Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gosh it is warm

Forgot to send this. 29/08/09. 1;30pm It hit 118 in the shade, at 4:30 hit 124.37 in the shade. This is not a Radio shack weather station but a $6k linked to NBC weather station. See "weather bug" for instant Blythe weather ! Stay cool . roger

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The slow spiral into insanity

Well the school year starts tomorrow. I started a long missive discussing the stupidity of the pre-school, "Kumbya" meetings. Deleted it . Too depressing. So drop to your knees and be happy, for I will not subject thee my readers !
The first day as always consists of cramming the entire school staff into a poorly air conditioned room, being introduced to the latest sacrificial administrators (I have had nine Principals in 11 years)Who say how happy they are (until their wives get here !) WE had one , whose wife was Russian, who hung for two months , dragged him out of his car in the parking lot , thrashed him with her high heeled shoe and took everything, and the kids and went back to Russia. All in a month.It gets worse !Another time. Then we get an Inspirational speaker, about an hour of drivel, someone should have just videoed Oprah. Probably cost $5000. Then to our scattered bodies go. Newbies "Oh Mr Higson I did not see you there" . A look is sufficient.Went once, won't go again. Same as that idiotic waste of money High Scchool Graduation. Went to a dept meeting. "Do you want to be head of DPT you are most senior, Oh no you do it will be a great learning tool for you"
Another liability dodged, plus this person loves meetings and taking notes to report back. Hey, who am I to deprive a yound educator from the joy of filling out dozens of forms and attending after school meetings, so I can hit the sewage plant?
I lost complete interest, when the Tech support Guy got up and said" I know a lot of you are having trouble with the school internet, it crashing and not running, so if it crashes on you and won't work, send me an e-mail. And I will come and fix it"
Just a couple of pics from this am. The coyote pup was miles away (?) a long way off and he was playing with a stick , throwing it up and chasing it. Fine stuff. Tried to sneak up. They run from vehicles. Local sportsmen drive around in Jeeps and shoot them. Reminds me of the Pink Floyd song "Run like Hell"
Roger !

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The change a summer can make, and up U2

See they change places, in Spring the Wilsons is always at the back, but in the fall they are always in the front. A helpful field note from Blythe. I do helpful mammal tips as well Male Zebras have black stripes on a white background, and females have white stripes on a black background.
Now you know why I have a teaching credential !
The summer was not long enough to recover from part of my final exam intro "Find an Earth Science word for every letter in the alphabet each one is worth 5 points so, anyone, how much is the assignment worth ?
Stunned silence
OK Lets do this on the board, anyone how many letters in the alphabet ? "
Stunned silence. Quavering voice.
Twenty? Well a e i o u and sometimes Y are vowels so they are not letters.
17 years old, folks
Oh UP U2 ?
I just changed channels from the most onanistic sport in the galaxy Golf to the news
"World poverty concerned, global warming african nation citizens" doing commercials for "Blackberry"
Just how greedy are those phony bastards. Like they need the money ?
Apalled. Lets have Bono fly to Africa and cry as he hands out his brand name sunglasses and Blackberries. Maybe he slipped the Pope a freeby for a visit. catholic church loves gifts.
Put Bono down on your life list of totally sham phony celebrities whose talent has run out. I am going to put him between Anna Nicole Smth and Michael Jackson. That squeezes out Mick Jagger though. Life is full of problems
Two of the most delicate of waders and a special bird for Blythe

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ok Grab the peep book !

Just for fun. Obviously Long Toed Stint and Little stint .

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A couple of pics.

