Sunday, December 30, 2007

Final Post of 2007

This is my last post of 2007, so in keeping with the traditional theme of the site, here's some new pixels. Above is an impressionistic offering, actually it's a bunch of overlapping goose tracks.
Snow with a lot of crystalline texture is a great background for close-ups, shadows add interest to the composition of the photo.
I got this shot on Thanksgiving Day and these rosebuds were a frostbitten
memory a few days later, but it was a surprise to see them so late in the fall. OK, that's it for naught seven, see ya next year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rio Grande fishing/camping edition

I took some time off in early September to visit the Rio Grande River in south-central Colorado and I'm just now getting around to posting about it, I blame pennant fever.
A Stellar's Jay visiting my campsite, I've been trying to get a pix of one of these guys for some time, they're kind of rare and elusive. AKA mountain jay, pine jay and long crested jay.
On my way back to Denver I passed through Buena Vista and stopped just north of town by the Railroad Bridge section of the Arkansas River. This is the low water time of year, during spring and summer this part of the river and many miles downstream are normally teeming with rafts and kayaks.
Also during the homeward trek, a nice view from the top of Loveland Pass, obviously above timberline.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Peaches en Regalia



What a bumper crop of peaches we've had this year, this tree was just a cluster of twigs sprouting out of a stump on the ground in the back yard when we moved into this house 4 years ago. I bound those limbs together and a year later it kind of looked like a tree, I thought it was a peach-leafed willow at first, I was surprised to discover a single but very large peach in it's crown in September. Then last year there was no fruit at all, the blossoms were ruined by a late spring snow.


But this year, Bonanza!, the branch you see above is in danger of breaking off from the weight of the fruit. Squirrels are having themselves a time, I resent their wastefulness, they rarely eat a whole peach, sometimes only taking one bite or so before moving on to the next peach. Still there's more than I know what to do with, I need to look into canning or freezing some.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The War As We Saw It-link

Just read this, the voices of the true experts on the Iraq War are almost never heard in the MSM, so here you have it straight from the original source, people that actually know what they're talking about.

Monday, August 13, 2007

update

Just for the record, I ain't done yet. Last week I took a business trip to New Jersey, a place called Forest Lakes, just a short ways from New York City. I went for some training at the Gleebar Corp., they manufacture the equipment I work with. The training went well, we actually finished early and I had time on Thursday afternoon to drive into New York and check it out. I have to say I felt strange there, a feeling kind of like claustrophobia came over me as I walked around parts of the city, I could really feel the constriction of space around me, the press of humanity. I guess I've taken the wide open spaces out here in the west for granted. Now I'm ready for more camping, I want to be somewhere where there's nobody for 1 to 2 miles around me.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

In which I enjoy a few days in the wilderness.

I took one day of vacation and extended the 4th into a five day weekend.


On the 5th I headed up to the Flattops Wilderness Area near Yampa just southwest of Steamboat Springs. This is the view of the two cascades that fall into the pond next to my campsite, the sound of their falling waters is intoxicatingly restful.

I fished that pond for brook trout like this one that got invited to supper, great fishing!
In the evening a torrential downpour turned into a hail storm that frosted the flattop here which is the same one in the first photo.
I rode out the storm in the cab of the truck here. It got pretty chilly afterwards and I built a roaring fire right away, as well as donning warm clothing.

Fog clouds in the canyon below camp.
The next day was gorgeous, I decided to make the hike down into the canyon with my fly rod to fish the Bear River.
As you can see, this canyon is quite deep, but the sides are like very steep meadows, rather than cliffs. That's the section of river I fished, great brookie action here again. The climb out of there was exhausting, but well worth it.
A columbine, the Colorado state flower.

Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready for a handout.

Here's the south end of the pond, those are some deadfall tree trunks in the bottom. As you can see, the water is very clear,that presents a problem for the fisherman, you have a great view of the fish, of course the fish can see you just as well. My solution is to make long casts to likely spots where I can't see if there are any fish or not.
After a second night in the Flattops I broke camp and headed out for a cruise through some of the less traveled roads on the way home, caught this hawk posing on the way down to Yampa, just at the limit of my telephoto, unfortunately.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Because you can never have too many flags


AFP/Saul Loeb

Here's your president, making another of his endless photo-op appeareances on your dime. You'd think one flag would be enough of a prop for this louse, must have been an off day when they couldn't scare up a crowd of students or soldiers each waving a smaller flag to provide a proper backdrop.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Penquins visit Children's Hospital, Denver


