Big Bullfrog sunbathing
Tiny little butterfly
Spider waits for prey
A big wet critter across the raging waters of the Rio Grande on the now flooded sandbar.
We went out for a walk on the ditch banks and river just before sunset. When the sunset turned out to be on the lame side, we walked over to the edge of the Rio Grande about 10 minutes after sunset. I could see a large critter across the river on the flooded sandbar, but with the light fading quickly, I couldn't really see the critter clearly, even through my telephoto lens. I assumed it was a beaver, but it looked to be the size of a pig. I bumped up the ISO, and clicked away. A pair of geese landed upstream of the beaver, so he dove underwater, popped back up about a twenty feet downstream, and swam toward a fallen tree laying in the water on the sandbar. I moved over so I could see around a bush, and when the leaves crunched beneath my feet, he dove again. When he came back up another twenty feet or so down stream, he stood half submerged on the flooded sandbar and looked at us for a moment, shifted position and stood still, half submerged, just looking at us as from across the river as darkness fell all around.
A Tree floating by while the beaver stands in the shallows on the sandbar.
The beaver dove under water and came up a little downstream. His back is to the camera, but the log gives some sense of scale.
This is the same log a couple of days ago when the river was about a foot lower and the sandbar wasn't flooded.
Geese standing on the edge of the flooded sandbar about 100 feet upstream of the beaver.
Whatever is equivalent to the Loch Ness monster swam by us in the waning light.
Standing half submerged on the flooded sandbar looking at us standing on the other side of the river.
Shifted his position and watched us until we walked off into the darkness.
Time to dust off the turntable
I celebrated Record Store Day by going to Charley's 33's & CD's on the corner of Menaul and Pennsylvania to see what they were doing to celebrate Record Store Day. The owner informed me that I missed all the action, as people lined up around the store before it open at 11:00 AM this morning, and bought up all the Record Store Day specials by noon. Unfortunately, I couldn't get there by 11:00 AM, because I was finding and repairing a leak in the pump house (that's another story for another day). However, it was still a celebration to visit Charley's, talk to the owner and hear stories about Record Store Day and their 30 years in business. Charley's 33's & CD's is a huge store, taking up four retail spaces, and they have a large inventory of LP records, 45's, CD's, cassette tapes, posters, tapestry, clothing and record store paraphernalia. Walking into Charley's took me back a few decades and brought back memories of when I was a teenager and buying the latest hit release was fun and exciting.
As I got older, and we wanted a bouncy dance floor in the house, records became more of a burden — our good turntable took up a lot of space, plus the records would skip when we danced, so I had to record the vinyl to cassette tape; therefore, Laurie and I were very excited when Compact Discs came available and we got into CD's early on — I think we bought our first CD player and CD's in 1984. I remember people telling us at that time that getting into CD's was silly because they wouldn't catch on. I said there would come a day when records wouldn't be available. That day came a lot sooner than I ever expected, but there has always been a small niche market for used vinyl — as I mentioned, Charley's has been in business for the past 30 years; however, new vinyl is making a comeback as people who want the superior fidelity of vinyl seek it out, but now people who want the cool factor and physical asset of a vinyl record are bringing records back into style. I read an article about Record Store Day that said vinyl has become a billion dollar industry again. I sill get email from Disc Makers from the days when we were mass producing music CD's for a local musician, and Disc Makers are producing vinyl again — they have lots of information about how to put together recordings suitable for vinyl.
Nowadays, I'm happy with digital music, although my first choice is listening to it through our old stereo and a pair of speakers I built when I was designing and building speakers back in the late 1970's. I have not heard very many commercial speakers that sound better than the pair I built. While I still have boxes and boxes of cassettes tapes, and nothing to play them in, I gave my vinyl collection and good turntable to Tristan — she has room to store the records, young ears to appreciate the fidelity of vinyl, and our record collection is still in the family. While I'm not one who consumes vinyl records, I still do film photography, so I understand the physical asset of a process that has also been consumed by the digital world. Sometimes, those old, physical products and processes are so much more magical and comforting than what can be a cold and lonely digital abyss in cyberspace.
If you missed getting out to a record store for Record Store Day, you can still celebrate at Amazon and purchase the Keepsake album by Lavinia Ross, available in streaming, MP3 and CD, and/or Billy Momo's latest album Seven Rivers Wild, available in MP3, CD and Vinyl.
A funny thing happened on my way to the record store
Charley's Music Co. T-Shirts + Posters in neon
Record Store Day Specials pretty much sold out in the first hour
Vinyl is groovy
Charley's has lots and lots of space
Cassette tapes and Heavy Metal tapestries
Posters and clothing
Rows and rows of music
What's a record store without Alfred E. Neuman in the window?
Charley's 33's & CD's and Records, Tapes, CD's, Posters, Tapestries, Stickers and Picture Discs takes up four store fronts.
Fishes frolicked in the shallows
Splashing spirals colors rippled
Fluid gems against currents swim
Flowers danced in winds at dusk
Glowed against consuming darkness
Snaggletoothed daffy awaits its prey
Sunshine filtered lights Sandias
X hangs under falling blues
Pastel brushes painted darkened skies
I know for sure that this car is a Ford Mustang. I pretty sure its model year is 1969, and the hood scoop indicates it has a 351 cubic inch engine. If indeed it has a 351 cubic inch engine, which I really have no reason to doubt, then what I don't know is whether the 351 is a Cleveland or a Windsor; however, if I had to make an educated guess based on the looks of the car, I would guess it has a 351 Cleveland. The 351 Cleveland delivers more horsepower and can run at higher RPMs than the 351 Windsor, because the Cleveland has larger intake ports than the Windsor, and oversized canted valves. This Mustang has a high performance look about it that leads one believe it has a 351 Cleveland under the hood.