Why I like shopping, and hummers

Had a great day shopping, it was way too much fun. Need to do it more often.
Essentially dragged by the Gonads to go and buy back to school clothes in Parker. Intelligent begging, crying and stamping of feet, did not work. Dropped into subtle approach, "it is 104 the Ac does not work and we are not sure if they have what we need lets go to KMART" "no wee are going to go look at the new Walmart" "I will get them to e-mail us a picture" No Luck. Got in the passenger seat of the jeep with a cooler full of ice, to fill my shirt pockets with. "You are not driving ?" "Hell NO" "Why not?" "this was your stupid idea, I am only along as an inocent victim, my participation is being quiet and not saying I told you so" Off we go. We get to the outlet store I get one shirt $8;50, top end for me. We go to WALMART. Everything is the same price as here ! Well maybe not , but not enough unless you are buying an Ark load fo TP, to justify 4 hours of birding time 125 miles on an aged vehicle in 107 heat, and 7 gallons of gas.For afriggin Hawaiian shirt.
On the way out had a brilliant idea. If you are ever inParker go to "Tacos and Beers". Fabulous spot. I was so fed up I actually walked up and said "What is on the menu?" Charming lady said "tacos and Beer". Definitely family run eatery, they were having a splendid fight in the kitchen , but the sizzling and smells held promise. Went with "Huevos Rancheros, with flour Tortillas" Food of the Gods. The best I have ever had, and I have eaten them in maany spots.The rancho sauce was so good and cri
sp and fresh. AAAAAAgh Drove home . Got home, heat stressed. Well why don't we go to KMArt ? Off she went, alone. 9 Hawaiian shirts, gorgeous. Clearence $2 each. I was dozing on the sofa, watching jeopardy. Why Men keep their mouths shut at times. "Roger,you know that was a total waste of time and money going to Parker, sorry I screwed up your birding time". You simply say "thats ok, whats for dinner"
Advice to newly weds Do not fall into the trap of saying " For Christ sakes I was telling you that for threehours this morning" " Instead you say " No I am glad we found the restraunt when it gets cooler we will go back, and thanks for driving" Never say "I told you so". Go figure the Hummers
The last pic took 25 minutes. Will try again tomorrow

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

OK Hummers and back to school

A couple of hummer pics, you id them !
I have been working solely with Howells Photographic guide to Hummers. Absolutely essential. I love his caveat on Rufous/Allens, do not call them unless....
The only argument I have with steves book is the phrase "Based on Geographic range and timing " the bird is probably a............
He freely admits that most are impossible even in the hand. Then how do we determine their timing and range . Someone got a sack full of dead ones, a gps and a museum tray ? I think not. I suspect that the distribution maps are based on ameteurs like myself who look at the maps, that are based on the spurious records of amateurs like myself. It seems to be a self promulgating creature lke the Worm Ouroborous. Hummingbirds do not sit still with their tails spread. I was shooting at 1300/second. Took probably 500 pics. I place a couple, for your amusement. Anyone who claims they can detect primary lenghths on a flying bird is a liar, anyone who can spot indentations in tail feathers is a liar, any one who can spot lanceolate tail feathers is a liar, and frankly Allens Hummers got their distribution turned upside down recently here in CA. Good job all amateurs involved. I remember some learned discussion that "based on range and timing " they could not be such.Any way you play with the pics.
More of the same this afternoon.
THE MOST HATED DAY OF THE YEAR.Sometime soon SWMBO is going to drag me out of the house and drive me to the City to buy me back to school clothes. Why the hell I have to go I have no idea. She knows my jean size, and the fact I no longer wear anything but anti social, or rock T-shirts and "The more lurid the Better" Hawaiin shirts. And 2 pairs of white 10 1/2 wide, cheapest in the store sneakers "But you might see something nice for a change that you might want to try on" 3 flaws. NIce, change,try on. I will go, just to bird the City. Its one hell of a drive in this heat, the traffic and smog suck and there are too many people. I hate it.
Have fun with the hummers.
PS Oh we are going to Parker, what a trek, better saddle up the pack terriers

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If you can't get your facts right then...

Over the years I have become exceedingly pissed off at Hummingbird books and "THe chosen ones " Who identify R T Hummers in the field in CA by tail shape and colouration. These bastards don't sit long enough to shoot them, let alone count the emargination on the second tertiary. When I had a collecting permit blasted more wasps than Hummingbirds. I swear they are Psychic.Gun they know, they even know cameras, as I found out today. Look at them sideways they are gone. I returned from a V8 and pick up the papers slow tour of my circuit. And promised myself a quiet day finish the NYT crossword, spam sandwich with watercress lunch (Dead serious, try it with Chulupa sauce), a long shower, and Jeopardy. Stood looking at my hummer feeders. Selasphorousesses and an odd one and a Costas. They need photoing methinks. So set up shop. Moved all the Hummer feeders to where I could sit in the shadows of the garage, and shot 50 frames, came in ran myself through the shower,, and my microchip theuogh the computer. Back out again ! So much for relaxing. 4 hours. The quality is not earth shattering. But I do not see how Allens/ Rufous can be split. Got 'em here in the same picture , but only "ONE" bird pick your choice depending on which birding bible you use. More tomorrow
Birding in Blythe Roger

Picture posting untill the sun comes up

We may have had our brief respite, heat supposed to come back. The death of MS Kennedy Shriver, a splendid person Special Olympics etc.Had 30 secs coverage. Michael Jacksons docter about 3 times as long. Sad comment on the news media.Almost got the juices flowing !Here comes the sun,
Oh pictures.Silly me !
Roger. PS I confess, I donated the sperm for Michael Jacksons kids. So can we call it quits now ?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What a neat day in Blythe

