Posts

Showing posts from 2023

solstice, new tenant, and sci-fi

Image
Hope you had a Stellar Solstice, the Earth’s New Year. “Cultures around the world have long held feasts and celebrated holidays around the winter solstice. Fire and light are traditional symbols of celebrations held on the darkest day of the year. Humans may have observed the winter solstice as early as Neolithic period—the last part of the Stone Age, beginning about 10,200 B.C. Neolithic monuments, such as Newgrange in Ireland and Maeshowe in Scotland, are aligned with sunrise on the winter solstice. Some archaeologists have theorized that these tomb-like structures served a religious purpose in which Stone Age people held rituals to capture the sun on the year’s shortest day. Stonehenge, which is oriented toward the winter solstice sunset, may also have been a place of December rituals for Stone Age people.” We picked up an addition to our household in the last two or three weeks. A mouse. I first became aware of it when I noticed Mesa on-point facing the bottom of a wall. Do

Swiss, talked at and dysfunctional

Image
I had a really nice conversation with a Swiss couple that I met in one of the parks. They have a one year travel pass for Canada, ‘United’ States and Mexico. They had their VW camper van shipped to Canada, where they started. The couple also brought their large dog with them. I asked what they thought of living in Zurich. The response was something like, better than here. They are enjoying the wide open spaces in their traveling. Quite a bit different from the compacted spaces in Europe. I wish I had more time with this couple but they were moving on the next morning. One day when taking a walk through a park, I stopped to talk with an RVer. After a while, he switch from having a conversation to merely talking at me. Thought I was going to have a birthday before I managed to walk away. Generally I am more abrupt when dealing with such people. But the guy lives alone and came across as being lonely so I stood there. My mindset was that I was giving him a gift by listening. You bee

last turkeys and the library

Image
Okay, this is the last turkey page. I wanted you to be able to follow along with me as the chicks grew. It looks like July was the month I first uploaded chick photos. But in that photo, I’m guessing they were 2-3 weeks old. If you can not see the young deer on the left, click on the photo. This year has not been one of my best. My digging projects took way longer than other years and I couldn’t swing the pick for as long before needing to take short brake, bummer. I hate hearing the cliche, It’s part of growing old. As you’ve heard me say quite a few times in this blog, age is not the key factor. This winter and next year, I’ll be working towards gaining back what I lost these last two years. Know what the problem was/is, not dealing with the key factor. Been here, done this, always got it back. Hoo-ah. The ball is in my court—and I picked it up. ‘Rabbit ears’ ring a bell? Three turkeys were hunched together at a library table, reading a book on turkey anatomy. The g

blurry, diner, javelina and needle

Image
I wonder how young ones cope with their first winter. This might be the fifth or sixth time this has happened. I would think the little ones see me taking a photo, and not do a flyby in front of the lens. Hmm. Remember having a meal in a diner, back in the 60s (or 50s-early 70s)? What was at the end of the booth? I’m not talking about the condiment carrier? And what could be hanging on the walls? It’s been colder most mornings, down in upper 40s and lower 50s. If it is overcast and maybe raining, the turkeys seem to sleep in and don’t come around until nine. As Benjamin Franklin believed, smart birds. This javelina (peccary) came walking across the back yard one day. I’ve always seen them at lower elevations. “javelina (early 19th century: from Spanish jabalina, from the feminine form of jabalí ‘wild boar’, from Arabic jabali ‘mountaineer’.” A mini jukebox and large car prints. Only a few hummingbirds around, most have headed south. Don’t know if the few I see are l

another mishmash

Image
I watched a family of turkeys chicks grow this summer. The young chicks are so vulnerable, not alert, slow, can’t fly and no means of defense. The hen softly clucks when the family is moving through the woods and meadows so the chicks can keep track of her. But the soft clucks are also signals to predators for meals-on-wheels. This year’s family started with eight chicks, but lost three early on. The remaining five are doing fine. I read a lot of fiction in many genres. I enjoy books with strong women lead characters, so occasionally I’ll read books such as Patricia Cornwell’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta series. I just finished, Unnatural Exposure. Then there’s Elizebeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody archeology series set in Egypt in the early 1900s. What a strong, feisty character. It is best to work through the series from the first book, rather than read them randomly. JD Robb’s Lieutenant Eve Dallas series. Must start with the first book. Dallas and Rourke butting heads. And how Peabody (y

jake and jenny

Image
When I go outside around 5:30, the thermometer reads in the upper 50s. Some mornings in the low 50s. If there was cloud cover during the night, morning temps are mid 60s. Daytime temps range from the upper 80s to mid 90s. Not bad. Not much rain this year. Only one short hail storm so far. Loud, like the problem one. Kept checking on the roof vent covers. Have not seen as many wild turkeys this year. One gabbler, one hen, not together, and a few weeks later, a hen with 8 little ones. Not that I always see wildlife that passes through. I could be off walking, working on another piece of the acre, focusing on a task, and whatnot. And I know deer occasionally come through in the dark. I spread scratch grain over appox. 100 sq. feet, twice a day, just before the little family comes through (before 7:00 and around 4:00). When my wild turkeys pass through the backyard, they checkout the various spots and peck. Staying maybe 20 minutes. The other day, late afternoon, the flock got t

