Friday, October 31, 2008

Anybody Want to Buy a Truck?

Fort Lewis Mesa Fire Protection District is retiring their old 6x6 Brush Tanker 74. This beast will go anywhere but unfortunately needs a fair amount of repair work and the department is unwilling to invest in it any longer. It's a monster.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Thugs

These pictures certainly weren't from today... today was neuter day for both the pups.

These were taken in August on the La Plata River. As you can see, the dogs were quite inseperable.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Station View

Looking to the north from the fire station I have this picturesque view of a bright orange windmill and an abandoned building.


Driving to and from work I pass some pastureland with trees along the fence-row. The trees are apricot trees and this year the fruit was luscious. We must've had just the right combination of temperatures and moisture to allow the trees to become laden with sweet, juicy fruit.

Firehouse Debris

I'm not sure what this is. It caught my eye while out walking the dogs. I thought it might be some sort of hose, but I'm not sure.

Oil Pan

This oil changing pan has been leaning against the station wall for months. I love the contrast of the tin against the red wall and the green grass.

Cabin View

Not on The Dry Side, but on a day of respite from the heat of the Dry Side. Will and I spent a weekend up at Electra Lake and this was the view out the window of "The Girls' Cabin" where we stayed. That slanted building is the old, out-of-service outhouse.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Food Porn

Since we get so many vegetables from our CSA farmer, I'm always looking for new recipes.

I came across this one for Vegetable Manicotti in the magazine "Everyday with Rachel Ray" and thought I'd give it a try. Here's a link to her recipe and here's my picture:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

And This is the Smart Dog

We've always thought Blackie was the smarter of our two dogs... too smart.

Today I emptied a bag of cat food into the container and let the dogs play with the bag (and snack on any kibble left in the bag). Blackie proceeded to get her head totally inside the bag and sat there with it on for over three minutes. I had time to get the camera and take over 25 pictures (none very good... dang those black dogs). But here she is in all her brilliance.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Elusive Double Rainbow

Had an absolutely gorgeous double rainbow yesterday evening but the perfect picture eluded me.

I should have worked harder at this one. This house has been on the market for over six months and perhaps the realtor could have used my picture to help sell the property. (This is a pre-fab, site build log home. Was the oddest thing. All the exterior walls [windows installed] came delivered to the site on two flat-beds. The shell was up in a day.)

Here's the other end of the rainbow:


I was so excited the other day when I was able to snap a shot of an immature Northern Flicker. Imagine my surprise the other morning when I saw six of them lined up on five adjacent fence posts. Unfortnately I had no way to get them all in one shot but here's four on three posts. (There are two on the far left post.)

And two closer shots of the pair on one post:

Unfortunate Name

Saw this campaign sign in a truck the other day. Couldn't help but think that this county commissioner has an unfortunate name and an even more unfortunate campaign slogan. Sounds like a porno movie to me. (You've all heard of "Driving Miss Daisy"; here's the sex corollary "Keep Kellie Hotter". OK, it's a stretch but there just seems like there's something WRONG with this slogan.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Table for Four

Using a tripod helped a lot in getting a better hummer picture:

Afternoon sunshine helped even more:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Too Dark for Hummers

We've been graced by hords (herds?) of hummingbirds this year and tonight was no exception. After the hummers had gone through a quart of nectar since noon, I refilled their feeders at about 8 p.m. and they decended upon us like locusts. Unfortunately it was a tad dark and my hand a tad unsteady so we have some graininess to the picture today. I'll try mid-day tomorrow.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Decker - Good Dog

When I fill the hummingbird feeders I have two very attentive helpers; Blackie and Decker. When I water the tomatoes, they are usually just as attentive. Today was so hot that Decker decided to relax on the shady front porch while I watered. Here he is in his sticky, dirty glory. (By helping with the hummingbirds I mean they stand under the feeder slurping up any sugar water I spill and then they roll in the dirt.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Immature Northern Flicker

I was going to bore everyone with another smoke plume photo but the photo op and the fire petered out.

Instead though, while outside I spied an immature Northern Flicker on our fence post (about 20 yards from our front porch). While I was able to capture it with the telephoto lens, I realize I need to use my tripod for such shots.

Summertime, Firetime

The department was called out to help on this fire yesterday. This is about xx miles from the house on Ute Mountain Ute tribal land. Most of our personnel and apparatus were still busy from Tuesday's Vista fire so we had few resources to spare. I actually reported to the station to act as "Refueling Technician" (ran the gas pump) but at least I was there if anyone needed me. Turns out we really didn't "do" anything to help on this fire. I think today (Friday) we are shuttling water to them.

Once again, regular lens:

and telephoto:

Another Day, Another 'hopper

Just a different take on the old grasshopper. Instead of getting right on top of the beast and using the macro lens, I stepped back and used the telephoto.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Eight Miles as the Crow Flies

Yesterday was macro day... today... telephoto.

