Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In praise of public works

The New Croton Dam was built 1892-1906 largely by stone masons who were brought over from southern Italy without their families.  Each stone weighs 2,500 - 3,500 lbs.
Instead of a device designed to hold 34 billion gallons

What was once Croton River is now 20 miles of Croton Lake
of fresh water for New York City,

As schoolboys we climbed up the spillway
think of the New Croton Dam as a sculpture.

The closer you get,

the more beautiful

it is

Friday, November 25, 2011

Deer murder at the Double Ditch Ranch

Tuesday morning I went out the back door to get the paper and there were some big feline tracks.  My size 13 boot is on the right. (these 1st 3 pictures were all taken the day after the attack so the evidence is a little fuzzy.)

Later that morning we found a flattened deer at the bottom of the ditch behind the house.  In the summer, the ditch looks like an English trout stream and it is full of trout.  But it's drained in the winter and the deer use it as a highway. 

  The victim looked like it had been flattened by a 500 lb. eagle.

Indeed a bald eagle showed up the next morning to help the magpies, bobcat, and fox clean up the leftovers. But he was a long ways short of 500 lbs. and he swore he was not the perp.  No way he could knock over a full grown deer.

Our rancher neighbors say, no question, it was a mountain lion.  Joe Axtell, whose ranch is next door, lost 35 sheep to a mountain lion two winters ago.  The mountain lion didn't eat the sheep, he just killed them for fun.  Joe and his neighbor, rancher Dan McReynolds, hunted it down and shot it.  They had it stuffed and it now stands in McReynold's living room.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Deer Stories at the Double Ditch Ranch

In the summer there were fauns in the pasture

And young bucks

Our first snow was in October

This morning we had our first real snow, a momma and her twins

Barkley and Kathryn loved it

It is very beautiful