Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
( rider: Tim Stearns)
What did you accomplish over the weekend in 16 seconds?
In cowboy mounted shooting, the fast action rodeo type equine sport 16 seconds is a good run. For the Ct. Renegades State Championships Sept 18 & 19, 2010 Cowboys and Cowgirls from all over the Northeast descended on Enfield, Ct.'s Round Tuit Ranch for some high stake thrilling runs. http://www.roundtuitranch.com/ Each competitor rides six patterns or stages in a championship and the accumulated time and penalties for missed targets settles out the placings sometimes by 1/100 of a second.
BLANKS are used for ammo and all are provided by the competition to insure the safety of the event. A Rangemaster - combined referee and safety official is in the ring to direct the riders and officiate. The guns are Colt 45 type as used in the Old West and in the Rifle Division a Revolving Carbine or Lever Action 45 Long Colt, ( remember the Rifleman TV show?)
Costume is a big part with dress requirements to be clothing of the 1880's or from the Silver Screen Stars of the West. They take the costuming serious with penalties for a ride in inappropriate dress. For this reason we always have at least one photo club on the rail taking pictures. Their lens catching the flaming end of a pistol at dusk, the flared nostril of a horse, the sweat stained brim of a cowboy's hat and the windswept manes.
Over in the announcers booth I am calling out the time each course is completed in and more importantly the next few riders. With a new rider needed in the ring every couple minutes we have to have them ready and waiting or lose audience to long boring waiting time and even worse not finish all the rides before dark comes. http://www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com/
Where can you catch up with this fast action sport? There are clubs in almost every state. We belong to the Connecticut Renegades http://www.ctrenegades.com/ There are any clubs in the Northeast and you can find all the sites on the National Association website http://www.cowboymountedshooting.com/
A favorite competition in the Northeast is called Border Wars. The two day event pits Ct. riders against our neighbors in Mass. in a fun two day cowboy weekend, at stake a red and black flag and the right to fly it at the forthcoming years events. Saturday the Mass Six Shooters http://www.masixshooters.com/ host the event and Sunday the Ct. Renegades. A new venue will welcome riders this year, Goss Farm in Dunstable Mass. will be the site on Oct 30-31, 2010. http://www.gossfarm.com/ I can't wait for the weekend. ( good weather only won't risk injury to horses or riders in slippery conditions) The friendly competition, campfire and BBQ, the storytelling around the fire, Cowboy Church Sunday morning and a second day of competition before we all go back to the 21 st century, shake the dust from our chaps and hang up our spurs until another weekend.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Never saw a button museum? Maybe there is only one. It was at Coventry ( Ct.) Historical Society a couple years ago
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I do not anticipate the return of school or routine. I can't wait for the cool autumn days to walk , take photographs and enjoy the outdoors in temperatures warm by day and cool by night.
There is something special and fleeting about fall. It arrives on the tail of scorching days and the return to cooler temps signals us all to be more active and to not waste time because winter is close at hand. I don't want to miss one glorious day of the fall weather. I can't wait for the first trip to the orchard and the first pie out of the oven afterward. I'll be headed out to Horse Listener's Orchard soon. http://www.horselistenersorchard.com/
Remember the first morning you can smell the woodsmoke on the morning air and the crunchy grass when it is white with the first frost. All these memories would make many shudder with cold just to think about them, but I love the cool weather and most of winter don't mind the cold.
There is nothing quite as special as natures last hurrah of the year as she paints her maples and sends the leaves floating by.
A lone leaf is waiting on the granite rock and reminds me of all the years we made place mats for the tables with wax paper and an iron and a few choice leaves such as this one.
One fall day I met up with the local third grade. It was their annual field trip around town as part of the know you town and state curriculum. The youth were all excited and I heard them coming long before I could see them winding through the woods on a trail . I was waiting, at the top of Wolf Rock in Mansfield. The preserve is in a land trust called Joshua's Trust. www.joshuaslandtrust.org Joshua was the Native American son of the Chief Uncas. He deeded land to the settlers when they arrived. It is the goal of the land trust to preserve beautiful and distinctive pieces of that original land grant area. The holdings of Joshua's Trust have reached the 4000 acre level!
That day I was waiting on Wolf Rock looking out over the valley in the peak of color. The day was perfect! As soon as the students were settled with their lunches on the sun warmed granite I was introduced. I shared stories of wolves and colonial Mansfield www.mansfieldct.org
Here at the edge of the cliff is a glacial erratic, a huge stone dropped by a glacier long ago. On this Wolf Rock day I used a piece of campfire charred wood to scratch the mark of Joshua son of the sachem Uncas onto the stone.
Before they left I had a chorus of all the children's voices howl the Wolf call from the top of Wolf Rock. The Wolf voice has been gone from these hills since the colonists erradicated them, I imagine the deer in the deep valley below shuddered at the howl of a wolf in children's clothing.