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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Your photo of the day: Golden

...and that's why we call the High Plains The Golden Spread .... yellow grass everywhere this time of year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sky Gazers: Lunar Eclipse Times:

There will be a total lunar eclipse visible from all of North America during the night of December 20/21, 2010. For most stargazers it will be visible on the morning of December 21; however in some time zones it will start late in the night on December 20 and end after midnight early on December 21. The eclipse times are given in the standard North American times zones and in universal time.

Eastern Standard Time:

Penumbral eclipse begins 12:29 AM EST
Partial eclipse begins 1:33 AM EST
Total eclipse begins 2:41 AM EST
Greatest eclipse 3:17 AM EST
Total eclipse ends 3:53 AM EST
Partial eclipse ends 5:01 AM EST
Penumbral eclipse ends 6:05 AM EST
Central Standard Time:

Penumbral eclipse begins 11:29 PM CST
Partial eclipse begins 12:33 AM CST
Total eclipse begins 1:41 AM CST
Greatest eclipse 2:17 AM CST
Total eclipse ends 2:53 AM CST
Partial eclipse ends 4:01 AM CST
Penumbral eclipse ends 5:05 AM CST
Mountain Standard Time:

Penumbral eclipse begins 10:29 PM MST
Partial eclipse begins 11:33 PM MST
Total eclipse begins 12:41 AM MST
Greatest eclipse 1:17 AM MST
Total eclipse ends 1:53 AM MST
Partial eclipse ends 3:01 AM MST
Penumbral eclipse ends 4:05 AM MST
Pacific Standard Time:

Penumbral eclipse begins 9:29 PM PST
Partial eclipse begins 10:33 PM PST
Total eclipse begins 11:41 PM PST
Greatest eclipse 12:17 AM PST
Total eclipse ends 12:53 AM PST
Partial eclipse ends 2:01 AM PST
Penumbral eclipse ends 3:05 AM PST
The Universal Time (UT) of the eclipse will be:

Penumbral eclipse begins 5:29 UT
Partial eclipse begins 6:33 UT
Total eclipse begins 7:41 UT
Greatest eclipse 8:17 UT
Total eclipse ends 8:53 UT
Partial eclipse ends 10:01 UT
Penumbral eclipse ends 11:05 UT
The early and late penumbral parts of the eclipse will be very hard to observe. The average stargazer will not see anything until the partial eclipse begins.

Dress warmly and enjoy a total lunar eclipse on the winter solstice.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Lunar Eclipse

Astronomical photo op coming up: A total lunar eclipse, also called the Christmas lunar eclipse, will grace the heavens the night of Dec. 20-21. It is touted to be the best lunar eclipse show until April 2014. Here's one I shot in 2007.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Photo of the day: Eye to eye with the storm

Photographed last year from downtown Amarillo, the west side of town catches the edge of a super-cell thunderstorm.

- Steve Douglass

Monday, December 6, 2010

Freebie! Give away Christmas Concert First Baptist Church!

I have 6 tickets to the First Baptist Church Christmas Choir Concert tonight at 7 PM. E-mail me as soon as you can and I'll give you a couple!

First come- first serve!


Your photo of the day: December doves ...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Your photo of the day: By dawn's early flight ...

Electric Light Parade Friday!

Date And Time
6:00 PM TO 8:00 PM

Event Description:
Center City Electric Light Parade will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 3rd in downtown Amarillo. Free to the public.

Downtown Amarillo from 10th Avenue and Polk Street.

Dress: Although forecast is for warm weather, it cools rapidly after dark - so bundle up and bring some hot chocolate and a blanket!

The parade route ends in the Globe News Center parking lot with the lighting of the city's Christmas tree at the Amarillo Civic Center. Rumor has it - that Santa will be there!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

For those who protect and serve ...

Green Chili Willy's will be open today from 11-4 on Thanksgiving Day providing meals FREE TO


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photo of the day: Buzzard Moon Hill

Photographed on North Western street as a full moon peeked over a yucca-covered hill.

Photo (C) Steve Douglass

Monday, November 22, 2010

Breaking News: The Turkey's Are Revolting!

This just in - an organized rebellion seems to be in the making among turkey's in this country. It started out with just a few birds trying to break into our homes but has escalated into outright attacks. They are mad as heck - and not gonna take it anymore!

The one that got away!

Yes, Turkey's can fly. This one was shot (photographed) in Palo Duro Canyon and won't be on anyone's table this Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Top 10 Misconceptions About Amarillo

By Steve Douglass

Passing through on I-40 one might think that Amarillo is nothing but a big truck stop. But our western city is much more than that. Consider getting off the wide ribbon of asphalt and spending a few days here – you'll be glad you did.

But first, let's clear up some misconceptions.

1. There are no trees here.

False: We have two of them – and they are made of plastic.

2. The weather sucks.

If you like boring well then yes. But if you like beautiful sunsets and sunrises, amazing storms lit up with gorgeous bolts of lightning and our epic tornadoes (that actually do suck) then you'll love it here.

We also get blazing hot afternoons, blizzards, hail the size of grape fruit, dust storms and floods – and all in the same day.

3. Amarillo is close to: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Waco, Austin, El Paso and Galveston.

False: Most people don't realize how big Texas is and our city is located in the northwest corner of the state. We are closer to Denver than Houston, Albuquerque than Austin and Oklahoma City than Dallas.

4. Everyone in Amarillo wears a cowboy hat, drives a pickup truck and is either a rancher, oil man or works on nuclear weapons.

True and false – I drive a Saturn.

5. Amarillo is flat.

Almost true – we don't have any mountains – but we do have this immense hole in the ground called Palo Duro Canyon where we drive out and stand on the edge and throw stuff in. From the bottom, looking up - it kind of looks like mountains.

6. Amarillo is an arid and dusty wasteland.

False: Average rainfall in Amarillo is 17 inches a year – but this year we had over twenty-five. We are now much greener than Dallas and Waco.

The thousands of playa lakes overflowed this year and just last week we had a three inch rain followed by a five inch snowfall within eight hours time. Sure, there's no water in Lake Meredith – but that's New Mexico's fault.

7. There is nothing to do in Amarillo.

Absolutely untrue! Like every major city we have plenty of venues, theaters, eateries, malls, parks, museums and attractions. Just Google: Amarillo attractions to see a list.

Besides, when you've done all you think to do here, you'll find out you can do things that you didn't think you could do anywhere, like chase a storm, listen to cowboy poetry, have a great chuck wagon dinner under the stars in Palo Duro Canyon, water ski at one of our many area lakes, fish, road-bike (forever with very few hills to slow you down) or plummet down treacherous mountain bike trails in the Canyon.

How about toting your ATV out to the Canadian River and go blasting through the red clay having the muddiest and dirtiest time of your life or if you are a meat eater – go hunting for pheasant, quail, dove or even deer.

Not to mention, in just a few hours drive you can be shushing down the slopes in Northeastern New Mexico or go chasing UFOs down in Roswell.

Take a day trip and experience our wonderful wildlife. Even in town you'll encounter wild creatures, like Red Tailed Hawks, coyotes and prairie dogs by the thousands. The High Plains are teeming with white-tailed and mule-deer, plus herds of prairie antelope, huge flocks of geese, ducks and birds (including turkey vultures) as well as our official bird – the V-22 Osprey!

On any given day – take a drive out to Amarillo Rick Husband International Airport and watch the Osprey's fly, or the Cobras, or the Huey's or the myriad military aircraft who frequently use our 15k+ long strip for training. Have a quit bite to eat at the English Field House and quite possibly sit next to an astronaut or rub elbows with a Top Gun.

Since Amarillo is so centrally located almost everything that flies has landed here to gas-up and go. Charles, Lindbergh landed here in the Spirit of St' Louis as has two Space Shuttles!

8. Amarillo is behind the times.

Yes and No.

If you like smog, long stop-and-go traffic jams, inner-city violence, rampant unemployment, inflated real-estate prices and the other problems that plague large urban cities – then yes- we are behind the times.

But no, if you think that Amarillo is not cutting edge.

Heck, we build advanced military aircraft here, and nuclear weapons. We also take them apart. There are jobs to be had here – and at good wages – from fields as diverse as cattle ranching to computer technology, aeronautical and petroleum engineering, to wind and nuclear energy.

