Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Wild kingdom

August 6, 2018

Say hello to my pal Sluggo, who took the scenic route (down the stucco wall) to the yard the other day.

We’ve had a pleasant few days around the ol’ rancheroo, lounging on the back patio with a beverage of an evening, airing the cats, and watching the wildlife (which, unlike cable or even streaming video, is free).

The deer have been sniffing around again, drawn by the neighbors’ apples (they’ve already wiped out our crop). And our hummingbird feeder is attracting quite the crowd —  rufous, broad-tailed, black-chinned and maybe even a calliope. The aerial combat over the sugar water looks like the Battle of Britain. Even the bees are getting involved.

Bigger birds have been on display, too. One great big hawk, either a redtail or ferruginous, sat perched atop a neighbor’s tree for the better part of quite some time the other evening, putting a damper on all the other avian activity. A hawk thinks a bird feeder is a hawk feeder.

Later, what looked like a prairie falcon came out of nowhere and swooped low overhead, perhaps mistaking the Turk for a great big bunny. Nope. “That’s no ordinary rabbit,” as Tim the Enchanter has taught us.

Perhaps the most striking creature we’ve seen all summer was a two-tailed swallowtail butterfly, which found one of our shrubs mesmerizing. I should’ve taken a pic, but I didn’t want to interrupt its snacking.

And then there was Sluggo. Less attractive, perhaps, but he gave me an excuse to try the macro function on the Sony RX100 III.

Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, que no? I ain’t exactly George Clooney myself, as Herself periodically reminds me.

Yeah, but it’s a dry Hell

July 27, 2018

And you thought it was hot where you are. On June 28, the temperature in Quriyat, Oman, hit 109 — and that was the low, “the hottest low temperature ever recorded on Earth,” according to The Washington Post.

As a buddy noted, you gotta give the Chinese credit for going the extra mile to make their climate-change hoax look like the real deal. Why, they went so far as to make it rain here in ’Burque. I thought that was a little over the top, but what isn’t these days?

The hardboiled eggheads of climate science, as usual, predict the worst — roads melting, airplanes unable to take off, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

The good news is, there’s water on Mars, which is really close to Earth this weekend. Cowabunga! Come on and safari with me!

How hot is it?

July 21, 2018

” ‘How hot is it?’ Hey, do I look like Johnny Carson to you?”

No tin roof for this cat.

 

Yeah, but it’s a dry heat

June 27, 2018

“Hot enough for ya? Har har har! Hey, that’s a joke, son. What are ya, some sort of pussy? Ho ho ho!”

We’re still waiting on that “early” monsoon season here in the Duke City.

While we wait, pretty much all the forests have been closed for fear of fire, and thus the streets are full of mannerless douchebag fatheads who miss shoulder-checking elderly hikers into the trailside cholla whilst shredding the gnar-gnar.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service advises that today’s temperatures, expected to range from 98 to 105 degrees depending upon where one parks one’s van, “pose an elevated health risk to sensitive people,” of which I am one, as any regular reader of this blog will testify.

No wonder Dougie Lamborn cruised to victory in the GOP primary yesterday. It’s abundantly clear that Hell hasn’t frozen over. It’s just relocated to the Southwest.

Summertime …

June 21, 2018

Homeward bound.

… and the living ain’t easy. Not if you’re riding a bike into a stiff breeze, anyway.

Get your kicks, etc.

Bored with my usual routes, I decided to cycle to Tijeras this morning. Old Route 66 is a pleasant, rolling road with good shoulders and moderate traffic, and the ride is not particularly challenging, unless you happen to be gnawing on a stout headwind that the weather wizards didn’t bother mentioning before you left home.

The good news is that it turned into a glorious tailwind for the return leg. At one point I was coasting at 35 mph. Beat the mortal nuts off grinding along at single digits in the 24×18.

Back at the ranch, I noted that our “leaders” were still trying to transform the nation into a poor reality-TV reboot of a Marx Brothers movie:

• Migrants on military bases? I asked the Air Force a while back if I could visit Randolph AFB, where I spent five years as a mad puppy, and they said nix. And mind you, they wouldn’t even have to separate me from my parents, because they’re both dead.

