Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twelve

É uma continuação do tópico Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Eleven.

Este tópico foi continuado por Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Thirteen.

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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twelve

Editado: Ago 18, 6:46pm

-Morton Arboretum

-Eastern Meadowlark

“We need the tonic of wildness... At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

Editado: Ago 18, 6:47pm




48) The Missing American by Kwei Quartey 4 stars
49) Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton 4 stars (audio)
50) Hard Light (Poems) by Michael Crummey 4.4 stars P
51) First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami 2 stars
52) Train by Pete Dexter 4 stars
53) My Body in Pieces by Marie-Noëlle Hébert 3.8 stars GN
54) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair 5 stars (audio)
55) Children of the Land: A Memoir by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo 3.8 stars (audio)
56) Anxious People by Fredrik Backman 3.6 stars
57) Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir by Jill Bialosky 4 stars
58) Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 4.2 stars E
59) And Now I Spill the Family Secrets: An Illustrated Memoir by Margaret Kimball 4.5 stars GN
60) The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin 4 stars


61) Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu 4.3 stars
62) The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna by Walter Isaacson 4.5 stars (audio)
63) Strange Pilgrims (Stories) by Gabriel García Márquez 4.2 stars
64) Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir by Rebecca Solnit 4.3 stars (audio)
65) The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem 3.6 stars
66) Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 by MK Czerwiec 4.4 stars GN
67) Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir by Penelope Lively 3.7 stars
68) Fat City by Leonard Gardner 4 stars
69) Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts by J. Drew Lanham 3.8 stars P
70) The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich 3.6 stars
71) Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of D. Trump by Sarah Posner 4.5 stars (audio)
72) Other People's Love Affairs: Stories by D. Wystan Owen 4 stars
73) Festival Days by Jo Ann Beard 4.2 stars


74) The Armchair Birder: The Secret Lives of Familiar Birds by John Yow 4 stars (audio)
75) Joe by Larry Brown 4.7 stars
76) A Room With A View by E.M. Forster 3.7 stars
77) The Incognito Lounge by Denis Johnson 3.6 stars P
78) The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane 4.6 stars (audio)
79) Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty 4.4 stars
80) When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams 4.2 stars (audio)
81) Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson 4 stars
82) The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories by Mariana Enriquez 3.8 stars
83) Patience & Esther: An Edwardian Romance by SW Searle 4 stars GN
84) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford 4.2 stars
85) The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 3.4 stars


86) Gordo by Jaime Cortez 4.4 stars E
87) The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel 5 stars GN
88) The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen 3.8 stars
89) Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder & a Woman's Search for Justice by Sierra Crane Murdoch 4 stars (audio)
90) Second Place by Rachel Cusk 4.6 stars

Editado: Ago 18, 6:47pm


is the sound of me thinking
in a language stolen from my
ancestors. I can’t tell you who the
first slave in my family was, but we
are the last. Descendants
of the sun. Rye skinned
and vibrant, wailing to
a sailing tomb. We twist
creoled tongues. Make English
a song worth singing. You erase
our history and call it freedom.
Take our flesh and call it fashion.
Swallow nations and call it
humanity. We so savage
we let you live.
I can’t tell you who the first slave
in my family was, but we remember
the bodies. Our bodies remember.
We are their favorite melody. Beat
into bucket. Broken
into cardboard covered
concrete. Shaken
into Harlem. The getting over
never begins, but there
is always the get down. Our DNA
sheet music humming
at the bottom
of the ocean.

-Roya Marsh From Poem-A-Day

Editado: Ago 18, 6:49pm

Hello? Tree Swallow in a bluebird box.

Jul 26, 8:35am

81) Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson 4 stars

Rich Gunderson comes from a long line of loggers. Most of them died young while doing a very dangerous job. Rich is now in his early 50s with both a young wife and a young boy. He knows his days are limited, so is exploring other options. He finds one when he purchases a very valuable plot of redwoods. He can harvest this, make a killing and retire. The setting is Northern California, in the late 70s. Threats from environmental groups and the National Park system, trying to save these lands will all be road blocks for Rich. Another sinister danger has also crept into the picture- the logging companies have been using herbicides to kill the undergrowth, something deemed safe is turning out to have deadly consequences.
This is a solid debut by an author who grew up in this part of the country. She tells the story, through alternating chapters headed by Rich, Colleen and Chub. This style is effective and despite it's length reads very quickly, as the suspense continues to mount. I like most of these characters, but Rich stands out as an iconic figure. One I won't soon forget.
I would also like to thank Scribner for giving me an advanced copy of this terrific novel. (Pub Aug 3rd)

Jul 26, 8:38am

Happy new one, Mark!

Damnation Spring sounds good - putting it on my library list...

Jul 26, 8:45am

Happy new thread, Mark. See that we are kicking off new threads at about the same time.

Jul 26, 8:59am

Happy New Thread, Mark.

"We can never get enough of nature." Ain't that the truth.

Good poem. The last lines make me think of those slaves who never made it across and were thrown into the ocean. Oof.

Nice review of Damnation Spring. It makes me wince to even think of redwoods being chopped down. they should be off limits, wherever they are.

Jul 26, 9:01am

Beat me to it by an hour or so...still polishing up my new thread. Damnation Spring is a tempting one indeed. I'll have to see if the library is possessed of it.

Jul 26, 9:03am

Happy new thread, Mark!

Jul 26, 9:11am

Happy new thread!

Jul 26, 9:22am

Happy new thread, Mark!

Jul 26, 9:48am

>6 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. Damnation Spring ended up being a solid debut.

>7 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul.

>8 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Yep, another terrific poem from Poem-A-Day. Damnation Spring takes place in the late 70s. Fortunately, there has been a lot of protections put in to save these forests but we still tragically lost a sh*t-load.

Jul 26, 9:48am

Mark! Weird_O was here.

Jul 26, 9:50am

>9 richardderus: Hey, RD. I will have to swing by your new digs, once you are ready.

>10 FAMeulstee:>>11 drneutron:>12 Thanks, Anita, Jim & Amber.

Jul 26, 9:54am

Morning Mark!

This poem by Drew Lanham is a great way to start your work, I think:

Jul 26, 9:57am

Happy new thread, Mark!

My feeders are still in dire shape... I may get to them today.

Editado: Jul 26, 1:20pm

>14 weird_O: Hooray for my favorite Weirdo stopped by! Yah!

>16 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. Back to the grind? I love the Lanham poem. Thanks for sharing. “Joy is the Justice We Give Ourselves” is too long to copy here but if anyone would like to read it, here is the link:

>17 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. I hope you are tending to those neglected feeders.

Jul 26, 1:41pm

Happy new one, Mark!

Jul 26, 2:11pm

>5 msf59:
Damnation Spring caught my eye a while back and I added it to my TBR list. It is a debut novel and I found it listed with some other notable summer books by debut authors.

I decided on the four books I am taking with me to Kansas. My fiction books will be:
Last of the Wine by Mary Renault
Color of the Sea by John Hamamura
Nonfiction will be:
Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel - this one is for the August Nonfiction Challenge. The topic is Transportation and this one is about one of the first court cases to prove guilt based on "inattentive driving."
How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean - I will be finishing up this book for the July Nonfiction Challenge. The topic was Cities.

Jul 26, 2:33pm

>19 Crazymamie: Mamie stopped by! Mamie stopped by! Yippee! Great to see you, my friend and thanks.

>20 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. When do you take off for Kansas? It looks like you are bringing an interesting variety of books. I am not familiar with any of them.

