Anna’s Dive: The sound of Spring

The  trill of the Swainson’s Thrush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpLnRUnoJNQ

The Song of the  Goldfinch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bG0NslD3HM

Some of my favorites for sure, but the  best for me,   is best described as the squeak of a frightened mouse on  a cartoon..  for the longest time  I could not figure out what made the sounds,  once I did I was astonished!    The Anna’s hummingbird mating  dive…  and the sound isn’t  from his mouth!  Quite the Opposite!  OK not  truly the opposite, but close enough! It’s from the tail feathers as they flare out at the end of it’s high speed dive bomb run. Continue reading

~ short stories vol 3 “Pole”

Sitting in the  car, engine thrumming, a deep rumble.   The field is  behind me, when  the green flies  I will be leading the Nascar Exide Short Track drivers into the first turn.

Over the  motors I can hear the roar of the crowd and even hear my name called out as they go through the field on the  track PA system.  My nerves are on fire with excitement, and a  touch of fear.

The  flag-man gives the signal for us to do the pace laps,  the pace car pulls away and I follow.  Weaving the car side to side to get some heat in the tires.  They  are a special compound that  sticks to the asphalt  when warm.

The turns are  really just one  long curve if you’re looking at the  3/8ths  mile oval  from  above,  but from behind the wheel   it is  at least 4 turns.

The pace laps done, we  get the signal  one lap before green.  Gripping the wheel we  follow the pace car into turn one, turn two,  the pace car pulls off  on the backstretch  into pit lane.  I’m now leading the field of 20 cars. I pick up  the pace  as we  enter  turn three.

Off of turn four   I see the green flag waving and  mat the  pedal,  the car lurches forward, gripping the wheel  I   let off the gas, touch the brakes and lean into turn one, a glance at the mirror shows chaos  behind,  in my right peripheral I see  the second place starter   pull ahead of me on the outside as we  go into turn two.

Exiting turn two onto the backstretch,  cars are now starting to pass me on both sides.  This track doesn’t do  three wide very well. I back off the gas and   get to the top groove and out of  three wide before we hit turn four.

Several  cars are now in front of me as we cross the start/finish line.  I see them  starting into turn one  a car spinning, another one collected in  the spin,  I let off the throttle, my  left foot jamming on the brake.  Cut the wheel to the right  to head to the top side of the self-cleaning track.  I come to a stop a foot away from another car broadside in front of me.   Just long enough to catch a  breath and  think YES! I missed it!

Crunch, bang, shit.   I guess not everyone got the memo that there was a wreck in turn one. Yeah I  missed it but  it didn’t miss me.  Two cars  slam into either side of mine, one in my right rear, not a big deal, the other   into my left front tire.  We sit waiting for the  track to clear, my car still running.  I  don’t know how bad the damage is yet.

The track clears, I put the car in gear and  pull away.  The sound is horrendous and the steering  isn’t very responsive.   The car won’t turn left, thankfully   I am near pit lane and  can just pull off and into the pits.

My day is done, I’m not sure I like this  format of having the slowest qualifier start at the front of the field.

 

Spring is Sprung!

Spring is  definitely here.  It has been for a few weeks now in Western, Washington.  Typically I know  by the return of the swallows,   but they haven’t shown up yet this year.    But  Spring has  Sprung!

The  front walkway is  bathed in the scent of  Hyacinth with it’s pink and  purple flowers.  Buds are  opening on all the trees with many in full bloom.  If that alone doesn’t convince you, we’ve have temperatures in the mid-sixties for over a week!  The weather has been  extremely mild this winter and  I fear we are in for a   hot and  smoky  summer. But for now it is  Spring with all the refresh  that it provides the soul. Continue reading

~Short Stories vol 2 “That’s Bull”

As I hiked through the  deep snow, trying to be as quiet as possible,  I was  shaken from the winter silence  by  a crunch. The sound  was up slope from me.  I  stopped in my tracks holding my breath and  trying to focus on the sound’s location but it had ceased. I had to wait, though waiting meant  having the cold set in.  The sweat under my clothes would begin to freeze  soon but I had no choice.