new deer and balance

Image
First new one. One morning I was putting scratch grain out and eight deer were walking towards me. Not sure if I’ve seen eight at once. Pretty cool. Not back to carrying a camera in my pocket. I wonder if some of these deer are some of mine from last year. When I got up the first morning, it was 60º in the Nash. For the next two weeks, the early inside temps ranged from 56-63º. Nice change from the valley. Even lit the Wave 6 a couple mornings for a bit. The first thing I did when I towed the Nash up onto my property, I let M&M out. Yep, they literally flew out the door, ending 7 months of being indoors. They checked out their home turf, and rolled in the dirt, as I jockeyed the Nash around for summer exposure. Put the bird feeder up. Nuthatch were the first birds. Hummingbirds found their feeder sooner. One time there were three hummingbirds on the ring, sipping. They were shoulder to shoulder, using 3 adjacent slots. Don’t think I’ve seen the before, either. One day I b
Image
This is how I got to the laundromat when in casts. Laundry in backpack, pack on back, knee on scooter—and I was off. Brent, yep, same pack. While in Albertsons, I came across one of my favorite acquaintances from Timberon. What a treat. She owns the propane business. Being up in years, the business was getting a bit much for her. This is one feisty lady, not one to sit in the office. I would see her driving the propane truck, filling bottles in front of the shop, driving around checking meters, and whatnot. When filling house tanks and checking meters, high snake boots were always on her feet. The lady has come across a lot of rattlers. Always a pleasure to talk with her. One of the two ladies I learned so much from when I first moved to Timberon for the summers. This awesome lady came down with cancer a while back. Friends went out along the scenic byway towards Cloudcroft with sidewalk chalk. In two spots, writing out her name and encouraging words. I knew it, but something lik

harissa, André Rieu and two strong friends

Image
Still using unused photos from last year. Looking forward to new ones. Hope to get the opportunity in June. I so need to get out of this valley. This is a shot of the Sacramento Mountains, to the east, taken from where I’m staying this winter. One takes rt.82 up to Cloudcroft, elevation 8,676’, then south on 6563 (scenic byway through the Lincoln National Forest) for 34 miles, which takes 45-55 minutes. Elevation drops to 7,100’ at Timberon. Outside of Wells Fargo one day, a young lady came over to my truck as I was lifting the Knee Rover into the bed. Asking if I needed a walking boot for my left foot. I recognized her from the waiting room at NM Bone & Joint. She looked like she went through a lot more than me. She did. On a knee scooter with both lower legs in casts and her left hand looked a bit off. Her ex-boyfriend intentionally drove over her lower legs and left hand with both tires. She had to crawl to her phone to call 911. Filled out a report, but the police did

timberon visit and been here done this

Image
Drove up to Timberon one day to collect my mail (since Nov. 1st) and visit with my favorite acquaintances. Plenty of snow in Cloudcroft but as the elevation dropped toward my unincorporated community, the snow disappeared. I generally get back to Timberon with the Nash in early March, but there was no way I could have done that this year. The roads were way too muddy, clay slick. Couldn’t have gotten the Nash within a third of a mile from #3. Good thing I am having surgery down in the valley. Maybe it was just getting back to the mountains or it being so quiet with no-one around (my area has few homes). Not even the birds were back. But while walking around my lot, it felt really good to be there. Will see how it feels when I arrive back with the Nash on June 1. Had the left foot done last week. Same procedures: Hallux valgus correction, pan metatarsal head resection, and hammer toe correction. Same old, same old. Been here, done this, dealt with it, know what to expect. I w

acts of kindness and caramels

Image
I ordered a pack of Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets & Bonus Gold Foil Space Blanket. Designed for NASA. One for my daypack and one in my pickup (the old boy scout thing). On short hikes, I frequently just take a good size hip pack, one in there. Anyway, one of the 4-star reviews caught my eye. The person wrote there are quite a few homeless people in his area, with temps near freezing with heavy rain in the winter. “It's not unusual to see someone sleeping on a bench, the ground, under some bushes, etc...There is one woman who sleeps on the same bench pretty much every night wrapped in blankets. She's out there in the open, every day, even in the rain. I drove by her one day on my way to work and she literally had frost on her blanket. Frost, on a human being. “These blankets are cheap enough that I buy them to hand out to houseless people who look like they need to keep warm/dry. They are small enough to be carried in a pocket, have many different uses, a

elementary, Tom Swift and last month’s solstice

Image
I recently read somewhere that Sherlock Holmes never said, Elementary, my dear Watson. What?! I’ve listened to quite a few Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce (my favorite duo, well maybe not Nigel Bruce) episodes on the SiriusXM Classic Radio channel and watched them on youtube. I could have sworn I heard that. So I looked into it. Apparently, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never wrote those exact words for his detective. But Doyle’s character did say ‘elementary’ and ‘my dear Watson’ quite often. It seems the whole phrase started with other authors. Could be wrong. I never had a Taser and can’t see me ever purchasing one. But recently, I came across the story behind the idea. It brought to mind some books I read as a kid. It’s actually a loose acronym of the book, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle. Jack Cover, the inventor of the modern ECD, named his prototype after the YA sci-fi novel he loved, and the very idea for a less-lethal electric gun was largely inspired by the fictional one descri