Throwback to 1980’s

throwback-1980.jpg

Bob gave me these old photos of him taken thirty-some years ago, so I could send them up to one of the social media sites as a ‘throwback.’ In the image above, the cowboy dude on the left was actually an urban cowboy while John Travolta was still having Saturday Night Fever.

The guy in the right side of the image was acting as pilot in command of one of a fleet of aircraft at the flight school where he instructed and did charter flights. Click on the composite image to enlarge.

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Turkey Buzzard Aloft

Turkey Buzzard Aloft

In the winter time we seldom see any turkey buzzards overhead, since we are on the northern boundary of their range during the colder months. I was out with the camera today taking pictures when I saw this bird flying much lower than normal.

I took a lot of pictures of the buzzard and this one was about the best of the bunch. Click on the image to enlarge.

Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) roam over most of the Americas. Excerpt from Wikipedia:

The turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), also known in some North American regions as the turkey buzzard (or just buzzard), and in some areas of the Caribbean as the John crow or carrion crow, is a vulture that is the most widespread of the New World vultures. One of three species in the genus Cathartes of the family Cathartidae, the turkey vulture ranges from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America. It inhabits a variety of open and semi-open areas, including subtropical forests, shrublands, pastures, and deserts.

The turkey vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its food using its keen eyes and sense of smell, flying low enough to detect the gases produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead animals. In flight, it uses thermals to move through the air, flapping its wings infrequently. It roosts in large community groups. Lacking a syrinx—the vocal organ of birds—its only vocalizations are grunts or low hisses. It nests in caves, hollow trees, or thickets. Each year it generally raises two chicks, which it feeds by regurgitation. It has very few natural predators. In the United States, the vulture receives legal protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

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The Dogs in the Courtyard

The Dogs in the Courtyard

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been experimenting with letting our two small Min-Pins run around in the courtyard without leashes. That worked pretty well and both dogs were fairly well-behaved and responded to commands to keep out of the back part of the courtyard and to go back into the house when called.

Occasionally, Cabela, the little blue female, would push our patience by trying to sneak back into the forbidden zone, but would usually come back if we commanded in a loud voice. Beethoven, our red boy dog, on the other hand, stuck to the implied rules and stayed where he should - until last evening, that is.

We had both dogs out in the courtyard when one of the big dogs that lives up on the hill across the road started barking. At that point, seemingly without effort, Bay Bay jumped up on the front wall to see what was happening. The wall is a little over three feet high at the point where he jumped up.

Ir scared the crap out of me, since he has been known to run off when loose. Luckily, the little dog trusted me enough to let me walk over to the wall and coax him to let me pick him up and bring him back into the house. It could have been way worse had he jumped out of the courtyard and took off toward the barking dog.

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A New Flagpole

Eagle atop the StaffAs part of the construction and upgrades around the house, we asked for a flagpole. The flagpole was one of several items we had on our ‘wish list.’

Yesterday, the concrete crew poured a three-foot pad around a sleeve as a base for the staff. Today, the flagpole crew brought the new staff, complete with an eagle at the top.

I brought out the two flags we planned to fly and the guys installed the metallic hooks on the pulley rope. They had just recently painted the pole silver and since the paint was still drying, we had to postpone flying the flags for a couple of days.

So, on Friday or thereabouts, we will hoist Old Glory and the Arizona State Banner. Verna also wants to get some other flags to fly, like the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals team flags which she will hoist for special events as they arise.

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Cholla Flower

Cholla Flower

As long as they keep coming, I’ll photograph and post our desert cactus flowers. This is a cholla flower I photographed a couple of days ago. Click on the image to enlarge.

Snippet from eNature.com:

Opuntia acanthocarpa - buckhorn cholla

The main trunk of this tree-like cactus is short and erect; branching open and low to ground. Branches are cylindrical; the joints light green.

Habit: native perennial shrub; succulent stems, in segments 4-20 in (10-50 cm) tall by 0.75-1.25 in (2-3 cm) diameter; new growth is gray-green to purple-green; old growth has rough, scaly, brownish black bark.

Flower: delicate, lemon yellow to copper to red to pink, 2-3 in (5-7.5 cm) wide.

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Travel Trailer in 3D

Travel Trailer in 3D

While we have the RV drive under construction, we parked the trailer across the road on our other lot. I was in the courtyard when I took a pair of images which I merged into this anaglyph image.

Tomorrow, the concrete crew will finish the last section of the RV driveway. About a week after that, we can pull the trailer into it’s place on the drive next to the hookups.

You will need your free pair of 3D glasses to view the image (click image to enlarge). As usual, I have posted a 2D version here.

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Chillin’ in the Courtyard

Dogs in the Courtyard

The Mama and the Daddy have let Cabela and me go out into the courtyard without leashes or being carried. This is good. I can lay down in the sunlight and be warm and relax. Cabela just runs around sniffing everything. Click on us to make us big.

The Daddy says that we still don’t have the back gate but he is trusting us to be good dogs and keep away from there. Daddy also says there will be a new gate soon and that we might be able to just run around the courtyard to our heart’s content. Cabela and I will like that.

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