Monday, June 30, 2014

Critters and Places

Red squirrel

Grey fox kit


Blue Mound State Park in Minnesota

The Devil's Hopyard State Park in Connecticut

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Critters and Views

Santa Elena Canyon, Rio Grande River, Texas

Spirit Mound State Park, South Dakota

Hansel House, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

California bobcat with prey

Loon and hatchling

Bits And Pieces

Well, let's see....  There is a 500 acre wildfire burning near Canon City that is 10% contained.
  And a great many streets in north-central Boulder are closed to traffic until noon today.  It was on Friday that I caught sight of a large traffic sign on Folsom Street near Iris Avenue that said the road would be closed from 7 to 12 noon on Sunday.I finally found a site that announced that the "Heart and Sole 10K and Half-Marathon" would be run today.  I pulled up a map of the race, and started figuring out how to get to and from the four houses I'm caring for, plus getting home to my kits this morning.  I was amazed when I tried to enter a large shopping center (a huge grocery store and 12 satellite businesses) at 5:45 this morning, and found all entrances blocked by traffic cones and signs reading "Road Closed."  I moved some cones and went to the bakery.  The manager was having fits because I was only his second customer; I told him about the blockages, he went and looked and then called the police - the shopping center was not supposed to be closed off from traffic.  After getting my bagel, I went to three other houses (having fed and walked Tess, Lily and Lyra) and then came home.  I had to drive a huge half-circle to get back to my apartment.  Grrrr.
   There was also a 5.2 earthquake at 10 p.m. local time last night... The epicenter was about 35 miles east of Safford, Arizona, near the New Mexico state line.  The quake was felt in both El Paso, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona, and more than 80 miles into Mexico.  - There was also a shooting in Denver yesterday afternoon.
   We voted in the Colorado primary this past Tuesday - somehow, sending your ballot through the mail just doesn't seem normal to me yet.  I'm used to going to a polling place and showing my identification... Mailing seems weird.  Anyway, for the Democratic ballot, there were 14 positions to vote for, but only two of the positions - Boulder County Coroner and Boulder County Surveyor - had two or more candidates.  The Republicans chose Bob Beauprez to run against John Hickenlooper for Governor.
  And, finally, Game On Dude finished fourth in yesterday's Santa Anita Gold Cup.  He got caught up in a sizzling speed duel at the very beginning of the race with Fury Kapcori, made his move at the top of the stretch, but just didn't have the strength to hold off the closing horses.  Fury Kapcori ended up in sixth place.  The race was run by Majestic Harbor, a six-year-old bay son of Rockpoint Harbor.  He won by 6 1/4 lengths over Clubhouse Ride, who was 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Imperative.  Imperative was 4 1/2 lengths in front of Game On Dude; Lideris was 3/4 of a length behind The Dude, and was 10 3/4 lengths ahead of Fury Kapcori.  Majestic Harbor paid $30.80 for a $2 win bet; Clubhouse Ride paid $5.60, and Imperative paid $4.  The $2 Exacta paid $137.60; the $2 Trifecta paid $680; and the Superfecta the first four places in correct order) paid $1,625.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pretty Places

Near Isadora Pass, Telluride, Colorado

Tsalaki Trail, Smithgall Woods, Georgia

Lake Merrimere, Connecticut

Salt marsh, Huntington Beach, South Carolina

Rainbow over Monument Rocks, Missouri

Can Game On Dude Win a Race Three Years In A Row?

Today, Game On Dude will try to become the second three-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (Native Diver won the race in 1965, '66, and '67).  The Santa Anita Handicap has become the Santa Anita Gold Cup, however, but changing it's name does not change the race.  It's contested at one and a quarter miles, the USA's classic Derby distance, on a dirt track.  Past winners include Seabiscuit, Noor, Citation, Gallant Man, Affirmed, Best Pal and Cigar. The race itself has a great history, and some of the greatest horses in the world have raced in it.
   This year, Game On Dude, a 7-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again, is trying to tie the winning record of Native Diver.  He will face six opponents, ranging in age from 4 to six.  Since it is a handicap race, the horses will carry different weights; Game On Dude and four-year-old Lideris have been assigned top weight of 124 pounds (2 pounds less than 3-year-olds carry in the Triple Crown races).  Salto Del Indio, a colt bred in Chile, will carry 121 pounds.  The other four entries, aged 4 to 6, will carry 119 pounds:  Fury Kapcori, Clubhouse Ride, Imperative, and Majestic Harbor.
  "The Dude" has won $6.5 million in his career so far; he will be breaking from post number one, under regular jockey Mike Smith.  Joe Talamo, Gary Stevens and Kent Desormeaux are also riding in the race.  Game On Dude likes to run to the front of the pack and stay there - but there are several other "early speed" horses running, so the race might set up for a horse that runs off the pace, a closer.  For more information regarding the horses and their connections, visit:
  And, NBC Sports Network will televise the Santa Anita Gold Cup (no longer the "Big 'Cap") live today; the scheduled post time is 4:45 PDT, and the coverage will last an hour, from 4 to 5 p.m. (or 7 to 8 p.m. EDT).  I'll be rooting for The Dude and Mike Smith.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Assorted Photos

Assateague Island, Virginia  -  June 2014

Australian beach resort

Lightning at NASA, Wallops Island, Virginia

Siberian tiger cubs

Two ponies and a deer on Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

A Young Bear; Getting Peevish

Last night, just as dark was settling in, Kathy, Jim and Boo had stopped by where I'm house-sitting.  As we left the house, Kathy and I saw a strange-looking silhouette moving toward us, and then stopping on the verge.  As she asked, "What's that?", the young black bear turned his/her side to us, walked up to a wire fence in a neighbor's yard, and climbed over.  Kathy and I looked at each other, and, nodding, said, "A black bear - a young black bear."  Jim hadn't seen it, as he was fussing with Boo's collar and leash.  Kathy and I walked over to the fence and could see a large dark shape ambling across Sarah's yard.  Discussing it, Kathy and I agreed that it was a youngster - one or two years old, and since it seemed to be moving on at a steady pace, we just ignored it.  But I did send out a neighborhood wildlife watch warning to folks in and around Githens Acres...
  I had a wonderful salad from Lynn's organic garden last night - all freshly picked, washed, and served up immediately.  Yum.

