20 January 2011

seasonal variations

December 25th was a fun day for Anakin; it would have been our annual card if those [expletive deleted] park ducks hadn't been in the photo. Sigh. Anyway, the pup enjoyed the crisp weather - it's good for playing fetch and chewing on sticks. Regal looking fellow, isn't he?

January 11th, Marathon was ridiculously cold. Barely any frost on the car windows though, so there was little excitement in town. Driving into Alpine, however, was a completely different story! When you drive west from Marathon along Hwy 90, the road bends to the north at "Altuda Pass" (Altuda at least being the local name for the mountain at the bend) and apparently that's as far as the frozen fog had gotten. Everything beyond the bend towards Alpine was frosted, foggy and white. On the way back to Marathon I snapped this photo (and you can see the slope behind the tree, rising up toward Altuda itself).

On the 19th, it was a balmy closer-to-80 along the Rio Grande, so we took advantage of a Loggerhead Shrike being called a Northern to go investigate. This is the overlook trail at Daniel's Ranch, above Crissal Thrashers and where the Tufted Flycatcher used to hang out.

Of course, today's high was 45 and the wind was a steady 20 mph with gusts over 30 all morning... And for a warmer mental image, here's some prickly pear variety the Lost Mine Trail while the weather was cooperative:

...so the question: is it a purple prickly pear? Or is it a green prickly pear? Or are they two (or three, or four) plants growing close together with complete disregard to their pigmentation? Any prickly experts out there care to comment??

18 January 2011

January's Public Service Announcement

Admittedly, this PSA would have been fresh off the press in 2007, but the message is timeless. Similar to our water conservation PSA, it's brilliantly inspirational. Since we no longer live in a place with water in the toilet, our water conservation has been pretty easy; our next goal is to balance out our use of plastic bags (we've got canvas bags and used them obsessively in Waco, but here we get them because they double as trash bags...)

Another version of the song with introduction can be found here.

Those of you not familiar with Tim Minchin may think of him as, perhaps, the Weird Al of Australia, but with his own music and heavy eye makeup most of the time.

15 January 2011

awkward names and spying vultures

You knew the day would come: someone would name a Bald Eagle "wowie-cakes" ...I kid you not. Of course, it was meant to be pronounced wo-whee-jah-kah, but that clearly wasn't going to happen! So it has been renamed Celilo (suh-LEYE'-loh); so it went from being "that which is real" to an "Indian fishing village on the Columbia River that was submerged by the construction of The Dalles Dam." That's an improvement? Wowiecakes works just fine for me.

As for spying vultures, I posted a little something about avian Israeli espionage over at ifoundabandedbird.blogspot.com - and here's the video from it:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Israeli Vulture Spy
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