March 3, 2010
The drowned truck has been freed from the creek tonight by Lassen Canyon’s tractor crew. With a grinding tug through gravel and spinning tractor wheels, the vehicle was pulled up on the bank this evening.
It is obvious that this was not a stolen rig. Nothing had been stripped, nice wheels, tires, three-wheeler and a cab full of someone’s soggy belongings. A pink address book lay on the foot well, suitcases and bags and a very ruined stereo set sat dripping.
I thought this last photo says it all. It wasn’t a thrasher before…but it has become one in quite a hurry!
This morning I received a call from a neighbor that a truck had been swept away in our rain-swollen creek.
We have been trying to prevent trespassing and keep dirtbikers off our properties and road, so I’ve been elected to be the neighborhood photographer and make a record of everyone caught trespassing, for the law authorities.
We’re in the process of closing the access to the creek due to abuse of our dirt road (70 mph races!) and we have photo cataloged nearly 20 different riders in the last month. We’re trying to circumvent a very noisy and dusty summer.
This creek has hosted its share of stolen and abandoned vehicles, parties, meth labs in trailers, some of which have been set on fire and left to burn. I’ve been awakened at 2am to the sound of exploding tires in the past. It was getting to the point that I could only go down there early in the morning or not at all.
Here is what I found, early this morning:
Since we could not see inside the water-filled cab, we called 911 to alert for a possible drowning victim. Within a half-hour we had nearly ten law vehicles from fire rescue, sheriff, tow trucks and water rescue. Soon the CHP helicopter arrived to search downstream for bodies:
After nearly two hours a diving team arrived and opened up the truck’s doors. Out swept trash, soccer cleats and other unidentifiable debris, but thankfully, no drowning victims! (I did not get permission to show the rescue team’s faces, so I have obscured them.)
Before leaving the scene, as I was getting very cold and my feet were wet, I took one last image of a blue hat floating and swirling around in the open door of the vehicle. I can only imagine the trouble someone is going to be in for losing this truck, the cost of the rescue efforts and the trespass charges to be brought on the hapless driver.
The moral of this story? Don’t go where you are not supposed to go, and don’t try to ford storm swollen creeks after torrential downpours.
An expensive mistake. Trespassers beware!
Don’t miss ‘Trespassers Beware–the Sequel’ a follow up on the submerged vehicle.
June 17, 2009
They are at it again! My cacti garden is bursting with blooms!
Here is the one that started the Echinopsis collection, tentatively identified as ‘Stars and Stripes’.
A nice combo of pink and Schick hybrid ’Hot Lips’ red.
This one, I call ‘Pale Peachy Pink’, is a creation of my very own! It can take many years to get from seed to blooming plant.
Not too sure, but I think this is another of my creations. I am not a good records keeper, much to my detriment.
This yellow beauty came from Home Depot. It has a light citrus fragrance.
This is another of my seedlings. It differs somewhat from the original parent “Stars and Stripes’.
Here is another Schick hybrid, ‘Oracle’, an electric fuchsia and red combination I so love in cacti flowers.
Not just Echinopsis are in bloom. This Opuntia Santa-Rita looks like a color pumped image, but its delicate purple and blue colorings and its light yellow blooms look great against the backdrop of a purple variegated barberry.
Lastly is this sea urchin lookalike, Astrophytum. Its very pale yellow flowers with their red rings look like eyes looking back at you.
Only lasting a day in most cases, these cacti flowers are worth rushing out in the early morning to drink up their incredible and fleeting beauty, and they live through my colder than Redding winter temperatures, with the added bonus of not needing much water in the summer, but they do need afternoon shade.
If you would like to try your hand at these beautiful Echinopsis cacti, take a look at these beauties!:
June 15, 2009
April 18. My niece, Stephanie, ran into the house, breathless and excited. It took a minute or two to get the story straight, something about chicks, eggs and murderous hens. I finally stitched together the story: she had gone to the chicken coop to check on the chickens, as she does every day. She brings me back eggs or tells me they are out of food, but today she exclaimed that an egg had hatched and the hens were pecking it and carrying it around!
I followed her back to the coop to find a tiny, wet, fuzzy lump, bloodied by the attacks of the senseless hens. I scooped it up and also took the eggs that the broody hen had been sitting on, just in case.
While I didn’t really need any other chickens, I let one persistent hen gather a clutch to herself. She did only a fair job, she was so small she often left eggs sitting around her.
Once inside and under a heat lamp and equipped with a heating pad, we anxiously waited to see if the chick would survive and if the other eggs would hatch.
Days went by. No other egg hatched. Chicky (now named) was listless, but alive. I finally discarded the other eggs, and Chicky gathered strength and awareness.
Living in a box in the kitchen, Chicky became the center of attention. Oohs and ahs from the children that came through my house, with the common plea, “Oh, can I hold him?”. Chicky became the star and became quite tame from the handling.