   I wonder if I'm getting more peevish as I grow older.  I know that I did something I'd never have considered doing earlier in life yesterday - during the broadcast of Jeopardy! there were three advertisements, all denigrating Senator Mark Udall; each ad was sponsored by a different "Community Action Group," and each was funded and backed by the Koch Brothers.  As the last ad was airing, I found myself giving "the finger" to the television set.  Television stations are paid to show ads - so why was I giving the TV the finger?  It's something that I first saw and learned in grade school, but I think the first time I employed the gesture was when I was in college, to express my disagreement with a professor's opinion. If I had used such a gesture as a child, I don't think I'd have four fingers on each hand when I reached my teen years.
   My "pet peeves" are many and varied:  
 Bicyclists who ride on a sidewalk when there are clean and open bike lanes next to the sidewalk.
 Joggers who run in clearly marked bicycle paths.
 Drivers who ignore pedestrians and bicyclists.
 Drivers who weave through traffic at a high speed, endangering others, so that they end up one car length in front of you, but have to stop at the next red light.
 Drivers who make jack-rabbit starts and then stomp on the brake as abruptly.
 Anyone who drops or throws trash onto the ground, and not into a trash receptacle.
 Pedestrians who jaywalk.
 People who yell, or talk very loudly, into their cell phones or BlueTooth devices in public places, ignoring other people who are present.
 People who dog-ear library books instead of using a bookmark.
 Al Michaels talking about horses and calling all of them "it"s, not he or she.
 And I hugely dislike anyone who mistreats any animal - another human, a pet, or wildlife of any type.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Various Photos

Sapelo Island (Georgia) Lighthouse staircase

Texas bluebonnets

Oklahoma mountain lion

Mule deer along the Hall Ranch Trail in Colorado

Iridescent feathers of a hummingbird

Starquest Princess Suki's Peek-A-Boo

I moved to Colorado in mid-November of 2004.  Boo, my brother-in-law's Samoyed, was 3 years old and had just been invited to the Eukanuba Invitational Championship at Tampa, Florida.  We were all excited, but the handler/breeder decided that Boo was just too hyperactive to take on a road trip that would last at least 3 days, one way.  For a year, though, we all called Boo "Eukanu-Boo."  Four years ago, Boo started limping on her left hind; it was diagnosed as bone cancer.  Jim and Kathy took Boo up to the Colorado State University Veterinary School, in Fort Collins, and found there was a program of radiation and chemical therapy combined that had proven effective in fighting Boo's type of cancer.
   In mid-May, Boo started to seem as if she didn't care whether she ate, or not.  She was still interested in what were, normally, treats - but she wasn't up and wanting breakfast at the crack of dawn, nor was she eating as if there was no tomorrow.  Soon, she was skipping eating breakfast.  Then Jim went to spend a week with his brother in South Dakota, who underwent brain surgery recently.  Boo wouldn't eat much at all for mys sister, Kathy. When Kathy joined Jim in South Dakota, I pulled Boo over to Rosie's house and kept them together.  Seeing Rosie eat on the other side of the glass door, Boo ate her meals - but not with gusto.
   When Kathy and Jim returned, and Boo went home, Boo stopped eating again.  She'd take a bite of this or that, but had real no appetite. Jim took Boo in for a check-up last week; on Friday, her blood tests came back.  Tuesday, she had an abdominal ultrasound performed.  Her abdominal cavity was full of fluid (the vet removed 1.5 liters) and she had a tumor the size of a baseball on her liver.  Boo is now on anti-nausea medications, and an acid reflux medicine, as well.  The fluid and the tumor press on her stomach, and make her believe that she is full of food and contented.  In reality, her pounds are melting off.  All we can do is make her comfortable, and give her lots of love  - and recognize when she is truly suffering, so we can say goodbye.  
   I met Jim in December 1979, when he and Kathy first started dating.  He has always had at least one Samoyed as a companion...  I'm not sure what he and Kathy will do when Boo crosses the Rainbow Bridge.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wyoming State Park Scenes

Ayres Natural Bridge State Park

Bear River State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park

Glendo State Park

Guernsey State Park, the Oregon Trail

Hot Springs State Park, Bighorn River

Sinks Canyon State Park

Wisconsin State Park Photos

Big Bay State Park

Copper Falls State Park

Devil's Lake State Park, Balance Rock

High Cliff State Park, Limestone Kilns

High Cliff State Park

Interstate State Park

Mirror Lake State Park

West Virginia State Park Views

Babcock State Park

Beartown State Park

Lost River State Park

New River State Park

Pinnacle Rock State Park

Prickett's Fort State Park

Washington State Park Scenes

Peshastin Pinnacles State Park

Cape Disappointment State Park

Fort Casey State Park

Palouse Waterfall State Park

Harstine Island State Park

Deception Pass State Park