Editado: Jul 26, 4:44pm

Happy belated birthday, Mark! Did you score any new books?

I finally put up my first feeder this week, one the bears will hopefully ignore. I've been seeing hummingbirds in my flower beds, so I thought I would try to entice them a little closer for viewing. I've already had takers. Ruby-throated. We get several species of hb here in Maine, and folks a few towns over posted pictures of an albino hummingbird! That would be something to see.

Jul 26, 6:53pm

>22 labfs39: Thanks, Lisa. I did score a few recent books but they weren't necessarily birthday gifts. I will post them shortly. Hooray for putting up a bird feeder and getting a quick hummer. An albino hummingbird? Wow!

Editado: Jul 26, 6:59pm

^Some new books landed at my doorstep. Mostly from friends and family. Two Feathers Fell From the Sky came from the publisher. It comes out in October. Marianne generously sent me several books, including Any Other World Will Do, along with a poetry collection, To a Nightingale. The Midnight Library is from Bree and Sean and they both loved it.

Jul 26, 6:59pm

Happy new thread!

Editado: Jul 26, 7:03pm

"Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived..."

^I know LT response has been lukewarm on The Midnight Library but Bree and Sean both loved it and insist I will too. How can I resist? Plus I did like his novel The Radleys. I will start it tomorrow.

Jul 26, 10:36pm

>25 quondame: Thanks, Susan.

Jul 27, 2:23am

>26 msf59: I loved that book too, Mark.

Happy New Thread and happy reading!

Jul 27, 7:09am

>28 connie53: Thanks, Connie. Glad to hear you liked The Midnight Library too. I will start it soon.

Editado: Jul 27, 8:21am

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you.

>24 msf59: and >26 msf59:. My response to The Midnight Library wasn't lukewarm – I gave it 4.5 stars, just didn’t write a full review about it. I thought it was absolutely wonderful.

Jul 27, 9:36am

Morning, Mark! I have only read one Haig - The Radleys, which I thought was fun. I will be awaiting your thoughts on The Midnight Library.

Jul 27, 9:48am

>30 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am glad to hear you loved The Midnight Library. I thought I had saw mostly lukewarm responses. Yah!

>31 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. I also enjoyed The Radleys. I will be starting his latest very soon...

Jul 27, 10:09am

Morning, Mark! I've read one Haig, too (A Boy Called Christmas), loved it, and keep intending to come back to him. Someday...

Jul 27, 10:35am

>33 scaifea: Morning, Amber. I will keep that Haig title in mind. Thanks.

Jul 27, 1:03pm

Hey Mark, hoping there's some cooling soon so you can get back out to the birding trails.

Jul 27, 1:57pm

Happy New Thread, Mark!

Oh horrible problem - so many good books. I missed seeing your previous reaction to Things We Lost in the Fire but I think I need to read some Mariana Enriquez. That sounds like it will be nicely balanced out with The Midnight Library and maybe Damnation Summer which isn't available in my library system.

Jul 27, 6:52pm

>35 richardderus: Hey. RD. It looks like things start cooling off Thursday. I hope to get out then.

>36 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. Good to see you. Keeping up with all the books, is an ongoing task. I hope you can track down Damnation Spring. Remember, it doesn't come out until Aug 3rd.

Editado: Jul 28, 7:53am

-Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Editado: Jul 28, 8:47am

-Dave Whamond

Jul 28, 9:06am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you. I've got two finches chasing each other around on the sunflower seed feeder, but otherwise everything's quiet. I haven't seen squirrels at the feeders for two days, but that doesn't mean the little bleepity-bleeps aren't out there. They really go for the suet feeder since it's the only one they can get at. I'm down to 2 blocks of suet and will buy hot pepper suet the next time.

>39 msf59: 👍 I especially like the Pork Wads.

Jul 28, 9:48am

>40 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. My feeders are fairly active with a few of the usual suspects, including a couple of squirrels and a rabbit.

Jul 28, 10:49am

>39 msf59:
I am very happy to see the Olympics. I can now engage in my quadrennial love fest with weird obscure sports that never get on TV except when the Olympics is on. It is wonderful to see people do fencing, and synchronized diving, and my most favorite sport of all - synchronized swimming. It is simply the most beautiful of sports. On-the-other-hand I don't like to watch the sexualized sports - like the half-naked girls gymnastics. Totally a weird sport. Or the bikini volleyball. What gives in a sport where the women have to wear bikini's - yes, it is in the rules, and the men play the same sport in kilts (baggy shorts) and t-shirts? I loved the statement that the German women's gymnastics team made with their total coverage suits. I also liked the protest that the Norwegian women's beach handball team made with wearing shorts to their match. They got fined $1,500.00 for doing so because shorts are against the rules. Even the Norwegian Prime Minister said that fining them was just wrong. Who gets fined for wearing clothes these days?

I found myself totally immersed and excited watching the foil fencing match on Saturday and I liked watching the women's surfing that was on last night. So much fun. How do they do all that?

Jul 28, 1:43pm

>42 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. I am glad you are enjoying the Olympics. Honestly, I watch very little of it, other than highlights here and there. I should turn it on, now and then, at least to catch the women's volleyball. Grins...

Jul 28, 4:40pm

>39 msf59: Pass the Pork Wads.

Happy cooler days ahead.

Editado: Jul 28, 6:09pm

>21 msf59:
I think you mean that you don't know anything about the works of fiction that I am going to be reading next week. The two I have that I am taking with me are a paperback (small and easy to carry around) edition of Mary Renault's first novel Last of the Wine. This a book that is set during the Peloponnesian War (the Golden Age of Athens) with the story told by a student of Socretes. Mary Renault was a very popular author back in the day and her work was seen as controversial or even homoerotic. They are also very historically accurate. I have wanted to read her books but just have not done so. A resent conversation between RD and Joe over on Joe's thread brought them back to the forefront of my thinking about reading, so I dug out the paperback and will try to get it read next week. Add to that, I saw Last of the Wine on a display when I walked into Barnes & Noble last Sunday, so it seemed like the title was speaking to me. I decided that I would try to read the books in order of publication. Last of the Wine is the first of her historical novels to be published.

Color of the Sea by John Hamamura. This book was on the Alex Award list back in 2007 and I have wanted to read it for some time. This novel is set in Japan, Hawaii, and California and starts in 1930 and ends in 1946. The hero, Sam Hamada, was born on a sugar plantation in Hawaii. His educated father and mother move to Hawaii where Sam and his siblings are born. After a family tragedy, Sam's mother moves back to Japan to raise the children, but since Sam is an American citizen his father comes to get him when he turns 13 to bring him back to Hawaii to learn American ways. Sam's goal is to go to college on the mainland, but WWII intervenes and changes Sam's life. In order to avoid being imprisoned, Sam joins the Army and because of his knowledge of Japan and his language abilities he is moved into the espionage side of the military and ends up in covert operations. It is not a YA novel, but is an adult novel that is of interest to YA's. The Alex Awards are given to 10 books written for adults that have special appeal to Young Adults aged 12 - 18.

Both books are not long Color of the Sea is 336 pages and Last of the Wine is a bit longer at 400 pages so I should be able to get them read next week.

Deadly Wandering is a work of nonfiction about a horrific car/pickup/semi crash in 2007 in which 2 rocket scientists died. (they worked for a company that supplied NASA.) It was ultimately proved that the wreck was caused by a teenager who was texting while driving and it resulted in the first traffic laws in the nation dealing with hand held device use while driving. The author, Matt Richtel and his team won a Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for reporting on how our brains work while using hand held electronic devices. This book was published in 2014 and was named a to several Best of the Year lists. The book is about how our brains respond to hand held electronic devices and why this is such a problem while driving. I have read the first chapters of this book and the driver who caused the wreck didn't even remember that he was texting while he was driving even though other drivers on the road who were following him noticed his erratic driving. He was drifting from side-to-side on the road and tailgating a semi tractor trailer when he caused the accident. I am reading this book for the Nonfiction challenge and Transportation is the topic for August. I thought this book fit the topic really nicely, even though it has implications for other things beside driving a car.

Jul 28, 9:03pm

>44 richardderus: The Pork Pads are bit stale, RD. Yuck...

>45 benitastrnad: Thanks for the detailed reading list, Benita. Color of the Sea sounds interesting. I will watch for your final thoughts. Now, that you mentioned it, I do remember the buzz on Deadly Wandering. I appreciate the heads-up. When do you leave?

Editado: Jul 29, 8:32am

- David Borchart

Jul 29, 8:33am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Thursday to you. I hope you enjoy your bird outing and Trail watch position interview.

I've been watching a hummingbird on the feeder for a couple of minutes. I love the way they move from feeding port to feeding port, not realizing that it's one huge reservoir of sugar water. Cardinals, finches, and a squirrel trying to get to the suet are all on display.

Jul 29, 8:44am

>48 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. I always like seeing your feeder report. It is a bit damp out there, so nothing much happening at mine.

Jul 29, 9:19am

>47 msf59: 😂😂

Jul 29, 12:18pm

>47 msf59: ...but why should we say "thar she blows"? What if it's time to break the iron grip of storytelling's Procrustean...
...I was reading lit crit a minute ago, sorry...

Jul 29, 6:32pm

>50 drneutron: Grins...

>51 richardderus: As usual, good point, RD. Last of the HOT days. Yah!!

Editado: Jul 29, 6:40pm

^Someone was able to snap off a photo of an electrical storm in downtown Chicago, early this morning. Lightning hitting both the Hancock Building and Willis (Sears) Tower at the same time. Wow!

Jul 29, 9:11pm

Yikes Mark! These electrical storms are quite dangerous. We had quite a downpour this afternoon. Earlier this morning, i noted that the plants needed watering, so I am glad the storm took care of that.

I think of you whenever I see various birds at the feeder. I haven't seen a lot of goldfinches this summer. Have you? I know they travel in pairs. Do you have any suggestions for bringing them to the feeder, or to the flowers. Previously, they seemed to like the butterfly bushes.

Jul 29, 10:04pm

>38 msf59:. Did you take this? It is glorious!

Jul 29, 11:49pm

>53 msf59: Very cool shot, Mark! Thanks for sharing--it's been so long since I've been downtown, I wonder if I'll recognize it.

Jul 30, 12:18am

Happy belated birthday and happy new thread, Mark. >53 msf59: Was there rain or just lightning? Lately there has been mainly lightning in BC with very little rain which is why there are so many wildfires.

Editado: Jul 30, 7:17am

>54 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. Great to see you. We had thunderstorms a couple nights in a row, nothing hazardous but it is always good to get the rain. I have also not seen many goldfinches at my feeders, these past few weeks but I see them regularly on my walks, so they are around. If you don't have a finch-feeder put up, do so. You fill it with nijer seed (thistle). They love it. I never see them at any other feeder.

>55 mahsdad: No, I did not, Jeff but it is a helluva shot. This photographer must snap off continuous shots ,until you can snag a gem like this one.

>56 kac522: Hi, Kathy. Good to see you. I hope you are having a fine summer.

>57 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. These latest thunderstorms included rain, which we could always use and I love it when it rains through the night and doesn't not interrupt my walks in the morning. Grins...

Jul 30, 9:56am

Happy (sort-of) new thread, Mark and belated birthday.

I have a couple of Matt Haig books sitting in Mt. TBR. I will get to them eventually. Right now, I am working my way through 3 library books, all non-fiction.

Nothing to report on the birding front, because, as you know, my feeder is on hiatus, thank to the *** pigeons. Maybe in the fall... I did see some hawks circling over a field when I was travelling home from Montreal. It was through the train window, though, too far and too fast for me to identify them, other than that they must have been hawks of some sort (large, dark, slow).

I bet you are counting the days till you gain a new name (Grandpa)!! ;-)

Jul 30, 10:05am

Good morning, Mark. Are you birding today? At least we're getting some heat relief.

Have you ever read Ross King? I like his NF. I just started his Bookseller of Florence, about books and the Renaissance.

It's a workout day, darn it. Maybe he'll go easy on us (unlikely),

Jul 30, 10:23am

Mark, I'm very close to being DONE with the Cubs--trading Rizzo!?!?!

Jul 30, 10:26am

>53 msf59: Wow.

Stay safe this weekend, Mark and have some great reading time.

Jul 30, 10:33am

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you.

>53 msf59: Amazing photo.

Jul 30, 2:21pm

Hey there Birddude, hoping you're on the trail of a lifer and enjoying the more-pleasant outdoors. We had a helluva storm last night and it's a pleasant enough 83° today...unlike poor Katie, we had no flooding. (Takes a lot more to get the North Atlantic to come to your door than it does a river...but the visit's more, um, life-changing.)

Jul 30, 4:44pm

>59 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Good to see you. I may be done with Haig...Just sayin'. Any of those NF titles worth warbling about? Yep, we are getting very excited about our upcoming arrival.

>60 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe. How is the birthday boy doing? You picked a good one. It is beautiful today. I hope you survived the workout. I have not read Mr. King. How is Bookseller of Florence?

>61 kac522: I have pretty much given up on the Cubs before the Rizzo trade, Kathy. They have been pretty terrible.

Jul 30, 4:53pm

>62 PaulCranswick: Happy Weekend, Paul. We plan on doing some socializing, along with some book time. I hope to get out on the trails every day too.

>63 karenmarie: Happy Friday, Karen.

>64 richardderus: It was a beautiful morning on the trail, Richard. Zero humidity, with a fresh breeze. No lifers, but did snag a cuckoo, an osprey and a thrasher, nearly 30 species. Glad you are enjoying cooler temps too.

Jul 30, 5:12pm

Editado: Jul 30, 5:13pm

-Clay Jones

Jul 30, 6:16pm

>68 msf59:, >67 msf59: Both just hilarious!

Yay for seeing 30 different birbs.

Jul 30, 8:38pm

Happy new one!

Jul 30, 9:45pm

Mark - today's MACANUDO comic strip has another heartwarming book one if you are in that mood.

Jul 30, 10:28pm

>69 richardderus: Hey, RD. Glad you like the comics. I will try to beat 30 sp tomorrow but it won't be easy.

>70 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Figs. Good to see you.

>71 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I had not heard of MACANUDO or the author. I will look into it.

Jul 31, 8:09am

"Gordo is set in a migrant workers camp near Watsonville, California in the 1970s. Written with balance and poise, Cortez braids together elegant and inviting stories about life on a California camp, in essence redefining what all-American means."

Jaime Cortez is a Chicano graphic novelist, visual artist, writer, teacher, and performer. Cortez is also known for his role as an LGBT rights activist. This is his first story collection. I managed to grab a e-galley of Gordo a couple of months ago. It will be published in August. I decided to start it today.

I am continuing to really enjoy my audio of Yellow Bird. I listen to it mostly when I am driving.

Jul 31, 10:29am

Happy Saturday to you, Mark!

I've got lots of bird activity right now - finches, chickadees, cardinals, and hummingbirds.

Jul 31, 11:21am

>73 msf59: You are in for a treat with Gordo! Happy birding.

Editado: Jul 31, 12:25pm

>74 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Hooray for busy feeders. Enjoy. They have been chowing down on my bird food too.

>75 richardderus: Hey, RD. I did not realize you had read and enjoyed Gordo. Great. I am starting it soon...

Jul 31, 9:46pm

Hello, my friend! Hopeless behind here, but at least I am HERE! : ) Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Jul 31, 9:47pm

Hey, Bub. You're an Erik Larsen fan, as I recall. Did you know he's written a fiction piece. A ghost story. To be published in late September, exclusively on audio, read by British actor Julian Rhind-Tutt. Here's the link:

Jul 31, 11:38pm

Hi Mark. I see that I missed your birthday earlier this month (and on your prior thread). Happy belated one!

It is so hot and smoky here and I know you've been having a heat wave, as well. I am ready for September and rain!!!

Gordo looks interesting. I have not been familiar with Jaime Cortez so I'll be interested in how you like that short story collection. I know you are also reading Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel. You know I love her and I really enjoyed that decade-by-decade memoir. She and I are one month apart in age so I feel like her life soundtrack and mine map pretty tightly. She is more talented than I am, though. :-D

Ago 1, 7:21am

>77 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! It is so good to see you. We miss our pal around here. I hope you are having a nice weekend too.

>78 weird_O: Howdy, Bill. I am a Larsen fan and that is very interesting info. I would love to see what he could do with some fiction.

>79 EBT1002: Hi ,Ellen. Good to see you. We have cooled off nicely here and it will continue though most of next week. Yah! Good luck with your smoky heat. I am really enjoying Gordo. I think you will hear more about this collection and this author, in the coming weeks. Yep, like I mentioned, I am loving Secret to Superhuman Strength. Another gem by Bechdel. Glad to hear you have parallels in your lives. Very cool.

Editado: Ago 1, 7:37am

Happy August everyone! As usual summer is flying by. This is going to be a very special month for our family and we can not wait. I am also fast-approaching the end of my first year in retirement. Where the heck did it go? That said, I am loving every minute of it.

I am due a lightning round, which I hope to get to later today. I clocked in 12 books in July. This will probably be my new norm. Only 4 off the shelf. Always like to do better there. My favorites were Joe & The Old Ways.

Ago 1, 8:16am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you. Congrats on reading 12 books in July, congrats on coming up to the end of your first year of retirement.

Ago 1, 10:43am

>81 msf59: Well, it's hard to imagine you could miss this supremely packed year! Plus your first grandchild, what a cherry on this sundae.

Hoping for some more Lifers for your first-retired-birding-year glory.

Ago 1, 12:15pm

>82 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. It has been a special year. I have a feeling there will be many more of these.

>83 richardderus: Hey, RD. Hooray for "a cherry on this sundae"! We can't wait. Thanks for the Lifer encouragement, but as I approach 300 species, these are getting harder to come by, especially locally. I will have to take more trips.

Editado: Ago 1, 12:49pm

82) The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories by Mariana Enriquez 3.8 stars

This is another solid collection of stories from, Enriquez, set in contemporary Argentina. She is a good writer but she does possess a dark, twisted sensibility, so keep that in mind.

83) Patience & Esther: An Edwardian Romance by SW Searle 4 stars

A same sex romance in Edwardian England? A GN, with steamy illustrations? If this interests you, give this delightful romp a go, but if you have a prudish bone in your body, you might want to skip it. Thanks to Joe for the recommendation. He loves steamy. Grins…

84) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford 4.2 stars

Set in Seattle, over two different timelines, the mid-80s and early 40s, Henry Lee looks back on his Chinese childhood, during wartime and his friendship with a Japanese girl, who, along with her family were “evacuated” and sent to an internment camp. I am glad I finally got to this one. He is a talented storyteller.

*This one was part of my OTS Challenge. Thanks to the folks who recommended it.

85) The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 3.4 stars

Nora Seed is in her mid-30s and is considering ending her “going nowhere” life. She is given an opportunity through a magical library, to try out alternative lives that she may have taken. There are some interesting moments here but it fell a bit flat for me, slipping dangerously close to Mitch Albom territory. Mild shudder...I know others have enjoyed it, including my daughter and SIL, so if you still want to read it, go for it.

Ago 1, 6:19pm

-Green Heron.

Sadly, I have had very few opportunities to take any photos lately, even when I am seeing plenty of birds. For instance today, I spotted many Eastern Bluebirds & red-headed woodpeckers and could not get a single shot off.
This cooperative green heron I discovered on Friday morning, gave me limited access. I hope I get better chances.

Ago 1, 6:28pm

>86 msf59: What an interesting character he is Mark.

I'm currently reading and enjoying Migrations which I have a feeling I might first have read about on your thread?

Ago 1, 6:30pm

You have some real excitement coming your way Mark. When that grandchild arrives, well, I'll just say....mind blown lol.

Ago 1, 7:45pm

>86 msf59: Interestingly strange bird.

Ago 1, 9:17pm

>87 Caroline_McElwee: >89 quondame: Green herons breed here through the summer. They are still pretty secretive, so not always easy to spot. There were at least 4 others in this spot, so I am guessing a few were offspring.

>87 Caroline_McElwee: I hope you enjoy Migrations as much as I did, Caroline.

>88 brenzi: The countdown truly has begun, Bonnie and we are looking forward to having our "minds blown". Smiles...

Ago 2, 10:48am

>85 msf59: Glad to hear I wasn't alone in not loving The Midnight Library, Mark! It just didn't work for me but I know so many others loved it.

Ago 2, 12:56pm

Good afternoon, Mark. I hope you're enjoying/enjoyed your birding buddy adventure today.

Ago 2, 2:12pm

>90 msf59: I did Mark. Very much.

Ago 2, 3:31pm

>91 vivians: Hi, Vivian. I guess, I find it more surprising how many people love The Midnight Library. I am probably done with Haig.

>92 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. We had a very nice birding buddy adventure this morning.

>93 Caroline_McElwee: Great news, Caroline but I am not at all surprised.

Ago 2, 3:36pm

I hope the new week brings some exciting and interesting reading with a side order of grandparenthood.

Ago 2, 4:07pm

>95 richardderus: Hey, RD. Another big camping trip coming up starting on Thursday. It should be fun. I just finished and adored Gordo, which should be no surprise to you. I think I am going to start The Last Town on Earth. Have you read it?

Ago 2, 4:17pm

-Bill Bramhall

Ago 2, 4:23pm

>97 msf59: ugh

but true!

>96 msf59: No, I haven't read that one yet. It was his first or second book, right? And there was another one about fireflies or something...anyway, I latched onto him with Darktown. I hope you'll enjoy it as least as much as Gordo!

Ago 2, 5:12pm

Hey, buddy. Nice, cool day. Can this really be August in Chicago?

I’m glad that Diane Seuss poetry collection sounded good to you. I’m liking it a lot, and Adriana reads a ton of poetry every year. I’m encouraged that you and Ellen both like The Secret to Superhuman Strength. I’m probably going to have to wait a while for the library to come through.

That isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Midnight Library; in fact, it sounds like what I feared. I’m not going to rush to read it.

