Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rabbit, mouse, crow, squirrel.

  Our girl.

  Beginning to look like a Hitchcock thriller.


  Not the most flattering angle.

  Bottom of the food chain.

  The squirrels are getting corn guts.  Everyone chowing down.  The young doe is getting skinny nursing the fawn.  Not many coons, thank goodness.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Editing the LeMat

  It's hard out there for a 160 year old pistola.  I just couldn't do it justice.  Yet.  I should have had them bring me ALL the LeMats and shot them on dowel rods.

Luh-Mat or Lee-Mat?

  One of the record photos I made for the Sanders Center Firearms Museum last week.  There are some pistols that make you want to say: Slap leather, you polecat!

  Shooting the TSRA calendar for 2010.

  With this nine-shot weapon, you could shoot them off the horse....then use the (tenth shot) middle barrel to kill the horse.  If you didn't like his long face.

  Update:  A little discussion about pronunciation in the comments.  Just imagine you were a South Carolinian.   "Climb off that horse before I LeMat your Yankee ass."  So.  LeMay your ass or Lemat your ass?  I'm thinking LeMat.  It just has more poetry.

  Whichever, its a hell of a fine shootin arn.

Update II:  I edited the calendar photos so closely that the LeMat didn't make the cut.  Next year.

Like seeing Micheal Jacksons kids...


  Mom again.

  First photo of the fawn born on the 22-23rd.  Six days old.

  Not much, but there it is.  The first fawn photo.  Just downstream 20 yards from the cam the sandbars are covered in fawn tracks.  
  I deleted this photo while flashing by the files in the editor, had to go back and dig it out.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gun lust early and late.

  Tyler's good gun show was this weekend.  I didn't spend a dime for once, coming and going on a dealers pass.  Medium crowd.  Summer shows are usually lower attendance.  Probably just LOOKED like less people after the Obama crush.  Things might be cooling down.  Overpriced pieces just sitting.
  The organizers have made a fortune since the election.  Lots of As walking around with crazy prices.  Did see several stripped lowers for sale on tables.
  A sporterized 1903 Springfield early got my gun lust going.  It passed when I looked it over.  Gun lust late on a Krag carbine that a friend paid 400 for.  Nice rifle.
  Gotta love those old guns.  
  I dropped by Sunday afternoon with a box of fresh cupcakes from a doctors retirement party.  They went like...cupcakes.

An Army of Squirrels

  Twins doing what they need to.  Growing antlers.

  Going to be forkhorns on each side.

  Cute guys.

  The watershed is like a sponge.  The rain soaks in and it slowly drains and evaporates.  The creek this evening is just a trickle through the clay bottom of the cut.  Very dry.  Sometimes I can't cross even in rubber boots.  Today I could get across in jogging shoes, if I was dumb enough to come down here in jogging shoes.
  Squirrels are eating James tomatos and its a race.  He won't shoot them, trying electric wire and a trap instead.  I'm tempted to suppress a few with the 10/22 but so far have held off.  He moved 19 last year.
  First vine ripened tomatos to the redhead today, along with an eggplant and some onions.  My daughter got some also, along with mom.  It's what I do.  Drive around, spreading fresh produce.
  At the deercam down the way squirrels are on the corn until 8:55 pm when the raccoons take over in the dusk.
  Across the creek the twins are growing horns, still with mom.  
  A young water moccasin, probably the same, coiled up on the clay next to the water.  I've been meaning to notice whether they coil up clockwise or counterclockwise.  Forgot to look again.  He did look very organized.
We need a good rain.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Revised Deer News.

  Younger doe and Thumper

  Afterbirth butt.


  Cat-cut doe nearly healed.


  Afterbirth on the younger does flank.  Sometime on the night of the 22nd or early the 23rd.  I guess the waist "dent" was the fawn dropping or something.  Very late for a birth.  Still haven't seen the owner of the tiny fawn prints from two weeks ago.  The cat-cut doe showed up looking better than ever.  Nearly healed.

