Monday, February 20, 2012

February 8, 2012. Meijer. West Chester, Butler County, Ohio


(It's nothing like this, today.)

Meijer. 12:45 p.m. 


And what was the processional?


And of what did the right of Blessing and sprinkling of Holy Waters consist?


Small coffee ("Tall" in the Starbucks patois): "Pikes Peak Blend." Droplets of which were ceremoniously spilled upon the cart and certain of its contents, but also including the coat cuff of celebrant. The celebrant reported the sharp feeling of a mild burn along the tops of the intermediate and distal phalanges of the digitus secundus manus and digitus tertius on the right hand.


And of what else did the service consist? That is, what was the order of Mass; what prayers were offered and to whom? 




And what was rendered and what was received?




And what was the concluding rite and what was the dismissal?


A blessing involving the vertical movement of the right hand while holding a plastic card was performed, and an electronic tablet was signed as a symbol of the covenant between celebrant and the Meijer corporation. "Have a nice day" was spoken by both parties in tone approaching sincerity. This phrase is a common variation of the standard dismissal. 


And what was the recessional?


"It's A Mistake" by Australian pop super stars Men at Work, who presumably did not intend irony when titling the song. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 2, 2012. Beckett Park. West Chester, Butler County, Ohio.


(click on wee image to see beeger image)

Beckett Park. 2:00 p.m. 51 degrees. Sunny, cloudless blue sky.



Walking with Eddie
Listening to Blue Monk mp3
8 golf balls in muddy
wash Bud bottle at base of steep hill below 
driving range of Beckett Ridge Country Club
Thinking of Thelonious Monk
hiding from the hippies behind curtain
backstage at the Carousal Ballroom, San Francisco, May 3, 1968.*



*  “May 3, 1968: Thelonious Monk and Dr. John The Night Tripper at the Carousal Ballroom.” Entry from The Virtual Museum of San Francisco. “Chronology of San Francisco Rock: 1965-1969.” www.sfmuseum.org/hist1/rock.html. Accessed February 3, 2012.

Anecdote about Thelonious Monk from article about blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker “Aggressively Spanning the Blues.” Jim Fusilli. Wall Street Journal. Wednesday, February 1, 2012. D5. The paragraph referenced here reads "He [Walker] failed to connect with the eccentric jazz master Thelonious Monk. 'Monk was nice, but he would hide behind the curtain. He hadn't played for many hippie audiences.'" Robin D. G. Kelley addresses the common notion that Monk was "eccentric" in his 2010 biography Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original. I don't have the book in front of me, but Kelley makes a convincing case that Monk was no mere eccentric. A complicated and compelling man, but the "eccentric" label tends to lessen his accomplishments, which were great, and the product of no mere eccentric.  

Walker could be referring to the May 3, 1968 performance at the Carousal Ballroom. I could be wrong. The Carousal was taken over and renamed the Fillmore West by Bill Graham in July 1968. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

January 29, 2012. Mitchell Memorial Forest. Cleves, Hamilton County, Ohio


(click on the image for the "grande" topo)

Mitchell Memorial Forest. Audubon Society Field Trip. Birded with Mark G., Dennis S., Kathi H., Jim S., Ned K., Kathy Mc., & Tom C. Sunny day. 30s. Best birds: 3 Red-shouldered Hawks, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches. Not as many pines as a few years ago, but more than will be here a few years from now. Boy Scouts were finishing up a camp out in the pine stand closest to the Wood Duck trail parking lot. There are a few hemlocks on the south side of the lot, along the roadway. The smaller cones on the hemlocks are traditionally considered more desired by Pine Siskins, crossbills, and other winter finches. As we walked by, a boy was taking a piss on one of the trees, his back to us. We didn't bother searching through this set of trees for birds. The Red-breasted Nuthatches were in the Tall Pines picnic area, midway along the road that winds up to the top one of the ridges that the park occupies. We walked a section of the mountain bike trail, and then cut off trail for a bit, following another ridge's descent to the Wood Duck Trail portion of the park. I was the putative leader of this trip, but all the attendees are good birders, so it was a walk with one's peers. In fact, Ned K. basically led the trip by pointing out the trails and shortcuts we needed to take to get to the spots of the park I intended the field trip to visit. The three Red-shouldered Hawks were flying together, moving from the trees beside the small meadow we were standing in, before disappearing behind the trees at the top of a neighboring ridge. The wind began to pick up around 10:30. We were finished by 11. Nobody plants pine groves anymore, and many parks and even our National Forest managers recommend and practice aggressive removal of the trees. Years ago, planting a grove of pines was the sign of a wise conservationist. Today the trees are considered non-natives and their planting discouraged. A good number of the trees at Mitchell are dying out for whatever reason, but some of the freshly felled trees, which had yet to be cut up and taken away, looked healthy. Who knows why these trees were cut? The ways of the Lord and his land managers are inscrutable. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

January 1, 2012. Crosby Township, Hamilton County, Ohio.