The only permanent damage that seemed to have occured was a scarred and deformed beak, but it didn’t seem to bother him (her?) much.
I didn’t have any chick starter food, so Chicky’s first couple of weeks was a diet of ground dog food and pecans! He thrived on the rich grub. I was pleased to find that our local feed store had chick starter food in 5lb bags, so his diet shifted to a more conventional fare.
Once again, I was blessed to have the sweet cheeping of a baby in the house. I’ve grown to love that little voice. There is a content chatter, a hungry rattle, a introspective tittering, so much communication from such a ball of fuzz.
As he grew larger and stronger, Chicky began to take outdoor trips to the vegetable and wildflower gardens. He began the hilarious routine of ‘dusting’ himself, digging down and throwing dust all over himself. It is amazing to me how this behavior is instinctual. What a mess!
He quickly outgrew his box and I had to press into duty an unused birdcage, complete with his mirror in which he likes to cuddle next to and gaze. Soon the tiny fuzzy chick began to look like a real chicken.
It is no guess as to who his momma is! Chicky looks just like Kiwi, my super tame black bantam hen…I sure hope ‘he’ is a ‘she’ when all is said and done.
We’ve had a lot of fun times, sitting out in the wildflowers while Chicky roams about, or hiding in the broccoli and digging around for earwigs in the strawberries. Watching him fly to find me is a kick.
He gets the run of the house on occasion, when the dogs are outside…we just have to watch and quickly clean up any ‘accidents’.
Wearing chickens is not a good idea, not only do you have to worry about ‘deposits’, he will also peck you in the eye and mouth. Ouch!
Chicky is getting big, now. All his black feathers are in and all the down is gone. He spends more and more time outside, whenever I am out in the garden for any length of time.
Since we have many hawks of different sorts, and the big rooster attacks him, his days of roaming around on his own may never come, but I will continue to enjoy his company out in the garden whenever I can.
So, Chicky, despite a bad beginning, ended up being a very lucky little chicken, after all. Except for a slightly mangled beak, he is a pampered, happy little Gallus gallus being, whatever sex he ends up being.
I guess when I hear a crowing or see an egg, I’ll know for sure.
April 6, 2009
I had meant to get this out a bit earlier, but going through one problem after another left me run down which developed into a case of pneumonia. But I am on the mend and finally can sit at the computer and actually THINK for a bit. It is my first encounter with the spectre of not having medical insurance.
I slept through most of it, the torrential downpour of March 16, 2009. The sound of the rain lulled me into a drowsy afternoon nap. When the hail came down, I finally got up to see what the racket was and knew we were headed for trouble!
Our property is out on a small, flat valley. Everything is level except for an area that looks as if a scoop of ground had been removed, perhaps the remnants of an old creekbed. At its lowest, it is about five feet below the rest of the five-acre plot. You can sort of see it in the image, below, where the fence dips down.
By the time I got up, the ‘slough’ as we call it, was filling up fast. By time I had my camera out, and get changed it was rapidly getting deeper.
In little more than 15 minutes, the water had risen, as shown below, and was now flooding the barn. This includes the chicken coop, the add-on on the right. With nearly eight inches of water in the coop, I had to put on some flip flops and shorts and wade out in knee-deep water to check on the banties. Most of them were huddled up in the corner of the large shelf, cackling and squawking in alarm, but poor Frazz, my frizzle hen, was floating in the water, in uncontrollable spasms of cold-shock.
I rescued poor Frazz, who received a warm bath to wash off the pen shavings and then a nice blow-dry to bring her out of her shock. She spent the night in the bathtub wrapped in towels! Thankfully, she came through the ordeal with nothing more than a tale to tell her buddies.
Thank goodness the rain stopped soon after, because the whole property was in danger of being covered by the debris-filled brown water that was pouring in from the pastures from across the road. Gopher holes bubbled, bark drifted away and piles of flotsam and jetsam were starting to gather at the fences. Below is the view from the road.
Not all of us were perturbed by the dowpour, these geese thought all this water was grand!
The whole ordeal ended on a good, if not beautiful, note, we had a wonderful rainbow at the end, and a whole album of photo memories of the big Downpour of March, 2009. By morning the water was all gone…pity I didn’t have my water tank or pump yet, I could have filled it on just this one storm, alone! All’s well that ends well, I guess.
March 9, 2009
Some days you need to get out and do something mindless and fun. There is no doubt that I see great calamity coming to our culture, very soon. The laws and situations have been stacked against us all, most folks have absolutely no inkling of the treachery. But, for now, I just want to share a few moments of good, clean fun.
I bought this kite many years ago, in a Discovery Store in the bay area. Every once in a while I get it out when the conditions are just right and today’s conditions were perfect. Not only was there a wonderful, brisk breeze to carry my sky-jewel up and away, but it was not the usual north wind, which always puts my kite right into the sun and in my eyes! Today’s icy south breeze carried my butterfly up high with very little effort, and I am blessed with wide open areas for perfect kite flying!
