November, 2007

Dancing with the Stars

Susan has been religiously following Dancing with the Stars this season (I promise I don’t watch the show at all). Every once in a while Kevin will watch with her. Last night I was working on the computer and heard Kevin explaining how to score his dance moves to Ethan. Later I heard Kevin scoring Ethan’s dancing. I came out and watched them both doing some pretty sweet moves. I think it was great. Neither one of them was embarrassed at all. Anyway, I had to run upstairs to grab the camera and document the action.

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Thanksgiving Weekend

We went down to Susan’s Parent’s home for Thanksgiving Dinner. We left Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Fayette at 9:30 pm. The children were remarkably well-behaved and we had a fairly uneventful drive down.

I got up the next morning and met my friend Darin Dearden in Richfield. We usually get together to photograph once a year or so. He drove us out to the San Rafael Swell in Central/Southern Utah. It is a remarkable place. We spent most of the day walking around, exploring, and photographing the rim of Black Box Canyon. We then drove up to visit Buckhorn Wash Panel (a lovely rock art panel in the canyon). It was a great day photographing, visiting with Darin, and being in a remarkable landscape. I will probably head back down this spring to do some research for a possible travel class with students in the summer.

I got back to Fayette at 8:30 pm. Most of Susan’s family had arrived and we had a good time visiting and watching the kids play. The next morning I headed out for some birding around Fayette. I didn’t find anything remarkable, but it was fun. We then went over to the Fayette Community Center for Thanksgiving Dinner with Susan’s extended family. It was nice.

After dinner Susan and Jacob drove up to Susan’s sister’s home in Syracuse. Susan and her mother’s side of the family does the early Black Friday Christmas shopping thing and they don’t quit until the afternoon. Of course shopping all day with the women in Susan’s family isn’t my idea of a great day, so I took the boys with me to my parent’s home in West Jordan.

I’ve always though the early morning shopping thing the day after Thanksgiving was a bit silly, but my dad had a couple of deals he wanted to get in the morning, so my cousin Amelia and I joined him. We got up at 5 am and drove to Big 5 Sports. We got in there, got our items and got out in about 15 minutes. We then went to Target for some good deals on movies among other things. It was crazy. People were parked all the way out in the dirt at the edge of the parking lot. Once we got in we could barely move down the aisles because of all of the people. We eventually made a few purchases and got out. I have to admit as crazy as it was, it was pretty fun. We got home before Kevin and Ethan were awake.

After a visit to the Asian market, Cabella’s and Nalani’s new home we met up with Susan and headed to my parents home. I made Curry and we had a nice dinner.

Saturday was a little more low-key. We visited IKEA, which was a great store. We found all sorts of stuff that we want. The problem would be getting it all home, so we bought a few little things, but we’ll be back. That evening we all got together for at my parents house for a “Cousin’s Dinner”. Basically it was my brother’s family, my sister’s family, my cousin Nalani’s family, my parents, and us. We had BBQ pork and Thanksgiving leftovers. Later that night my Aunt Sharon joined us. We had a great time laughing and telling stories.

We drove home Sunday morning, so we could get back in time for church. It was a lot of food, a lot of driving, a lot of stress, and a lot of fun. Thanks to everybody that put up with us this weekend.

Here are some photos (mostly from the swell with Darin)


Black Box Canyon View #1, San Rafael Swell, UT 2007


Black Box Canyon View #2, San Rafael Swell, UT 2007


Buckhorn Wash Panel (pictograph) San Rafael Swell, UT 2007


Buckhorn Wash Panel (petroglyph) San Rafael Swell, UT 2007


Buckhorn Wash Cottonwood Tree, San Rafael Swell, UT 2007


Cousins -left to right- Parker, Ethan, Carson, Kevin, Dexter, Jacob (photo courtesy of Carrie)

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Winter Loop

This morning there was a dusting of fresh snow and the sky was pretty nice. I decided to go on my regular winter drive in the ag. fields to the SE to photograph simple landscapes of snow and sky. I think I’m actually looking forward to snow this winter, which is a first for me I think. Anyway, we’re off to Utah for Thanksgiving in a few hours. We’ll see some of you this weekend.


Field and Sky #1, Walker, ID 2007


Center Pivot, Walker, ID 2007


Field and Sky #2, Walker, ID 2007


Drift Fence with Tumbleweed, Walker, ID 2007

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Escape

I’ve been driving past this scene in our neighborhood every day for a week or so. Every time I pass it I tell myself “you should photograph that before it changes”. This evening on the way home from work I finally listened.


Escape, Rexburg, ID 2007

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Potato Cellars (sick of them yet? I’m not.)

I love to photograph under gray, dark, and generally miserable skies. Today was a pretty gloomy day, so I was happy and excited to go photographing. I’ve noticed a couple of cellars in Moody that have the tin removed, revealing an interesting skeletal structure underneath. I decided to run out and photograph them before Susan and I went out on our date.

Despite the wind and mud, it was great to be out there looking, solving some visual problems, and making photographs.

I got home in time for Susan to pick up the sitter. We then went out to dinner and a movie (Dan in Real Life). We both enjoyed the movie quite a bit.


