Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween...... treat or trick ... .. BOO

On the high plains are numerous small communities that sprang up to serve the early settlers, a general store, post office, blacksmith and eventually the gas station. Nearby would be the cemetery. These communities were close knit, families grew up together, married and raised their families. Unlike today there were no radio or weather services. When the tornadoes roared across the prairie, little warning was given.

Gravestone dates reveal when the destruction of Mother Nature would wreck havoc on the early settlers. Numerous stones would have the same dates on them. Families would perish in these storms.

On warm summer nights one can find these cemeteries. The apparitions come out to visit and moan over the tragedy. They float from grave to grave, pausing, talking and moving on.

Traveling the back roads of the plains, lights flicker on the horizon, images appear for a brief moment. Family members walk out and sit in the cemetery t o visit. Listen to the wailing floating over the fields, the Yucca stands on end at the sound, coyotes cower and other critters stay in their dens on those nights.

Legends grow on those full moon nights of late fall when All Saints day arrives. Walk among the stones, listen to the stories, hear the lament, these communities await you on all hallowed night. There is no trick or treating here. Only the fearless venture forth to visit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Empire Collapse... or where is the catalogue

Around the town could be heard the squeals of delight, the spooks and goblins circulated the neighborhood. It had been a night of ghouls, pranksters and witches decorating the streets. Cars were parked in the middle of the street, a small plane was perched on store top and TP floated off trees. The witching hour was approaching and miniature spooks were seeking out their nests to check out their treasure from the evening. Noise was abating, an occasional car cruising down main street and most lights were no longer glowing.

Quietly the neighborhood settled in for the night. Stump had turned off his yard light and was headed for bed. Out of the backyard came a resounding crash and thump. Quickly he rushed out the back door. Dark figures were scurrying in the alley, laughs and guffaws echoed over the yard. Stump glanced over his yard, no longer was his little house standing. In anger he went running after the dark shapes, bent on catching them. As he went bursting down the steps across the yard, he heard screeches and yells of fear.

The cries rang out, “It’s a ghost, run for yer life.” Stump was dressed for bed, he had his night shirt on and nite cap. As he raced across the yard it gave the appearance of floating over the ground and the flannel nite shirt had faded to almost white. Waving his arms, hollering and the tassel on nite cap flapping he had set the dark figures to fear.

Just as quickly as Stump appeared he disappeared. Where the little house had once set was now an open pit. In to this hole Stump tumbled. Flames of blue came flying up out of the pit. The figures stopped, turned gazing back at the blue fire boiling up. Stump had been in the Navy and every word he had learned echoed across the neighborhood.

Stumps handy work had revealed itself. All those years after plumbing had been installed, Stump kept his little building out back. Receiving paint over the years as it needed it. The privy had been untouched all those years. This year was a challenge to the local boys and they had succeeded in tipping over the one out house that had stood for decades.

Mouths open, the boys stood in the alley, staring at the blue flame flickering out of the pit. Never before had they heard such racket. There were other footsteps on the side of the house, the local patrol had heard the commotion and were seeking out the racket. Rounding the house to the backyard they had to pause and catch themselves from bursting out laughing. There was a tasseled white cap bouncing up and down in the hole and words they had never heard.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A View


For a variety of Reasons the eye is attracted to views/images, some are pleasing others distracting and so forth.  The Vista lets the eye travel to the horizon, to the world’s end.  Do a 180 and there is the end of the view.

Parallax is the divergence that never ends and it is the same no matter the distance.  Lines the appear to converge, remain the same distance apart.  To what end does the eye travel?

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Floating cotton puffs dapple the sky, poles mark lines, cars pass by, wind riffles grasses, a brief moment paused.

From here to there an eternity, flowing together, to never join up.  A separation merging not that gives the illusion of converging.

The weekend is rolling along, it touches not the last, it goes on to the next.  Adjoining but with no attachment.  To the next it marches, pauses not to attach.

May your days have journeys of no end that reach to the next and continue in a path of desires.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Main Street


Small Town America has its main street and each is unique yet very similar.  Building style in the Americas was brought from Europe and as the people moved west they brought what they were familiar with.

The highway would divide the town and usually there was some railroad tracks next to the road.  With the changes in style and moving to the burbs, style has changed.  In the old neighborhoods of the city and out in the small towns the simple style can still be  seen.  There are no sleek and shiny buildings in these place, well usually.

Main street is maybe the highway or it is a cross street to the highway.  Sometimes main street would be built around a town square, here the roads intersected and there would be a bandstand in the middle.

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In my roaming I go through many small rural towns.  Time permitting I stop and take a few pictures of Main Street.

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The old hotels that are still standing are rare catches and made for interesting architecture.  Pause and imagine the business that was transacted in the lobbies of these grand old buildings.  Here is where the traveling peddler would stay.  These small towns were important to him. 

Nearby would be his customers, the clothing shop, hardware store, drug store or maybe the bank.  I would love to have the wall of these old buildings talk to me.

Some have moved to these small towns and bought the old empty stores and made them into nice homes.  Put some sweat equity into them.

Journey down the back roads, what is the next cross road reveal.  Is there another adventure awaiting.

Hope you are having a great week.  Winter is knocking on the door here.  Below freezing and snow in the mountains.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumn Moments


Sun travels faster, leaving earlier, showing up later.  The seasons move across the road, traveling a path of their own destination.  Giving way to the next act.  There are repeats that are not instant replays.  Motion going forward, not repeating.

Harvest of the season, under the moon.  Gathering of the fruits for the short days.  Cold snows sit on the sill, waiting their turn.  Golden colors dapple the horizon.  Palette brushes the ridge line, sparkling glint of eves day.

Soon the north wind will draw the curtain aside and whistle through the cracks, rifting the timbers, rifling down chimneys.

Pleasant cool afternoons to wander the path, looking at the paining set before.  A time of change, ending never.  On toes of past, traveling forward, looking back not.

Autumn of life is arriving, a journey that will pass, leaving a space of memories.

Frosted pumpkin, barren branches appear, brown grasses wave.  Last minute preparations, critters scamper about, others curl into dens.


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It is a nice weekend to be out and about.  Enjoy Yours.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lizard Toads


There little lizards referred to as horny toads.  They are a few inches long and an inch or two wide.  They puff up to look bigger then they are and can be very intimidating to other small critters.  They have horns/spikes and give the appearance of a small tank scurrying over the ground.  Used to catch them when I was younger and keep them in a small box for a few days as a pet.  I would catch bugs and put in for it to eat and had a jar lid for water.


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It went running across in front of me.  I had almost stepped on it.  If it hadn’t been for that I would of not seen it.  Soon it will be to cold for it and into hibernation it will go.

Had a mixed mongrel that would walking with me.  She found one of these things and was just having a blast playing with it.  She would pick it up in her mouth and carry it.  The toad would wiggle and she would spit it out.  Go back and pick it up again, the toad would wiggle and out it would go.  I finally caught up with and got the toad and took over to a rocky ledge and let it go and scolded the dog to let it be.  It was a sad droopy eyed look I got from the dog.  Any way we went our way and the toad had a story for its grand children…. Hah

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A short distance on, I came across a smaller one.  It to went scurrying across my path.  They blend in real well with their surroundings.

They like to eat ants, next year I may try to capture one and turn it loose on the local ant hill.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Old Threshers Day…… finit


Threshing day, this is the day the farmer worked for.  Here he would see the fruits of his labor.  The grain was his pay for the years work of plowing, tilling and planting.  I was an area celebration.  Neighbors would gather and help each other with the threshing.  Hay ricks would be towed in, followed by grain wagons.  The wives would show up with lemonade and food, there would be visiting and catching up on the gossip.

Usually one farmer would have a threshing machine and another would supply the tractor and together the neighbors would work from sun up till it set.

Hay ricks would empty and be re loaded with the straw for the hay stack.  Grain wagons would be hauled back to the granary to be unloaded.  It was a frenzy of activity.

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The tractor would be hooked up and work begins.  Wheat bundles tossed to the threshers belt and separated out grain rolls out of the chute while straw piles up behind the thresher.

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For the farmer this was the most critical part of the year.  It made him or broke him.  No longer do the steamers operate the thrashers today.

The government has passed all kinds of regulations and inspections that most people don’t want to spend the money to show them off.  The government has taken a harmless hobby and quashed it because one individual screwed up and blew his tractor up.  The many have to pay for the screw up of one.

For me these celebrations are about the steamers and the roll they played in pioneer life.  Instead an old tractor gets hooked up and sputters along imitating an old steamer.

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This is what I learned to drive, it was one year newer.  I didn’t drive a car till I was 16.  It was trucks and tractors out across the fields and down the country roads.

May the dove of happiness be your companion this weekend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Old Threshers Day…… VI


One of the old days is the old time entertainment.  The singing, with maybe an instrument, something small, a fiddle, harmonica or a dulcimer maybe.  Guitars and pianos were just plain ole big to lug over the prairie in a covered wagon, although a few made it.  There was always the washboard and maybe some spoons.  Otherwise music was pretty simple. 

There were some singers that sang during the lunch hour.  Some good picking and twanging to go with the barbecue.  There were a couple of large canopies with picnic tables under them and a PA system was set for the entertainment.   They had their guitars and a good nasal twang, good ole down home singin’.

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Later s fiddler showed up and the hoe down was under way.

Collections, never have I seen so many collectible collections.

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And there were also quilts.  What is an old time day without a quilt or two.

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Jump in the Ox wagon and go for a ride around the grounds.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Threshers Day….. V Draft Horses


The monster horse, does not pull the beer wagon, it pulls the plow and other equipment.  Draft horses are monster horses, they will come close to weighing in at a ton, 1500-1900 pounds.  15 hands tall to big ones over 18 hands.  The average horse is 11-12 hands, 1000 to 1100 pounds.  It is amazing to watch these big brutes work.  They are so gentle and easy to be around.

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As I watched them work, it was not easy for the horses to plod over the dirt clods.  They would stumble at times but they maintained their balance.  At a nice even pace they walked the field.


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I finally got this young lady to pose for me.  She is not a small person but she is dwarfed next to the horse.

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As one hooks up the the buggy another keeps the horses still so they do not walk away from the tongue.  Working behind horses is a tricky business and many do not do.  Yet these handlers worked with ease behind their horses.

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There were different horses there and there was a set of mules there.

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Surprisingly the mule will out work the big horses.  Their stamina is longer and they don’t need the rest like a horse does.  They also tend to be stronger then a horse.  After the oxen the mule was the next preferred beast of burden for plowing or hauling wagons.  The horse is the glamour animal, the worker is the mule.

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What was neat to watch was this little girl.  She appeared to be about 12 years old.  She was guiding these big horses around with ease.  A jiggle of the reins, a clicking of the tongue and the animals moved at her command.  It might of been an older brother and little sister, because he was walking with her and talking to her and the horses.  Around the yard they went.

To look over the backs of these animals, one has to be about 6’6” or get a ladder to stand on.

Have a good week.