Doves on the fence just outside the window teasing Spunk
Sasha outside looking in
The dove's view of Spunk
No clouds, high water, light pink on the Sandias
No clouds sunset
The neighbor's cat reminds me of Sylvester.
I got my shots today, which included: Hepetitis B Vaccine, Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine, Pneumococcal Polyvalent Vaccine, Diptheris, Tetnus, Acellular Pertussis and Polio Vaccine. Both arms are sore and I'm having cold-like symptoms, which are probably a slight reaction to the vaccines. In two months I'll get another round of vaccines.
Geese flying to the Rio Grande at dusk.
What I thought had potential to be a spectacular sunset, ended up a decent dusk.
Prepared for battle, backs to the sun
The phalanx stood before me
Hundreds of tall, thin wooden warriors
Against sharp spikes and fingers that scratched
I mounted my attack, into a blinding sun
One by one, wooden warriors fell
One-hundred, two-hundred, three-hundred, more
I cut them down and laid them low
They fought until they hit the ground
They scratched, they poked, they cut
Sweat mixed with blood stung my wounds
Red drops fell on wooden warriors
I piled one on top of another
I felled the last one standing
Victorious, I turned and walked away
I had to cut down the elm trees and wild plums so I could have access to the irrigation ditch. An annual battle I fight against these fast growing trees.
Easter Bunny out at sunrise
Started to hop off when I got too close
And quickly got into full bunny run
Sleepy Orange butterfly and lizard running by
Common Buckeye butterfly
I couldn't find this tiny butterfly to identify it. It's probably a Hairstreak butterfly of some type.
Flycatcher alone on a branch
Surprise! A large bullfrog pops his head out of the water the instance the flycatcher takes off
Hmmm! Looks like a little hanky-panky going on down there!
The shady side of Susan's east wall turned out to be a hot spot for a lizard hook-up this morning. I drove Susan to an early morning eye appointment. After we got back from her appointment, we sat out on her back porch and visited, watched the birds, and enjoyed coffee and Susan's delicious banana bread. I looked across the yard and saw two Southwestern Fence Lizards scurry halfway down the wall, just above the woodpile, where they began messing around, as it were. I snuck up on them and got photos while they were preoccupied. Afterward, they just hung out on top of the wall and let me click away — they seemed quite satisfied and happy with themselves.
Well I never...
When Bruce and I were in the parking area under Civic Plaza photographing the supports, Bruce suggested we go through the Galería on our way out. That seemed like a good idea. I haven't been in the Galería in years even though I pass by it at least once a week walking around downtown. I never go into the Galería because I have no need to — apparently, nobody else has much need to go into the Galería either, because it's basically empty. Most of the spaces are vacant, and I only saw a couple of people in the area while I was photographing it. The fountain is dry, the escalators are off, blocked by planters, and they create an "X" blocking an easy exit to the ground floor above — in order get out of the Galería, we had to either go back through the garage the way we came in, or find our way to the end with the gym and exit at the kiosk on Second Street.
Running on empty, the architectural shapes are interesting, and photogenic with no one in them. Coming in from the parking area under Civic Plaza, passing through the long tunnel becomes dreamlike as you enter into a silent, empty space that should be filled with the sounds of people getting on with their business, shopping, enjoying a meal, sitting at tables and visiting over coffee in the commons, riding up and down the escalators on their way in and out of the Galería, a place that should be teaming with energy and life. But you stand alone, in silence, in a perfectly preserved place, like there's not a living soul around, except you.
Slippery slider sunning itself.
While I was out walking on the bank of the clearwater ditch, I spied at a distance what looked like it could be a turtle sunning itself. I snuck up on it and got one shot of it sunning before it dove into the water and swam under the moss. Almost as quickly as it slipped away, it resurfaced to check me out and see if I was really a threat. Even though I stood perfectly still, it probably heard the shutter on my camera, because it ducked back underwater and buried itself in the mud on the bottom of the ditch. I continued on my walk, and then stopped on my way back and looked for the slider. I discovered it had moved under a bit of mud near a log that had one end stuck in the mud and the other end exposed at the surface. I stood and watched for some time, and it finally poked its head out, swam under the log and peeked out from the other side. I thought it might crawl up on the log, but it either noticed the sound of my shutter or the sound of people walking and talking rather loudly on the irrigation ditch, and it dove underwater and disappeared on the other side of the log.
Checking me out after slipping into the water and coming back up from under the moss.
Burying itself in the mud.
Trying to look like a rock under a clump of mud.
Looking around to see if the coast or ditch bank is clear.
Making its move.
slipping under the log.
Checking out the scenery before slipping back into the water and disappearing behind the log.
The fountain is behind the "Hard Hats Required..." sign.
How do you go about preparing to tear out a leaky old fountain so the city can replace it with a children's play area, bleachers and a large screen TV? First you fence off the area you are going to demolish. Second you erect a forest of supports on the two parking levels under the area that is fenced off on the plaza so the heavy equipment your crew will be using to tear down the fountain doesn't crash through the ceilings of the two parking levels and end up 20 feet under the plaza.
Half of the fountain shows on the right side of the photo.
Fence and supports
A sweeping view of the supports behind the fence with the Construction Supervisor's desk and chair in the center.