Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Bird" Watching

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Looking forward to spring, I am reminded of another rite of the season around here, the arrival of the Thunderbirds for the Air Force Academy graduation in May.  I live about two air miles south of the Academy and right in the flight pattern for the T-Birds, and so, usually get a few good chances for a photo op from my back deck.  This is from last years practice under very cloudy skies.  I think the actual performance was either greatly reduced or cancelled altogether.  It is hoped the weather will be better this year.  

Yes, this "bird" is as close as it looks; this wasn't shot with a powerful telephoto lens.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

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Only one bad winter storm this year, but I'm ready for spring.  

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Doorway

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Just to break up the monotony, here's a picture of a doorway I took in Santa Fe a couple of years ago.  I will say, it's my second favorite place in this part of the country.

The Mountain in Spring

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Another from a couple of weeks ago.  Another sight I never get tired of here is "the mountain."  Every time you glance its way, it gives you a different sight.  All beautiful.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quiet Before the Storm

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We are enjoying a blizzard today, and not the DQ kind.  It is very cold and has been snowing since noon.  It's supposed to let up tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's two shots I took at the Garden two weeks ago.  I was experimenting with the 18-55 mm zoom lens and these may serve as good examples of using the wrong lens for the wrong image.  These shots are from the east side of the park, near Rock Ledge Ranch, so they are from a bit of a different angle than is usually seen.

I know that I seem to be stuck on taking pictures at our local city park, but with my work schedule, the weather, and lack of local wildlife at the moment, there isn't a lot of opportunity for me to get other shots.  But summer is on the way!!!  I have a number of trips planned for this year that I hope will yield some good results.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Busy Beaver, or two

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I'm jumping around chronologically, but here are a few shots from our trip to Ft. Collins last week. I saw my first robin of the year, and also came across what appears to be a beaver dam under construction. I was surprised to see the size of the trees they were working with

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday in the Park

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For your Sunday morning enjoyment, a shot of the Gateway formation in Garden of the Gods.  Cheyenne Mountain is in the background.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

From “The Fairies”

High on the hill-top
The old King sits:
He is now so old and gray
He’s nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music
On cold starry nights
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

William Allingham

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Felicity and Sarah

03/20/09 Update - Sarah did well with her procedure, but we won't know if we have a permanent fix until we take her back next Friday for an examination and another possible dilation. Will keep you posted.

+ + +

Update on Sarah -- last night when we got home we found a hair ball on the floor. We're wondering if her esophogus is constricted a bit more than it was, it was holding pretty stable, and that, instead of not being able to get something down she couldn't get it up. She was fine and playful, "bright and alert", as the vets say last night and we go to Ft. Collins at 0545 tomorrow morning. We'll keep you posted.


Lynn has requested a picture of Felicity, the "big" sister in our 6 month long sister act. She is also the one with the outsized ego. My wife aptly put it the other night when she said that Felicity's can't be described in any other terms but smug. I was reluctant to post a picture of her since I feared that a great deal of public attention, or even a little public attention, would inevitably go to her head and make things completely unbearable around here. However, I did come across a shot of the two sisters together, which might be a nice compromise. Felicity is on the left, Sarah attempting to squeeze into the picture on the right.

Friday, March 13, 2009


It's amazing how something so small and innocent looking can be such a little devil. This is Sarah, a 7 month old Burmese kitten who, along with her sister, Felicity, have pretty much taken over the household. She has her quirks. For example, on any given night, morning actually, sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 AM, she will decide it is the most important thing in the world that she be petted. If we're not awake when the decision is made, we must be awakened. Did I mention she is extremely persistent? She also loves to be up close to us at other times during the day, even if this requires jumping onto our shoulders from the nearest table or chair top.

My wife and I have been cutting her plenty of slack, though. She has had a bit of a tough time in her short life -- she was born with a constricted esophogus, although it took some time to find that out. Simply put, she had a terrible time trying to eat anything. After a trip to the vet emergency room after increasingly violent gagging fits, she was referred to an internal medicine specialist who, in turn, referred us to the Colorado State Vet School hospital for diagnosis and treatment. He knew that figuring out the problem would require a very small scope since she weighed barely 1lb.

The initial diagnosis was that there was nothing that could be done, but I insisted on one final test and that was when the constriction in her esophogus was discovered. After two "balloonings", along the lines of an angioplasty for heart patients, she improved to where she could eat a liquified diet. Next week there will be another and it is hoped with this one she will be able to eat normally and begin living a more normal life.

So, even though the temptation has been strong at times, mostly very early in the morning, to put a balloon over her head and get back to sleep, we'll make one more trip and hope for the best.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Uphill Climb


Sometimes, it seems like everything in Colorado is uphill.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Playing in the Garden, Again


This is a shot of the Kissing Camels formation in Garden of the Gods park that I took last Friday.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Playing in the Garden


A rock formation in Garden of the Gods.
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Saturday, March 7, 2009

From Fountain Valley


I'll backtrack to a shot of what I believe to be a female Mallard; this from my visit to Fountain Valley Nature Center last weekend.
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Friday, March 6, 2009

Playing in the Garden

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An 18-55mm zoom lens came with my Nikon D50 and I hadn't used it until today. I took a day off and went over to Garden of the Gods to play with it. The is the entrance to the park off 30th Street, on the east side. A storm is coming and you can see the first indications in the sky behind Pikes Peak. More from today's expedition to come.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pikes Peak Again

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This is a shot I took a couple of years ago from near the Siamese Twins formation in Garden of the Gods. "The Peak", as everyone around here refers to it, is obviously a big part of life in this part of Colorado. It influences our weather, it's an obvious land mark, it provides all kinds of recreation opportunities in both winter and summer, and above all, it's beautiful. I remember an elderly Franciscan sister here said to me one time that she never tired of looking at it because, every time she did, it looked different. It was a never ending source of surprise, and gratitude for God's goodness, for her. Amen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pikes Peak

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A couple more shots from my outting on Saturday. The first is from Big Johnson Reservoir, the second from Fountain Valley Nature Center. We've had an exceptionally dry winter and you can see that in these photos.

Slim Pickins

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I went out yesterday to scout a couple of locations that promise good photo ops in the the spring. One is Big Johnson Reservoir, which was disappointing, although I did get this shot of a prairie dog and of the small group of Canada geese. I also went to Fountain Valley Nature Center and will post a couple of shots from there separately.