Beautiful sights

Beautiful sights
Horses at blue water Lake state park

Friday, May 30, 2014


A while ago, a group of friends were camping in the low mountains of Arizona!  It was cold in the evenings, so we had a campfire each evening,  One of our crowd was an alcoholic so he had a glass of wine with him .  I happened to be sitting next to Bill, and as usual, I had both hounds with me at the fire.
Valentine and Fleur, and Phoenix

Suddenly, Bill says to Val "Hey there what are you doing?" Val looked up innocently, and tried his best to really look innocent, but it was impossible, because he had wine on his face.  He had helped himself to Bill's wine!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Winter is gone for this year.

Poppies on the desert floor
Fire restrictions are common in summer

My cacti are blooming
The park's horses are having babies!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Magic feet

It never ceases to amaze me that my greyhounds have such magic in their feet!

Oh, yes of course they can run like the wind, but everyone knows THAT.

But that's not the magic of which I speak.

Maybe the magic is that 
greyhounds use their feet to look so cute and adorable when they nap!

You're disturbing my nap! Go away!
But that's not the magic of which I speak, either.

Their real magic lies in the ability that they have to shake their body and allow their front feet to slightly lift off the ground and throw the soil in all directions.  The dirt flies into the air, thus getting into the yard rugs, but the most fantistical magical thing of all is the way that the soil jumps right into my shoes!  Of course I could be wearing flip flops (just shake the foot and lose the soil).  However, I hardly ever wear  flip flops. So, imagine that I've just put my shoes on to take the hounds outside, and as I turn to close the door of the motorhome, Fleur does the magic foot movement, and in less than one second, I have a good supply of dirt in my shoes! I can't stand on one foot to take off the other shoe, so I find it a bit annoying to have to walk the dogs with dirt in my shoes.  It feels really icky!

After about fifty feet of moving with the dogs Power will find a bush to insert his nose into.  He keeps his nose in the bush until I'm more than ready to go on, and as he finally raises his head, he waits until I am by his side and HE shakes his feet and I get a second shoe full of dirt.

It must be magic

Thursday, May 22, 2014

History that changed the world

Trinity site
I was camped in the dark area on the right lower part of the photo, this being the malpais or lava lands of Central New Mexico.  Just a few miles away below the red arrow is the historic site of the world's first atomic explosion, on July 16 1995.  It is called the "Trinity Site".  This site is open to the public two days each year, once in April, and once in October.

Since I could not get in to see this site, I looked on Google earth and got these photos.
Three weeks after this test was done here in New Mexico, the bombs were dropped in Japan!

I had always heard that radiation never dies or weakens so I was surprised but pleased the see that this area of desert does not have a "scorched earth" look, but  the shrubs, grasses and trees are growing as profusely here as they are growing in other desert areas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fun times

I've been having fun sightseeing the last few days.  One of the fun times included petroglyphs viewing.  It's so fascinating about the artistic endeavors of our forebears.  It seems to me that their lives weren't all work and no play or they would not have had the time to even think of these ideas , much less execute them.

Outline of man on right side
It seems that the marks on the rocks are nearly carved into the rock face, but they are not deep.  It's amazing that they've withstood the elements for centuries!

Eagle, possibly
Though all the wild animals and humans are allowed into the areas, we are not allowed to take our dogs in among the petroglyphs, for fear some damage will ensue.  The federal government has rules like this in many of the departments, such as National Park Service.  Having worked for the different services, I understand how the humans involved are very irresponsible in the way they allow their dogs to misbehave.  However, keeping the dogs out is not solving the problem.  Keeping the humans out would do better!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Volcano eruptions are a huge part of the past in New Mexico.  The ensuing geologic areas are a result of these eruptions.  One type of area is the lava lands, or "malpais" as they are called here.
Lava in a high pile

Several different government agencies have visitor centers and campsites in these "malpais".  
Campsites in malpais

One thing that is interesting to me is that several of the old pueblo tribes had foot paths through the lava to travel and trade between their pueblos.  They must have had tough footwear to get through the sharp lava!  One of these old trails goes between Zuni pueblo (south of Gallup) to Acoma (often called Sky city) located south of I-40 at milemarker 102.

Lava filling a valley
After lava cools, and after eons of weather occurs, the lava slowly allows plants to grow in the crevices, thus making the landscape more hospitable.

The park has installed great paved walking paths throughout the lava fields, and miracles, the dogs are welcome if leashed.  In many federal parks, dogs are not allowed on any trail, so the rules here are very refreshing!

Friday, May 16, 2014

RV serviceman or sanity saver!

Several weeks ago I sent for an upgrade kit for my fantastic fan that is in the roof of my motorhome kitchen!  

