Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dew Drop In.

If you're planning on coming to our open house, you should recall that I've mentioned time and time again, it gets dry here.  Really, really dry.

Nope.  That dew point isn't a misprint.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Not "Landscaped", wait! It is but...

I've been telling everyone how nicely "landscaped" the yard is, but when Dutch and a couple other of our fellow hunters stopped to see the place the other day, Dutch called it, (I thought), "zeroscaped".  Yeah.. I've heard of that.  But it turns out it's not "zeroscape", it's xeriscaped.

We'll get the hang of this Southwest living eventually.

Meanwhile, "Zeroscape" is something...
it's just not anything to do with growing cacti, fig, palms, and Mexican ash. But it probably does have something to do with a certain plant.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Covey Conflict.

Just another driveway disagreement.  Gambel's Quail in the yard.  Every day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Y'all come!  Maybe we'll have a rattlesnake round up!


With the exception of Steve Garth's Cai six years ago, all the Galgos I've seen hunting in New Mexico have been closely related.  They include Sandia's parents, his awesome Aunt Camille, and more recently, his litter mates.

Yesterday, on well known southern New Mexico ranch land we got to meet Lola
a smooth coated Galgo EspaƱol... from Spain.  Lola now lives in Louisiana with several other sighthounds, all of which are colored and marked very similarly so that her owner's husband does not know she has more than one dog.  A very complicated ruse, but apparently it works.

Lola will eventually be getting a kennel-mate/stud dog, so the numbers of Galgos in the US will more likely than not, increase.  I know Sandia's breeder is more than a little bit interested.

And just to remind you why this interest isn't totally misplaced, here's a video  showing the Spanish Galgos doing what they do best.  (This is the same video I had embedded on a post a couple years ago.  Embedding has since been disabled "by request", so this is the only place on this blog you can now see it.)

Meanwhile, the Galgo that I know the very best, (in blue), had a pretty fun day yesterday...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Subjecting our readers to yet further spectacular views from the Homestead.  This from the couch.  The dilemma: watch TV or look out the window?  No dilemma for Fanny, who's soaking up the sun, while Rally waits for her to move.

Damage Control

Hide the women and kids... it's blood and gore!  

I previously wrote about the jackrabbit that led our dogs astray, and into the heavy brush.  They did go into the brush, but after closer inspection of the wounds.. (shown here, Sandia's right rear leg, and left armpit and chest) it seems pretty obvious that they also flew through a barbed wire fence.
Nasty stuff.

I decided to take Sandia to the vet on Friday, just to be on the safe side.  He pronounced the injuries "superficial", and the only reason to suture the crap out of them would be to reduce scarring.  As Sandia is as likely to show up at a beauty contest as I am to sprout wings and fly, we decided to let nature take its course.  I had already started him on oral antibiotics, so all we were out was for an office call and an "examination". As of today, 3 days on, he's moving fine, and the wounds are closing nicely. He'll be ready for this week's Galgo Extravaganza! 

As an aside to our "personal groomer" in Texas, notice that we also took the opportunity to have his nails clipped while we were there, and her services will not be required next weekend as previously scheduled.

Also, the more observant of you will have noticed that, yup, there's only one.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Missing the Money Shot

I've gotten to where I don't bother taking the camera out to the desert when we go hunting.  It's heavy, gets covered in a fine, fine dust that seems like it can't be doing the camera any good in the long run.  And if I'm going to tote something weighty, I'd rather it be the binoculars so I can better watch the action when it goes over the horizon.

So it was yesterday, as I packed Sandia and Fanny in the car for a rare afternoon hunt with Dutch. A brisk East wind was blowing, keeping the temperature in the mid 50's, so we weren't worried about heat.  We were at a field we hadn't visited in several weeks, and is always good for a couple of chases, if not exactly bountiful.

We'd walked south about a mile and a half, and then cut west a bit, then back north an equal distance without even a sniff of a hare.  We decided to turn to the west for a while, and that's precisely when the hare jumped right in front of Sandia.  He got the jump on everybody, and had a good run up, which eventually turned the hare... hard, to the right, almost right into the mouth of Dutch' s Phyllis (winner of the Desert Hare Classic) who was closing fast.  I saw her head go down in the high cover, but she came up empty.  Sandia avoided the collision, and stayed right behind the jack through several more turns.

Eventually the hare made a straightaway break, with Sandia still on its tail.  In fact, that was one of the more impressive parts of this chase, that despite the extremely high cover in this particular field, Sandia never let the prey get more than a couple of feet ahead of him, always keeping him in site.  When they broke into an open patch I could see Sandia lunging, ever so close to the hares rear, but not quite making contact.  Those would have been some pretty impressive photos had I, you know, had my camera with me... 

But that's not the "money shot" referred to in the title.  Ninety seconds after the race began, Sandia, with some help from Phyllis finally snapped up the jack.  A very brief "discussion" ensued as to who "owned" the jackrabbit, and for a while Sandia carried it back in tandem with Dutch's soon-to-be impressive puppy "Cinnamon", but she finally let go and Sandia proudly brought "dinner" back to me.  That was the money shot, as these events are rare.

This was probably Sandia's finest overall course of his young life, the first where he really looked like some of the best Galgos I've seen coursing in the southwest.  The best moves of the jackrabbit didn't shake him. He kept it in sight despite difficult conditions, and he refused to give up until the job was done.

But his day wasn't over.  After a fifteen minute rest, and some goats milk and water, he was back out front as we started our final sweep back towards the vehicles, and boom!  Fanny jumped this one, and for a nearly nine year old staghound, did herself proud in the run up until Sandia and Phyllis took over.  This rabbit had a different plan than it's "brother", and ran in a- fast - straight line to the southeast.  Sandia was, again, right on it as the rabbit's sinister tactic became apparent.  It was trying to get to a heavy concentration of creosote bush.. nasty stuff you don't want your dogs running into, and pretty much guaranteeing the jackrabbits survival to run another day.

The dogs straggled back looking like survivors of a WWII beach assault.  Dutch's Ashley had a big hole in her foreleg, while Sandia had a long, ugly tear on his rear foot and, discovered later, a couple more holes in his armpit and chest.  Not deep, just tears, but ugly.  By the time we got home, he'd stiffened up significantly.  This morning, he's moving around much better, but we may take him to the vet, because he won't let us touch him.

The drawback to the vet idea is that they'll probably want to suture the wounds, which means he'd most definitely miss a big Galgo outing planned for next week.  Galgos are coming down from the north of the state, including his mother and siblings,  and others are coming from out East somewhere.  So for now, I've got him on antibiotics and letting him keep the wounds clean on his own.

Meanwhile, we've purchased a bigass crockpot, and there'll be jackrabbit in the dog food tomorrow!

So that was yesterday.  One jackrabbit got caught.  One got even.  Rubber match anyone? 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bring On the Night.

From the front porch, sunset over the plain...

...and from the back porch, moonrise over the Little Floridas

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Our Turn.

This segment's shown up on every other blog in the blogosphere this past week, so we might as well have it here, too... just in case you missed it. Wonder when Cramer's going  to jail?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Death of a Real Hockey Mom.

Every hockey fan knows that, with all due respect to Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe is "Mr. Hockey".  And if Gordie, (the only player to play on a professional level in 5 different decades), is Mr. Hockey, his wife, Colleen is "Mrs. Hockey".

Colleen Howe died today following a long battle with Pick's disease.  Not content to be just a wife of a hockey player, Colleen threw herself into the business of her husband's sport, in many cases helping negotiate his contracts.  There's a reason the word "formidable" shows up in this Detroit Free Press article and this piece on nhl.com reporting her passing. 
Colleen Howe was far from a typical 1950s stay-at-home mom. She took a proactive role in her husband's career and burgeoning legend. She managed his business interests, in the process becoming the first female sports agent. It was Colleen who put together the deal that allowed Gordie, at age 45 and two seasons after his NHL retirement, to join sons Mark and Marty with the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association.

"She fought as diligently as any agent I've ever worked with, in sports or Hollywood," Howard Baldwin said in a 2002 Sports Illustrated story. Baldwin was president of the WHA's New England Whalers when Colleen negotiated the move of Gordie, Marty and Mark to that team from the Houston Aeros in 1977. 

Fiercely protective of her husband's interests, she had his name trademarked, as well as the titles "Mr. Hockey" and "Mrs. Hockey." Over the years she was pilloried for being intrusive, but she ignored all the criticism.

"She got angry at the walls that were built up," daughter Cathy said in the 2002 SI story. "But she said, 'Well, I'll just pull 'em down!'"


In a book published by the Red Wings in 2007 to honor Gordie, he wrote a dedication to his wife: "While I received the applause, you stood behind me and cheered the loudest. While I focused on improving my game, you made sure the bills were getting paid. While I was on the overnight trains and planes from city to city, you were tucking in the kids and teaching them to pray for their daddy.

"You have been my biggest fan. My agent. My dietician. My counselor. And even now as you battle for your life, you are my inspiration, my strength, and the love of my life."
Read it all and see why a certain, soon to be a footnote, former Republican Vice Presidential candidate really cheapened the term "Hockey Mom".

Thus, the Name.

Image, New Mexico Garden Club

Apparently, there's a side to the Florida (pronounced Flor-ee-dah) Mountains we haven't seen yet.  Not sure when we'll see it, but the mountains have been known to occasionally sprout vast quantities of Mexican Poppies.

The person we talked to today thinks this has happened maybe 3 times in the last 15 years.  Since there was a lot of rain in last Summer's monsoon, we may have a chance to see it this Spring.  Here's hoping.  I'd like to get my own pictures of this event.

By the way, "Florida" is Spanish for "flower".

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Nuthin' Lahk Dirt Track Racin'!

From the NOTRA meet in Mountainair this past weekend.  Dust a-plenty, mixed with dried sheep poop!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Can't Wait For Our First One!

The year was 1980......

UPDATE 3-4-09: Aha!  Cindy knew!  Good job, Cindy!  (of course Cindy has an unfair advantage)

Monday, March 02, 2009

The View.

Not to be confused with a morning TV talk show featuring a clutch of yakking near-celebrity babes, and not-so-babish babes.  Nope, this is the view early evening from the front porch of the Hare-Brained Homestead.  We went up to see if the battery of motion-sensitive searchlights would work.  One did.  More investigation is required.

That's Deming all lit up down there. It's going to take a long time to get bored with this.