Ago 2, 6:39pm

>98 richardderus: Yes, this is Mullen's debut and I have had it on shelf for several years. I loved his Darktown books.

>99 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I agree, August is starting off beautifully. It probably won't last but we will enjoy it while it lasts. I will request that Seuss collection. When you warble about poetry, I listen. I am truly loving the Bechdel memoir. I am sure you will too. Others have enjoyed The Midnight Library, so you make the call.

Editado: Ago 2, 6:45pm

"Set against the backdrop of one of the most virulent epidemics that America ever experienced-the 1918 flu epidemic-Thomas Mullen's powerful, sweeping first novel is a tale of morality in a time of upheaval. Inspired by a little-known historical footnote regarding towns that quarantined themselves during the 1918 epidemic, "The Last Town on Earth" is a remarkably moving and accomplished debut."

I have read 4 of Mullen's novels and I particularly liked his Darktown books. For some reason I have not read his debut, even though it has languished on shelf for a number of years. I just started it. It looks like this would make a good companion piece to The Pull of the Stars, which I have not read yet but hopefully will soon.
Has anyone read the Mullen?

Ago 2, 10:06pm

I haven't read any Mullen, Mark, but I have Last Town on Earth and the first two Darktown books on my shelves/Kindle.

Ago 3, 4:10am

Fast moving thread, Mark! I'm out of breath keeping up with it. Starting form here (again)

Ago 3, 7:28am

>102 katiekrug: Well, then you are all ready for Mullen, Katie. I also enjoyed The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers but I definitely suggest starting with Darktown.

>103 connie53: Sorry, for knocking the breath out of you, Connie. If you skip, you probably won't miss much.

Ago 3, 7:32am

^Green herons seem to be everywhere lately. We clocked in at least 8 yesterday and that was in just one location. Here, I was able to capture a green heron snacking on a frog. The frog blends in with the background, so it might be tough to see. Funny, as another heron approached, he gobbled down the frog whole.

Ago 3, 7:45am

>104 msf59: I would miss all the extraordinary pictures.

Ago 3, 8:33am

>106 connie53: Well, thanks, Connie. I will keep sharing when I can.

Ago 3, 8:44am

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you!

>97 msf59: If I really let myself think about it, I’d be crazed with rage at the gang of psychos. But I’m trying to maintain as low-stress a lifestyle as possible. No hyperventilating, no throwing things…

>98 richardderus: The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers. I loved it. I’ve had The Last Town On Earth on my shelves since 2012. I’ve also got the first two in the Darktown series, but haven’t felt the inclination to open them yet.

>105 msf59: Love it.

Ago 3, 11:41am

>105 msf59: Isn't that odd that there are so many green herons around...wonder if they're entering a hungry time and so aren't being as careful as they were before?

Whatever the reason it's nice that you're able to get such glam-shots on the regular. Have a lovely day's loafing!

Editado: Ago 3, 11:57am

Good morning, Mark! What a beaut.

I particularly liked Mullen’s Darktown books, and also thought Firefly Brothers was good. I look forward to your take on this one when you’re done.

I’m still enjoying the Diane Seuss collection. Great birthday pick by Adri. Unfortunately, The Bookseller of Florence has long tedious stretches of unnecessary detail. I wish he’d stuck more to the main story and loved all his research less.

Great news that Simone Biles was able to perform and even medaled. What a special woman she is.

Editado: Ago 3, 2:01pm

>108 karenmarie: "I’d be crazed with rage at the gang of psychos." I think we are all on the brink of feeling that way, Karen. It never lets up. I hope I can nudge you into finally reading The Last Town On Earth. It is actually pretty timely.

>109 richardderus: Hey, RD. My uneducated guess on the green herons, is that they have been busy producing offspring and and we are discovering the fruits of their labor. This seems to be happening with all birds at the moment. I have never seen this many young birds, since I started birding. I think getting out regularly is making me more aware.

>110 jnwelch: Hey, Joe. Glad to hear from another Mullen fan. I am wondering if Mullen will continue the Darktown series? Sorry to hear that The Bookseller of Florence has faltered for you. But hooray for Biles! A real super-hero!

Editado: Ago 3, 2:12pm

^We get house finch at our feeders all the time but they rarely pose this pretty. This striking male, is from my forest preserve walk from yesterday.

Ago 3, 2:22pm

>112 msf59: What a handsome beast!

You're probably right about the baby-making. After all, 'tis the reason for the season.

I'm a little shocked at how many good books came out today. I've published a review of one, have one set for tomorrow, and one on Friday that I'm finishing up the a thriller by a Venezualan reporter that I'm liking more than I expected and wondering when to bookhorn onto my blog.

Such problems! Poor, poor pitiful me. *happy sigh*

Editado: Ago 3, 6:30pm

>113 richardderus: Hopefully those new books that you have been reading are worth warbling about. I think Gordo should be in that mix. Looking forward to hearing more about that Venezualan thriller.

Ago 3, 7:47pm

>105 msf59: Great action picture Marc! And I see now why it is called a green heron, more of a green shine, but it is there.

The Last Town on Earth sounds interesting.

Ago 3, 8:27pm

Erik Larsen is the hook again, Mark. But the pitch is for a disaster book he didn't write. The journalist who DID write it, John U. Bacon, has done a remarkable job, laying out the background, describing the scene, sharing vignettes about many of the hundreds of people impacted, explaining just what happened, why, and how.You should read it. The Great Halifax Explosion.

Ago 4, 5:32am

>105 msf59: Lovely picture, Mark, looks very different from >86 msf59:. Male and female?

Editado: Ago 4, 7:28am

>115 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. It all depends on the light, when viewing the green herons. Sometimes the green really stands out and other times it is more muted. The color is really interesting. I notice the same thing with the great blue herons. The Last Town on Earth is off to a good start.

>116 weird_O: Thanks, Bill. Funny, I had The Great Halifax Explosion on my radar for several years and then forgot about it. I think it would be perfect for audio.

>117 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I have no idea about the gender of herons or egrets. The differences must be very subtle. A couple of these could also be immature birds. Who knows.

Ago 4, 8:42am

Hi Mark, and happy Wednesday.

I tagged The Last Town on Earth with ‘2021 read’ to keep it in the mix. We’ll see.

>112 msf59: Excellent photo of a beautiful bird. They drain my feeders but I like watching them.

Ago 4, 9:25am

Waving hello

Ago 4, 12:41pm

>119 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I will keep you in mind once I finish The Last Town on Earth. The house finch drain my feeders too. My most consistent visitor.

>120 labfs39: Big Waves back, Lisa!

Ago 4, 11:48pm

Hi Mark! Looks like some great birding.

Ago 5, 7:29am

>122 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda. I have been getting out regularly and it has been great, with fall migration right around the corner. Yah!

Ago 5, 7:34am

-Joe Heller

Ago 5, 8:08am

Good morning, Mark! Happy Thursday. Somebody - most likely a raccoon - pulled down my hummingbird feeder yesterday. I just noticed it, and now I need to make some more sugar water, clean the backup feeder, and open up hummingbird restaurant again. Looks like oil/cayenne for the pole again. I'm going to buy hot pepper suet today on Amazon.

Ago 5, 8:14am

>125 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Sorry to hear about the hummingbird feeder. How are they able to knock it down? Climbing?

Ago 5, 8:18am

^Devil's Lake State Park, WI.

We are getting ready to shove off for our camping trip. We have never camped here but it looks absolutely beautiful. There is a large group going and it should be a blast. Plus, this is our first adventure in the new truck, although I wish we were towing a camper, instead of tenting it. Our target is early next year.

My LT time will be very limited, so bear with me.

Ago 5, 8:35am

Have a great trip, Mark. I am not inclined towards camping, but that looks like a gorgeous place.

Ago 5, 8:41am

Safe travels, Mark, and have a great time!

Ago 5, 8:59am

>128 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura. We would much rather be in a camper than in a tent but this should be a fun trip. The birding and hiking is supposed to be good too. Yah!

>129 scaifea: Thanks, Amber.

Ago 5, 10:02am

Safe travels, Mark!

Ago 5, 10:37am

>127 msf59: Oo, pretty! I hope that's typical of the scenery because, well, just *imagine* how wonderful the photos on your thread will be!

*hint hint*

Ago 5, 10:41am

Morning, Mark! Wishing you safe travels and a grand adventure.

Ago 5, 11:05am

I hope you have a wonderful camping adventure, Mark. That scenery is breathtaking, but I need a real bed at the end of the day!

I share your lukewarm attitude toward Haig. I will never forgive him for titling a novel The Radleys, and having it turn out NOT to be about Boo's backstory. I'll give The Midnight Library a pass. I have been waiting for a new entry in the Darktown series, and I see that Midnight Atlanta is coming out later this month!

Ago 5, 1:11pm

Have a good to great time spending a few days in nature. I have camping memories good and pretty awful. I won't dredge that hollow. Be safe and have fun. And remember that if there are no photos, it didn't happen.

Ago 5, 1:56pm

Have a great adventure, Mark. I miss camping! (and I never had a trailer, only tents)

Ago 5, 3:12pm

That looks like a gorgeous spot!

Ago 5, 6:36pm

>73 msf59: I am continuing to really enjoy my audio of Yellow Bird.
This one looks like it could be a sad read filled with injustices.

>101 msf59: I certainly like the sound of it!

>127 msf59: wow, looks amazing! Have a great time :)

Ago 5, 6:41pm

>127 msf59: Oh that looks lovely Mark. Have fun!

Ago 5, 7:15pm

>127 msf59: Hi MARK - we talked a long while back about making Devil's Lake a destination vacation!

My suggestion was to read or bring along (or maybe they sell copies at the store)
A Natural History of Devil's Lake State Park Wisconsin by Kenneth Lange.

It is packed with way cool wondrous rock, plant, water, animal and BIRD stuff.

Ago 6, 1:22am

Have fun, you devil you!! What a beautiful place. : )

Ago 6, 8:54am

Greetings from Baraboo, WI. We have not ventured out much further than our campsites, so mostly setting up and socializing with our friends. We have a group hike planned for later this morning.

Thanks for the visits everyone. I only have my cell so posting is not easy. I will try to catch up later...

Ago 6, 8:56am

Hi Mark! Have a wonderful time with friends and nature.

Ago 6, 12:29pm

Sounds to me like you are doing REAL camping. Camping in an RV or a towed RV is Glamping to me. You are being real hard core when you use a tent. Way to Go!!!

Ago 6, 2:37pm

Are you going to visit the circus museum? Enjoy the fleshpots of Baraboo.

Ago 7, 3:21pm

>124 msf59:. 👍

>127 msf59:. 😲. Looks beautiful!

Looks on FB like you’re having a good time, buddy. What a location, with plenty of pals.

We’re keeping an eye on Downers Grove for you. We’ve asked the kids there to clean up before you get back.

Debbi and Becca LOVED The House in the Cerulean Sea, so that’s next up for me. Did you read that one?

Ago 7, 3:37pm

Happy travels Mark.

Ago 8, 4:28pm

>146 jnwelch:
There is lots of libraryland love for House in the Cerulean Sea. I have a copy of it in the library so maybe I should get to it when I get back.

Editado: Ago 8, 8:23pm

Sadly, I did not take any outdoorsy photos (no birdies either) on this trip but we did hike the West Bluff Trail and much of it felt like going uphill on rocky terrain. The views made it all worth it, though. Easily, the most beautiful place we have ever camped at.

Ago 8, 8:37pm

We had to come home a day early from the camping trip. No, it wasn't an unexpected call from Bree with wonderful news but the weather just would not cooperate and when you are tenting it, it is quite a challenge. Storms rolled through at different times Friday and Saturday. There were severe warnings on our phones continuously, although nothing serious materialized. Our tent stayed dry, thanks to Sue's diligence but when we I woke up this morning, everything was splattered with mud. One of our food coolers, was secured under a picnic bench seat but somehow one stubborn raccoon managed to snake a paw inside and draw a plastic bag with out our cooked eggs out of it, (my breakfast) chewed through it and chowed down a portion of it. The cooler was also covered with slugs, inside and out. Sue nearly fainted. It was also incredibly humid. We cleaned everything off the best we could and packed everything back in the truck. They were expecting another round of storms later on, so a few of us met at a local brewery for lunch and then we took off. All in all, a good trip but
we can't wait to get our camper. We were the only one tenting it.

Editado: Ago 8, 8:47pm

>131 katiekrug: >132 richardderus: >133 Crazymamie: Thanks, Katie, RD & Mamie. We had a good time.

>134 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda. It was a good time. In regards to Haig- I liked The Radleys but I think I am done with him. Looking forward to the next Darktown book, though.

>135 weird_O: Hey, Bill. We did get photos in a distillery and a brewery. Does that count?

>136 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley & Mary.

>138 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. I think you would like Yellow Bird. I still have a long way to go with The Last Town on Earth, so no verdict on that one yet.

>139 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie.

Editado: Ago 8, 9:02pm

>140 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I will return to Baraboo and the Driftless Area. I missed a lot. We socialized more than anything on this trip. I want to check out the International Crane Foundation. Have you been there?

>141 Berly: >143 karenmarie: Thanks, Kim & Karen.

>144 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita but this will be one of our lasts trip camping in a tent. As we are aging, we are losing our taste for it, plus all our friends have a camper. Yes, it may be "glamping" but we still can enjoy the outdoors with a few amenities. What does that hurt?

>145 richardderus: I am not a huge fan of circuses, RD but I think it might have been interested. We visited no fleshpot establishments, (the wives were with us) but we did hit a distillery and a brewery. We especially liked the former.

>146 jnwelch: Happy Sunday, Joe. Thanks for watching things at our homestead. Much appreciated. I have not read The House in the Cerulean Sea. I will watch for your thoughts.

>147 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline.

Ago 9, 7:51am

Sorry you had to cut your trip short, Mark, but I can't say I blame you. Hope today treats you well!

Ago 9, 8:03am

>153 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. It is supposed to be rainy here today too, and we had planned to set up the tent in the yard, and clean and dry it out. More book time, I guess...

Ago 9, 8:41am

‘Morning, Mark. It’s awfully quiet around here when you’re away.

>150 msf59: Weather, raccoons, and slugs would have sent me home, too. Poor Sue. I hope you can get your camper sooner than later.

>152 msf59: If I had the choice between a camper and a tent guess which one I'd choose...

>154 msf59: We camped when I was little, with Army surplus tent, cots, and sleeping bags and Coleman everything else. Camping in southern California rarely meant rain, and Dad was always able to make sure that our camping gear was perfect at the end of each trip ready for the next trip. I hope you can work on the tent sometime this week.

