XD-45

Springfield XD 45 ACP

Springfield XD 45 ACP

I recently visited the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex for the first time and I have to say it is a very nice shooting complex.  The range is located south of Colorado Springs just east of Fort Carson. I took my son and his friend and we were all impressed with the professionalism of staff and the reasonable prices for target stands and targets. It was cold when we got there and seemed to get even colder as the afternoon went on and the clouds started to build.  After going through a couple of boxes of 45s with my XD – this was the first time I had a chance to shoot this gun since I had purchased it – and it seemed to feel better in my hand, the more I shot it. The 357.revolver was also a lot of fun, just wish we could have had something other than paper to shoot at.  I snapped off several photos of my son while he fired off several rounds with my XD-45. I liked this one the best.

Hummingbird Family

Every year in mid-July, we are treated with the return of these interesting little creatures. The number of hummingbirds that show up varies each year from three to four; consisting of an adult male and female and one to two offspring. I can only speculate that they must come down from the mountains after raising their young because I rarely see any of these guys in May or June. I am always happy to see that they have returned each summer with new additions to their family. I have no idea if these are the same pair traveling through each year, but I wouldn’t doubt it since I see so many other species of birds that return year after year to our backyard.  I am just glad to see them here and to have an opportunity to take their photo.

It is amazing how their feathers reflect such brilliant colors. Depending on the angle of the light source, you can end up with a photo of a bird that is a dull grey and black to a bird displaying an array of vibrant colors. This is especially true with the male species.

The Backyard Is Coming Alive… But For How Long?

Here we are in early June and it is already predicted to be in the mid 90’s. According to www.accuweather.com (as I am writing the first draft) it is 10:45AM and the current temperature is 89⁰ degrees with the humidity at 8 percent. The “realFeel” is 100⁰ degrees…. Ouch!

These are temperatures we might see in July or August but are not typical for early June in Colorado Springs. It is a little too hot and too early in the season for this heat, for me. Normally for this time of year we see temperatures in the low to mid 80’s which makes for beautiful weather in Colorado Springs. Add that reasonable temperature to a gentle breeze and low humidity and it feels relatively cool except when you are in the direct sun, which feels more like a microwave oven or heat lamp because of the thinner atmosphere at 6000-plus feet.

At this altitude the ultraviolet rays are very intense and you can burn to a crisp in just a few minutes. This thin atmosphere also causes the intense sunshine to burn up lawns and landscape, especially with the extremely dry air and high winds. It makes for difficult gardening when you combine the intense sun and high evaporative conditions. I consider gardening war in this climate, with the late frost, hail (I mean lots of hail), extreme temperature shifts, arid climate, Chinook winds, and short growing season. Sometimes I wonder why I bother even trying to have a garden. Add all those issues together with being in a drought and it is all out war to harvest any homegrown vegetables! We are currently on water restrictions and Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) is restricting watering to two days a week. I think it is time for xeriscaping the front yard! At least I have a good canopy of trees to help protect most of my yard from the harsh sun. It seems like the heat index of the city just gets warmer every year. Amazing how miles of asphalt and thousands of heat absorbing rooftop will affect the local climate. I guess I will enjoy the green of spring while I can because it will probably all turn brown very soon.

I took the day off so I could enjoy the weather and do some backyard photography. I like the fact that I can sit in my backyard and see all kinds of bird activity with just a few yard in all directions. I took a few shots of the flowers, bees, and birds occupying my yard, which I posted in a gallery below. I pray that this heat wave is short-lived and weather gets back to normal temperatures with afternoon rains to cool off the city.

Dandelions

Macro shots of dandelion seeds as they are floating around the flower head.

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Surviving the Late Frost

Well, many of the blossoms on the fruit trees in my backyard did not make through all the cold weather this spring. It seems that every other year an arctic cold front descends over Colorado Springs in late April and even into May killing off many of the early blossoms.

Luckily, the peach tree in my yard did not bloom until a few days ago and it seems that most of the buds survived. There are damaged pedals but for the most part the blossoms ok. I am keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that my cherry trees will keep their blossoms. There are few trees more beautiful than a cherry tree in full blossom, not to mention all fruit that they provide for the robins.

This morning I took some pictures of the peach blossoms using my Nikon 105 Macro. I had to get out early to catch the rising sun and take advantage of the windless conditions of the early morning hour. Spring is such a great time to photograph with a macro as there are so many new things emerging in the garden.

Happy shooting and thanks for visiting my webpage!

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