Thursday, December 5, 2013

more from the small state of Texas...

 haha, they are much smaller than Alaska though they are a very proud state.  my one sister in law taught her kids that though Alaska looks larger, it's actually made of ice so still smaller than Texas.  the shops are filled with every kind of item one may want in the shape of Texas, or there is the flag or the star.  i joked with a guy from Texas sitting on the plane coming back that every time i go to Texas i am surprised to find that nobody has made toilet seats in the shape of Texas.  he was surprised as well and seemed tempted to start a new business.  i suspect he'll stick to hair salons though.
 a few from the fossil hill and a walk we took after and then a few from the stockyards in dallas/fort worth.
 fun to see cactus.  it was fun to be taking pictures of totally different things. back to frost shots up here.
 turkey vulture.
 cheetah's.  they are behind fence for obvious reasons.  i'm sure they would rather not have the cheetah's taking out the expensive animals.  better to get them cheaper zoo meat.  easier to replace.
 got a few thank you gifts ready to go and delivered. it would cost me over $50/day to have someone come to the house and check on animals so i always feel the need to give at least some sort of compensation to my friends who help me out when i go out of town.  super nice of them to help me with the animals.  great to be away and know the animals are taken care of and safe.
 got started on some Christmas cards as well.  only made it to the D's but it's a start.  the best laid plans...i lack all ambition so not too surprising.
 i'll have more pictures from the animal park in later posts.  starting with the big camera shots.
 hopefully, my sleep pattern is going to get back to normal. i head to work tomorrow night so that will get me back to the usual pattern.
 the sun doesn't rise until after 9 am and then sets closer to 3-3:30.  never sure.  it changes everyday.
 had an appointment today so i grabbed the dogs and headed there and then over to the dog park.  rio was convinced to join us.  i'm sure she figured i was ditching her again, but we are still all here together.
 hit pet smart for some gift cards for my animal caregivers.
 these are supposedly old dinosaur tracks on the bed of this creek.  guess it's possible.  i wasn't 100%convinced, but cool if they are.
 Texas has some fall colours around.  pretty late by Alaska standards.  won't complain as fall is always a loved season so a repeat is always cool by me.
 not sure what the name of this park was.  it may have even been fossil rim state park. totally different than Alaska, fun to explore and i always love when i can get a walk in while on vacation.
 these are fossilized shells in the rocks.  above is my brother, tom and his kids and his son in law.  curt found all these cool fossils.
 a fall leaf drifts with the current.
 it was a 1-2 hour drive i think from my brothers place to these parks so i think we were all happy to get some walking time before heading back for the drive.
 my nephew jumps across the rocks.
 the rest are from an afternoon at the Dallas/Fort Worth stockyards. i went there once before years ago.  it is a fun little area to goof around in for a day.  i put the macro lens on for much of the afternoon to get family pictures.  seemed like a good idea.
 this one above was shot with the zoom lens.  i liked the cowboys "parked" at the free parking sign.
 i do like cowboys and love dancing to country music.  i miss it.  above is my great niece, Jordan.  she's a cutie. got to read her bedtime stories a few nights.  below is her grandpa, my brother Ross.  he'd been to the stockyards years back and bought his hat then. he brought it back for reshaping.  the hat suits him.  he maybe should have been a rancher rather than a lawyer.
 this is my niece, Claire.  she's only 13 years younger than i am so often it seemed that we were more like siblings than aunt and niece.  we spent a lot of time together.  it was great to see so many family members, many i haven't seen for years.  she came up to Alaska a few summers ago, it was super fun.
 below is her mom, Claralyn.  all but 2 of my siblings have made the trek up north to Alaska.  haven't been able to convince anyone else to move up here.  perhaps one day.
 loved these long horn cattle.  paid $5 bucks and had my niece take a picture there with her kids.  Jordan and Gavin.  so cute.
 this loaded sideways, but the cow is so dang cute i'll just leave it here.
 another brother Joel and his wife Susan.  Joel is 2 above me. he always let me tag along with he and his friends when they'd go out.  i know they weren't always happy about it, but at the time i really didn't get that.  i was happy to be able to join them all.
 i love shooting in black and white.  fun for taking people pictures.
 took a few today of the ice crystals.  not too many.
 it started in with some freezing rain this afternoon.  i'll no doubt have some scraping to do with the car window in the morning.
 every so often i catch my thumb, still sore from where that ostrich bit me.  was talking to my friend gnat in California.  she just laughed at me. like only i would go to Texas and get bit by an ostrich.  it's true.  my life doesn't seem to follow any normal patterns.  not sure how that happens, but strange just follows me.
 another brother, Tom and his wife Darla.  thought this came out nice of them.
 mom's and their sons.
 in my semi hermit stage. i tend to just avoid people after i've been around lots of people.  being an introvert somehow became vogue it seems.  i've always just gone with the flow. overall i can be social, but i like my down time too. my family is pretty large and i do enjoy hanging with them, but then i am home now and a few days with just the dogs works for me.
 a sore on my thumb and a toenail half off that i worry i will rip off pulling a sock off.  i'm a mess...not really sure what happened with the toe, but my big mastiff has stepped pretty hard on toes from time to time so i really wouldn't be surprised if it's related.
 they have tours on these things up here too.  the airport cops were cruising around on these in Dallas, at the Oregon airport the airport police used bikes.
 some family down at the concrete creek below me.
 more fall colours.

 me with my brother, Joel.
 most of the family missed the "cattle drive" down main street.  we all understood this happened at 4:30 and it actually happens at 4.  they run them twice a day or at least they do on the weekend.  the long horns are pretty cool looking cows.

 probably about a dozen cows total.  i just saw people lining up and was looking for my niece.  then there were cows.
 a small plane crashed north of here.  haven't had a chance to catch up on all the papers from the past week.  sounds like there were some survivors, but i think several didn't make it though.
 i did see that the community of Bethel got some sightings of musk ox this past week.  a group was wandering on the outskirts of town apparently.  i guess that hasn't ever happened so it was pretty fun for them.  they are cool animals.  i loaded a few more pictures from a card i had started looking at onto my nat geo page.  they seemed to be liked a few times already.
 i'm ready to turn in soon.  will settle in with a few more papers from last week.  i heard on NPR today that Newsweek is coming back in print soon.  i used to get that magazine.
 scenes from the stockyard.
 loved the bright colours in this group getting on this bright pink limo.

one last of my great niece and i'm off to bed.  good night.

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