Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (December 28)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

p. 85 - But game theory exists because of uncertainty---on gaming boards and in real life. Perhaps Loving would sense this was a trap and, knowing that I was preoccupied there, would use this opportunity to find the real safe house the Kesslers were in, while I was busy here.

"Happy New Year"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Week Fifty-Two - Happy New Year

This just might be the best Alex Cross novel to date.

Kyle Craig, Cross’s deadliest adversary, returns with a vengeance. The Mastermind's bent for revenge is coupled with a series of Washington D.C. assassinations and Alex and Bree's wedding planning. This dynamic makes this crime thriller a page turner.

Using skillfully crafted prose as well as returning to his old form, Patterson is at the top of his game.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

"Happy New Year"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (December 21)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

page 49 - “He doesn’t want to come back! There’s no one keeping him there except himself.”

"We wish you a Merry Christmas"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week Fifty-One - 1 to Go

This dark tale gives a Christmas twist to the Prodigal Son theme. Henry Rathbone, this year’s peripheral character, with an assist from three cohorts, raises Lucien (a word play on Lucifer?) from the depths of Hell to the London streets filled with symbols of Christmas hope.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (December 14)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

p.111 - Billy was just about the age Marissa is now when he lost his dad. It must have been awfully tough on him and Nor.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week Fifty - 2 to Go

Team Effort - half brothers, Harry and Mickey, plus Mickey’s ex, Maggie, and Harry’s close personal friend, Rachel, an F.B.I. profiler, work together to bring down the killer of a 12-year-old girl. Mr. Connelly makes sure that justice is served and his readers understand how the the judicial process works.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (December 7)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

page 14 - He knew there were certain kinds of evil in the world that had to be contained, no matter the hardship. A child killer was at the top of that list.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Week Forty-Nine - 3 to Go

Spenser hired as a bodyguard for a gay feminist. Then Spenser’s macho wit gets him fired. The woman is kidnapped. Then Spenser becomes chivalrous using his grit to rescue the damsel. Classic Spenser. Susan is featured but Hawk is omitted.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (November 30)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

page 22 - If in doubt, turn left, was his motto, so he headed north a mile and then pulled over and thought. Where would a guy like Seth Duncan go for dinner with his friends?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week Forty-Eight - 4 to Go

Jack Reacher alive and kicking brings justice to a small Nebraska farm town. But not before Jack's survival skills are stretched to the limits.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (November 23)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

p. 104 - I always liked making lists. It gave me the illusion of control.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Week Forty-Seven - 5 to Go

Patterson has his MoJo back with a little help from his friend, Roughan. Fast read. Characters OK. Bits of action and suspense. Entertaining.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (November 16)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

p 241 ... only 10 percent of our communication is represented by words we say. Another 30 percent is represented by our sounds, and 60 percent by our body language.
... only unsatisfied need ... motivates.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Auburn-Fleming Trail - Bird Tour

Trail - Facing North

Late this afternoon before going to the Hong Kong for dinner I decided to walk the Auburn-Fleming Trail. Coupling my curiosity if there were birds still along the pathway plus my desire to work up an appetite I arrived at the Dunning Avenue trailhead around 4 PM.

At the onset the trail was leaf-covered standing water. Staying on the edge headed south. Was almost immediately met by a fellow and his two dogs - the one unleashed was Mouse. Next I encountered two girls who were walking causally along while smoking.

Just south of the first bridge my attention was drawn to a large barren tree on the west of the trail.

There was a flurry activity within its branches. I observed 2 robins, a Blue Jay, 3 Chickadees, and a cardinal. All these birds would eventually fly to a nearby berry bush.

The lighting was not very cooperative and the photos I took were poor.


Chickadee taking flight

After crossing the second bridge there was an orange snow fence. Beyond the clasped fencing to the left was a run-off pool. My movement put up a Great Blue Heron. The heron flew south over the harvested corn field.

Reaching the end of the trail there were 17 crows in a tall tree. They flew off as I approached.

Returning to my starting point with dusk coming in I encountered no new birds.

The Auburn-Fleming Trail

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Annual Osage-Orange Road Trip

At the breakfast table Joan and I decided to make our annual trek for osage-oranges and rose hips. On this unseasonal Sunday we left the driveway around 3 PM. Taking an alternative route down Perrine Avenue and around the back of the Finger Lakes Mall we crossed Rts. 5 & 20 and proceeded to Union Springs.

The Mill Pond on Rt. 90 was calm with only 6 Mallards swimming in the southeast corner.

Factory Street pond was also quiet. Two Gadwalls and 4 Mallards were gliding under the bird box.

Cayuga Lake appeared chilly under steel-gray skies as we rode into Ledyard. Entering the village of Aurora we drove slowly pass the Morehouse residence.

Joan noticed the windfall of osage-oranges in the culvert. Turning around we went back to the Osage-Orange tree and parked on the shoulder of Rt. 90.

Here we found the mother lode. This year's crop of osage-oranges was plentiful and huge. We filled several Wegmans bags.

With our cache on board we once again did a Uturn and headed into the village. Two parties of coeds and their families were standing on the porch of the Aurora Inn. All parking spots on Main Street were taken.

After passing the Wells College boathouse we took the road to Long Point State Park.

First we pulled by the gatehouse and gathered two bags of rose hips. This was a difficult task. Last year's branches had not been trimmed back so Joan and I received numerous scratches as we cut out the red berries.

Near the rose hips were several galls.

Also there was an abandoned bird's nest.

Then we drove into the park and along the shoreline.

Heading back to Aurora we turned east on to Poplar Ridge Road (County Rt. 43A). Along the highway we observed Wild Turkeys, 12 in the first flock and 11 in the second group. Turning left at the Hazard Library in Poplar Ridge we headed north on to Rt. 34B. After driving through Scipio we pulled adjacent to another osage-orange tree. The crop here was not as wholesome of bountiful as the Aurora stop.

