Category Archives: Town

Another Day

Just north of the hoodoos, and across the street, there used to be a bit of waste ground. This was so long ago that we used to walk Mr. Dog (the predecessor of Miss Dog) there to let him run free. Now there are office buildings and paved parking lots in this area, but I decided to take a walk there (no chance of running into other people).

And lo and behold, there were some baby hoodoos there (just like the one’s they destroyed across the street). Well this looks promising.

At the north end of this area there is a little creek that marks the boundary of development. There was water flowing in this because it had snowed just that morning. When they put in the buildings they took down the old train bridge that went across this, so this is as far as one can go. There is still waste ground to the north, and part of this is owned by the Air Force, I think.

The western edge of the property also has a little ephemeral stream running along it. One can see the thin seam of coal in it too. Just beyond this is the freeway (motorway). Traffic was not very heavy, but it is still plenty noisy.

I believe I might have mentioned (once or twice, anyway) how much I love reflections. And here on this rather ordinary office building was a perfect reflection of our lovely mountain.

This is progress I suppose, but they can’t eradicate every trace of what was there before (at least not yet).

Beautiful day in the Neighborhood

I had expected to be in London today, perhaps strolling through Harrods (I love the look of the food courts), or the V & A. But that is not going to happen, so I took a stroll nearby, to a place I used to often go when Miss Dog was still alive. This is part of my neighborhood.

I had hiked up the side of a small bluff to get this shot of our beautiful mountain. It’s a bit hard to tell, but there is still snow on peak. The ugly building in the middle ground is a car dealership that has been there about 15 years, it replaced waste ground. The blacktop parking lot was being constructed on this day, in preparation for something that will perhaps need a lot of parking. They had removed all the dirt from a former train track to flatten the area out.

Looking south is my neighborhood. The big rock sticking up is what gives the area it’s name. The traffic circle is brand new, and was added to confuse the local drivers.

And this was what I had really climbed up to capture, a hoodoo (a column of rock wearing a little rock hat).

So here is another one, hidden away at the top of the bluff.

Here’s the north side of the bluff with a pair of hoodoos. The dark streak is coal and the yellowish streaks are ochre. Once upon a time there were coal mines nearby, but they all closed years ago, and now the real estate is too valuable to be mined. The hillside was originally cut away maybe 15 years ago when the city changed the shape of the road. And now they have changed the road again, so they cut away even more of the bluff. Construction has also removed a pair of large hoodoos and at least one small one. It’s surprising the changes that occur when one’s back is turned. So this is the neighborhood as it exists today, it still has these secret lovely places, hidden away from the busy roadway.

Getting a Head pt.2

Just where are the sorts of places that might need a stuffed animal head for display? I do notice them in restaurants, bars, fraternal organizations and clubs and sometimes in stores. I had gone down to the local feed store to pick up some treats for my four-legged friends, when I spotted these heads.

Not strictly speaking just heads, these plastic birds feature turning heads to scare off unwanted birds (yes I’m talking about you, woodpeckers!). (And probably you magpies as well).

This shop features a fine collection of guns and rifles, perfect for bagging the elusive stag. Here’s a sample beast, casually displayed over excess stock.

A fine rack of antlers may attract the ladies, but they attract the hunters even more.

What the heck??? Some gun-crazy hunter even took down this stuffed deer. Who would do such a thing? I guess when one is looking for a trophy, the exact species doesn’t matter. It’s still a prize.

So after admiring the trophies I paid for my sacks of feed and went on my merry way. I am too wimpy to shoot a deer, except with a camera.

This is Sarah.

Gentrification

I have lived in my current town for the past 37 years. The town was established after the civil war as a tourist destination, people would come from Texas in the summer to escape the heat in those days before air conditioning. Lots of other people came as medical tourists, to breathe the fresh mountain air that would hopefully cure their tuberculosis. This was the gateway to gold mines, there was ranching and some farming, but tourist have always been important to the economy. So people have noticed that this is a rather nice place to live, and thus, the old is being removed and the new is taking its place.

This shed-like building is down by the railroad tracks. One can see it from the freeway (motorway), and so it has a mural celebrating the wonders of the town. The previous mural was a disaster, it started peeling and looking rather shabby almost as soon as it was finished.

Up close it is not much to look at, but this corner is slated to become a whiskey-tasting room. I suspect that the purveyors of said whiskey will not be encouraging visits from the many homeless people who roam the area.

I suppose that tha graffiti “art” that adorns the building marks it out as a hipster sort of place, but the roof on this side of the building shows it’s origin as a a shed.

This is the bit that is used by P, he rebuilds bicycles and gives them to homeless people. He also takes donations of stuff, and will find people who can use these donations. (I was down there dropping things off when I took these pictures).

The things that I find incredible about the proposed gentrification of this building are that it is in a strange location (under an overpass), and there are no water lines or heating. The building was originally used for grain storage when there was farming nearby, it’s just a giant shed by the railroad tracks. But, money will be poured into the structure, while keeping the rustic, bohemian nature of the building, and tourists will come (whether we like it or not).

Getting a Head

According to the dictionary (yes I looked it up in an actual book) a trophy is: “something symbolising victory or success” and under b: “A mounted fish, animal’s head, etc.” It’s also a rather weird thing to do. I do occasionally go the the local Elks club, a fraternal organization devoted to something (I think it involves beer), and displaying lots of its’ namesake beasts.

