Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 09, 2011

Willow Plays at Being an Otter

Trying out a new, simple, animated GIF creator..  Had this sequence of pics from this morning of Willow discovering snow for the first time.. (or the first time in a long time).

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Facebook Favorites Calendars!

It's that time of year again!

Each year, we take the 13 (or more) most liked images from our Shot On Site Facebook Page, and put them in a calendar, which we then sell in the hopes of turning a couple dollars of profit, and in turn, brighten up your offices, kitchens, kennels, or outhouses, or the homes of those to whom you gift them.

This year, we're doing something a little different.

We have two calendars! A Dog-themed calendar, and a Not-Dog-themed version. One for the kennel and one for the kitchen, eh? Or one for a gift for that rare non-dog owning friend on your gift list.

We have a limited stock of both, that we will sell for a mere $15 each, postage included. All you have to do it email either Margaret ( or me, ( We'll then send you a PayPal invoice, and upon payment, will mail out your calendar.

If we run out of our stock, all is not lost. If you'll look over to the right sidebar, you'll see display links for both calendars. These links will take you to, where you can review the calendars before buying, and you can also buy calendars for $17 plus postage.

See? Time is of the essence if you want to save about $6! We're waiting for your emails.

Introducing "H1LDA"

A Secret!

Beatles - Do You Want To Know A Secret

Jumping straight back into the blogosphere without so much as a by your leave, sir.. Beginning with the most recent news.. (and there is a lot!).  

Back in September, just before we went on the aforementioned train trip to New York, Ashley and Sandia had a not-so-secret assignation, which I was not quick enough to break up.  That resulted in the not-so-little bundle of joy you see here.

Born on November 17, she shares her birthday with my late mother.  I decided that called for naming her after my mother- Hilda. (This was also the name of Dutch's very first sighthound, so that made it even more apropos!)  Since she was born a singleton, some modification of the spelling was called for.  I stole the idea from a large, midwestern athletic conference logo.  I named her H1LDA.  Make sure you get it right.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Choo Choo

We're taking a trip!  We're taking a train trip!

Later today, we'll drive up to Albuquerque, check into a downtown hotel, and tomorrow around lunch time we'll board the Amtrak to Chicago, and then to New York.

Had I received my new ASUS notebook today, (instead of the scheduled delivery tomorrow), I'd resume blogging on this trip.  I still might, but it's not likely, because it's too much of a PITA to "type" on the little tablet.

I will, however, be Tweeting the trip, so if you want so see where we are, and what we see, follow me: shotonsite64

Normal blogging should resume when we get back next week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Like the French, I'm taking the Summer off.  When the temps cool, posting will return. Apologies for the lack of advance notice.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Buckeyes' Summer of Schadenfreude.

Click to animate.

Starring ~ Terrell Pryor as Hogan "Tats" Hero
               OSU Prez  E. Gordon Gee as Klink, the Bell Captain Colonel
Disgraced former OSU coach, Jim Tressell as Sgt. I. C. Nutting-Schultz.

"LSUfreek" appears regularly in the college football blog, Every Day Should Be Saturday .  Follow him on Twitter.

Buy lots of popcorn.. it's going to be a long, fun Summer!

Friday, May 20, 2011


"20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case." - Lance Armstrong tweet

Remember back in the 80's, when 60 Minutes did their hatchet job on Audi, claiming the cars took off by themselves, even though the drivers were standing on the brakes? And then, when it was shown that while the drivers thought they were standing on the brakes, they were actually standing on the accelerator, which is why they drove into storefronts, and rivers, etc.? And this was long before today's "sophisticated" electronics which make Toyotas really take off by themselves? And when presented with the actual facts, that due to a slight design flaw the brake and accelerator pedals were a little too close together for big American feet, they just ho-hummed and moved on to the next ambush victim without so much as a mumbled "sorry" to Audi?

Yeah. That 60 Minutes. They're going to do it again this Sunday. I'll miss it, because I haven't watched it in over 25 years. See if you can't miss it, too. And I hope a million cancer survivors march on CBS headquarters in protest.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Beyond The Sea

The parents.. Otis/Fada.  Image ©Camilla Colleen
Earthly arrival early June.  Hare-Brained Homestead arrival anticipated late-August or early September.  Watch this space

Life at the Hare-Brained Homestead

So, enough with the semi-hopeful signs of life with the trees.  Here are some things in the yard that are positively thriving.  The drought-hardy, Chihuahuan Desert native flora..

Prickly Pear Cactus

Cholla Cactus

Survival Mode

The drought continues.  According to the weather services, the humidity late yesterday afternoon was 1%.  The dew point?  A ridiculous -20°F.  That’s right.  Twenty freaking degrees below zero!SOS_4091  And since the ambient temperature was 110° higher than that, it wasn’t likely that we would squeeze any moisture out of the air.

Somehow, despite the lack of any measurable precipitation since the end of last year, (and that was a single snow fall, so really, the dry spell goes all the way back to Summer), things are turning green.  It’s most noticeable when driving  home from town.  Huge green swaths of creosote bush surround the base of the Florida Mountains.  In the yard, the mesquite brush seems to be the most drought-hardy of all the plants.  Dammit.  Of all the flora I wish dead, the mesquite is at the top of the list!

I’ve been watering (and no, so far there’s no shortage of water in our aquifer, knock wood) the peach tree and the pecan tree, and the fruit is looking good.

The pines, at least from a distance, look as dead as the pronouncement from a friend who knows things about trees and plants.  But if you look closely, the trees have a secret.  When stressed, as they are in extreme drought conditions, they seem to go into a kind of survival mode.  First, they dropped almost two-thirds of their needles.  New needle clusters normally would be sprouting fromsign of life the ends of the branches , but even with the constant, 24/7 drip I’ve got going to our two pines, the tree’s not sending water to the extremities.   But it is using the water!   A few weeks ago, I noticed these little green needle clusters start showing up on the branches closer to the ground.  As time passed more have begun to sprout, and on higher branches, too.

What seems to be happening, and I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for on Google, is the tree has gone dormant at the top, and the extremities, but it is keeping itself alive by pushing out enough green to keep transpiration happening. 

This is even more evident on one of the trees in the back yard.  Up until a couple weeks ago, I was certain it was dead.  While other trees in the yard were full of broad, green leaves, nothing was happening with this tree (which we’ve never identified, but we know the hummingbirds like to roost in it because it’s the closest tree to the feeder).  The ends of the branches were brittle dry.  No sign of life.
Then a strange thing happened.  Leaves began to sprout from the trunk; and from the thick areas of the branches closest to the trunk.  It looks odd, but this is another tree that’s killed off part of itself, to save itself.  Kind of like that kid in 127 Hours.

One of the climate models looking 6 months to a year out, shows a powerful el Niño is a possibility.  That , if it happens, will most certainly break the drought.  Will the trees then “wake up”, and go back to the way they were before the drought and the powerful February freeze?  Don’t know.  We’ll just have to wait and see, but I’m happy they seemed to have figured out a way to hang in there and wait with us.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Boy Needs A Bib!

Scott's Oriole feeding on Ocotillo
The last couple of months in and around the yard have been like an amateur birder's wet dream.  The short list of birds is pretty stunning.  In addition to the pollen-covered Scott's Oriole, above we've seen-

  • Bullock's Oriole
  • Blackchinned Hummingbird
  • Roadrunner
  • Mockingbird
  • Curve-billed Thrasher
  • House Finch
  • Red Tail Hawk
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Cactus Wren
  • Western Kingbird
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Kestrel
  • Cooper's Hawk
  • Harrier
  • Golden Eagle
  • Gambel's Quail
  • Scaled Quail
  • White Winged Dove
  • Gila Woodpecker
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Western Bluebird
  • Lark Bunting
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Horned Lark
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Slate Colored Junco
  • White Crowned (or White Throated) Sparrow
  • Boat Tailed Grackle
  • Common Raven
And probably more that I can't remember right now, or haven't seen yet.

