Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ABC Wednesday--C is for

What incredible timing that just ready for ABC Wednesday reaching the letter C in the tenth round I have:

A cowgirl

A cowboy
Cows and a cattledog

along with News Cameras to record

A Cattle Drive

I teased the two young reporters that if they were going to stand side by side to film the event, then their two competing stations would have identical images. They laughed, and said "Just don't tell the boss." The news car from the third local station came rushing up after the drive took its break and were off down the road again. That station broadcast pictures of the rear ends of the last of the cows going around the bend.

We became aware of the cattle drive, an annual event which takes the herd down out of one range area back to the ranch, by listening to the radio report from a traffic advisory sign the previous day. While most people hearing that report might plan an alternative route to avoid delays, my reaction was to get my camera and get going.

We found that we weren't the only ones choosing the Big Pines Recreation Area as a vantage point. It sits halfway on the route between milepost 7 Burbank Creek Rd. and milepost 13 Eaton Ranch.

I parked my sit-upon on one of those big rocks and checked out my view.  Nothing yet on the road.
 And then we saw them,  called out to the others below in the parking area--come on, here they come.
 Led by a pickup. An older woman in the back tossed out some hay from time to time if the herd was faltering. Ranch women do not retire--marrying a rancher is a lifetime commitment, not just to the marriage, but to the ranch.
 Riders ahead of the herd were checking out the best place to come down into the rest area. When we chose Big Pines, we didn't realize we would be sharing the rest and recreation area with the herd.
 The route selected, they turned to direct the cattle.
 This way.
 OK, here we come.
 All of us.
 "Hey, Elsie. Do you know where we are supposed to go now?"
 Here are some of the cars that did not listen to the traffic advisory experiencing some delay.
 "Hey Elsie, did you know we were going to have a picnic here?"

Time to move on.

Back up to the road and on to the ranch.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Odd Shot in the Snow

When you are tired of plain ordinary snowmen, here is an idea.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sunday's Psalm--Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.

  If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.

  If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,

Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works."
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Whose turn is it to choose the theme for the Headbangers this week?

Surprise! It's your turn. It wasn't really but once again some switching around had been done and it truly was a surprise to me. And the team really had to be informed, so what better theme under the circumstances than "Surprise!"

And honestly, I had no idea what to post in my header for the theme. And almost no better idea this morning as I prepared my ABC Wednesday post below. (Dave, if you are reading this, you had better scroll down to the next post as it is at your request.)

As I did that post I remembered how surprised I was as that balloon rose directly over our heads. Why was I surprised? What did I expect? Not sure, but I do know I was not expecting this blast right then. Did you know that the blast of the heaters is quite loud?  Maybe that is what was surprising.
I cropped it to fit my header style. It might do.

Then the weekend came and after a movie (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close with it's theme based around someone lost in the World Trade Center on 9/11 could have been maudlin, but it is instead quite awesome. See it.) I digress, after the movie we finally had a chance to try the new Texas Roadhouse restaurant --earlier visits either found them closed because we were too early, or with an hour and a half wait time on New Year's Day. We were enjoying quite delicious kabobs and hearing several birthday celebrations around the room when

Dope slap!!!

It's hubby's birthday (well, not quite but the Monday.)

So I got up to go to the Ladies' Room. Well, that's what hubby thought, and I didn't lie, I did go. But on my way I nabbed our waitress and told her, and so, in a few minutes here they came with a saddle on a sawhorse. "Huh, what's this? I don't understand." I really got him. I really got him. 


Which was the best surprise possible and I am glad that I caught it with my new cell phone. I texted it to my daughter who e-mailed it to me, which is pretty much the only way to get pictures off the stupid phone.

I am glad that I got a picture, but  it is truly a lousy picture that I will not use in my header. I have my standards as to the quality of my header photos and the shape of them. I insist that the header does not take up so much space that you can't see the start of the posts below.

So I still needed a surprise header. What surprises recently? Surprise, it's a cancer of the blood! No, not quite right for a header. Surprise, it snowed? No, that doesn't work. Snow is not that much of a surprise. An upside down snowman was cute--hubby is taking a picture of it for me today as it is in the next town and he has errands there. I will save it for my next Odd Shot--unless the message comes back, surprise, it melted.

So a happy surprise for me last year was an invitation to join hundreds of TCs from across the world at Google Headquarters for a Summit. Wow! You know, you get all sorts of scams and spams in e-mail--most filtered out by the spam filters. But no, this was legit. And so, my representation of my surprise in the header, the Google bikes that employees  (known as googlers) ride when they have to go from one part of the Googleplex to another. Googlers, unlike myself, are young and fit. And so these surprising bikes represent my surprising invitation. Thanks Google!

I have to add the surprising comment when my four year old granddaughter asked me why my T-Shirt said Google on it. I told her it was a souvenir from when I visited Google. Her surprising reaction? GRANDMA, you can't go to Google. It's in the computer!

Oh, by the way, check on the other headbangers and see what surprised them. Their links are in my sidebar.

ABC-Wednesday B is for

 A couple of weeks ago, when I used the photographers at the Prosser Balloon Rally last September for my Photograph the Photographer header, headbanger Dave (who was the one who found nine photographers in the shot) commented: It'll be interesting to see all the balloons in flight that these avid photographers are taking pictures of.

So, Dave, here you are. I don't think I have ever put quite this many photos in one post before, but they show why so many photographers were so intent. If you ever get a chance to go to a balloon rally, don't forget your camera.

ABC Wednesday Round Ten--B is for Balloons--the hot air kind--in abundance.

We begin with the balloon laid out carefully on a tarp. I followed this balloon through its inflation and launch, and was surprised to realize that it was the first to rise.   

fasten the vents

check everything



the light of the heat blast

Hold on


another blast

neighbor's up now too


did you notice how small those baskets are? (Couldn't help it--another B)


keep the hot air coming

Other balloons join the first.

There are some of our photographers.

So, as I say, if you go to a balloon rally, take the camera. Photograph the Photographers, and don't forget to photograph the balloons. As if you could forget. In fact, if you weren't planning on going to a balloon rally, find one. It's fascinating. And you will have a B for the next round of ABC Wednesday.