Nothing spectacular but a couple of neaties. Continuing "You name it Sandpiper !",I am batting o.oo on my recent calls. I am going Bairds ! Flycatchers shewing up, at least 20 Ash Throats, Wiilow, NOT touching that one with a ten foot pole empid, W W Peeewee, finally got a decipherable picture of a BGBeak, and a Begging ist fall transient juv hatch year race indeterminate Lark Sparrow with parent, you can see he is looking at the adult like. Who brought this idiot. A number of my pictures are not Nat Geog quality, but a lot are hand held, some with 750 mm. I crop and sharpen thats it, if I feel the need. I also try to put some life into the birds. Hell you pay for what you get. Talking of which. If you see a picture you like let me know, and I will e-mail you the original in full size so you can mess with it. I don't give a shit . I don't own the birds, and I get a lot of fun from chasing them around my patch. And if you enjoy, thats payment enough !
I am not a real photographer so I will not stamp my name in red ink through the picture. Copyright. Crap. Please read that "Copy ? Right on dude."
Now that I have found a reasonably,rapid way/size to download pics . Will return to a new canvas, and blog. This effort only took me one side of Mike Oldfields Golden Anniversary edition remastered CD edition of "Tubular bells" to download. Much swifter than the entire Alllman Brothers "Eat a Peach" on vinyl. From last time. It is good to have an intelligent time scale

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Original concept requires intelligence, random Predator pics

Takes for ever to download pics this size. Thats an hour. Going to go smaller tomorrow, and maybe you can make them larger ? If not, you just get more but smaller !I was running through the paper, you know that thing you hold and read, TV turned off. Whilst these topics I struggled through Are we overeacting ? Could be wrong, how much profit will the Pharmaceutical companies make out of the latest Pandemic of swine fever ? Ain't happened yet and most of the deaths are of people with "Underlying symptoms". More die a day of Common Flu !
Why not carpet Bomb the white Striped friut fly infestation, should get the rest of the infestation of 7 individuals, and wipe out the Mango and Guava crops they are specific two. Also help the economy by clearing land for reconstruction. Headline in the Press Diatribe/ Pravda west.
Economy shows signs of life.
Downturn, numbers remain abysmal...
Would you not wish to be in a hospital and have a nurse come in and say Mr Higson your wife shews signs of life. And the next line is "Downturn But chances of living remains abysmal.....' Don't these people read this ?
I think not.
Why do I care that some russian supermodel,Oblivious Slutchicksky is the sixth Supermodel to become pregnant this year ?
Though I must admit, if I had been involved in any of them, hell why not all of them I am open minded, I would be writing my memoirs instead of this rubbish. Got to take a nap , still a few more to go before I hit the Guinness book of records, at my age need to conserve my energy.

From the desert

later in the day,

A bit of a dead loss, for birds. 5 Forsters at the fish farm was nice, sewage farm all but empty, it will be a couple of days till the ponds refill. There are about 25 acres of "Fallowed land " just irrigated, and planted just around the corner with what looks like a forage Grass, some Monocot. Any way, it is just the right height and they are just far enough away, and I usually do not have my spectacles on, that only the heads of a small group of Mourning Doves peaking out of the grass and moving rapidly, looks like a small flock of "Grass-pipers". Damned if I did not get conned again today.Wheres my .410 ?OK Sorting pics. You could get anything.You have been warned. Oh did you hear Michael Jackson died. The TV press has lost all my respect for it. Where is the integrity and value system. Seriuosly true "News break" Michael Jacksons dr denies ever giving him anything that could kill him, more at noon. Right in the middle of my Hannah Montana show rerun.Anything can kill you, what a facile statement, if you give him anything you could kill him, if it was provided incorrectly and in the incorrect way. I had a friend who was killed by Honey. Yes Honey. A truck load of it ran him over. See the idiotic logic.Actually I was changing from birding gear and turned on the TV. Had to sit for a few minutes and have my few remaining brain cells sucked out. No wonder the youth of today are stupid, why is not Sharpton, and Jackson jumping up and down about racial profiling on that show. Terrible
What we need is TV shows that I grew up on. Tom and Jerry, now there is gratuitous violence between different species. The Lone Ranger, healthy stereotype depiction of Native races, their limited vocabulary "Kemo Sabbay", and their inability to ride in a saddle. Bat towel good enough. The Lone Ranger would look over his shoulder and fire a shot, at least ten horses and riders would go down. Mothers would always wear pearls for breakfast, there was only one half way intelligent cop in town, and it only took an hour for the ATeam to recue someone from Afghanistaniverdiana or somewhere. I guess the commercial time was spent travelling, oh and when someone got shot and fell down in a Movie, it was the sound of the bang that killed them, no impact they all seemed to fall forward. I could go on but..........