Ago 9, 8:43am

Morning Mark! Glad you got to experience a bit of the beautiful Dells area. Just wish the weather and such would have cooperated more with you. ICF is a must the next time you visit, as Aldo Leopold's shack. I bet that camper will be a welcome addition!

Really enjoying Diary of a Young Naturalist. Too bad it is back to work today for me.

Ago 9, 8:45am

>149 msf59: >150 msf59: love the photos. Sounds like you made the right decision to head home Mark. Crafty critters stealing your brekkie is a bit cheeky.

Ago 9, 8:59am

Sorry you had to cut your trip short, Mark, but it sounds like the smart thing to do.

Ago 9, 9:27am

>152 msf59: Yes, Mark, many years ago to lovely Crane Foundation and deep thank you to George Archibald.

Hope you find the Devil's Lake book soon - you will not be disappointed by this old Classic and it will revive good memories of your visit!

Ago 9, 9:28am

>155 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I think we have one more camping trip set for October. Hopefully, this will be the last time we tent it. If there is any indication of rain during that time, we will probably cancel. It sounds like your Dad was well organized, during your camping days. That sure comes in handy.

>156 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I really want to get back up there and visit the International Crane Foundation. It sounds wonderful and explore other places too. Good friends of ours stayed at a motel in Baraboo and visited with us throughout the weekend. It was tough to get away. I am so glad you loved Diary of a Young Naturalist but not at all surprised.

Editado: Ago 9, 9:35am

>157 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Those are stock photos. I didn't even take my camera on the hike, with the low cloud cover, taking a good photo would have been tough. Yep, those crafty critters can be a challenge.

>158 katiekrug: Morning, Katie. We could have stayed with friends in a camper last night but we don't have a cover for the new truck yet and it would have been hard to keep things dry back there, even with a tarp.

>159 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I will try to track that Devil's Lake book down and I hope to get back up there to visit the ICF. Not familiar with Archibald.

Ago 9, 10:03am

>149 msf59: Beautiful!

Welcome back, buddy. Sorry the weather didn't cooperate more, but wow what a beautiful place to spend time in.

At least this morning you didn't have to battle a raccoon for you breakfast. As you say, it's good reading weather here. I'm keeping Diary of a young Naturalist in mind; I'll keep you posted on Cerulean Sea.

Editado: Ago 9, 10:39am

I love Hard Core Camping but like you, I am getting old enough that the thought of a nice bed really appeals to me. I like hotels because they have less environmental impact than does an RV. That said, I also like the idea of an RV. Taking your home with you is a very nice thought. Lots of freedom that comes with that.

I always amazes me how many really beautiful sites are so close to home and are so unknown. I have been spending a portion of every morning on my mother's deck watching the sun come up and, since it is a depopulated area, the quiet in the morning is just great. I have an old copy of Aldo Leopold's book, that was given to me by a neighbor who is long ago part of the Kansas prairie that I should read. Same person also gave me a copy of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek that I haven't read. I often find myself chastising myself for all of the classics that I have NOT read. I need to get to some of these.

Deadly Wandering is a really good book. I got my ARC at one of the ALA conference's and am wishing that I had read it back then. It is full of information about attention science and how our brains work while using these digital devices. Turns out one of the world's experts on attention science works here at KU. (University of Kansas). I think that I will NOT charge up the cell phone when I leave here and I try to use it only when I am stopped at rest stops.

Editado: Ago 9, 11:45am

>161 msf59: Mark - just click on George's name in #159 above!

Just checked and they have a copy of the Devil's Lake book for twelve bucks - and claim it is in fine condition.

Ago 9, 12:05pm

Hi Marc Sorry to hear your camping trip turned out so rainy. You are right, a camper is the thing. What i love about a tent is being able to see the stars and hearing all nature sounds. But the drawbacks especially when it's raining can get too much. Liked your raccoon story.

Ago 9, 3:01pm

Yeah, we've had our share of yucky-weather tent camping - no fun at all. Haven't been raided by a raccoon, though!

Editado: Ago 9, 3:05pm

>162 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. We are glad to be back and now have the whole day to put things back in order. Unfortunately, Sue is working on her day off. I am doing what I can and squeezing in some reading here and there. I would like to hear your thoughts on Diary of a young Naturalist.

>163 benitastrnad: Staying in either a camper or a tent, we will spend most of our time enjoying the outdoors. The only time you are inside is either sleeping or avoiding the rain, so why not be comfortable when you do so. I remember enjoying Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, when I read it a number of years ago. I wasn't as thrilled with her fiction though.

Ago 9, 3:10pm

>164 m.belljackson: Thanks for the heads-up, Marianne. I am going to see if I can find it through my library system first.

>165 EllaTim: I like the idea of looking up at the stars too, Ella but we were under some trees and it was mostly cloudy, so no luck there. We were able to enjoy a couple of campfires though.

>166 drneutron: Hey, Jim. Watching our friends comfortably take refuge in their campers, is a big selling point. Fortunately, one of our friends has a big enough camper, that we were able to stay in there and play games, while it rained.

Ago 9, 4:40pm

>149 msf59: Gorgeous...but the weather woes! I'm hoping that camper arrives sooner rather than later. Though the blasted humidity wouldn't've been helped by it...dratted climate change! Screwing up perfectly gorgeous vacations! *grumble*

Better luck, and reading mojo, for the week ahead.

Editado: Ago 10, 7:39am

>159 m.belljackson:, 163

If you haven't been to the ICF recently, you should try to schedule a trip back. I was there 3 weeks ago - they have done major renovations. In addition to the cranes, their native plantings are stunning and they have a beautiful new visitor center.

Also, from experience I can say A Sand County Almanac makes excellent deck reading!

Ago 10, 7:56am

>169 richardderus: Hey, RD. We survived and the enjoyment out-weighed the woes. Everything is packed away in it's proper place and I also managed a large chunk of reading time yesterday. Now, if this heat & humidity moves out, I can get back to my normal birding routine.

>170 alphaorder: I also NEED to return to Baraboo and visit ICF and I really should pick up a copy of A Sand County Almanac, which I know you have warbled about before.

Ago 10, 8:05am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you. Congrats on getting everything put away and getting in some good reading yesterday. Here's to more good reading time today!

I've got some finch and Cardinal visitors and am going to put the hummingbird feeder back out after I wrap myself around some coffee.

Ago 10, 8:26am

>172 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. I always enjoy your feeder report. I have not looked at mine yet but I know I need to replace my suet block. They have been pounding through that.

Editado: Ago 10, 10:36am

I guess you probably guessed I am not a fan of RV's. I think that people that have them should have to pass the same driving tests that truck drivers do. After all, they are driving on the same roads, at the same speeds, with the same size of trailers or vehicles. And that is not even talking about the fuel consumption. I like camping where there are permanent cabins or bunkhouses. Camping should make you glad for the comforts of home after roughing it for a few days. Or it should make you long for the simple life where just doing chores takes all day.

This is why I am in favor of Glamping. I think that there should be more of these kinds of unique setups. That would get people out into nature but have less impact on the environment than driving an 80 foot RV down the road. I know that some people would see this as contradictory and perhaps it is, but there are many examples of responsible glamping adventures that are environmentally responsible.

I am about 40 pages from finishing Deadly Wandering and it is really good. It is a good example of narrative nonfiction. It also does a fair amount of wandering far off the subject of attention science, but it keeps the pace up even if it probably should have been tightened up a bit and made shorter. It is an ARC so maybe there was some editing done before it was published.

