Peregrine flight

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tomorrow Is A Long Time

This, that and the other thing.

The hawks are getting that gleam in their eye, they are starting to look more and more mature. Although they still can appear quite goofy when they wish.

The other day it was my turn to feel goofy.

I was talking to my lovely wife Leslie on the phone and she mentioned seeing a beautiful hawk with a red breast earlier in the day.

"Uh, honey, there's no hawk around here with a red breast. You saw a red tailed with a copper breast," I confided, quite authoritatively.

That night driving home I looked up at the phone wire and there was indeed there, a raptor with a breast indeed red, a kestrel. Oops. Wish I could have snapped a pic.

Here is another pic of the neighborhood Cooper's hawk. A pretty bird.


R&L are soaking up the rays on the Big Island, lucky friends, I need Hawaii bad. She send pictures of a Monkeypod view, and a couple views from the lava trail.

Must be very nice indeed.

Norman Black sends over a beautiful travel video from Video. Antarctic exploration.

When I was touring the theater district of Los Angeles I was most interested in the wonderful murals downstairs at the Los Angeles Theater nursery or children's playroom

Lovely paintings of a circus troupe, in very poor repair. 

I should have taken the time and shot it properly but I had neither time or equipment and mostly grabbed images for reference to jar future memory. Which pretty much suck.

The building is so amazing. Like to go back and get proper shots. I would like to see the poor murals restored. Hopefully soon.

I finally looked for information on the artist today. Anthony Heinsbergen, the foremost designer of North American movie theatre interiors, in his own hand, no less. A man who caught the attention of Alexander Pantages and the rest, as they say, is history.

From Wiki:
Anthony Heinsbergen (December 13, 1894 - June 14, 1981) was an American muralist considered the foremost designer of North American movie theatre interiors.
Born Antoon Heinsbergen in Haarlem (the Netherlands), he emigrated with his family to the United States in 1906 where they settled in Los Angeles. Heinsbergen began painting while still a boy; and, as a young man he worked as an apprentice painter and was one of the first students to take formal training from Mrs. Nelbert Chouinard at her Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. His area of interest in which he developed a renowned expertise was the painting of murals and in 1922 he went into business for himself. He was successful in obtaining a few commissions out of which he earned considerable recognition that led to a number of major contracts in and around Los Angeles most notably with the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel and in 1928 a municipal government contract for the new Los Angeles City Hall. During this time, his work came to the attention of theatre mogul Alexander Pantages who hired him to work on one of his buildings. The praise he received for this work opened the doors to jobs at more than twenty Pantages theatres and helped Heinsbergen become a major national contractor for theatre murals.
Heinsbergen's company grew to employ more than one hundred and eighty decorative painters involved with a wide variety of wall and ceiling murals for corporate offices, churches, synagogues, civic auditoriums, libraries and other ornate structures of the era. However, the Heinsbergen name is mainly linked to his theatre murals as a result of the more than seven hundred and fifty he created throughout North America during the theatre industry's period of rapid growth. High profile work of this type includes murals for the Wiltern Theatre, the Oakland Paramount Theater, the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, California, and the United Artists flagship theatre in downtown Los Angeles, plus the vaulted ceiling of the city's Park Plaza Hotel which can be seen in the opening sequences of the 1990 David Lynch film Wild at Heart.
Anthony Heinsbergen built a home in the Los Angeles district of Pacific Palisades on the south slope in the Santa Monica Mountains. Semi-retired by the 1970s when his son Anthony, Jr. (1929–2004), took over the day-to-day management of the company, the elderly Anthony Heinsbergen nonetheless remained active as a frequent consultant for theatre restoration projects until his death in 1981, in Los Angeles, at the age of eighty-six.
Here is a picture of how the room looked in the theater's heyday.

Went to the brewery to watch the Belmont this afternoon. Turns out I was only a week early.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Jesus, the missing years

Mighty Big Show

If you could pick the stupidest place that one could travel to right about now, think about it, where would you pick? Seriously. I've given this matter considerable thought, well, half a minute's worth anyway and here is what I came up with.
Worst place I could possibly be would be waking up in bed next to Liberty Lobby matriarch Phyllis Schafly. Would bite my own testicles off and then find some tall structure to jump off of, post haste. Thankfully the likelihood of that happening is almost nil. 
Next worst I would think might be on a Rohingya refugee boat, somewhere off of Burma, encircled by angry buddhists and tiger sharks. The wrong end of a kayak with a pissed off Latvian broad bride? Rabbi at a klan meeting, there are all sorts of rotten possibilities. 
Speaking strictly domestically, the correct answer would have to be Texas. And guess what?

Thass' right. This ol' hoss is headed right into the belly of the beast next week, Ft. Worth Texas. Amon Carter Museum. Soggy ass Texas, doing a show dag nab square in the middle of the most biblical flood to reach these parts since the good lord was a corporal. Weather permitting hope to make Dallas in two days, that is if it hasn't floated away.

Brian Lebel's Old West Shindig.

My track record in Texas hasn't been too good lately. Any long time blast reader can fill you in. Couple hours in a cell last time and a few Ben Franklins short in the wallet because some bored german shepherd thought he smelled alfalfa in the rig.

Floods. Torrential rain. Texans.

Unless the federal gubmint' makes good on their threats to send all the good folks in the Lone Star State to concentration camps after being relieved of their second amendment rights and heavy artillery, sometime next week your faithless scribe should be jumping over mud puddles and trying to stay off the current casualty list which I believe now stands at 29.

And I ain't a lyin' when I tell you that this week has me scared shitless but the deposit check has cleared and I got to stay on this old bull for at least eight seconds.

Couple rivers are cresting, couple reservoirs bursting at the seams. People and cattle are cut off from their kin. Perfect time to go buy an antique, people.

Y'all get down here, ya hear?

Saturday clothes

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dan and Jorma

Save the Nepenthes

Nepenthes Surantensis

My friend Shawn has spent many years trying to save an endangered plant in southeast asia, Thailand's nepenthes plant. He has been working with the highest echelons of science and government and has done much to help this beautiful plant survive. With single minded focus he has worked to save this entire carnivorous plant genus from extinction.

A few weeks ago, after a series of very positive meetings at Prince of Songkhla University Shawn sent out a press release celebrating some very hard fought victories.
"PSU Trang has set aside 5 rai of the​ last known genetically pure and extremely endangered​ N. mirabilis var globosa colony as a 'total ​ex​clusion zone' for Nep​enthes​ conservation​!​
​PSU Trang has set aside ​a further ​6 rai of the N. mirabilis var globosa colony as an educational​ ​conservation garden​!​
PSU Surat has offered ​use of ​2,700 rai of land ​in Chai Ya ​for Endangered Nepenthes ​species ​​gene banking!
The Department of Corrections has set aside 50 rai of their Kanchanadit prison land as a conservation area​ for the World's very last remaining colony of the critically endangered N. suratensis​!
SEANSRF has PSU's full support of​ all​ Nep​enthes​ research and conservation programs​ in Thailand​ including hosting our first primary school teacher training Science Camp on June 2, 3 &
The Walailak U. study, 'A new classification of Thailand’s Nepenthes species by genetic analysis of AFLP markers' has now been repeated​ (4 times!)​ with 12 Thai species + 1 variety and numerous​ surrounding countries'​ IC ​species, each time confirming the initial results!The PSU preliminary experimental results of the 'Flow Cytometry Identification of Sex of Individual Nepenthes ​​species'​​ ​(N. suratensis) has been a success!​ (Hint; lower pitcher tissues provide the best results!)​
The PSU preliminary experiments on 'Nepenthes Pollen ​storage for ​l​engthened ​​viability' has been a success!​ (we are up to 42 days at 4 degrees Celsius)​
The PSU experiments on 'Creation of Artificial Seeds​​ ​('Synseeds') based on Somatic Embryos with Artificial Endosperm' has been a success!"
I don't know how much you know about botany but in plant speak this guy is really kvelling! Shawn runs a botanical nonprofit called SEANSRF, the Southeast Asian Study and Research Foundation.

Then life decides to give him a fudgie. I get this letter the next day. Talk agony and the ecstasy...