Photo by Brian Brainerd, the Denver Post

This is my favorite picture I've seen in the Post lately, and they frequently have some very good photography. I really got a kick out of the look on that little girl's face. As adults we tend to lose the ability to be so awed and delighted at once. It's not impossible, but you have to appreciate living in the moment.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Poor little rich girl-link

Damien Dovarganes/AP

Over at James Wolcott's Blog Mr. Wolcott has a new post up that puts some well reasoned perspective on the outrage and clamor that has captivated the MSM for the last couple of days. He calls it "an orgy of hollow hysteria", noting that the event is kind of trivial compared to the ongoing and nonstop crises in the world at large; Iraq, global warming, Darfur, etc.
More than that, he points out that the scorn focused on Paris is meted out somewhat less than evenhandedly, " I think it's that they're young women perceived (rightly or wrongly) as bachelorette sluts. As such they get to be receptacles for moral disapproval in ways that young men don't".
The preface of Al Gore's new book The Assault on Reason goes on at length about the phenomena of the media's obsession with trivial maters surrounding celebrities and meaningless details about leaders and others in public life. For instance, the furor over John Edwards' $400 haircuts, if Edwards should become the Democratic nominee he'll most likely spend $400 million or more on his campaign, the haircuts are probably a bargain.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Photos from 6/3/07


Duckweed on the edge of the wetlands at Kountze Lake in Belmar Park.


I walked up on this snake near Bear Creek Reservoir, got this good shot of the head and upper body. I haven't been able to make any positive ID yet with the on-line field guides I've seen as yet. It doesn't look like any of the poisonous species I know of, but I stayed out of strike range anyway.



Here's a big ol' carp in Kountze Lake, about 3 feet long this one. The white spots floating in the water are the flossy seeds of the cottenwood trees, that stuff is flying in the air everywhere at this time of year, I think I have an allergy associated with it, I always seem to have a wicked summer cold whenever it shows up.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tiananmen Square Massacre-1989-link

Jeff Widener took this photo of a Chinese man stopping a column of tanks. Hit the link for some astounding video at PBS' Front Line site. People all over eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union cite the courage of this one man as the inspiration that helped them change their world.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Women In Art

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art

Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael - Raffaello, Titian - Tiziano Vecellio , Sandro Botticelli , Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Messina, Pietro Perugino, Hans Memling, El Greco, Hans Holbein, Fyodor Stepanovich Rokotov , Peter Paul Rubens, Gobert, Caspar Netscher, Pierre Mignard, Jean-Marc Nattier, Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Alexei Vasilievich Tyranov, Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky, Alexey Gavrilovich Venetsianov, Antoine-Jean Gros, Orest Adamovich Kiprensky, Amalie, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Édouard Manet, Flatour, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Wontner, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Comerre, Leighton, Blaas, Renoir, Millias, Duveneck, Cassat, Weir, Zorn, Alphonse Mucha, Paul Gaugan, Henri Matisse, Picabia, Gustav Klimt, Hawkins, Magritte, Salvador Dali, Malevich, Merrild, Modigliani, Pablo Picasso

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Birds

A kingfisher standing on one leg.


An egret poised for action.


Amphibious assault by Huey, Louie, Dewey and others.


Bottoms up!

It was a great day for birding at Kountze Lake in Lakewood's Belmar Park. This area is tucked next to some of the busiest retail space in Lakewood, but the shoppers at Old Navy and even Dick's Sporting Goods probably don't know it's here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

From a story by Hillel Italie, AP National Writer-link

Some learned though his books, others from the man. John Irving studied at the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop in the 1960s, when Vonnegut was a faculty member then known, and often dismissed, as a science fiction writer.
Irving, who went on to write "The World According to Garp" and "The Cider House Rules," remembered Vonnegut as a self-effacing presence who "didn't have an agenda about what `the novel' should be." Vonnegut also appreciated that you didn't have to be in the classroom to get your work done.
"I had a young child at the time and when he heard about that he said, `You mean you have to work in writing whenever you can?'" Irving explained. "He then told me, `You're certainly giving me enough pages every week, so why not forget about the class part and stay home and take[ care ]of your kid?'"

R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut


Birdcage-Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007
''When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes'.''

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pat Tillman's Story at Crooks & Liars-link

Here's a link to an excellent post by John Amato, it links to some video of Jake Plummer speaking out about his feelings for his fallen teammate Pat Tillman. He obviously had the highest respect for his friend and you can feel his distress over the bungling cover-up following the fratricide ( what an unfortunate term, wonder how his brother feels about that).
Plummer has retired from the NFL now and I'm sure any fans of pro football will be familiar with the particulars of his egress from the Bronco's squad. At the time I recall that I was baffled by Mike Shannahan's move to rookie QB Jay Cutler, I marked it up as more evidence of his diminishing coaching skills. Now I'm starting to wonder if there wasn't an element of politics involved.
You may remember that during the 2004 presidential campaign Shannahan and several Broncos, notably John Lynch and Hall of Famer John Elway, came out with strong support for Bush. They all shared the stage with him in a Munich style rally at Red Rocks that fall. Plummer declined to participate, he doesn't seem to be a very political person.
When details of the cover-up emerged he started speaking up in a critical way, as an advocate for the Tillman family who had no problem voicing their own complaints. The protests shed a very bad light not only on the Army, but also the Bush administration who undoubtedly had a hand in the cover-up, as always.
When Plummer got benched at mid-season last year it was like seeing a microcosm of the dysfunctional Bush presidency in action. Shannahan pissed away a very promising season with that boneheaded move, and most certainly a post-season appearance. Was Plummer being punished for his views about his friend's death that questioned the Army, the war and Shannahan's hero? I'm thinking that Shannahan's actions were perfectly Bush-like. He cut off his nose to spite his face.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Winter fading

Bright water running past snowy banks always suggests the onset of spring to me, and today was one of those days that's gonna get me rummaging through my fishing gear, maybe spinning out a few new dry flies and nymphs, the runoff is started and I'm itching to pursue the wiley trout.

The Funny Pages

One of my all time favorites, hope it's clear enough to read, I couldn't download this so I had to scan it and convert to JPEG. This comic runs daily in the Denver Post and is consistently leaning to the left but I haven't heard an outcry from the neanderthal right to banish it to the editorial pages as there was for Doonesbury.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bruce Hornsby, Ricky Skaggs, and John Anderson - Superfreak

Have some fun with this!

I read a book-link

1491 is a scholarly work by Charles C. Mann that presents an enthralling story of the Americas prior to the European invasion. Mann covers the gamut of all the major cultures on both continents but I found his treatment of some of the American cultures to be the most revelatory to me. The size of their populations was amazing in itself, not to mention the works of civil engineering they had to accomplish to support these populations. Needless to say some kind of civil order was required to make that kind of society work and indeed they had systems of laws and governance in place that inspired the founders of our present country.
In what we now call Mexico the earliest cultures developed an astonishing sophistication in agriculture that bred abundant crops from the native plants around them. They created Maize from what was little more than a weed with edible seeds.About 60% of all the food crops in the world today were first cultivated in central Mexico, pre- Columbus.
I started out to review a book and I haven't said much about the actual writing, it is a fascinating subject. Mann possesses a crisp narrative style that is reminiscent of John McPhee His story moves along in a way that turns the ancient people into characters, it's pageantry.
This one goes on the A list.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Winter's easing up a bit


Here's an image that captures the crispness of sunrise on a Colorado winter morning, it's from back in early January and the weather is starting to turn, the thaw, it's on.
The black ice is mostly off the streets now and the potholes are in bloom, some of the streets with poorer drainage are in the worst shape, damnation alley.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

victor wooten

Too lame to post, enjoy some Victor Wooten, amazingly graceful.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

R.I.P. Molly Ivins


"We are the people who run this country," Ms Ivins said in the column published in the Jan. 14 edition of the Star- telegram. " We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war."
Aug. 30,1944-Jan. 31,2007
Dear Molly, you've been ripped from our midst way too soon, but thanks so much for all you gave, we won't see the likes of you again any time soon.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Keep on Hatin'-link

Photo by Evan Agostini/ Getty Images

"Loofah my stretch marks, Bill!"

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Somewhere we might have done some good


Man of La Mancha



I got a chance to borrow a DVD of Man of La Mancha from the library today and I found it to be much more entertaining than I thought it would be. O'Toole's Don Quixote looks like the Burger King fallen on hard times and the effect is even more striking as he plays the Cervantes character acting as Quixote,with mask,wig,etc. in prison.
Reading Don Quixote is a must to understand the context of the scenes in this film, the novel is epic and I guess the stage production and the film were presented with the assumption that patrons would have an understanding of the story.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Deportees-link

From the Rolling Thunder Review tour of 1976, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez sing Woody Guthrie's Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos).