Friday, January 6, 2012

Blues Boy King

was in town last night so we went to see the 86 year old guy who is still having a good time on the road - his joy for being in front of an audience was infectious and it was just plain fun to spend an hour or so with the King of the Blues...

I laughed when I read this blurb from the program-
BB King was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, where Sting of the Police made the induction speech. He received the Grammy "Lifetime Achievement Award" in December 1987 and won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Blues Foundation in 1997. 

His lifetime achievement Grammy was awarded more than 24 years ago!

You go guy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

a point of view

My mother-in-law Sue has a saying I love- "there is no one smarter than someone who agrees with you." So when my friend Tom sent me the article excerpted below I found it brilliant- LOL


The Joy of Quiet


A series of tests in recent years has shown, Mr. Carr points out, that after spending time in quiet rural settings, subjects “exhibit greater attentiveness, stronger memory and generally improved cognition. Their brains become both calmer and sharper.” More than that, empathy, as well as deep thought, depends (as neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio have found) on neural processes that are “inherently slow.”

so apparently watching birds and water isn't just good for me....

hard at work

while Phil sleeps late the kitties are hard at work at his desk helping get things started for the day....

islands in the stream

OK- blatant theft of title from Hemingway... LOL - but here is a series of photos that show a "new island" being formed in the windy conditions we had two days ago and of it floating down stream to us-

it eventually went around the bend and is undoubtedly resting at the end of the inlet having joined some other prior "break-aways"...

maybe I should have called this entry "Il Flottante" LOL

it was shaped like the continent of Africa-

and this bird rode it all the way down the river branch...LOL

and here is a series of a heron in flight over the river- that I still haven't mastered in focus but I thought it was cool to see his wing span...

and aren't his legs funny - just sort of following along there? 

Monday, January 2, 2012


when my sister and I were young - grade school age- we were huge fans of girl detectives- of course Nancy Drew would have been our introduction since my mom had also been a big Nancy Drew fan.  we loved Harriet the Spy and I remember carrying around a steno pad for a week or so to record my "observaitons" LOL-

but I thought of this today because one thing you always got from the cover of the Nancy Drew books was an incredible atmosphere of mystery.  I don't remember the exact title but one of the earliest I read was the "secret in the old swamp" LOL or some such- the cover had a swamp with trees covered in spanish moss and a ghostly paddle wheeler steam boat coming from behind the moss covered trees. 

now each moring and evening when the light gets dimmer I wait for the scene at River Cottage to bring the ghostly steamboat around the bend just beyond our own spanish moss covered trees- and it brings me a smile to think back to that time.  the other day in Costco they had the complete Nancy Drew book set but I didn't want to buy updated versions - I wanted Nancy in her roadster- even in our era roadster was an out of date term but we loved that kind of thing because then we knew these were the same ones my mother had read as a girl. 

or maybe this one looks a bit more spooky - LOL

Ha Ha Ha Ha--- found it!

one thing

you might have figured out between this year (already) and last year at River Cottage is that the sunsets can be absolutely magnificent- and just one example - from last night shows that even the "ordinary" ones can be incredible in the colors that show up-

I have to admit that while I like Monet well enough I never really got the thing about the hay stacks- until I started taking photos of the sunsets on the river here at River Cottage.  Now I am fascinated by the ever changing light that happens each day- not just at sunset but during the day as well.  This morning I awoke to drizzle and clouds with no sun at all - right now at around 11 AM it is cloudless blue sky and breezy but not much sun - so our ever changing view  (and its inhabitants) draw me away from whatever I am doing frequently each day.

in the last year of my sister's life she read voraciously- mostly because she could do little else and like me- she was never much of a television person.  I remember my mother telling me that one day she asked Janna what she did most of the time.  my sister's reply was I read - but mostly I watch the birds.  the hospital bed she lived in was located in the living room of her house and she had a wonderful view (easily more than 180* of wooded area that backed on to their house.  I remember thinking that if that were me I would go out of my mind and admiring her ability to find enjoyment in anything at all given what she had gone through and was going through.  but by early last year- roughly six months after she died I understood much better how much she must have gained from that time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

new year's eve wildlife

I know you have all been waiting patiently to see some new bird photos so I have a selection of things we have seen in the last 24 hours to get you started- I won't make you do the identification since we have a book here to look these up and I can tell you what they are (HA HA- urban dwellers that we are- we would be lost without the book)
the blue heron:

a gallinule (no, it is not a duck- LOL) it is a member of the coot family--- so of course feels quite at,l, home here- LOL

Phil's personal favorite the Anhinga (a member of the Cormorant family - a species we also have here on the river)

an osprey- looks from the distance like a bald eagle but has the white under body - in the hawk family - they eat fish and catch them in their taloned feet - which have a two two configuration on the talons rather than the usual one three combo (yes read one book and now I am an expert!- LOL)

and I included this less than stellar (technically) photo because I loved the composition of the bird in flight and his reflection on the river- if only I had been faster at setting up the shot I could have had this in focus...alas- that would apparently be the life of a nature photographer.

I love how you can see his feet dragging in the water as he gets his lift going--- magnificent birds--