Fire In The Skies!

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


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


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…


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…


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!


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

Calling Sky Pilot…Weather Alert…Weather Alert!

Calling Sky Pilot…Weather Alert…Weather Alert…Calling Sky Pilot…Come In Please?


This post is about weather and clouds as we have had very unusual weather here the last few years and some of it has been extreme. This is for my cloud loving subscribers…enjoy and enjoy…as these are only the tip of the iceberg!


The photo above of the clouds was going over the house and my head…I stepped off the patio to shoot it. Kind of a WOWSERS to look up and see this or any of the storms!


This storm showed up around 1:00pm on an afternoon in June with several individual storms….some were dropping…some were rotating and most were quite ominous!


And then there is this…amazing to see thunder heads and clouds of this size with all the varied colors…odd beauty on camera!


I have to include my twist and shout clouds too!


And the rumple bumple clouds…


Hello…Tokyo Oklahoma?


Uh…welllll…this formation was interesting?


And God came in with His paint brush and fluffed…then stroked the clouds a bit


With Kingdom light and a lot of might!


And with that said God Night…remember He always has the night shift:)


Yee-Ha! Today is the 3rd Anniversary for HRCG!


Thank you to my subscribers and followers….from the ever present writer and newbie photographer who sends you much thankfulness and appreciation for your support!

God Of Wonder…God Of Light…God’s World Is My Delight!

God of wonder…God of light…God’s world is my delight.


I love capturing weather shots…and the last few years we have had interesting weird weather to photograph!


Last night as I looked up to the heavens, I saw a million stars above my head with no end in sight…it takes my breath away, no matter how many times I have looked up. I wish I could have captured what I saw with my camera…instead I captured this moon shot a few months ago and I thought you would enjoy it. I love the power lines as they frame the moon…giving Mr. Harvest Moon an interesting look.


We have a few more inches of snow today and now we are under a Winter Storm Alert for more snow with below zero temperatures. It is seriously cold out…it is 17 degrees this afternoon with a minus 2 due to windchill.


Mr. Buck says “Where are my Apple Asses…and I need more hay too”…hang on Buckaroo…here it comes…just for you!


Winter is finally making her appearance and she’s on a roll…hang on!!!!!

Wild West Weather And Crazy Storms

Wild west weather and crazy storms have made this year interesting for this photographer, but the one we had Sunday night was down right scary weird!


Living in Eastern Oregon, our weather is pretty low-key, we do not have tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, or really bad thunder and lightning storms. However the last few years, we have had weird and crazy weather. I have never been in a tornado or an earthquake…I have endured horrendous thunder and lightning storms in Wyoming along with ferocious blizzards and one hurricane in Portland, Oregon called The Columbus Day Storm.


In Wyoming, I went through a violent thunder storm at 9500′ elevation the end of July, as we moved cattle to a higher grazing allotment…the higher we went the more intense the storm was and we ended up in a cloud blizzard at the same time it was thundering and lightening. I just pulled my hat down over my eyes and let my solid and steady mare Lottie, lead us out of the storm…it was something else!


This summer, the sunsets and sunrises have been full of vivid colors…which is great to capture! Such as this sunset with the intense contrast of sky, clouds and colors…magic time colors with dark gray clouds drifting into the golden red mix, bringing in the needed contrast for a beautiful enchanted sunset, like God was painting it for me in the sky above my head.


Sunday was a day of doing this and that in getting ready for fall weather…the morning dawned with clear skies and brilliant sunshine, the forecast was for a warm humid 100 degree day. We usually do not have much humidity here as we are a dry climate compared to Portland, Oregon on the Western side of the state.


However, our humidity has been terrible here this summer and Sunday was no exception…it was horribly muggy all day with a breeze blowing that felt like a hotter than heck wet blow torch…it definitely did not cool you down! Minnie has the right idea, stay in the nice air-conditioned house!


We had accomplished a lot of chores that day around the ranch and it was time to enjoy that nice air-conditioned house with Minnie. I noticed some funky clouds out the West window and grabbed my camera…telling WB I would be right back.


Once outside I looked up expecting to see a few interesting clouds…and instead I saw dark ominous clouds coming from both the West and the East, joining in the middle. The towering clouds were lazily drifting over the top of the canyon wall behind us…eerily silent and dead calm…can you see the funny bands in front of them, what does that mean…hello Toto…help!


The clouds towered above me and were morphing into something that looked evil and scary.


Another odd band? I was in awe with what I was seeing as I had never seen anything like this…but my gut was telling me all heck was about to break loose!


I should have been a photo journalist as I love taking pictures and writing about what I saw! Our house is directly in the middle of the two trees, right below where the cloud is changing into a giant pot of boiling terror.


