Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Photos

Hurricane Harvey is currently sitting off the coast of Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico, revving up it's power again, from the warm waters of the Gulf.  It is expected to continue dumping rain over southern coastal Texas and southern Louisiana for the next week.  Buildings went down in Rockport, where Harvey first made landfall.  Now the danger is flooding - for everyone nearby.  Most areas of Texas receive 50 inches of rain, or less, each year.  They have received more than that amount since Friday evening; and the storm is going to continue to produce rain for at least the next week.  Two reservoirs with dams were filled to over-flowing, and today, engineers in Houston decided to open their spillways, knowing it would produce more flooding in the city, but hoping the released water would do less damage than having the dams burst.  We'll see what happens....
Rockport wreckage

Rockport wreckage

Rockport wreckage


Flooding in Dickinson



Submerged car on a Houston street

Houston under water

Hurricane Harvey

I don't really know how to phrase this without seeming callous and uncaring, in one way...  So I'll try to explain.  Hurricane Harvey.  People knew it was coming.  It did not appear overnight.  Yes, it suddenly grew in strength before it actually reached the coastline of Texas; but hurricanes are known to do that.  I feel very badly for every person and for every animal that has lost his or her life, who has lost their home, lost their belongings, lost their treasured items, lost their way of making a living, lost their vehicles, lost all the tangible items of value...  I, too, have lost everything, except my life, several times before.  I am a survivor.  I pull myself upright and I start making headway again.  I might have to borrow money and certain items, but they are always paid back, with interest.  Thirteen years ago, one national charity helped me with $250 in cash, to pay my rent.  I have given that charity more than $5,000 in the last 10 years, and not as a tax write-off either - it just makes me feel better.  I understand gratitude and feel it greatly.
   Hurricanes are a fact of life all along the water front areas of the eastern and southern United States.  My maternal family has lived on an island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia for 350 years.  My grandfather built a store-ordered Sears, Roebuck & Company house for my grandmother before he married her in 1915/6.  MomMom chose the wall paper for the "big kitchen" which was where the family ate; it had slate grey vertical stripes of varying widths, imitating a trellis, and large bunches of blooming pink roses, on an egg-shell background.  I can still visualize the five high tide marks on all the walls in the big kitchen - a reminder of the four hurricanes and the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 that the house and all it's inhabitants weathered.
   If you knew a storm was coming with high water, your rolled up the rugs and put them in the attic.  You placed other movable items of value on the stair landings, around the bedroom (only one), and crammed the rest into the attic, also.  Once the water started rising, and was well above street level, you wore your hip-boots out, and waded to your dink (dinghy) or small run-about boat, like a bateau, and you poled it back home, tying it to the roof.  Sometimes the wind took bricks from the chimney.  Sometimes flying debris broke windows.  You just boarded up and carried on.
    I grew up with tales of big storms, high waters and hurricanes.  As a baby, we lived in Oceana, Virginia; then the Navy shipped Dad (and us) inland, to Millington, Tennessee.  I rememebr small flashes from living in Tennessee - but I remember a lot more from living in Kingsville, Texas.  And when I turned five years old, Dad retired from the Navy, and we moved to Florida.  I saw hurricanes first hand growing up, with school years in Florida and summers in Virginia, on the island.  I have to admit I was never in the exact path of a hurricane, but I've been too close for comfort several times.  I've also been through several outbreaks of tornadoes.  Yes, I am very lucky.
    What I've taken the long way around saying (or writing) is that I am just disgusted with some of the news reporting.  The word usage is awful.  People are repeating themselves over and over.  This landing of Hurricane Harvey is a natural, national disaster.  We all need to do what we can to help.  Donate to the Red Cross, donate to the Salvation Army, donate to smaller food kitchens; donate money, food, clothing, unused home items, time, and blood, sweat and tears.
   Please do what you can to help people impacted by this huge amount of water and wind.  Do NOT be like our President, and just Tweet - "Oh, this is so exciting!"  This is not exciting.  It's a disaster.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Horse Eye Color Photos

Horses eye colors come in brown, blue, green, yellow, amber, hazel, and parti-colored.