With our booty in the back of the car we meander our way home passing the Fleming Firehouse, Emerson Park, Dickman Farms, and Hoopes Park.

For reference: Osage Orange - Revisited

Week Forty-Six - 6 to Go

A pleasant read, full of Parker's wit and charm. Spenser as always delivers. However, the lackluster plotting, too much Susan and Pearl, and the absence of Hawk left me wanting.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Week Forty-Five - 7 to Go

Hardback cover with the crystal horse - reason for picking up the book. Storyline at times seemed to shatter but Francis' conclusion produced a well crafted mystery.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (November 2)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

page 45 - Going back through the paper, he found photos of Baker when she was alive, as well as crime-scene shots and several autopsy photos. The autopsy photos didn't do anything but gross him out.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Week Forty-Four - 8 to Go

The Lucas Davenport series seems to have taken on more of a procedural approach. However, the protagonists are still smart and they catch the bad guys because the bad guys are still dumb.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bird Tour

This morning drove to the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) to meet up with Naturalist Dave Spier.

Was early so drove into the pull-off across the highway from East Colvin Marsh. There were four Red-winged Blackbirds in the trees plus a Downy Woodpecker. Two pheasants were making their way down to Crusoe Creek.


Crusoe Creek

After leaving MAC and heading south on Rt. 89 we stopped to study the swans in the field beside farm lane east of the highway. Counted four Trumpeter Swans.

On Rt. 89 north of May's Point observed twenty Brown-headed Cowbirds flying among thousands of Red-winged Blackbird.

Continuing south on Rt. 89 just north of Thruway there were thirteen Green-winged Teal, an Osprey perched in a tree and one Red-tailed Hawk. Upon reaching Routes 5&20 we spotted another Red-tailed Hawk.

Pulling into North Spring Pool at the Montezuma NWR there among the stumps, logs and deadwood were Canada Geese, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, a Red-tailed Hawk , two Greater Yellowlegs, and Rusty Blackbirds.

Canada Geese

Green-winged Teal - on the left - note green patch

Drove into the entrance of the Visitor Center. Estimated 300 Canada Goose - 40 flying and hundreds to the north past Visitor Center building. Along the entrance were American Wigeons, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teals, Greater Yellowlegs and a Northern Harrier.

Northern Pintail

American Wigeon

From the Visitor's Deck we were able to observe Canada Geese, an American Wigeon, two American Black Ducks, Mallards, one Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teals, Northern Harrier (probably the same one as by the entrance), and two Greater Yellowlegs.

At LaRue's Lagoon there was a Great Blue Heron. Close in the channel by the Auto-Drive in the Main Pool there were six American Coots. Across the road were three Canada Geese.

Canada Geese

In the new shorebird area north of photo blind on west side of the Auto-Drive, there were fifteen Black-bellied Plovers, a Killdeer, and seventy Dunlins. At Benning Marsh we observed another Great Blue Heron and a Killdeer. Leaving the Auto-Drive a Red-tail Hawk flew across Rt. 89 and landed in tree on west side of road. North of Armitage near Wiley Rd. there was another Red-tailed Hawk. A White-breasted Nuthatch flew across Wiley Rd. and landed in a tree near the Wiley schoolhouse woods.

On Hogback Road at Colvin's pond were four of the its resident Trumpeter Swans.

Just before the MAC there were now nine Trumpeter Swans in the field east of Rt. 89. At Colvin Marsh we noted another Red-tail Hawk. It has been a busy day for the Hawk Family.

After leaving Dave at the MAC stopped once again to observe the Trumpeter Swans. This time there were by my count fifteen.

Trumpeter Swans

A great day for Red-tail Hawks and Trumpeter Swans. Plus four new birds for me: Northern Pintail, Black-billed Plover, Dunlin, and Rusty Blackbird.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week Forty-Three - 9 to Go

Not your Stephanie Plum. But if you remember your comic book experiences as a child you might enjoy this graphic novel. Having read Motor Mouth and Metro Girl, found the Evanovich’s characters, Alex Barnaby and Sam Hooker, to be entertaining as they were depicted in this genre.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MAC Tour

This morning drove to the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) to meet up with Naturalist Dave Spier. Tour was scheduled for 10:30AM. Two Americorp women, Rebecca and Julie, joined us on the walk around the MAC grounds.

Once in the field Dave identified two flowers:

New England Aster
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

White Aster
Symphyotrichum ericoides

Dave also noted the Picris that was scattered along the path. He pointed out the rough leaf with its bristles.

We came upon several Evening Primrose stems. Dave mentioned how these stiff stems broadcast the seeds when the wind blows.

There were still several Queen Anne's lace plants gracing the fields. Dave mentioned that this plant is often referred to as wild carrot.

Queen Anne's lace
Daucus carota

Along the path into the woods Dave drew our attention to two different types of galls.

Goldenrod Bunch Gall

Goldenrod Ball Gall

Also along the path Dave showed us ground cherry, which I call Chinese lantern, rose hips, wild basil and burdock.

Wild Basil

According to Dave wild basil is a member of the mint family. He had us feel the square stems and touch the asymmetrical leaves.


Dave had us flip our binoculars and examine the burdock. There in the lens one could see the tiny hooks covering the surface of the burr. Dave then related the story of how Swiss engineer, George de Mestral, used the this information to develop Velcro.

Once in the woods Dave noted a Hackberry tree with its distinctive corky ridges and small wart-like bumps.

Then we came up to one of my favorite trees - the Wolf Tree.

Due to time restraints we did not continue down the trail.