Hey Wild Bill…where are you? Things are getting bad…and very weird.


The air was still dead calm…not a wiggle of a breeze. The birds were quiet…no wind yet…just eerie silence.


And then I saw what appeared to be a well-formed funnel cloud very close to us…the air began moving and the wind began to blow…we ran to the house as fast as we could. We couldn’t make it to the basement so we went to the center of the house which is a hallway with no windows and we stood together with puppy Ellie and kitty angel Minnie. The winds began to roar sounding like a freight train overhead…we could hear stuff hitting the house on both sides…it went from a funny colored daylight, the color you see in the funnel cloud, to the blackest of black nights outside…it was pitch black.


We noticed night lights coming on outside, but all you could see was a faint glow in the blackness, eventually it was so black out, it was total darkness and then it stopped…it was quietly calm again…as I peeked around the corner to look out the window, it was still black and very quiet. Then we had a cloud burst of rain and the dust/dirt began to settle going from black to yellow brown…soon the winds began again along with thunder and lightning that lasted most of the night.


When we got up the next morning…this is what we found.


On both sides of our house we had a downed tree and lots of branches from other trees blown all over…we found holes in the screens on the windows from things puncturing them.


It was amazing to see the havoc that one storm caused…most of the damage was at the back of the house, which is against the canyon wall, where you would expect more protection…however if it was a tornado I suppose it could go where it wanted right?


And the horse poop from the pasture was swept up and thrown into the yard, the patio and the road…crazy weird…but a good way to fertilize the yard and clean the pasture:)


Despite the huge mess we have to clean up, we and all our animals are okay and the house is intact…we have a heart of gratitude and feel blessed that we survived it. I hope we never have to go through that again. That is as close as I want to get to crazy weird weather!


I have to ask my readers that have experienced tornado’s…was this funnel cloud we saw a small tornado or? Having never been in a tornado we have no idea? The only thing we know for sure is that we have never seen clouds like this or experienced a storm like this before….and hopefully never again!


God’s incredible world is never boring, His beauty is all around us if we look up and out! I love seeing every part of God’s kingdom here on earth…even the scary ones I think…ah well maybe not! Have a safe, blessed night wherever you are! HRCG over and out!

Battle In The Skies…Grab Your Camera!

Battle in the skies…grab your camera for a Kodak weather moment! We had a VERY bizarre storm a few nights ago…it was totally weird…and a bit freaky since I had just loaded the introduction of the flash flood we survived to my blog. Apparently we had an unusual wall cloud and a shelf cloud, which is odd for our area to have….and with the odd clouds came 80 mph gusts of wind, recorded by the weather service. And because we are so special, the storm went right over the top of our house…stopping to visit by parking on top of the house with thunder and lightening…it was an odd peculiar touch…no make that dang freaky and bizarro! We saw rotation in the weird clouds like we saw right before the flash food…it was one of those “Whoa…this better not be a deja vu moment!”


The first thing I noticed besides the lightning was the lighter colored white clouds to the right of the photo…if it was during the summer I would have thought it was white smoke…but it was not warm out just weird out!


Can you see the hawk flying as fast as he can to escape the oncoming storm clouds? The hawk looks like a small black spec but you can double-click the photo to enlarge it:)


Here is a better shot to show you the white clouds that were mixed into the dark clouds…


And then…”Jabba The Hutt” showed up…acting like he owned the sky, pushing all the white clouds away…instead giving us a cloud burst of heavy rain and winds battering us so much that I could not take anymore pictures outside due to the rain blowing and hitting me even standing under cover!


And then…The Real Boss of the sky showed up kicking “Jabba-Wabba” out of there…leaving us with a beautiful double rainbow with a definite “Wow” factor! I could feel God’s covering and His promise to look out for me during the life storms we all go through…no matter how weird, scary or difficult they are, He is with us.

Wishing you Totally Terrific Tantastic Thursday!

Seasons Of Weather On The Land And Spring Fun!

Seasons of weather on the land and the hints of spring fun are coming! I love this time of year, as over the years of living my life on the land, I have gained the understanding of faith, hard work and the importance of being a good steward of the land.


I notice the seasons more vividly as you depend on them for the health of the land and often you are outside in the elements of weather everyday. Maybe it’s driving to your job 30 miles away in town or maybe you are blessed instead to be out on top of the hills gathering cattle…or farming round and round on a tractor.


Being in the middle of nature’s elements, you feel the weather on your face with each passing storm, while watching the seasons slowly change.

From long winter days cloaked in gray fog as you wait and hope for a good wheat crop, growing under the obscure ashen gloom that covers the land from your sight.


