Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Category

Cloudless Arizona Skies

Monday, November 1st, 2021

GOES East Image 10-28-21

The skies are a little cloudy today, although over the weekend and a couple of days before that, there were no visible clouds over Arizona and much of the Southwest. I captured the GOES East image above last Thursday and cropped/resized it for this post.

Observing the cloud free image reveals some interesting things that can be seen from the satellite. You may have to click on the image to enlarge it to be able to see what I’m going to mention below.

First, in the upper left corner of the image, snow on the Sierra Nevada mountains is visible next to the Owens Valley in California. To the South, you can see the Salton Sea located in Riverside and Imperial Counties. Southeast of the Salton Sea across the Arizona/Mexico border in Sonora is a darker area which is Pinacate Peaks volcanic area just north of the Gulf of California, the north shores of which is at the bottom of the image.

Now, going north along the CA/AZ border (the Colorado River), you eventually come to Lake Mohave on the NV/AZ border. Then, continue up to Lake Mead where the river turns to the east along the border. Lake Mead shows as a couple of blue blobs but it is actually one body of water partially obscured by the overlaid graphic representing the border.

The dark area about one third of the way across Arizona’s north border is the Kaibab National Forest which extends southward to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon which can be seen between Kaibab Plateau and the forests of the South Rim below the Canyon.

The dark areas extending south and east below the Grand Canyon are the forested areas of Arizona. The north boundaries of these forests form a semi circular feature which is the Mogollon Rim (say “muggy-yon”). This forms the boundary between the forests and colorful high desert areas of Arizona. We can personally tell you that the scenery up on the Rim is extremely nice.

Moving over into New Mexico, we have a couple of notable features. The white spot in lower central NM is White Sands National Park. Also visible is the Rio Grande River which can be seen flowing from the west Texas town of El Paso up through Albuquerque and although not seen in this image, into southern Colorado.

I like it when the clouds part and I can see all these features and more.

ISP Software Upgrade Progress: I have started migrating our personal family blog to the new software. Progress is impeded by daily life events – dogs – family – home chores – blogging – and the like. I should have a report about the Cap’n Bob site soon.

2021 Wickenburg Fly-In and Car Show

Saturday, October 9th, 2021

1975 Bellanca Citabria 1958 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside Pickup Truck

The Damsel and I deliberately got up at the crack of dawn this morning to attend the 26th Annual Fly-In and Classic Car Show held at our local airport. This should have been the 27th Annual show except that last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic DEM Panic.

The show was well attended by quantities of classic cars and fly-in aircraft plus the folks driving in. There have been bigger shows in the past, but this one was pretty good. Nobody was wearing the face diapers mandated by some not-so-free places so it seemed like the past shows we have attended.

The images above are (1) a 1975 Bellanca Citabria and (2) a 1958 Chevrolet Apache Pickup Truck. These were two of many aircraft and cars on display and my favorites of the show, although it was hard to pick just these two since there were so many cool displays. The Citabria, formerly manufactured by Champion Aircraft Corp., is among my favorites since I learned to do aerobatics and got my flight instructor rating in a Champ Citabria (airbatic spelled backwards). The Chevy just looked clean and had a cool paint job. Click on either image to enlarge.

Retirement Day!

Friday, October 1st, 2021

WanderlustOn this day, October 1, 2021, we’re celebrating our twelfth year of permanent retirement. I say permanent because this date is actually my second retirement, the first being ten years prior to 2009. To make a long story short, we retired rather than take a layoff in 1999 due to a manpower reduction. I immediately found another job at a competitive company to the one from which I had retired which eventually was acquired by my first company. Thus, I retired from the same company twice and now receive two pensions from them.

IMAGE: Thor Palazzo Motorhome ready to roll. Click on the image to enlarge.

In our retirement post last year, we mentioned hitting the road sometime in 2021, but that has not happened (yet). We did not go anywhere in the spring or summer in the big RV for various reasons, but the thinking now is to at least have a two or three-day excursion semi-local somewhere in Arizona. Since I am still healing up from hernia surgery, we need the surgeon’s go-ahead for that, but plan to get it done before it gets too cold for camping.

As far as keeping the RV ready for our next excursion, we have a routine where the engine gets started up and run for a while every week. We run the 6KW generator about once a month with a load, like both A/C units running. We currently have the black and gray tanks filled with a water-bleach solution which will be purged and prepared for use prior to our next run.

We’re thinking that our destination might be in the high desert north of the Mogollon Rim, perhaps Winslow, Holbrook, Homolovi SP and Petrified Forest NP. More on that when we make final plans.

