Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week Five - 47 to Go

Two by Sue Henry

Sue Henry knows Alaska. In this mystery Henry uses her characters and the plot to provide a background for her vivid descriptions of our 49th state. Henry concludes by firming up Jessie and Alex’s relationship.

The great Alaskan wilderness is showcased. Jesse Arnold proves to be a strong woman capable of meeting nature’s challenge. This combination makes for a quick pleasant read. At the conclusion of the novel Henry dropped two plot points, this was disconcerting.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (January 25)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

Page 149 - “So I’m an assassin.” “Not yet,” she offered with a sly smile. “You haven’t killed anyone.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Red-tail Hawk

Owasco Lake

The morning temperature on the front porch was minus 2˚. By mid-afternoon the thermometer had not passed single digits. Knowing that going for a walk was insane made the decision to take the car for a spin. After mailing an Amazon sell at the Post Office and picking up two reserved books from Seymour Library drove to Owasco Lake.

While coming off the traffic circle and crossing White Bridge I noticed a dark image on the ice below. Entered Emerson Park and made my way to the boat launch. There a few feet from the dock was a Red-tail Hawk feasting on what looked to be a Mallard.

A Centro bus came into the launch driveway and forced me to move the car. Once the bus driver resumed his route I took some more photos and a short movie.

Hawk Flix

Attempted to get closer to the hawk for a better photo opportunity. This spooked the hawk and it flew across the outlet into a tree near the shoreline.

Mallard Remains

For a day that have started off on a cold note it ended with a hot-shot photo session.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week Four - 48 to Go

If you have an interest in Americana, and the ideals of the 20th century, this book is a must read. For others Rockwell's pictures will suffice.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week Three - 49 to Go

Bestselling author Jeffery Deaver's new independent thriller features his signature ticking-clock suspense, sharp plot twists and whip-smart dialogue.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (January 11)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

page 105 - Death row is a nightmare for serial killers and ax murderers. For an innocent man, it's a life of mental torture that the human spirit is not equipped to survive.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Around the Bird Feeder

The morning greeted us with four inches of snow. As the day progressed snowfall added four more inches.

Because of the snow cover the bird feeders were very busy. The usual contingent of Dark-eyed Juncos were the first to arrive. There were 17 early on.

Sensing the coast was safe the house sparrows occupied the pie tin feeders.

At mid-afternoon the downy woodpecker clung to the suet feeder.

Then just before dinner the suet feeder attracted a white-breasted nuthatch.

Gotta love snow days.

Week Two - 50 to Go

Once again John Grisham paints a realistic portrait of how our legal system works. At the conclusion of this darkly brilliant narrative you will definitely form an opinion on the death penalty.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Savannah-Montezuma (NY) - Bird Tour

Montezuma Audubon Center

After lunch decided to take a drive north to see what birds might be out and about the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC).

Other than a few crows there were no visible birds on the ride over. After crossing the Savannah railroad bridge turned east on Seneca Street and proceeded to Van Dyne Spoor Road.

Van Dyne Spoor Road

In the woods on the Van Dyne Spoor Road observed what appeared to be two Red-tailed hawks.

Van Dyne Spoor Road

Drove to the dead end at the Seneca River.

Van Dyne Spoor Road

Two small birds flew into the bushes but they were too quick for observation.

Van Dyne Spoor Road

Driving toward the MAC. Observed a hawk at the intersection of Van Dyne Spoor Road and Savannah Spring Lake Road. It was in a tree to the left on the north side of Savannah Spring Lake Rd. First thought it was a Red-Tailed Hawk. But once if flew onto a pole on Van Dyne Spoor Road I was not so certain.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Hope to meet up with Naturalist Dave Spier at the MAC so Dave could help me with identifying the hawk. Julie, an AmeriCorps worker, greeted me at the MAC and said that I just missed Dave who had left for the day.

On the way back home there was a Red-Tailed hawk on a pole on Rt. 89 at a spot Dave had previously pointed out to me.

Once home I emailed Dave. His response was that my photo was a Redtail (brown head and dark belly band). He added that a heavy, black belly band and light head plus white inner tail would be a Rough-leg. Also, a large hawk with a whitish line over the eye could be a Goshawk (in which case he would be extremely envious). Dave mentioned that he was working on the mid-winter Bald Eagle survey around the MAC.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Auburn-Fleming Trail - 1st Visit of 2011

This cold but snowless afternoon I decided to refer once again to Rich & Sue Freeman's Take a Hike! Family Walks in New York's Finger Lakes Region Guide Book (Footprint Press) and revisit the Auburn-Fleming Trail.

Previous walks (October & November 2008-January 2010-April 2010-Auburn-Fleming Trail - Bird Tour).

Parked at the south entrance on Route 34 across from Dacy's Auto Shop. Upon entering the path I encountered a gentleman. He indicated that the trail was walkable just be careful of icy patches.

Two horses were outside the barn on my right as I started my trek.

The trail was easy walking. However there were no birds with the exception of two cawing crows off in the woods to my left. I also heard two other bird calls but I could not identify either.

I went as far as about 200 yards pass the first bridge. Upon turning around I noticed a man and his dog coming from the Dunning Avenue entrance. They followed me almost to the car. But once I get in the car they turned and retraced their steps.

Took a drive south on Rt. 34. After passing Willowbrook road there on the wire to my left was a Red-Tail Hawk. Turned around in the next driveway and returned to take some photos of the hawk through the front windshield. Got out of the car and the hawk took often towards the woods stopping to perch in a tree along the hedgerow. Just then another hawk flew across the field and a white-tail deer skirted along the edge of the woods.

The two hawks made the trip worthwhile.

Driving home I pulled over on Stone School Road to take a photo of Owasco Lake.

The Auburn-Fleming Trail


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Week One - 51 to Go

Got off to a fast start. Read Jerusalem Inn by Martha Grimes. Have read several Grimes’ Richard Jury mysteries. The setting for this book, a remote country inn/pub during the Christmas holidays, made for a great seasonal read. The bad tidings that come to Jury and sidekick Melrose Plant enhanced this mystery. While the number of characters can cause a little confusion, Grimes uses them well. So do not be snookered, hang in there until the end.

Read 52 Books in 52 Week in 2011