Monday, July 25, 2016

1995 Visit to Lost Valley Ranch

Back in 1995, Doug and I spent a week at Lost Valley Ranch, a dude ranch in Colorado. It was a wonderful get-away. The lodging was luxurious; the meals were fantastic; the staff were fun and very accommodating; and the scenery was amazing.

This is a postcard picture of the ranch. 
One couple among the guests, Joe and Gina, were especially fun. They were from New York City. Gina had never even worn slacks before, let alone ridden a horse. But she oozed personality, and guests and staff alike couldn't help being drawn to her. In the picture below, Gina is the one a little right of center, with the black hair and wearing a flowered blouse.
Guests gathering at the corral for their first morning ride
Everyone watched anxiously as Gina mounted her horse for the first time, erupting in cheers and applause when she was safely aboard. And she went on every ride that was offered that week. I was impressed with her determination.

That handsome cowboy is my hubby. Gina is in the blue, with her back to us.


Relaxing in our cabin

Dining with other guests while Molly, our waitress, looks on. Gina is across the table from me, and her husband, Joe, is the guy with the beard and the purple sweatshirt.

Story time on Helen Rock

Head Wrangler, Brad, was "spinning a yarn" for our entertainment.

Doug shot a video during Brad's outrageous story, but I don't know how to edit that segment out of the longer video, in order to share it on the blog. 

Brad and Phil (the cook) providing some evening entertainment

We had more cowhands than cows on this cattle drive.

Doug and me, taking a break on one of our rides
We had so much fun during our stay at Lost Valley Ranch that we went back again two years later. I'll have to share that adventure on a future post.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Binder Park Zoo

July 14th was Doug's brother's birthday. For the occasion, we took him to the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan, something he's been wanting to do for some time.

I know that there are strong opinions regarding the confinement of animals in zoos for the pleasure of the viewing public, and I understand that. But I also appreciate the opportunity to see animals up close that I might never see in their natural habitat.

This post will just give a sampling of some of the things we saw that day.

This Llama was in a petting zoo area. 

Bald Eagles

Purple Loosestrife growing in a swampy area

A peacock seeking food dropped by diners in a picnic area

An African Painted Dog

There was a large area where several compatible species roamed freely. The next four pictures were shot from an overlook some distance from the animals.

Addax, also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope;

Damara Zebra

Grant's Zebra (on left) and Damara Zebra

Grant's Zebra and young foal

This flower caught my eye as we exited the zoo.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Battle Creek Air Show

On the Fourth of July, Doug and I drove to Battle Creek, Michigan, picked up Doug's brother, Dennis, and went to an air show. I've mentioned Doug's fascination with airplanes before. It's a fascination shared by his brother.

I didn't carry my DSLR camera because we had chairs to carry, as well as a small cooler; and I was trying to keep our load as light as possible. So the pictures today are all taken from video from our camcorder. I'm including some short video clips, too, because video just seems essential to getting the "feel" of an air show.

Bi-plane flown by Susan Darcy
The paint on this plane changes colors with change of light or angle.

Above is a very short video showing a little of the changing colors

One of the two planes making up the Firebird Extreme Team

The Firebird Extreme Team. The plane on top is upside down.

This Beech 18 is much larger than planes typically used in aerobatics.
However, the following video shows what the Beech 18 can do in the hands of skilled pilot, Matt Younkin.

Ah, but it was the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds that made the air show special.

One of the jets used by the Thunderbirds was on display.



These two jets fly toward each other at incredible speed and flip to their sides, cockpits facing each other, for the pass. You'll see this in the following series of very short video clips, but you'll have to look fast!

Friday, July 01, 2016

A Summer Day at the Park

Today, I'm sharing a few photos from recent visits to Ouabache State Park. First up are some Cedar Waxwings, beautiful birds and among my favorites.




I think this next one is an Eastern Kingbird:



And what would a post from Ouabache be without at least one photo of a dragonfly?


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