Potato Cellar Dirt and Wood Roof, Moody, ID 2007


Potato Cellar with Removed Tin Roof, Moody, ID 2007


Old and New Potato Cellars, Moody, ID 2007

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Curry

Last weekend Ryan and Kyoung had us over to their home for Red Curry. It was very tasty. I’ve always wanted to know how to make it so Kyoung showed me how and gave us a recipe.

Basically you saute a few veggies, then add curry paste, lemon grass and lime leaf. Saute that for a while then add coconut milk, chicken stock and chicken. Bring that to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add some fish sauce, Thai Basil (which we didn’t have, but it still tasted good) and serve over Jasmine rice.

Friday I tried it out. I made a couple of mistakes, but it turned out pretty good. I made sure to make plenty to have for leftovers and it tasted even better today. So, if any of you come visit us (seriously, anybody that views this blog is welcome over for dinner), we’ll cook up a batch.

Kevin and Ethan tried a little. I actually think they liked it, but were afraid to admit it.


Curry, Jasmine Rice, Fish Sauce, Lime Wedges and Chicken Nuggets with Ketchup (gag)

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Northern Hawk Owl – again

The Northern Hawk Owl is still at Beaver Dick Park. It seems to be making a good living and I hope it sticks around for the Rexburg Christmas Bird Count (Dec. 22nd). I spent a little time observing and photographing it this afternoon. It really is a spectacular bird. While there I watched it catch and eat 1/2 of a vole. After it was done eating it stuffed the rest of it between some posts (to enjoy later I presume).


Northern Hawk Owl, Rexburg, ID 2007


Northern Hawk Owl in Flight, Rexburg, ID 2007


Hawk Owl with Vole


Northern Hawk Owl Eating a Vole, Rexburg, ID 2007

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Susan

I came up to the school to install a scanner. In order to see if it works I scanned the first negative I could find in my files. It happened to be this one of Susan. It was taken at Louisiana State University in 1998. She sure looks serious, but gorgeous of course. I hope I’m not in trouble for posting this. I sure miss that Louisiana light.


Susan, Baton Rouge, LA 1998

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And The Winner Is……

I appreciate all of your responses and the surprising amount of work that some of you put in to your guesses/estimations/scientific equations. After talking with a couple of you I realize that I could have come up with several different numbers even from the same source, but I’m sticking with the original number I was given.

I first had my friend Kyoung ask a potato farmer in her ward how many potatoes he thought were in one of his typical cellars. He said there were 87,000 hundred weight sacks in a typical cellar and that a hundred weight sack held 180 average-sized potatoes, which would bring the number to 15,660,000. However, I didn’t have the size of the cellar and I figured people would ask. The next day I contacted Teton West, who manufactures potato cellars in the area. They told me the dimensions of a typical cellar (301′ long, 62′ wide, 31′ high) and told me that if they filled that cellar 20′ high it would hold 130,000 hundred weight sacks of potatoes. 130,000 x 180 (medium sized potatoes) = 23,400,000 – the winning number.

The funny thing is I spoke with my sister Carrie last night who said that Nalani called Teton West and they told her that a cellar of that size would hold 14,000,000 potatoes. So, who knows?

My sister Carrie guessed the closest. When I asked her about her guess she said “Sally seems pretty smart, so I just guessed a little higher than her she did”. So, Sally you shouldn’t have written out your reasoning, which seemed to be your demise. In order to avoid the appearance of nepotism I’m going to disqualify Carrie (even though I’ll probably bring her a print at Thanksgiving if she wants one).

So in appreciation, I’m going to send 12×16″ Inkjet prints to the following individuals who guessed between 14,000,000 and 30,000,000 potatoes:

Nalani
Barry
David L’hoste (I was pleasantly surprised to see you post to my blog by the way, are you still in N.O.?)
Eden
Idaho Spud Boy (GP is that you?)
James

I’m giving the 16×20 silver print (assuming I get in the darkroom soon) to Sally, who guessed closest to the original number of 23,400,000 (once we disqualify my sister).

It will probably take a little while to get things printed, but you all should expect a print soon. Please email me your mailing address to – riversilt at gmail dot com (obviously you would format the email address like an email address, I’m just trying to avoid getting spam).

To those of you who weren’t that close better luck next time. This was so much fun that there will probably be a next time. And don’t feel bad if you weren’t even close. My guess before I did any research was 900,000.

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Northern Hawk Owl

An out of town birder discovered a Northern Hawk Owl (click here for a bit of information about Norhtern Hawk Owls) at Beaver Dick park, which is a few miles west of Rexburg along the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, yesterday. I didn’t find out about it until this afternoon after church. When I did though I drove straight out there. Northern Hawk Owls spend most of their time in boreal forests across Canada and Northern Eurasia so they’re fairly unusual around here, although there are a dozen or so records for Idaho. Anyway, when I got there my friend Cliff had located it. I spent an hour or so observing the bird, photographing the bird, and visiting with some birding friends.

Here are a couple of images from the evening.


Northern Hawk Owl (warm light), Rexburg, ID 2007


Northern Hawk Owl (cool light), Rexburg, ID 2007

Here are a couple of images from the evening.

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