Saturday, January 20, 2007


Did anybody else see the sunset tonight? I didn't think it was all that spectacular. But half an hour later, there was the moon, and I think that's Venus showing itself, too. Now that's a cool sight.

Birds, Birds, Birds And Birds

I drove down to the Venice Rookery this morning to see how things are coming along. It's still pretty early in the season, so there weren't a million birds there yet, but the great blue herons are actively beginning to nest. I spotted at least one bird that seemed to be sitting on eggs, but most of them were still working hard to build nests. Check out the pair above. You can see the blue around their eyes, which indicates it's mating time.
I just couldn't get enough pictures of this pair.
It can take an awful lot of trips back and forth to build a nest. That gives me ample opportunity to get pictures of these big guys in flight.
Back and forth, back and forth...
Who knew it took this much work to build a nest?
There were a few egrets beginning to nest as well, but not very many. Once the season gets into full swing, there will be as many of these guys as the herons.
There were also plenty of anhingas flying around, but I didn't see any that had begun to nest yet. The folks from Audubon were there with some high-powered scopes, and they reported seeing night herons and moorhens, but I couldn't see them through my 300mm lens. On a nearby pond, I saw a duck and a cormorant, so clearly the area is teeming with birds. Oh, there was a red-shoulder hawk in a pine tree nearby, I saw him fly in and heard his cries.
I watched this gator slowly float up to the island where all the birds were nesting. He nosed into a little opening where he hung out for a few minutes, then disappeared. Maybe ten minutes later, there was the sound of something hitting the branches in that area violently, then the cry of a bird, over and over again. Eventually, the noise ended. The twenty or so photographers at the rookery all raced over to that area, but nobody got a shot of anything. About a minute later, the gator came out of the same spot he'd entered, and slowly skulked away. Maybe the rookery isn't such a safe place to raise your kids after all.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Two For Tuesday The Third

Here's another part of my unpopular series of two tracks with some linking theme for your Tuesday enjoyment. I didn't put a lot of time or effort into it this week, I'm afraid. What I've got for you is just two versions of the theme from The Mickey Mouse Club. Which is pretty interesting, I guess, if you remember that show. Hopefully I won't get targeted by the mouse for sharing these off-beat versions... Version one is the oldest, and comes from a great LP called How To Get The Most Out Of Your Stereo (Warner Bros XS 1400, 1960), a sampler LP from the early days of both Warner Brothers Records and stereo. (I shared the cover from this one with you earlier, and I think I mentioned there that it's on beautiful gold vinyl.) Oh, the artist is Frank Comstock And His Orchestra, and he titles the track Theme From "Mickey Mouse Club". The other version, from 18 years later, but still 29 years ago, is George Wright, from George Wright Plays The Chicago Theatre Organ (Century Records CRDD 1060, 1978), where it's titled Mickey Mouse March. Dig it! (And don't forget last week...)

Volume 3 For Hi-Fi Living

It's a couple of days late, but I'm sure you'll find it worth the wait. Thank you to those who wished me well while I was ill. I was just a little sick to the stomach, but it was enough that I didn't want to sit here by the turntable for a couple of hours. For your download pleasure, I'm proud to present the third in this series of twelve recording from 50 years ago. This time, the music is from Hollywood, some of which I am familiar with, others I've never heard of. This is probably the best one so far in the series. At least I know more of the songs. (I'm secretly looking forward to volume 10, Very Hi-Fi Organ, but that's a long way off.) Please be my guest and download Ronnie Ogden And His Orchestra-Hits From Hollywood-Vol. 3 For Hi-Fi Living (RCA Custom RAL-1003, 1957). If you're new to all this, follow the links backwards...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Missing Living

I know I owe you another volume of Hi-Fi Living, but I was a little under the weather yesterday. I'll get it up as soon as possible. I haven't given up on it yet, I promise!

More Weeks In January

Are you ready for a couple more pictures? This week features a tiger at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. Oh, and the shot below is from EPCOT in Orlando, Florida. I know you can't really tell where it's at, but trust me, that's where I was when I took the shot.