Monday, December 28, 2009

A Call For Wallets.

Seems like every year about this time, disaster strikes.  Last year the readers of this blog came together and gave from the heart to help Dutch Salmon's family defray the costs incurred when their son, Buddy, was deathly ill.  (He's fine now, by the way. Just saw him on Christmas).

This year's crisis involves a dog.  An 11 month old Tazi puppy... (probably like a second cousin to our new Ashley).  Young Irbis, from Steve Bodio's recent litter suffered a terrible compound fracture, and requires immediate surgery, or he will lose his leg.

Steve is like a lot of artists, in that he is generally broke.. (I can relate), and will have a difficult time funding this procedure.  He has put out a bleg (begging on a blog) on his Querencia blog.  Go there and see how you can help... see how his readers have helped.   Any amount greater than zero will be greatly appreciated.  You've come through in the past, and I know you can do it again.

UPDATE 7:51MST -  Nice work.. I hear the goal has been reached!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's An Annual Tradition!

Yes friends, followers, and readers, once you go past two years, it becomes a tradition.  I'm speaking, of course, of the annual playing of our Holiday video, Robert Earl Keen Jr's "Merry Christmas From the Families".  The greatest Christmas song ever written!  "White Christmas"? Hah!  "Sleighride"? You must be kidding.  What makes it so great, you ask?  It plays as well in July as it does in December, that's what.

Grab an eggnog, sit back and relax.. or sing along (that's what I do), and you all have the best of Holiday Seasons, and a great new decade!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Considering the fact that only rain was forecast for our area, this was a bit of a fun surprise this morning.  Always seems just a bit odd to see snow on a palm :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Every Day In Every Way...

...yada yada yada...

I'm probably looking forward to this Winter's coursing season a little more than I ever have.  For the first time, we'll have hounds who are fit and ready for competition right out of the box.  Remember, for the past 5 or 6 years, we've been showing up in New Mexico in January after having spent the previous 11 months traveling around the country, shooting lure coursing trials, and staying at campgrounds where we have to leash up the dogs and walk them around a small area., never, have we stayed anywhere where the dogs were free to run around.  So when we got to New Mexico, we had a limited amount of time to get them ready for competition, or even for just going out free-coursing.

Well, that all changed last March, when we moved into our house in Deming.  We've been running consistently, at least once a week, and more often, twice since the end of September.  And that's made all the difference in the world for Sandia.  Of late, he's been spending more and more time at the head of the chase, especially late in the chase.  Check him out.  That's one buff  looking Galgo!.

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Is he handsome... or what?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First Team Test.

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Make no mistake, Sandia and Ashley have run together numerous times in the last two years, but always they were accompanied by other hounds. Dutch always brings at least three dogs, and before this year, we'd usually have one of our older girls, and we're often accompanied by other friends from the area.

This photo, however, captures the first jackrabbit run by Sandia (blue) and Ashley (pink) as a "team".  Yesterday morning, Margaret and I took the pair to the big ranch on the way to Las Cruces.  They turned it a couple of times, (the images was taken after the left turn, and just prior to the right turn).  Just before they disappeared over the yucca covered ridge in the distance, we saw Ashley pass Sandia...  briefly.  At that point, he downshifted, spooled up the turbo and repassed.  Then they were gone.

They didn't bring anything back to us, but I figure that's just a matter of time and training, a couple times a week.  Probably going out again tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stocking Stuffers! (From the Shameless Commerce Div.)

Look up there in the Cafe Press box!  New designs!  "Life's too short to hunt with a slow dog", featuring 6 of the fastest, true sighthounds. They make great gifts, as do the  "I'd Rather be Coursing",  "The Family that Preys Together",  "Prey.. Church of the Open Field", and "Hearts, Hounds, Arms & Love" items.   

Many are available in coffee mugs, courier bags, T-Shirts, sweatshirts, etc etc etc.  Still time to get them before Christmas.... but you have to HURRY!

Just Click and go there!


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We just returned from Silver City, where we picked up new pack member, Ashley, from Dutch Salmon.  This is a trial period.  She's three years old, and is not quite used to living in a house.. with people.  She did have access to the indoors, with Dutch's other dogs in the kennel.  Right now, she's hanging out by the back door, and shows no inclination to venture further into the house.  We'll see how it shakes out.  If all goes well, we'll have a young pack for the Pack Hunt for the first time in several years!

For the curious, Ashley is roughly 3/8 Saluki-Tazi, and 5/8 coldblood greyhound.  She's been out often with us, so going out with her tomorrow with just Sandia and me shouldn't be too much of a problem.  Unless she decides to go the 90 miles back to Silver City.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Vertical Hiking

Meant to post this a couple weeks ago when it actually happened. Good intentions and all...

I'd been waiting for the daytime temperatures to cool sufficiently so I could do another scrabble up the North Florida Mountains behind the house.  Wanted snakes and all to be gone underground for the winter.  As it happened, I didn't see any snakes, but it certainly ended up warmer than I anticipated.  And I did see a couple of lizards out sunning.

If  you recall, the last hike (I have a hard time selling it as a "climb", because it's mostly steep hiking) took me to the radio towers to the East of the house.  This time, I decided to go North.  To here:

My original plan was to get up there, then come down through Rock Hound State Park, which is further to the left, out of the frame.  Once I got up to the top, I changed my mind, which was probably a mistake.  I decided to hike to the East, then follow the road South, past the radio towers, and down to the ravine I'd used for my return in the Spring.  So I ended up approaching the house almost 180 degrees from where I left.  It also took 4 hours, and I ended up 8 pounds lighter than when I began the day!  I was a tired, broken hiker.

But I did reach my target...

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Last time I climbed, I had no one to record my progress.  This time, Margaret was home, and was able to man the telephoto I left on the tripod on the back porch.  With 2-way radio communication, we were able to get the above photos of me at the peak.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Happy 70th, Red Berenson.

"I don't have that feeling that I'm hanging on or 'I better enjoy this because it's going to be my last day'. I think I have an appreciation for what's happened here, but I'm really not looking back and I'm not looking that far ahead. I'm just worried about Notre Dame."

Only two other players in the history of the National Hockey League accomplished what Red did as a member of the St Louis Blues, and only Red did it on the road.

I remember watching his college career at Michigan in the early Sixties.  A true "Legend" in every sense of the word.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Life.

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Yeah, because the Express broke down before we even hit El Paso, we missed the big lure coursing trial we were going to shoot this weekend.  I had to do this instead.  Damn.  (Sandia in blue)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I think he was reminding motorists to "eat mor chikin."

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers and followers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Back to Normal.

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It took nearly a dozen trips to the open field this Fall to finally catch a hare, and as it was at this particular field last year, this was the first race of the day.  It probably never should have even happened, and is a testament to the dogged (no pun intended) determination, speed, and endurance of today's pack; Dutch Salmon's Archie (above), Phylis, and Angie, and our one and only Sandia.

The call was long... way long. 50 yards out at least.  But Sandia anticipated it, so I slipped him, which caused Dutch and his brother-in-law, Glen,  to slip their hounds.  We bitched about the distance they needed to catch up, which was compounded by the fact the hare was bee-lining right for the adjacent ranch, which meant they all had to slow enough, and duck their heads to dive under the barbed wire fence.  All navigated the obstacle easily, and were still hot on the hare's tail as they crested a small rise and disappeared from sight about a thousand yards out.

They remained out of sight several minutes, and finally we saw Sandia and the girls returning, followed, much to our surprise, by Archie, who was packing the dead hare back to us. It was hard to tell which of the hounds actually caught the hare, because none of them were showing any evidence of having put their mouths on it except for Archie, who carried it all the way back, so he was proclaimed the winner.  We think it's possible they actually went under two fences to bring this rabbit down, based on where we saw the dust clouds popping up while the hounds were out of sight.

We ran five jackrabbits today, in a bit less than 2 hours.  A couple more were almost caught, but with each hare run, the hounds get a little bit more tired, while the hare is always a fresh one.  Doesn't hardly seem fair, does it?  Counting our trip out on Friday, Sandia, and Dutch's Phylis ran 9 jacks in the span of three days.  This, of course, will only make them stronger.  Plans are to get out to a different field later this week.

A Good Coyote.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans' Day 2009.

Phil Ochs, one of the great voices of the so-called "folk revival" of the 60's.  (And one of my all time favorite "protest" songs.)  For veterans and fellow travelers.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


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Here's a scene from the first course of the first TCC hunt on Saturday. I didn't feel like toting around the camera and my heavy binoculars, so I subcontracted out the duties, and passed my camera off to our friend, Frank Vigneri, who captured the release perfectly. That's me and Sandia on the right, running with a longdog, whose name I didn't get, in pink, and Sandia's brother, Zuni, in yellow. The jack can be seen upper left, and despite the handicap of being on the wrong end of the line at the start, Sandia won this course.

Because the temperature climbed over 70 in the early afternoon, the hunt was called after the preliminary round, so Sandia ended up 4th overall, out of 15 entered. It was a pretty good day.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

History Quiz. Clue #1

Come on, people! These quizzes aren't any fun if nobody plays! So here's an altered version of the photo of the 1964 debate team, to help you focus. Our conservative-appearing mystery personality also played on the tennis team.

It's Sad, I Know...

Victim In Fatal Car Accident Tragically Not Glenn Beck

Not completely SFW (language)

Friday, October 30, 2009

(New) Mexican Stand Off.

Buffy barks at a lot of things she sees out the window; cottontails, quail, jackrabbits. Sometimes they're in the yard, most often the things she sees are outside the fence.
She started barking this morning. We looked out the window. Coyotes. Four of them, just crossing the road right in front of the gate. Buffy hates coyotes. She was bred in Iowa to be a coyote hound. She's loudly voiced her hatred for coyotes since she heard her first pack of yodelers as a 15 week old pup back in Franklin, Wisconsin.
So, what the hell.... we opened the door and let everybody out for a mad dash to the gate.
Coyote wasn't intimidated, and probably would have continued the stare down if I hadn't come
out on the front porch with the camera. He trotted off immediately after this picture was taken.
Buffy will never outgrow her hatred of coyotes.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

A New Slide Show.

Previously on these pages I presented my new, cool idea of fast digital captures, shot one-handed from a speeding vehicle. Having just completed another round trip from Deming to a New Mexico location further north (in this case, Mountainair) on I25, and other federal and state highways, I now have sufficient samples of this fun, new art form to load a new slide show to the blog.

Very little tweaking of the images have been done. Mostly the simple, subtle enhancements available from Google's Picasa program- straightening, adjusting contrast, cropping, etc.

Since there was snow on the Floridas yesterday, I think it's time to remove the "Spring/Summer" show from the sidebar. This new show will replace it shortly, and will be added to as we travel further afield. Hope you enjoy.

History Quiz.

Since we've been in a nostalgic frame of mind lately, this is a picture of the 1964 Ann Arbor (MI) High School debate team.
(Some of you know, and I know who you are, so if you answer, your comment won't be published until the quiz is over. If ever. Clues may be found in the labels.)
Of no particular connection to the quiz, but currently topical, the write-up accompanying the picture (which appears in the 1964 Omega, the high school's yearbook), recounts the teams win at the Flint Northern Invitational Debate Tournament, where the debate topic was: "Resolved that the federal government should provide essential medical care for all citizens at public expense."
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Better Late Than Never.

A little more than 2 years ago, I wrote a brief memorial to honor Ann Arbor's most famous "street person", Jake Wood. At the time I said that somewhere amongst my thousands of negatives and slides I had a picture I'd taken at the 1974 Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival . (That was the "exiled to Canada" festival.) I said I'd post the picture if I ever found it.
Yea! And here's to you, Jake.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Please Release Me, Let Me Go"

A very short slide show of the best "slips" of the weekend in Stanley, NM.

We're laughing with you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photographic Art At 75 MPH.

I may have created a new photographic niche. Any good photographer can go off into the country, and painstakingly set up the perfect shot. But if you're traveling down an Interstate, in a hurry to get home, and don't want to stop to to capture the stunning images you're passing.. it's simple: roll down the window and, keeping one hand on the steering wheel, point the camera at the scene with your other. Fire away. Instant art at 75 miles per hour.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Long Wait is Over!

Counting on my fingers I see it's been 6 months... 6! A half a year since Sandia's been able to chase a jackrabbit. He was ready.
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Monday, October 05, 2009

The Golden Hour

Took a short drive tonight, to try and capture what photographers call, "the golden hour", or "godlight". That brief period just before the sun sets, and the colors are all golden toned. It wasn't perfect, because there were too many clouds, but I hung around this windmill for about a half hour with the super wide angle. Like the distortion effect.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Wedding Album

As promised..

It was a beautiful day in the Gap. You couldn't imagine a better setting. To review, the day was 09/09/2009. We began promptly at 9:09 in the morning. Unplanned, but pretty cool, was the fact we had 9 guests including ourselves. Getting in the spirit of the day, Dutch and Cherie Salmon brought 9 red roses, and 9 assorted bottles of wine. Also in attendance are our neighbors, Marilyn and Jim Woods.. (the unofficial "Mayor" of the neighborhood; better neighbors one couldn't have). Margaret's daughter, Stephanie, and sister, Tori attended. And to tie it all together, figuratively and literally, was Margaret's son, Tony. He assures us the ordination he obtained on the internet was legal! We were his second wedding, in fact. The county accepted the license, so I guess we're good to go! Best image of the day is when the Tarantula Hawk landed on Tony's back towards the end of the proceedings. I had been telling him how big they were, and he got first hand experience with one.

Having the dogs out added to the fun, and casual atmosphere. And believe me, we like casual.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I was merely trying out the used Nikon macro lens I'd recently purchased. Taking close ups of things around the yard, like the Oleander flowers. It wasn't until I was taking the second shot of this particular bloom that I noticed this Green Lynx Spider patiently waiting for me to move on so it could get back to doing whatever it was it was doing.

Things got a little dicier last night when, while walking around the porch to retrieve a dropped burger bun, I nearly stepped on this young Diamondback.

As he showed no inclination to leave the yard, I was forced to end his (young) life with one of the garden implements we have strategically placed around the yard for just this purpose. Dogs and poisonous snakes don't mix.

When we moved in we fully expected snakes all Summer long. In fact, this is the first rattler we've seen (emphasis on "seen") in the yard, and with the Gopher snake cruising up the eaves for dove eggs a couple of months ago, only the second snake of any kind inside the fence. OK with us!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Wedding? Cool!

Somebody got married today! Wonder who? The dogs were in attendance. I'm sure even Randir was here. Details to follow when things slow down around here. And a slide show. And a video on YouTube! The marriage 45 years in the making.

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Datura Wrightii

Funny that while Patrick was writing about Jimson weed on the East Coast, I was taking pictures of our Western variety. Nasty, nasty stuff that even the Native Americans don't partake of anymore. This picture was taken in the evening at Spring Canyon State Park.
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Monday, September 07, 2009