Wednesday, September 19, 2012

09_19_2012 EYEBALLS!!!

Oh, I've been whining for this for a long time! Photos of eyeballs. And Dave did it. Yay. So, can you recognize who each of these awesome eyeballs belong to?  Cover the text so you don't see the answer before you want to.

First eyeball is that of a Snapping Turtle.
Red-Tailed Hawk
Mexican Jay
This is the beautiful eye of a Spotted Towhee.
This one is difficult  I think. It's a Downy Woodpecker! Cool.
Yellow Breasted Chat! Not that I cold tell by the eye, but the color nearby was the giveaway. :)
An alligator in Houston (I'm sure an alligator from another city would look similar)
Big arse Rattlesnake!
Harris's Hawk
Western Bluebird (female)! Doesn't this look like an American Robin too? The fact that both are thrushes is really evident in this photo.

I hope to one day get him to make me a book full of eyes. I think they are totally cool!

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09_19_2012 Cool Bees!!

Think we were behind on the last blog entry? Well this one is even more behind. Behinder? :) Dave and I headed over to our friends Julie and Quinn during the summer to check out her bee keeping population. We knew pretty much nothing about the bees - mostly to stay away from them. Now I know that's not even the case.
Dave got a lot of very cool photos of the bees. I'll be honest, they are beautiful and creepy all at once. Not sure what it is about the porousness of a hive that creeps me out. Very amazing little creatures!
I won't blabber much - mostly wanted to share these very beautiful photos and thank Quinn and Julie for entertaining us!

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

08_06_2012 Jerry Vaughan turns 80! Dave's trip to TN and NC

Better late than never! Finally got the photos from Dave's recent trip to Tennessee and North Carolina. He headed there in early August to celebrate his dad's 80th birthday in TN and visit him mom in NC.

There also was Dave's brother Doug and his family. This includes the fabulous Poppy! A sweet and photogenic Whippet. 
Dave flew into Knoxville and Doug and his family picked him up. They drove directly to North Carolina and spent some time with Martha. 

As is usually the case, there was a lot of fun visiting and some fine dining. I think all would agree that it was too short a visit. That is they was it goes with such limited time off. :/

Almost all were accounted for in Doug's family. Dave got some nice photos of them sans Jerry.
Other portraits were taken - Doug, Martha and Dave for example.

The crew drove back to Tennessee to attend to the celebration there. 
And to get more nice photos! Here is one of Dave, his dad Jerry, and his brother Doug.

The family in Tennessee headed to a local restaurant and enjoyed  a very nice meal. Sounds like everyone had an enjoyable time.
Happy Birthday Jerry!! Free Blog Counter

Thursday, September 6, 2012

08_31 to 09_03_2012 Penitente, Sand Dunes, Alamosa, Crestone...

For the long Labor Day Weekend, we packed up the pop up camper and headed south. Our destination was Penitente Canyon.  I've never been there and it's been about 15 years since Dave had gone. We arrived after dark on Friday night, but managed to find a nice campsite.
The place has 14 campsites and probably not even half were occupied. This was good news - the place wouldn't be packed with climbers!   We got up the next morning and had some tea while the cat rolled in dirt. Sounds like a lot of other trips.
Then we headed in. Penitente is a cool little spot. The routes are short. Really short. But the rock is hard. I thought that the grades would be soft, but I was mistaken. They are not soft. It was quite fun.
Some of the walls were covered in huecos. Good times. Not all were buckets so walls like this were often a bit deceiving. And some of these pocketed walls were overhanging, if only a little. Love that angle!
We climbed until it was just too hot to climb any more. Plus, the rock is such that it gives ones tips a thrashing. We called it a day and went back for dinner and drinks at the camper.
Before getting to the camper, there were features in the rock Dave wanted to conquer.
He did so in fine form.
It's a pretty cool landscape. And some birds. Seems like the bulk of the birds have headed south, but we were treated to some.
Between climbs, I'm holding the rope tarp down.
Dave found this feature he dubbed "Owl Rock".  Pretty cool name. Why does it look like the nostrils of a giant to me? I like the idea of an owl far more than a nose.
The next day was much the same. Nice breakfast, fun climbing and enjoying the place. It was smoldering hot the second day as well. Given we were at an elevation of about 10k, we expected a bit of cooling. We didn't get it!
We packed up the camper and meandered around southern Colorado. We stopped at a few places to look for birds. We saw some, but very few. The bazooka enjoyed its walks.
We watched this wicked dust devil. It stayed on the ground making quite a mess for a while. Would hate to have had it roll over on us even if we were in the truck.
We found a few new places to go using the gazetteer. One was this lake - packed with cackling coots. Quite fun to watch and listen to them. In the midst were some Ruddy Ducks as well.
We were able to watch a few songbirds across the street at the veteran's home. Fun time.
We headed to the wildlife refuge near Alamosa. We'd been here many times before. This time, there were almost no birds at all! Nice trip around the look. Pretty views. No birds.
We got our standard hotel room at the Lamp Lighter Hotel in Alamosa. This place has always cracked me up! Glad we got our fill in as Dave says "no more" to staying there! It is sort of a dump and not cheap. Wonder where we'll end up next time?  We got up early and headed to the Great Sand Dunes. Not birdy there either though we did see the Cooper's Hawk. I like to believe it's the same one that landed on me.

Gorgeous views of the Sand Dunes and the Sangre de Christo range. No snow remains on them. Grim.  Some of the lakes we've birded at before (e.g., San Luis Lakes) are 100% dry now. Very grim. :/
Our final stop after the non-San-Luis-Lakes was Crestone, Colorado. Nestled at the base of (surprise!) Crestone Mountain is this cool little place.
We had lunch and neat little cafe. Great food, absent-minded-waitress and enjoyed the view. Then it was time to start the looong drive home. Great trip! Free Blog Counter