Summertime…The Ray Bradbury Magic

Of course, Ray Bradbury’s magical science fiction is what he will be remembered for.  But, I love his sweet little book—Dandelion Wine.

I read it many many years ago when my 12 year old summers were fresh in my mind. Long, lazy summers walking  in the woods looking for ladyslippers, swimming in the forbidden mine hole and catching fireflies.

Dandelion Wine is about 12 year old Douglas Spaulding and the summers of days gone by.

Read Dandelion Wine and be enchanted.

Unrequited Love…

“KP” Kerry Pippin Guard LLama

I spent a week tending my uncle’s farm animals.  Geese, goslings, doves, chickens, chicks, a herd of Icelandic sheep, 11 lambs and two very sweet Aussies (Australian Sheepdogs)—Bonnie and Alex.

Then there was, Kerry Pippin, “KP” the guard llama—his job was to take care of the sheep.  I fell in love with KP.  He would eat his “sweet feed” out of my hand, but other than that he had no interest in me at all.  UNTIL, I decided to bring Alex and Bonnie into the barnyard (on a lead) on our way to the river.  KP stood at absolute ATTENTION! a foot in front of me when he saw the dogs—no way was I going to get by.  I tried another entrance, but KP ran over and took his pose once again—this time he pawed the ground—he meant business. Get those dogs out of  my pasture!

LLamas are calm, sweet, curious, dignified, intelligent and very easy to take care of—they are social with other llamas or livestock. But, they are not interested people—feed me but don’t touch me!

KP listening and watching…protecting his flock of sheep,

Fine Motor Control

Ky Valentine’s Musings

Ky Valentine’s Musings

Ky Valentine’s Musings

Real Character

Photo by Pete Souza/The White House

“As a photographer, you know when you have a unique moment. But I didn’t realize the extent to which this one would take on a life of its own,” Mr. Souza said. “That one became an instant favorite of the staff. I think people are struck by the fact that the president of the United States was willing to bend down and let a little boy feel his head.”   NYT


They’re out there.

“No Worries”

An expression I’ve been hearing a lot lately…originating in Australia.  There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on how or when it migrated to the US—my 22 year old daughter remembers hearing it in Santa Cruz about 6 years ago.  My 31 year old daughter say it’s “sorta Urbanish” and means “no worries for the rest of your days”.  My 37 year old daughter remembers hearing it on LBI (Long Beach Island, NJ) in the 90’s from the Australian life guards. “No Worries, Mon.”

No Worries—No Problem—Be Cool—Hakuna Matada!

This Week…Hiking Down The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Facts
Did You Know?
No one has ever found a fossilized reptile skeleton or bone within the Grand Canyon. Fossil footprints were left by more than 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, but no teeth or bones!

Did You Know?
The Grand Canyon is a chasm 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide.

Did You Know?
The Grand Canyon below Yavapai point is 2,400 feet above sea level, about 4,500 feet below the South Rim and 5,400 feet below the North Rim for an average depth of about one mile.

Did You Know?
The Grand Canyon took 3-6 million years to form; erosion continues to alter its contours.

This Week… Hiking Down The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Facts

Split-twig figurines are left by Desert Archaic Cultures (3,000-4,000 years ago)

Prehistoric Pueblo Peoples are living in the canyon (900 years ago)

Hopi guides lead members of the Coronado Expedition (the first Europeans) to the canyon in 1540.

In 1869 Major John Wesley Powell leads the first successful expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

In 1882 then Senator Benjamin Harrison introduced the first of several unsuccessful bills to establish the Grand Canyon National Park.

John Hance, the first non-native settler, starts to promote mining and other ventures in 1883.

Famous paintings by Thomas Moran for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in 1892 promote tourism.

Grand Canyon was first set aside as a forest reserve in 1893 by now President Benjamin Harrison (Presidential Proclamation #45).

This Week…Hiking Down the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Facts

In 1901 train service began between Williams and the South rim.

The next year (1902) the first automobile, a Toledo Eight Horse, made it to the canyon.

In 1905 the Santa Fe railway opened the El Tovar Hotel.

In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon Game Preserve.

President Theodore Roosevelt established Grand Canyon National Monument by Presidential Proclamation #794 in 1908.

Arizona becomes a state in 1912.

Administration was under the United States Forest Service until the establishment of Grand Canyon National Park on February 26, 1919. The actual administrative transfer takes place on August 15th.

Some time in the 1920s the number of people coming by automobile overtakes the number coming by train.

In 1932 President Herbert Hoover established another national monument west (downstream) of the park.

In 1956 the Colorado River Storage Project Act authorizes the Glen Canyon Dam upstream of the park. The gates of the dam were closed in 1963, flooding the area upstream of the dam; forming Lake Powell.

On January 20, 1969, just before leaving office, President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed Marble Canyon National Monument. This finally prevents efforts to create further dams that would have flooded the canyon.

The park was enlarged by the Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act, passed on January 3, 1975. Marble Canyon on the west and Grand Canyon National Monument on the east were added bringing protection to the entire area between Glen Canyon to Lake Mead.

This Week…Hiking Down The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Facts

The Grand Canyon

Length = 277 river miles
Minimum at Marble Canyon = 600 yards
Average rim to rim = 10 miles
Average depth = 1 mile
Rim elevations
South rim = 7,000 feet
Lake Mead boundary = 1,200 feet

Colorado River (within the park)

Length = 277 miles
Average width = 300 feet
Minimum width = 76 feet
Average depth = 40 feet
Greatest depth = 85 feet
Average gradient = 8 feet/mile
Elevation at Phantom Ranch = 2,400 feet
Note: The Colorado River is 1,450 miles long from its source in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of California.

Plant and Animal Life

Birds = 287 species
Mammals = 88 species
Fish = 26 species
Reptiles and Amphibians = 58 species
Plants = 1,500 species
Biotic Life Zones = 5 (Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, Hudsonian)


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