In Amarillo we also have some of the best schools anywhere – from kindergarten to advanced doctorate degrees – in almost any field - we rate tops in our classes. There are medical schools, technical schools, junior colleges as well as WTAMU all within a twenty mile circle of the city.

9. Amarillo is intolerant.

Not true.

Like any city, we do have our share of rednecks, biggots, criminals, idiots, lunatics and just plain jerks – but all in all you'll find the majority of us are friendly, tolerant, outgoing and just plain down-to-earth nice people.

Unfortunately the Quaran burners and racists and intolerants get more national press than the good people who will give you their chair, or let you in a long line ahead of them or who go door-to-door to collect money for the poor or for a good cause like cancer awareness.

Amarillo is ahead of the curve when it comes to charity. Almost every weekend there is a canned food drive or a charity walk or a benefit for someone of some cause in dire need. The majority of Amarilloans are kind, caring and generous.

Within our city limits are Catholic and Baptist churches, Mormon chapels and stake centers, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu mosques-all completely accepting of each other.

Yes, there are some bad apples among us but like most Texans, we won't stand for it.

10. Amarillo has no culture.

Again – wrong! In Amarillo you can boot-scoot-boogey on Friday night and enjoy the Amarillo Symphony on Saturday. You can take the kids to the Discovery Center to learn about science and nature or hike through Wild Cat Bluff to experience it first hand.

Plus you can partake in some of or unique Amarillo culture – such as spray paint your name on the Cadillac Ranch or hunt through town for the sometimes humorous but always strange “Stanley” signs.

You can go disco, two-step, waltz – and all in the same club. Go tail-gating in the parking lot at WTAMU or take in a rock-em-sock-em hockey game at the Civic Center.

All in all – Amarillo is a great place to visit – but an even better place to live.

Spend a day here and you'll want to return. Spend year here and you won't want to live anywhere else.

-Steve Douglass

PS: I want to hear from you! What are your favorite things about Amarillo or what do you think we need to work on? Drop me a line or leave me a comment!

Photo of the day: Amarillo Sky

Click to enlarge:

Photo by Steve Douglass

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stevie Ray Vaughn in Amarillo 1989

Photo of the day: Winds of change ...

With a blustery cold front coming through today, this image is particularly appropriate. Photographed at the Ascension Academy at 45th and Soncy.

If you have a photo you'd like to share with Amarillo, e-mail me at the link at the top of this blog!

-Steve Douglass

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Palo Duro Canyon Fly Through

Multipurpose stadium mulled over ...

By Madelyn Bankhead-Vieth
The city of Amarillo could build and operate a minor league baseball stadium that could serve as a multipurpose venue, a study showed.

The estimated cost of building the proposed ballpark with a mix of private and public funds is roughly $25 million, but funding sources have not been determined, said Downtown Amarillo Inc. Executive Director Melissa Dailey.

Results of the privately funded study, which cost $40,000, were presented at a public meeting Monday.

DAI found in its feasibility study, conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, a Plano-based company, that the venue could be profitable and spur more private-sector development in the area surrounding it.

A proposed location for the ballpark has not been determined.

"I'm really excited," Dailey said of the findings. "Intuitively we knew that minor league baseball could work. Amarillo is a regional draw, and there's always a demand for community activities."

The study also identified three possible independent baseball league options for Amarillo - the American Association, the Atlantic League, and the United League.


Photo of the day: Combine & Cranes

Photographed SE of Amarillo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Photo of the day: Brrrrrrrr!

We had our first taste of winter last week. Lots of snow - but it is all but gone now. Looks like a warming trend will bring us back up into the 70s by this weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amarillo Snowbirds

Snowbirds .. short video I shot of the mini-blizzard. All but gone now.

-Steve Douglass

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you for your service to our country...

On Veteran’s Day we honor
Soldiers who protect our nation.
For their service as our warriors,
They deserve our admiration.

Some of them were drafted;
Some were volunteers;
For some it was just yesterday;
For some it’s been many years;

In the jungle or the desert,
On land or on the sea,
They did whatever was assigned
To produce a victory.

