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Monday, April 6, 2020

Dead Pig in the Middle of the Road


This, Michigan friends, is a javelina. Or, it was a javelina. Now it is a carcass, drawing flies. It is not and never was a pig, but people here call them pigs. The javelina is related to the wild boar.

Did I want to stop and photograph a javelina in the middle of the road? Like the skunk in the 1966 song? Is the pope Catholic?


Javelinas do not prey on human beings, but they have very poor eyesight, and if one is charging your way at full speed, say a prayer fast! Really, you don't want to run into one with your car, either. They are not as tall as deer, but hitting one can be dangerous to driver and passengers. 


From the looks of this guy, he was more sinned against than sinning, and no signs in the road indicated that a car suffered injury.
End of story.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Feathered Neighbors Cheer Our Days


That bird above would show up better if I'd shot from a lower angle, so as to catch him against the blue sky rather than the mountain, but it isn't easy to sneak up on birds. I stand in the shade with the camera held to my eye and hope to catch something quickly.

I'm also working without the telephoto lens that I had on my last camera, the lens that made capturing flighty images so much more successful for me. What I've done instead is to extend my lens as far as it will go, then crop the images afterward. It is a makeshift solution, but it works, as long as you the viewer don't zoom in and lose the resolution.

Today's shooting was an experiment. Rather than wait for the showy cardinal or ladderback woodpecker, I just decided to shoot -- with my camera, that is -- the birds that came to the feeder -- finches, sparrows, whatever. I think these little rosy guys are house finches. My neighbor calls them rosy finches, and that name suits them much better, don't you think? Finches, anyway, are sweet birds. They are like pets and don't need a cage. I like that.


Sometimes there is an excited flurry, a flutter of wings --


Sometimes it seems a little competition is going on. Other times some stay back and wait their turn.


The two below seem reconciled for the moment. And there is no warfare in their kingdom, anyway, no fights to the death among these little creatures. They squabble from time to time, but in general things work out pretty peaceably. 


Little birds make good neighbors. They are a welcome distraction from larger global events.







Sunday, March 29, 2020

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A Hole in the Clouds


Outdoors behind the cabin, I was talking on the phone with my son when for no reason at all I looked straight up into the sky above me. This  is what I saw. The formation lasted only a minute before it was gone.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Spring Snow in the Mountains



Wednesday was a cold, windy, rainy day in the ghost town, mountain peaks hidden in clouds. Thursday morning, March 19th, the clouds lifted to reveal a sprinkling of snow on the mountaintop, looking like powdered sugar delicately sifted onto brownies. For about half an hour, then, I enjoyed sitting outdoors, talking to my son by phone, and watching the light on the newly snowy mountain peaks change minute by minute.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Sarah and Friends, in the new epic, “Adventures Close to Home”

The star of our show!

Here she is, our old girl, the little star, back on her leash for the last lap of the return hike home — not because she would “run away” but because there was a coyote carcass between our house and our friends’ house, and we don’t need dogs getting into that. You don’t need to see it, either, so I’m not including those pictures. Sarah and I passed close by the dead coyote on our way to meet our friends, and she was good about it, but I didn't want to take chances on the way home. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll enjoy, much more, photos of our adventure with friends and of the territory we explored and sights we saw along the way.

In the high desert of our little ghost town, staying out of crowds is not a problem. It’s even possible to leave the house and see friends, walking a little apart from each other out in the fresh mountain air. Whenever she sees me put on the Camelbak and get out the hiking poles, Sarah is ready, knowing that adventure with friends is on the morning agenda. 

Therese, Buddy, Molly, Sarah

Sometimes we start off on the road and switch to the big wash, and sometimes we head cross-country right away. This morning we stayed along the road longer than usual, and here below is my Little Miss Independence, eager to lead the way! Can you spot her there in the distance?



Maybe Sarah got so far ahead so fast because she is not interested in the spring wildflowers I couldn't help stopping to photograph.




But Therese and I were as eager as the dogs to do some off-road exploration. Ha-ha, dogs, that’s in part because there are more beautiful plants if we climb uphill!








Following trails blazed by cows, watching our footing on loose rocks, the two human members of the expedition paused to appreciate rocks and remnants from mining days, as well as plants.



And here is Sarah again, now posing (briefly -- I had to snap fast!) on what remains of an old mine building. — And then Mollie, not to be outdone!



Well, it’s all good here — the company, conversation, exercise, fresh air, flowers and rocks, and doggie socializing — but there are those moments, too, when Therese and I have to stop and lift our eyes and gaze off into the distance, and then the beautiful views alone make the adventure worthwhile. We would much rather be here than in a crowded bar scene, anyway.