The hummingbirds are probably happy the Ocotillo finally began to bloom, as it's now keeping the Orioles out of the feeder...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Persistence Hunting

The pronghorn. The fastest mammal in North America.. the second fastest animal in the world, capable of running 55mph for extended periods.

In another part of the state of New Mexico, hundreds of miles from where I'm sitting, human beings tried to run a pronghorn down, using only their lung capacity, their legs, and their brainpower.  What the hell are they up to?
"The pronghorn is the second-fastest animal on earth, while the men are merely elite marathon runners who are trying to verify a theory about human evolution. Some scientists believe that our ancestors evolved into endurance athletes in order to hunt quad­rupeds by running them to exhaustion. If the theory holds up, the antelope I'm watching will eventually tire and the men will catch it. Then they'll have to decide whether to kill it for food or let it go."
I'm not sure whether or not I can buy into that theory, but it's really tantalizing to picture it.  Read the whole article to find out how these world class marathoners fared against our New Mexico Pronghorn.

This, of course, is not the only animal that is run down by humans.  There are numerous, incredibly fast and agile football players in college and pro ranks, including the University of Michigan who hale from a poor, rural location in Florida called Pahokee.  They  hone their skills like this..

Cottontails and "muck rabbits" (whatever they are)are one thing. Our blacktail jackrabbits are another thing altogether. Nobody is going to catch one on foot. That's why we use another method that's nearly as old as persistance hunting-

Friday, April 29, 2011

25th Annual SRAM Tour of the Gila

Went out to shoot Stage 2 yesterday, on Hwy 152. Different location than last year, because I wanted to get some images at the feed stations. These are in no particular order, and include both Pro Mens and Womens races, and the other classifications as well. And candids. Always candids. You can click on the slide show to see larger versions at the Picase Web Albums page.

Friday, April 22, 2011

FOR SALE: The Hare-Brained Express (!)

Yes, it’s the legendary motor home that faithfully (with only a few hiccups) carried Shot On Site Photography from sea to shining sea for almost 6 years.  It will make someone an ideal short run dog hauler for field events and shows, while still perfectly capable of the occasional long haul.  Why pay to stay at an expensive hotel? 
Express ad edit
pilot co-pilot edit
living space - galley edit               galley Headbedroom
Things that are new (or new-ish)  - the radiator ; the rear springs;  the tires (6); the alternator; the retractlable awning.
Things that are old, and/or don’t work, or may need work -  The leveling jacks. (parts are no longer available); The 5000W Onan generator will run, and produce power, but has a disturbing knock, which may be a piston rod.  Refrigerator door needs new hinge, but the fridge works great and has recently had the safety recall work performed, so it won’t set you on fire!   Much of the drawer hardware throughout needs replacing.. they’ve just worn out, or fallen out from lack of moisture.  Cabinet over sink needs connection to ceiling reinforced.
On the very last trip we attempted in late 2009, the distributor cap went wonky, which threw the engine out of time, and left us stranded outside of El Paso.  It has been repaired, but does need a tune up (spark plugs and wires were fouled, so it doesn’t run smoothly).
The chassis is a Chevrolet truck. Engine, a 454 cubic inch, with throttle body injection.
Direct inquiries to, or

rear window

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Every Day Occurrence ..

..dozens every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. (Unless it rains, which like....)

This was taken on our most recent 250 mile Sunday Joy Ride, west on NM Rt9, (more on our Sunday adventures in a future post), but we can usually see lots of them in the valley by just walking out onto the front porch.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Simple Mathmatics

I can do the simple cipherin'. For instance, if I know that we have a healthy sized swarm of honeybees that hang around the leaky faucet in the yard (1), and I walk into the living room and find Buffy has changed her name to Puffy (1), then I can posit that the silly girl has put her face where it doesn't belong, and is likely       not to ever go again.That equals "2".   (1 + 1 = 2. Get it?)

Friday, April 08, 2011

One Win Away!

The Michigan Wolverine men's ice hockey team is one win away from their tenth NCAA Division 1 Championship! (Yes that's a record, as is the fact that this is their 21st consecutive year making the tournament).

Last night, behind the tallest 5'6" goalie in The Universe, they put the clamps on the Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota, easily the best team remaining in the tournament. They had a 36 goal scorer! Nobody in college hockey scores 36 goals! Not often, anyway. Last night he was shut out, along with the rest of his teammates, 2-0. And when Michigan scored the empty net goal to ice the victory, it was all too much for this hapless Sioux fan-

You wouldn't think there would be much flexibility in those heavily padded hockey gloves, but Louie Caporusso does a fine job of returning the sentiment!

Michigan plays University of Minnesota-Duluth tomorrow evening for the championship. On ESPN.

UPDATE 4/10/11: Alas...  Good run for a bunch of overachievers, though, especially Little Man Hunwick.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Scientists Just Wanna Have Fun

Music awards you never heard of.. "Best Lab Song". And the winner is: judged by the editors and writers of BioTechniques, The International Journal of Life Science Methods. Isn't Baylor a Baptist college? They're dancing! I won't tell.

Other finalists in the competition can be found at EarthSky. I didn't watch them, but I'll assume they're as good as the one above.

Actually, I have watched one of the other finalist videos. I even posted it here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Lost "Sparky" Video, Found.

Last year when former Detroit Tigers manager, Sparky Anderson passed away, I posted a memorial and a video clip of my favorite "Sparky moment".  As I said then, the video wasn't the version that I knew existed, but was unable to find.  Thanks to the fine folks at the Down With Detroit Facebook page I can now share this great Detroit moment with everyone..

It's very clear that Sparky wanted everyone within the sound of his voice to know, "He didn't wanta walk him". And I suppose we should offer our thanks to Hall of Fame pitcher, "Goose" Gossage, for not doing what his manager wanted him to do... walk Kirk Gibson.

Friday, April 01, 2011

The Finest In Automotive Spy Photography

Several times over the past 25 years, I've been fortunate enough to be in  the right place at the right time to photograph upcoming automobile models on public roads, doing "real world testing".  Most often the vehicles are disguised, with outlandish extra body panels, or wild graphic paint schemes, designed to misdirect the viewer's eyes so as not to determine exactly what the shape of the car really is.  Other times, when they're closer to production, only the badging, and other identifying marks are stripped from the cars.

I first got lucky in Anchorage, Alaska of all places.  Engineers apparently experienced a stalling problem, and left what would later become the Subaru Impreza abandoned in a hotel parking lot, with the hood up.  I snapped away. I couldn't help it.  Those pictures ended up in AutoWeek Magazine.

Jump ahead several years, and I'm working as an independent representative for a firm which required me to visit a lot of backroads businesses.  I was in Livingston County, Michigan when a convoy of overly clad vehicles was leaving a rural gas station.  Again, I fired away, and again the images ended up in AutoWeek.  It was America's first look at the Oldsmobile Alero and Pontiac Grand Am.

Recently, I happened to capture images of the 2012 Audi A6 on nearby back roads.  These were brokered to several automotive online journals by the "Doyenne" of  automotive spy photography, whose name you would recognize instantly.

What follows, is the published account of my most recent discovery.  It was late at night, at a gas station in Abilene, Texas......

§    §    §    §    §    §    §    §    §    §    §    §    §    §   §

Our intrepid, tireless, ambitious, poverty-stricken, Instamatic®- toting, weasley, automotive paparazzi have been at it again.  Caught real world testing, without so much as a single fig leaf of disguise is Ford’s upcoming retro spectacular, the 2014 Edsel Redux!  (pronounced Ree-doo).

Word has been out there among the automotive cognoscenti for several months now, that this masterpiece of backward-thinking was in the works, but this is the first time it’s been captured on film, as it were, and we here at AutoLuddite were victorious in the bout of feverish bidding that ensued to be the first to present this image to the public.