Dear friends,
As much as yesterday's Nepenthes workshop and discussions at Prince of Songkhla University were filled with good news (See below), today's session brought us back down to Earth!

The participating official from Thailand's Department of Corrections informed us that the 'far-off' construction of the new prison complex on the site of the World's last remaining N. suratensis colony will actually begin in about 2 weeks with clearing of the site by bulldozers! Without immediate action, this almost assures the extinction of Thailand's N. suratensisspecies.
I have posted an appeal for assistance on a few of the Nepenthes forums on the internet and rather than repeat it all here I will just pass you the link in hopes you will take a few minutes to read through it.

Anything you can do to assist us in this matter will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time!
Shawn Mayes
Secretariat - SEANSRF

Wow, talk about a left hook. If you prefer to read something about it in thai, click here.

This no joke. Shawn needs our help. He needs signatures. Let's figure out a way to help him achieve his life's work, not have the remaining plants and habitat lost to a prison. Forward this information to anyone you know that is interested in saving rare species, ecology and even Thailand. 

I asked Shawn if I could help.

SURE! request people not get negative with comments on government or prison... Need to keep the cooperation I'm now getting going!  Thanks!  Shawn

Shawn, where is the link to the Change.Org petition?


"...trying to save an entire endangered plant Genus...Shawn

R. Crumb's Sweet Shellac - Early French Jazz Before Django

Golden feathers

Man with golden feather, Balboa Park
Ken suggested that I concentrate on single themes and not jump around so much in my posts.

I wish I could summon the requisite concentration to crystallize but I fear that you are going get dished a bit more of the stream of consciousness angle for a while longer. Late onset A.D.D. no doubt.

It might help to visualize the blog as an ugly abstract post modern painting given to you by your crazy aunt, the one that you always hated until you found out it was worth real money. Things grow on you somehow.

I had this thought. Boy, I bet some of them are sick of birds. Man, I have posted a lot of bird shots this year. One or two months more walking, fledging, flying and we will be done for the year. Promise. Soon as these kids grow up. No mas.

I approached the nest yesterday afternoon and mother was about 16 feet away, sort of hiding in the side branches.

These kids are getting big and very active, lots of mantling and posing, full wing extensions. No wonder she wants to stay clear, these kids could destroy some furniture.

A blur at times.

Every day the juvenile red tailed hawks are getting more mature. Will be any day before they arise into the blue yonder. Hope that I am around.

Pretty side view, sort of a Fabian, Frankie Avalon coiffure, comb forward but it works somehow on these birds. At least they are out of that dreadful mullet stage.

Mama dropped a squirrel or rabbit in. I approached the nest and the forward guy was positively dovening, bouncing up and down on his prey like a hasid at the Wailing Wall.

Ripped it apart like a cheap steak at a Shriner's Convention.

Saw a Cooper's hawk a little further down the trail.

Setting sun, late afternoon, very dark.

See ya.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bird brains

Yearling black crowned night heron
Ken, Doug and I loaded up our nikon cameras and our longest lenses and had a photographic outing today. Not like we wouldn't shoot with a Canon photographer, its just that we would have to see his or her work first.

Black crowned night heron adult male?
First today, a trip to an alternate local hawk nest to see three young dark morph red tailed hawklets.

Afterwards we headed down to Lakeside to Lindo Lake to go birdwatching and shoot some photos. New place for us, lots of avian swag there.

Blue herons, white herons (the greater egret ardea alba), black night crowned herons, egrets, cranes, geese, ducks, grackles, blackbirds and all sorts of other cool stuff. The neatest was the tall tree where a trio of white heron fledges played far overhead. Spectacular.

Took a ton of pictures, this was pretty extraordinary to watch. People that like to observe birds aren't just there for a static image or moment, animal behavior is interesting and important to us, not to mention often beautiful.

Got a few blue heron pics too.

Saw some neat folks down there like this Filipino woman.

There was a skateboard park nearby and I took some shots of some really good skaters. More flying objects.

After a while, we headed back to Santee Lakes and grabbed some shots there. No ospreys again but some familiar bird faces.

Juvenile black crowned night heron