early morning warning/warming

It is a beautiful sunrise, I am peering at as I type. All the dust in the air from yesterdays dust blow makes the whole sky wild salmon pink/dyed orange farm raised salmon. Hmn I intend to submit those two colours for the next crayola name a colour competition. Now I think back I never did get any credit for "Goose turd green", actually an accepted clothier colour in England a century or two ago.Greatness gets shruged off.Stunning temp flip flop again. AC set at 79. Outside 71.All doors and windows open !It made it to 112 yesterday.You do the math. Flat calm, could be an all or nothing birding morning.
Oh Warning.
Going to put together a file of birds eating stuff.Why? Because school is starting, we will have a slew of "Dedicated idealist "You know" student teachers from La Jolla" who only got the job the day before,because they are naive are looking for a condo with a view of the river, and have not been further East than The El Cajon shopping mall unless it was in an ac equipped aeroplane, and they were going sking in Aspen or summering with Gramps in the Hamptons, and who will be in hysterics in 2 weeks, and La Jolla by Thanksgiving and I am an asshole This afternoon. Double WHY?? Because I put them on the staff refridgerator door, where they stash their lunches. Got to toughen up, or we will be missing half the newbies next year Got to find my Bald eagle tearing into a Raccoon pic
You are warned
Gone birding Roger

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spies futility and idiots

Well swmbo returned and got the pm plumber wait. If you have never birded a desert sewage plant, you would be amazed at how fast the water percolates through the sand and vanishes once the supply ends, 1/3 the birds and 1/8 th the water I had four hours earlier So it goes .Down to 9 sp, other ponds filling rapidly though.
Sometimes when I have had a good day and not screwed everything up too much, I like to buy an 8oz can of ice cold Clamato and sip it like fine wine. So stopped at the Shell station to spoil myself. Wind gusting to 50(HIgh wind warning), dust storm 106 degrees A high maintainence couple dashed in from their convertible both holding their hair ? And bought high end processed tap water.I had forgotten what loafers looked like and Captain Jackets. As we surveyed each other with mutual disgust, heprobably was not as mutual as his wife who turned her back. He spoke "THE FATEFUL WORDS " In an annoying loud tone "Does it always get this Hot here in the Summer Ha Ha ?" I felt the pressure of the sun scorched field workers buying their Budweisers after picking Melons all day, and the two ladies I know behind the counter with no AC upon my back. I put on my pretentious british accent "Actually, it is quite surprising now you point it out.I had not noticed Who would have thought high temperatures in August in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Thankyou for pointing it out " "Huge smile of "Getting to know the locals" I wish I had been Eric Idle !I try. Next statement "Have you noticed how windy it is " . "That would explain the dust blowing by ". I am still savouring my clamato, but with greater relish.
Spies. Off we go on a limb, sawing it off behind me. Look at this from my sideways obtuse thinking angle, before you cancel your subscription.
A high ranking Politician,the former USA Vice President and Nobel Prize winner, is your boss. Now I assume employers keep track of what their employees are doing. You get dispatched as a reporter "ie a gatherer of any information at any risk on a certain subject'
In this case trafficking in Humans.
You are sent to one of the most Politically charged and nuclear sensitive parts of the World . ie N Korea to acquire information on this topic, a rabidly scary topic, with no intention but to embarass the Government. You are a professional with intimate knowledge of the region, and admittedly and willingly cross an International border illegally to aquire information that will be shipped back to the west, and used to denigrate and maybe bring down a government. Why is that not spying ? I am not talking about the cause or intent, I am talking about the actions taken by these womwn. And I am supposed to believe Gore did not know. Talk about a circle the wagons buddies we got caught, trip by Clinton. I do not care how the Western Press handles this. N Korea won that Political hand in Spades. Kim Dung Chin probably upped his stature in his own mind immeasurably. Ready for some more rocket launches ? I can guarantee, he has his fire work collection set to go.
Idiots. Why on Earth where people hiking along the border of the next nuttiest nation in the world. Hey, I have an idea lets go hike along the rim of the second most crazy regime in the worlds border and get lost, and arrested. those fools should be left where they are. Is there nowhere else to go hiking in the Galaxy other than the border with President Afghanyilisamadad AND THE NUTTERS IN IRAN. I have an idea, lets all go hike the Khyber Pass, and camp in the Hindu Kush. while we are at it.Sounds spiffy to me PLease someone identify the common gene these people have so we can keep them from getting passports. Got to go fill hummer feeders , the high wind dumped themm mostly
Keep thinking, and pondering, there is quite obviously only a few of us left.roger

