Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A day on the river

Friday was a great day to be on the water. The air was warm and humid without being hot and harsh. The wind was soft and it was a near perfect day to be outside. The company was good and the river was kind.


The crew

Break by the river side

Brenda and Danielle

Ty and Mia

The ham

Rod's place in Roseau River

Senkiw swinging bridge

Concrete swinging bridge 1946 dedication

Three grad students and a horse trainer

The kids at play on the bridge

Swinging bridge from the south side

West from Senkiw swinging bridge

East from Senkiw swinging bridge

Philis and Margaret getting a life jackets so our knees didn't kill us any more!

Al McD speaking to the river gods on our behalf

Margaret on the bridge begging for a picture of her arm pit. Women!

Margaret and Danielle at the bridge

Ty gets carried away

Ty gets carried away-0

Ty gets carried away-1


I don't often think about it, but this week pointed out again that living on the prairie leads one to focus on the weather. I understand it's not like that everywhere. When we look for a forecast it has to have all the details.

I lost several hours of sleep Friday night to lightening, thunder and heavy bursts of rain. We had one blast of hail, but the garden seems to be untouched so it wasn't horrid like it can be.

I saw this series of images of a storm in Kansas and once again wished I was rolling in dough to by a Nikon D200 and get results that rival my 35mm setup, but that's not going to happen. I have too many other interests to make room for that baby.

The Canon A70 I have isn't capable of the macro work I often find myself interested in doing. So many buttons, so little time. Lately I've seen some very inexpensive cameras with outstanding close up capacities so I'm itchy.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Done like burnt toast

One of my friends ran a 100km race today

This was Dwayne's first ultra marathon. I still can't quite get my head around the distances of that style of running. Yeah! A sub twelve hour finish! Sheesh!

What a weekend, and it's not over yet either. Had a fellow come and estimate the cost of installing a new front door and replacing the last of the aluminum slider windows. We got some good council on the siding job too which was handy. The place should look pretty spiffy by fall time. I think PU is really into it all and so she should be. I'm such a slug when it comes to moving forward on anything that might represent a new look just for the sake of the look.

I read Therou too early and took to heart his cautions about jobs that require new clothes and not a new wearer of clothes.

I skipped working at G&M yesterday to run the Roseau River with three young bright grad students and Margaret. Margaret is my age and as it turns out isn't really that comfortable in white water. It was brutal trying to compensate for her over compensations up front in the first hour. After that her legs couldn't take the position and she sat down really low and couldn't paddle well. I thanked all the gods at that point for small mercies.

Last year a group of us went down in two hours, but we probably shouldn't have been anywhere near the river when it was that high, much less in canoes. It was damned exciting, but in retrospect it was maybe a bit ambitious. This year the water was still high, and all the rocks were covered, but there was still plenty of rapids to keep it exciting. We spent 4:35 getting down from Stuartburn to home though so it was at least a normal run and not suicidal. You'll have to wait for images. There's just not enough hours today.

We dragged the evening out with good solid Ukrainian food at Ty's place. Margaret knows how to feed people that's very clear. This morning I was back to there place for 9:00 to help Joe unload a low bed semi loaded with the parts for an all steel 40' x 60' building. Ugh! Then it was home to change before heading off to work at G&M for the afternoon.

Tomorrow it's off to Treherne for Adri's farewell gig with the EF crew. She's away home on the 27th of June and I'm looking forward to having to care less about being naked. < g >

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pterinochilus murinus

I was given a 3" Pterinochilus Murinus as a generous gift from one of our fine members at the Manitoba Herpetoculture Society. It came in a critter keeper and in the few weeks I'd enjoyed this girl, I'd only seen her out once, so had little appreciation for her nasty moments or her beauty.

That ended Sunday when I decided to move her to new accommodations. Wow! It's difficult to describe the degree she made it clear that she wasn't impressed with my interference. Her first clear message was to rear back with pedipalps and front legs reaching for the sky while bearing her fangs. Then she flung herself at the lid that I had fortunately covered with a card.

I'm sorry that I didn't make time to take some images of her while she was so ticked off. With her green tarsus and her vibrant orange colour to contrast, she's pretty damn photogenic. At least her appearance would lead me to believe this anyway!

I worked by keeping a wide clear glass at hand in case I needed to capture an escapee. Before I began to dismantle her old environment, I placed the entire tool set an her enclosure into a large Rubbermaid. Working from above was easy and I felt I might have a fighting chance of catching her if she managed to get past my efforts to contain her during the transfer to her new enclosure.