I reveled in the blue sky, the bright clouds, the greening fields, the quiet and peaceful ambiance and the crisp and energizing breeze that blew at my back.
My kite soared and dove, crashing to earth only once. Then it was back up, up, up in the air where turkey vultures soared and light clouds floated by.
When you are beset with worries and care, it is best to go out and send a prayer up in the sky to fly alongside a bright kite, letting your petitions be caught up in the breeze to be carried to heaven.
“For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief. Who is the one who overcomes the world but he who believe that Y’shua is the Son of Elohim?” 1 John 5:3-5 The Scriptures by IFSR
March 8, 2009
I have been silent, here, for some time. I have been preoccupied with spiritual affairs and thought that it was something that most of you would not be interested in.
Sometime back, I started another blog for a much smaller audience, my sabbath fellowship, on how to garden in the Redding area, but I will invite you now to read the chilling information that threatens your way of life and liberty:
December 27, 2008
I make it no secret that I love mud puddles. My first encounter with a mud puddle as a toddler was a vain attempt to bring the frozen icy tops deftly removed from the puddles outside, inside the house and keep them for later fun. I carefully wrapped them in a blanket and placed them under my little bed. But, alas to my grief they melted into a sad puddle that oozed out onto the hardwood floor. My three year old brain couldn’t understand that ice melts.
I still can find lots of interest in a good puddle; watching the moon reflect off its mirror surface in the evenings, watching the swirls of milk chocolate mud swirl and mix with the clear water like a miniature weather front when a dog paw stirs the waters, watch the tiny daphnia spin and dance in the clear water of some special puddles–a whole microcosm in a pool, or tickle your eyes with the geometric shapes and curls of consolidated, dried mud.
Most of all, the greatest fun in a mud puddle comes after a night of icy transfomation. Whether it is a solid sheet with little bubbles frozen in the middle and a leaf stuck tight, or like this tiny puddle— crazy, beautiful, creative shapes and textures, all contained in no more than a few inches of crystalline H2O.
Above is a star burst of icy beauty. Our temperature dropped to a chilly 23° that night!
Look at the close up, below, of the thin ice formations I believe area called ‘dendrites’. They were no more than about 1/2 inch long!
This puddle was no more than seven inches across, and the icy display melted as the morning sun topped the trees. Today, they are all dry.
What fleeting beauty, what a marvelous creation—water.
December 8, 2008
Most people love sunsets. There is just something awe inspiring about watching the procession of colors, contrasts and textures as the day slowly fades. When everything comes together, cloud, sky and sun, the results can be dramatic. Thus it was so Sunday, December 7, 2008.
I love a good show of altostratus undulatus any time of day. Fall and spring seem to bring the best displays. Now, most of you wouldn’t know your altostratus from cirrus uncius, and most of you probably don’t try to categorize the colors into a painter’s pallet, or stalk around your property with a bulky camera in hand, but I bet you do stand in awe as the show begins its crescendo, exploding across the skies like a giant fireworks, then darken and pale. The cool blues and greys and tans flowed into hot, firey orange in sharply stippled patterns, then muted to a darkening red-coal smolder and on into a frosty, star-glittered night.
May this holiday season be a comfort inasmuch as we are in an uncomfortable time and uncertain future. This is always a tough time of year-cold, dark winter. Be thankful for your modern blessings; lights in abundance, heat at the touch of a switch, fresh healthful foods, ease of communication. Having read of how folks lived generations ago I have come to the realization that winter used to be a very difficult time to endure. We have blunted its scouring force with many wonderful things. Being the ever-anxious conspiracy nut, I wonder if this winter might be one to be very thankful for, the one to measure against in the times ahead, one in which to reminisce. Maybe it is just the darkness and cold creeping into the mind and aging bones.
November 30, 2008
I thought I would break my long silence with the results of a nice three hour hike taken today. Above is one of my favorite cottonwood trees with Bass and Saddleback mountains in the background. What a beautiful day it was today, mid 70s, no wind, deep blue skies. Very nice.
I could not pass up this drying, checking mud, with its geometric shapes and peeling layers. This image comes complete with dog prints.
I love Bear Mountain, and I never pass up a chance for another picture, especially if I can get the lookout. I hope to go up there, someday.
This snaggle-tooth mouth shaped knothole made me laugh. it looks like a lamprey mouth or laughing alien creature.
This tree is slowly losing it’s life. It stands ever starker and barer as time pulls the spirit of the tree. It hangs over a tall bank looming with its grasping branches.
These orange spotted Eriogonum stems are almost shockingly bright for such muted early winter colors that abound right now.
Here is the last leg of the journey, just before we get back to our unpaved road. It was a good time for dogs, who wallowed in the mud and explored all over and for me who just enjoyed the quiet and beauty and muted colors of an autumn near ended and a winter near come, that are right in my back yard.
I am so blessed.