Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cement mixers and falcons

Masters of the sky
So my granddaughter and I knew we were early to the Hutchings Museum free bird show.
Swim team practice ended at 10 a.m. and the show wasn't supposed to start until 11 a.m. — at least, that's what I thought.
I had read about it on the city website and in an email I received from the museum.
I told my daughter about it and she agreed to bring the other granddaughters and the baby and see the show with us.
I reserved a whole row of chairs and we sat down to wait.
We played a game on my phone and we waited in the shade.
Other people with little kids started to fill in the seats around us.
Only another 30 minutes to go.
Then a lady came out and pinned up a sign that said: "Bird Show at 12 and 3 p.m."
We all reacted.
"We're sorry," the lady said. "The information on the website was wrong. The museum opens at 11 a.m. but the bird show doesn't start until noon."
Who's there?
We all looked at one another, the 50-70 of us gathered with small children and babies in metal chairs.
"We don't want to wait another hour..."
She sensed our dismay and potential hostility and retreated inside. "Maybe they'll come out and do a mini-show," she tossed at us as she left.
We all waited fairly hopelessly. What do you do?
After another 20 minutes, the bird guy came out. Yay! He was bearing an owl on his arm and leading several other people with hawks and hooded heads.
He started to talk, to tell us to hold down the noise because the birds get worried when there's chaos.
That was just as a cement mixer on the other side of the lawn starting backing in to dump cement on a project at the Legacy Center.
The rumbling and roar made it very hard to hear.
Ben Woodruff and friend
It also made the birds nervous. They communicated their distress by fluttering and flapping as the bird man tried to tell us about them: how owls have colors only visible with black light and how falcons can drop on their prey at 300 miles an hour.
They did alright and we enjoyed the show but I'm thinking maybe there needs to be some better communication going on here between the humans.
Scheduling 101?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby birds and dinner

What Marc saw on the walk
We've had a lot of quail sightings this summer.
It's great.
Quails are very welcome at our house.
I love the little flip-top quails have on top of their heads and I find their funny little waddle-walk amusing.
So since they've started making our backyard, and now our porch, their home, I've been intrigued.
For a while there were two males obviously vying for the attention of the lone female in the bunch.
What a little one looks like
They'd fluff up their feathers and chuck at each other and sometimes even chase one another around the grass under the bird feeder.
The lady being sought just ignored them both for the most part.
But she must have succumbed to the attention because today we noticed a whole bunch of baby quails out following mom around the front lawn.
Dad sat on the roof chucking at them once he noticed that we noticed the little family.
We tried to get a good look but retreated when we noticed how frantic we were making everybody.
The new chicks are miniature and basically just small bits of feathers trying to get through the wet grass back to the nest (which must be under the front shrubs).
I haven't tried to get under the bushes to see them up close. 
We didn't want to stress them into moving to another home because, again, I like quail.
I think they are far cuter than the average pigeon or mourning dove that populate the back fence on a regular basis.
They are as cute as the tiny golden finches that come and hang upside down to eat.
And they definitely deserve to live and grow and chuck along in peace.
So when I came across this picture and recipe in one of the cookbooks I'm reviewing, I was indignant.
Not my kind of fine dining
How could anybody do this to a sweet, little birdie?
Who do I call?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Until the clock strikes midnight

It's really quite magical, the SCERA production of "Cinderella."
And since my husband is in the show, I couldn't officially review it but I've been given permission to laud it here on my personal blog.
I feel like it deserves praise.
It's well done and the little girls love Cinderella in her sparkly gown.
She can't get away after the show. She's signing autographs and posing for pictures long after the others have departed.
That's probably partly because her fans can't really differentiate between a Disney princess and a SCERA one.
At any rate, here's a sweet, pleasant show that fits nicely into a summer evening.
The Fairy Godmother just kind of pops up out of nowhere at the start and it goes fairly crazily from there.
The seekers are funny and do funny things.
The carriage is an effective illusion.
The glass slippers that get bigger and bigger are a humorous addition.
The prince and Cinderella make a nice couple. They have chemistry even though they really have a rapid-time romance op.
And the songs are familiar favorites, the kind that get stuck in your head.
It's nice to see Kathryn Little in a working role as the wicked stepmother.
Director Chase Ramsey has done a good job.
I just went on my own and sat back and enjoyed it rather than worrying about taking notes or keeping tabs on anything in particular.
I found I liked it a lot.
I also kind of like the king. He looks vaguely familiar though I haven't seen him up close for a while now.