All went well, but I do see how it is, that some suggest these critters move, they tele-port. I thought horses could move fast! They've got nothing on these guys. My heart was pounding by the time the deed was done, but I was glad for the opportunity. It was my best look at her at that point and she's a beauty. I was pretty excited to see her up close and personal. Let there be no mistake that my heart was pounding by the time the transfer was complete. What wildly interesting animals these are.

Critter keeper - front

Critter keeper - back

Light silk over the front of the hide after the first night.

Top shot of her on her matt, showing everything in the enclosure.

Top shot a little closer up than *two_750

Shot of the enclosure on top of the computer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Only one from Manitoba tightens the field considerably I suppose. Regardless, she made the short list and she was driven to try. That's commendable in itself in my books.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

A day out with the Manitoba Herpetoculture Society to the snake dens at Narcisse.

The drive was brutally long for a couple of squigglies like Manon and me and it was cool, and it was too late to see the majority of the 50 thousand or so snakes emerge, but it was still really cool to see what we did at the Narcisse pits.

Snoot had a pretty good day out. We stopped at Inwood to take some shots with the town mascots.

Snoot got musked pretty badly here. She watched it happen and was already smelling the foul stuff as I was shooting the images. Like the smart kid she is, she resorted quickly to stink weed and was free of the garters musk in no time. The guide thought that was cool. We had a great day.

We went to Kevin's in Toulon for a BBQ at his place. Carlos made an octopus stew and I made up some focaccia. Spiced olives and trimmings and a good time it was!


The so called dens are simply the openings for about 300 acres of underground fractured limestone where the snakes are safe from flood and frost. The geology was quite interesting.


The short snake fencing that lines about 3km of highway leading up to the park entrance. Apparently some years it saves 25,000 snakes from becoming skid marks under car tires.


Our fearless guide was wonderful!


Inwood mascots. I thought they were really well done.






Joey is Manon's age and seemed a little off his game today. I was glad to have both his parents along today. Michelle made a fantastic curried chick pea dish.


The crew hanging over one of the dens.


A beautiful woman with a big boa. (bci)



The crew of us walking into den #3.


Wade and Kane with Jackie looking on for the close up photo opportunity with a garter. A border terrier that came through later on leash, nearly throttled it.


A dad doing what dads can do so well.


What all the fuss is about.



Steve is a young dad and is he ever into this four month old. It was a pleasure to watch this guy being so bonded up to Aden, the younger one.


Wade was having fun with this big one. A common (bci) boa constrictor doesn't feel like it's common when it's 28 pounds and active. Many of us enjoyed handling and observing many of Kevin and Dan's snakes and reptiles. I wish I had taken some video of Rich showing us how it should be done. He handled the snappy ones, like the Savanna monitor like the competent keeper he is.


It was such a great time, both at the pits and then at Kevin's where there is always a broad selection of interesting animals to entertain the curious.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Day two with tarantula

I like this girl better every time I have to deal with her. She's eating up a storm! I'll be seriously looking at breeding crickets if this goes on like this. She's eaten six in 24 hours I think. I should be keeping track, but didn't take the time today to get the pet journal out and document all the recent changes.

No, Dad, I'll never grow up.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

New pics

More image of tarantulas and snakes. I wonder how long it will be before I tire of watching them eat.

I got my new and free reptile tank from and it looks great! At least I'm excited about it. Used some old organic potting soil for substrate. I'd seen friend us it, so figured I've be fairly safe in experimenting.

The Kingsnake (Diego) loved it. No need for a hide now I don't think. He's been burrowing since I put him in there.

















Saturday, May 6, 2006

Mr. T

Mr. T was out and about tonight. He likes guitar posture.





Friday, May 5, 2006

4H has been such a good thing for us all. It's not much in fashion anymore with a myriad of other choices to occupy the energy of kids, but here there is not much else to do and I'm so grateful. Manon is so much like me, but unlike me she's experiencing some tremendous success in a wider field early in life. I hope this is one of the things that helps protect her from some of the trials that so often came close to taking my life through a troubled life of self loathing.

I think having kids has been a profound gift for me. It's been a source for the last nails to build an adult in a man that has been so reluctant to grow up. Manon and I are becoming good friends I think. I can feel the empty nest coming and I'm not crazy about it. I'll be focusing on enjoying these last few years while they are still blooming with life affirmation.