Fire In The Skies!

Fire in the skies…smoke in my eyes here in Juniper Canyon as

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Wildfires are burning thousands of acres in the Blue Mountains, making the last week  intense and incredibly scary…

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A week ago we had the perfect storm conditions in the Blues…after three years of drought, we had lots of dry fuel waiting for that perfect strike of lightning and we had a dry lightning storm hit the Blues last Thursday night into Friday with intense winds that fueled the fires…while last Friday…

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We had an epic dust storm here all day with winds over 50 mph…

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And those same winds blew into the mountain fires fueling them with run away flames…residents of Canyon City lost 39 homes to the fire over the weekend due to the winds causing the fires to triple in size. In Oregon alone as of this morning, 300,000 acres have burned with 12 wildfires yet burning.

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The weather forecast for Thursday and Friday this week is calling for more wind…I pray the winds stay down here and not hammer the mountains again. We live several miles from the actual fires but we know the mountain country well…I grew up in those mountains on the family cattle ranch…and we love our mountains.

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My heart is heavy for the residents who lost their homes in Canyon City and for all the people evacuated from their homes as the fires rage on…my prayers are also with the men and women who are fighting these fires, their job is not easy and I pray that God will protect each one of them.

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Our local paper this morning ran a large article on the fires, I have grabbed bits and pieces of it below for you.

The Pacific Northwest is one of three regions nationwide under a wildfire Preparedness Level 5, which means there are more than 14 un-contained large fires exhausting local agencies, northern California and the northern Rocky Mountains are also at Preparedness Level 5, while the Great Basin region — made up of portions of southern Idaho, Nevada, Utah and northern Arizona — is at Level 4.

All together, there are approximately 95 large wildfires burning 1.1 million acres of land in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada and Colorado. The situation is so dire that, for the first time since 2006, the Department of Defense has agreed to send 200 active duty personnel to assist firefighters.

In Oregon alone, there are 12 un-contained large fires burning nearly 300,000 acres, according to the Northwest Inter-agency Coordination Center in Portland. The majority of acres on fire — more than 225,000 — are also on fires that are less than 30 percent contained, which means they have a long way to go.

Jim Whittington, spokesman with the state Bureau of Land Management and regional Forest Service fire staff, said crews prepared well in advance for a difficult fire season based on a third consecutive year of drought and record-low snow pack last winter.

What’s made this year unusual, he said, is the intensity of the season in such a short period of time, with the region hammered by a perfect storm of lightning and wind over the past two weeks.

“There’s an intensity here that probably has not been matched in a number of years, or ever,” Whittington said.

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Currently, we are under an air quality alert due to the heavy smoke in the air…out here it is not as bad as Pendleton which lays at the base of the Blue Mountains…however the smoke was noted here all day as once you step outside your eyes burn and you can smell it.

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We are heavy in heart and prayerful that God will intervene in this massive fire event…the western states seem to be burning up with terrible fires. We need rain without wind…

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May you be blessed where ever you live…and if you are close to any of the fires, I’m praying for your protection and that the fires will soon be over!

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HRCG…Ellie and Melody are over and out for now…but never for long:)

Hot Time Summer In The City…

Hot time summer in the city…back of my neck, getting dirty and gritty…

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Hot time summer in the country…back of my neck, getting dirty, gritty and sweaty!

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Come on, Come on, dance all night, despite the heat it will be alright…right?

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Last spring, our county was declared a drought disaster due to the dry winters with little snow pack in the mountains…the lack of fall and spring rains…and the hot temperatures we have had. In other words we have been in a drought situation for the last three years…this year the lack of moisture has become critical.

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Several Oregon rivers have been closed to fishing by the Fish and Game, due to the heat and high water temps…the Columbia River waters are a record breaking 71 degrees…causing salmon and large 5′ to 8′ sturgeon to die…threatening our native fish.

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We hit a 100 to 110 degrees most of June and July with almost daily fire weather watches due to low humidity, high temps with dry winds and heavy dry fuel that would ignite quickly between the wheat fields and the dry weeds…its a world I have not seen here in my lifetime. We have had dry times and crop failures before but this summer is different…worldwide I might add.

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My cousin and I were driving wheat truck one summer…waiting on combines by sight and sound (back in the days before CB radios or cell phones) we were half asleep, reading our books, when all of a sudden we heard our uncle yell and jump off the combine! Smoke was billowing out from under it…my uncle got the fire out under the machine but the fire took off quickly and in a split second we were learning to fight fire. Luckily we got it out before we lost our field!