Very large and involved fire eight miles as the crow flies from the house. The page came at 12:30 or so. We have men and equipment from Farmington and Durango and beyond. Will blew work and joined the crew. I stayed in the office until 4 p.m. and fielded calls and coordinated the folks from Farmington.

Regular lens; view from the fire station.

Telephoto; same vantage point.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Promised Grasshopper

We've been inundated with grasshoppers of various sorts for the past six weeks or so. Here's one that was handy on our stucco wall.

Macro Clip

Finally figured out how to use the macro feature on my camera. A really big clip. Now on to the grasshoppers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Zucchini Ribbon Fettucini

Honestly, I'm not trying to make this a food blog, but I've been cooking lately and some of my meals have been pic-worthy.

Having an abundance of produce from my CSA farmer is often a challenge. This recipe used up four (count 'em) four zucchini (two green and two yellow). I found the recipe here. It's a keeper.

I served it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated in Italian dressing and grilled on the bbq. (Photos aren't very focused.)

Apricot Pie - Oh My

We got a bunch of apricots from our CSA this week and that is one fruit I'm not accustomed to eating out of hand. Not much else to do but make a pie!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Calf No. 17

Since Colorado is a fence-out state, I often see cattle on the county roads in my travels. This morning I saw this guy on the roadside on my way to work.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Poor, Poor Jack..... Rabbit

I'll post the picture of the day lower down so that nobody should inadvertently see it.

I should mention that we have hundreds of rabbits on our property both cottontails and the behemoth jackrabbits. We also have hundreds (if not thousands) of prairie dogs and gophers (and mice and rats and voles and such). Having so many small mammals mean the coyotes have a good food supply and we should have a healthy balance on the property. The small mammals are also food for hawks and eagles and other birds of prey.

This morning I reversed my daily walk. Instead of going counter-clockwise, I went clockwise. Early in my walk I saw this jackrabbit carcass on the north fence. It was about four feet up from the ground. I'm not thinking the jackrabbit jumped on the fence and I don't think a coyote did it. My guess is that this was some bird's dinner and hanging it on the barbed wire was a convenience. (I often see birds of prey roosting on our fence posts.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Squatters at the Fire Station

I often go outside with the Fire Chief while he has his smoke. It's a good time to talk job "stuff" over without the constraints of a desk or phone.

A few weeks back I had noticed a wasp nest on the ridge end and asked that he get someone to take care of it. Imagine my surprise when the wasp nest morphed into a swallow's nest. And.... babies are flying already.

First a picture of the ridge end that I accidentally snapped when trying to focus on the nest. Look how blue the sky is!

Finally got the camera focused and steady. Four shots of the bird(s). You can see the abandoned wasp nest behind the swallows' nest. Here's FLMFPD's resident immature barn swallows.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wild Sunflowers or Learning to Use My Camera

I bought a new cameral last winter but haven't spent much time learning about it. I bought a Canon S3IS mostly for it's optical zoom of 12x and its image stablilization. In the winter we have a lot of bald and golden eagles and I want to try my hand at photographing them. Needless to say, I didn't do that last winter so I'll take my 365 challenge as an opportunity to learn my camera.

In reading the instruction book I discovered I can highlight specific colors in my picture. Now how I took all the yellow out of this sunflower, I don't know, but it sure looks different, doesn't it?

This shot sure highlights the color of the flower. I like how the background disappeared. Again, I'm not sure what I did to get this shot.

And this one... well, I really like the yellow dots inside the flower. I don't know anything about sunflower anatomy so I have no clue what they are.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Dreaded Musk Thistle

Over three weekends in June, Will and I dug up over 80 cubic feet of thistles, a noxious weed that we have in a few areas of our property. In spite of our effort, I found a few more on my morning walk today.

This evening, I tried to take a photo but I definitely need some practice using the macro mode on my camera and the wind needs to stop blowing (fat chance here on the Dry Side).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Fire

Perhaps I'll have a picture later of me driving the ambulance, and perhaps not. I did do it this morning though and now I'm qualified to drive it on the open road.

Our quiet afternoon was interrupted with a fire page in the Cherry Creek area of our district. It's about 5 miles west of our house (as the crow flies). Much further on the roads.

Since I'm not a firefighter, I wasn't paged out. (I bet if I get fitter, I'll be a firefighter within a year's time. It's hard staying home when everyone else in the crew is out working.)

Here's a view of the fire from my house. Looks more impressive than it really is due to the zoom capability of my camera.

And then I might as well add a picture of the fire that popped up just a bit later (and is burning simultaneously) about 5 miles east of my house. This one has been attacked with a tanker plane but we are now working it on the ground. This is on Southern Ute property and near some gas wells.