Clicking the pics kills time until you have something better to do.
Yet another, totally socked in rainy day. I couldn't tell if it was the rain running off my solar panels, or they were silently weeping. Whichever it was doesn't matter because either way all I was able to do today was step outside and take a few snapshots in the yard.
This is my response to Larry's comment last night.
As is often the case I got carried away and wrote too much to be a comment response, so I did what I usually do and turned it into a blog post for the day, which actually helped me out because I got to kill two birds with one stone on a rainy, drizzly, day that had killed my motivation to do anything of interest.
Yeah, Larry the clay sports are hidden because you mostly shoot clays at a specialized shooting range, but shooting rifles and handguns can be done anywhere, such as, hunting, self-defense, or just plinking, and more people are doing those things than going to a specialized shooting venue for clays.
Many folks in the trap shooting sport see trap shooting as slowly dying off because it doesn't attract very many young kids because it's not very exciting. Trap is a sport of perfection and concentration, and there are not many young people with those attributes anymore, and Skeet has the same basic problem.
So most of the young blood in Clay shooting gravitates towards Sporting Clays because it's more of a physical challenge than a mental one. You're shooting in a pretty area and moving around; so it's far more challenging, similar to actually hunting birds. And, maybe most importantly, it's not a game of perfection.
In a trap shooting competition, you're shooting at 100 clays, and if you miss one or two out of those hundred, you're pretty much out of the running. So to maintain that much concentration for a match that lasts a couple of hours is extremely difficult. And I've met long-term Trap shooters who have shot many 99s but never broke 100... it's a mental thing.
Sporting Clays, which my son competed in but never broke into the top three, is not about perfection; it's mostly about solving shooting problems when the target is going in different directions, much like hunting Pheasants or Doves. And out of a 100-round contest, you can easily win with a score in the mid-90s, so missing a Clay in Sporting Clays isn't the end of your day.
But either one of those disciplines is great for a kid to learn. At the very least, they learn safe gun handling, because the range officer will not abide by the slightest mistake in gun safety, and you will be removed from the field for the smallest infraction. They learn concentration, attention to detail, and how to control their emotions, and like most any sport, they learn how to lose and, more importantly, how to win gracefully.
There's an Arizona law that says if you own a camera you have to take at least one picture of a Saguaro Cactus.... So now I don't have to fear a SWAT team breaking down my door in the middle of the night.
The Palo Verde tree tends to look old and decrepit even when it's not. The desert is a tough environment for everything that attempts to survive here. And it's especially tough on things that can't pack up and move like the Palo Verde tree.
We humans, especially full-timing humans, can load up the camper and leave. The desert horned toad can walk to some shade, and the wily black scorpion can crawl up your pant leg. But the poor Palo Verde tree has no option except to stand there and take everything Mother Nature dishes out. And Mother Nature is a cruel mistress in the Sonoran Desert; no quarter is given.
The desert Sunflowers brighten up and seem to smile on this overcast, rainy day.
I took this picture from my boondocking spot where I could see some of the lights on the trap range at the Clay Center.
Yes Trap shooters compete under the lights. They also shoot in the rain, and the snow, the only time I've ever seen them delay a Trap competition is for lightning.
And speaking of lights. While practicing for a competition at the Ben Avery Clay Center, I've seen my 15-year-old son fire the first shot when the Clay Center opened up the trap ranges in the morning, and fire the last shot at night when they turned off the lights; that's the kind of dedication, commitment, and passion, it took to be a champion trap shooter.