Saturday, April 29, 2017

The 2017 Chincoteague Pony Foals So Far.... (Photos)

Twenty-two foals have been born so far; one was lost to a massive umbilical cord infection.  Most photos shared here have been taken by DSC Photography (Darcie and Steve Cole) - my thanks to them, and all other folks who have shared their photos on Facebook pages.....

First:  chestnut pinto filly, born 5 March, dam:  Anne Bonny, sire: Tornado's Legacy

Second:  buckskin pinto colt, born 13 March,  dam: Sweetheart, sire: Tornado's Legacy

Third:  sorrel colt; born 27 March; died 31 March.   Dam:  Suede,  sire: Surfer's Riptide

Fourth:  palomino pinto colt, born 27 March;  dam: Little Duckie, sire: Tornado's Legacy

Fifth:  buckskin pinto filly, born 31 March;  dam: Splash of Freckles, sire: Tornado's Legacy

Sixth:  palomino/light chestnut filly, born 7 April;  dam: Lady,  sire: Chief Golden Eagle

Seventh:  bay filly, born 15 April;  dam: Loveland's Secret Feather,  sire: Surfer's Riptide

Eighth:  palomino pinto filly, born 17 April;  dam: Carnival Baby,  sire: Prince of Tides

Ninth:  black pinto colt, born 19 April;  dam: Baybe,  sire:  Prince of Tides

Tenth:  palomino pinto colt, born 20 April;  dam: Whisper of a Living Legend,  sire: Ken

Eleventh:  bay filly, born 23 April:  dam: May's Grand Slam,  sire: Ken

Twelfth:  bay pinto filly, born 23 April;  dam: Dream Catcher,  sire: Ajax

Thirteenth:  chestnut filly, born 26 April;  dam: Diamond's Jewel,  sire: Surfer's Riptide

Fourteenth:  chestnut ?, born 26 April;  dam: Two Teagues Taco,  sire: Chief Golden Eagle
(Taco and foal at left; Lady and filly at right)

Fifteenth:  buckskin filly, born 26 April;  dam: Georgia Peach,  sire: Wild Bill

Sixteenth:  chestnut pinto filly, born 27 April;  dam: Little Bit o'Joansie,  sire: Maverick

Seventeenth:  chestnut pinto ?, born 27 April; dam:  Got Milk?,  sire: Surfer's Riptide

Eighteenth:  chestnut ?, born 28 April;  dam: Poco's Starry Night,  sire: Surfer's Riptide

Ninteenth:  chestnut ?, born 28 April:  dam: Suzy's Sweetheart,  sire: Surfer's Riptide
(left is Secret and bay filly; right is Suzy's Sweetheart and new chestnut foal)

Twentieth:  chestnut filly, born 28 April;  dam: Wild Island Orchid, sire: Hoppy (aka Little Dolphin)

Twenty-first:  chestnut colt, born 29 April;  dam: ET, sire: Puzzle

Twenty-second:  black filly, born 29 April;  dam: Leah's Bayside Angel, sire: Surfer's Riptide (?)

Will continue to update!

One Week to the 2017 Kentucky Derby (w/ correction)

Boulder, Colorado is in the midst of a Spring snow storm while I write this - we've had six inches of snow since last night, and it's still falling steadily.  Low temperature for tonight is forecast as 27 degrees (F), so we're looking at a hard freeze, too.  The roads will be treacherous in the morning.
   In the meantime, elsewhere, it's a week away from the Kentucky Derby, being run, as always, at Churchill Downs Race Track outside of Louisville, Kentucky.  The race is for three-year-olds only, the horses are usually nominated to the race as foals, but can also be supplemented at an additional fee.  The race takes place on the main, dirt track and covers the distance of 1 and 1/4 miles, or 10 furlongs.  It is the first race in the Triple Crown series.  Horses who race in the Kentucky Derby do not have to participate in the following two parts of the Triple Crown; nor do horses who participate in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes have to race in the Kentucky Derby.  All colts carry a uniform 126 pounds; if a filly runs, she carries 123.
    In the past, the cachet of owning a "Derby horse" was such that people would enter horses that should never have stepped foot onto the Churchill Downs track.  There were groups that started in two tiers for race that is generally over in about 2 minutes.  (I can understand the large numbers of entrants in the Grand National Steeplechase - that covers 4 and 1/2 miles - but not for the Derby.)  The number of starters in the Kentucky Derby is now limited to the 20 horses with the most qualifying points from approved races.  Thunder Snow was supplemented yesterday by Godolphin Stables.
   Since horses, while large, are really delicate creatures, there is normally a list of the top twenty-five qualifiers available for the race.  Today, my informant only listed the top 21 horses, so there might be one or three more possibilities.  The actual entries and post positions will be drawn on Wednesday, 3 May.  At the moment the only horse that is known to be a questionable starter is Girvin, who has a quarter-crack in a hoof.  (Personally, I wouldn't run a horse with a quarter-crack in any race, but I am neither the owner nor trainer of said colt.)
   So, here is a listing of the top 21 entries for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby.  They are listed by today's predicted odds, shortest betting odds first, with horse coat color and place of nativity, also.
1     Classic Empire    (bay, Kentucky)   5 to 1
2     Always Dreaming    (bay, Kentucky)    5 to 1
3     Irish War Cry     (chestnut, New Jersey)    13 to 2
4     McCraken     (bay, Kentucky)     9 to 1
5     Gunnevera     (chestnut, Kentucky)     12 to 1
6     Gormley     (bay, Kentucky)     14 to 1
7     Practical Joke     (bay, Kentucky)    14 to 1
8     Battalion Runner     (gray, Kentucky)    16 to 1
9     Thunder Snow     (bay, Ireland)    16 to 1
10   Girvin     (bay, Kentucky)     16 to 1
11   Irap     (bay, Kentucky)     20 to 1
12   Malagacy     (chestnut, Kentucky)    22 to 1
13   Hence     (chestnut, Kentucky)     22 to 1
14   Tapwrit     (gray, Kentucky)     25 to 1
15   Lookin At Lee     (bay, Kentucky)    28 to 1
16   Battle of Midway     (bay, Kentucky)    28 to 1
17   J Boys Echo     (bay, Kentucky)     33 to 1
18   Patch     (bay, Kentucky)     40 to 1
19   State of Honor     (bay, Ontario)     40 to 1
20   Untrapped     (bay, Kentucky)     50 to 1
21   Fast and Accurate     (gray, Pennsylvania)     66 to 1

