place leaves their dogs in the back yard during the night.  The coyotes were congregating at the end of the driveway where the outside, over-night dogs live.  The song was eerie, but familiar.  What amazed me was that none of the dogs in the cul-de-sac, inside or out, barked or howled.  Not Lola, not Cooper, not the two Jack Russell terriers on one side, or the Bovier des Flandres on the other side.  I had expected our domesticated buddies to bark at the coyotes - but they were silent.   I wonder why.  Is the quiet a tribute to their "wild" cousins?  Do the dogs realize it's a pack that's crying, and they say silent for safety?  Cooper and Lola were both abused dogs, and are "rescue" pets; they bark at anyone and everyone they first encounter.  If I open the front door and allow them to run out, loose, they do so barking and running.  They don't bark if on a leash, even though they do try to hurry down the front steps.  When other dogs bark in neighboring yards during the day or night, Lola and Cooper run outside and join in the bark fest.  Do the coyotes frighten them?  Or do they respect their wild counterparts?  Why no barking at the coyotes?  I'm stumped.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Photos of Rainbows

Wild Times in Boulder

All sorts of fun and games going on in Boulder -  I awoke this morning to hear about a shooting involving police officers (not another elk, but a young man).  It seems that there was a dispute very early this morning between a cab driver and his fare.  The driver called the police because the passenger, after refusing to pay, began to threaten him.  Just before the police arrived, the passenger exited the car (through the window), and started to walk away.  When the police officers yelled at the man to stop, he ran away - going two blocks to his apartment building.  He barricaded himself within his apartment for over two hours, and neighbors were evacuated. Then the young man appeared to point a gun through a window.  Police officers opened fire and wounded the man.  He was taken out, and EMTs attended him.  A man who saw the wounded man being treated said that the wounded man did not seem to comprehend what had been happening - he couldn't understand or remember what had led to that point in time.  The observer said he thought the man was "very inebriated."  The intersection at 11 Street and College Avenue is currently closed while the police continue their investigation.
  With the rains of the past week and the past several days of high temperatures, we are expecting more flooding.  The Cache le Poudre River is more than one foot above flood stage, and Boulder Creek, which runs past my apartment, is barely staying within its banks.  At this time of year, Boulder Creek usually has a flow rate of of 80,000 to 110, 000 cubic feet of water per minute; the Creek is running at 800,000 to 850,000 cubic feet per minute.  Boulder Creek has been closed to all tubing, rafting, floatation devices, canoes, etc. from Barker Reservoir (on the east side of Nederland) all the way to the Erie city limits.  Kayaking is permitted; but people are urged to use extreme caution due to the enormous rate at which the waters are flowing.  Tickets resulting in fines will be given out to those breaking the law.
    I spent yesterday afternoon and evening watching the next-to-last and last episodes of Vikings again. I thoroughly enjoyed the bath scene with Kings Aelle and Ecbert, Prince Aethelwulf, and the Bishop.  I also enjoyed seeing Floki tell King Horik that he did not betray the Gods, nor Ragnar - "... only you, King Horik."  And, wonder of wonders, my sister actually watched the final episode with me...  I was completely amazed.
   All of the town of Collbran is now under eminent evacuation orders.  It is believed that the lake forming in the mudslide above the town could break through at any minute, and completely bury the town.  Currently, a memorial service for the three men lost last Sunday is scheduled to take place this Sunday.
  And, yesterday, on the witness stand, ex-Boulder police officer Brent Curnow stated that he did not believe that he had broken the law on the morning of 1 January 2013, when he drove from home to pick up and butcher the elk (Big Boy, aka Edward the Elk) that fellow officer Sam Carter had shot while on duty.  When asked about his guilty plea deal on his charges, he stated that his attorney had suggested he agree with them, because his attorney felt that he'd be found guilty at trial.  Sam Carter's attorney still states that his client is "not guilty of anything."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Assorted Photos

Dappled American Quarter Horse stallion

Blacktip shark

Boy reacts to a bare sight...