Horse Eye Colors & Eye Myths

Most horses have brown eyes, but other colors also occur.  Horses can have brown, blue, green, yellow, amber, hazel, or parti-colored eyes.  A parti-colored eye is termed heterochromatic, and, usually in Chincoteague ponies, the colors are brown and blue.  Blue eyes are also called "wall eyes" in various areas of the world.  There are many rumors regarding blue eyes in horses; one is that a blue-eyed horse will be uncontrollable, unmanageable, or extremely temperamental.  This is not true.  Following is an article from an equine veterinarian who has made a special study of blue-eyed horses.  The author is Amber Labelle, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVO,  an assistant professor of comparative ophthalmology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  Her current research focuses on intraocular tumors in horses.

 "The Internet is a wonderful resource: It enables horse owners around the globe to exchange ideas on horsemanship and stable management quickly and freely.  The downside is there's a large amount of inaccurate information available.  False information regarding equine eye health seems particularly common. here I'll address some frequently heard myths regarding horses' eyes:
  Myth 1: Horses with blue eyes have more eye problems.  A horse with a "blue" eye actually has a blue iris.  The iris is the colored part of the inside of the eye surrounding the pupil.  While humans have an astonishing number of normal colors, horses typically have one of two: blue or brown.  Some horses have irises that are both brown and blue; the medical term for a two-colored iris is "heterochromiairidis."  These are more common in horses with patterned coats such as Paints and Appaloosas.  Blue irises are usually seen in horses with light-colored coats such as cremellos. Having a blue iris, however, does not make a horse any more likely to have intraocular problems, including equine recurrent uveitis (ERU).
   Coat color, on the other hand, can be associated with eye problems.  For instance, leopard Appaloosas are more likely to have difficulty seeing in the dark (if affected by a condition called stationary congenital night blindness), and chocolate-colored Rocky Mountain Horses are more likely to have multiple intraocular abnormalities, including blinding conditions such as retinal detachment.  In these cases genetics are responsible for the relationship between breed, coat color, and eye diseases.
    While having a blue iris might not make a horse more likely to have an eye disease, blue irises usually go hand in hand with pink skin.  One of the most important known risk factors for developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC, a form of skin cancer) is pink skin.  Thus, horses with pink eyelids are more likely to get SCC.  No relationship has been documented, however, between blue irises and SCC.  Protect  horses with pink eyelids or excessive white on his face from ultraviolet (UV) light exposure (e.g., with a UV-blocking fly mask).
   Myth 2:  A horses's "moon blindness" is worse when the moon is full.   Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), also called "moon blindness," is the most common cause of blindness in horses.  This auto-immune disease is caused by the immune system attacking the inside of the horse's eye.  The underlying cause is not well-understood, and many researchers are working to determine why horses develop ERU.
    Before the age of modern science, some horse owners believed the phase of the moon influenced their horses' ERU flare-ups.  Now we understand that the immune system - not a celestial body - causes the episodes of active inflammation.
    Myth 3:  Feeding my horse a nutritional supplement will prevent eye disease.  Horses do not usually develop age-related cataracts or macular degeneration like humans do (since horses do not have a macula, or central area of the retina).  A number of vitamin supplements have been purported to delay these conditions' progression in humans.  However, there is no evidence to suggest that a vitamin can help keep equine eyes healthy.  Follow your veterinarian's nutritional recommendations to develop a balanced diet for your horse.
    Myth 4:  My horse has lost 87.6% of the vision in his eye.  Assessing what a horse can (and can't) see is extremely challenging for horse owners, veterinarians, and veterinary ophthalmologists.  Because horses are unable to tell us what they can and cannot see, we are left with indirect measures of vision.  Furthermore, many visually impaired horses are well-adapted to their abnormal vision and can navigate familiar environments well.  The "menace test" is the most basic vision assessment, in which a threatening gesture (usually your open-palmed hand moving quickly towards the surface of the eye) should induce a horse with good eyesight to blink and/or avoid the gesture.  But horses can have a positive menace test and still be significantly visually impaired.  Other methods of vision assessment include the maze test, where a horse is asked to navigate an unfamiliar course of obstacles.
While there's a lot of information out there on equine eye disease, ultimately, the best source of information about any eye disease is your veterinarian or your veterinary ophthalmologist."

This article is provided courtesy of AAEP Media Partner, The Horse.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New Fillies - Two in Virginia, One in Maryland

Well, three mares have foaled since Pony Penning ended.  We have two new fillies to be sold at the Fall Round-up on October 13 and 14; and we have one mare recovering from a stillbirth.  The vet has checked Courtney's Island Dove frequently since she delivered a dead foal on 17 August.  She'll be returned to Assateague within the next few days.  There has been no announcement regarding the reason for the stillbirth.
   On 6 August, Galadriel, a 1999 mare, delivered a beautifully marked Wild Thing filly.  Photo shows dam, filly, and sire at right.  I do not know who took this photo - if you did so, please notify me, and I will credit you, with gratitude!