Waders , cement, and spies

It was too much to resist. I asked the Visigoths and Huns who were "Refloating' the cement ramp for the 3rd time, as each of my wifes 3 cats felt it necessary to walk through the cement. Before she could catch them.One guy threw a rock at one,SWMBO saw, I am sure his wife won't mind that he will be happy in a fish tank eating mealworms and crickets. I was liking the idea of La Higsons Cement Pits. Did not fly. Any way, went out, and tried to placate them by asking if I could put my hand prints in it. Hell you would think I had asked my wife for sex, faces started twitching, small furry animals died in their tracks, people rushed out of their houses shouting it's the Apocolypse. I usually figure that out as a no.Not a word was spoken, but the way they were loading the big diggers machine guns made me say "Nice job" and run back in the house. I waited until they were gone and sneaked out and carved a Terek Sandpiper in it. Intimidate me , huh.
The sewage plant this morning was awesome. Opening up two beds closing down 3. Waders everywhere. Well for me
14 species. Too stunning as I was packing up to come home and sit away the day waiting for the Plumber to arrive at 9am. Bastard has not yet arrived, but then when you only have one you sit and wait.Welcome to Blythe.SWMBO has the afternoon shift.
A great birding moment. I was micturating behind the truck, loud strange call, grabbed bins from hood , wet leg (Muscle response and age). A large godwitty bird that literally tumbled out of the sky, in almost free fall calling all the way. Images of Black tailed ,or hudwit danced in my mind. As it span you could not tell which was up nor down, flashes of Black and white. It started way up in the sky, it was circling and then went for it. Incredible, it seemed like only 50 feet above me it flattened its wings, and killed its speed by making half a dozen incredibly fast circuits before hitting the water, and gulping liquids. Juv Willet Pic above. Stunning birding memory. That is to be used in the "Not another god damn school mission meeting" where 75 people get numb asses, and fill in all the o's on the important mission statements, that never make it past the entry lobby trash cans as the intelligent ones leave. Yes getting back in school mode !I DO NOT keep any of that crap.If the "Principal de Jour" says please make sure you bring your completed 23wqe form to the meeting. Go find a freshman teacher they keep everything, ask to copy theirs. If it looks good either white out their name, or say "I did not get the memo, and I was looking for it" Or "I thought we where supposed to put it in your mail box,you must have misplaced it, I am sorry but you did not make that quite clear at our last meeting" It really does not matter anyway, the rules will change before anything gets implemented !
Jaded yes
Realist most definitely
I needed a new moment, a female Snowy Owl landing on a stone hedge 20 feet from me in the soaking rain/sleet as I peed on the wall, preparing to hitch back to Brit, from N Uist in the Hebrides,in a driving atlantic storm after just ticking Stellers Eider was wearing thin.
The eider bit , not the Owl. I have never seen a more magnificent creature in my life. You do not know birding until a Snowy Owl has looked you up and down with contempt, stared at you with those piercing eyes, and you have actually eye locked. Mesmerizing. Now I know what must go through a rodents mind. Shrugged the sleet off and silently drifted into the fog. I have spent hours as a teacher trying to learn that look, maybe if my eyes were Yellow ?
Enjoy some early am wader snaps
Regards Roger
Oh ps Aprapos of nothing. I did wet my leg, when I grabbed my bins, with the owl. I remember quite clearly. That was the warmest any part of my external body had been in 24 hours !Oh Double PS PS. I realise one of them is a Godwit, interesting to see so many Wader sp have Yellow Legs. Any reason?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cooler tempers prevail

The temps are dropping and the humidity moved through. Thankyou weather organizer. Folks are starting to smile not snarl, including me, this has been a savage summer here in Blythe. You have to love this. Our garage desperately needs a cement access ramp, as SWHMBO spins the car in the dirt/gravel and is gradually removing the front of my Jeep, and the side of my house. With near misses. NOw I have a guy out here driving a "Digger " that probably could pick up my house. I have three guys, shirts off with muscles in places I did not know existed, pounding in steel and using tools I am too scared to plug in, that make scary noises,bulding ramp footings out of trees they just gnawed downd and running around with wheelbarrows of "Top slurry" or something. Shouting about slappers and floats. SWMBO comes in and says what are they doing? I said building a cement ramp that you have wanted for the last 8 years. Always good to state the bleeding obvious, sends everyone in different directions. "Shouldn't you be out there supervising and helping "
Now I ask you why would I want to wake up buried in ten cubic yards of cement.
Sewage plant "THE" spot 13 sp wader this AM