Viking Rider

Viking Rider

Damsel captured this photo as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot yesterday. The rider’s helmet made me think of what I imagine the Vikings might have worn for headgear. The motorcycle and sidecar are an unusual sight in this part of the world; it is a classic Russian IMZ-Ural.

From Wikipedia:

IMZ-Ural is a Russian maker of heavy sidecar motorcycles.

In 1940, the Soviet Union acquired the design and production techniques for BMW R71 motorcycles and sidecars.The first M-72 model was finished in 1941. Originally, factories were to be located in Moscow, Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), and Kharkov, but due to the approach of Nazi German troops, the Moscow facilities were moved to Irbit, and the Leningrad and Kharkov facilities to Gorkiy (now called Nizhny Novgorod).

The origins of the IMZ-Ural are linked to developments in the Eastern Front during World War II. The Soviet Union was preparing for possible military action by Nazi Germany. Joseph Stalin ordered the Soviet military to prepare in all possible areas, including the ground forces that would be defending the Soviet Union against invading German tanks and infantry. Mobility was especially stressed after the Soviet Union had witnessed the effect of the blitzkrieg on Poland.

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Other than the headgear on the rider, the man’s vest is also interesting. The patch on his right side is the combat service identification badge of the US Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. On the left side of the vest are more patches and decorations, most of which I can’t make out from the photo. However, there are also military service ribbons. I can’t tell if one of them is a Vietnam service ribbon, again due to resolution issues.

The Viking Rider mounted his unique vehicle and was gone before I could ask about the motorcycle and thank him for his service. Maybe we will see him again. He won’t be hard to notice.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Mule Deer Sighting

Doe
 
Fawn

We don’t often see the local mule deer since they keep mostly out of sight. Today, however, one of the dogs got my attention to look out front. I saw the doe in the top image. She was standing pretty still, so I got a camera and took the top photo from the courtyard.

I then realized that the deer think our lemon tree leaves are a delicacy since we see evidence of them nibbling on it. I looked over at the lemon tree just in time to see a couple of fawns that were there take off. I got a fairly decent photo of one of them about to leap the back wall. The other was too far up the hill behind the creosote and other brush to get much of a photo.

Once both fawns were up on the hill, the mama doe easily leapt over the neighbor’s four foot wire fence and proceeded to join the little ones. They all disappeared from sight after that. Click on either image to (slightly) enlarge.

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Thirteenth Blogaversary

thirteen.gifWell, here we are at another year milestone for the Cap’n Bob & the Damsel Blog. Thirteen years ago in September, we began posting about our Perspectives on Life and Politics. I’m not sure about the exact date we started, since some early posts were lost, but the first day of fall should be close enough.

We started this back in 2005 prior to retirement. I seemed to have a lot more time to blog back then before becoming ‘busy’ in the after work life.

We might have slowed down in posting, but the world and it’s myriad of fake news, political asshattery, and steady stream Constitutional abuse has not. We may not post often about those things, but we notice and are otherwise politically active behind the scenes.

We will continue posting when we feel the need for it and because The Wandering Minstrel is now permanently offline, all the posts about classics, firearms, notions and otherwise will be posted here, probably resulting in more activity on this site. Stay tuned for the next thirteen years.

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Sphinx Moth and Red Bird of Paradise

Sphinx Moth

Last evening at dusk, I was in the courtyard photographing the sunset colors. I turned around toward the Red Bird of Paradise shrubs and saw several hummingbird moths browsing the flowers. I got the close-up above of one of the moths.

Hummingbird moths are actually an entire family of moths called Sphinx Moths. Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths) contains a very large number of related sub-families and species.

From the Butterflies and Moths of North America website:

The Sphingidae belong to the Superfamily Sphingoidea. Members of this family are commonly called “hummingbird,” “sphinx,” or “hawk” moths, and some can be mistaken for hummingbirds. Most are medium to large moths, with heavy bodies; wingspread reaches 5 inches or more in some species. The Sphingidae are strong and fast fliers, with a rapid wingbeat. Most species in the group are active at dusk, and most feed much like hummingbirds, hovering in front of a flower and sipping nectar through the extended proboscis. The proboscis rolls up when not in use. Some species lack scales on large portions of their wings, resulting in transparent or clear wings. In most species, the larval stage is called a “hornworm” because the caterpillar’s posterior end has a harmless hook or hornlike appendage protruding upward. Unfortunately, the caterpillar of some species can be very destructive to agricultural crops and ornamental plantings

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Alex Turns Four

Alex Turns Four

Our eldest great grandchild, Alex, had his fourth birthday today. We sent him a birthday package via USPS and our granddaughter took these pictures of him opening his gifts. They live in Northern California.

He is at an age where he understands the concepts of birthday and who sent him presents. His mother says he really liked our presents.

The gifts were a Fire Tablet and Headphones. The interactive nature of the tablet should help him learn things as well as him playing games on it.

We have three great grandchildren now. Alex, his little brother, Mikey, and Maci, our great granddaughter whose mother is the second eldest of out three grandchildren. Maci will be two in April and Mikey celebrates his first birthday in November.

Our grandson, Jerry, just turned three in August. Jerry also got a Fire Tablet and Headphones. We were able to give Jerry his gifts in person, since his parents visited us here in Arizona in August.

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Palo Verde Tree Rescue

Small Palo Verde Startup In its new spot

During an afternoon walk, I noticed a small palo verde tree growing on the shoulder of the road out front. I made a mental note to remove the tree from that location due to proximity to road traffic. In a couple of years it would likely have grown out into the roadway.

In discussions with Damsel, we decided to relocate the tiny tree to our rock and cactus garden on the west side away from the RV drive. If the little tree survives the transplant, we will be able to prune it into a nice addition to the garden. It can be made to look like an attractive tree, like so many in Arizona xeriscapes managed by homeowners and landscapers.

I took my spade and carefully loosened the dirt around the little tree, trying to preserve most of the roots. I dug a hole in the west garden and lowered the tree into it. I brushed the soil from the hole over the roots and the lower part of the trunk. We doused it with a gallon of water, hoping that would ease the shock to the transplanted tree.

The two images above are the before and after. Click on either image to enlarge.

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Grumpy Veteran T-Shirt

Grumpy Veteran T-Shirt

I have a new acquisition to my T-Shirt collection. The words and images on the back of it say it all from my perspective. And, it’s true that I was born in July. Click on the image to enlarge.

I found it in an ad on the FecesBook™ website and Damsel said I NEEDED to get it. So I did. It was a little spendy, but it is now mine to be worn on whatever occasions for which it may be suitable. I’m not trying to pick a fight, but won’t back down from one either.

Most of the time I am not actually grumpy, but that mood gets set into motion when really stupid people do stupid stuff. It could be in traffic, in the supermarket aisle, or practically anywhere else. As we have said in the past, “STUPID SHOULD HURT.”

Image courtesy of The Damsel.

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