Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 4 It's Finally a Snow Day

Our Great Pyrenees dogs would love it if winter lasted all year long. During the hottest part of summer, it is hard to get them outside. Now, thanks to our first good snow of the season, it is hard to get them to come back inside. Here's the excitement that occurred in my backyard today.
It all starts with Oslo giving Roxie the hairy eyeball from across the yard...then I say "Go get'em Roxie!".
Oslo has the speed advantage...Roxie has the weight advantage...they start by biting each others feet, then they move to biting the ears...
...once Roxie gets the upper hand...Oslo chooses the run away defense...
...then the fat girl chases the Fanook around the yard...
eventually she catches him and the foot & ear attacks begin all over again...
...with the occasional take down happening to one of them...
...then it ends with a time out to remove the snow packed in between the pads on the paws...
...and that is how to have fun on a snow day.

November 27 Sandhill Cranes

While walking the dogs at Sweet Woods we heard sandhill cranes flying overhead. It was the first time this fall that Christy or I had heard them. So we decided to drive down to Jasper Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area near Medaryville, Indiana. This area is a stopover on their migration south. The cranes socialize in the Goose Pasture pictured above. They roost in the marshes at Jasper Pulaski and spend the daylight hours feeding in the surrounding farm fields. We arrived in late afternoon and witnessed thousands of sandhill cranes returning to the Goose Pasture at sunset. The count posted online this week is over 14,000 cranes. We probably saw several thousand return during the 2 hours we spent here. The public is limited to the viewing stand at the Goose Pasture. It gives you a great view and the sound of all those sandhill cranes socializing is incredible to hear.
These cranes walked across the field toward to marshes to our north. This group came the closest to us on the ground.

The greater sandhill cranes which I believe migrate here have a wingspan of 6-7 feet. They are amazing to watch. When they land they drop their landing gear (legs) and float to the ground. This usually happens in large groups and they prefer to land in the middle of the flock not on the outskirts where there is more room.

Several flew right over us, of course it is very risky looking up with several hundred huge birds flying overhead but what can I say I'm a risk taker. Whatever I must endure to get a good photo.

As the sun set, huge flocks began to land in front of us...

...and the horizon was filled with black dots that got larger as they approached.

These outcasts landed in the field to the south of us away from the main group.

The temperatures dropped with the sun but the sandhill cranes just kept landing as we walked back to the car to warm up. If you live in this area you really should see this at least once in your life. An incredible way to spend a chilly fall afternoon.

November 26 Dick Jokes

I'm a guy, so I really do not keep track of anniversaries and which gift is associated with each year. For example, the 25th is silver. Yes, I googled it. Anyway I recently celebrated, actually celebrated isn't really the word to describe it, let's go with suffered through my 46th birthday. Now you are asking, does this blog have a point...I am getting to the point...apparently the 46th year is the dick joke year....who knew? Here are a few of the cards I received this year. This one was sent by my mother-in-law. She used to work in a flower shop so I am pretty sure she has the Anniversary Year list memorized so here's her contribution to my Dick Joke year.
on the inside it reads..."and if you had a 3-1/2" floppy you just hoped nobody found out!"
This one came from Chrissy's Aunt Marilyn.
it reads "Happy Birthday to a real master baiter."
and finally the one from my wife...
it reads "No hair, no teeth and I think I just wet myself." So just remember to get the dick joke cards for someone's 46th year.

November 19 Hockey Night in Homewood

I can finally get around on one crutch so thanks to Reg picking me up I can watch my hockey team play tonight. It should be no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that my team plays much better without me. This season there are only 4 teams in the "B" division. The league is well balanced and every game is a battle to be the victorious team. So here is my hockey night in Homewood in pictures.
It starts with a pregame stretch. Here's the goalie Mike Deegan getting ready.
Once the goalie is ready, the team takes turns pelting him with shots to prepare him for the game. Also referred to as the shoot around or warming up the goalie.
After the five minute warm up, the game begins.
We played SNS tonight, they scored an early goal on us and here is Ian centering for 2/3rd's of the living legend line, Walt Jadek. & Reg Dunlop.
Here's Walt, #73 doing what he does best, mixing it up in front of their net.
Here's newcomer Matt Landahl scoring on a breakaway.

OOOPS. Hey Ref! Not sure how that happened but I know it shouldn't be a penalty.
Here's the youngest player on the team, Tony Barracca rushing the puck into the offensive zone.
After the face off, it's a battle for the puck.
Four guys within 5 feet of the net, somebody isn't covering the point, don't want to name names but it is #19.
The goalie has to be ready for a shot at all times.
Crafty veteran Reg Dunlop schools another young opponent on a face off.
Even though it was a rough night for the guys in white, Northstar lost 8-3 if I remember correctly, the post game congrats and/or apologies for not playing better in front of him are given to the goalie.
Then the best tradition in all of sports, win or lose, a casual or bitterly fought game, there is always the post game  handshake.