The minutes passed, I slowly exhaled.  My frozen breath lingering in the air. That’s a good thing, no wind.  It’s only  midday but  up here, the minutes can quickly  turn into hours  and  the daylight doesn’t last long  this time of year.

Crunch, Crunch I Hear it again!  My heart speeds up,  I  scan  through the Douglas Firs and Alders looking for the source  but seeing nothing.

There’s  movement out of the corner of my eye!  45 degrees uphill to my right.  I  slowly  turn my head, my face covered in camouflage paint shouldn’t draw attention.  I see tan through the trees.  The minutes are flying by  now,  my breathing slows as I see the  deep brown and the ivory colors I’ve been searching  years  to find.

I prepare my bow, slowly  I draw back. Looking down the shaft of the arrow I see the exact spot , the perfect shot  just behind the  front leg.  The Elk is  facing slightly uphill and  I have  a shooting lane through the  trees. The perfect bow hunting  scenario.

Deep breath in, hold it, exhale,  I blink and the  bull turns his  head towards me as if he could feel my eyes  on him.   I see he is at least 6 points of magnificence on  both sides with the tips of his antlers  easily 8 feet off the ground.

I unconsciously  shudder, the arrow falls off the rest.  The tiniest of sounds, but the Bull knows it didn’t belong, he  gives out one long snort and  in a cloud of snow dust he is gone.

His breath and mine linger in the mountain air as I contemplate the story, one  that no one will believe.

~Short Stories vol 1 “Incoming!”

Kicking off  a new section for  “fictional”  short stories..  Here’s one to start us off..

“Incoming!”

“General Quarters, General Quarters! All hands man your battle stations! Up and Forward to starboard, down and aft to port! Set material condition ZEBRA throughout the ship! All hands set MOPP level 4! This is not  a drill”

“Multiple Vampires inbound. All hands brace for impact” Continue reading

Dreams

As most of my loyal readers know or have figured out, I have PTSD. I’ve had it and dealt with it for many years. I’ve tried many less than effective “treatments” over the years. Some not so smart, but that was before I really knew what it was that was “wrong with me…. After my actual diagnosis, I tired medication but didn’t care for how it made me feel… then I just tried to deal with it on my own, that didn’t work so well. I lived with it and helped other people and animals as much I could. Now that I can’t even do that, except through online activities ( I do hope to get back to being able to physically do some more work with wildlife and people again in the future) I am really feeling the depression side of the “disorder”. But unlike a lot of people, and unlike a younger dumber me, I am getting real help now… talking with a counselor, getting EMDR therapy, and looking into natural as well as maybe chemical assistance ( not alcohol or drugs sheesh… medication if necessary – going to work with a naturopath first). OK so enough of THAT nightmare stuff… let’s get to something a little more uplifting – Hopes and Dreams….

Continue reading

This Land is OUR Land

I took a   road trip in August for a day, the purpose of the trip was to see my   current favorite band: The Paul Thorn Band. I went and met some dear friends there, and had a more than fantastic time! I’ll post some pictures, video and thoughts on that later. The following day, I was heading home when I saw a sign for a National Wildlife refuge, I had nothing but time so I decided to take a detour, the scenic route, the road less traveled. The temperature the day before was 106 degrees, and shooting for 100 again on this day, it was already in the 80s so I didn’t have too long to go in the “cooler” morning air so I pulled off and parked. I grabbed the camera, a bottle of water and started walking through the sage and sand of the high desert.   It is located along a beautiful waterway , the Walla Walla River, a feeder into the Columbia in the spot where 3 rivers meet , the Snake and the Walla Walla draining into the mighty Columbia. It’s an amazing place, and I hope to someday make a longer trip to explore the beauty. For now I   will just share   some thoughts and    photos of the couple hours I spent in the Madame Dorian use area of the Wallula unit in th   McNary National Wildlife Refuge http://www.fws.gov/refuge/McNary/ Continue reading

#icebucketchallenge

I have been challenged by a few folks to do the #icebucketchallenge that has gone more than viral…. That’s a great thing right?   The fact that it went viral on social media and has raised awareness for ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease – Awesome! At any given time in the USA more than 30,000 people have this disease and more than 5000 people die from it each year. There is no doubt it is a terrible disease. I accepted the  challenge(s), of course…… Continue reading

Don’t doubt Mother Nature

Never Give up, Never surrender.. ..   That’s my phrase of the month…   There are many reasons for that.. from my health, to my job… to    so many juvenile eagles that I “know”… I’m not going to dwell or really elaborate on the former, but on the latter, The Eagles   well duh, of course I’ll elaborate thanks for asking 😉 ….

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70th Anniversay of D-Day – 6/6/14 – Thank you

One hundred and fifty THOUSAND , yes 150,000… that is how many allied troops stormed the beaches on June 6th , 1944….70 years ago…. To some that seems like a long time. In the  grand scheme of things it wasn’t that long ago  in historical terms… However,  I can’t imagine being a child in today’s world and being able to fathom the enormity of  war on that scale…. I started life at the end of the US involvement in the  conflict in Vietnam where we had over 500,000 troops deployed with nearly 60,000 US troops killed in action that is for the entire period of time from when US Ground forces  landed at Danang in 1965 until our withdrawal in 1973 …. That is 8 years…. But D-Day (and all of WWII) is a completely different beast! Continue reading

Congratualtions Letter to our youngest (Where has the time gone?!)

Dearest Easton,

Today you  complete a journey of 12 years, they seem long to you now, but one day you’ll look back and say wow that flew by! As I sit here, after just saying good bye, good luck and I love you  to you as you head off to school for your oral board,  I look back and wonder where has the time gone?   Continue reading

My Sochi Boycott

I love the  Olympics… I was  brought up  watching them. Passionately rooting on  the USA and our  Athletes.  As you all know I’m patriotic….  And while I don’t  think the Olympics  should be used for political purposes it’s  a  fact  that   they always have in modern days. I’m no  Olympic  Historian  but this year,   I have to take a stand….   I am boycotting  the  Sochi Winter  Olympics 2014  including  any coverage  or sponsors of it…  Continue reading

Hummers

First post of 2014.. what should it be…..hmmm…hmmmm…oooh I know, Hummers!!! Who doesn’t love a hummer? If you don’t love Hummers there’s something wrong with you in my opinion… everyone loves them… even people who say they don’t like them secretly do…and there are some people that really shouldn’t like them but yep they do too…. How can you not??? Hummers are fun, usually they are fast, sometimes they linger… you each know your favorite hummer… sometimes they get in your face… even in your hair if it’s long… sometimes you love to watch them, sometimes just knowing they are there getting the nectar puts a smile on your face. Sadly though there aren’t enough people in the upper US that get them all the time… year round… sometimes they hardly get them at all…… I feel sad for those people because I can tell you I get them year round… Different types depending on the type of year but my favorite kind I get alllllllll year round… Continue reading

Ripples

**WARNING –  Seriously  this is  a real WARNING**  –  the below  post contains some  very graphic language, and  depictions of traumatic, tragic  and disturbing  events including death and destruction.  Please  read at your  own  discretion** Continue reading

I’ve got worms….

Yep you  read it  right…. I’ve  got worms  and now I have  beetles too!!  Which  can only mean 1  thing!   Soon I’ll  have more  worms  yippeee…… You all remember the old song  no body  loves me everybody hates me  guess I’ll  go eat worms?   I remember my Mom  singing that  in a joking way  when giving us  pity parties as children… ( if you don’t know what a  pity party is well  you didn’t  grow up right LOL) ….. Continue reading