Of the 21 horses listed, 17 were born in Kentucky, 1 in Ireland, 1 in New Jersey, and 1 in Pennsylvania.   Fourteen of the colts are bay, brown, or dark brown; four are chestnut; and three are gray/roans.  Patch, has only one eye, lost to an infection; he is by Union Rags.  And Girvin has a quarter-crack, and is the grandson of Sunday Silence...   That's all for now.

As of 6 pm, EST,  Battalion Runner and Malagacy will not be competing in the Kentucky Derby.  That opens up the field to Sonneteer and Royal Mo.....

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Views of US National Monuments To Be Reviewed

Bear Ears  in Utah

Berryessa Snow Mountain  in California

Canyons of the Ancients   in Colorado

Gold Butte  in Nevada

Gold Butte  in Nevada

Grand Sequoia  in California

Grand Staircase - Escalante  in Utah

Grand Staircase - Escalante  in Utah

Grand Staircase - Escalante  in Utah

Hanford Reach  in Washington

Ironwood Forest  in Arizona

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine  in Atlantic near Connecticut
(Photo Credit:  NOAA)

Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks  in New Mexico

Papahanaumokuakea Marine  in Pacific near Hawaii

Reviews of United States National Monuments

As a person, and as an American, I love our park system - local, state, and national.  Along with National Parks, there are National Seashores, National Forests, National Marine Reserve area, and National Monuments.  All areas designated as National property are protected from being sold, from development, from mining, from drilling, from having the bones of the earth removed, defaced, or desecrated.  Many National Monuments contain sites that are sacred to Native Americans, and, at times, multiple tribes and peoples have worked together to produce an agreement regarding the saving of ancient grounds.
    Most areas of land east of the Mississippi River in our country are heavily inhabited and developed and there is very little space left that can be saved and preserved, as it is now, or as it was in the past.  This is not true of the western part of the United States.  The west still has wide open spaces, where the land is not good for intensive farming, where there are deserts and mountains where one cannot produce enough food to feed oneself.  There are many amazing things that can be seen - the geysers of Yellowstone Park, the tremendous height of the Rocky Mountains, ancient Native American rock art and petroglyphs, cave systems, coral reefs, and many other delights for the eye and mind.
    Yesterday, the circus peanut signed an executive order to allow national monument designations to be completely rescinded or to reduce the size of these sites, in order to allow the federal government to open those lands for oil and gas drilling, for mining, and for other types of development.  This order is an effort to reverse environmental protections from three previous Presidents that the current administration claims is hobbling economic growth.
    This executive order will allow 45's appointed Secretary of the Interior, Zinke, to pick and choose where he feels the government can make a profit from the land.  Industry is cheering this order, but conservationists are outraged.
    The Antiquities Act was passed by Congress in 1906 and gives the sitting President the authority to create National Monuments from federal lands in order to protect and save significant natural, cultural, or scientific features.  There is no wording in the Act regarding  rescinding a previous designation.  So far in our history no President has ever rescinded a national monument designation.  (However, in 1915, President Woodrow Wilson did reduce the acreage in the Mount Olympus National Monument, arguing that the United States was in need of the timber.)  Many legal actions by environmental groups are anticipated to fight this executive order.
     In announcing this order, the tangerine tyrant stated that President Obama's use of the 1906 Antiquities Act to create national monuments was an "egregious abuse of federal power" that allowed the federal government to "lock up" millions of acres of land and water.  "Today we're putting the states back in charge," he said.  He also added that each state should decide which land is protected and which is open for development.
     Federally owned land is overseen by five agencies - the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Department of Defense.  (The DoD owns 11.4 million acres.)  The United States government owns only 4% of the land east of the Mississippi, but, overall, it owns 27.9% of land in the United States.  The states with the least amount of federal land are Connecticut and Iowa (0.03 %) and Kansas with 0.05 %.  The federal government owns 9.9 % of Virginia.  Out west, the federal government owns 85 % of Nevada, 69 % of Alaska, 57 % of Utah, 52 % of Oregon, 45 % of California, and 35.9 % of Colorado.
    The executive order signed yesterday is aimed specifically at 24 National Monuments created since January of 1996 that are larger than 100,000 acres in size.  The three Presidents who designated these monuments were Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.  Eyes are trained on the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument in Utah that has a large vein of high-grade coal running through it, and the Bears Ears National Monument, also in Utah, for which five Native American tribes worked together to have the plans approved.  Bears Ears is a site that has drawn  intense interest from oil companies who wish to drill there.
  Here is a listing of the twenty four National Monuments targeted by 45 and his plunder-monkey minions:
1.     Grand Staircase - Escalante   in Utah
2.     Grand Canyon - Parashant    in Arizona
3.     Grand Sequoia   in California
4.     Vermillion Cliffs    in Arizona
5.     Handford Reach     in Washington
6.     Canyons of the Ancients     in Colorado
7.     Ironwood Forest     in Arizona
8.     Sonoran Desert     in Arizona
9.     Upper Missouri River Breaks     in Montana
10.   Carrizo Plain    in California
11.   Papahanaumokuakea Marine    in Pacific Ocean
12.   Marianas Trench Marine     in Pacific Ocean
13.   Pacific Remote Islands Marine     in Pacific Ocean
14.   Rose Atoll Marine      in American Samoa
15.   Rio Grande del Norte      in New Mexico
16.   Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks     in New Mexico
17.   Basin and Range     in Nevada
18.   Berryessa Snow Mountain     in California
19.   Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine   in Atlantic Ocean
20.   Mojave Trail   in California
21.   Bears Ears     in Colorado
22.   Gold Butte     in Nevada
23.   Sand to Snow     in California
24.   San Gabriel Mountains     in Cakifornia

