Poetry Sunday: September Song by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson

And just like that, here we are in October. September, it seems we hardly knew ye! But as we view that departed month in our rearview mirror, let's give it one last wave goodbye. And what better way to give it that sendoff than with the lyrics of one of my favorite songs. September Song by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson When I was a young man courting the girls I played me a waiting game If a maid refused me with tossing curls I'd let the old Earth make a couple of whirls While I plied her with tears in lieu of pearls And as time came around she came my way As time came around, she came. When you meet with the young girls early in the Spring You court them in song and rhyme They answer with words and a clover ring But if you could examine the goods they bring They have little to offer but the songs they sing And the plentiful waste of time of day A plentiful waste of time. Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December But the days grow short when you reach September Whe

This week in birds - not

"This week in birds" is taking a break this week. I apologize to my faithful readers who look for it each week. 

The Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves: A review

  This is the third entry in Ann Cleeves' latest series of mysteries, the one featuring Detective Matthew Venn. I must confess up front that Matthew Venn is not my favorite of Cleeves' creations. ( Are you ever going to give us another Vera Stanhope mystery, Ms. Cleeves? ) But I'll take what I can get. This tale is set in the little village of Greystone in Devon. It involves a former member of that community named Jem Rosco. Rosco has made a name for himself as a sailor and adventurer who has roamed the world. Now he has returned to rent a nearby cottage, but, within a month of returning, he disappears and soon his dead body is discovered in a dingy off Scully Cove. He had been murdered. The case is assigned to Matthew Venn and he and his sergeant Jen Rafferty along with another member of the team, Ross May, hurry to the scene. We learn that Greystone has troubling memories for Venn whose problematic family history is so much a part of his personal makeup. Many residents of

Rituals by Mary Anna Evans: A review

This is the eighth book in the Faye Longchamp mystery series. I was interested in reading the series in the first place because of its archeological connection. Faye is an archaeologist. But the series seems to be evolving into an archeological romance/mystery with an emphasis on the romance. While the series in general has been a fairly enjoyable read, I'm not sure I will continue with it after this entry as romance is not really my main reading interest. And there are so many other books on my "to-be-read" list that are demanding my attention. Rituals finds Faye and her adopted teenage daughter, Amande, in a rural New York town called Rosebower. Faye has been hired to organize her client's amateur museum. The client, Samuel Langley, has artifacts that he believes prove that aliens from outer space long ago landed in New York and that Scandinavians were the original settlers of the Americas. In evaluating her client's artifacts, Faye discovers documents that rel

Poetry Sunday: Late September by Amy Lowell

This poem by Amy Lowell was written more than a hundred years ago and yet it still seems fresh and fitting for this "late September." Late September by Amy Lowell Tang of fruitage in the air; Red boughs bursting everywhere; Shimmering of seeded grass; Hooded gentians all a'mass. Warmth of earth, and cloudless wind Tearing off the husky rind, Blowing feathered seeds to fall By the sun-baked, sheltering wall. Beech trees in a golden haze; Hardy sumachs all ablaze, Glowing through the silver birches. How that pine tree shouts and lurches! From the sunny door-jamb high, Swings the shell of a butterfly. Scrape of insect violins Through the stubble shrilly dins. Every blade's a minaret Where a small muezzin's set, Loudly calling us to pray At the miracle of day. Then the purple-lidded night Westering comes, her footsteps light Guided by the radiant boon Of a sickle-shaped new moon.

This week in birds - #565

  A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment : The hummingbird wars continued this week with the Ruby-throated and Black-chinned Hummingbirds passing through. I haven't yet seen any Rufous Hummingbirds  like this baby from a previous year but they should be arriving soon. *~*~*~* The famous 150-year-old banyan tree that was burned in the recent fires on Maui is showing signs of recovery .  *~*~*~* Did you see the amazing sight of the fireball that slammed into Jupiter last month? Astronomers got pictures! *~*~*~* The financially struggling private ownership of a herd of 2,000 rhinos has sold the animals to a conservation group that will release them into the wild.  *~*~*~* The hottest August on record followed a similarly record-breaking June and July. I think I'm sensing a trend here. *~*~*~* Even though it is winter in South America, it is hot there , too. *~*~*~* ExxonMobil went to great lengths to try to undermine climate science . Recently revealed

The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith: A review

Let me get my main complaint about this book off my chest up front: The book is quite long and the reason it's so long is that it spends so many pages transcribing online chat transcripts. I don't need that! Just describe and summarize for me, please. As for the story itself, it was engrossing. Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling, is quite adept at coming up with good ideas for a novel, developing a storyline, and peopling it with interesting characters.  The story here involves a popular cartoon called "The Ink Black Heart." One of the co-creators of that cartoon, Edie Ledwell, turns up at the offices of detectives Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott where she meets Robin and begs for her help in identifying a mysterious online figure who calls himself (herself?) Anomie.  Anomie has been persecuting Edie and making her life miserable. Robin, however, does not think the agency, which has a full load of cases, can help in this particular instance and she turns Edie down.