Saturday, July 05, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Koalas

Tonight I'm sharing with you what many folks think is the most cuddly animal in the entire zoo, koala bears. And what could be more cuddly than a single koala bear, but a mother koala and her baby! I watched this pair for quite some time, but all the movement I got was when the mother turned her head away from me a little bit. So it's not a spectacular picture, but you get the idea. Koalas aren't actually bears, but a marsupial, like kangaroos. They actually have a pouch, but this baby is much too old to still be living in there.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 5

Day number 5. Are you ready for it? Well, here goes. Three versions of March of The Toys and two versions of Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers. I'm sure I'll dig up more versions of both before the end of the month, but I had to share out something tonight before it turns into tomorrow.

We start out with a version of The Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers and a version of The March of The Toys, both from John Gart and both from the album Marches in Stereo (Kapp KS-3011). These are great organ-based versions from an LP I had previously shared the song Funeral March of a Marionette from. Actually, I found a stereo copy since I recorded that Halloween track, so this isn't exactly the same LP, but you get the idea.

The remaining version of Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers is from the LP The Sound Of Top Brass (Medallion (Kapp) ML-7500) by The Peter London Orchestra. As you might expect, it's big and brassy.

The second version of March Of The Toys is a great big band version from The Big 18 and their album Live Echoes Of The Swinging Bands (RCA Victor LPM-1921, 1959). I'm sure you'll like it.

And the last song, Babes In Toyland: March Of The Toys is from The Boston Pops Orchestra, Arthur Fiedler, Conductor, the LP entitled Marches In Hi-Fi (RCA Victor Red Seal LSC-2229, 1958). I brought you the cover and doodle from this one some time back, as it features artwork by Mozelle Thompson. I think you'll hear another track from this LP later in the month.

And that's your selection for the evening. Here's the download link. Enjoy. As usual, don't forget to check out the shares from Christmas in July 2006 and 2007 on this date way back when. You'll find good stuff from Dick Schory, Alfred Apaka, Martin Denny and The Four Lads.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Tonight's Big Show

Wow! This may be the most photos I've ever brought you in a single post, and they're all great! I shot the fireworks tonight from under the Ringling Bridge on the West side of Sarasota Bay. It's a little bit closer than the spot I chose two years ago, and I think it let me get some better pictures. It was a nice long show, lasting around 30 minutes, which is less than half the time it took me to drive back across the bridge once the show was over. But it was worth it, because I knew I had some great pictures. Right as the sun was setting, there were some scary looking clouds forming behind the city skyline, and some lighting was visible every once in a while. I thought you might have been able to see some lightning in the background of some of my pictures, but I guess it was too far away. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy all of these pictures, and I hope you have/had a great Fourth of July!

Maybe about two thirds of the way through the show, they started shooting off some low fireworks at the same time as some higher ones. They also spread the low ones out a bit more. I think it made a nice effect.

The Moon Also Sets

Something that I didn't get last night was a thin sliver of a moon setting not long after the sun had set. There's not much of it there to shoot, but I got what I could.

Another Day, Another Sunset

Much like last night, I was out tonight waiting for the fireworks, so I was able to get a shot of sunset. Not as impressive as last night, but then they can't all be winners. That's City Island here in Sarasota that the sun is setting onto.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 4

Happy Independence Day! Seems like an odd time to be listening to Christmas music, but that's what you get around here at Ernie (Not Bert)! What have I got on tap for today? How about two distinctive versions of Jingle Bells and four tracks from Ken Griffin? Sound good? Then stay tuned!

Our first version of Jingle Bells is by The Brute Force Steel Band of Antigua, BWI, from the LP Brute Force Steel Band of Antigua, BWI (Cook 1042, 1955). I had this one all ready to go for you last year, but I seem to have forgotten to share it for some reason. Better late than never.

Up next is Jingle Bells Cha Cha Cha by Pearl Bailey from the ultra-cheap LP Around The World With Me (Guest Star GS 1400), an LP that is padded out with tracks by some unknown artist named Margie Anderson. Of course, you the buyer wouldn't know that until you bought the record and examined the label closely. Her name is right there on the cover, but it looks like her name is one of the songs sung by Pearl Bailey on the record. Oh, well. It looks like this was originally the flipside to Pearl's better-known Christmas song, Five Pound Box Of Money.

