Thursday, February 11, 2016

AN 11 A.M. APPOINTMENT AT A ‘TITLE AGENCY’ THIS MORNING

DSC_0033

NIGHT SKY FROM OUR BACK YARD

We were outside this morning in short sleeves at 8:15.  Only one word to describe that…..’WOWSERS’:))  Decided right off it was a good day for an outside haircut so out came the scissors.  While cutting Old Grumpy’s hair Kelly mentioned the small pair of scissors she uses were over 40 years old.  She bought them at a SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY STORE when she & her first husband John & their 5 children briefly lived in Florida.  She has used those same scissors all these years for hundreds & maybe even thousands of family haircuts over the years.    She always does a fine job on my hair & her years of home style hair cutting experience has served her well.   Of course my hair is always a challenge because I generally wait until it is too long & in such a mess before I agree to having it cut.   Now you would think after all these years I would learn & have my hair cut on a regular basis wouldn’t you but nope it’s just one of those things I still haven’t got too darn smart about yet:((

DSC_0008

THIS SMALL PAIR OF SCISSORS HAS BEEN CUTTING HAIR FOR OVER 40 YEARS

Managed to slip out into our back yard for a few more photos Wednesday night.  Still experimenting with settings & things but here are some camera settings I have been having a bit of beginner’s luck with so far.  ISO 1600 with most of my shutter speeds at 1/30th of a second.  Been toying around with some lighting settings as well.  Did some goofy face shots with a red beam flashlight.  This kind of thing is often referred to as painting with light.  Maybe I’ll try a little more of that creative sort of stuff using different subject matter.  I was suprised at the number of F-16 Fighting Falcons in the night sky darting about amongst the stars.  They are much easier to spot in the darkened sky because of their white blinking lights.  They look exactly like tiny twinkling stars moving about.   I heard a couple ‘Crrrruuuumps’ like munitions being dropped but I don’t know of any bombing ranges anywhere near here.DSC_0045

CAUGHT THIS COMMERCIAL AIRLINER’S RED BLINKING LIGHT FLYING FROM EAST TO WEST…(R TO L)DSC_0036

BIG DIPPER CENTER STANDING ON IT’S HANDLE

Leaving Pheebe at home in the coolness of the house Kelly & I slipped into Wickenburg this morning for an 11 a.m. appointment with a lady at the Pioneer Title Agency.  Our Realtor friend Dave Allen suggested a couple months ago we have a sit down with Peggy Coppinger to see what all is involved should we decide to sell our house at some point.  Procedures & costs were talked about and questions were asked & answered.  We now have a much better understanding of what is all involved & how to go about things.  In a nutshell it would be far easier to sell our Congress house while we’re here rather than from 2300 miles away in a different country.DSC_7796

THIS CACTUS WREN LIKES THE ORANGE SLICES KELLY HANGS ON A POST IN OUR FRONT YARD

Needing a few groceries we stopped into a very busy Safeway on the way home.  Big week-end coming up in Wickenburg with it’s 68 th Annual Gold Rush Days & Rodeo Events rapidly gearing up for Friday Saturday & Sunday.  Lots of cowboys & their horses flocking into town for all the events & we saw some of that inbound traffic this morning.DSC_0009

LOTS OF RVING COWBOYS IN WICKENBURG THIS COMING WEEK-END

Rollling out of Wickenburg we kicked on our A/C figuring it was a good time to check out Libby’s system.  Hadn’t used it since last summer & happy to say everything worked just fine.  With temps over 80 folks are saying it’s above normal for this time of year & I figure we’re just having our Arizona March weather in February that’s all.  We’ll be back down into the 70’s next week & that’s my kind of temperatures:))

DSC_0012

WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S CRESCENT MOON BUT NOTICE THE RED DOT

DSC_0014

THE RED DOT APPEARS TO BE ON THE SURFACE OF THE MOON….BUT MOVING

DSC_0015

THESE 3 PHOTOS WERE TAKEN IN A SPAN OF ABOUT 6 SECONDS & ALREADY THE DOT HAS CLEARED THE MOON…..UFO??  NAW, PROBABLY JUST AN AIRCRAFT IN THE WESTERN SKY

