Showing posts from October, 2022

New Internet Link

 Sometime in mid to late August, our ViaSat Satellite Internet service went down at the Ranch.  The service had been sufficing for us for many years, although the data limits and touchy adjustments were sometimes a pain.  Phone calls placed on this service (through the wifi connection on our phones) experienced terrible delays, to where we had to pause after each phrase and wait for the other person to talk.  It was almost like the MARS Radio System that I used to call home from Okinawa when I was in the service, where we had to say, "Over", when it was the other person's turn to talk. We decided to update our system to newer technology. We still don't have anywhere near good service from the cellular companies.  The nearest point we can pick up any signal at all is out in the middle of the meadow, where we can sometimes get 1-bar of service (about -120dbm signal as measured with my phone), very weak. Our new system is the Starlink Satellite service.  Because this use

Insect and Snake ID

 While I was up at the Ranch installing our new internet link, I used the Seek App on my phone to help identify some of the insects and a snake I came across.  Easiest to identify was the Grand Canyon Black Tarantula that was walking along our lane. I always called this a bombadier beetle, but the Seek App says it is a Pinacate Beetle . There were quite a few grasshoppers on this trip.  The most common was the Red Shanked Grasshopper . There were many butterflys, but most of them were too hard to get a snapshot close-up.  I did catch this Variegated Fritillary Butterfly on my phone camera. Finally, this Gopher Snake was sunning in the lane.  He was thin, and only about 12 inches long.  He looked young to me.

Plants of the Ranch

 I went up to the Ranch at the beginning of October to install out new internet link. While there, I tried out the Seek App on my Android phone.  It is used to identify plants and animals when you snap a picture of them. It was pretty good at getting me in the right ballpark at identifying the various plants and animals on my hike, but I had to resort to internet searches to narrow most of them down further. The first plant I tried to ID was this golden weed.  It ended up looking like Broom Snakeweed . Along the road was an easy to identify Rough Cocklebur . A Golden Crownbeard was also found along the road at the bottom of our lane. I had always referred to this next plant as "stick-bushes".  The Seek App says they are Pale Desert Thorn .  They are pretty thick at the lower end of our meadow.  During winter and dry times, these are just bare sticks... Seek says these plants growing in our lane are Pale Evening Primrose . One of the common trees on our ranch is the Pinyon P