Daily Archives: March 23, 2011

If animals wore clothing, we would not have to stuff them.

You know that movie that came out a few years ago about the horse that lived during the depression and everybody was happy when it won the triple crown? Well that horse, or a horse just like it (fast, famous, dead) was stuffed and on display in a racing museum I visited when I was a kid, and nearby, was the horse’s jockey, also stuffed.
Continue reading If animals wore clothing, we would not have to stuff them.

Elizabeth Taylor has Died

i-f8ca7f00f1150337e63227aed838d318-aliz.jpgShe was a major film (and stage) actress of my parent’s generation. She was the ultimate “leading lady” and as such often played across her sometimes husband, classic “leading man” Richard Burton. She is famous for having been married and divorced more times than anyone else ever (an exaggeration), but more importantly she’s famous for having starred in a number of classic and defining roles.

Che was a child star (Lassie Come Home, Jayne Eyre, National Velvet, etc.) and played a diversity of roles as an adult. Her classic performance in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? won her an academy award for best actress. Earlier, she had won best actress for playing Gloria Wandrous in Butterfield 8. She was from Kansas and a Dame.

How To Identify Hawks at a Distance (and a recommendation on binoculars)

i-698e3747f3f1544c4c69899f56bce8d9-HawksAtDistanceCoverk9417-thumb-250x346-63003.gifImma let you hear all about how Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant Raptors is a remarkable and important field guide, but first I want to mention that one of the most interesting parts of that guide is the forward by Pete Dunne, who himself has written a bird book or two. Dunne reviews the history of bird identification guides, going back to the time before they actually included illustrations (yup, just words!) and follows the evolution of bird guides through the 20th century, with special reference to how raptors have been handled. Or, more exactly, mishandled.

It make sense to question the old ways: When was the last time a hawk came to your feeder and hung around in close view, or a small flock of hawks hopped around in a nearby meadow for ten minutes or perched on a bush for a minute or two? Yet, most depictions of raptors have used the same posing and otherwise been handled the same way as depictions of wrens and sparrows. True, various guides, including Peterson’s, have included silhouettes of selected birds in flight, and indeed, that is the point; As time has gone by, bird books have treated raptors more and more differently, until finally Jerry Liguori came up with his now classic Hawks from Every Angle: How to Identify Raptors In Flight.

Continue reading How To Identify Hawks at a Distance (and a recommendation on binoculars)