Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our rare Purple Gallinule in Erie County, PA 10/9/11

Only the 2rd ever sighting of a juvenile Purple Gallinule at Presque Isle. Last one was 10/1999! We were given credit for the score at the Presque Isle Audubon Society

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Migration Day 4 Cedar Waxwing Feeding Frenzy

8/28/2011 Knox Farms State Park, East Aurora, NY

About to leave as we happened upon this insane feeding frenzy of Cedar Waxwings. Over a large field and they would take breaks on the wooden fence. At one point, we were standing about 10 feet from each other taking photos and a waxwing came in-beween us, mid air and plucked the critter from existence. "did you hear that?" It was so close we heard the waxwing snag it right out of the air. Pretty fucking cool. I may add more pics as I continue to edit, but time...

Migration Day 2 Continuation. Who cares about shorebirds.

So as I was leaving the oncoming storm I noticed a Bald Eagle hovering/swaying in the wind above route 18 near Calvin E. Krueger park, so I violently double backed toward the Wilson Lake St. Pier from which I had just left. I got to see the eagle unsuccessfully fish for well over 5 minutes. It was spectacular. At one point, he suggested that he was going to perch in the tree right next to the stranger lady who was watching the scene with me, but instead, he flew right over our heads and kept swaying and balancing and drifting towards Olcott.

The pictures below show how close he was to us, but I was seriously battling high winds, leaves, raindrops and a camera not that irks me to no end.

On the way home I stopped at a farm stand and heard a bunch of noise in the rafter: baby barn swallows just about ready to leave the nest:

With wheels on my ass,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 New York State Migration

Many of these pictures may not be up to the standards of, well, myself, but I wanted to document the sightings of my fall migration travels around Western New York.

8/20/2011 Day 1

We started at Owl Woods in Braddock Bay, where we saw absolutely nothing. The heat was oppressive and the woods were still, aside from angry red squirrels and frolicking chickadees.

We pressed on toward Lake Ontario where we were sure to find a flurry of shore birds willing to pose for the camera, give interviews, etc. To my dismay, one lousy spotted sandpiper made an appearance.


Day 2 8/21/2011

It's going to rain on your head @ Wilson NY

More day 2 to follow

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pat Metheny is God. Recognize.

I see a lot of sadness in the world, but none in this lettuce.

I really wasn't sure what to expect from this show, but I heard about robots, a one man orchestra and Pat Metheny's hair-I'm in. I've secretly wanted to be a jazz guitarist for-like-ever, sneaking in 7b5 and 13th chords wherever possible in the little acoustic outfit by the name of The Alpine Black.

At any rate, I figured I go for a few tunes and sneak out the backdoor. So Pat comes out with a classical guitar and strums, or rather owns a few songs, some of which I recognized from my jazzhead days. Parts of Phase Dance and maybe As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls? I was tingling with nostalgia and ready to limp away to the nearest exit. I was looking for madness, not a nice classical guitar performance. But there were a few vibraphone looking monsters, ominous metal blades and a piano onstage, so I needed to see what the hell was going to go down. Okay, he goes to his electric and wails away. We are getting warmer. then this comes out:

The maker, Linda Manzer was in the audience as Pat gave a nod to her genius. A crazy little piece on this Picasso guitar and he moved to another priceless guitar. A high-hat began to accompany him that was one of the robot creatures on stage. Okay, cute, but it's basically a glorified metronome:

He was tearing away on the guitar though. I forgot how fucking brilliant this dude is so I wasn't so critical of the high-hat and vibraphone working at the command of his guitar. It was a cute gimmick. I'm thinking all the while about percussion and drums, how cool would that be? Bow down bitch; I was owned.

All of a sudden the curtain behind him raised and there, in a beautiful metal mess, an entire stage full of cages full of instruments. Most were percussive in nature set about to tapping, nailing, swinging, and teetering. Fucking accordions and bottles and more guitars. True story: Lady next to me gasped and put both her hands up to her mouth as if Pat had just proposed to her-thing is, I agreed with her, but I was playing it cool. What the fuck is going on? This is too much man, I needed a nip of something to take the edge off. Jesus, her husband 2 seats away couldn't sit still either. The crowd was shifting and ooing and ahhing. We were in. Fuck bands. Let Pat play everything, this is great.

So it began: one of the most amazing concerts I have ever seen. I can't say enough about his playing, I mean, his solos are just straight from heaven. Some of his compositions are boring, but fuck that: He is god. Not Clapton. Still, that does the orchestra thingy no justice, and that was what we were after.

It began in his grandfather's basement at 7 or 9 yrs old with a player piano. This is what the overall concept is: a 21st player piano all tethered to his guitar. Little robot sensors placed in custom made instruments for Pat that respond to his guitar. After he performed Orchestrion, his album dedicated to this concept, he played a few improvisational pieces to further explain to us the concept of this monster, building a tune piece by piece. Unreal. One Ornette Coleman tune in there as well.

Do yourself a favor and catch this show if it ever comes around again. For your eyes and a better explanation:
(Lettuce photo credit taken from here: