My luck with KC-46s and bad weather broke recently with a Pegasus launching out of Boeing Field on a glorious day. It was carrying out trials work with a US Navy Hornet. This jet was the subject of its own post. The KC-46 followed it down the runway. It rotated in a good location and the light was so much nicer than I have had recently so I was very happy to get shots of it as it climbed out and headed off to the airspace set aside for testing.
Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton are home to more than just the Alameda County Fair. They also held the Highland Games. This was a mix of Celtic sports and other rural activities from the UK. Part of that included some sheep dog trials. A variety of owners and their dogs took turns in herding a group of sheep around a variety of obstacles and in to a pen – all done against the clock. I love watching sheepdogs at work. They are so controlled in the way they move and keep the sheep where they want them. We have seen them in action for real while in the UK and they really do know what they are doing.
In a more controlled environment such as a show like this, things are a little different. There are people all around them and you can’t help but wonder whether the sheep are beginning to learn the routine after a while. Then again, I have crossed paths with sheep on the hills and they really are the dopiest of creatures so expecting them to learn is probably a stretch. My favorite pose for the dogs is when they are crouched down on the ground waiting for the next sign to move. They look so intent.
I previously added a Zoomify image to a blog post. It was pointed out that, as a Flash based format, it didn’t work on some mobile devices. That was using the default Photoshop installation. I have now found a way of generating an HTML5 version of the Zoomify output. This is a trial to see whether it works. Let me know in the comments. Click here to see the file.
As part of the Scottish celebrations, there was a demonstration of sheep dogs at work. This was something I always thought of a either a northern England or Welsh activity but I guess it is a big deal in Scotland too. Anyway, a bunch of dogs were taking it in turns to demonstrate their skills with a small flock of sheep brought in especially for the occasion.
The dogs and the shepherds were certainly very effective. They could move the flock wherever they felt like it (although the attempt to split the flock in two was a little less successful). The dogs were really fun to watch as they zipped around the flock and then froze on the ground until needed again.
The sheep were amazing as well. These creatures are obviously very fixated on one thing. Eating! The dogs could get them quite jumpy but a second alter they would forget everything and start munching on the grass. I suspect if left alone, they wouldn’t move far at all as long as the grass lasted!