Our sources in the industry tell us this fantastic retro-sled weighs in at an astonishing four-and-a-half tons, due in part to the extensive use of carbon fiber in the floor mats, and turn signal indicator.  Power to overcome massive amounts of inertia comes from the technologically advanced cast iron, straight 6 cylinder EcoBǖst, (pronounced boooost), engine, which produces upwards of 175 BHP when using 102 octane unleaded fuel.  Naught to 60 times are expected to be in the range of sometime before dark, therefore, no convertible model is expected to be produced.  Our sources tell us that an optional 3-speed manual transmission, mounted on the steering column (!), has never, ever been considered.

The designers have really outdone themselves in recalling the essence of the original, right down to the extremely wide white sidewall bias-ply tires, to the rust spots on the quarter panels.  One wonders why, with all of these styling cues resurrecting the marque’s illustrious past, the “toilet seat” was left off of the massive chrome grille?  Perhaps it will appear on a higher trim level model.  We can only hope and pray.

Unfortunately, prices are not expected to fall in line with those of 50+ years ago.  You can expect to pony up around $25,000 for a base model, to a staggering $55,000 for the super deluxe, although to be fair, that price does include your own personal dwarf mechanic in a satchel, so you will never have to worry about breakdowns, or even regularly scheduled maintenance.

The Edsel Redux will be produced in limited quantities, by Ford of Honduras, and for reasons known only to those at the very top of the Ford hierarchy, will only be sold through Kia dealerships.   We look forward to our first test drive!

- Peter S. Tingly,  AutoLuddite

....Y'know... I've been thinkin'... I might just could be wrong... about all of this.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sagan Would Be Shocked.

I had heard it was BILL-ions and BILL-ions of times bigger than that.

(a scan of an old vacation slide).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Going Decidedly Retro...

...but I need your help.

Going to Palomas, Mexico on Wednesday for a couple of reasons.  I have a dental appointment.  I'm also going to get some new glasses, and I'm going to be looking for something similar to what I wore in the 60's while in the Navy.

The image on the right shows the same horn rimmed glasses I wore in high school, and for the first couple of years in the Navy.

While serving at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia and attending Neuropsychiatric Technician School, most of us opted for the gold, wire-rimmed "Hippie" glasses.  That's the image on the left.  Your guess is as good as mine, all these years later, as to why I have these two images in my collection.  What was I thinking?

Anyway, both of these styles are still available in some form or another.  I don't know which one to pick.  There will be no difference in price.  FWIW, Margaret says the wires in the picture are "too big" - whatever that means.  Also, for those who know me, my scalp is kept very close cropped these days.  Also, maybe I'm not quite as svelte as in these pictures.

So help me out.. I don't promise to listen to you, but which way would you go?  Gold or Black? Here's a poll:

Dan would look best in
Gold, wire rimmed "Hippie" glasses
Black, horn rimmed, "Buddy Holly" glasses
Contact lenses free polls
Oh yeah.  Third reason I'm going to Mexico: Need to pick up a litre of Gran Centenario Reposado.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It Was Time.

boots old and new My new boots arrived the other day, and not a moment too soon.  The old boots  (on right, as if I had to tell you), lived a long and productive life.  In this environment, three years is a long life.  The rocks and boulders in the nearby mountains that I hike are responsible for most of the gaping holes you can see.  It’s time to retire them.

I bought Hi-Tec boots again.  I’ll probably always buy Hi-Tec boots, because they’re cheap,  but more importantly, they’re unbelievably comfortable right out of the box.  In fact, that’s the stated  principle of the company: “Instant lightweight comfort”.

Speaking of lightweight.. I spent more on this pair of boots than on their predecessors… and their predecessor’s predecessors.  $85.00.  That’s amost twice as much, but the obvious trade-off is the weight.  The old boots weigh 3.5 pounds.  The new ones are a full pound lighter, and it was instantly noticeable this morning while out hunting with the dogs.

They’re also “waterproof”, which is probably meaningless where we live, because it’s obvious that it’s never going to rain here again.

So.. that’s my unsolicited testimonial.  If you’ve never worn Hi-Tec boots, you should give them a try.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Horn of Plenty..

and to think there have been times when we've walked for hours and never got a sniff..

H/T Jim Heffelfinger via Dutch Salmon

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sooper Dooper Moon.

Everybody and their brother (and aunts, uncles, and nieces and grandsons, no doubt) took pictures of the closest "Perigee Moon" in almost 20 years. Why should I be an exception?

Now, every time I've shot the moon since we've lived here, it's been from the back porch, and I've caught it rising over the Little Florida Mountains which, you should know by now, are basically in our back yard.

I needed to find a new location to shoot from in this case, because I knew that once the moon got a few degrees above the horizon it would begin to look like any full moon. I needed the horizon in the picture when the moon was appearing to be at its largest. It was time to pack the little Montero and head up into the Little Floridas.

We were going to a spot about 2 miles east of the house, but the drive was more like 6 miles on fairly easy jeep trails. Our vantage point would give us unobstructed view all the way to the Organ Mountains east of Las Cruces... nearly 100 miles away! I had my horizon, and had only to wait for the moon to rise.

Problem was, I had no way of knowing exactly where the moon would appear. So we arranged it so we'd be there early. Real early. Not wanting to be rushing around at the last minute, we arrived at our lookout around 6:15. Moonrise was scheduled for 7:44!

I got the camera, with 300mm lens on the tripod, and wandered around with another camera and shot a bunch of pretty much forgettable ambience shots. I've been to this location many times before.

I took my position at the tailgate when there were about 20 minutes remaining before moonrise. Margaret thought my verbal countdown ever five minutes was overkill, but hey, that's how I roll. When I finally saw the glow on the still quite light horizon, I had only about 10 seconds to get focused in and start shooting. It moves fast, and yes, it really did look 30% larger than a normal moonrise:

Moonrise, W. Potrillo Mtns., NM

f4.0 1/8sec, ISO400
For a while.. meaning 2 or 3 minutes.. I was able to shoot on auto, and still get detail in the foreground, and also in the moon itself, along with its beautiful orange cast. Also, the whispy clouds add much to the drama of the image. Unfortunately, as anyone who has tried to capture images of the full moon knows, (and judging from the interwebz, that's nearly everyone) there comes a point when you have to choose between detail on the ground and detail in the moon. You can't have both. Again, as evidenced by the images on the internet, most of the people who shoot the moon, have no idea how to do it properly. If you let the camera have its way, you end up with a white disk in the middle of the frame that looks very much like an Alka-Seltzer tablet.
f8, 1/250th sec., ISO400

If you want a properly exposed moon, with lots of detail, you expose exactly as you would at high noon, because what is moonlight, after all, but reflected sunlight! At ISO 200, shoot it at f5.6 and 1/500th of a second. Or thereabouts. Just don't be looking for any details in the surrounding frame. To get that you have to "take one from column A, and one from column b", mix in a little Photoshop magic, and voilá...

Moonrise, Little Florida Mtns., NM
That image was taken from the old stand-by location.. the rear porch of the house.  After we'd used up almost all of the daylight up on the mountain, we drove back down as quickly as was prudent, and got set up on the porch in time to catch a second "rising".  Moonbats.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another Spring Visitor.

The peach tree is attracting all kinds of insect life, from common houseflies, the metallic green sweat bees featured in yesterday's post, regular honeybees, and this solitary Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly. I don't know where his friends are, but he's now thoroughly worked over the tree for the last 3 days.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Another peach blossom image, but this time with Agapostemon virescens, (Metallic Green Sweat bees)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some Good News After All.

Peach Blossoms
As reported previously, the palms are DOA, as is the fig, and much of the cacti, and presumably the oleander. Noticed yesterday that even the large Mexican Elder is brittle, and may be dead as well. All victims of either/or the brutal February cold snap and drought. But I've been watering the pines (now that all of our piping's been repaired) and I'm happy to report they're no longer golden in color, but are now more of a rusty red with a lot of pale green starting to show through! Best of all, as illustrated by the photo above, the peach tree has survived, and is blossoming. Some of the readers of this blog may have tasted the peaches from this tree last Summer, so you know this is very, very good news. I'm betting the little pecan is probably all right as well.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Paper Trail..

Everything but the Paper Cut: Eye-popping Ways Artists Use Paper | Fast Company - StumbleUpon
Between the Lines, by Ariana Boussard-Reifel

Having recently discovered StumbleUpon, I find that it is yet another exquisite time waster.  The above piece on ways contemporary artists are re-imagining paper is a great example.

This blog, and it's "sister" blog, Scanners! are both registered with StumbleUpon.  You can help create traffic when you click on the StumbleUpon logo. It's found on this blog on the right hand side in the subscription area, and on the Scanners! blog at the upper left side).  Increased traffic means potentially increased ad revenues.  Maybe.  Hey, it's worth a try!

UPDATE: As I continued my morning "Stumble", I discovered yet more amazing paper art.  To apply the term "painstaking" to this work doesn't even begin to cover it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Yup. This is Depressing.

02-16-11 our nearly dead trees2

A mere 6 weeks separate these two images.  The palms all over town, and in Las Cruces look the same.  This makes me sad.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hummers Rule!

Past 30 day count shows the hummingbird film is beating the former most viewed post here.. Dipshit Glenn Beck. I think I owe Soso Whaley one.

Consequences of a Changing Climate

blog1 Just a few weeks ago, these California Fan Palms in our backyard were snow covered, and still green.  Then the deep freeze hit.  More than 90 straight hours below freezing, with overnight lows around 0°F, and wind chills 15 - 20° below that.  Daytime highs struggled to make the 20’s.  A few days after the cold broke, I noticed that all the fronds had turned brittle and brown.  Then we had a day with brutal winds, and the crown of the tree just went over in a right angle to the trunk.  We don’t know if these palms are dead.  The experts say don’t trim or chop till Spring.. see if the plant can replenish itself from the roots.

We live in an area where the average January and February high temperatures are in the 40’s and 50’s, and overnight we might hit 20° on a bad night.  The plants aren’t used to what we have and neither are the houses.  We lost our water for 48 hours, and have some not-quite-essential pipes to replace under the house.. (the pipe supplying the outside faucets, and also the refrigerator ice maker-  the horror! No cracked ice for Margaritas!).  There’s also a tiny leak in the well house, although I’m not sure it’s related to the cold.  It took me several days to realize the consistently crowded parking lot at the hardware store wasn’t because they were having a giant clearance sale.  They were selling PVC pipe. Thousands and thousands of feet of PVC pipe.

Besides our palms, our prickly pear cactus are drooping, and even the acacia, and Mexican elder look sickly.  The Ocotillo always looks dead in the winter, so we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.  The only thing that looks unscathed is the all the goddamn cholla!

Most disturbing of all, is the plight of the Ponderosa pines.  At Christmas, they were green and thriving, lit up with our holiday lights.  Now blog 2they are sad and brown.  I can’t believe that the cold did this.  They’re mountain trees fer chrissakes!  I think they’ve fallen victim to the lack of moisture.  We haven’t had any appreciable precipitation since Summer.  We had a blizzard at the end of January, but because it was so cold and dry, the snow seemed more to evaporate than melt.  There was no mud. 
I’ve been watering the pines and the fig tree, (which also looks in a bad way), but so far they remain golden brown, and stand out on our hill like a beacon. 

Rain is in the forecast for Sunday.  It may, and it may not, depending on the wildly varied forecasts from the different online weather services.  These plants have been in the yard since the house was placed here in 1997.  I’d hate to have to start over.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It’s A Game of Keepaway..

Generally, a hound packing a hare back will walk, or at the most, trot. Not Willow. With the rest of the dogs hot on her trail, she came rushing back to show me the prize. With enthusiasm.