On the morning of the eclipse, 21 August, Freckles (aka 15 Friends of Freckles), a 2006 mare, gave birth to a filly sired by Ken.  These photos are by DSC Photography of Greenbackville, VA.  Copies may be purchased on their website -     These copies were shared on Facebook originally.

And, also on the morning of the eclipse, Johnny's Star gave birth to a chestnut filly - presumed sire is Chip (aka Delegate's Pride).  These photos were taken by Beached Paws Photography  of Berlin, MD - please see their website at:  for these and other excellent photos.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sand Wash Basin Mustangs - Photos

I am hoping, that with my new camera, I will be able to capture some good photos of these magnificent creatures.  In the meantime, these are photos that I found on the Google images site.  Please be aware of any copyrights and/or watermarks on the photos and contact the owners if you wish to purchase copies.  I am sharing these for your (and my own) viewing pleasure only.





Sand Wash Basin Mustangs

Since Mom was a Chincoteaguer and horse crazy, I grew up in love with all wild horses.  Mom was a big reader, and had a huge personal library of Zane Grey westerns, which I avidly read.  Of course, we also had all of Marguerite Henry's books, including Brighty of the Grand Canyon and Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West.  Besides my relatives on Chincoteague, I really loved Annie Johnston - "Wild Horse Annie" - and her fight to protect the wild horses of the western United States.
   I now live in Colorado, and there is a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) area about a 4 and 1/2 hour drive from my current home. The area is located in Moffat County, and is known as the Sand Wash Basin. Sand Wash Basin is the home of one of the few remaining herds of free-roaming wild mustangs in the United States.  It's location is 45 miles west of Craig, past Maybell, and can be entered on County Road 75.
    The Sand Wash Herd Management Area (HMA) is managed by the BLM and includes 154,940 acres of public land; 1,960 acres of private land; and 840 acres of state school section lands; for a total of 157,730 acres. Sand Wash Basin is surrounded by ridges and mesas; the boundary is fenced, except along State Highway 318.  There are no fences within the Herd Management Area. Vegetation includes sagebrush, bunchgrass, saltbush, and pinyon-juniper woodlands.
    Genetic analysis indicates the highest matches to Iberian-derived Spanish breeds, followed by Gaited breeds, then North American breeds, and, finally, Arabian breeds. Coats colors are greatly varied, and the pintos can be dramatic in color  and white placements. Grey and sorrel abound, but one can also see buckskins, duns, bays, and palominos, along with a few roans.
     The original population of mustangs within Sand Wash Basin was 65 head in 1971.  The managed population range is recommended to be between 163 to 363 equines.  The herds had a high population of 455 in 1998.  The BLM has gathered and removed mustangs from Sand Wash Basin in 1989, 1995, 2001, 2005, and, most recently, 2014. They generally try to entice younger horses (aged 1 to 3) to enter corrals baited with sweet feed. The group size is generally kept around 300 head.  There are many herds throughout the Basin - some with as many as 60 members, and a few young stallions with a single mare.
    Camping is allowed in Sand Wash Basin, and there are no fees, but it is primitive, and visitors are limited to a 14 day stay.  Be aware that the area is about 1 hour away from a hospital, and that there is at least a 30 minute travel time to reach basic supplies and fuel for your vehicle.  -  Off road vehicles are currently allowed; BLM is in the process of evaluating the usage of ATVs, etc.
    One basic rule applies:  Do NOT harass the horses.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Solar Eclipse

Because of the 95% solar eclipse over Boulder today, I left the four laying hens inside their wire-mesh coop.  Local raccoons come out at dusk and try to raid the chicken coop.  I'm guessing that with two dusks today, they'll be out twice....  and I don't want to lose any of the hens.  I'm also leaving Xuxa and Carter inside for the day - not to mention keeping my cats inside during the eclipse.  (We're also expecting the window washers today - the first time in the 26 months we've been here, so the blinds will be drawn, too, for privacy.)
    I've been silly today - my post on Facebook was:  "Eclipse!  Eclipse!  Eclipse!

