Monday, February 21, 2011

Red, White & Blue

It's a patriotic morning here at 2nd Chance Ranch.  First, the ground is white.  No, not from snow--from a heaby frost.  It's as white as snow but it's frost.  Next, the Mountain Bluebirds are flitting about in profusion.  The Bluebirds love to hang out with each other in tight little flocks and they fly around a lot for short little distances.  They tend to wheel when they fly and that exposes their blue feathers to the bright sunlight.  The blue on their backs has this weird glow and their look like airborne gems.  Meanwhile this morning, a couple of brilliant red male cardinals decided to set up shop in the front yard.  Between the ruby cardinals, the sapphire blue birds and the white diamond twinkles from the heavy frost, it's been a genuine patriotic morning.

Why do we obsess over sunsets and sun rises?  There's no good answer to that question.  Perhaps it's a deep subterranean response to our primal DNA.  Perhaps it's the "kid" in us.  Who knows?  Who cares?  Fabulous sunsets and sunrises really light up our personal scoreboard. That's just the way it is.  At the bottom of this blog post, we will put a string of photos from last night's extravaganza.  Luckily, we got home in time to rustle up a nice fire before the light show began.  Gary came over and we were both be-dazzled by the changing light.  Somehow the sunset produced colors I've never seen before beneath the lip of the Mogollon Rim.  Trying to take in all the awesome light is worse than being a dog with two bones.  You just don't know which way to turn.  After the last light faded, Gary and I had a fine time telling stories about getting various vehicles stuck in the mud.  Somehow, we had each other laughing like grade school kids on the recess merry-go-round.

Our final storm total rainfall was 1.1 inches.  That brings the total precip here since our November arrival to 2.50 inches in three storm events.  This storm was enough to actually make the Verde River rise.  It's about 900 cfs at Camp Verde.  The two Beaver Creeks are combining for about 170 cfs and Oak Creek at Cornville is 276 cfs.  The Big News, however, is in the actual snowpack up on The Rim.  Happy Jack jumped from 20 inches to 36 inches!  More importantly, the SWE (Snow Water Equivalent) rose from 6.7 inches to 9.2.  That's enough to actually maybe create a short river running season on the Verde River!  We get a little break for a couple of days before unsettled weather returns.  The NWS is thinking next weekend might be a reprise of this weekend.  There's basically only four more weeks left for potential winter like weather.  When April 1st arrives, some unseen force flips a switch and the pipeline shuts off.  Only rarely will there be a year that sees some decent precip in April.

Saturday was a fun day we didn't have a chance to describe in much detail.  We spent almost two hours with Dear Friend Tom B. in his awesome shop.  Tom is a Master Gunsmith and a crack shot.  You simply wouldn't believe the things he can do to and with a pistol.  It was a wonderful morning there in his Disneyland Little Shop.  THANKS, TOM!!!  Afterwards, we went to the LDS Emergency Fair.  As usual, it was a wonderfully well-organized event and we learned some interesting things.  We will go to every such LDS Fair that we possibly can.  Click here to see our slideshow on it.

Susun called yesterday to say Stasea's Birthday Scavenger Hunt was a great success.  I think there were 5 or 6 teams of two and everyone had a great time.  We've added a couple of photos to Stasea's birthday post below.

It's a short week for us.  We will be leaving for Mesa pretty early on Thursday.  That means Wednesday's going to be a busy day house cleaning and rigging for the trip, etc.  It could be a long stay down there this trip.  Roger might want Susun to stay from her Friday arrival to the Funeral Services on March 1.  We shall see.

We're hoping to get in our last river trip this week but it sure doesn't look too good for that to happen.  With the river running rather high and fast, I'm not going to risk a canoe trip until it drops a little.  It's SOOO easy to get a canoe hung up in a strainer in swift water.  Meanwhile, we're going shooting again tomorrow.  We've cooked up a plan (pun intended) to serve some onsite refreshments to the shooters tomorrow morning.  That's going to take awhile today to get organized.  Meanwhile, we need to "proof" out a couple more spare tires for SuziQ and we might as well get that done today over in Cottonwood. We spent a lot of time this morning tweeking both of our Zuki blogs.  Click here for:  and click here for   We added a "Route Ratings" page to the latter blog.  You might find it interesting.

Meanwhile, someone needs to interview us for some historical study they are doing.  Hum...our schedule is already feeling tighter than a small shoe.  What to do?  Oh, well, it will all work out one way or another.

Have a great day & Cheers!  jp

OK, here's the sunset photos:

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