This elk seems to be giving a bit of side-eye, meant perhaps as a bit of reproach for his untimely demise. He is tastefully situated on a fake lodge wall, that’s not a real mantle under him.

This elk is in a much plainer setting. Staring straight ahead he seems to be either sad or indifferent to to goings on in the room.

Now this elk was more of an actual trophy, with fine 12 point antlers, he was a lovely specimen in life. However, the way that he is mounted gives him a look of surprise. (It shouldn’t have been a total surprise, didn’t he notice that hunter creeping up on him? Maybe not).

And then there was this fellow, laying down on the job. From the looks of it, he has been around for a number of years, so perhaps this is understandable, sometimes one just needs a break. And if this is on display at the “Elks”, I worry about what is stuffed and mounted at “Modern Woodmen” another fraternal organization. 😉

Cowtown

To be called a “cowtown” implies one of two things: either the town is located in a cattle raising area, or the town is small, isolated or unsophisticated. I choose to think that this city is a cowtown because we have the annual strolling of the cows through the downtown area (what could be more sophisticated?).

The event starts with a small herd of longhorn cattle, including the adorable babies.

The TV news babe was there to cover the event (this is the sort of assignment that they delegate to the interns) along with her cameraman. How was she to know that the news part of the story would be at the other end of the stroll?

Police were ready to escort the herd and stop traffic (the sirens were on low to avoid startling the cattle).

And they’re off! Strolling along a busy street (well it’s a busy street a few blocks from here).

At the end of the trail, near the final destination of cattle pens were these ancient activists, with their handmade bedsheet signs (how quaint, this reminds me of the 60’s).

Here the herd is approaching the end and are quite tightly bunched up. Because…

This cow had had enough, so she ran into the crowd (people can move quite quickly when they need to) and then she ran into the open door of a bank, closely pursued by a couple of cowboys on horseback. They got a lasso on her and she was led back to the trailers. Meanwhile, the person who took the video on her cellphone capturing this cow’s adventure made the news, both local and national (too bad for you, TV newsgirl). All in all it was excellent publicity for a amateur rodeo and the cows went home until next year.

Goats

Baby goats are adorable. It’s fun to watch them capering about, and it’s hard not to smile at their antics. And then there is yoga, which is not adorable. I find yoga to be a stern practice, there are a lot of postures to memorize, and an instructor who is there to correct your form. But if one puts these two things together, which are not intuitive things to combine, why you get Goat Yoga. Which is really a thing.

Goats are not much interested in doing exercise just to get in shape, so a little bribery is in order. This handsome young man is placing goat treats on the backs of the ladies in this particular yoga class. And the goats are climbing aboard to sample these delicious nuggets.

So the goats aren’t doing yoga at all, they are just scrounging for treats.

Here is the yoga pose downward dog (a very typical sort of movement) combined with upward goat.

Why was this event going on? Well the name of the local brewpub that sponsored this says it all.

On Tap

I do like to go to a pub occasionally, and I do like to pay attention to the odd bits of life. So here is where these two streams intersect today, in those things that the bartender moves to dispense beer (or cider). Yes I am talking about beer taps. Now when I was just a youngster, these were ordinary, plain sorts of things. Perhaps it might have the name of the sort of beer being served (where I am from this would be Budweiser, Busch, Stag or Falstaff). But times have changed and perhaps the gullible drinking public can be persuaded to try a brew based on the tap handle. At least that is my explanation. 😉

Why not try the beer preferred by elephants?

This is quite a popular local (ish) beer. M always said he knew why the Lab was laughing.

At this fine establishment the choice is between some anonymous taps or the tentacled one. I would always vote for trying the tentacle!

And then there is this choice. It appears to be a wheat beer, and it appears to be the sort of things favored by sombrero wearing zombies or other undead sorts. Perhaps not the best selling point for one’s beer, but, there is obviously a market for this. So goodbye to the old major brands (I do not miss you Budweiser), hello to the interesting taps of the craft crowd.

Clouds

A little gale will soon disperse that cloud.

For every cloud engenders not a storm.

Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.

Many thanks to our old friend Bill Shakespeare for once again writing a guest column on this blog.

Still more snow

The usual guidelines for setting out plants in this area is anytime after Mother’s Day or May 15th, whichever comes first. It’s usually safe from freezing, but this year has been a little different. When I first heard that it was supposed to snow on Monday, I really wasn’t worried as it had been so warm. And the TV weather persons didn’t think the storm would amount to much (they were uniformly wrong).

It started off with a bit of snowy rain. As Mr. Dog did not like this, we took our walk inside the giant hardware store and then went out to dinner (he is a Labrador, so of course he loves to eat).

But after the sun went down, the snow kept falling.

And it didn’t stop until all the trees were bent over under the weight of snow. It was about eight inches of snow here, a friend measured the snow at her house and it was twelve and a half inches!

Then after a bit one could see a patch of blue sky. And those big clumps of snow on the branches started crashing down as it warmed up.

So as the snow melted away I could see the mess left behind by the storm. I got out my trusty bow saw and quickly cleared up these branches so that I could get my car out of the garage. Unfortunately, the plum tree in front of the house looked to be a total loss, the main trunk had snapped. As I looked closer, I noticed that one branch was spared. I had thought about trimming this off, but had been too lazy to do this. I tied up the branch in the hopes that it would grow straight, and now I just have to wait for Mother Nature to quit playing tricks on me (for a little while at least).

The petunias in the barrel would have been a total loss, except that the deer had already come by and eaten them. 😉