Birdmen of Chaparral park

Our latest favorite fishing hole is Chaparral park in Scottsdale. Chaparral has a 10 acre "lake", The Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks it with trout in the winter and catfish in the summer. On most occasions we catch some good sized trout or catfish.

But on occasion..... We catch nothing and get bored, and by we I mean mostly Chris. So last year Chris started catching birds... He started with pigeons:
And then went after bigger game:
Other than acting indignant the goose did not put up much of a fight.
He used to use a net and corn as bait, but we have since learned that if they are hungry enough the pigeons will land on your hands and eat.

The pigeons appear to do something interesting, at least one of them will land on your hand and rip off big chunks of bread and throw it to the ones gathering below. mostly it is a free for all with them landing on top of each other and jostling for position.

At one point, one pigeon chased another one up my arm to make him go away. Once in your hands or on the ground in front of you they can be caught rather easily. Oh and spare me your comments on how pigeons are sky rats, or are filthy, and disease ridden. They are no cleaner or dirtier than any other wild bird on the planet.

I find it quite humorous when people bring their kids to this park to feed the birds, as soon as bread is thrown on the ground every pigeon in the park shows up and swarms the poor kid, scaring the crap out of them (the kid not the birds).

Garfield minus Garfield

Who would have thought that the Garfield comic strip would still be funny if you removed Garfield.



The Florence Military Reservation

During the winter my brothers and I go hunting in and around the FMR. The FMR is located approximately 6 miles north of Florence Arizona. Contrary to most maps of the area it extends north another 8 miles. it encompasses about 40 square miles.

Since we started hunting in and exploring around this area we have walked through a large portion of it as you can see in the image below.
The blue lines indicate our tracks taken from our GPS devices. There would be more of them but for the first several month's we were out here we did not have GPS. I then got a GPS and in December of 2005 all 3 of us got GPS FRS radios. On an average trip we each walk from 3 to on one occasion about 8 miles. Generally we walk about 4 miles each time we are out there.

This area in late spring and early winter gets to be very green.
Here is a 360 degree panorama taken from the top of an extinct volcanic fissure near the entrance
We have seen or found a lot of strange things on our hikes. Here's a guy that was flying around in a paraglider.
We find the crumbled remains of old structures:

Mine shafts (some with water):

Here is a Video of the Mine shaft from above that had water in it.

While hiking through what we now know is private property, we found a javelina that was possibly shot out of season.
Quite possibly the strangest thing I found was the remains of a white owl that had been jammed between the limbs of a palo verde tree with it's wings ripped off (weird).

Things that we have found in and around the FMR that we do not have pictures of:
The hood to a truck from the 20's or 30's.
A Bed frame(intact and setup with no mattress).
The head of a pick.
The head of a shovel.
A wine bottle.
Modern hunting arrows.
Pieces from military flare signaling devices.
Parts of 155mm illumination flares.
A fired 37mm practice anti aircraft round.
5 foot lengths of PVC pipe embedded vertically in the ground in random locations.
Bones of various animals (no humans yet).
A rusted trailer (with flat tires) loaded with the gas tank from a car or truck and roofing shingles.
intact, unbent, un-rusted Duct work.
Miles of steel military communications wire.
Spent glow sticks.
An old barely readable wooden sign stating something about "you are now entering a free bird buffet".

In almost every case these items were located at least a mile from the nearest dirt road. The duct work specifically would have required 2 people to carry it.
The PVC pipe is an enigma as we find them in the weirdest places. In one case I was trying to get through some dense brush and trees and in the middle of this area was a length of PVC pipe embedded vertically in the ground.

Animals we have seen:
Jack Rabbits
Ground squirrels
Mule deer

Animals we have not seen:
Snakes of any kind
Desert tortoise (bones don't count).

Animals we don't want to see:
Mexican wolfs
Mountain lions
Rattle snakes


What Became of my Images

I have wondered what some of the images I have sold on dreamstime were used for, well I found 1 of them in 2 publications available for download from the internet: Here (Bottom page 2 of the PDF), and Here (Top Page 1 of the PDF).


Slow to post

I am extremely busy with several projects unrelated to having fun. It may be a while before you see a new post from me.


Sean's Birthday

Check out Mike's Post here.


Second Blog

I have started a second blog that will have only fire related posts. That blog is called "Phoenix Fires" and the site is fires.guildig.org. This site will not be fully accessible by some people for about 24 hours. Some of you may be able to view it now.

All posts from my current blog that were about fires have been moved to this blog. Some posts that were not particularly interesting were just deleted.


Final Canyon Lake Post (in HDR)

Here's my last post on the Canyon Lake Drawdown. About a week ago SRP started refilling Canyon Lake. However because of expected rain this weekend they stopped. We decided to go out for one more look before they refilled it. We would not get another chance for 20 years. This time there wasn't much of interest to find as most everything was washed away by the rains we've had recently. However we did get to see how much of the sediment had washed away from the runoff. If you look closely in the picture below you will see Chris in the lower right hand corner, he is 6' 6" the runoff removed about 15' of sediment, leaving this formation that looks like something you would find in the Grand Canyon.
Chris and Mike spent a few minutes throwing rocks at some of the overhanging sediment and caused a small avalanche.

After this we went to the marina, sat around and then had lunch at the Lakeside Restaurant & Cantina. The food was pretty good but maybe just a little over priced. We walked around the marina a bit and saw this collection of anchors that were recovered from the lake bottom (39 to be exact).
After that we decided to drive to Roosevelt lake. A couple of miles out side of Tortilla Flats the paved road ends and a dirt road begins. this road narrows down to one lane for about 2 miles and twists and turns down steep mountain grades, a ride not for the faint of heart. Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures going down the road (to busy driving). At the bottom is a one lane bridge (left pic), The center pic is looking back up the mountain at the road, and the right pic is looking at one of the many cars that we saw that had gone off the edge.

We got to Apache Lake and drove around but there wasn't much to see. Here is a pic of the lake on the way to Roosevelt Dam.
We stopped at the entrance to the dam and took a few pics.

Here is one of the many SCARY signs warning people to stay out.
We then went a little further up and stopped at the lookout point to take some more pictures.

We went further on to the back side of the dam for more pics. Once more passing a SCARY sign. This one guarding another entrance to the dam.
Here are the pics from the back side.

After that we drove to the 87 and went home.


Christmas 2007

Every year my Mother-In-Law Carol has a Christmas eve party. Anyone who wishes to come is invited. However there were some no shows:
Santa-Joe - Who is in hospice recovering from Cancer of the throat.
Alan - Who was in town but otherwise engaged.
David - Unknown reason.
Eric - Was in town earlier in the month.
Here are some of the pics from Christmas eve.

From Left to Right, Kayla, Sean, Dixie, Kathi, and Carol.

From Left to Right, Juliet, Maeghan, Amanda, Haven, Amanda, and Kayla.

Tammy, and Carol, Amanda Maeghan, Dixie, and Mindy.

Maeghan, Tammy, Amanda, Mindy, Kayla, and Chris
Here are some pics from Christmas day.

Mary, (yes she can smile).

See I told you so!

Candy, the other Eric, Barbara, and Daniel.

Megan (who gets beaten with reeds if she smiles).