Sunday, March 9, 2008

At the Helm

I'm next to Luke at the control station of a crane on a gigantic open-air truck. We're getting reading for a big morning! A very big, old, rotten tree has to come down. Luke's in charge. He's operating the crane to remove the tree, piece by piece. It's a very big and dangerous job. Oh, no, I forgot my hard hat!! I better get it on and be safe! (Can you see the guy way up high above Luke's head? He's in the next picture.)

Cowabunga! I'm Pretty High up Here!

I'm in a "cherry picker" with Dan. He's holding me and we're standing in a special lift box attached to a boom on this big truck.
Dan's about to start chainsawing down the big, rotten tree!

Put in Your Ear Plugs!

Dan has controls in the box in which he's standing. He's lifted himself way up high to be next to the trunk so he can cut the tree into pieces easily. See the strap on the tree? The hook on the crane's cable attachs to the strap for easy lifting. The chainsaw makes a very loud noise, so Dan always protects his ears with special plugs to muffle the sound.
Smart Dan!

Yikes!! That's Scary

Here is Luke lifting the big hunk of tree away.

Up, Up and Away

This is 1,000 pounds of tree dangling from the strap! That's a lot of weight, like about 10 moms.

Look at the Termite Tracks and Holes

Up close, you can see all the damage that was done by termites. They ate through the center of the trunk and most of the limbs and turned them into mush. Just look at that "pile of goo" in the next photograph! It was as soft as a mound of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving time!

Supper Anyone?

This is what was left in the center of the old tree. Pretty sad, huh? The termites made fast work of the core of the trunk. Rain kept the wood soft for the chomping insects so dining would be easier! As I said, this mound could be squashed like a pile of mashed potatoes!

King of the Mountain

Max and I are at the top of a giant pile of mulch. That's what's left over from the trees after they go through a grinder. Now the mulch is perfect for using in the garden. When I spread it, the mulch will keep down weeds, keep moisture in, make a new home for worms, insects, and microbes (plants and animals which can only be seen under a microscope), and eventually turn into rich soil ready to be planted.
Mulch is Magic!!

Smiles from the Heart

Here I am backstage with the Royal Dancers from the Asian country of Thailand. They had just performed in their brightly-colored, sparkling costumes at the East-West Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. The Princess of Thailand was in Hawaii dedicating a building and they accomlpanied her. To know more about upcoming events at the East-West Center go to:

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ride Em' Cowdog!!

Here I am at my first rodeo at Gunstock Ranch on the Windward Coast of Oahu!! Monica gave me a lift up into her saddle so I'd have a better view. She was just getting ready to compete. Wow!

Mom Competes Too!

Debbie was all smiles! She has inspired both of her daughters to be fine cowgirls. Monica (in the photo above), and Sydney are rodeo champs! Good job, Mom!

The Officials

Linda, holding me, and Lu, the timekeeper, were in charge of the rodeo. I liked being up high looking into the arena. There was a lot of dust stirred up by the horses racing around the posts. If you want to know more about women competing in these rodeo events, google: hawaii women's rodeo association.