Monday, June 29, 2015

Corral project

Selected parts of a day in the life.

Finally getting back up to speed and feeling close to normal.

When I get a chance to catch my breath I'll try to throw up some words.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Color, light, shadow

Long, hot day of reasonably hard labor. I've been working on a corral upgrade in preparation for working (vaccinating/ear tagging/castrating) 26 recently purchased calves.

As the day began to wane I took the opportunity to play some more with the new camera. Got a bit of a light and shadow thing going on.
Prickly pear blooming.

One of the rare pink blossomed prickly pears.

Prickly pear blooming in a patch of smooth brome.

Redwing blackbird. Kind of late in the year to see them, usually migrated through by now.

He looks a little worn and beat up.

Squirreltail barley.

From the other side.


Color, light and shadow.

That nail is always there, why did I snap a picture today?

Grain auger.


Bolt hole.
More light and shadow.
Northeast wind. Unusual.
More moon.
Tired and hot and sticky and stinky and sore and creaky and not as good as I once was. Still in the 99th percentile though, so there's that.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Neat little discussion regarding USAF Helos over at XBRADTC's place the other day. One topic was the UH-1N fleet the Air force uses to patrol the missile fields of flyover country.

Here's one of those Novembers. See 'em all the time, and they occasionally (and not infrequently) make precautionary landings on the ranch. They also hit KIBM for fuel, which this one was doing the other day.

I managed to log a few hundred hours in Novembers back in the day, including a goodly bit of bootleg. Fun!

"Dude, it's one of those things again!"


From Phibs place.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

More new camera

Still on a journey of discovery with the new camera.

Yesterday I showed an image of AirLink "hauling one of my neighbors to the big city sawbones." Threw up a video of the helo on approach to our local hospital as well.

Turns out the neighbor is a relative, an 18 year old kid who is my nephew's cousin, the nephew of my sister's ex. I don't know the kid but he was always one of the noisy kids scampering around at family get-togethers. Anyway, yesterday morning he was a whole young man, recently graduated from high school and looking forward to college. Early yesterday afternoon his life changed forever in a single car rollover. The words "severed spine" and "paralyzed" keep coming up.

So a lot of food for thought around the ranch today. Brutally speaking, maybe it'll be a good lesson for his impressionable cousin, my nephew, who is "working" on the ranch for a few weeks.

Or not.

A zillion years ago in San Diego at Hospital Corps school, the very first real patient I cared for during my hospital rotation was an 18 year old Marine who'd suffered a c-spine fracture in a motorcycle accident. I took a lesson. I never, ever, climbed on a motorcycle after that. Right lesson? Wrong lesson? Who cares, it's the one I took.

This human tragedy unfolding nearby helps put things in a bit of context and perspective. I've been moaning a lot about how long it's taking to get back to full speed following an illness. I'm not gonna stop moaning, but at least I'm still tottering around on my own pins.

Okay, enough philosophizing. On to the pics.

Nona the Wonder Dog
Shoefly on Kochia
Western Salsify
More rust
Old-style battery
Prickly lettuce
Times 2
My new weather station!
Case Threshing Machine
Mama and the cow dogs

And that oughta be enough for today.

Monday, June 22, 2015

New camera

The new camera is a Canon SX 260 HS. I bought it on the recommendation of a Canadian. This guy. I kinda like his videos. Good place to spend time if you've got some.

I've recently had my share of time. Little under the weather. Back on the mend more or less but some of this carp takes longer than I think it should. Be that as it may, I'm glad there's abundant stuff to peruse on the interwebs. I don't do the television any more, and sometimes (can't believe I'm saying this) reading gets old. Not often, mind you. But sometimes.

At any rate, I bought the camera more for its video capability than for pictures. I've got this crazy idea that I should try to do some more professional videos than the garbage I've been putting up on the youtube from my phone.

But dang, it makes purty pictures.

So, trial images images first. Embignify by all means.

I've been fascinated by the moon for, well, for as long as I can remember. I remember standing outside and staring up at the full moon on the evening of July 20, 1969. I'd just finished watching Neil and Buzz on the Walter Concrete Show, Special First Man On The Moon Edition.

While looking up at that big, beautiful moon I was trying to sort out the scale and context in my mind. I felt like I should be able to see some sign of the LEM, but I looked and looked and I couldn't see it. From only 240,000 miles. Sheesh!

I'm astonished at how well this camera takes zoom pics. That's in idiot auto!

How many landing sites can you pick out in my image? Here's a cheat sheet.

Okay, this was supposed to be about the dang camera, not the moon. Here are a few random pics:
AirLink hauling one of my neighbors to the big city sawbones. The blurry squiggle is a dove.
Grain elevator at sunset.

My favorite local likker store. Conveniently next to my office in the courthouse.

And a couple of videos.

I'm kinda glad I'm not flying hot and high into a parking lot tonight. Young feller's game.

Anyway, we'll see how the new camera and the (shudder!) video editing go.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Computer Blues

There was a time when it was new computer excitement.

I believe I have finally reached Olde and Grumpee.

Anyway, the new laptop arrived today and it's my first foray into winders ate pint wun. It's different, which can be a challenge for the Olde and Grumpee.

But not so bad so far.

What is so bad so far is the dern keyboard. CLUNKVILLE!  

I si[[odr it's just a marrwe opf gettina isrd tp irt. 

Which translates to:

I suppose it's just a matter of getting used to it.

And of "eyeballin' them keys" as my 9th grade typing teacher, Mr. Brohrs, put it. Mr. Brohrs was a Marine. Nothing "former" about it. He took a dim view of "eyeballin' them keys."

So I'm feeling a tad bit guilty and kind of scrunching up my shoulders just now. But my fingers are already starting to find their own way around. Hinest! (Honest!).

As long as I'm complaining, I'm still on the mend from the recent bout of bronchitis. Took a lot out of me and I hate that. Shouldn't be winded after four miles of prairie hiking. At least not as winded as I was today. Ah well, it'll come back. I hope.

I took the opportunity, while doing range monitoring, to throw myself down in the soft, cool western wheatgrass and chill. Before long a few cows and calves wandered over to see if I was really dead. I wasn't.

Over the hill there were a bunch of showy coreopsis.

On the way back to my pickup I took a shortcut (actually a longcut, but who's counting?) through a field of just headed winter wheat. Much to my delight I found a ladybeetle gobbling up itty-bitty aphids.

Which was nice. Very nice.

Spent a lot of time today thinking about my friend Karyn who lost her Dad yesterday. I'd give anything to be able to ease her pain, but of course I can't. Good thing I don't have that kind of power anyway. I'd make a hell of a mess.

The funeral is Friday up in the Black Hills National Cemetery. Long haul but a pretty drive.

Pretty sunset this evening.

Sometimes the best sunset show is over your shoulder.