Finally the first breath of spring air comes, blowing off winter’s gray coat, revealing your hard work…your faith has been rewarded, with a beautiful green wheat crop underneath…


The miracle of life, with that one tiny seed of grain the farmer plants in faith, months before…has grown into a harvest bushel full of wheat.


Which also means with the changing seasons I will be doing the part that makes me Hot Rod


Cowgirl…and yes I love the cool cars my hubby WB builds:)

Annie Melody Me 8-2010 014

But, I will always be a cowgirl through and through that loves my horses and the life of a cowgirl…I do admit it is fun to drive the ba-bump-a-boom sounding cars WB builds, with the deep throaty sound of horsepower and a healthy cam:)


Seasons are a changing…March can be crazy and wild!


Minnie will be putting away her “Cat Operas” for the year as she will instead be watching out the windows and smelling smells through the screens of spring and then summer…already we have the nightly serenade sounds of crickets in the creek close to the house and lots of robins, doves, quail and various colored birds are flying about to her enjoyment:)


Hang on…as soon…


Faster than a speeding bullet…


Blasting off like a rocket! No silly…not the jet above…


“Its Lola!” She’s out of winter hibernation and on the road again:):):)


Lola’s my speeding bullet…”Lola’s my baby:)”


“Classic…Fast…Built From Days Of Old…” When they still knew how to build real cars…out of steel and real leather interiors and actual horsepower:)


Beautiful skies above and our little red car below…


Lola! La La La Lola…Love you Lola!


Springs a coming….sooooon:)


Hang on here we go!


As reported from “The Life Of Hot Rod Cowgirl living in the Wild West!!!”

Spooky And Stupendously Spectacular!!!

Wild Bill and I decided last Saturday that we need to get more of our outside projects done…I would mow yards and deal with weeds etc. while he uses the trencher to dig a trench for the new pipe for the new well…as you can see in the picture below it is quite a process.

We have 2000′ feet of new pipe to install for the house, shop, barn, irrigation etc…it is a huge job with trenching, running the backhoe as needed, and laying the new pipe and fittings etc.!

As I was finishing up the mowing I looked up on top of the hill behind our house and saw these ominous black clouds drifting in overhead.

There was no doubt that a storm was imminent…I got WB’s attention and pointed towards them…then I ran into the house to grab my camera!

Why is it that when I see clouds like this that I think of ET or Jabba The Hut???

I couldn’t seem to fit the incredible clouds into my lens…the cloud cover was massive and I knew I had a short window of time to capture the magnitude of the storm…I needed to get as far back as I could!

Finally I ran hard down into the pasture across the road and I captured this photo…you can see how the clouds were transforming the blue sky into night…at 2:00 in the afternoon!

Ok Toto this is not looking good…HRCG get your buns back to the house!

The storm slowed to a stand still overhead…something was going to happen as I could feel the temps dropping from warm to cold…which was an odd feeling.

I ran back to the front porch…whew…pant-pant…whew. Running is not my thing…walking fast is good or riding a horse!

I could feel a brisk breeze on my face as the air got colder and the dark clouds began to turn white.

And then the heavens opened and all hail broke loose!

Thankfully the hail began to turn to rain within a few minutes…heavy rain where you could almost not see through it like a fog…we actually got 1/4″ in 10 minutes!

By late afternoon we were back to life is good in Juniper Canyon…blue skies with the sun shining and birds singing…I could not help but break out into song:)

The hills are alive,
With the sound of music
With songs they have sung
For a thousand years

As the day slowly ended, God blessed us with one of His beautiful sunsets…I never grow tired of seeing all the incredible colors of nature and the world God created all around us:)

Buck says the day ended well:)

Minnie says…hmmmm…ok well kiss my stripes…why…no reason…remember I am the “Cat” and my goal is to keep you guessing:) I know Minnie Mouse and I loves you lots!

With that said…follow your heart…take along your forever friends and family…they will keep an eye out for you as they travel along with you…they are your heart and a blessing from God to your life:)

Wishing you a Sunny and Shinny Day:) Happy Monday wherever you are!

Incredible Storms Rolling Over Juniper Canyon

Our weather the last year has been odd for this neck of the woods….but perfect for me to capture images to share with you all:)

It all began like this….dark couds overhead with threatening skies…I knew it was camera time.

Within minutes the first rainbow appeared…as the sun was dipping lower and lower so the incredible colors are natural.

Looking back towards the barn….beautiful skies!

We had several short cloud bursts of rain….

Incredible…God’s colors…in person they are intense and beautiful and awesome!

