Monday, February 6, 2017

Good times are coming

Incoming wigeon!
It's always possible I'll never really write a blog post again; that I'll just rely on too many photos to maintain some sort of existence online. "Rely a bit too heavily, on alcohol and irony" comes into my head, probably because I'm a bit ill and because Scott and I saw not one but two John K Samson shows last week, both with identical set lists, meaning I heard Aside twice, not that I'm complaining, mind you. He played the original Virtute song and Utilities and that one about hating Winnipeg, as well as some fine pieces off the newer albums, my favorite one there being Vampire Alberta Blues which, truly, I cannot recommend enough. Go ahead and click that link; I'll wait.

Reifel landscape
 Rather than uploading some bird photos immediately I may go ahead and say something about the religious experience that is a JKS show. The Tractor, in Ballard, is where he (and his bassist, keyboardist, and drummer) played in Seattle. It's an intimate little spot so it's not entirely surprising that it was pretty damned packed. An amusing thing I noticed there, and in Canada as well, is that no one in the audience notices that The Man Himself is on stage, fussing with mikes and cables and the like until he actually officially comes on stage and starts to sing. And then it's what I imagine a church service might be like. Seriously, I was getting a beer at the Tractor bar before the first song started and working my way through the crowd to get back to Scott during the first song was like crashing through the pews. It was during the second song, however, that the call and refrain started:

JKS: Now that the last month's rent is scheming with the damage deposit,
Take this moment to decide 

JKS and the women behind us: Sun in an empty room
JKS:If we meant it, if we tried 
JKS, the women behind us, and a few others: Sun in an empty room
JKS: Or felt around for far too much
JKS, the women behind us and everyone else in the place: Sun in an empty room
JKS: From things that accidentally touched

The oddest thing wasn't that this happened both in the small Tractor and the 900-capacity Commodore Ballroom in BC but rather that it didn't bother me in the least. I may not have been joining in but it felt entirely appropriate.

Shy saw-whet owl
 But maybe the above just illustrates why I should concentrate on photos for a bit. The day after the Commodore show we got up, far too early, to find more than a few millimeters of snow on the streets. That did not stop us, however, from getting into a Canadian Zipcar (really pretty indistinguishable from a US Zipcar) and setting out in search of the Riefel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.Which took far longer than it should have done but we persevered and succeeded in the end. (Useful tip: Highway 99a is not the same as Highway 99.)
 Reifel, I've got say, is weird. I don't question that it's great for the migratory birds,  but the residents are far too tame for my taste; we all but had to chase them away from us--in fact, the ducks do come chasing after you if you stand still for too long. Oh, I have two new birds for my life list, including the long longed-for saw-whet owl, but they don't feel entirely honorable. Not that the saw-whet was easy to see; it's only thanks to a stranger who pointed the two of them out that we saw them at all, but still. And all. Photos then.
The other new bird: sandhill crane in the snowy landscape
Ms Mallard in the snow
Wet but not unhappy spotted towhee
Male wood duck looking as bright as male wood ducks always do
You'd be cranky if your feet were all icy too: fox sparrow
PS. My landscapes are always crooked. I should work on that.

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