And there have been lots of tongue-in-cheek reports of the sales of thousands of bras from Dollar Stores for use as eye protectors for livestock:

I have only two comments regarding the eclipse:  
(1)  Isn't it amazing that people around the world believe that there will be a solar eclipse, just because the scientists say there will be one?  Where is their belief in the same scientists when the scientists talk about global warming?
(2) Do not look at the sun at any time during the eclipse.  You will damage your eyesight!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Turquoise Lake, near Leadville, Colorado - Photos

Compassion, Love and Peace

This is going to be my last political posting for a while....  the news just keeps getting more disgusting, appalling, and hopeless each day.  We, humanity, seem to be degenerating at a great rate at this point in time.
   I am still reeling from the attacks made by all the groups that poured in to Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend for the "Unite the Right" gathering.  We are having a march in Denver, tomorrow, to celebrate the life of Heather D Heyer, the paralegal killed last Saturday by a professed Nazi supporter.  This is too little, too late, but we will honor the memory of a young woman who was protesting hatred by marching quietly on a street with her friends.
   There has been an outbreak of attacks against innocent people this week.  First, Thursday evening, the van attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain - that left 14 dead and over 100 injured.  Then the attack in Camblis, a two hour drive south of Barcelona. (Camblis was where some of the planning for the 9-11 attacks took place.) There was also an explosion there the night before the attack at Las Ramblas, and police now believe that the people involved in the Barcelona attack had been planning to bomb several places before "something went wrong" at their manufacturing site, and they decided a vehicular attack was in order.  The driver of the van at Las Ramblas is still at large and being sought throughout Europe.
   Then there was the knife attack in the market square of Turku, Finland the following day.  An 18-year-old man from Morocco attacked several women with a knife, killing two. He reportedly targeted eight women, one of which was pushing a baby carriage.  Two men tried to intervene, and both of them were stabbed, as well; one of whom was so severely cut that he may lose his arm.  The suspect was shot in the leg, arrested and taken to the hospital.  Four other men have been arrested with suspected ties to the attacker.
    This morning, a man in the Siberian town of Surgut, in Russia, stabbed at least eight people, seriously wounding two of them. The Russian police fired shots at the man and killed him.  They are investigating the incident.
   Friday night:  In Kissimmee, Florida, two officers responded to a call and were apparently ambushed.  One officer is dead, the other in serious condition.  A man has been arrested.
     In Jacksonville, Florida, two officers responded to a call about a man considering suicide.  He greeted them with shots from a high-powered rifle, shooting one policeman in both hands, and the other in the stomach.  The man was killed by the officers.
     In Fayette County, Pennsylvania, two officers approached a man to serve a warrant.  The man reached into his backpack, pulled out a gun and shot both officers. The officers shot and killed that man, also.
      Too much death and destruction for me, folks....   I know this happens every day in our country, and around the world.  But I want PEACE  for all.
      Then there is the ousting of Steve Bannon from the White House - he's going back to Breibart News to spew more hatred and ignorance.
      The world needs help - compassion, love, and peace need to rule this place.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Abandoned Places in Colorado - Photos

Cabin in Animas Forks built in 1873

Main Street of St. Elmo built in 1880

Six-engine railroad roundhouse in Como

Mill on Crystal River in Gunnison County

This community started out named Castle Forks City, then it was known
as Chloride until 1882, now it is abandoned Ashcroft