So, join us in celebrating our twelfth AND twenty-second retirement anniversaries!

Labor Day 2021

Sunday, September 5th, 2021

Cardinal in Mesquite Tree

While the image above has nothing to do with it being a holiday, it reminds us of the constant array of natural wildlife that we observe here in our little corner of the Sonoran Desert. This is a male of the species Cardinalis Cardinalis or Northern Cardinal perched in our mesquite tree on the little hill behind our RV Drive. Click on the image to enlarge.

Back to the Labor Day topic – The holiday supposedly honors the work done by labor unions to improve life in America. Personally, I believe Americans in the workplace determined to do a good job, regardless of their affiliation with a union, are responsible for the success of our nation. During my careers in Aerospace, Electronics, Aviation and the Navy, we have observed good productivity regardless of the presence of a union in the workplace. Actually, my experience with unions has shown that productivity is decreased by some of their rigid rules in the workplace. YMMV.

goa-brace-feedback.jpgChanging the subject, have you made your comments in opposition to the ATF’s unconstitutional proposed rules for Pistol Stabilizing Braces? The Puppet in Chief’s flunkies have proposed to change the definition of sporting pistols with braces to “Short Barreled Rifles.” The rule, if adopted, would make up to 40,000,000 owners of Pistols to register them and pay the $200 NFA tax. Please go to this GOA website and make your comment in opposition to the rule. Note that while many are not affected by this rule change, that the ATF will likely continue down the path of making legal rifles and pistols similarly NFA items. This and the previously issued NPRM about homebuilt firearms cannot become enforceable. Just do it. The GOA site makes it a simple two minute job to oppose this unconstitutional rule. The QR Code at the right takes you to the GOA link.

In other news, I have been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. I will be having that surgically repaired in a few days, so your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Meanwhile, the Labor Day festivities here will be including Grilled Tri-Tip Steaks while Damsel is providing the Baked Beans and ‘Tater Salad on the side. We hope you enjoy your holiday as much as we will enjoy ours.

A Classic 1955 (or so) Ford V8 Utility Truck

Friday, July 9th, 2021

Ford Truck

In the old Minstrel blogging days when the site was still active, I would post Classic cars and trucks from time to time. We now post classics on this blog, but it has been a while. Part of the problem is the cancellation of some of our main car show events due to the DEMpanic pandemic. Hopefully, this year we will get back to normal with the shows.

Regardless of the absence of car shows, we see classic cars and trucks around town either on display like the truck above or on the road being driven by the owner. We see them but sometimes the camera isn’t ready. This time, however, Damsel was ready and captured the classic truck on the lot of our local Ford dealer as we passed out of town on our way for an appointment with the optician to get a new pair of prescription eyeglasses for her.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Spring Quail Chicks

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

Female and 2 chicks One of the Chicks

Mid afternoon, I was getting drowsy sitting at the desk, so I picked up my SL1 Canon and put the 400mm lens on it to go out and see what I could photograph in our busy little desert. Just as I came out of the back patio screen door, I noticed some quail and their chicks on the hill behind the RV drive. The photos above are of a mama and two of her chicks and a single chick. Click on either image to enlarge.

We have been seeing young quail for a few weeks now that the breeding season is in progress. The young birds leave the nest within the first day after hatching and follow their parents to places where they can forage for themselves. Quail do not feed their young so foraging is necessary for them to survive. The chicks are flightless for the first ten days or so, but shortly after that they can follow their parents as they fly up on the back retention wall behind our RV drive. We have seen a couple of broods back there which is entertaining to watch as the little ones, one by one, flit up to be with the others up on the wall.

You can read more about these interesting birds at All About Birds – Gambel’s Quail.

Photo Details: Cropped and resized by myself – Canon EOS REBEL SL1 – Normal Program Mode, 1/500 sec, F5.6, ISO320, Focal length 340mm. Lens model: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

There’s always something to photograph out here like Gila Woodpeckers, Cactus Fruit getting ripe and a Birdhouse I recently repaired and hung in a mesquite in the outback.

First 2021 Cherry Red Cactus Flowers

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Cherry Red Flowers

Our first of the season Cherry Red Cactus Flowers opened up today. These two are on top of the original “mama” cactus that we separated from her “pups” in October of 2018. This Trichocereus Grandiflorus cactus is just outside our courtyard gate where they are visible (like a hot red beacon) when approaching our place from the east.

Several of the pups are located in the courtyard in pots and one of them is in the ground not far from where the Mama is located. Most, if not all of them have flower buds which means we will be seeing more of these over the summer. Click on the image above to enlarge.