Mexican Dam Weir

Saturday morning I decided to take The Girl and go walk the Mexican Dam Trail. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, even if I bit warm because I dallied too long over my coffee. But it wasn’t yet hot and their was enough breeze to be comfortable.

I was surprised by the amount of water still in the Carson River. The fields of the Silver Saddle Ranch looked good, so they are getting plenty of water this season. In fact, one field was mowed and there were bales of hay waiting to be picked up.

That brought back memories of working in the hayfield with FiL. That was good work and the companionship of FiL still brings a smile. Those memories…

I think I might take a tripod out to the river and get some extended footage. I could easily make a short video of that trail and the cottonwoods that grow along the corridor. I love being in the shade of those old trees and I love the sound of birds calling and moving about.

The River Runs

The Carson River is still running high, even with irrigation withdrawals. There is more water here than I recall since I moved here in 2007.

The Girl and I decided to walk the Riverview Park trails a couple of weeks ago. I expected that repairs were not complete and I was right. However, sturdy walkers continue to hike the “trails” and enjoy the park.

Carson River is still near bankfull. I moved here in 2007 and have never seen this much water. There is still snow in the Sierra Nevada. Jobs Peak (and sister, and Mount Rose) all have snow on them.

We were not able to walk the trail down to Empire Golf Course like I wanted to. There is too much damage, or at least too much water in the pot holes, for an attempt on our last visit.

I’m tempted to go walk the trail early in the morning. I might be able to bushwhack around the pots and regain access to the trail that runs along the perimeter of Empire Golf Course. I miss walking that trail, as much as I like our regular routes here in town that do not require a trip in the 4Runner.

Something Not Quite Right

Is this failure of design or failure of implementation?

After the flooding from last winter, I have walked past this little detention pond a number of times. Each time I pause and wonder whether this was a design failure or an implementation failure.

They built a very nice rip-rap lined spillway along the left side of this image. However, when the pond filled and overflowed, the discharge passed along the left side of the sidewalk. Until recently, when it was repaired, there was a large rill that was scoured by the flow.

When I pass, I pause and shake my head a bit. I’m really glad this isn’t a large reservoir. That would be catastrophic.

Lost… and Found

I found my pen…

Yesterday on walkies I carried my slingshot and was practicing shooting at found objects. (I followed the four safety rules, of course.)

This morning I discovered that one of my favorite pens, a baby blue Fisher Bullet Pen, was missing from my pocket. I had it clipped to the edge of my left slash pocket. I carried shot loose in the bottom of that pocket.

Apparently, while retrieving shot from my pocket, I snagged my Bullet Pen and released the clip. It fell to the ground without me noticing.

I decided to walk my route, which I probably would have done anyway, just in case I might walk across my missing pen.

Have I said that I hate losing things? I’m still looking for a lost/misplaced 12-ft tape measure that I’ve had for 40 years.

Well, as Lady Luck would have it, I walked up to my missing Bullet Pen. I’m surprised someone else didn’t pick it up because it really stood out.

I moved it to my left cargo pocket, where it will live with a few spare poop bags, my Olloclip auxiliary lens, and my pocket flashlight.

Lesson learned…

A Rough Couple of Weeks

View from the waiting area outside the Carson Valley Vet Hospital.

It was a rough couple of weeks for the Girl (and of course for me was well). She healed quickly after her surgery. Yes, the mass was a soft tissue sarcoma, but it was low grade and the margins were clear. She has a 15-percent chance of recurrence. I’ll take it.

I made the image on the day we returned so her sutures could be removed. I can do it, but the clinic gets pissy about it if I do. [Heh…] Her wounds were healing nicely and we were released to normal activity again.

However, that afternoon she seemed sick. Her symptoms were coughing and gagging and she ate more grass than usual. I was concerned.

She was not better the next day, refused to go walk, didn’t want any food, and seemed really off. So I called the vet and we returned for the urgent-care clinic that evening (at 1600h).

The vet found nothing obviously wrong and gave me a plethora of diagnosis/treatment options. I elected to go with some supportive care, left the Girl there, and returned to pick her up later in the evening.

She seemed better that Friday (a week ago), so I thought we had passed the worst of it. However, over the weekend I noticed she still wasn’t acting normal. Something was just off.

I struggled with the decision to return to the vet for another visit. It was partly cost and partly the uncertainty that anything definitive would be determined. I hate spending money on medical care with a null outcome. (I have a long history of spending money on medical care with no outcome.) So I thought I’d wait until the weekend passed and see if her condition changed.

