Wild blue phlox and Virginia bluebells carpet the banks of the Roanoke this evening, the air intoxicating with phlox perfume and rushing water.
Don’t tell me Porgs are the Star Wars version of puffins. Puffins don’t have huge eyes and camo brown colors. Clearly Porgs were inspired by woodcocks.
“Puffin? You’re kidding, right?”
In February and March I’m often out tramping in the twilight, where meadows meet woods, in hopes of witnessing what Aldo Leopold called the Sky Dance of the American woodcock.
Here in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, by mid-February these Porg-shaped, foot-tall, nowhere-near-a-shore shorebirds are already excitedly deep in spring courtship.
Painting by C. Ford Riley.
In late winter’s milder, tranquil evenings, about twenty minutes after sunset, the woodcock hen strolls to the edge of her woods to judge the males’ seductive song and dance, performed just beyond in an open field. Her bizarrely huge dark eyes. set near the top of her head. give her an incredible 360-degree view, allowing her to hunt earthworms on the dark forest floor while watching for predators behind. Equally bizarre is her extraordinary long bill, more elephant’s trunk than bird’s bill, whose tip she flexes to grasp her prey. Continue reading
U.S. Green Party’s 2016 vice-presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka and presidential candidate Jill Stein (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
I have received a March 20 communication from the European Green Party officially rejecting the U.S. Green Party’s “Republicans are preferable to Democrats” stance.
This was in response to my query to them asking if they share the views expressed by numerous U.S. Green Party leaders and allies that Republicans in American office are preferable to Democrats. I provided them a link to a compilation of statements, each with a link to its original source so validity and context are easily verified. It includes views such as such as this from U.S. Greens’ 2016 presidential candidate Jill Stein in October 2016:
If you watched the debate the other night, you would have heard Trump saying that he’s looking for collaboration with Putin… he’s got business interests all over the place; on that basis, hey wow, maybe he’d be the peace president because he needs peace all over the place… Yeah, climate change is horrific, but it’s not happening tomorrow.
Among the many similar pronouncements by U.S. Green leaders are an article by Stein posted in October titled “What’s scarier than Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s plans to gut Social Security;” an article that her running mate Ajamu Baraka tweeted in October titled “Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump;” and a statement from the U.S. Greens’ 2016 campaign social media director Jillian Thomas explaining her own preference for Trump over Clinton.
There are many more. Ralph Nader, U.S. Greens’ 2000 presidential candidate, similarly often stated his desire to see Al Gore defeated and George W. Bush win.
The reaction from Eliana Capretti, Head of Communications and Press, European Green Party, was a swift, thorough and unambiguous repudiation:
Thousands, maybe millions, this week will recall this gorgeous book with profound affection and tears in their eyes. I can attest, as I seem to be having a bit of trouble myself writing this.
Chandler S. Robbins, co-author of the classic Birds of North America (1966), more widely known to birders simply as “The Golden Guide,” died yesterday, March 20 — a legend of ornithology and citizen science.
Let me tell you about this man and his work, even if you know nothing of birds.
For me, the tears are less about sadness -– 99 years is a marvelous run — than of gratitude for the incredible and lasting joy this book brought into my life.
From “Farewell, America” by Neal Gabler at Bill Moyer & Co., Nov 10, 2016:
After seeing my neighbors emerge like this, I fear Neal Gabler is right when he says ” We know too much about each other to heal.”