Ever Herded Chickens?

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Have not been able to get my act together the last week and a half for love or chocolate. I could blame it on the never ending winter weather or low sugar, but I just need to get organized. Some of the most energetic and brilliant creatures I’ve ever met are Border Collies. Maybe I need to hire one as an assistant!

But from this training film, it looks like Border Collie pups have to start at the bottom too; herding chickens. If you’re having that kind of week, remember even Border Collies start with chickens.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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It’s Time For A Piano Playing Chicken!

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

I chose to turn off the news Tuesday night and watch “America’s Got Talent.” Sometimes your heart and mind need a break.

So what restored my faith? This pretty perky little fowl. If we can harness chicken power to play the piano, there is nothing we can’t accomplish together. Think the chickens are getting a band together too.

Stay safe, practice the Golden Rule and be kind to others. Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday.

 

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Honoring The Brave

by Kimberly A. Cook                    (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

This weekend we head into Memorial Day and last Saturday was U.S. Armed Forces Day. With all the crazy going on in the world, we can always rely on the men and women in our military doing their jobs day in and day out to keep us safe.

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Tomb Sentinels from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) conduct a changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, Va., May 5, 2017. Members of The Old Guard have guarded the Tomb every second, of every day regardless of weather conditions since April 6, 1948. (U.S. Army photos by Pfc. Gabriel Silva)

 

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A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter arrives at the pickup zone at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, April 6. The aviators were taking part in a joint-training exercise with Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, in anticipation of working together during future Atlantic Resolve missions. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Thomas Scaggs)

 

I wanted to recognize all service members in the National Guard, Reserve, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force and our military animals. This Sunday on Memorial Day is a time to remember all those who gave the greatest sacrifice for our country.

Laboon is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations designed to reassure allies and partners and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region

 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (May 11, 2017) Yeoman Seaman Theresa Porcellini mans the ship’s wheel from the aft steering station during a simulated toxic gas drill aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58). The ship is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations designed to reassure allies and partners, and preserve the freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class J. R. DiNiro/Released)

 

A picture speaks a thousand words, so these photos are courtesy of the Department of Defense amazing photographers.

 

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Pfc. Heaven Southard, an Army military working dog handler with the Directorate of Emergency Services, Area Support Group – Kuwait, releases her military working dog “Jerry” during a demonstration of MWD capabilities at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Mar. 7, 2017. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Dalton Smith)

 

Give a prayer of thanks for those who serve and take a moment of silence to honor those who gave their lives in defense of our country. Freedom isn’t free.

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GULF OF OMAN (March 2, 2017) Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) disembark a landing craft air cushion (LCAC) after returning to the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) following exercise Sea Soldier 17. The annual, bilateral exercise is conducted with the Royal Army of Oman and is designed to demonstrate the cooperative skill and will of U.S. and partner nations to work together in maintaining regional stability and security. Somerset, with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations designed to reassure allies and partners, preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce and enhance regional stability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amanda Chavez/Released)

 

 

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USCG Motor Lifeboat 47213 conducting surf operations near the treacherous Columbia River Bar, Washington. The 47-foot Motor Life Boat is primarily designed as a fast-response rescue vessel for high-seas, surf, and heavy weather environments. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jamie Thielen)

 

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Air Force pararescuemen with the 58th Rescue Squadron prepare for aerial transport during a personnel recovery scenario at Pond Landing Zone during Angel Thunder 17 in Tucson, Ariz., May 11, 2017. Angel Thunder is a two-week, Air Combat Command-sponsored, joint certified and accredited personnel recovery exercise focused on search and rescue. The exercise is designed to provide training for personnel recovery assets using a variety of scenarios to simulate deployment conditions and contingencies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)

 


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Seen Huck The Roof Dog?

by Kimberly A. Cook                   (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Huckleberry knows what he’s doing. It’s the humans who are driving his mom and dad nuts. Seems this lively pooch figured out how to get on the roof as a young pup and he loves the height advantage. But every human who comes by thinks they don’t know about Huckleberry’s roof job.

His parents have posted a sign. So don’t knock, but do wave at Huckleberry! He’s a social media top dog now. #hucktheroofdog  Of course.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

 

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Got Secret Sea Lions In Your Camera?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Sun fever. That’s my excuse for no posts the last two weeks. The bright orb came out for three days in a row, so I grabbed Mom and we bugged out for the beach. The Friday traffic was light, the sun kept shining; we were sure we’d get struck by lightning, but nada. Yeah!

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This is one of the coves on the North Point at Depoe Bay. You can see the city in the background along the sea wall.

 

Took my almost new Canon PowerShot SX530 HS with me to put it through its paces. This beauty has focal length from 24-1200mm with a 50x zoom and 16 megapixels for about $250.00. It’s my first foray back into larger body cameras after leaving my metal 35mm Minolta’s behind in 2006 to go digital with the Canon ELPHs. Sometimes you just need a bigger lens. Smirk.

