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Archive for November, 2009

Thank you, Thomas Anastasi, for this very moving performance by Sarah McLachlan and Josh Groban, “In the Arms of an Angel.” It fits my mood perfectly today.

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Early this morning, I took a drive to the Cibola Wildlife Refuge near the California/Arizona border. Would like to get there around sunrise or sunset sometime. However, I did see lots of sandhill cranes and Canadian geese. And the trees were gorgeous! A coyote ran past through the brush on my way out, but I couldn’t get the camera set up in time.

Here’s a photo album of some of the pictures I was able to take. There are 35 photos on two pages, so be sure to click on page 2.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2 … 5fcd9523a4

You don’t have to be a member of Facebook to look at them. Here’s a sample photo:

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Cibola Refuge was established in 1964 as mitigation for channelization and dam construction on the Colorado River in the 1930s and 1940s. It’s located in the floodplain of the Lower Colorado River and provides important habitat for migratory birds, wintering waterfowl, and resident species. The refuge contains several miles of historic river channels and backwaters that provide key habitats in a changed environment.

About 240 species of birds use the refuge during the year. It is a critical wintering area for Canada geese and greater sandhill cranes. Several endangered or threatened species use the refuge. Included are the willow flycatcher, brown pelican, peregrine falcone, bald eagle, Yuma clapper rail, bonytail chub, and razorback sucker. Other resident bird species include Gambel’s quail, kestrel, Harris’ hawk, roadrunner, phainopepla, and burrowing owl. Mule deer, coyote, and bobcat are common mammals on the refuge, and visitors occasionally spot mountain lion, kit fox, gray fox, and badger as well. Many species of reptiles and amphibians, including the western diamondback and sidewinder rattlesnakes also call the refuge home.

The refuge actively manages a variety of habitat for wildlife. About 2,000 acres are farmed to provide food for migrating and wintering waterfowl, cranes, and other species. Farmers harvest hay in the summer and leave alfalfa, corn, milo, millet, and other crops for wildlife during the winter.

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Today I’m shamelessly borrowing a video posted by Kit Ketcham in her blog because it’s just perfect for a cloudy, windy day here in the desert. Enjoy!

Sweet Georgia Brown

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Wine and sunsets

A couple of pictures from the sunset tonight. I’ve discovered the sunsets here are brighter with some clouds.

The beginning – almost the entire sky turned pink.
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Days of wine and sunsets. I love the reflection of the trees in the glass.
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Beautiful streaks across the sky.
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Old Western Movies

ImageWhen I worked at Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah two years ago, I got to host the movies in their Old Barn two nights a week. It was a lot of fun welcoming people from all over the world, talking about the Lodge, about Kanab and the movie industry there, and introducing the movie of the evening. I became a big fan of the Internet Movie Database as a great source for interesting information and fun tidbits about the movies.
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I’ve been invited back to movie host five nights a week this coming season, from April through October, and the managers just sent me a copy of the films we’re going to be showing. Instead of only seven movies (If this is Tuesday, it must be “Buffalo Bill”), I get to show nineteen over the season, including two recent shorts made in Kanab. Every film we show was made in or around Kanab, and some of the stars and other movie personnel stayed at the Lodge. In fact, many rooms have stars’ names over their doors – those stars actually stayed in those rooms.
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Here is a list of the westerns filmed in Kanab:
http://www.imdb.com/List?endings=on&&lo … tah,%20USA

Okay, to me this job is kind of a dream come true. Not only do I get to talk to all kinds of people, sell them popcorn and other snacks, and play ham for twenty or so minutes before each movie, I also get to check out the IMDB again for each film. Looks like I also need to reinstate my Netflix membership and watch the movies beforehand. Ah, what a hard life . . .!

Some of the films for the coming season are:

“The Lone Ranger” (1956) with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels
“Oh! Susanna” (1951) with Rod Cameron
“The Fargo Kid” (1940) with Tim Holt
“Black Bart” (1948) with Yvonne DeCarlo and Dan Duryea
“Roll Wagons, Roll” (1946) with Tex Ritter
“Wagon Train” (1940) with Tim Holt
“Kansas Raiders” (1950) with Audie Murphy and Drian Donlevy

And many more.

Inside the barn
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The tinkly piano
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Happy Thanksgiving

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow.

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This morning began with sitting on the beach by the Colorado River, watching a great sunrise and a beautiful formation of geese over the river between California and Arizona. It was pretty chilly but nothing like Coffeyville, Kansas.

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Two bicycling friends here at the campground told me about a modern-day ghost town nearby – Midland, CA. From the early 1950s to 1973, United States Gypsum had a large plant here in the middle of the desert. All the buildings are gone now, but former workers and family members still camp nearby and also have reunions each year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midland,_California
http://www.designbycandy.com/stories/midland_ca.htm

So, my Rving buddy Steven and I decided to check it out today. We also found three geocaches in the area, a nice bonus.

Cross on the hill overlooking the former town.
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Some ruins
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I don’t know what these buildings were.
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Behind the buildings
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Some graffiti
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Foundations
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Former tennis court
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Not a bad location – too bad it gets so horribly hot. And, I don’t imagine they had much air conditioning back then when the plant was operating.
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Pointing the way to information. There were even a couple of paperback books in one two of the cans.
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Another pointer
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The pointers led us here. There was no one in either of the trailers, but they looked fairly well-kept.
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This was the surprise: Quite a few very nicely done notebooks of pictures and remembrances from the plant, done by the daughter of one of the workers. They are all protected inside this trash can, the lid held on securely by two very heavy metal things.

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One of the pictures – a full moon over the fully-lit town and plant.
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More pictures
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The day ended with a decent sunset and listening to Steven play his beautiful new mountain dulcimer. I then made some chocolate chip cookies for our community Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow afternoon, proving it is indeed possible to make cookies in a toaster oven. It just takes a lot longer.

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