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mexico Border Wall Locations - Photos

The Chihuahuan Desert

The greatly depleted Colorado River

The El Paso, Texas - Mexico border wall

The San Diego, California - Tijuana, Mexico border wall

The Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park

The Rio Grande

The Sonoran Desert

45's Border Wall

I am still hysterically disgusted by the current Presidential Administration's pan to "Build a Wall" dividing the United States from Mexico.  In the last treaty boundary negotiation between the United States of America and the Estados Unidos de Mexico in 1970, it was agreed exactly where the border was.  However, two parts of the boundary line are established by the treaty as being "the deepest part of the middle channel of the Rio Grande" and "the deepest part of the middle channel of the Colorado River."  Whenever there is a torrential rain and flooding, or a hurricane, these two boundaries can move.
   Let's look at some numbers and some topographical areas.  In the boundary treaty of 1970, the national borders extend 18 miles into the Pacific Ocean and 12 miles into the Gulf of Mexico.  According to the US Border Patrol, the "border regions" extend 37 miles from the shores in both directions.  The border between Mexico and the US is about 1,989 miles, depending on the the river courses.  The boundaries run from below sea level on both ends, along the deepest part of the middle channel of two rivers, up over the Continental Divide, near Columbus, New Mexico (altitude 3,900 feet), and across the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts.
  Currently, there are 670 miles of many different types of fencing stretched out between the American states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, and the Mexican states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.  There have been large reductions of illegal aliens crossing the border for quite a few years.  Since the regime of Twitler began, the numbers have fallen even more.
    Let's face some ugly facts.  Americans do not want to do what they consider menial labor.  Each of us grew up being told we can be whatever we choose to be. Parents today are still telling their children that.  The truth is that there are huge needs for so-called blue collar workers.  People today believe that each and every one of them deserve to work inside and office, behind their own desk, and spending, maybe half their time working, and the other half schmoozing, while receiving a salary of at least $200,000 per year.  I've had high school kids and college students tell me that those were their work expectations.  Americans do not want to do any type of job that will make them break a sweat, get them dirty, or appear to be subservient in any manner.
    Face it, America needs immigrants who will work hard for a minimum wage.  Throughout our farmlands, there is a severe shortage of people who are willing to work in the fields.  Crops are rotting in fields because there is no one who will go out and bring the crops in.  A Georgia farmer offered to pay anyone willing to help him bring in his crops $15 per hour.  He was told that the work was too hard and too hot, and people would not even agree to be hired by him.  That speaks volumes about the current American mindset.  Americans are just "too good" to actually work for a living.  Personally, I find that sad.
    It also seems that the tangerine tyrant is trying to get into a fight with our northern neighbor, Canada.  Is he going to want another wall, blocking the US and Canadian border?  That boundary, including the Great Lakes, is more than 5,525 miles (1,538 is Alaska's border alone).
   The border wall is complete and total nonsense...  America is what it is because of its diversity - we need to continue to open our arms to all people who wish to start their lives anew, in freedom.  The 45th Administration are all plunder-monkeys seeking their own glorification.  They need to be ousted.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017