Friday, June 13, 2014

Beep! Beep ! Beep! Zip-TANG!

Odd title, I know, but it has it's purpose...yesterday I saw my very first Roadrunner. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough with my camera so I didn't get any pictures. He was on the side of the road, thinking of crossing, but then he dashed back into the brush. I can't believe, after having lived here for all but 4 years of my life, this was the first one I've seen but in my defense I went many years without wearing glasses so when someone would point out a roadrunner, if it wasn't right in front of my face I couldn't see it. Well, maybe not right in front of my face, but it had to be within 10 feet, I guess. Anyway, I was pretty excited at having seen my first one. In case you don't know what one looks like, here's one from Google courtesy of Pima Community College in Tucson
Now for the reason of the title and how it relates to a Roadrunner. Well, I'm sure many of you have seen the Wile E Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons. In one cartoon, it shows two boys watching the cartoon and one of the little boys really liked the Roadrunner and would often say "Beep! Beep! Beep! Zip-TANG!" to sort of mimic the noise Roadrunners made just before fleeing from the Coyote so I thought it appropriate for this post. hahaha. In the cartoon, as the boys were talking, the Coyote stopped chasing the Roadrunner and addressed the kids to tell them why he was always after the bird. It was kind of funny that you were watching a cartoon of 2 little boys watching a cartoon and then the cartoon characters would talk to them.

So, yesterday I went out on a hunting expedition for wild horses and have decided it is definitely too hot to go out anymore this "season" in a vehicle without air conditioning. And I'm pretty sure all the "evidence" I saw was from domestic horses rather than wild ones. Why I thought that, I don't really know, but it was a feeling I had. So, after checking all my usual spots I decided to go see if any domestic horses would cooperate for me and went driving by my usual places for seeing them. I was only slightly more successful at that, but I haven't uploaded any of those photos yet and I'm not sure I'm going to share them. We'll have to see what they look like. Shooting through some of the fences from a car doesn't always produce a decent photo and I don't want to get out and walk over to shoot above the fence because I'm always afraid people will think I'm harassing the horses. Nobody has yelled at me, yet, but I'm always careful to not stop at a property where someone is outside. During the show season I can go to WestWorld and shoot horses there, but I like going out and finding random horses to shoot. When a former co-worker was still here, she was going to ask a friend of hers who had Arabians if I could shoot hers, but then she found out that the friend was trying to sell them, plus they were show horses and a little protective of them. That's how it seems to be for me. I know people who know people with horses, but I don't know anybody directly whom I can ask if I can photograph them so I sneak around. hahaha. I did take some pictures with my cell phone, though, and those I'll share now because I have no delusions of them being good and since I had my 70-300mm lens on my dSLR and didn't feel like switching to a shorter lens, I specifically used my cell phone. I guess I could've taken out my little point & shoot, but my brain was starting to fry and I didn't want to take it out. hahaha.

So, first we have this ranch at 156th St and Dynamite/ Rio Verde. People live there and they have a pretty nice property with lots of paddocks, but I've never seen any horses in them. I couldn't even swear they even still had horses, but why keep such a large property if you didn't have horses?

Something interesting they do have is large sculptures of animals on the side of the road (the main entrance is on 156th). There's Elk, Bear and some other animals that escape me at the moment. The first time I saw them, I thought they were real, but then I realized they weren't moving. They're pretty neat statues, but where's the horses? hahaha

These next photos are while I was coming down 152nd St towards Dynamite/ Rio Verde (I don't remember at what point Dynamite becomes Rio Verde so that's why I keep putting both names).
While on a different dirt road (a lot of the roads off Dynamite/Rio Verde are dirt) I had seen a large vehicle and quickly realized it was a horse transport, which piqued my interest right away.  I was curious as to where he was going, especially when he stopped in from of Loma Vista Ranch.  And then...
He started to back up.  I had no idea where he was going to turn and if he was going to back into somewhere or what.  Initially I thought maybe he missed his turn or wanted to back in, but then I realized he didn't want to hold up traffic, not that there is much, and that's why he was in the center median of the road.  Anyway, he backed up to the head of 152nd St and...uh-oh...I saw his wheels start to turn towards me.  Slowly he began turning down 152nd St.  There isn't enough room for two vehicles on that road (or most of the others) and I'm sure he saw me so I wasn't sure what he was planning to do.  I ended up pulling over closer to the fence of the ranch on the right and that provided enough room for him to pass me.  There was someone in one of the paddocks of the ranch and the driver stopped to ask him a question (after nodding a 'thank you' to me for moving).  There was a horse with its head poking out one of the back windows, but I don't know if someone was getting a delivery or the transport was there to pick up.  I went to see "my" house on the other side of Dynamite/Rio Verde and by the time I came back to the main road, which was only about 5 or so minutes, I could no longer see the trailer.  Bummer.  Do you wanna hear something silly?  When I saw the horse I actually said "Oh, Hello there!"  Yeah.  Pretty silly, I know, but what can I say?

After that I was going to go to "my" spots over off of Shea Blvd, but I was so hot by then that I went to lunch then spent about 2 hours at Barnes & Noble before heading home.

Onto a different topic.  A couple of days ago the San Diego Zoo announced the birth of a Cheetah kitten and said because its mother had rejected it (very common in single births, even in the wild) they would be hand-raising him to be used as an Animal Ambassador and had paired him with a 7 week old Rhodesian Ridgeback.  Not real sure why the puppy wasn't still with her litter, though, at that age.  Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of Ruuxa,  the Cheetah and of Ruuxa and Raina the puppy

Aren't they so cute?  There's video of them playing together and they get along quite well.  The zoo and Wild Animal Park have quite a history of pairing Cheetahs with dogs successfully.  Why?   Because Cheetahs are natrually nervous animals and dogs usually have a lot of confidence.  The dog's calm manner keeps the Cheetah from getting too stressed out.  Other zoos have been doing it now, too, and the pairings have enabled them to use the cats as ambassadors for their declining species.  Currently they're not available for public viewing, but it's been implied that will eventually change.  I'm going in November, but I don't know if they'll be viewable to the public by then or still.

Hurray for another weekend!  I have laundry this weekend.  Oh joy!  I hope everyone has a great one!

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