Part of the Caribou Silver Mine buildings

Sunnyside Mine building near Eureka

Disgusted By Events in Charlottesville, Virginia

I was thoroughly amazed to see robed and hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend.  I guess I've been living like a mushroom....  In the past few years, I have read of small gatherings of Klansmen in what I considered to be small, rural, "backwards" towns and communities.  I really was stunned to see so many KKK members appear in Charlottesville.  The large groups of people carrying flags emblazoned with swastikas amazed me.  The young men, and the few women I saw, astounded me.  I felt as if I had been caught in a time warp and taken back to the 1920s and the 1930s in the Deep South.  The hatred that was being radiated by those two groups, the armed militias, and the hangers-on was palpable.  It was frightening.  And it ended up being deadly.
   I was brought up being proud of my Virginian heritage - the island of Chincoteague on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, always has been a part of the Commonwealth of Virginia; except during the Civil War.  Chincoteague did a thriving seafood business with the cities sited on the Atlantic Ocean from Ocean City, Maryland up to Boston, Massachusetts.  When the state of Virginia seceded from the Union, the men of Chincoteague voted to stay in the Union, with Maryland.  (I have to admit that half of the young men on the island fought on the Confederate side, and half on the Union side.  My family was heavily involved in the seafood trade, and the young men were in the United States Army and Navy.)  The men on my father's immediate side of the family fought for the Union, too - volunteering in Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio regiments.
    I know my Virginia history very well - the colonial leaders, the leaders of Bacon's Rebellion (one of my many-times great-grandfathers was hung at Jamestown in 1676), the members of the Continental Congress, the five Presidents from the Commonwealth. I know about the campaigns in Virginia during the Revolutionary War, and during the Civil War.  I have pored over history books, private letters, and reports from soldiers and officers during those wars.
   I was astonished when no policing action was taken against the protesters who marched across the campus of the University of Virginia carrying "Tiki torches" as they made their way, and chanting racial slurs.  I was especially upset when photos and videos showed the protesters attacking quietly standing counter-protesters with mace, pepper spray, and other chemicals.
   On Saturday, when I saw the armed militias marching along with people carrying the swastika flags, and beside them, the white robed members of the Ku Klux Klan, I was disgusted, dismayed, appalled, and angry.  These people had clubs in their hands.  They were carrying wooden shields.  Some of the protesters were wearing better body armor than the police; most were carrying better weapons than the police; and they also had police-grade riot shields.  -  And that's the main reason why our law enforcement officers could not confront these people - there would have been a terrible carnage just due to the fire power of the guns belonging to the protesters.
   Yes, the protesters had a permit to gather and protest in Emancipation Park, where the statue of Robert E Lee stands.  But they had a permit for a peaceful gathering.  Their actions Friday night showed they were not a peaceful group.  A judge signed an injunction to stop the gathering at 9 a.m. and the gathering was supposed to begin at 12 noon; but protesters had begun gathering before 8:30 that morning.  At 10:30, police reported that the protesters had clashed with the counter-protesters and that two people were injured.  At 11:35, law enforcement officers announced publicly that the event was now "an unlawful assembly" because of the previous violence and the judge's injunction. The protesters, and the counter-protesters, were told to disband and go home.
   People began fighting instead.  Luckily, no one was shot.  With the outbreak of violence pouring into multiple streets around the Park, Virginia Governor McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. The crowds of protesters and counter-protesters are separated.  The Unite the Right group is still pretty much contained in Emancipation Park; the counter-protesters (for unity and not division) are marching down a street more than 700 feet away.  At 1:40 p.m., a car suddenly accelerates into the crowd, then reverses, striking more people, and quickly disappears.
   A 32-year-old paralegal, Heather Heyer, who was attending her first march, was killed outright.  At least 19 others suffered injuries, five of whom were in critical condition in the hospital later that evening.  It has been announced, at this time, that all will recover - except Heather Heyer, who was buried today.
   The nasty man living in the White House has yet to say Heather Heyer's name.  He has yet to apologize for the blood on his hands.  He thanked Heather's mother for being very nice to him, when he made his first Twitter announcement.  Verbally, he said that the problems were caused "by many sides; many sides" on Saturday.  On Monday, 45 read a speech directly from a teleprompter, and anyone could tell that he hated reading those words out loud - he did not want to place the blame on the white supremacists he has curried, nor the neo-Nazis he has groomed, nor the anti-Semites he has egged on.  Yesterday, he went off script again and said the counter-protesters were as much to blame as the Unite the Right supporters....   The man needs to be certified and placed in a rubber room in a straight jacket.
    Thank goodness the FBI is investigating the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Changed My Mind - Confederate Statues Should Be Removed!

Since this past Friday night, when the first assaults happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, I have had many discussions with a great many people of many different beliefs and ideologies from around the world.  And I have decided that my last blog was in error.
    I believe that statues dedicated to Confederate leaders, Generals and soldiers should be removed.  They stand for a lost cause of men who decided to support their states, and their way of life, rather than to support the Union of the United States of America.  These statues should either be donated to southern cemeteries, or they should be melted down and the metal used to help rebuild our country's infrastructure.
   I still believe that all Americans should be taught the reasons why the American Civil War was fought - which were mainly economics, but it was economics of the South, based upon slavery.  And slavery was, and is, intolerable - for anyone of any race, creed, or nationality.  
   Please forgive me for my stubbornness in not seeing the statuary of Confederate men as a form of praise for what they decided to stand for.  
   I was wrong.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Statues of Slave Owners

What would we destroy if we removed all statues of slave owners?
Here are a few that would vanish...

The Charioteer at Delphi


George Washington

Julius Augustus Caesar

Thomas Jefferson

Pharaoh Ramses II

Genghis Khan