Monday came and she refused to walk again. We walked to the mailbox and back, then I drove us up to the old orphanage and we walked the site. She was not feeling well. She kept me up most of the night wanting to go out and just feeling miserable. But, early in the morning she vomited up a bone shard (that I had not seen her eat) about the size of a half-dollar coin.

I thought that might be the problem. So I decided to wait until after the 4th of July holiday to see if another vet call was required.

By Wednesday she was her usual self once again — pestering me to go walkies, asking for play, asking for treats, eating normally, and generally being the pain-in-the-ass that I love.

Her wounds are mostly healed. The rough patches of scar tissue receded. Her fur is growing back (what little of it there is), albeit slowly. She is back to telling me what I want, once again, like most of the women in my life.

It was a rough few weeks. It was horribly expensive, in terms of money, time, and energy. But my constant companion is healthy and happy again. Life is good.

The Ocularis Rebel

This is the slingshot in my walking kit.

I recently purchased a slingshot (catapult in other locales). It is partly a toy and partly a part of my preparedness kit. I bought mine from Simple-Shot Shooting Sports, after spending some time reading reviews and watching YouTube videos.

It is a simple device, comprised of a set of thermoplastic frame, elastic bands, a pouch to hold the shot, and some means for fastening bands to frame. The Ocularis uses an interesting friction-fit connection that is fast, easy to set, and simple to adjust for optimum band length.

It is an improvement on the slingshots I built 50-some-years ago when I was a teenager. Back then, I harvested a fork from the olive trees across from my suburban home, which I then trimmed. I fastened bands from store-bought rubber bands my mom provided. I scavenged a pouch from old jeans or other heavy material.

I learned to double-up the bands to get more strength from the system. The tie was a simple larkshead knot on the frame. The same for the pouch.

Shot was mostly found materials, usually rocks in the half-inch size range. I preferred nicely-rounded stones which were plentiful in the Southern California desert. Targets were targets of opportunity — cans, bottles, fence posts, errant pigeons, and whatever. We didn’t shoot each other with the devices.

My new slingshot provides a lot of focus and fun without having to make a range trip for more potent weapons. The Girl accommodated the band “snap” on release quickly and is no longer spooked when I release a shot. Successful shots require skill and I can practice on walkies without having to worry about my shots hitting unintended targets. The maximum range of the slingshot is not more than a couple hundred feet and most of the energy is spent on the sandy soil so I’m not worried about bounces traveling far beyond my target.

This is fun. It’s practical. It’s cheap. It’s better to be outside than at the computer.

NDEP

The Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, NDEP, is housed in this building. We walk past it many days.

On many mornings, we walk past the building that houses Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, among others. The structure is rather striking from the old state school property, where we meet other doggies and chase ground squirrels.

On our way home, particularly on warm days, The Girl puts on quite a show on the grass landscaping outside the building. Our antics brighten a lot of mornings for folks outside for a walk or a smoke. I hear them chuckle and see them smile at our interaction and her crazy love of the cool grass and shade.

This is a good thing. I like this part of the route quite a lot.

Old Man Willow

We walk by this old willow often.

Along the wetland that was once the Carson Flume and Lumberyard is a cluster of old willow trees. In the summer, their shade provides a nice respite against the direct sun. They also provide a place for the birds to sit and sing.

We often pause on our walks here for a few moments to listen to the birds and enjoy the shade. Then we press on.

A Couple Month’s Difference

The linear park changed a lot over the last couple of months. There is now much vegetation and it doesn’t look like the desert.

We often walk the linear parkway from Room Street east to Saliman Road (and sometimes beyond). There are lots of birds and a few other critters we encounter along the way. Some areas are infested with California Ground Squirrels, which The Girl loves to chase. Dogs are permitted to be off-lead and it’s a good place to give her a run.

The winter months held this area in bleak grays. There was some water, of course, and a few waterfowl. But mostly it was cold, gray, and dead. When we walked the path a few days ago, I noticed that it now looks like a wetland. (It is.) The contrast was a little startling and called for an image.

Healing Nicely

This is a happy, if somewhat impatient dog. She’s healing nicely, although she still looks a bit Frankenteinish.

A couple of mornings ago I opened the inside door to let in some morning sun. The Girl immediately gravitated toward the warmth. (She was putting some not-so-subtle pressure on me to go on walkies.) The pose demanded an image.

Although she still looks a bit Frankensteinish, her wounds are healing nicely and the sutures will be removed tomorrow. They don’t seem to bother her and she leaves them alone. She’s really very easy to care for, unlike me.