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When I went full zoom from the same spot above, look who showed up? A faithful seagull subject. Thank heavens the clouds came in so his colors show up nicely and he/she is not bleached out.

 

Anyway, a big perk is the plastic body so it doesn’t weigh a ton like my vintage 35mms. When I worked on the newspaper I carried a 28 wide and a 100-250 zoom on two camera bodies and tried not to break my neck. Weighs less than a pound. This seems the best of both worlds, plus no film!

Of course, the manual has so many gadget settings it may take me years to figure them out, but I was out stalking marine wildlife and taking shots to test it. Much fun. Mom is working on her photo skills too, so we were girls on a mission.

One thing I did was make like a human tripod, since I didn’t bring one along on our walk. Both tripods were safe in the car back at the condo. I ended up leaning against a post and bracing my legs and then my elbows on my chest. It helps, really.

The clouds came over as a bonus since we were out at 2 p.m., not the best time for getting photos. But you take what you can get and go with it. When the wind picked up we scuttled back to the condo. Upon perusal of my many pics, I cracked up when I saw the ones of the buoy.

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One photo trick is to get the path to take the viewer into the picture. This one I used both the rope and posts on the left side and the path on the far right. Between trees three and four from the left, is where the buoy is in the next pic.  It’s a ways out there, trust me.

 

Surprise sea lions! The 50x was at its max zoom, I was concentrating on being a tripod and just trying to get the buoy in the frame, so imagine my delight to find sleeping sea lions in my picture, lounging on the buoy. You never know what might show up in your pictures.

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A tripod would have helped this exposure. As the “marine mammal editor” on the paper I was always mixing up the harbor seals with the sea lions. Harbor seals are like fat sausages and sea lions have the big flippers and small ears.  Sea lion on the right, I’m holding judgment on the other two.  Next time I’m taking both tripods!

 

So keep taking pics and being surprised. It’s part of the adventure!

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Water Safety Weekend Everybody, Even For River Otters

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

We might get two actual days of sun in a row this weekend, it’s a miracle! With all that hope and cabin-fever induced crazy going to happen, make sure you wear your SPF 50 sunscreen and practice water safety.

Our new youngster Tucker at the Oregon Zoo is getting taught to swim whether he wants to or not by his Mom. This reminds me of swimming lessons in grade school. Yikes! But he’ll be cruising around making waves in no time.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Have You Spit On Rocks Today?

by Kimberly A. Cook                     (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Distracted easily, that’s me. Finally had a day of sun last Friday and I could hardly make up my mind what to do first. I avoided all the things I “should” do and bolted into the backyard to assess fairy house door construction.

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Love this solar powered fairy door. When you open the door a staircase shows up, but alas, too tall.

The Douglas Fir stump in the middle of the Fairy Rock Garden is going to become a house. With this in mind I have already cut up one of the leftover cedar fence boards for a roof.

Assembly challenges exist on that since I can’t figure out how to nail the pieces together, even with a vice. Think glue first, then nails.

Have been able to de-cone several pine cones to get the shakes ready for the roof, but I digress. Last year I bought a variety of fairy house doors and now was the first opportunity to go outside without a scuba suit on for more than ten minutes and play.

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Very cute Easter Bunny themed door, but would not allow for roof overhang. Don’t think I need to do gutters. We shall see.

Gathered the fairy house door booty and headed out. Tried several different doors and the size problem appeared. Too small or too big. The Goldilocks issue. When I finally figured out the little door with the Welcome sign on it would work the best, I noticed a shiny pretty rock in the special lake rocks.

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Perfect! Even comes with flowers and a window frame. Now have to figure out the entire glue attach thing.

This is how it starts. For us born rock hounds, it was a simple pick up of one rock. That is never enough. Before I knew it I was matching rocks for earring sets. Like when am I going to get my butt in gear to do that?

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A girl and her bucket of rocks. Life is good.

Never stopped me before, so on I gathered. Ended up using one of the large fairy house doors as a tray. When I had trouble finding exact matches I hauled out the kitty litter plastic bucket still  half-full of leftover rocks. There is another full container since I obviously didn’t know how many rocks I would need. Backup rocks.

While I sat in the sun hunched over the plastic bucket, happiness ensued. One challenge was the lake rocks had been out all winter and were completely rinsed off, not so the ones in the bucket. Dust on these, so this required some spitting to get the true color on some rock specimens.

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Little rock couples, how cute.  Except for one at the top. And before I tripped. But I have the photo.

 

When I finally stopped since the tray was full, it worked well until I tripped on getting up and launched three of the rocks into oblivion, never to be recovered.  Sigh. When baby rocks fall into other rocks and on a cement walkway studded with rocks, forgetaboutit. I did a scan, nada.

Pretty proud of myself I only lost three of the rocks, though. Can use the others as pendants. You betcha.

If you’ve got a rock hound in your family, we’ve got Mother’s and Father’s Day coming up. Go to a local landscape rock place, find the “specialty” rocks and buy a couple pounds. Perfect!

Got rock stories?

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