For no good reason, the rest of today's tracks are odds and sods from Ken Griffin, another organist from the fifties. The first two of these are Kringle's Jingle and Shepherd Serenade from Skating Time (Columbia CL 610). (I think Kringle's Jingle showed up on Griffin's Christmas LP.) The next Griffin song is Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers from The Sparkling Touch!-Bright And Merry Organ Favorites (Columbia CL 1709), and the last track is The Bells Of St. Mary's from You Can't Be True, Dear (Columbia CL 907).

Not a bad collection to celebrate the Fourth of July with. Well, maybe better suited to a holiday in a colder month, like December. If you want some good Fourth music, head on over to Lee's blog, he'll get you set up. But if this is what you want to hear, please be my guest and go get the download.

High Above Cleveland

Here's a great picture of the Cleveland skyline taken from the roof of The Garfield Memorial at Lakeview Cemetery. I had wandered around the inside of the memorial for a few minutes, taking pictures of the ornately ornamented interior, when I noticed a door on the side of the entrance that was open. Behind the door were two sets of stairs, one leading up, one leading down. The downward spiral led to the actual tomb containing President Garfield's remains, and the upward spiral led to the roof. I was shocked to emerge in the open air above all the trees, and suddenly I could see for miles in every direction. In the picture above, you can see the Indians baseball stadium at extreme left, and on the right in the middle distance is the Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve. That Frank Gehry is just full of surprises.

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Hippopotamus

OK, it's time to finally get away from the birds for a bit and bring you one of the stars from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. This is, of course, a hippopotamus. He never came out of the water, so pretty much all I'm able to show you is his head, and if you look down at the bottom, you can see his back after he ducked down into his swimming hole. I've seen these guys on TV plenty of times, moving gracefully through the water, but they seem much larger in person. I'd hate to meet one of these in a dark swimming pool, let me tell you! This guy's name is Blackie, he's a Nile Hippo, and he's more than 50 years old. That may explain why he didn't do too much in the time I spent watching him

When he first popped his head up out of the water, I thought he had surfaced underneath some moss that had fallen in the water or something. Turned out to be his whiskers. I guess if they're searching for food in murky water, they can't use their eyes, so they have to use their other senses, and whiskers can go a long way towards enhancing one's sense of touch.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Born On The Third Of July

Yes, it's a day early, but I like to think of it as practice for tomorrow night. They always shoot off fireworks in front of the Beachhouse restaurant on Anna Maria Island on the day before the Fourth of July. I guess they figure that way they won't be competing with every municipality and sporting event up and down the Eastern Seaboard. And they're right. The beach was packed with people who came out just for their show. However, we were promised a 45 minute show, which would be really long, but it was over in about 15 minutes. I would have cried foul, but there really was no point. I get to try again tomorrow at a different spot. In the meantime, you can enjoy these shots from my new camera. I think they're pretty good.

May The Force Be With You

So I'm at the beach, waiting for the sun to go down, so I can shoot the fireworks. I've got plenty of time to kill. Lots of kids are running around with these blue glowstick things that look like light sabers. Technology has come a long way over the years, because they were selling these things for five bucks, and they couldn't sell them fast enough to meet the demand. I thought they'd look neat with a nice long exposure in the near-darkness, and I was correct. Some of these came out pretty cool.

The Sun Also Sets

I thought you might want to see the sunset from earlier this evening. This was near Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island. Gotta love living in Paradise.

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Ostriches

Perhaps you're starting to wonder if they have something other than birds at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Yes, they do. But I'm not ready to show them to you yet. I've got more birds to share first. Tonight, you get ostriches. These are the largest birds I've ever photographed. It's easy for me to know that, because these are the biggest birds on the face of the Earth. Unfortunately, being big doesn't make them pretty. They're a bit homely, if you ask me. I'll stick to my local hawks and ospreys and eagles, thank you very much!

I had to go look it up, but the bird above is a male, as evidenced by the black body feathers and white tail and wing feathers. The one below is female, they're just plain brown.