Kitten in oak tree


Mountain Rescue, Mudslide, and Elk Trial

The massive mudslide in Mesa County, Colorado is still in an unstable condition.  The three missing men are no longer being searched for.  Small slides continue at irregular intervals.  Some of the residents of the small town of Collbran have been told to be ready to evacuate immediately, and small ranchers have been trucking their horses, cattle, and other livestock to safer areas.  A grand piano was seen being loaded into a moving van yesterday...  A lake of standing water is forming at the foot of Grand Mesa, which is where the slide originated and the lake is expected to break through the mud-formed wall and cause another large mudslide.  Geologists and engineers have determined that the second, largest mudslide was moving around 170 miles per hour Sunday afternoon, when he three local men went up Salt Creek to find what had caused the water to stop running in their irrigation ditches.  My heart goes out to the two families who lost loved ones - and to those who might still lose their homes and livelihoods to further slides.
   A  19-year-old man from Quebec, Canada decided to go mountain climbing with a friend Tuesday.  The young man had no mountain climbing experience, and went along with his friend to climb the east face of Long's Peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Wearing light-weight slacks, T-shirts, and sneakers, and carrying a backpack with snacks and water, the guys made it up to the 13,000 foot level.  The Quebec youth became separated from his friend, and called for help on his cell phone, from Broadway Ledge.  A team of 28 people and two helicopters spent almost 24 hours in the search and rescue operation.  A helicopter raised the young man from the ledge, and he was taken by ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center.  Yesterday morning, with temperatures in the 70s and the sun striking the east face of Long's Peak, the rescuers were fighting falling rocks, falling ice, and melting snow.  he young man says he's feels both "lucky" and "stupid" to have survived the night on the mountain, at 13,000 feet (with temperatures about 30 degrees), wearing summer clothes.  If you are going to climb a mountain, please take along appropriate equipment and survival gear.  I shudder to think about the cost of that rescue.
   Marc Colin, the defense attorney for ex-Boulder police officer Sam Carter, stated yesterday that his client "was not guilty of anything" in the opening statements for Carter's trial, charged with multiple misdemeanor and felony charges in the death of a trophy elk called Big Boy.  Colin stated that Carter as performing his duty as a police officer, to protect the residents of Boulder.  He said that the elk was a menace and danger to society because home-owners in the Mapleton Hill have been feeding the elk during the winter for the past several years.   ....  If you've ever read my blog, and especially my entries about Edward the Elk (aka Big Boy), you know where I stand.  I want Sam Carter to pay heavily for killing a trophy elk out of season - for planning to do so with a friend who has already pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to kill a trophy elk out of season, and to picking up the elk's carcass on the night in question (having called in sick for his night shift work at Boulder Police Department), but being immediately available to pick up the carcass after midnight and take it to his home taxidermy shop.  I believe the friend, Brent Curnow, also received a light sentence for his part in this farce.  or more information, please see:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wildlife and Scenes

A 2-year-old male black bear visited the town of Broonfield, Colorado yesterday

Chincoteague mare and foal on a tump in Black Duck Drain, Assateague Island, Virginia (taken Memorial Day 2014)

Red warbler in Mexico

Can you see the sandpiper on Assateague Beach?

Cathedral Cove, near Hahei, New Zealand

Trial Begins in Death of Big Boy (aka Edward the Elk)

Picking a jury for the trial of ex-police officer Sam Carter was apparently difficult - it took all of yesterday and up until today's lunch break at the Boulder County Court House.  The attorneys agreed upon the choice of 8 women and 6 men for the empanelled jury.  Opening statements are scheduled to begin in one hour.  Former Boulder Police Officer Sam Carter is on trial on charges connected to the 1 January 2013 killing of a trophy elk in the residential neighborhood on Mapleton Hill.
  Carter is facing one count of attempting to influence a public official, a Class 4 felony; one count of forgery, a Class 5 felony; and two counts of tampering with physical evidence, Class 6 felonies.  He is also facing misdemeanor counts of first-degree official misconduct, illegal possession of a trophy elk with a Samson Law surcharge, conspiracy to commit illegal possession of wildlife, unlawfully taking of a big game animal out of season, and unlawful use of an electronic communication device to unlawfully take wildlife.
  Big Boy, also known as Edward the Elk, wintered in the Mapleton Hill neighborhood of Boulder for many years.  He was known to enjoy corn and sweet feed that neighbors provided for him during heavy snows.  In the two months before his death, a US Post Office mail man, who delivered on foot in the area, complained twice about Big Boy.  Both times, the large bull was standing on the path to the front porch and refused to move away, so the mail could not be delivered.  The last time, the mail man decided to continue his approach and Big Boy shook his rack at the mail man.  So the elk was reported for "bad behavior."  Residents have stated that if the elk was in front of their porch entry, all they had to do was open the door and the elk would move away.   The morning that Big Boy was shot and killed by Sam Carter, Carter had told the people in residence that the elk was injured and needed to be killed "humanely."   A necropsy showed that the elk was in excellent health.
   They'd never let me on that jury!  I'd want to shoot the ex-officer myself!
Sam Carter posing with Big Boy after shooting him

