Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week Thirty-One - 21 to Go

This is not Ian Fleming’s Bond which will probably upset Bond aficionados. But this is a good fun read. Jeffrey Deaver brings 007 into the 21st Century: a new car, first a Bentley Continental GT then a Subaru Impreza WRX STI; a new drink, Carte Blanche; a new villain,  Felicity Willing.  Ian Fleming purists will gasp but Jeffrey Deaver followers will be delighted in this devious thriller.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birding - 7/27/11

South Spring Pool

Before making my way to the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) stopped at Muckrace on Savannah Spring Lake Road at 7:20 AM. Appears the DEC has plowed over the fields and is putting in a drainage pipe along the southern berm. Extremely quiet but did observe a Great Blue Heron flying overhead.

Martens Tract

Traveled on to Martens Tract. Three Great Blue Herons, several tree swallows, 2 Yellowthroats, and 2 Goldfinch. Two turkey vultures were soaring in the thermals to the South. 

Decided to walk the DEC truck ruts to the back of the pool. 

In a second water pool there were 7 Canada geese and 3 Great Blue Heron. Also a sparrow along the path.

Song Sparrow

Along the path there were yellow wildflowers, Queen Anne's Lace, a Monarch Butterfly, and a Widow Skimmer Dragonfly.

Drove down Cancross Road. Two turkey vultures were soaring south of the road. Along the Seneca River were 7 Great Blue Herons. A juvenile Bald Eagle flew overhead and perched in a dead tree a great distance from the parking area.

Juvenile Bald Eagle
(Brown dot at 2 o'clock)

Returning to the main road there were what appeared to be 3 Yellowlegs in the drainage ditch, 3 tree swallows on the telephone wires, and 2 crows drinking from a puddle in the dirt road.

At 9:45 AM drove down Morgan Road. A juvenile Bald Eagle was soaring over the fields. In the pond before the DEC office there was a Great Blue Heron and 5 ducks on a log way back.

Noting the time decided that I probably missed Naturalist Dave Spier's morning walk so continued on to May's Point. Traveling on Rt. 89 South stopped to observed the nesting ospreys in the tower before the canal bridge. Two adults were attending to a young one. The adults became agitated by my presence and left the nest. So as not to stress them out got back in the car and left.

At 10:20 AM arrived at May's Point Observation Deck. Observed 14 Great Egrets, 16 Great Blue Herons, 7 Canada geese, a Black tern, 3 tree swallows, and an eagle flying in the woods. Meet a couple on the deck from New Jersey. Suggested they might want to observe the ospreys by the canal.

Great Egret

To turn the car around drove to the May's Point Fishing Access. There near 5 fishermen was a Great Blue Heron sunning itself. As I was leaving the parking lot an osprey flew overhead.

There were no osprey on the nest at the North Spring Pool.

Stopped at the South Spring Pool parking area around 11:25 AM. From the observation deck saw 2 Red-wing Blackbirds and 3 tree swallows. Then the highlight of the day a Belted Kingfisher made several passes over the pool.

On the way back to the car noticed a Harris' Checkerspot.

Harris' Checkerspot

Decided to zip into the Refuge before going home for lunch. Glad I did. From the Visitor Center observation porch saw a group of birds that I knew I had seen before but could not recall the name. Fortunately Chuck Gibson was on the porch and Chuck identified the Caspian Terns for me. Chuck also scoped for me a young Caspian tern so I could compare it with the adults.

Caspian Tern & Killdeer

Also on the porch were Bruce and Corolla (whom I had met before while birding at MAC 6/8/11) and their granddaughter who had been on the MAC walk with Dave this morning.

In the pool by the Visitor Center there were several Yellowlegs and Killdeer, as well as, the Caspian Terns.

All in all a most enjoyable birding trek.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week Thirty - 22 to Go

Lucas Davenport followers will be enjoy the flashback to Davenport's rookie days on the police force. The Jones girls, missing since 1985, drive the plot into the present day where Lucas' inner turmoil almost does him in. Another top notch Prey.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cooking with the Calamari Sisters: Mangia Italiano!

Joan and I have attended several affairs at the Auburn Public Theater on Genesee Street. But we were excited to to be the audience for the Merry-Go-Round's first presentation this intimate theatre.

The zany Calamari sisters did not disappoint. The sister's fictional cable-access cooking show Mangia Italiano keep our sides aching as they took those in the audiences on a wild and laugh filled romp. Especially amusing were the three members of the audience the girls brought up on stage to help them prepare their favorite dishes. Several “Italian” standards, “Amore”, “Que Sera Sera”, and “Mambo Italiano”, had the audience humming.

The over-the-top ethnic-based lunacy may have left some unsatisfied. However, most of those in attendance were laughing hysterically.

As this show continues to sustain a high attendance the future of the new local theater innovative looks promising. Plus the closeness Parker's Grille makes for a great night out.

Previous production this summer:
Anything Goes

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week Twenty Nine - 23 to Go

James Patterson & Maxine Paetro combine their talents to make this Women’s Murder Club book one of the best in the series. The Murder Club’s deep, unrelenting friendship is up front and central.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week Twenty Eight - 24 to Go


The intricate plot attempts to leave you cold,
but Harry Hole's tenacity burst this tale of horror into flames. 

Monday, July 4, 2011


The second show of the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse's 2011 season, Hairspray!, had Joan and I skipping to the parking lot after the show on July 4th. At first we were hesitant on attending the show on a national holiday, but this regional professional of Hairspray! was a perfect complement to a most pleasant day.

Adapted from the John Waters 1988 film, the Merry-Go-Round did an excellent job taking the audience back  you to 1962 Baltimore and Tracy Turnblad's story.

Tracy Turnbald played by LenaMary Amato quickly won over the audience with her big hair, her big heart and her big passion to dance.

The performances are first-rate and the play was full of great music and great dancing.

In his introduction Ed Sayles noted that it would be permissible to dance in the aisles. If someone had been bold enough to leave their seat you have to believe others would have followed.

Previous production this summer:
Anything Goes

Sunday, July 3, 2011