Delighting in Rodeo Games of Summer

Eager Daze axe toss C. MacMasters

On this long-awaited day, December 21, 2012, I thought I’d step aside from the doom and gloom and revisit summer games held in a little Arizona town called Eager.

Eager Daze 2012 Egg toss

Each summer I look forward to Eager Daze, where adults and children compete to have the most fun, especially during the traditional Egg Toss.

Eager Daze 2012 Hay Rolling

Future ranchers work out their moves. 

Eager Daze 2012 Hay Rolling

Obviously not the easiest job on the ranch.


The littlest ranchers watch and learn.

Sheep riding

Sheep and the child are off into the great arena.

sheep riding

This boy has been studying rodeo technique.

sheep riding

With the luck of the draw, you might just get the sheep with the most bleat.

children log cutting

The youngest log cutter was not impressed with merely placing among the finishers. He really thought he should be number one.

adult log cutter

There is still time to dream of becoming a genuine Mountain Man contestant going from town to town. I saw this log cutter at the next event hundreds of miles away a month later.

Hope you are all having a delightful time on this greatly anticipated day. I’ll be questing for orbs tonight, how about you?

Hot Air Balloons are Orbs of a Different Kind

Today I was chasing orbs of a different kind: hot air balloons. First, by getting up at 3 a.m. to travel two and a half hours to the balloon field in Marana, outside Tucson, Arizona. Even when we’re in New Mexico for the White Sands hot air balloon rally and the alarm goes off in the hotel room at 4 a.m., we know it’s really 3 a.m. Arizona time.

After standing around in the dark, catching up with each other since the last rally a month or more ago, and listening to the pilots’ briefing it’s time to get to work.

The ground is dry enough and weed free enough that Dan Ewer, pilot of Foolish Pleasure Hot Air Balloon Rides, has decided we can lay out the balloon envelope without putting down a tarp.

Number one rule: never step on the envelope.

This is a job I usually do, holding open the throat of the balloon while the fan blows it full of air.

Propane fuel heats the air so that the balloon can rise.

We’re ready to tip back the wicker basket and begin the final heating of the air before lift off.

Now we’re just trying to keep the balloon from flying off before the pilot gives us the go ahead to set it free.

The lucky ones are airborne!

In tomorrow’s post I’ll give you the view from on high after I wandered over to another balloon to help crew and was asked if I’d like to go for a ride.


Walk at Night

This evening I walked along my road in Bisbee, Arizona and pointed my camera into the dark to see what I could see.

Looking for orbs in the dark can be the opposite of everything you’ve learned about composition, saturation, contrast, etc. Until the flash lights up the hillside I have no idea what I’m pointing at or if an orb will be revealed.

It’s a little easier aiming my camera at a building, at least I know where I am, but will there be orbs?

Sometimes there will be just a couple of orbs, perhaps as curious about me as I am about them.

And sometimes there will be a fleet of orbs sailing by.

Take a walk at night and see what you can see.

For those of you who are new to this blog or would like to revisit the explanation as to what orbs are, this might be of help:

Outside My Door

Inspired by Miceal Ledwith writing in the book, The Orb Project, who describes simply stepping outside to photograph orbs, I decided to give it a try. Clouds of orbs were wafting over the bushes and floating by the gate.

And then the cloud would dissipate to show the lights of B mountain and a star shining through.

Not sure if the cats knew that the orbs were with them.

For those of you who are new to this blog or would like to revisit the explanation as to what orbs are, this might be of help: