Monday, June 9, 2014

Not to forget MIss Mags!

Miss Mags. She is not the outdoor dog that the other two are. We hit some pretty cold weather, even got snowed on, and she found herself much happier in the trailer. I think the trailer is her favorite place in the whole world.

I shouldn’t blame this entirely on her, but being a Boston Terrier her obedience factor is in inverse proportion to how far away from me she is. Under 25’ and she is an angel of compliance. Over 50’ and she can’t hear me for beans. Thus, she spent a good bit of her outside time on a lead attached to a sand-spike. She actually didn’t seem to mind the restriction very much, finding all sorts of trouble to get into within the reach of her tether. It’s not all her fault: she didn’t get the kind of intense training the Shorthairs did. All my fault.

She also hates cameras. Bring one out and she refuses to look at it and will try to go “somewhere else.” This one, above, is a purely lucky grab shot that I got away with before she realized what was happening. Her lens-aversion is the main reason I have so few good pix of her.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The venerable .45 Colt

I haven’t written on a gun topic in a very long time. But here’s a recent addition to the stable that I thought some folks might enjoy seeing.

It’s one of the Lipsey’s special-run Rugers on the smaller, flat-top frame, of which I am a great fan. It’s a .45 Colt with an auxiliary .45 Auto cylinder, which makes it a very versatile handgun indeed.

This is the first 5-1/2” barrel I’ve ever owned. I prefer the 4-3/4” (4-5/8” in the case of Rugers), or the 6.5” or 7.5” barrels. I’ve just never cared for the looks of the “artillery” model. It's an esthetic thing, and not ballistic or mechanical.

NOTE: The original Colt single-action army revolver, adopted by the army in 1873, eventually appeared in three different standard barrel lengths: the 7-1/2”, or “cavalry” model; the 5-1/2” or “artillery” model; and the 4-3/4”, or “civilian” model. Why Ruger decided to shorten the 4-3/4” to 4-5/8” is unknown to me.

Anyway, the 5-1/2”-er is really growing on me. It hangs very well, and so far the few groups that I have shot with it are completely satisfactory.

I have no doubt that this revolver will be sharing our wild-country rambles in the near future.


While Jack had nothing but exuberant enthusiasm for our recent two-week-+ trip into wild places, Emma ran him a close second with her quiet, but intense, enjoyment of places that she loves.

Emma is twelve-and-a-half, which is getting up there for Shorthairs. In her case she has several fused disks at the base of her spine, is dysplastic, and also going blind— which I have only recently discovered. When we took walks she would sometimes lose sight of us and her near-panic was obvious as she tried to figure out where we were. So I took to talking to her almost constantly and waving my arms when she would turn her head my way. This evidently pleased and reassured her as her tail was in almost constant motion.

She has always loved streams and creeks and so if there was one without reach, that's where we headed. Playing paddy-tootsie in a cool creek is definitely one of her premium delights. Jack is not as fond of water as she is, but he humored her.

Dogs give us everything, without stint, and if we can't give back some of that as they need us most then we shouldn't have the privilege of living with them in the first place. Anyway, that's my story...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Jack the Ham

Those who know Jack know that he is the consummate ham. Point a camera at him and he starts posing. Where this comes from I have no idea-- except perhaps that I give him a firm "Whoa!" when he is in a position I like for the camera.

He was in heaven on our Wyoming trip. The terrain suited him to a T-- from really icky bogs to rocky mountain trails with huge boulders to scramble up and down.

The only feature we were unable to find on the last trip was a nice stream for Em to play in and me to walk in looking for "mountain water" to photograph. That will be high on our list for the next trip.

The High Country

Trying again with the pics.

The Wyoming high-country is addictive. I've got some things that have to be done this week coming up, but then we are going to go back. Perhaps for the rest of June. The dogs seem to like it as much as I do. Jack especially. He couldn't get enough of our walks and the chance to explore.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Good grief! Has it been that long? Well, it is what it is so no apologies.

The pupz and I have just returned from a two-week-+ roll-about to try to shake off a bad case of cabin fever induced by a pretty bad winter. The trip was a great success. All winter I was concerned about my oldest, Emma, as she is badly crippled with fused disks, dysplasia, and arthritis. But she weathered the winter, and enjoyed the trip as much as I have ever seen her enjoy anything. It was a great pleasure to see her smile constantly with the pleasure of it. (Dogs do smile, as any dog person will tell you.)

The picture shows one of the places we camped on our trip. Look in the upper right of the rocks. Do you see the profile of a big dog, looking to the left? I called this Big Dog Rocks, as it had no name on the map.

I'll post a few more pix from our trip.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

And yet again...

By now everyone who checks in here from time to time must be downright sick of seeing this damn windpump. I can only plead that it is in my "front yard" (285 yards away) and I can't help photographing it in the myriad different lights that play upon it. I guess it's a compulsion. Wouldn't doubt that this is the most photographed High Plains windpump to ever squeak in a brisk westerly.

God bless Aermotors, wherever they are. They are the lifeblood of the plains.

You asked for it!

Well, not everybody asked for it. But BobF said a recent pic of Jack afield would make a good oil. So I whipped out my pallette, squirted some oil paints on it, found my mink-hair brushes, and dashed off a quickee. Enjoy, Bob.

(You might have to click on it to embiggify it.)


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The long road home

Last week I had to take Jack to the vet for his routine rabies shot. None of the other dogs needed anything so he and I made the trip alone. Our regular vet is 80 miles away. There is one closer, only 35 miles, but I like the regular vet to see the dogs regularly. I also like the dogs to see the vet! For the most part they enjoy their trips to see him, and the great staff that pampers them and makes them feel special. Despite their nervousness their tails are always going a mile a minute.

I live at just about the mid-point of a north-south one-lane road (called a "two-track")  that runs between two east-west secondary roads 70 miles apart. Well, actually I live two miles off to one side of that road and not on it. As we returned from the vet I could see a storm developing to the south, and could watch it move from east to west. There were a few lightning strikes, but not many. At the point I took the snapshot above we were yet about ten miles from home, but we managed to make it before the brunt of the storm hit. In the end it didn't amount to much at our place and all we got was a nice little spate of welcome rain. Most of it was well south of us.

By the way, I noticed the other day that our two track, which is about half paved and half dirt, does not even appear on the official state highway map. That's OK by me.

Autumn sunset

The other day we had a wonderful golden sunset. This is common this time of year. But it is a fleeting thing, gone in a minute or less. I sometimes see a really fine one, but by the time I get the camera it is gone. But that's what a photographer does: chases light, light that is never the same again and when it passes it is gone forever. Photography means "light writing." I like the Irish better: griangrafadoireacht, "the craft of sun-writing."

This is a good time of year for sin-writers. If they are quick enough!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The call of the fall...

These cool mornings, with a bit of chill in the air, energize Jack like nothing else can. He won't take no for answer and I almost always succumb to his entreaties and take him, and me, for a nice long ramble. There's nothing quite like being afield with a good dog— and friend— like Jack. He could do this sort of thing, inside our wire, on his own. There's plenty of ground to explore there. But NO, he has to have me come along, too. He's almost like a little kid: "Come and watch how good I hunt!"

So I go, and watch, and am pleased and energized myself.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sic Transit Gloria

This is the real end of summer: when the sunflowers finally give up. Sad to see them go, but I know they'll be back in the late spring as harbingers of the next summer.