Finished my book ‘The Last Enemy’ this afternoon & am already into another book recommended by Rob K in our Shout Box.  Within the first half dozen pages of ‘The Few’ I could tell this was a well written account about the Battle of Britain & the young pilots from both sides who fought each other over England, France, & the English Channel.DSC_0043

OH-OH YOU DON’T SUPPOSE THAT RED DOT UFO HAS LANDED IN OUR BACK YARD DO YOU??DSC_0041

OH-NO……LOOKS LIKE ALIEN CREATURES TO ME ALRIGHT

DSC_0040

HEY WAIT A MINUTE……THAT ALIEN IS KINDA LOOKING FAMILIAR TO ME!! 

DSC_0035

THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE TOP RIGHT CORNER IS SIRIUS THE DOG STAR & IT IS THAT LITTLE DOG YOU SEE ON YOUR SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO……HORIZON GLOW IS LIGHTS FROM WICKENBURG BUT ARE NOT NEARLY THIS BRIGHT TO THE HUMAN EYE….IT’S A CAMERA THING

GROANER’S CORNER:(( An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws.   "You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" a girl in the line said to the little fella.  Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His Grandmother knelt down next to him. "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles," she said, while tracing her finger across the child's cheek. "Freckles are beautiful."  The boy looked up, "Really?" "Of course," said the Grandmother. "Why just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles."  The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his Grandma's face, and softly whispered, "Wrinkles."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FRONT PORCH READING & LISTENING TO THE BIRDS

DSC_0005

OOOPS I JIGGLED THE CAMERA

It’s early Spring here in Arizona & our backyard birds are busy feathering their nests.  About a dozen Sparrows make their home in old Gila Woodpecker nests burrowed into our front yard Saguaros.  Sitting quietly reading on our front porch today with our 2 tall Saguaros only a few yards away I at times found it hard to concentrate on my book with all the seemingly happy chatter going on in & around those Saguaros.  Little Sparrows steadily coming & going from their nests.  It’s quite a close knit society they have.

----------

GROANER’S CORNER:(( A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

BOOTS & PAWS ON THE GROUND IN BAGDAD THIS MORNING

DSC_0008

THIS IS MY 6:30 A.M. PHOTO OF THE PLANETS MERCURY ON THE LEFT & BRIGHTER VENUS ON THE RIGHT….I WILL HAVE PHOTOS OF THE OTHER 3 PLANETS VISIBLE EACH NIGHT IN TOMORROWS POST

With our day time temperatures on the rise our nights are becoming milder as well & Monday night with no wind it was comfortable enough for me to be outside with camera & tripod trying my luck with a few Star & Planet photos.  Thought to myself, ‘I really need to be out at night more & gain some experience at doing this type of photography’.  Have always enjoyed being under the stars but these past years I’ve sort of slipped into an unfortunate ‘in house’ routine.  DSC_0015

THIS MONDAY NIGHT PHOTO SHOWS THE BIG DIPPER TO THE LEFT OF CENTER & A SOFT GLOW FROM YARNELLS MOUNTAIN TOP LIGHTS

DSC_0013

LOOKING TO THE SOUTHEAST THE LIGHTS OF WICKENBURG & POSSIBLY PHOENIX ARE PRESENT IN THE NIGHT SKY

DSC_0022

LOOKING NORTH FROM OUR FRONT YARD….2 LARGE HILL SIDE WATER TANKS ON LEFT

DSC_0027

LOOKING WEST CAN YOU SEE THE STRAIGHT LINE OF BLINKING LIGHTS FROM 2 F-16 FIGHTER JETS ON NIGHT MANOUVERS….LEFT SIDE

DSC_0026

LOOKING NORTH I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO CATCH ONE OF THE F-16’S DROPPING A YELLOW FLARE (CENTER BOTTOM) & YOU CAN SEE A FAINT LIGHT TRAIL TO THE RIGHT OF THE FLARE SHOWING THE JET MAKING A LEFT HAND TURN