Miami-Whitewater Wetlands. Crosby Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. Annual New Year's Day outing with Charlie S., Steve P., and Bob L. Day began partly cloudy and cool, but forecast called for wind and rain. While the air was calm on the ground, there were large gray cloud masses moving swiftly through patches of harsh morning light and sun. For a few minutes, we were in the sun, but the wind in the upper atmosphere was so strong that it was pouring rain from a large cloud that was some distance--a few miles?--from us. Eventually, it clouded over completely and around 9:30 a.m. it was as if a switch had been turned on and the wind began gusting upwards of 30+ mph. Few birds come out in those conditions. Before the gales, an immature Northern Harrier flew by. Coots and many Green-winged Teal and a few Black Ducks on the large pond. Occasional flocks of teal dropping in during our brief loop walk. A Swamp Sparrow in the cattails by the small pond at the Baughman Road parking lot. Much new development springing up on Baughman Road. I hadn't been out here in a few years, and was startled, but not surprised, to see all the new homes. Winds drove us out by 10.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

December 26, 2011. Batavia, Clermont County, Ohio


(click on image for a better view)

Cincinnati Christmas Bird Count. With Dad and Jack S. On abandoned Christmas tree farm. Hilly terrain. Steep ditches. Cross through muddy irrigation pond via a deep, sheer ditch. Over and up other muddy side grabbing roots and branches to pull selves to top. Then walk rows of dying and thinning pines. Few birds. Last year was better. Look at dilapidated house and outbuildings. Walk Ross Road east until it too reaches abandoned and dilapidated state. The road is closed between here and Roudebush Lane. Watch scores of Black Vultures coming off the power lines to the east. Visit Mr. K_'s family home on Roudebush Lane. Admire enormous Sycamore along the creek at the top of the driveway. The house is one story, redwood, and comfortable. I've been inside it, though this year Mr. K_ and his wife are not home. Numerous Chickadees, Titmice, Downies, at feeder stations. A Towhee calling from the hillside. Jack S. leaves us to join his dad for rest of day. Dad and I continue walking on Roudebush toward the Little Miami. The road is falling apart. In a way, it's as much hillside as the hillside it lies upon. The outline of the foundation of the K_ family ancestral home is bordered on the south side by a stand of bamboo. There are a couple utility poles along the road which once served the home. The home was torn down after its water and sewer lines were destroyed by the dynamiting work done during the construction of Route 32, the James A. Rhodes Appalachian Highway, to the south. Paul W. and I met Mr. K_ and heard his family stories and saw the family scrapbook three years ago during this count. We're up on the history of Roudebush Lane, Batavia, Clermont County, Ohio. Follow Roudebush Lane to a train trestle and a metal bridge crossing a narrow creek where it joins the Little Miami. Spring flooding has almost destroyed the bridge. We don't try to cross. On the other side of the bridge is an abandoned summer camp--it probably had some sort of religious affiliation. There are numerous abandoned church camps like this along different rivers and streams. This one looks just like the one near your home. If we cross the bridge, we would find some outbuildings, a couple chimneys without walls, the odd pile of cinder block and rusted whatevers. Local kids believe the area is haunted by the victims of a satanic cult. They call it "Hell's Church." You can see their videos, and watch them stumbling around in the night while searching for the "Alter of Damnation" by going to YouTube and searching on "Hell's Church, Batavia, Ohio." The kids think the ancestral K_ family home site is haunted. It seems to make people happy to think so--to imagine blood thirsty satanists rushing up the U-shaped driveway to capture and sacrifice the innocent K_ family. But we know the K_ family left quite peacefully, though unhappily, after Gov. Rhodes' work crews made their house uninhabitable. Did they bury their hearts in the bamboo stand? We don't find any ghosts or satanists, today, that we recognized. And not many birds either. It is sunny, cold, and getting windy. We go to Skyline for lunch with other birding friends taking part in the count. It's nice to chat with everyone and compare our morning lists. "When you find few birds, eat many oyster crackers." I read that in the Upanishads.