Maya Angelou Gone

At  the age of 86, Maya Angelou has left this earth.  She touched so many people with her autobiography, and with her poetry, that the numbers seem countless.  I grew up in the Deep South with racism all around me - I knew how much my parents were disgusted by racism, and I was raised believing that everyone born on this earth is an equal.  I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1970, during court-ordered integration of the public schools in the state of Florida.  Maya Angelou's book made me cry - both with sadness and with outrage.
   This woman was unique - not in her experiences - but in her gift of writing.  I wish that I could be a superb writer and gifted lady, like her.
   Rest in peace, my lady.  You surely deserve it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cute Cottages (1)

Fires, Flooding, Mudslides and Stormy Weather

As a small child, I could never understand how weather conditions could be so different across our country. Around Christmas, we'd call the scattered Aunts and Uncles - we'd be in Florida, usually wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and relatives would say it was snowing, or there was a thunderstorm taking place.  I'd look outside the windows and just couldn't grasp that they were so far away that their weather would be different...
   This past weekend is a case in point - a huge fire in Alaska, a large fire in Arizona, flooding from rain in Texas and Louisiana, a mudslide here in Colorado, and stormy weather across the mid-west and into the east.  Having driven my car from Washington, DC out to Boulder, Colorado, I can (now) appreciate the number of miles and the different terrains, that help cause such widely divergent types of weather.
  The Alaska wildfire has burned 250 square miles so far - the fire is now 30% contained and firefighters hope that rain forecast for this week will help to calm the burn.  This is a wind-driven fire  that is burning in the 1.9 million acre Kenai Wildlife Refuge.  The Arizona fire, near Sedona, is now 10% contained - and has burned over 13,500 acres.  Due to winds carrying smoke and fire-related particulates, Sedona has declared that the air conditions are dangerous to anyone with a compromised breathing system - asthma, COPD, etc.
   Most of Texas is under flash flood watches, as well as western Louisiana.  Here in Colorado, the Cache la Poudre River is above flood stage - streets and roads are under water, with fish swimming above the asphalt.  A 14-year-old boy went out on a family outing to fish and picnic along the Cache la Poudre yesterday - the boy slipped off the bank and into the river and was immediately buffeted downstream; his Uncle dived into the river to save the boy.  The boy's body was recovered downstream; while Rescue teams went after the Uncle - who passed away in the hospital last night.
  In western Colorado, in Mesa County, about 26 miles from Grand Junction, a farmer noticed that his irrigation ditch wasn't flowing.  He, his son, and a friend went up into the hills to see if they could discover the cause of the water flow interruption.  All of the men were Volunteer Firefighters and trained in Rescue operations.  They and their two vehicles are missing.  There was a big mudslide, which first blocked the irrigation ditches.  Apparently, while the men were investigating, the gigantic mudslide happened.  Why do I call it gigantic?  The mudslide started out about a mile wide, widened to two miles (at one point) and then narrowed down to a good half-mile wide at the end.  The mudslide is four miles long.  The mudslide is more than 250 feet deep in some places.  The upper area of the slide is still moving, parts of the mountain ridge are still breaking away.  The men disappeared early Sunday afternoon.  A news conference just declared the search-and-rescue operation is now a search-and-recovery operation.
   In the east, chilly showers put a damper on things, and a lot of folks ended up heading home Monday morning, instead of waiting until the last minute to drive home at dark.  We had thunderstorms Friday, Saturday ans Sunday afternoon, but no rain yesterday.  53,000 people participated in the Bolder Boulder and I saw a lot of sunburned faces and arms when I came home yesterday.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Today in the United States, we salute and honor those whose have served our country to preserve our rights and freedom.  I wish to honor my Father, Charles Homer Nocks; my Uncles, Elmer Loren Nocks Joe Robert Nocks, Howard Johnson, Claude Eugene Patrick; my Aunt, Hazel Nocks; my cousin, Glenn Nocks; my father-in-law, Stanley "Lucky" Devine; my brothers-in-law, David Horvath and Steven Devine.  There are also too many cousins, friends, and members of the extended family to name, that I wish I could thank personally - male and female  - for their service to our country.  
   I also wish to thank everyone from every country who is now fighting for freedom, liberty, truth and justice, and my thanks go also to those who have lost their lives in conflicts all over the globe.  My heart and thanks also to to everyone wounded in combat, on assignment, or in any terrorist attack.  May the good Lord, whatever your beliefs, watch over you and protect you.  
   Thank you.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Carmel-By-The-Sea Cottages

