"The Ranch" (our ranch in the Mariposa County, California foothills in the Gold Country)

This has to be the Ultimate Project: the 160 acre ranch we bought in the California Gold Country in September of 2007. In fact the ranch has an old gold mine on site that dating back to the mid 1800s that has been long abandoned. It is currently fenced off to prevent someone from falling into it.

We have lots to do: many improvements to make and many things to fix. The previous owner had a small vineyard but moved on to a larger facility as his wine business grew. The ranch also has a small herd of cattle to keep things interesting. At the moment (Nov 2007) we are learning where all the pipes are, what circuit breaker controls what pump and so on. There are many things to learn and to fix.

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"The Ranch House" It is pretty nice but everything is a little bit out of whack and needs to be fixed, adjusted, improved, or finished (or so it seems)

We do have our share of antennas: two dishes (TV and internet (Hughes)), and the previous owner was a Ham radio operator so we have both an HF multiband beam and also some VHF/UHF antennas too. It should be a pretty good place to monitor UHF/VHF activity in the central valley below as I have a clear line of sight to Merced and several other surrounding small communities. At 1800 feet and in the country, I expect good quiet HF reception. Since there is fog covering the valley below nearly every night, the impact of the lights are minimal: similar to what we experience with Fremont Peak in the Bay Area.

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The HF multiband beam is at the left while there are other antennas in the middle

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The Kawasaki Mule 3010 Diesel is an indispensable tool on the ranch.

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This calf was born in late October 2007

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This calf was born in early November 2007

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This is the camera lens system on the AP1200GTO CP3. This is my first outing at the ranch to image. The aluminum foil is to fix light leaks so that I get good flats in the late afternoon. First light images (from full moon) are below.

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First Light Images from November 22 - 23, 2007

click to enlarge (Rosette under full moon, Nov 22, 2007)

click to enlarge (IC1805/IC1848 under full moon: Nov 23, 2007)

click to enlarge (Sh 2-240 under full moon: Nov 23, 2007)

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