Pheebs & I hadn’t been out for a couple days so it was into the Jeep & off we went this morning.  Thought I’d slip out just north of Congress & check out the road to Hillside again.  It is usually very washboardy at it’s south end but noticed this morning it had been graded not long ago so off we went on the Hillside Road heading Northwest up a long valley with the Date Creek Mountains running along on the south side of us & the Weaver Mountains on the north side.  It was 21 miles to the dusty little tumble down town of Hillside & we were in no hurry.DSC_0010

IT’S A ROUGH & TUMBLE LANDSCAPE ALONG SOME SECTIONS OF THE HILLSIDE ROAD

DSC_0013

DSC_0004

DSC_0005

THIS FELLOW EVEN HAS A COW BELL ON

DSC_0027

HILLSIDE IS JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT MOUNTAIN RANGE

DSC_0029

THE VALLEY FLOORDSC_0040

How nice to roll along in the morning’s warming air with our windows down & how nice to see some different scenery again.  We had been up this road a couple times before a few years ago & I did remember a few areas but for the most part it was like I was seeing all this beautiful scenery all over again for the first time.  Mountains to the left of us, mountains to the right of us & more mountains straight ahead.  On the valley floor prickly pear cactus spread up & over the hillsides interspersed with tall Saguaros climbing over miles of seemingly unending rough terrain.  Huge boulders strewn with reckless abandon sometimes thrown together in piles reaching hundreds of feet in the air.  If there’s a hundred large boulders in this valley there is a million.

DSC_0033

DSC_0035

LIKED THIS LITTLE GREEN VALLEY BELOW

DSC_0036

THIS PARTICULAR SECTION OF THE VALLEY FLOOR WAS COVERED IN VOLCANIC TYPE LAVA ROCKS & BOULDERS

DSC_0037

DSC_0038

DSC_0042

HILLS ARE BECOMING GREENER & GREENER

The further along Hillside Road we went the more the road improved & by the time we rolled into Hillside we were on a fairly smooth but very dusty surface.  Hillside is one of the those typical old western towns with it’s heyday long behind it.  Anyone living there has a fair distance to travel for groceries & supplies but like so many other little western towns we have seen over the years people living there have adapted well to their harsh surroundings & I suspect most of them are quite happy to be living far from the maddening crowds.DSC_0053

DSC_0044

HOUSE HIGH ON A ROCKY HILL IN HILLSIDE ARIZONA

DSC_0046

THE LONG AGO CLOSED HILLSIDE GENERAL STORE

DSC_0048

DSC_0050

SAW THEM SWITCHING OUT THIS PURPLE TRUCK CAB FOR A WHITE TRUCK IN HILLSIDE….I WAS TEMPTED TO FOLLOW THIS GUY TO SEE HOW IN THE HECK HE WAS GOING TO GET THAT LONG HALF SECTION OF HOUSE AROUND THE CURVES AHEAD

A mile north of Hillside we reached highway 96 which runs from Kirkland Junction through the McCloud Mountains to highway 93 connecting Phoenix with Las Vegas.  With a food destination in mind we turned left & headed 23 miles for the wee mining town of Bagdad Arizona just a few miles off highway 96.  We had driven this same beautifully scenic road a couple years ago & I so enjoyed driving it again this morning.  This finely paved highway with next to no traffic steadily descends & winds it’s way around enough tight curves to make this drive pleasurably exciting.  Love these kinds of mountain roads.  And then there’s the long sweeping vistas where one can see for miles into the greening canyons all the way up to the towering mountain tops.  Twenty one miles of WOWS:))

