Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Blues!!

Tab Benoit was at Wilbert's in Cleveland last night. I try to get to his concerts whenever possible. He does blues and more, like nobody else. Was by myself last night due to concert being in the middle of the week and Sandy having an early work morning today. Got caught in a traffic jam near downtown Cleveland and wondered what was happening, as Wilbert's only holds a few hundred people, so I knew that all of the cars were not going there. Turns out Celine Dion was performing at the "Q" so I ended up having to pay more for parking than what the cover was at Wilbert's.

Thought I would be late, but I wasn't, in fact I got to chat with Tab at the bar some before the concert and also with his drummer and bass player during the break. Was a fun, happy and drinking crowd , including the band. Lots of Celine Dion jokes and more. I got to meet a couple from Kent that are regulars and New Orleans Jazz Fest and we traded stories and favorite musicians for a while. Really a friendly, relaxed crowd. Music was fantastic as usual. Be sure to put Tab on your must see list.

Enjoy the following clips. He performed both of these songs last night. It felt for a few hours like I was back in N'awlins.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rock Flipping Day - 2008

I discovered Rock Flipping Day a couple of weeks ago as I expanded my search for Birding Blogs and other interesting sites. This year the day was Sunday Sept. 7th. I am behind in my blogging so am several days late in posting my results. For more information on the event and for a listing of people who participated check out:

My results are as follows:

Before FlippingAfterClose-up
As you can see I found a slug and some black muti-segmented crawly thing. This was a really cool thing to do, but I am going to need to brush up on my crawly knowledge before next year.

I thought it might be fun for my neighbors who have twins that just started Kindergarten, so I went up to their house and both of them tried it. We didn't have much success as the rocks were near their house and there wasn't much soil underneath them as the area had been filled with ash/limestone. They had fun I think and I confirmed with them that I was a neat, but strange guy next door.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pardon My Dust

I am in the process of updating and working on the template for my blog. As a result some of my older posts appear in funny ways and weird formatting. Stay tuned as I hope to have the blog upgraded by next week.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Just for fun!!

This post is just for fun. No pictures, music or birds. Just a strange device, by some unknown engineer!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sonny Landreth Live

Sandy and I along with 3 other couples traveled to the Beechland Ballroom in Cleveland last night to hear Sonny Landreth Live!! It was a fantastic concert and if you ever have a chance to hear Sonny, don't miss out on an unbelievable performance. We heard the song performed below.

Birds 6/30/08

The bird feeders continue to attract many regulars along with some new ones from time to time. The two pair of finches appear to have set up residence near the thistle feeder and the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks continue to delight us every day. The past two days have seen visits from, Cowbirds, Redbellied and Downy Woodpeckers. The Downy will not stay still enough for me to get a clear picture. Here are today's shots.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I came home at dusk several nights ago and the fireflies were everywhere in the bean field next to the house. I knew it would be a risky picture, but I tried anyway. Here it is sort of an impressionist use your imagination.

Birding June 25th - Finches

Was a fun drive from Wooster. Saw some Night Hawks, Red Headed Woodpecker, Bobolink on the way home. No camera for pictures though, however the Finches have finally found the feeders.

Birding June 18th

My Birding interest continues to grown and while I have downloaded some software for my Palm to log my sightings my main interest is in seeing new birds and enjoying the beauty of all of nature and having fun. In fact both my blood pressure and my cholesterol are the best they have been in years which I credit to my enjoying my new adventures in life!!

I had some interesting sightings over the past few days. I saw the Orioles chasing a Red Tailed Hawk away from their nest and saw a new bird perched in the trees. Using my binoculars and Sibley I determined it was a Great Crested Flycatcher! I have been taking some pictures both from the deck and from the kitchen through the window of birds at my feeders. Below are the results, no unusual birds and not great pictures, but I am learning. I need to get a blind set up on the deck so I can sit closer without scaring the birds away. Also need to keep the cats off of the deck. More later.


Earlier this spring I was taking the weed piles from Sandy's flower gardens(Note Sandy has done all the weeding) out into the woods to dump in the compost pile. Imagine my surprise when I stopped and saw a fawn hiding in the weeds 2 ft. from my tractor. It was frozen and hiding just like to is supposed to do. In fact, it stayed while I went back to the house and got my camera. The pictures were good except for the leaf in front of its face. Sandy came over and after watching it for awhile, I asked here to walk closer to it, in hope that it would moved slightly so I could get a better picture. When it saw her moving in it decided it was time to leave and away it went. As I mowed later in the evening I saw it hiding in two more places along the edge of the woods.

