September 30, 2010

Jetstream duo music video

Nothing to shade my eyes
I don't hide the sun
And I don't rest my feet
Until the day is done
When I look to the sky
I see a jetstream
People travel same as I
But I'd rather dream
Nothing but a song
Nothing but a prayer
And I have had
Heartaches to spare
'Cause I keep thinking of
Hair as red as the rose
So my heart is a slave
As my freedom grows
People ask me why
I ran away
I just ask them how
How could you stay
'Cause my home has no roof
It has no walls
But the horizon is wide
And the sky is tall

September 27, 2010

Arizona - Hummers and Flycatchers

September 20 – This morning I went out for a little light birding with Jean Ellen Wilder at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, AZ. Shortly after arriving we located our target bird, a beautiful young male VERMILLION FLYCATCHER (Life Bird) perched low in a tree by the parking lot. I've been waiting a long time to see this bird and he was extremely cooperative and easy to photograph. We walked around the ponds for a while and saw a possible Rufous Hummingbird and an unidentified bunting. Finally we found a little mixed flock of songbirds in a hedgerow that included a BRIDLED TITIMOUSE, a Verdin, lots of Lesser Goldfinches and a single, fast-moving LUCY'S WARBLER (Life Bird).

September 22 – We spent the past two days in southeastern Arizona, staying overnight in Tucson. Yesterday, we visited Madera Canyon for most of the morning and early afternoon. We had a very pleasant time with some nice birds and other wildlife, including my first tarantula! Hummingbirds were plentiful at the Santa Rita Lodge. Lots of Anna's, Rufous, Broad-tailed and BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRDS (Life Bird) were visiting the feeders with smaller numbers of BROAD-BILLED and MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRDS, some of which were still in terrific plumage. Also at the feeders were Mexican Jays, Arizona and Acorn Woodpeckers, Lesser Goldfinches and Bridled Titmice. We drove up to the top of the canyon and hiked up part of Old Baldy Trail. Along the way I had several small mixed flocks of birds that included Hutton's and PLUMBEOUS VIREOS (Life Bird), Orange-crowned, Townsends, Nashville, Wilson's, Black-throated Gray and GRACE'S WARBLER (Life Bird) plus several pairs of PAINTED REDSTARTS and an Olive-sided Flycatcher. Today I went down to Patagonia with Sky and Anne Hilts. The weather was oddly cool, misty and even rainy so that might have affected some of what we saw. We missed the Starthroat (seen the day before) at Patton's hummingbird feeders but we did have a terrific showing of VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRDS (Life Bird); I think at least four different birds. BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS were more numerous here than they were in Madera. It was great fun to watch all the action at the feeders for a while. There was a BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK that visited one of the feeders as well. This wasn't a “new” lifer; supposedly I saw one several years ago in Washington but it was a bad look and I probably shouldn't have counted it. Along Blue Haven Road and at the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve I had a couple flocks of long-awaited LAZULI BUNTINGS (Life Bird), nice looks at a soaring adult GRAY HAWK, Lincoln's Sparrows, a cooperative female MACGILLVARY'S WARBLER (Life Bird), several CASSIN'S KINGBIRDS (Life Bird) and a VERMILLION FLYCATCHER. I didn't even realize it until I got back and checked my lists but CANYON TOWHEE was also a Life Bird for me. Maybe the best find of the day was a single THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD (Life Bird) at the well-known “Roadside Rest” area, along with my first male Western Tanager. We spent some time looking for sparrows and buntings in the Kino Springs area but our only other exciting birds of the day were a juvenile GRAY HAWK and a well-hidden Black-bellied Whistling-Duck. Both yesterday and today we had several silent and unidentified Empid flycatchers; probably at least one Hammond's but I guess I'll leave that for another time. I ended up with 81 species for my week in Arizona and eleven lifers!

Vermilion Flycatcher
Violet-crowned Hummingbird

September 26, 2010

Arizona (non-birds)

Sorry this is pretty late but I've been on the road and haven't had a chance to post. Last weekend GBT played at the 5th annual Pickin' In The Pines Bluegrass Festival in Flagstaff, AZWe shared the stage with one of my favorite modern old-time string bands The FreighthoppersThe Santa Fe Solution... Erik-with-a-K, Laurel, Leticia (aka "Iceberg"), Karina and special guest Didge-DudeIceberg and Didge-Dude bustin some serious moves

Oh, and BTW everyone has to see this...

September 16, 2010


Some quiet words and a long embrace
With dirty hands and barefoot grace
You kiss me only to say goodbye
No matter how I try

Sometimes I think I have seen the face of God
When the hills shine with goldenrod
When a cool wind scatters the white milkweed
And when you are near me

I'm sorry but there is something I need to say
Two weeks from now I'll still be here and you'll be far away
And I can't let you go so soon
It's just too soon

September 15, 2010

High Times in Spokane

Noah and I have been enjoying the past few days staying with Judy and Rick in Spokane, WA Got to do a little birding yesterday. Here are some pics...
My first Life Bird of the trip, a Cassin's VireoFound a flock of Mountain BluebirdsAnd some of North America's cutest birds: Pygmy NuthatchesRed Crossbills were a nice surpriseThis very tame Coyote was at Turnbull NWRMore wildlife (note the very interesting behavior of this individual)Last night we met up with some friends for a game of Settlers of Catan: Cities and KnightsWe played the game upstairs in a corner of the beautiful Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane

September 14, 2010

Big Sky Country

Noah, Sarah and I spent a wonderful weekend full of music and dancing on Flathead Lake in western MontanaThis was for the 27th annual Bear Hug Mountain Festival. We met up with our friends the Gustofsons from Orgeon; Pam, Sage and Tara drove 11 hours to make it there! There was some pretty serious hula-hoop action going onOn the last day we psyched ourselves up and went for the coldest swim of my lifeThe viewA highlight of the weekend for me was jamming on some western swing tunes with Clem and Pam SmallsAfter the dance camp we headed up to a cabin in the woods for homemade pizzas cooked in Quincy's homemade pizza ovenQuincy, Dan'l and HelenOur wonderful hosts Rick and Judy

September 07, 2010

Labor Day weekend

Birds first this time: Yesterday I saw a juvenile RUFF at Montezuma!!! This was a life bird for me and one I've been hoping to see for a long time. It's a beautiful and fascinating shorebird from Eurasia. I had great looks despite two Peregrine Falcons that kept flying around stirring things up. Too far away to really photograph unfortunately.

In other news, our good friend Gabi is visiting for a couple weeks from Austria. We all went for a beautiful hike at Filmore Glen State Park near Moravia on Sunday. Here's a pic of the Ziegler girls:
Anna, Sarah, Gabi and Becky
It was a great Labor Day weekend. Got to hang out a bunch with Dan. We all watched Pirates of the Carribean II: Dead Man's Chest a couple nights ago which reminded me of this classic YouTube video...