DSC_0057

DSC_0067

LOOKING FIRST NORTH THEN SOUTH ALONG THE SANTA MARIA RIVER

DSC_0069

DSC_0066

Having been in Bagdad Arizona before I knew right where we were heading.  Bashas Supermarket.  Bagdad’s main street is about 3 blocks long with Bashas right about in the middle.  We had been there before so I knew there was a food section to the right soon as I went in the door.  Knew they had tasty breaded chicken (Col. Sanders style) so grabbed me a couple pieces along with a coffee to go & I was right back out to the parking lot where my furry little navigator was anxiously waiting.  With windows down & a warm breeze blowing through the Jeep we weren’t long in wolfing down our lunch in the warm Arizona sunshine.  Nice:))

DSC_0071

DSC_0091

BAGDAD ARIZONA IS THE SITE OF THE HUGE BAGDAD COPPER MINE

DSC_0089

DOWNTOWN BAGDAD & THAT WHITE BUILDING TOP LEFT IS BASHAS….ONE OF MANY TRUCKS HEADS FOR PHOENIX WITH A LOAD FROM THE MINE

DSC_0074

LUNCH TIME FOR US GUYS:))

DSC_0076

NOW THAT IS CONCENTRATION

DSC_0077

THOUGHT ABOUT GOING TO THIS DINER BESIDE BASHAS BUT IT WAS BUSY & I KNEW WE COULD SAVE A FEW BUCKS BY EATING AT BASHAS

From Bashas we took a little 4 minute tour around the downtown area before heading out towards the humungus Coppermine area to see what we could see.  Road ended at the mine complex so we doubled back & took another road up to the Bagdad Airport.  Nice views from this higher elevation & noticed the airport was locked in behind tall wire fences.  It was exactly high noon when I took a picture of the airport sign & from this spot we began our homeward trek to Congress 50 miles to the south.

DSC_0078

THIS HIGHWAY RUNNING NORTHEAST OUT OF BAGDAD ENDED DOWN THERE AT THE MINE ENTRANCE

DSC_0079

THE HUGE OPEN PIT COPPERMINE CAN BE SEEN IN THE DISTANCE

DSC_0080

DSC_0081

DSC_0086

DSC_0083

DSC_0087

DSC_0098

HEADING FOR HIGHWAY 93 ALONG HIGHWAY 97

DSC_0099

BIG TRUCK HEADING BACK TO THE BAGDAD MINE FOR ANOTHER LOAD

DSC_0100

YEP THAT THERE’S MY VERY MUCH MOST BESTEST PAL OF EVER ALRIGHT

DSC_0103We weren’t long in reaching highway 93 or should I say the racetrack between Phoenix & Las Vegas.  I have written about this stretch of highway before & the maniac drivers who use it.  As expected today was no exception & it didn’t take long before the Porsches, Audis, BMW’s, & Mercedes Benz cars were screaming by with their wired & whacked out frenzied Mad Max drivers behind the wheel.  I was sure glad to get off that race track onto highway 71 heading a short 7 miles into Congress.  Don’t think I even saw another car the rest of the way home.

DSC_0104

DSC_0105

DSC_0112

JOSHUA TREES ALONG HIGHWAY 93 NORTHWEST OF CONGRESS

DSC_0113

It was just a few weeks ago one of the F-16 fighter jets often high over our house most days crashed about 5 miles Southwest of Bagdad where we were today. Pilot was killed.  F-16 Fighter Jet Crashes Near Bagdad Arizona

DSC_0029

DSC_0025

THE CONSTELLATION PERSEUS IS STRAIGHT OVERHEAD NOW

IMG_2188

MY NIGHT TIME CAMERA & TRIPOD SET-UP

IMG_2185

Have to say again how so totally nice our weather has finally become.  So warm now I didn’t even have to turn turn on my bathrooms ceramic heater for my shower this morning.  Don’t think we’ve had a heater running anywhere in the house for a couple days now.  Nice, nice, nice:)))))))))

DSC_0006

TONIGHT’S CRESCENT MOON FROM OUR BACK YARD TONIGHT

GROANER’S CORNER:((  One day, a little girl is sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly notices that her mother has several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. She looks at her mother and inquisitively asks,  "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?" Her mother replied,
"Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."  The little girl thought about this revelation for a while, and then said,  "So, Momma, how come ALL of Grandma's hairs are white?"