Shreve Swamp - June 5th

Two years ago, John asked to go along on a Birding Contest, "Montezuma Muckrace". The result was fun 24 hours in Sept. the last two years and a budding interest in Birding. This spring I had the time to enjoy the birds at our feeder while I would prepare and eat breakfast. There were many birds I couldn't identify, out came my bird book and found out I needed help. John has been birding for several years and so I wou
ld call or email him to ask what this or that bird was. On our joint trip to San Antonio, John and I spent a morning letter boxing and birding and I came home hooked on birding. I ordered several new bird feeders for my deck and started studying my Sibley Guide.

John and Laura came home the 1st week of June for a graduation and Brian's birthday. John and I reserved the 5th for a birding day in Shreve
Swamp!! Earlier in the week, he helped me set up the new feeders and we spent time watching from the living room while enjoying a few beers!! We found an Oriole nest near the deck and really enjoyed watching the Oriole pair flying back and forth to their nest.Here is what my deck feeder set up looks like.

Oriole Nest

On Thursday morning we got up early, well 8 am is early for me!! We picked up the "Golfer Special" breakfast sandwiches that Sandy had made for us and headed to the swamp. Was a really fun day and saw lots of birds and discovered some really good viewing sites. We logged 33 species, many of which were firsts for me. We also discovered a place where we saw Red Headed Woodpeckers and also saw other wildlife. Especially impressive were the hundreds of Bull Frogs. We came back in the evening and both of us experienced for the first time the synchronized sound of hundreds of bull frogs. Really cool sound.

We continued to bird through out the rest of the week and I saw my first night hawks. Pictures are of our day in the swamp. Please be forewarned that my macro photo of the red bug(anyone know what it is?) was thought to be a macro shot of a single bug. Imagine my surprise when enlarging the picture I discovered that there were two bugs. enjoying an afternoon together.

We were also able to observe a Bald Eagle soaring overhead.

Catching Up - Fun in April

I am very late in posting a very fun trip I took in April with my son-in-law, John. John is a fun guy who loves adventures and doing new things. Also, he involves me in his adventures. More posts later on my becoming a birder.

This trip was involved with John's Story Telling hobby. He has been doing some story telling in the Rochester area along with combining it with his love of technology and podcasting. Collecting stories from Rochester story tellers and making podcasts of them has been a passion of his for the past couple of years. The result was that he made a presentation on Podcasting, at a LANES Story Telling Conference in New Hampshire. I was invited along for both fun and as a tech support guy, bringing along my 4 laptops and associated hardware. His presentation was well received and we had a fun trip. I did learn that the Applebee's near out hotel made a excellent Gin Martini-Well done and a large pour. This is in contrast to our local Appebees which makes a very bland small martini.

We also did some letterboxing on the our travels, however one of the high lights was a stop we made at a Sugar Camp on the way. The father of one of John's co-workers has been boiling maple sap for many years and we were passing by a the right time to stop in and observe the process. I remember seeing my Uncle's Sugar Camp when I was about 6 or 7. He used horses to collect the sap from the sugar bush. The camp we stopped at on this trip was on a hill side, so they had rigged up tubing from the trees and had a gravity feed into a collection vat. Was a fun stop and we did leave with some Maple Syrup. Here are John and I learning and watching.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Graduation Collage

Enjoy the collage of my niece. It was a present from me to her at her graduation party. Julia's version of the picture was matted and framed. I did not take the pictures, but did the photoshopping to come up with this result.

(As always you can click on the picture for a larger image)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Shoot the Hills - Photo Competition

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a unique Photography Competition known as "Shoot the Hills" which takes place in Hocking Hills, located in southeast Ohio. The unique part of the contest is that it takes place over a 24 hour period, starting at 1pm on Friday and ending at 1pm on Saturday. You then turn in your film for the Film Division and have till 4pm to process your digital pictures in the Digital Divisions. Only minor Photoshop adjustments are allowed. Your pictures must be taken in a 4 county area around Hocking Hills during the 24 hour contest period. There are 3 divisions, with 6 categories in each division.

The Divisions are:
Digital Point and Shoot
Digital SLR

The Categories are:
Human Interest in Nature
Photographer's Choice(voted on by the contestants)

You are allowed 5 entries in each division, with a max of two per any category, and a sixth entry in the Photographer's Choice. There were over 130 photographers entered with some in more than one division. The result is a very large number of pictures entered in the contest. I entered both the Film and the Digital SLR divisions.

Judging is done by a panel of 5 professional photographers and is done in two stages. A preliminary sort is done with about 20% of the entries in each category making in to the final round where each entry is graded individually by each judge.

It was a fun and educational experience for me. I did not place, but only missed by two points in getting an Honorable Mention in the Film-Landscape entry. I really enjoyed the adventure and am looking forward to next year. Below are my photos, also if you want more information on the contest check out: Shoot the Hills for general information and Gallery for pictures of all the winning entries.

Click on any of the pictures for a large view.

Digital SLR



Human Interest

Photographer's Choice



Human Interest


Photographer's Choice