Texas Heat

  You would think you could bottle it, or store it, or use it to make steam, split atoms, et.  It's hot.  Dang hot.
  Coming out of the gunshow parking lot my outside temp meter said 109 a few minutes ago.  Feels like standing on the edge of a blast furnace.
  Texas malls are famous for being cooled down to about 62.  When you walk out into the baked shimmering heat of the parking lot for about 15 seconds you have a fairly pleasant sensation of being immune to the heat- like an ice cube in a campfire.  Kind of a Texas parking lot heat mallgasm.  Doesn't last quite as long as a real gasm and you better not let it put you to sleep either.  You'll die of heatstroke.

D.C. Stupidity.

  Another bill passed without being read by the folks voting on it.  A disastrously bad bill, in they eyes of many, but the larger point is: against the promises of Obama, it was voted on and passed before it was in a final form.
  They keep jamming this choice down our throats:  Slavery or rebellion?  So far, everyone pretty OK with slavery.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Digital Files from the Sanders Center

1850s-era revolving rifle.

  Pistol on a stick.

  Colt revolving sporting rifle.

1830 card table gun.  Hit me.

  Got the calendar into digital files.  What an incredible treasure trove at the Sanders Center at Texas A&M.  The Good Doctor was a lot of help and got paid off in being able to handle some rare and wonderful firearms.  Revolving flintlocks.  Bayonetted Sea Capitan pistols.  Colt Sporting rifles.  LeMats.  Harmonica gun.  Pepperboxes.  I barely skimmed the surface of this important collection.  Going to be one of the best calendars ever.

  All with Nikon 300D and one or two lights.  Lots of clamps, stands, reflectors, backgrounds, dowel rods sticking out of 2X8s, wax, et. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TSRA Calendar shoot

Here's one they didn't use last year. I thought it looked a lot like.....April.

Going to be gone overnight to shoot the Texas State Rifle Association calendar for 2010. Going to the Texas A&M Sanders Collection. Trying not to shoot anything later than 1900. They have an unbelieveable collection. Multiple LeMats.

Jayne Cobb carries a revolver based on the LeMat in Firefly. Bruce Willis carried on in Twelve Monkeys. Inman uses a battlefield pick-up LeMat in Cold Mountain.

I like LeMats.

May make a video about the shoot as well.

The calendar is a big showpiece for us. I keep the shooting cost down as part of my commitment to the TSRA and gun rights. Dr. Sneed will be assisting.
Update: Stumbling around in a post-photographic overexposure stupor. We shot 14 different guns. Unbelieveable collection...especially when you can take them out and hold them. Should have booked two days instead of one. It was really hammer and tongs to get as many as we got. I'd like to have the option to throw a few out. 14 doesn't give you many options.
Oh yeah, we got to hold and point a LeMat.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Don't Tread on Me.

  They are treading on the Iranians.  This is what it looks like.

  God bless the Iranians and this young lady.  And damn the guy behind the trigger, and the men who sent him.  I hope they hang, every one.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Boring bux

  Thumper and Bambi.

  Just Doe it.

  At the in town cam, the younger doe.  still no fawn.  No cat-cut doe either.

  Across the creek cam at the lakehouse.  Mom.  This is in the dark.  She's locating that coon by sound.  She ought to have a fawn stashed somewhere.

  The twins.  Both growing forked sets for their first antlers.

  Twins again.

  Coon stand-off.

  Trickle of blood coming out of the velvet.  Never seen this before.

  Mom and the boys.  And some corn eating coons.  More of the whole corn that was crunched.  Ought to dump the rest of it as soon as I can, but this is a long walk with a sack.

Update:  Pulled the cams on Monday.  Pretty warm out there.  New photos on top.  Nothing but crows and bad files on the lake cams.

Home on the Range.

  Team stuff today, for the Texas State Rifle Association National Match Highpower Rifle Team at Camp Perry.  Every year we have a good showing in Infantry Trophy, but never quite good enough.  The team changes a little every year and folks are reluctant to shoot their match ARs  a lot in this competition because of its barrel-burning reputation.  (you can shoot a string of 30 rounds in 50 seconds)  Long-time team shooters usually have a rifle with an older barrel dedicated to IT.  If your rifle isn't old when you start shooting IT.....it will be soon!