Another rainbow…and this time it was reaching over the entire ranch….we have land on each side of the road and this blessing rainbow was reaching from side to side of our land…wow!

And Mr. Buck was on the move…he was feeling good and stretching his muscle!

And a classic Quarter Horse stop…Buck is right on…head down…butt tucked under and haunches set…slide a bit and stop…love Quater Horse butts:)

“Did yah see that Mom?”

Ok this is the third set of rainbows…totally weird…I do not ever remember seeing so many in one storm here.

Neither does Buck….

Another incredible sunset in Juniper…

Melody and Annie were right with Bucky…weird weather makes them feel frisky…they love to play and run and buck too!

A beautiful end to an unusual storm for us…I know many of you have scary storms…so far ours have been unusual and great photo ops for me…by the way I shot over 350 pictures in a few hours with this storm and it was hard to pick the ones I did for the blog:)

Buck says whew that was fun! Now I need sleep…it is the time to say God Night:)

With that said…have a great night!

It’s Tawanda Day! Tawannnnda!!!!!!

Do you remember the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”? I loved that movie…and Tawanda! So every once in a while it is Tawanda Day here…why…because it represents a sense of freedom and complete silliness!!! Which I personally need and love…we all do. In our busy crazy lives, wherever we live, we need to remind ourselves to take time out of each day and dance…laugh…let your hair down…be you…and just do it:) Tawaaannnnndaaaa!!! Yee-Haw!!!

We had rain this morning…with this amazing ground rainbow….I have never seen a ground rainbow…it was quite curious to me.

At noon we had a small break and now the clouds are definitely building…looking a bit ominous too.



Well that does not sound fun!

I need to go check on my girls…Melody and Annie…they have been at the real barn since we began moving their portable stalls across the road…I miss seeing them out my window…the barn actually is very nice with quality stalls etc. for them but they miss me too…that is why we bought the portable stalls so they could be closer to the house.

So because it is a Tawanda Day…I had Wild Bill take me for a drive last evening to grab some shots of our landscape…I wanted to shoot the Canola now while it is yet blooming as in a few days it will drop the blooms…right now it is a vibrant yellow…this is for you:)

I loved taking these shots…could not stop as it was beautiful with the colors, the clouds, the light…it was magic time!

This is above our house…yes we can see into forever here…we live in a beautiful pristine land…most of the families that live here are like us…our ancestors came to America over 100 years ago to settle the land…to farm and begin a new life to pass on to their families and they did. Now we are the caretakers of the land and we all seek to do it right.

The view behind me….

And to my right…back towards the Blue Mountains…the carpet of green is this years wheat crop growing.

Incredible huh…golden clouds above a golden-yellow field of Canola.

This particular field has lots of memories for me…it is up the road from our house and joins our land…my cousins farm it. I ride my horses on it when there is stubble or no crop for the year…I love it as it has lots of hills and draws to explore. When I drove wheat truck in it…well it was never boring…very steep hills and draws to climb with one long 45 degree hill that lifts the back wheels on a self leveling hillside combine off the ground!

One year when Wild Bill was driving combine, I rode with him for a day sitting on a bean bag pillow on the floor, my back was against the glass and my view was either looking at WB or looking at the back wheels of the combine. As we came down the steep hill, I saw the back wheels lift off the ground…the only thing that kept us from rolling was the header! Of course my cousins and WB thought it was so dang funny as I was pretty wide eyed…no make that hysterical…oh wow what a ride…yeah!

Back to the Canola…this is how your Canola Oil becomes oil…next time when you look at your oil…think of this incredible yellow field…the seeds are there in the head of the flower. After the blooms fall off, the stem dries out, then the farmer pushes it over and harvests the seeds.

And this is what makes “Hot Rod Cowgirl” get excited with her camera!

The ever changing light, the colors, the landscape…beautiful and incredible:)

Country clouds and….

Wide open spaces…perfecto!!!!

Annnd…HRCG is on the move!!!!

Have a great weekend!!!! Taawwwaannndaaa!!!

Springtime Weather Arrives

Springtime weather has arrived with different clouds and storms, and I find myself grabbing my camera shooting shot after shot with a sense of awe and wonderment.

Clouds casting interesting images on the landscape…

With ever present contrast between the colors of land and sky.

Shades of light “play” in the clouds as they constantly change and move, morphing into new shapes.

While the landscape becomes part of the clouds…joining together on the horizon.

Winter wants to hang on yet…this was two mornings ago…but

Our seasons are changing…I can feel it in my heart…

Soon days will be warm and the fields will burst with green…our crickets will return at night to serenade us as we drift off to sleep…soon.

Spring’s Coming!!!!

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