Giving a Hoot
Meet the controversial Mexican spotted owl

The Music Man
Brandon Perrault provides the soundtrack for Grant County

Happy Trails
The Gila Back Country Horsemen celebrate 10 years

Ready to SNAP
Is the Spay & Neuter Awareness Program running out of time?

In Loco's Footsteps
Hiking the Peloncillos where Apaches held off the US Cavalry


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Editor's Note
Desert Diary

Jennifer Cervantes
Shakespeare's Future
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Tumbleweeds Top 10

The Starry Dome
Ramblin' Outdoors
40 Days & 40 Nights
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Henry Lightcap's Journal
Continental Divide

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Molly Ramolla
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Spirit Ranch
Why Diets Fail
Energy Medicine

Red or Green

La Iguana
Dining Guide
Table Talk

About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e  February 2011


Just a Little Ramblin'

A trio of ruminations.


For this month's column I've decided to be a true rambler and ruminate about a coupla subjects — mainly two of my recent columns.

A while back I wrote an article/expos on dog foods and the ramifications that some of them had on my own canine pup, Huey.

First off, I wanna thank all of you good folk who took the time to e-mail, phone and see me personally, and give me all of that positive input; I appreciate it! I even had a lady from Gila who called me and told me that she thought she had the littermate to Huey. We made a date to check it out, but at the last minute she became ill and her husband had to come without her. We were amazed. Both dogs are identical twins in every respect including personality; the only difference being that Huey is four inches taller than his sister. That was truly weird. I've seen lots of litters of dogs and never have I seen totally identical twins before.

Another bonus was what happened to our other dog, Buko, whom we've had for nearly two years now. She has always had severe breathing problems, her breath coming in short, shallow, rapid spurts. If we took her for a hike, it would afterwards be one to two hours before she would slow down to her normal rapid breaths. It became so chronic that a trip to the vet told us we may have to do exploratory surgery to find the cause. Until we came to a decision, we were advised not to allow her to be exerted in any way, as it might cause her to die prematurely.

And so began Buko's life of dreariness. Then, about two months after putting her on the same diet as Huey, she was lying on the living room floor. I happened to glance down at her and got a shock: She was breathing normally in even, deep, slow breaths. Say what?

It is my theory that she had her own allergies to the previous dog foods (namely corn and/or wheat), but instead of having skin and coat problems, she had a sort of asthma. In any event she now happily accompanies us on hikes and I've even taken to letting her go on hunting forays, too.

Speaking of skin and coat problems, Huey has recovered totally. No more bald spots, hair loss, itching or scratching. His coat is thick and glossy now. He's even gone on an accelerated growth spurt, adding seven inches in height since the dog-food change. We still feed them a mixture of Fromm's Gold, Hi Pro and wild game burger.

Of course, the growth spurt theory is just that; he may very well have grown that fast with the "other" dog foods. I do know that he has a tremendous appetite and bottomless pit for a stomach. The dang pup even will eat bananas from my hand!

I've also had good and rapid response to last month's column, where I spoke of moving rocks and a living earth. One fella came into the store and told me he has strange movements in his yard, too, and that big, big rocks will appear out of the earth, almost overnight.

Then another reader came in and told me of two websites that support my thoughts. The first is about Death Valley, Calif., where rocks that weigh as much as several hundred pounds move mysteriously across the dry lake bed for hundreds of yards without any propulsion. There is a picture of one of these rocks; it is truly weird. If you wanna see for yourself, punch up "The Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa." Maybe I'm not such a looney-tune after all!

In that same article I wrote in passing of "folks who believe that when we step on a blade of grass, it somehow screams out in agony." Now, I never said that I ever knew someone like that; I'd just heard of such folks. Well, this reader showed me a YouTube video where two fellas are weeping and crying loudly, even screaming in despair, as they step on grass and fervently apologize to the grass for hurting it. No kidding!

Right alongside that video is one of people belonging to the radical environmental group Earth First! They are sitting around and apologizing to dead trees for humans having hurt them. They too are quite vociferous and fervent in their ventings.

It seems ironic to me that these same Earth Firsters are guilty of driving large spikes into living trees in an attempt to sabotage and injure loggers. Maybe they rationalized that if they drove the spikes in, the trees ignored the pain or maybe didn't feel it. Go figure.

By the way, this is the very same eco-group that espoused violence as an end to achieve their ecological goals. Remember all of those partially built houses around Phoenix that were burned down?

You can also see this video by punching in "YouTube Hippies Crying Over Dead Trees." Then you be the judge.

Finally, I tried a brand-new outdoor sport over the holidays: My son and grandson decided to go "tubing" on our hill above the house. The "blizzard of 2010" dumped about eight inches of white stuff up there.

So Joey came home from buying three inner tubes and we filled them up and I hooked them to the ATV to pull the kids (my granddaughter, too) up the hill to the starting point. I watched them fly down the slope in joyous and raucous laughter and screams and I would dutifully go down and haul the kids back up with the ATV, pulling them on the tubes.

After a bit, I cogitated that this looked like real fun and at my son and grandson's urging, I decided to have a go.

I got going down the slope and quickly realized that an unsteerable inner tube turns around so that the majority of the weight atop it was down-slope first, much the same way a badminton shuttlecock flies.

Well, I couldn't see where I was going, being backwards and all, and that was unsettling to this old man. Then at the bottom, right at the driveway, I have railroad ties lining the drive. Thanks to the constant tubing, these offensive pieces of wood now stuck far above the snow.

You guessed it: I hit one full steam and went flying and turning in the air, thus landing on my face, twisting the frames of my rather expensive spectacles, with my body contorted in a weird sort of way. I didn't really get hurt, except in my ego.

Of course, my son and his son lay in the snow guffawing at the likes of their poor old man, tears streaming from their eyeballs.

That was my one and only attempt at tubing. It just ain't a respectable outing for a 65-year-old man!

As always, keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may The Forever God bless you too!

When not Ramblin' Outdoors, Larry Lightner lives in Silver City.



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