  Starting this year the highpower director decided to build 6 AR uppers dedicated to shooting Infantry Trophy only.  That will take the heat off individual rifles.  I zeroed the first four today.  
  I put up a target at 50 yards if I needed it but really started at 100.  They all were on paper using mechanical zero.   When I had all four uppers (switching out over a Rock River lower) shooting point-of-aim-point-of-impact at 100 yards. (that's hitting at the top edge of the front sight blade) I switched lowers, (making sure they work with multiple lowers), to an old Colt, went up 20 1/4 minute clicks and shot them at a 200 yard bullseye target center looking for X-ring hits.  I shot three-round strings out of the magazine to check function.

  Everything off a bench with a rest.  Checked the results with a Kowa but had to walk downrange to see groups and patch holes at 200.  Sunlight, but shooting into a shadowed target.  Shot at least two three-round strings with each upper so...lotta walking. (eight round trips to 200, plus setup and takedown, plus more)
  I had a bay of the East Texas Rifle and Pistol club to myself for most of the time, until Alan showed up, then another guy.

  Most of the "feel" in an AR is in the lower, where you touch it, so they all felt the same.  The barrels are floated and left nearly full barrel blank diameter under the sleeve.  Nice and heavy.

  With the 200 yard zero Rick Crawford will run the front posts down, (five minutes a revolution), to take out the elevation and use a caliper-dial gauge he has to move the front sight bases over to put the windage near zero.  Most of the uppers were U 32, L 14, ( or something like that) so there is some adjustment to be made.   We want to end up about U 5, R 1 or so at 300 yards.  Closer to mechanical zero.

  Used the team IT load: bare 77 Sierras over 25 grains of Varget in a LC case with a CCI 450 magnum primer.

  Upper number 4 wouldn't eject.  (extracted, but stovepiped)  I switched bolts with #1 and it worked fine.  Problem in that bolt.  Probably ejector.

  Alan and I shot his Les Baer Service Pistol .45 in a Ransom rest and I shot it one-handed at 25.  We also had to partialy unf##k a guy who was shooting an AR A1 kit gun that he had made.  Flat top with triangular handguards, standard bad trigger, no float kit, bad halo sight, mishmash of ammo.  There aren't many guns that don't deserve love but that one probably needs...tough love.

  Fun being out with new rifles to play with.   Even jogged to the 200 yardline and back a few times in the heat.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Boring tame doe

  Show us your......udder.

  Nearing peak time for ticks, lice, bugs.

  She's hitting the corn about ten minutes after I am on cam, or about a minute after I leave the area in my car.  Must be close.  No fawn seen yet. 
  I'm editing many boring deer eating photos and going for the acrobatics or facial tics.  490+ files on the cam.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cat-caught owl

  He's flying, but just barely.

  Classic spread-out-and -look-bigger-than-you-are pose.  Screech Owl, gray phase.

  The athletic neighborhood cat had him, but probably was confused about the whole process.  Parents and sibling in the area.

  Beak snapping, biting, owl poop and I got footed a couple of times.  Like going dancing with a brunette who had too many tequilla shots.  Just too young to have much real punch.  He might be OK.  Finally pitched him up on the neighbors garage roof where there is a thick overhang.

  Update:  Cat jailed inside for the day.  Owl gone off the roof, hopefully fluttering up into overhanging brush.  Young animals survive serious injuries.  He looked beaten but not punctured or broken.

  Update II: He bit me a couple of times!  Not your usual day around the old creekbottom.  I don't know what YOU got accomplished today but I expect I am in a small and elite group of humans around the planet.  The few.  The proud.  The owl-bitten.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hawk dancing

  Looks like he is flashing his wings at a squirrel.  I think they have words.  Often.

  Can't touch that.

  Get a lot of these kind of photos.

  On the corn pile.  Standard stuff.  The world is a miracle.

