Monday, February 18, 2013

Winter Blast

This is our second trip to the Winter Blast, held every February in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. 

Presented by the Western Pyrotechnic Association, it brings together both amateur and professional pyrotechnists for four days of teaching seminars led by some of the most accomplished pyrotechnists in the US.

We are here early with some of our best friends.

This gives us the best seats and it's fun to watch everything get set up for the big show.

By dusk, there will be thousands of people here for this show .

Major companies are here, featuring and testing items never seen before.

Each night is different, with a variety of professional shows showcasing items which you never get to see at public displays.

This is a major production, with a lot of serious rockets, shells and explosives set up every night.

We also get to showcase our true personalities here and have a lot of fun.  

Coming early gives us a chance to talk with club members, who are well dressed for the occasion, and will wear additional fire protection gear when on the field.

We also get to see some crazy stuff, like this replica Civil War cannon being shot off--

--and these guys blasting 60 pound anvils up in the air.

It takes a lot of powder, makes quite a bang, shakes the earth, sets off car alarms, and really grabs ones attention when these things blast high over the fence 40-60 feet in the air.  

Shooting begins early and goes on until around 10:30 each night.

So, lets hold on to the edge of our seats and watch some of this years' show.

To learn more about Western Pyro, go to

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Native American Flute

The Kokopelli figure has been found in ancient ruins from as early as 200AD to as late as the 16th century.  As a minor god, he was responsible for creating rain, food, music, merriment, dance and many other needs for his people.  His likeness varies, but is unmistakable - dancing and always playing some kind of flute. 

 Thus, the origin of the Native American flute lies deep within ancient culture. 

 Flutes are made in many styles and from a variety of materials - bamboo, reed, wood, clay and ceramic. 

 Native Americans did not have a written language, so songs and techniques were passed on through rituals and practice.  This resulted in a gentle music created spontaneously with much feeling and emotion.

After some heartfelt thought, we decided today was the day to buy our first Native American flute!  We had talked with many flute makers over the last two years and kept coming back to this same place.

It was Rick and Rose Gnerich, makers of Native American Style High Spirits Flutes, that always held our attention.  They show genuine concern for matching their customers with a flute that best fits their style and musical interest.

We like the sound of the Golden Eagle aromatic cedar flute and it plays well for us.  It is one of the original woods used by early Native Americans and has a warm, soft and soothing sound.

You can learn about Native American High Spirit Flutes at;
 You can contact Rick and Rose Gnerich at;  
          To hear Native American flute music by one of our favorite musicians--

Monday, February 11, 2013

Native American Music Festival

This is our third visit to Casa Grande Ruins and our second time to be here for the Annual Native American Music Festival.

The Monument is in Coolidge, Arizona

These ruins and surrounding area have been protected and covered since the early 1900's.

This is home to the Pima River Nation of Native Americans.

This is primarily a music festival, but Native American crafts are also displayed and sold.

            Lots of intricate beadwork, metal and woodcarvings are displayed here.

                          Lots of Native American flutes are also for sale.

Loren Russel is an accomplished Native American storyteller and flute player.  He entertained us with many wonderful stories, handed down through generations of Native Americans.

Gabriel Ayala has won many major awards on the classical guitar.  He recently played at the Vatican in Rome.  He is a Yaqui Native American.

                      17 year old Krishel Augustine, award winning Navajo vocalist and songwriter.

Gila River Hashan-Kehk Traditional Dancers.

                        Arvel Bird, Paiute violinist and flutist.

Rona Yellow Robe, flute player and wonderful vocalist, is of the Cree nation.

                      No day at the festival is complete without a Native American Taco.