September 30, 2009


It's been a busy week! I turned twenty-two on Monday. That's old. Not like really old obviously but still, it's as old as I've ever been! Things are good. I'm pretty happy with how the whole 18-21 years went overall. Looking forward to whatever this next phase is. It was a great year for birthday presents. Various forms of chocolate and iTunes gift cards... my favorites! I've got some great new music now. Yo La Tengo, Iron & Wine, Rilo Kiley. Sarah got me the brand new Mark Knopfler album and Mom picked me up a four disc Delmore Brothers box set! Also spent some time with our good friends Gabi and Peter who were visiting from Austria. They headed home this morning. Noah and I spent the day in the studio overdubbing solos and stuff. The rough mixes are sounding pretty good. Pete's got some tasty piano licks, Kevin's groovin on the bass, Kailyn sounds great. Of course Noah's frickin' unbelievable. So yeah, I'm getting totally psyched about this album! Working at Wilburland is always fun too. And tomorrow I get to go out birding with Jay for a while. It'd be nice to see some shorebirds. Still missing White-rumped Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, a few other common-ish species. Okay, I think I'll got to bed now. Have a great day tomorrow everyone!

September 28, 2009


From MST3K's Final Sacrifice. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube. A timeless classic...

Special thanks to Mike Fabrizo!

September 27, 2009

Yearning for Yurts & Yaks

We're beginning to settle back into life off the road but I wanted to get in one more Alaska post. We got to be really good friends with the Dean family while visiting Homer. They are amazingly talented and creative folks and it was so much fun hanging with them! M'fanwy and her mom with Pinky the Evil OneOne of their Yurts (how cool is that?)JebarriTehbenM'fanwyThe Harrison / Dean clan (or some of them anyway)I wanted to say thanks once more to all the folks who hosted us during the trip: Linda & Brian, Rashmika & David, Lynn & Charley, Simon & Jenna, Catriona, Willy, Scotty & Kate, all the Deans and Julia. We all had such a great time!

September 22, 2009

Ah... Alaska: Part III (birds)

September 4 – We arrived in Anchorage, AK yesterday afternoon. The weather was exceptionally beautiful and we enjoyed a stunning sunset on Cook Inlet. We stayed with friends near Westchester Lagoon and Sarah and I were able to pick up our first 12 birds of the trip including two expected year birds: Red-necked Grebe and Black-billed Magpie. Today we drove up to Fairbanks through some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever experienced. Fall colors are out; lots of red, gold, green and blue sky. We stopped at a scenic overlook on the south side of Denali and had two Boreal Chickadees near the path. My year list is currently 408.

September 11 – On September 8 we left Fairbanks and headed back south to Denali National Park. Not far from the park entrance we had a single NORTHERN HAWK OWL hunting near the road. We pulled over and watched the bird fly from tree top to tree top for a couple minutes before it was out of sight. Also saw a probable Harlan's Hawk. Along the Park Road we had quite a few GOLDEN EAGLES, as well as Dall Sheep, three Grizzly Bears, five Caribou and amazing scenery. On September 9 Dave, Noah, Sarah and I did a big hike up Gravel Mountain. On the bus ride out we had several Spruce Grouse in the road and at the first stream crossing of the hike we found a small group of WILLOW PTARMIGAN (Life Bird). At least one male I saw still had a lot of beautiful red-brown coloration. The rest of the hike was pretty quite although we did have some more nice looks at a juvenile Golden Eagle. After we got back to the camp mom said she'd seen a Three-toed Woodpecker right near our cabin! We left Denali yesterday afternoon and saw more Dall Sheep, more Caribou, two bull Moose and a great look at a fairly close Grizzly Bear. Near Polychrome Pass we pulled over to scope a large raptor sitting on a cliff edge. It turned out to be another Golden Eagle but the amazing thing was that there was a beautiful and very large adult Red Fox IN THE SAME FIELD OF VIEW! Not sure what the interaction was between Eagle and Fox but the Eagle flew off before I could get a pic. My year list is 410.

September 16 – Today is our last day in Alaska. It's been a fantastic trip; good friends, good food, good music and only one drizzly day in two weeks! On September 12 we drove down to Homer, AK. At Anchor Point we stopped to walk the beach and look for some shorebirds that had been reported. I was thrilled to find a small flock of PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVERS (Life Bird). Several of them had astoundingly bright gold plumage and all of them looked too bright for American. There were other shorebirds in the area including both turnstones, good looks at Mew Gulls and Black-legged Kittiwakes, Marbled Murrelets and HARLEQUIN DUCKS out on the water. On September 13 Sarah and I were able to get out on Katchemak Bay with our friend Willy Dunne. He took us over to Gull Island where we had nice looks at several lingering RED-FACED CORMORANTS and TUFTED PUFFINS (as well as a dark and menacing Song Sparrow subspecies). I eventually picked out a couple odd looking murrelets near Glacier spit. As we approached it became clear that it was a pair of ANCIENT MURRLETS (Life Bird)! This is not a very common species in the bay. Very unique looking birds. They put on a great show; nice close looks with the sun at our backs and calm waters. We left Homer yesterday afternoon and decided to stop at Anchor Point again for one more shot at some more shorebirds. We again found the Golden-Plovers and this time managed some decent photos. After a little bit of searching we also turned up a pair of ROCK SANDPIPERS (Life Bird #499). These were the larger, paler Aleutian subspecies. It's not very likely that I'll get another lifer on this trip or at home so #500 will probably be my first lifer in Arizona next month. My year list is currently 421.

Black-legged KittiwakeTufted PuffinAncient Murrelet

Ah... Alaska: Part II

More pics from the tripMom and Dave at the kinda cute / kinda creepy abandoned Igloo MotelScotty and Noah jamming outWe had great luck with wildlife in Denali!And what the heck... here's some more scenery

Ah... Alaska: Part I

We finally got home yesterday evening from our big northwest adventure. It was a fantastic trip! Great friends, food, dancing, jamming, birding... what more can you ask for? The weather was incredible; only one drizzly day in over two weeks! And the scenery... We played at a dance camp near Fairbanks first. BTW great weekend if any of you are looking for a vacation next year! After that we spent some time in Denali National Park. What a place! Here are some more pics from a big hike we took up Gravel Mountain... More pics to come! Check back soon :-)

September 02, 2009

Microphones and Blueberries

Last weekend Noah and I were camped out at our favorite recording studio, Electric Wilburland just outside of Ithaca, laying down tracks for a brand new A&N album!Tomorrow we leave for ALASKA! So I'm not sure when my next post will be. The weather has been beautiful here this week. I picked up Baird's Sandpiper and American Golden-Plover, bringing my year list to 405. Sarah and I decided to get out of the house a couple days ago and picks some blueberries... you should too!