  Checked by today because I was in the neighborhood.  None of the new corn left.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Daily Deercam

  Cardinals always look peeved.  Up at Clarksville I have counted as many as 50 Cardinals at a feeder in December.

  They've seen the fawn at the lake.  Mom in good shape.

  Doe ballet.

  Town deer chowing down on the new corn.

  Sixpack of happy crows in town.  Crows nested on the site- just 100 yards across the creek in one case, so this is like opening up a neighborhood snack bar.  Free.

  It's hot.  I need one more battery.  Cat-cut doe hasn't showed up for two cycles.  Poison Ivy drying up and dieing along the trail at the lake.  

  TMA site in town is going to see some construction in a week or two.  Enough disruption to move the deer, I fear.  Going to pour on the corn while I can.

  No bucks on the cards.  The cam across the creek took one photo and went dead.  Battery.

Monday, June 15, 2009

3:00 AM in Iran

  Obama had a chance to call the Islamic world on its homophobia, repression of women and theological racism.  He didn't.  They know he isn't going to stand up to anyone in the region....except Israel.

  Nice to hear him talk about healthcare though.  It's very important.  That stuff in Iran?  That's just....diversity!

  Good luck to the Iranians.  They are on their own.  Must rankle them not to have been liberated by Bush like their next door neighbors.  What the heck does a nation have to do to piss off the US enough to get invaded and emerge from this Islamic forth century darkness?

Update:  I guess the One found a crisis he could afford to waste.

Ransom Rest

  Shooting .45 yesterday at the Longview Range.  We were shooting a bullseye pistol practice.  Alan brought out his Ransom rest to check a pistol or two.  A Ransom Rest is a big table top pistol holder/vice/recoil mechanism.  You take off the grips and clamp your pistol in the rest.  One of the very reliable shooters has been in a bad slump.  The ransom rest showed his .45 shooting all over the place at 50 yards.  One of the guys spotted a cracked front bushing.  Never seen or imagined a cracked front bushing.  I'd hate to have to figure out HOW to crack one, but there it was.

  The bushing had been broken for a regional match at the Dallas Pistol club last week.  It had scratched the outside of the barrel.

  My Les Baer service pistol shot 3 inch groups at 50 yards.  Happy to see that.  Everyone wanted a turn.  Some interesting pistols, came out.

  I don't think Alan got to shoot his own pistols.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daily Deercam

  Just the young doe.  She'll probably smile more since I switched to new corn.

Yosemite climbing death

  Not really climbing but extreme walking, for sure.  I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often.  One  mis-step and you are gone down the slope.
   Park officials say about 50K people a year climb the cables.  Its a 17 mile round trip hike to the top of Half Dome.
  No water on the last six or seven miles to the top.  The last water you get may have guardia from beaver, so you have to filter.  It's a hump to get up.
  Here's a video of the cable climb.  It gets pretty crazy in the summer when the crowds build up.  

  Sorry to hear the news and sympathy to the guys family and friends.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Who SAYS there's no such thing as progress?


  Ignatius J. Reilly would be so happy.

Update:  Mere mortals who don't grasp the connections between MC Hammer, Ignatius J. Reilly, his angst over the theology and geometry of American culture in "Confederacy of Dunces" and My Humps?

  All I can tell you is: Big Girls Don't Cry.

Chemical Warfare

  I don't know why this kind of stuff tickles me, but it does.

  Little buck.

  These guys are going to be easy to recognize.

  The twins.

  Rainy night at the cam.

  In night photos of raccoons eating my cam corn, I see clouds of mosquitos buzzing around.  I'm using Deep Woods OFF!, though the woods aren't really that deep.  Besides OFF! I decided to do a little trail poisoning with RoundUP!  So far I've misted through two 4.50 bottles on my cam trail.  Going to see if it rolls back the poison ivy.  Can't hurt.
  Fawn tracks in the sand on the way to one cam and I saw a fawn running into cover.  Big deer tracks slipping and sliding at the creek crossing.  93 degrees this afternoon.