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Wednesday, 22 July 2020


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Mike Hood, in the video, not Mike Ford.

[Hmm, the video itself says Mike Hood but the written description on YouTube says Mike Ford. I'll assume the narrator knows more and that the written description was a typo. --Mike]

Compared to it, our 1968 three cylinder Valmet is a child!

News from the Oxford English Dictionary (but also Merriam-Webster and others): 'tarnation' = 'darnation' = 'damnation'.

And this does reflect the sense in which my Arkansas relatives of the mid-1950's used to use it.

"Tarnation" I knew; it's etymology I did not. Thanks, Mike.

A couple of years ago, you introduced me to the joys of Delicata squash, through a post about your local Mennonite food stalls. I managed to get seeds here in Australia from a specialist seed company in Queensland...(We're in Central Victoria) and grew the most astoundingly delicious "eat-it-all" two-person size additions to our Autumn cuisine. They keep well in the root cellar ( a newly installed fire bunker ) and there are still a dozen or so left three months after harvest. I have introduced them to participants at our local monthly food swap, sadly diminished and changed somewhat by current events, but I even noticed seedlings of them at a local nursery last year. Thanks for the intro.... any other Mennonite delicacies we should know about?? They'll be on our menus for the forseeable future.

Here in the Austin area it's hard not to see a Black Vulture or 3 flying in the visible sky. Seldom do they flap the wings as they ride the thermals.

There is some confusion on the differences between a buzzard and a vulture. Either way your puppy or cat is safe. They eat dead prey only. Not so with the beautiful Bald Eagles I'd often see when I lived in Central Maine. Cats and small dogs beware.

I realize the image is small viewing it on my iPad but holy cow Mike why would you want any other camera or lens combination. Only you know how much effort went into post processing, maybe very little? I must say it looks so “film like” and a very nice image to just look at and enjoy as a moment in time captured with your camera.

I bet that you saw a turkey vulture as they are common in the north USA. They have a wing span of over 5 feet. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Turkey_Vulture/id

Oh the lovely Ford N series tractor. That's what I learned to drive on. It is remarkably like driving a sportscar in its directness. It turns out that it is entirely too easy to fall off and run over yourself, but I spent hundreds of hours driving one of those without incident. Then when we got an old Maseratti* I was ready. I think ours was a 1948 8N. They are super useful to keep around.

*in the 60s you could pick up an old Maseratti for hardly anything.

David looks just like my father. Nice photo Mike.

“...my hands were full of yellow squash, onions with dirt still on 'em, and fresh-picked kale, and I had a cucumber in my shirt pocket.”

You country guys sure have a strange way of making yourselves attractive to women.

There are various online links to Mike Hood, tractor photographer, with his photo.

The small town in Indiana I used to live in, had a Porsche Show every year (lot's of doctors who "hobby farmed"). It was were I saw my first Porsche tractor! Yes, Porsche...


Here’s a nice sampler of raptors in your neck of the woods. The max wingspan of some is quite impressive (Goshawk 45”, Red-tailed Hawk 56”, Osprey 67”, Vulture 71”, Eagle 87”).

I find raptors fascinating and have photographed Raptor Free Flights at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on several occasions. These birds have been rescued, rehabbed, and trained and are free to leave during training flights and demonstrations if they so choose. It’s amazing to have a Great Horned Owl (300 lb/in grip strength & 48” wing span) brush your hat with a wingtip as it glides by or watch a Red-tailed hawk fall out of the sky from a mile up and whiz by your face on the way to its handlers arm.

Earlier this week I changed up my morning walk by using Google Earth to find a tree lined wash to explore. I found a Red-tailed hawk on what must be a favorite perch (feathers beneath) and a pair of barn owls in a fissure 15 feet up a cliff face. I used my EF 100-400mm to peer into the fissure and find the owls. I will be returning at dawn/dusk with my only fastish tele (EF 135mm f/2 + EF 1.4x) to hopefully catch the owls in action once the summer monsoon lets up. You do not want to be standing in a wash in the Sonoran Desert when the sky opens up.

The Lambo tractor reminded me about Bill Scott who runs Summit Point Raceway in Virgiinia. He collects Porsche tractors!


Mike, as per Kenneth Tanaka's suggestion, you should be okay as long as you avoid Rue Morgue Avenue.

If it was a turkey vulture, it had a red head. Also watch for soaring flight with very little flapping, wings held in a shallow V, and a sort of wobble from side to side. I rarely see turkey vultures anywhere but in the air, though they do land from time to time. Incidentally, vultures have some of the strongest immune systems in the animal kingdom.

If you think *one* of those birds was disconcerting  -
About a week ago I wake up to the sound of something [large] clomping about on the roof above me. Hesitantly go outside, flap of large wings almost overhead as this monstrosity leaves my roof. And there are dozens of these turkey vultures/buzzards in the tops of trees all around my home; don't know how the trees bore their weight. Thought to myself, what are they doing here, pretty sure I'm still alive...
Felt like I was in "The Birds".

Should my embed fail:

the last picture i took at "the farm" was of a group of turkey vultures lounging in a giant dead tree (appropriate)

the red head really does stand out

they are pretty powerful flyers but they do dip down on takeoff...kind of like the planes coming off a carrier deck in the old war movies

turkeys on the other hand are like giant quail...airborne quickly and very fast in flight
it seems if they have to take wing they mean it

vultures will kill their dinner
they seem to carry it in their beak as opposed to their weak feet
at our place we would see them carrying snakes and squirming mammals they picked up in the pasture in front the barn

early ford tractors are amazing tools except for one way hydraulics
when we sold our place we gave the kid buying it a '47 8n...i think he liked tractor better than the ground

when my uncle "retired" from farming he bought a restored jubilee, it was absolutely gorgeous

Re The Nikon 35mm being bigger than the Fuji.....
Wouldn't you expect a modern AF lens that can cover Full Frame to be bigger than one that only has to cover APS-c?
Sort of an apples & oranges comparison , no?
I hear that the Nikon f/1.8's are very nice.

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