Sunday, December 21, 2014

...meanwhile... back at the ranch...

OKAY... I've been back at my home base in Atlantic Canada now for a week.  Was a nice enough arrival after having spent the night in Toronto with the mix ups in my flights.  I had a very refreshing 1 hour and 12 minutes of sleep at a posh hotel just minutes from the airport, and having left T.O. in very cool, sub zero weather, arrived to sunshine and plus 6 at Charlottetown central.

homeward bound.

Brenda collected me up and we had lunch locally before the drive home.

No snow on the ground and really only a dusting since, but cooler (around zero) temperatures greet me every morning.

The week has gone by in a blur what with jet lag, lack of sleep and everyone I meet having a cold, I'm a little run down.

A couple of minor plumbing fixes got me back in the swing of things here on PEI, and I've more or less, left Phoenix behind for the time being.

H/B mounted Vivitar DVR camera.

Before I met Brenda I had these ideas in my head about selling my Calgary home, buying something in small town Alberta and spending much of the winter in AZ riding my bikes.  My place certainly isn't fancy but at just over a thousand feet, is certainly liveable and large enough for me and a guest.  There is a saying down there... "a bad day in Phoenix is a good day anywhere else."  It's true.

Love those Bradshaw's...

For a guy like me that has been riding since knee high to a grasshopper, it's a near perfect environment.  A quick scooter ride to get groceries and after an afternoon of washing, lubing and generally inspecting the 350 XT, it's off to the mountains and trail riding.

It's a matter of fact north of the border that we Canadians hibernate our bikes for several long months.  During the dark winter hours I'd bet that every single one of us reminisce about last summers various rides be they cross country tours or D2D adventures.  The other half of our waking hours is spent thinking and planning the next summer.

Riding with niece Cindy

I've been sorting through some 33,000 digital photos in my library, in addition to chopping "Christmas" trees and trying to fend off a cold that seems to be everywhere around me.  In only a few days it will be 'that time of the year again' something that I have for years looked forward to less and less.  The whole thing is waaaaaay over commercialized don't you think, I'd rather be riding.

Yesterday's visitor!

Yesterday we had a visitor in the yard.  One of the two resident coyotes, a generally shy and reclusive creature spent about a half hour searching for rodents under the shallow snow cover.  Phoenix was outside at the time but we were able to coax him in before the coyote spotted him.  This sub species is generally known as a Coy-wolf, a thriving mix of the coyote and the eastern wolf, the only two that can interbreed.  Larger and more powerful than the traditional coyote, they are extremely adaptable and can survive and even thrive in both remote environments and increasingly more predominant in urban surroundings.  We would see coyotes regularly in downtown Calgary.

I've seen one of the pair earlier in the year from a distance of some hundreds of feet but this one was rather close by.  The included photos were taken on max zoom at a distance of about 2-300 feet with my SX 20 Canon.  Makes me nervous with my cats, two of which spend time outdoors.  At an estimated 30-50 pounds and about 2 feet at the shoulder, a domestic dog or cat could make a meal.

Beautiful creature, the top predator on PEI.  Taken at 80X from about 250', hand held Canon SX20.

Anyway... near time to eat, I lost some weight down south, more exercise and less fast food when I am there, here's hoping I don't gain it back over the next two weeks...

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