Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sandhill Cranes of Sulfur Springs Valley

Sulfur Springs Valley extends south of Wilcox to the border in South Eastern Arizona. In the winter months the sky is periodically filled by huge flocks of sandhill cranes as they move from roost in wetland areas to feed in the corn fields. They begin to arrive as early as late September and stay until March. Flocks are estimated to be around 30,000.

As we drove south of Wilcox on
Kansas Settlement Road and
hwy 191 toward White Water draw
we could see flocks rising
and landing in the fields.
It is essential to stop the car,
open the window and listen
to the sound of
the thousands in flight.

This area is also known as "hawk alley" for the variety of northern species that winter here. Specifically this ferruginous hawk.

The predominant quail in this region is the scaled quail, seen foraging in the grassy areas.

Take the time to look for other bird species such
as the ducks and waders in the wetlands and
horned larks in the fields.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The saga of Pete the stray.

"Pete" followed us home on our walk this morning. Seemed to like hanging out with Buddy. But knowing we couldn't keep him, I got him in the car and took him to the GV Animal League at 9:00 a.m. Lots of people there, walking and taking care of the shelter dogs. Although "Pete" got along well with Buddy and the neighborhood dogs we encountered as he followed us, he did not feel friendly toward the walking shelter dogs. I was told they could not do anything for me and "Pete" until 10:00 a.m.. Well he would not get back into the car. No way! So we hung out till they officially opened. A woman came out and said "We can not take him. We have no room".
That became a "face off" between me explaining I couldn't take the dog and they saying that they couldn't take the dog. Both of us agreed that releasing the dog back out to 'whatever' was not the thing to do. After a time they agreed to take the dog and I donated $40 in cash.
It is a sad story all around when people get puppies and can't take care of them. IMO the ONLY way to get a pet is to go to a shelter and adopt one. What will happen to "Pete"; a young not neutered pit bull. Beautiful and loving. He nearly licked me to to death. We will cross our paws that he finds a home.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Metropolitan Opera-Live in HD-The Enchanted Island

Jeremy Sams has devised and written a Baroque "Pastiche" for the Metropolitan Opera. It debuted New Years Eve of 2011 and was shown at movie theaters around the country yesterday. This is an opera made of music collected from a varity of other operas by Bibelot, Vivaldi, Rameau and Handel as well as plays of Shakespeare. However the story and the music were seamless.

The set design and costumes were fabulous.
Placido Domingo sang the role of Neptune whose job was to sort out the mixed up love relationships caused by the spells of Ariel (Danielle de Niese), the fairy of Propsero (David Daniels). Joyce DiDonato sang the role of Sycorax, banished to the dark side of the Island with her son, sung by Caliban in grotesque costume.

Many thanks to the Metropolitan opera and to the local Desert Sky theater for bringing opera to the people of Green Valley. And if you haven't attended one of these marvelous performances, I strongly encourage you to do so.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Artist - review

"The Artist won 3 Golden Globes on Sunday night.
Best Motion Picture, Best Actor in a motion picture -musical or comedy, Best original score. The movie IS completely silent and in black and white. Because that is what the movie is about. George is a very handsome and successful silent screen star. However when the talking motion picture comes to be and with the crash of '29 he falls into hard times. This is where I feel there could have been some editing. I wanted to scream to the silent screen "Get over it, George".

French actor Jean Dujardin as George ceretainly deserved the best actor and his costar Berenice also was excellent.

Supporting actors John Goodman and James Cromwell
rounded out the excellent cast. Of course Uggie the Jack Russel pooch stole every scene that he was in.

As far as best motion picture, IMO it didn't
work for me. It was too unique and different to be compared alongside the other nominated films.

Best score?? I am nearly always attuned to the music of a movie but for some reason I didn't even seem to hear this music. And I don't know why. It should have been essential.

3***/5 from Az.Buddy

Monday, January 16, 2012

Adventure day around Tucson

Started out to explore the new "fantastic Camino Del Sol casino and hotel". Thumbs down-way down. Smoky in all areas. Not being gamblers, our objective was to case the joint out for lunch.
No luck on lunch. So went to our next choice -"Tiny's" a neighborhood bar out west Ajo. Thumbs way up on this greasy burger place with its great food and old west environment.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Movies - 2011

Entertainment Weekly lists 25 movies that one should see before the Oscars. Of these I have seen 15 and 5 have not come to Tucson; three this week and two in the future. I may be losing my status as Movie Critic for Olli and friends. Four of the movies that were highly recommended - Hugo, Melancholia and Martha, Mary, Marcy and Marlene and The Help were thumbs down for me. Some that I liked very much-Drive, Tower Heist and Bridesmaids were not for everyone.
Two that I am looking forward to seeing are Albert Nobbs and Artist. I think I will skip The Iron Lady. Although I was not a fan of Margaret Thatcher, from what I have read, the screen play does not do justice to either her or Meryl Streep. I think my personal favorite was My Week with Marilyn.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Beyond", a ceremony in honor of those who died Jan. 8, 2011

Ceremonies were held all over the Tucson area to remember those victims of the Jan. 8 shooting in 2011. At the La Posada campus, activities began with a walk from the Gabe Zimmerman memorial garden to the meditation garden for words by various speakers. Gabe will be remembered for his service to Gabby Gifford and the Santa Cruz community and beyond.

Lisa Israel CEO of La Posada and Mary Fisher from the Posada Java and Shoppes were present.

Local Fireman rose the U.S. flag atop a fire rig ladder.

Many bicyclists attended to remember their fellow outdoors man, Gabe Zimmerman.

Large number of attendees stayed for the musical programs and socializing with memories of the fateful event.

A torch was cranked up by a line of individuals that was to provide the energy to keep it burning until all the torches from all the events in the Tucson area will be combined for the ceremony this evening on the UofA Mall that will be attended by Gabby Giffords and her husband.