• Fancy Pants Pruitt. Sounds like a character from “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” doesn’t he? Except Jimmy Breslin would never write such a shabby little mook.

• From tactical pants to tactless jackets. Guess what, Melania? We knew it already.

• A snippet of video that serves as “a brisk and complete summary of the great ship of fools that is the United States House of Representatives under the barely noticeable leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from the state of Wisconsin.”

Hail, hail, FreeDumbia. Duck soup, I tell ya.

Oh, deer

June 9, 2018

Miss Mia Sopaipilla thinks a little fresh venison would enhance the daily bowl of dry cat food. | Photo: Herself

Eight o’clock, 70 degrees. Summer may not officially start until June 21, but it feels pretty damn’ summery right now.

The drought is driving famished mule deer down from the foothills and into people’s yards, including ours. The rose bushes provide tasty morsels, as do the lilacs. Looks like they’ve been after the pears as well. And the cinderblock wall is taking something of a beating from the JV hurdlers.

This one was scrawny but a good leaper. Cleared the wall in a single bound.

Ballad of a fat man

June 21, 2017

I raised up my head and I asked, “Is this where it is?”

And you know something is happening but you don’t know what it is.*

Do you, Mr. Jones?

* OK, so I’ll tell you. It was a short bike ride on my Jones 29er, early in the ayem, before it got too bloody hot (100.5° right now). The one-eyed midget stayed home, where the air conditioning is. I don’t know how Bob Dylan found his way into this post when he couldn’t even make it to the Nobel ceremony.

Hot dog!

June 20, 2017

The Boo keeps his tongue handy because you never know when something edible might wander by.

As the outdoor temperature crept slowly toward the century mark, Mister Boo, sleeping off a medium-heavy solstice snack, gave quiet thanks to Willis Carrier, inventor of the modern air conditioner.

• Late update: Boom. Made it. The century mark. Good times. Maybe not.

Old 97s

June 19, 2017

Somebody has parked a laser cannon overhead.

Hm. ‘Bout time to crank up the ol’ solstice ritual, looks like.

The weatherman says it’s 97 out there at 4:44 p.m. Duke City time, and I believe him, just having taken a lap of the ‘hood on the Vespa to keep the battery topped off.

And it only gets worser as the week drags on. Ninety-seven, 101, 102 … you get the idea.

Nothing like what Pat and Sandy are enduring down in Arizony, I imagine. Shucks, those folks have to get up before they go to bed if they want to get a coolish ride in.

The Boo doesn’t even bother to get out of bed on days like this. He dosses down right next to an air-conditioning vent in the floor and pretty much stays there.

Boiling in the bosque

June 9, 2017

We’re getting a few of New Mexico’s signature puffy clouds late in the day, but mostly it’s blue skies and red hot.

We’re enjoying a stretch of summery weather in the Duke City, and I am ever so glad I chose a career in rumormongery rather than landscaping.

The neighbors have a crew in, reshaping the back yard to make it a pleasant playpen for their anklebiters, and from a safe distance this looks an awful lot like work, especially when the temps inch into the 90s.

See those hills off in the distance? Yeah, I pretty much had to ride back there.

I got a late start on my ride Wednesday and by the time I had climbed back from the bosque to El Rancho Pendejo I was feeling not unlike a rotissery chicken but didn’t smell nearly as appetizing.

Still, it was worth it. The ride was nearly all downhill along the Paseo de las Montañas bike path and Indian School to downtown/Old Town, where I headed west on Mountain (a “Bicycle Boulevard”) to the Paseo del Bosque.

The winds were cooperative — mostly blocked by the bosque’s cottonwoods while riding north and providing a distinct assist on the Paseo del Norte trail and Osuna/Manitoba. Only on the short southbound stretch of the North Diversion Channel Trail did I face a headwind. Life is suffering, as the Buddha has taught us.

That Space Horse may be a tad small at 55cm, but it’s comfy for a couple-three hours. Especially if you get an earlier start and don’t sweat all over the poor little pony.