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Tonight as I write it is 74 degrees on my outside thermometer…our humidity is currently 18% with wind speeds of 18 mph with 31 mph gusts…at 10:00pm.

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Melody’s pasture looks green as we water it with the big irrigation guns to keep her cooler, plus she has a great shade tree in her paddock area that helps too.

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And no she does not get to go out on the lush green stuff as she would bloat and get too fat…as you see she is NOT impressed!

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100 degree weather is normal each summer but this year it feels much hotter due to the dry soil lacking any moisture down deep…instead it feels like hot hot desert heat!

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For reasons unknown to me, our county road department decided it was time to resurface our roads two weeks ago…with a chip seal effect leaving loose rock…the above picture looks like a gravel road but that is our paved road in front of the house covered in gravel….

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Several farmers were heavy into wheat harvest in Juniper Canyon, with semi wheat trucks hauling wheat directly from the harvested fields to the grain terminal on the Columbia River, about 80 miles round trip.

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We had 10 to 20 double trailer semis per hour driving by our house…throwing loose gravel with major dust for that gravel road effect:)

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And we had a photo shoot schedule here for “Oregon 1859.” Not sure when our article will come out but here is the link… https://www.1859oregonmagazine.com/

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Last Friday morning, I was scrambling trying to figure out how we could do the shoot with the dust and gravel…emails were zipping and zapping back and forth with the photographer and the editor! Saturday evening we decided to go for it and give it a try Sunday evening:)

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God smiled giving us a quiet no traffic day…no semis trucks and only one car during the shoot…it was awesome!

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Mom used to always say “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”…so we made lemonade, the shoot went off perfectly…we had silly fun and made new friends with a bq dinner in the middle of it!

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Wherever you may be in your life…dusty roads or hot hot temps or lush jungles with beautiful waterfalls or rocky craggy peaks that are steep and tough to climb. Always keep a going with smiles and laugh out loud moments that tickle your funny bone, while making lemonade…the memories will carry you through the ups and downs we all experience at times in life.

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HRCG, Wild Bill, Ellie and of course Melody wish you all a cool night or a moderate day where ever you may be…

HOLY COWZ! HOT N CRAZY DAZE!

Holy Cowz!

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Hot N Crazy Daze Have Descended Upon Juniper Canyon!

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Along with dust storms without wind. Its eyrie when the dust begins to rise without the wind!

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Creepy unusual clouds above my head…

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Almost makes you feel like you are in the Outer Limits or the Twilight Zone!

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Kaaaa-Boom the thunder and lightning began. I was over feeding Melody and saw the strike hit…

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The first fire of the season was born with winds blowing in our direction…we live about 10 miles from here if we drive the road but across country it is only 5-6 miles with lots of wheat fields in between.

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Our neighbors and community jumped into action and thankfully no one was hurt, no homes were lost and the fire was out! Sadly they lost several hundred acres of wheat.

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Scary times here as we have been declared a drought county…

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Last night it was 73 degrees at 11:30…that is hot for us this time of year…

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We have hit above 100 degrees most of the month of June…with a week straight of 110 plus degrees!

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Stay tuned with Ellie and I on the dusty trail of life:)

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Tonight as I close we are under another fire weather warning…

Fire Weather Warning
Statement as of 1:55 PM PDT on July 09, 2015
... Red flag warning remains in effect this evening
for thunderstorms producing abundant lightning and gusty outflow
winds for Oregon fire weather zone 641... 

* affected area... fire weather zone or 641... lower Columbia Basin 
  of Oregon. 

* Timing... most of the lightning activity will occur between 3 PM
  and 8 PM.

* Lightning activity... 3... possibly 4.

* Precipitation... some storms will bring heavy rain with 
  amounts up to one half of an inch possible. 

* Impacts... any fires that develop will have the potential to 
  spread rapidly.

Precautionary/preparedness actions... 

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions
are either occurring now... or will shortly. A combination of
strong winds... low relative humidity... and warm temperatures can
contribute to extreme fire behavior.

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I came across this a long time ago and it hits the nail on the head for people who blame their problems and mistakes on their family or on their parents or on the man in the moon. They blame every problem they have on someone else, unfortunately until they quit telling lies and using manipulations, until they admit their wrongs and look only to themselves, they are a lost cause. I know people that are very good at lying, really good and they roll along sucking people into their lies. They believe there lies so much they create a false truth and will defend their lies at any cost to you or anyone else.  I agree with this poster…Hallelujah and Amen!

The Views Of Life Off My Patio……

The views of life off my patio,

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Are ever changing year round…and never boring!

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“Hello Houston, we have a problem!!!”

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Memorial Day weekend…the fields were green and beautiful!

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Ten days later, we were cooking on a 108 degree afternoon…the wheat turned golden in a few days, looks like harvest on June 8th…and whoa!

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Normally you would see the wheat turn slowly through the month of June…with harvest beginning sometime in July.

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I have never seen the wheat head out in mid May or my flowers bloom in early March…nor did I have to mow the yard for the first time the beginning of March!

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Crazy if you ask me…is it global warming or a season of drought?

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In the local paper today, and I quote “Wheat yields are projected to take such a hit this summer that some Eastern Oregon growers may not even harvest their crop. Sparse rainfall and diminished snow pack have impacted producers all across the West, but an unseasonable heat wave in late May and early June hit developing wheat plants at exactly the wrong time. The heat wave came as wheat plants were in the stage of filing out their grain kernels. Foreign countries, Japan and Korea, that buy the soft white wheat from the Pacific Northwest will not want what we offer this year….as the protein levels will be too high for what they require to bake their breads, crackers and etc.”

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It has been an odd year…from the crazy weather to the incredible love of my animals! I love my girl above…Melody is the melody of my heart:)

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Oh my Minnie Girl…I miss you so…sometimes I think I see you out of the corner of my eye…and when I am sitting on the sofa, I’m sure you are on the back of the sofa, where you observed the world and me…I miss your sweetness and those big green eyes, always filled with mischievous love…this time of year was your favorite time.

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How you loved the smells, the sounds of crickets and the sounds of birds tweeting to you all day long! Its ok sweet kitty girl, someday I will see you again and we will snuggle with lots of nose kisses, head bumps, tummy rubs and lots of purring….my sweet Min Mouse…my forever kitty girl.

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And then there is Ellie, she loves me…she loves when I brush her each day from top to bottom, she loves the sense of being rubbed…I think it is due to a sense of being licked by her mama…and I am her mama…it brings us both comfort.

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She is incredibly smart and intuitive…a very protective girl. She is a blessing from God and my Minnie, in her beautiful Australian fur.

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Droughts, life lived and life lost, being loved and the pain that comes from loving too much…I would rather have the pain from loving too much as to me that is a life well lived. We love naturally and we live courageously….loving our loved ones and the life we have…is a very simple life.

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HRCG over and out for now…but never for long:)

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Have a simply wonderful week wherever you are!

I Pledge Allegiance To The United States Of America!

Today, as we declare our loyalty and commitment to the United States of America, lets join our hearts together with The Pledge Of Allegiance….

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I Pledge Allegiance To

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To The Flag

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Of The United States Of America And…

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To The Republic For Which It Stands

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One Nation, Under God

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Indivisible

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With Liberty And Justice For All…

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God Bless The United States Of America…

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Wild Bill and Hot Rod Cowgirl…with Ellie Belle and All Our Critters Wish You A Peaceful  Sunday!

Matching Clouds Of Weirdness….

Alerted me to grab my camera and click click click!

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Ominous clouds of doom…hmmm?

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Very unusual clouds for us here in Eastern Oregon.

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I noted the right cloud was getting larger at the top…while the left one was sort of morphing into something else?

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I zoomed in on the right cloud, it was huge…we did not have a storm here but something unusual was going on in the heavens above! This odd cloud formation, reminded me of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind!

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Its 90 degrees here right now…crazy hot for this time of year!

HRCG and Ellie are over and out for now…but we’ll be back:)

Happy Weekend!!!

My Oh My…My Sweet Ellie Belle…

My oh my…my Sweet Ellie Belle!

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My oh my…my sweet puppy girl…you are ever so sweet:)

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So adorable the first night that we brought you home…I loved your eyes and that cute puppy face!

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Awww…I loves you so much Elie Belle!

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You are the joy of my days…and nights you are my

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Ferocious and protective girl…my good good girl:)

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You love the camera…often posing for me:)

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Doing the Roly Poly…Ellie style!

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With a bit of Boogie, I mean, Doogie style of Twist and Shout!

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My puppy girl who loved snacking on horse nuggets…

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Giving me the most mournful eyes…how can I say no?

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Laying your head on my leg when I am eating, looking at me with those sweet eyes…how can I resist?

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My Oh My…My Sweet Ellie Girl…I Loves You!

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My Oh My…My Sweet, Sweet Ellie Girl:)

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