Some came back; some didn’t.
They defended us everywhere.
Some saw combat; some rode a desk;

All of them did their share.
No matter what the duty,
For low pay and little glory,

These soldiers gave up normal lives,
For duties mundane and gory.
Let every veteran be honored;

Don’t let politics get in the way.
Without them, freedom would have died;
What they did, we can’t repay.

We owe so much to them,
Who kept us safe from terror,
So when we see a uniform,
Let’s say "thank you" to every wearer.
By Joanna Fuchs

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Hat Is Where It Is At!

By Ken Hanson

You can see a cowboy walking down the street,
You might even hear him before that,
You can tell he’s a cowboy by the way he’s dressed,
From his boots way up to his hat.

That jingling that makes you look around,
Is made by his spurs of course,
They hang onto his boots and help him out,
While riding his favorite horse.

Those boots might be real shiny,
Made of ostrich or lizard or gator,
They could be just plain old cow hide,
They’ll probably get muddy sooner or later.

He will likely be wearing Levis or Wranglers,
Made with rivets and stitched real strong,
If they’re new they won’t have any rips or stains,
That won’t last for long.

He will probably have a big belt buckle,
One you can see from afar,
The really big gold ones were won riding bulls,
Proof of how tough they are.

He might have on a long sleeve shirt,
The kind with a western style,
With fancy pockets and pearl snap buttons,
The ones that make a cowgirl smile.

He will always have on a cowboy hat,
There’s never a doubt about that,
‘Cause when it comes to a cowboy’s attire,
The hat is where it’s at.
Nothing says more about a cowboy,
Than the kind of hat he will wear,
Some are classic country, some a little ratty,
Some will just make people stare.

Some hats are a fashion statement,
All nice and clean and new,
Some have been in the dirt of an arena,
Maybe still stained with poo.

The ladies will have a hat of their own,
One that compliments their feminine style,
With just the right curve of the brim,
The kind that makes a cowboy smile.

A cowboy hat has character,
No two are ever the same,
Some have feathers of peacocks or eagles,
Some are just kinda plain.

A cowboy hat is polite,
Watch one and you’ll see why,
It’ll tip as a greeting when opening a door,
Always when a lady walks by.

A cowboy hat is smart, it can tell the time,
It knows where the sun is too,
It’ll tilt to keep your face in the shade,
To keep it from burning you.

It knows what time of year it is,
It knows the season as well,
The straw ones come out in the summer,
The felt ones appeared after the leaves fell.

A cowboy hat is tough, I’ve seen ‘em fly off,
While riding a bull and fall to the ground,
I’ve seen it stomped into the dirt several times,
While that bull was spinning around.

When the ride was done that cowboy walks over,
To pick up his hat, and then,
He just knocks off the dirt, puts it back on,
And it’s ready to go again.

A cowboy hat is friendly,
It lets the whole world know,
What kind of man he is,
It isn’t just for show.

It says he’s an honest hardworking man,
That loves God, his family, and America too,
It says he’s a caring, trustworthy man,
One who will stand beside you.

A cowboy hat is resourceful,
There are many things it can do,
It can shelter a baby kitten that’s lost,
It can swat pesky flies too.

It can fan a flame when building a fire,
It can scoop up cold water for your horse,
Unless it’s one that’s made out of straw,
They’re not too good at that of course.

It can protect your modesty getting out of the bath,
It can wave down a cab for you,
There are hundreds of things its good at,
We’ve only got time for a few.

But most of all, a cowboy hat is reverent,
It worships The Lord as well,
Although it never says Amen,
Here is how you can tell.

The instant I say “Would you pray with me”,
That hat will jump off of your head,
It will rest in your hand while you bow to The Lord,
And the prayer is being said.

That lifelong companion you have on your head,
Will stick by you no matter what you do,
But the most important thing it does,
Every Sunday, it’s here in this Church with you.

Photo of the Day: Prairie Puppy!

It seems these days that the fastest growing populace around Amarillo are the prairie dogs!
This one came out of his hole to tell me off!

Area Veteran's Day Observances

The Amarillo Area Veteran's Day Parade will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2010 with the official observance of Veterans Day on Thursday, November 11, 2010."

The Amarillo Public Library will be having a veteran's film festival.
Details HERE

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Photo of the day - last bloom

TIS the last bloom of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
To give sigh for sigh.

Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November Cruise Night

Sponsored by Panhandle Council of Car Clubs - Cruise NIght takes place the first Saturday of every month ( weather permitting) in the parking lot at the Region 16 building at Bell & Hillside.

Hope to see you there!

All photos by Steve Douglass
Click to enlarge:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Let's walk the Gallery Walk!

First Friday Art Walk out at Sunset Center starts tonight.

If you've never been, and love art - then this is a treat for you The mall will feature paintings, music, and more - plus you'll get to meet and talk with an area artist.

Grab a treat while strolling through the galleries showcasing local and area artists at their best.

The Galleries at Sunset fill Amarillo’s first indoor mall with a variety of art.

Sunset Center is the home for over 100 local artists. This artist community consists of 50+ studio-galleries that fill the indoor mall area and many of the outside spaces. Panhandle Art Center is an artist cooperative.

Artists rent a wall to display their works each quarter of the year. Between Panhandle Art Center and The Galleries at Sunset Center, you can see the work of over 100 local artists. Everything from jewelry to photography, all mediums of painting and sculpture, abstract to realistic—are in one location.

The Amarillo Art Institute is a nonprofit art school sponsoring art classes for all ages in all kinds of media.

Photo of the day - This Old Tree

Photographed in Palo Duro Canyon.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bell Helicopter (Amarillo) to work on Kiowa copters

By Jim McBride
Bell Helicopter will begin performing cockpit conversions on the U.S. Army's Kiowa Warrior helicopter at its Amarillo plant later this month, a new mission for the facility that could lure more aircraft assembly jobs to the city, company officials confirmed Wednesday.
The overall impact on jobs at Bell's Amarillo plant is uncertain, but the plant already plans to hire more than 100 workers next year, Bell officials said.

In April 2009, the Army exercised a contract option that required Bell to convert one OH-58A cabin into a new OH-58D cabin. In May, the Army issued a sole-source contract to Bell to convert more cabins.

The older A models were largely unarmed scouts, but those are being fitted with modern technology and weaponry to serve as reconnaissance helicopters. The conversion program takes existing A model OH-58 aircraft and upgrades them to D models.

"We're forecasting to hire 140 people next year," said Roger Williams, a top executive for Bell's Amarillo plant, which employs about 1,100 workers. The plant now assembles V-22 Ospreys, "Huey" troop transport helicopters and AH-1Z attack helicopters.


Photo by Steve Douglass

Monday, November 1, 2010

November ...

"November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."
- Elizabeth Coatsworth

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Photo of the day: Halloween Eyes

Black Cat

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, October 25, 2010

Photo of the day - heading south

Click to enlarge:

A lone flyer takes autumn's nod seriously and heads south to warner climates.

Photo by Steve Douglass

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Last flight ...

Short video showing the installation of a vintage Vietnam era F-100 Super Sabre at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial on South Georgia street today.

This is something you don't see every day...

An F-100 Super Sabre always has the right-of-way at an intersection. å

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October Moon.

Storm front moving in!

Expect lots of rain today (2 to 3 inches) in some areas with flash flooding possible. Some storms could become severe with the main threat being high winds, torrential rain and hail.

Scattered thunderstorms. A few storms may be severe. High 71F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Thunderstorms likely this evening. Then the chance of scattered thunderstorms overnight. A few storms may be severe early. Low 49F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photo of the day - Spectral Wind

Photographed near Ascension Academy two evenings ago.

-Steve Douglass

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pirates Of Canyon Balloon Rally schedule posted!

Balloon rally to begin Friday in the canyon

By BRAD NEWMAN Amarillo Globe News
The Pirates of the Canyon Amarillo Invitational Balloon Rally is planned this weekend.

The fifth annual event is expected to feature 27 hot air balloons from throughout the U.S.

Activities are scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. Friday, with a mass ascension planned at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. A balloon glow is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday at John S. Stiff Memorial Park, 4800 S. Bell St.

Saturday's festivities will include a competitive flight over Amarillo, a meet-and-greet with balloon pilots and a mass ascension.

The rally concludes with another early morning mass ascension at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

For information, visit www

Live: Amarillo Area Air Traffic Radio

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