Another Four-Bed-Companions Night

Well, the storms held off last night until 8 pm, but then they certainly made the house and the sky-lights shake.  I had baked strawberry cobbler for myself and Shirley, taking it out of the oven at 5...  And the dogs were dancing with delight, believing that I would share with them.  They got a dog biscuit each.  Shirley didn't eat much of her dinner, so just before the storm system arrived, I took her a small serving of the cobbler.  She scraped her saucer clean.  This morning I heated up a much larger serving for her breakfast, and she scraped that bowl clean.  The nursing people who visit her daily say that, at her age (96), it doesn't matter what she eats - calories are calories.  So, since she likes cobblers, I'll continue making them for her while I'm there.
   I went to bed at ten, and had to clear the bed of critters three times before I could insert myself and start reading my book.  I ended up with a dog on either side of me, Tipsi at my feet, and Pounce on my chest/shoulder/neck area.  The library didn't have anything new by any of my favorite authors in, so I grabbed two new authors, and two favorite authors, who had books that I didn't recognize.  The first new authors' book was a mystery set in Paris during the Revolution (1797); I finished it yesterday evening.  I took another new mystery to bed - this one is also set in Paris, but in 1818, during the Restoration, following the downfall of Napolean.  Reading these two books, back to back, is a neat experience - I keep looking back and forth between the two, looking at forms of address (Citizen/Monsieur), and place names, which can't quite be erased and changed entirely.
   Tomorrow the Bolder Boulder will be run, and other than the Skip route, going north and south on Broadway, and a few connector buses to Denver and the Airport, the bus system will be shut down.  I'll be walking  a mile and a half to Broadway, and then walking a mile back to my apartment tomorrow.  And I told Rosie's owners that I'd walk her tomorrow, also...  Not to mention the two walks a day for Cooper and Lola.  Nicodemus, the tri-color Jack Russell terrier next to Cooper and Lola, has a new brother - a seven-year-old Jack Russell that is almost completely white.  He's a rescue dog from Iowa and was kept in a cage in a basement for his entire life.  His name is Emmitt, and he's a sweetie.
  And one of the colts that was expected to run in the Belmont Stakes, Intense Holiday, was vanned off the track after a gallop yesterday morning.  He has a condylar fracture of  a foreleg, and is expected to recover and return to racing, after the break heals.  People at Belmont Park seemed amazed that an opossum, walking across the main track, did not disturb California Chrome during his gallop.  The trainer said that they see coyotes frequently on the track in California, so the opossum wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

