What’s on the Tele?

My friend Joel Lewis started building a custom Telecaster-style guitar, got it mostly built, and then gave it to me to finish. I put a Zebra-style Humbucker pickup at the neck instead of the standard single coil pickup normally installed at the neck of Telecaster guitars, so it has a different sound than a standard Telecaster.

Joel painted the guitar blue, but then we started discussing possibilities for the body. I sent him an image of a Telecaster guitar with the Sandias and a Sand Hill Crane on it that I had created as a mock-up. Then Joel suggested I do something with a Santa Fe Super Chief locomotive and a New Mexico Zia symbol. I found a nice stylized Zia symbol, a decent photo of a Super Chief locomotive, created the design, printed the images on vinyl skins and put the skins on the guitar.

The music video is a medley of three different songs with trains that cover different genres of music. I modified the lyrics a bit in each song to go with the Tele. You will probably recognize at least one, if not all three, of the songs.

Stormy Sunday

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We had thunderstorms coming in from all directions this afternoon. The thunderstorm that built up over the Sandias was the most dramatic. While out on a walk before the storms, I encountered a little bit of wildlife.

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Buckeye Butterfly

This video of the Great Purple Hairstreak Butterfly shows how it moves the flanges on the ends of its wings while it feeds. I assume it’s to fool predators into going after the flanges on its wings, giving it a chance to escape.

Blue Hairstreak

Silver kitty

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Thunderstorm activity to the north.

Badgers in the Bosque

Leslie, one of our bosque buddies, walked towards me on the ditch bank holding her camera in such a way I knew she got something special. “I got a first for the bosque!” she called out. “A badger” as she showed me a photo of a badger looking over a pile of sand on her camera’s screen. I said “Wow! I didn’t know we had badgers in the bosque.” On Friday afternoon I walked through the bosque and found the badger’s burrow, but the sun was still fairly high, and I didn’t see any badgers.

Last night I went out at sunset, and found a mama badger and two large badger cubs playing and foraging around the entrance to their den. I started shooting video with a 320mm lens. I was about 50 to 75 feet from the badgers.  One cub at the entrance of the den saw me and watched me while its sibling romped and tugged at it. I moved to a better position, because the camera kept trying to focus on the foliage in the foreground. While one cub watched me, its sibling hadn’t noticed I was there, and started foraging on the edge of the sandhill. Likewise, mama badger was oblivious while I filmed her and her cubs. The cub playing on the edge of the mound suddenly noticed me, stopped, stared at me for an instance, and then ran to the den and dived in the hole. The mama ran up the the entrance of the den at the cub’s sudden activity, and acting slightly confused, she put her head down toward the hole. All of a sudden she shifted her position and looked at me as if the cubs said “Mama! There’s a paparazzo filming us.” She looked at me for a second, and then dove in the hole herself.

I started calling them and I believe the cub that was looking at me from the beginning, popped its head up and stared at me. I talked to it, told it I was okay. It ducked back into the hole, only to pop it’s head up again a few seconds later. It seemed fascinated by the paparazzo in black talking to it. It started getting dark, so I said my goodbyes and the cub stared at me halfway in the entrance to the den as I walked away.

I wrote and recorded the music accompanying the video this afternoon. The Badgers seemed worthy of their own song.