I made arrangements with a repair man to install it, and after waiting for ages, He took one look at it and said it wouldn't work, and left the job site with a bill for me($45.00), and with me holding the bag, so to speak.  I felt rather in shock and frustrated, so I rested a few minutes, and then called Fantastic Fan company, and the technician assured me that it would work, and to read over the instructions, and do it myself, because it's "very easy"!  I had read the instructions before and read them again, but decided I couldn't do any worse than the "serviceman".

I removed the screws, and disconnected the wires as directed.  No problem!  I had difficulty getting the rain sensor removed, even though it was supposed to be very easy.  Working overhead is a bit dizzying as well.  I did make some minor progress but was worried I'd mess it up.  So I put it away temporarily.

Later I hired another serviceman to do the job.  He assured me that he was very familiar with the Fantastic Fan and had installed many of them. However, he removed two screws and stated that the kit I had purchased would not work to replace the old one!  I called the company and they talked to him to get him "unstuck".  After about an hour, he had this "easy" job done and I have a functioning fan, and after paying the bill ($110.00) I was ready to leave and go back to my camp.  

These fans are wonderful, and if one is a boondocker they are nearly a necessity in hot weather. I had not realized how essential they are for keeping a black greyhound comfortable in warm or hot weather.

What is this hot sun doing, making me miserable?

This is how I should look, cool an comfy.

They also act like a skylight, making the inside of the RV more bright and cheerful. They pull hot air out and exchange the RV's air in a few minutes.  I am glad to have mine working again, in spite of the difficulty of the repair.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Night voices

While walking, we came across this pond.  My greyhounds had various reactions.  Fleur was an old hand and said "We can figure it out!

This is great!  Adventure!

"This is something new! 

Power on the other hand, was really excited and jumped up in the air from all four feet!  He said "This is something new!  Should I be afraid?  Should I jump on it?  Should I run away from it?  If I could get off this leash I could run till my excitement fades!  Let me go-go-go-go-go!"

trying to hide
I had not heard these voices in about 20 years.  Took me a while to decide what they were.  They do talk at night, but once the brain is aware, I heard their voices in the daytime also!

Nighttime symphony

Saturday, May 10, 2014

No dogs today

A remote cabin has bird feeders, and welcomes birders to sit on the porch and enjoy the different species.  Several birders had cameras and were taking photos.  I was one of them.

Black headed grosbeak
I was told that my dogs would be welcome on a less crowded day, so maybe another time!  Maybe if they binoculars around their necks no one would realize that they are dogs!

Acorn Woodpecker
The acorn woodpecker is the species that Walt Disney used as inspiration for Woody Woodpecker!

Welcome to a new follower, Shiela Wedegis.  Shiela, hope you enjoy the blog!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Even more birds

At Portal, Arizona, there is a research station on one of the remote dirt roads, and they keep feeders out, and even benches for people to sit on and enjoy the birds.

Kingbird,  western

Black Chinned hummingbird(left), and Magnificent Hummingbird(right)

They wouldn't allow me to take the greyhounds out of the car, but at least they had big trees for shade, and it wasn't hot.  If I weren't such a birder, I would have resented the dog rule.  But as a realist, I know that not every human wants to take their dogs with them everywhere!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Amongst the beauty...

The beauty in life is often overwhelming, but that is only one aspect of it.  On a walk yesterday, I found evidence of another part of nature.  Before I knew it these "goathead" stickers were in the dog's feet.  After I got the dogs' feet cleared, we started on, but I began to hear a "crunch" as I walked.  I lifted one foot and was astonished to find these in my shoes!

My Crocs

Goat heads in the shoe soles
When I  had finished with these extractions, my fingers were like pincushions, but I didn't have any tools on my walk, and didn't want to walk home in my shoes (carrying the enemy to my campsite).

Sunday, May 4, 2014


If you are a gadget lover, I want to warn you not to buy the tag clip seen in this photo.  

I saw these on, they are called Tagnabbit.  They have a swivel between the smaller loop and the larger loop.  I didn't realize that the metal they were made from was apparently "pot" metal, because they fell apart in less than 2 weeks!  I lost all my dogs tags, and am having to go to the effort of repurchasing the tags.
The greyhound tags are not costly, but just getting the adoption group to answer their email and/or phone messages has been problematic.

So, my warning is "Do not trust TAGNABBIT!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

So much beauty

Growing along the roadsides, is a vining plant with huge leaves, and very large flowers.  It is a hallucinogen, but one doesn't need to be hallucinating to see it's beauty!
It's beauty is a danger, however, since every part of it is poisonous!  It's also called Jimson weed.
Sacred Datura

Another shrub here is so beautiful it takes one's breath away!

Bird of Paradise
To me, the loveliness of the flowers has a strong competition with the blooms in my motorhome!




Thursday, May 1, 2014

More Birds!

A flock of Willits flew into a pond a couple of days ago.  They are migrating to the north for their breeding grounds.  I was happy to photograph them.
Willits in flight