Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kobae and Who's Up

Kobae has come to the porch to eat. When Kobae eats he attracts children. Who's Up knows what else Kobae attracts. When Kobae eats, he attracts flies, and flies are the everyday menu for Who's Up. Sitting around the circle with the kids, she waits for her moment when a fly lands on Kobae leftovers.

The Behind the Rocks, Rock

On top of the Scorched Earth Wall there is this view of the La Sal mountains and in front of them an area called Behind the Rocks which stretches from Moab Rim to Kane Creek Canyon. Navajo Sandstone rounded off by tides and opposite direction winds formed over 150 million years ago. At the vantage spot on top of Scorched Earth Wall there is this rock about three feet tall by ten feet long and wide that appears as if a small version map of Behind the Rocks. If you lower your camera just a bit you have Miniature Behind the Rocks, the real Behind the Rocks, and then the La Sal mountains.

Scorched Earth View

The lodge is visible from the top of Scorched Earth on the left side of the river, north end of the island. (We're looking south.)

Down Cliff Hanger

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scorched Earth Wall

Tom accompanies Pam, John, Scott, Kendall, Heather, Luke, Alex and Zeke up the Scorched Earth Wall trail. Just past the top of Scorched Earth there is a faint trail not on a map, into a valley without a name, and a canyon that doesn't exist. Wishing them well Tom returns to the truck hoping to meet them at the trail head of Cliff Hanger. Not much short of six hours later they emerge, a little weary, but very determined, a tremendous amount of collective heart, and no shortage of tales to tell.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jenny Craig

Tom had fed her ten flies today already. Then when guests checked in, Luke fed her ten and then Kendall fed her ten more. Suddenly she had gone from fighting weight to Tom's next phone call, Jenny Craig.

Meanwhile Weight Training Continues

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Solution

Below 11am, 1pm, 5pm and 6pm.

The Problem

Years agoLinny and Tom set up a sun dial surrounded by rocks to tell what time it was while they sat on the front porch. The problem with the traditional sun dial is that each day the sun rises a minute earlier (or later depending on the time of the year) and sets a minute later (or earlier depending on the time of the year) so that every day the sun dial is off by two minutes and within a week you find your sun dial off by 15 minutes. You keep moving rocks to stay relatively close to the correct time. If only there were a way for the sun dial to move and keep track with where the sun goes on it's own. Below, in order, 11am, 1pm, 5pm, and 6pm.

Fighting Weight

There are now three Side-blotched lizards on the front porch and as temperatures continue to warm, there will be more. Each year the front porch seems to support no more than four. Soon, there will be wars for the coveted positions. It takes time to get a Side-blotched lizard to eat off the fly swatter. Tom has elected (again) to support the old guard. While the average Side-blotched lizard in the wild lives an average of seven months, this is year three for "Who's Up." With war fast approaching it's time to get her in fighting weight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who Wants Bananas?

Who's Up?

Last year Tom would set a dead fly on the porch and call "Who's Up" and whichever Side-blotched got there first, got the fly. Since the Special One won 95% of the time, she's used to responding to Who's Up, so, shorter, easier, name change.

A Little Bit Embarrassed

White Tailed Antelope squirrels emit a shrill call when danger is coming. Just now an Antelope squirrel has warned the community of approaching danger. The approaching danger? Tom. Really, after feeding them everyday for nearly four months, Tom is danger? Tom approaches the caller of danger, who upon seeing Tom, appears just a little bit embarrassed.

Who's Who

As Side-blotched lizards change color to reflect or absorb heat thereby keeping their body temperature constant, how to tell the difference between The Special One and the not so special.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Can't Quite Make Up Her Mind

Mother Nature is five or six days of high 60's and then two days of this. On Sunday night Tom got very little sleep crawling down in Kobae's hole every hour or two making sure he had sufficient heat. Unable to get him to come out of the tunnel Tom had resigned himself to another pretty much sleepless night. Crawling down into the hole late Monday afternoon to make sure the heater Tom had was blowing warm air into Kobae's tunnel Tom finds Kobae right up against the heater. Tom moves the heater six inches and Kobae follows. Tom moves it a foot, Kobae follows. Than two feet, then four, finally Tom moves it outside Kobae's hogan and Kobae follows. Seeing a storm coming Tom picks Kobae up and moves him into the lodge. Checking on the Special One Side-blotched lizard, Tom finds there are two now, both about to freeze with what's coming and brings them both inside. Less that 30 minutes later five minutes of hail brought this.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

The Test

Each evening Tom sees the Special One in her usual sleeping place and is so far the only decent sized Side-blotched lizard that shows up on the porch to hunt flies. Though Tom is comfortable from her sleeping place and mannerisms she is the Special One from last year that ate off the fly swatter or would snatch a fly being pushed down the porch, it's time to find out for sure.


In previous years upon arriving at Base Camp Kobae would disappear in his house for up to nine days while he re-adjusted to the Base Camp environment. This year he's been out every day on the front porch ramp sunning himself, with an occasional break to chase off intruders.

White Crowned Sparrows

A month or so the first three showed up and observed the Juncos eating the morning's bread for a week or two. Once Tom began putting seed out the White Crowned became participants in breakfast. Then there were six, then nine, then 12, there were 15 on Monday and today there are 18. All about counting in threes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Man, The Myth, The Legend, returns

Game Changer

When you've won 35 in a row, but you're down 0-2 in the first quarter how do you motivate your team. In the previous 35 straight wins they've been behind plenty of times and heard every rallying speech there is. Something will happen. It always does. Then one day it doesn't and you lose the championship game. Then the Detroit goalie made two good saves and came out motioning how great he was and nothing could get past him. Game Changer. The crowd got into it and the sleeping giant awakened. 1-2, 2-2, 3-2, 4-2, 5-2, 6-2...... to a 10-7 final. Sockers win their 36th game in a row and third straight league title.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Socker's Friday Night

The Sockers win their 35th game in a row defeating the Kansas Magic 9 to 6 in the semi final for the PASL title. As you can see from the rafters, they've been decent for awhile now.