More Sea Creatures

Kroyer's deep sea anglerfish

An albino Mexican axolotl

Mimic octopus

Lionfish off Honduras - this is a deadly alien import that is spreading rapidly

A hydro-thermal vent snail

Stormy Night

Last night was certainly interesting....  We've been having our Spring thunderstorms since Tuesday afternoon, and they are expected to continue.  Thursday night there was another big blow with rain and hail, and it was pretty yesterday morning.  In late afternoon, things started to get cloudy and the winds picked up.  While walking Lola and Cooper, I remembered my husband telling me that "when the leaves on a tree turn over, and show their backside, you know it's going to rain."  He'd learned that from his mother.  The leaves on the maples, oaks and cottonwoods were all flipped over by the wind yesterday, and when I arrived back at the house with the dogs, I turned on the television to check our local weather.  It was thunderstorm warnings up, and said that in some areas, the rain might fall at a rate of 2 or more inches per hour.
  Now, it's silly, but I checked the channel guide, looking at all of the 700+ channels offered, and I didn't see anything that I wanted to watch.  I started cooking my supper, and I fed, watered and medicated all the critters.  Tipsi didn't want to come inside for dinner, but after I went out with Pounce, he suddenly appeared at my feet and wanted inside.  As soon as I closed the patio door, it began to rain.  Then tremendous flashes of lightning began, followed by window-pane rattling thunder.  My supper had cooked, so turned off all extra appliances, but sat in front of the TV watching a re-run of the movie Van Helsing, with the volume turned way down. (So I could make up my own ridiculous dialog...)
  I was digging into some mashed potatoes when I heard a very disagreeable sound come from the television set.  It was an Emergency Alert from the National Center for Atmospheric Research here in Boulder.  Last week, with the high temperatures, the area was told to be ready for possible flooding from snow melt.  Last night, the warning was that rain was falling at a rate of 4 inches per hour, and that areas along certain creeks were to expect flooding as the rain moved northwest, into the mountains, over the creeks and areas that have been burned by wildfires in the last few years.  The computer-generated voice stated that this was "a life-threatening event" and to expect mud-slides, possible rock slides, and to look out for various burn-damaged debris being pushed along by water.
  One of the creeks named was the creek that runs along my sister and brother-in-law's property on Topaz Drive.  It's the creek that flooded multiple square blocks back in September last year.  Once the announcement was finished - and it was repeated twice, both in English and Spanish, both written on the television screen, and spoken - I called Kathy and Jim.  Jim answered; he was preparing supper in the kitchen, so I asked if he'd heard the warning.  He told me, no, he hadn't heard it, but Kathy was watching TV and should be there to let him know at any minute.  I repeated the warning, and said that it announced to end at 10:30.  Finally, Jim wondered where Kathy was, and found her, sound asleep, on the sofa, with the TV on....  As he'd left the lawn mower with 10 feet of the creek, he thanked me, and said he'd run out and move it, and "keep an eye on the creek level" until he went to bed...
    The lightning and thunder continued almost constantly.  Both dogs became frightened, and the cats wanted comfort, too.  I took everyone upstairs, and I went to bed (reading), and finally fell asleep with two cats and two dogs in bed with me.  I did not need a blanket to stay very warm.
    It's gray and cloudy today, and my kits were very happy to see me.  We've been having a "love-in" at my desk, and I've petted and scratched and rubbed kitty anatomy since I returned home - except when they were eating their special breakfast.  (They don't like lightning and thunder, either; they go under the bed, and I read aloud to them. - That's why they got a special "Momma's sorry" breakfast today.)  The storms are supposed to appear again this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon, as well.  At least I don't have to water the flowers and garden twice a day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sea Creature Photos

An anemone in coral

The "antifreeze" octopus

Whale shark

Great Barrier Reef coral

Goby peeking out of brain coral

A kiwa hirsuta; an eyeless Antarctic hairy shellfish

Lots of Things

There were 8 tornadoes reported in the Denver area yesterday afternoon and evening, not just 5; and there was a lot of wind and hail damage in the metropolitan area.  We had rain and hail fall in Boulder multiple times during the evening and over night.  It started a little after 5 p.m. and lasted until about 3 this morning - thunder, lightning, wind, rain, and hail.  Luckily, the hail I saw here was the size of, and smaller than, green peas, so it didn't do too much damage.  - In some areas of Denver, between the wind and the hail, some of the soft sidings of buildings looked as though they'd been subjected to gunfire. - I had to close my patio window and door, because the wind was blowing from the east, and the hail was hitting the concrete patio pad, and then ricocheting up to the door and window.  It was an interesting experience.
   There was a slight to-do after the Preakness was won by California Chrome, before he shipped up to Elmont, New York for the Belmont Stakes.  Having won the first two races of the Triple Crown, Art Sherman, the trainer made a comment about racing in the NYRA area.  -  Humans have been wearing "Breathe Right" nasal strips for many years now.  They keep your nasal passages open, so you aren't deprived of oxygen while sleeping or exercising.  Human athletes have been wearing nasal strips almost since the day they were introduced... - The New York Racing Association did not approve of the use of nasal strips on racing thoroughbreds when they were first introduced, saying that there had not been enough study to decide whether the nasal strips were an assistance "offering unfair advantage" to the wearer or not.  Up until Monday, NYRA had declared nasal strips illegal in racing in their state.  California Chrome wears a nasal strip.  He has used a nasal strip in his last six races, and has been undefeated in all of those races.  He has also been ridden in each of those six races by Victor Espinoza.  Any horse, at any race track in the US can (now, with the NYRA's ruling) wear a nasal strip.  Some trainers like them, some don't. In a Sports Illustrated article, a writer stated that since the NYRA has allowed nasal strips, "all of thoroughbred racing suffers from the decision."  He never wrote why, or how, thoroughbred racing suffers from the decision; nasal strips were allowed at all US tracks except in the state of New York prior to the ruling.  Is he stating that New York racing is better than any other states?  Yes, Art Sherman did hint that one of the horse's owners wouldn't be happy if they couldn't use the nasal strip.  But I don't think that would have actually stopped California Chrome's connections from trying to be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 (Florida-bred Affirmed).  Another way to look at the nasal strip "controversy" is to realize that while the nasal strip may help hold the upper nostril passages stay wide open, all the air the horse breathes must then pass through the 'bottle neck' of the horse's trachea, leading to the lungs...  I do not believe that a nasal strip gives a horse an unusual advantage.
   We are heading for Memorial Day Weekend here in Boulder (and, yes, everywhere else in the United States)... In Boulder that means it is time for the Boulder Creek Festival and the running of the Bolder Boulder 10K road race.  Information about the Boulder Creek Festival may be found at:    Festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Friday night, 24 May, with a free concert at the Central Park band shell, and will continue until after dark on Monday, 26 May.  On Monday, the Boulder street system, and a lot of the mass transit system, will be shut down for the 10K Bolder Boulder for the morning and part of the early afternoon - beware!  A map of the race course may be found at:


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bears in Boulder; Tornadoes in Denver

There was quite a stir this morning in the area where I regularly walk the dogs in my care - a mother black bear and her two cubs chose to sleep the morning away in a cottonwood tree on Poplar - less than a block from my usual walking paths.  In any event, the Department of Wildlife was notified and, when the bears came down about an hour ago, they were gently "herded" back towards the mountains, and away from town.  The mother slept in the lower branches of the tree, while the cubs went higher....
Doesn't she look comfy?

And there have been reports of five tornadoes touching down throughout the Denver metro area this afternoon - bringing hail and rain, as well....  Boulder reached a high of 70 today, but the current temperature in Denver has dropped to 55 degrees.
Clouds dangling over Interstate 25 in Denver

Hail in a yard at 51st and Tower in Denver

"Icebergs" of hail on 61st Street in Commerce City

Yep....   It's Springtime in the Rockies!

Various Photos

Baby saw whet owls looking at a saddleback caterpillar

Old Swedish cabin interior - notice the flatbread above the table

Rat thoughts...  I wonder what the bat is thinking?

Street scenes in old town Stockholm

Ankole-Watusi cattle - the breed has been around for more than 6,000 years...

Stormy Afternoon

I'm happy that I don't live in the Aurora area of Denver - after a glorious morning and great early afternoon, four massive storm systems decided to merge over Denver and then scoot off to the northeast.  Tornado sirens blew, schools were locked down, and people were told to seek shelter immediately:
Luckily, while weather watchers saw several funnel clouds form, none of them touched the ground.  There was some wind damage, and, as the rain was falling at the rate of  3.3 inches per hour, there was a lot of unexpected flooding of lower streets and roads.  On a section of Interstate, the drains were clogged with debris, and water was 4 feet deep on the roadway.  Hail fell in many areas, wiping out gardens and flowers, and breaking windows in homes and older-model cars.  In a few areas, it looked as if it had snowed - the hail turned roofs, yards, and streets white - in some cases, snow plows came out and cleared the streets.  It was a wild afternoon.
  A few minutes after four, yesterday afternoon, both of my cats suddenly hunkered down, fuzzed up, and they both ran for their "bolt hole" in the walk-in closet.  They didn't come back out for about 45 minutes.  I'd had the window and patio (back) door open, so I stepped out, thinking there were unknown dogs or people in the back yard.  Nope.   The wind was gusting, and the clouds above us and to the northeast looked like they were boiling.  Other than a few gusts of wind, and later light rain showers, nothing happened here - for which I am very thankful!
   Tomorrow evening I'll be moving into the ABC house - Cooper and Lola are the dogs, Pounce and Tipsi are the cats, and Shirley (who is 95) and her cat Belle.  I'll be there for two weeks, and then move in with Rosie, when her family goes to a wedding in California.  I'll spend every afternoon with the kits, but I will certainly miss them.  And I'll only have internet access when I'm here, at  home, so I'm not sure how frequently I'll be blogging.  I might be loving the kits too much to get online.  I'll just have to see how things go, and how the kits react to the new schedule....
    I do need to visit the library - I'm currently re-reading old favorites from high school days. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sea Creatures

Scorpion fish

Leafy sea dragon

Comb jellyfish

Christmas tree worms

Bobtail squid