It stormed here last night so I expect that you guys got some cooling rain. I won't be in contact for the next couple of days as I will be on the road, so you won't hear from me for a day or two. I hope you can get back to the books now that you are home and have nothing to do!

Editado: Ago 10, 11:48am

>170 alphaorder: Thank you - we would love to get back when pandemic is over (my daughter has 2 immune diseases).

If you are heading back to Devil's Lake, as I wrote to Mark above, A Natural History of Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin
is invaluable. I wish we had read it BEFORE taking our 4th Grade class! (And, again, it is $12 on Abe. A hardcover Classic.)

Sand County rates another reading from my Save Shelves.

Editado: Ago 10, 1:46pm

>174 benitastrnad: Hooray for glamping! We never considered an RV. We also would not like to tow a smaller vehicle behind it. We can't wait to start looking for a camper sometime this winter, especially after attending the outdoor shows. Deadly Wandering sounds good. Thanks. It has been stormy here too but the heat has only intensified.

>175 m.belljackson: Another vote for A Sand County Almanac! Yah!

Ago 11, 7:28am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you.

I am excited - I bought some hot pepper suet and should be able to clean the suet feeder up and put it out today. Take that, squirrels! The hummingbirds are already having breakfast and there are cardinals and finches visiting, too.

Ago 11, 7:41am

>177 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Have you tried one of the enclosed suet feeders? It is one of best bird feeder purchases.

Ago 11, 8:01am

I don't use my bird-feeding station anymore - couldn't see it from my perch in the living room, and the options from my location in the Sunroom don't leave enough room for an enclosed feeder unless I sacrificed the wild bird seed feeder. Birds don't like the wild bird seed as much as the sunflower seed - the sunflower feeder needs to be refilled about 3 times as often - but I like to have it available.

Ago 11, 8:26am

>179 karenmarie: Thanks for the clarification, Karen. I hope that hot suet keeps those pesty squirrels at bay.

Editado: Ago 11, 8:29am

-Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (you don't see many contributing female cartoonists. I wonder why. I know there are plenty out there).

Ago 11, 10:28am

Happy Wednesday, Mark. I'm enjoying that cerulean Sea book; I'm a little intrigued and surprised that Debbi and Becca liked it so much. It's fantasy, and that's not usually the cuppa for either of them.

The Diane Seuss collection continues to be excellent. I told Adri I seem to be tabbing every one of the poems with a post-it.

I'm about to start Yours, Cheerfully, the sequel to the charming Dear Mrs. Bird.

My GN is Thirsty Mermaids, which has gotten a lot of positive buzz. So far, so good.

I hope your books are going well. Looks like we're in for another weird weather day.

Ago 11, 11:21am

>181 msf59: SOLD!!

Have a happy Humpday's reads, Birddude.

Editado: Ago 11, 11:31am

>182 jnwelch: Happy Wednesday, Joe. Love hearing your book report. In regards to Seuss, I am picking up her collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl: Poems from the library today and have requested her latest. The Pierce books may be a bit "lite" for the dark Warbler. Ooh, Thirsty Mermaids sounds fun. I love getting those GN recs.

>183 richardderus: Happy Wednesday, Richard. Always good to see you. I plan on finishing a couple of books today and now I need to start drawing up a couple of mini-reviews.

Oh yeah- enjoy that hot tub!

Ago 11, 2:04pm

Hi Mark, I am home again and trying to catch up with everyone. I read The Last Town on Earth and really liked it, but the wonderful Darktown is definitely my favorite of his so far. I am looking forward to getting to Lightning Men.

I got home just in time for another really hot spell so I am spending most of my time in front of the air conditioner. I am looking forward to autumn as this heat really takes a lot out of one.

Ago 11, 3:01pm

>182 jnwelch: - Joe, I just bought the new AJ Pearce book this afternoon! Can't wait to reunite with Emmy!

Hi, Mark! ;-)

Ago 11, 3:52pm

>185 DeltaQueen50: Happy Wednesday, Judy. Good to see you. I just finished The Last Town on Earth and I also liked it but the Darktown books are much more enjoyable. You will love Lightning Men. Keep cool, my friend. It is HOT here, as well.

>186 jessibud2: Big waves to Shelley!

Editado: Ago 11, 4:26pm

"A fable of human destiny and decline, enacted in a closed system of intimate, fractured relationships. With its examination of the possibility that art can both save and destroy us, Rachel Cusk's Second Place is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons."

^It looks like I am getting my Rachels mixed up and I am completely sober too. When Second Place showed up on the Booker longlist, I thought this Rachel was Rachel Kushner who I have wanted to read since The Flamethrowers came out, so I immediately requested it from the library. Surprise! Hey, this looks very promising and I always try to read a few of the Booker selections each year, so no harm no fowl. I will start it tomorrow. Are there any Cusk fans out there?

Ago 11, 10:00pm

Hi Mark, I have three Cusks on my shelf, her trilogy, and I plan to read them when I finish with Anita Brookner. I plan on reading Second Place next month. You picked a good year to read some Bookers. The list is excellent this year. I've already read four of them.

As far as camping goes, I'm glad you enjoy it. I always told my hubby that it wasn't a vacation unless you can call room service lol.

Ago 12, 7:41am

>189 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Looking forward to your thoughts on the Cusk trilogy. I will start her latest this morning. I have only read Klara off the Booker list so far, but I am waiting on the Great Circle and I have my sights on a few others, including the new Powers.

Editado: Ago 12, 8:20am

-Ed Himelblau. New Yorker

Ago 12, 8:22am

'Morning, Mark, and a happy Thursday to you! Sorry that the weather is keeping you from your birding adventures, but you do seem to have just a few books on hand to get by...

The hot pepper suet is out, the experiment is on.

Ago 12, 8:41am

>192 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yep, lots of reading got done yesterday, finishing a novel and a GN. These storms keep blowing through too. Another will arrive later. The suspense is building on the HOT SUET...

Editado: Ago 12, 9:21am

86) Gordo by Jaime Cortez 4.4 stars

This wonderful collection of stories, set in a migrant work camp in California, circa 1975, was a joy to read. Gordo, an over-weight Mexican boy, possibly gay is at the center of most of these tales. He is smart and curious but is also taunted and bullied, as he struggles to find his place in the world. A great look at immigrant life in Steinbeck country. This is Cortez’s first shot at fiction and he really nails it.

*Thanks to Edelweiss for supplying me an advanced copy.

88) The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen 3.8 stars

A small mill town, called Commonwealth, nestled in the deep woods of the Pacific Northwest, was constructed as a sanctuary for workers. Housing was included, along with a fair wage. The year was 1918, and the Spanish Flu has been raging, along with the first World War. Commonwealth decides to quarantine itself, setting up guards around the perimeter. This leads to many conflicts with the outside world, along with struggles on the inside. An ambitious first novel. The narrative is not as smooth as Mullen’s later works but I enjoyed this very timely and disturbing story.

Editado: Ago 12, 9:42am

^This is a lovely essay about Barry the Owl, a female barred owl that had taken up residence in Central Park since last October, bringing joy to many lives. Sadly, she died recently, causing an outpouring of love:

Ago 12, 10:55am

>195 msf59: awww, I hadn't heard about Barry's death yet, Mark. That essay is lovely and made me tear up a bit.

Ago 12, 11:59am

>196 lauralkeet: What a perfect send-off, right?

Ago 12, 12:03pm

I finished reading Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel. This book is about one of the first court cases regarding distracted driving and it proved to be full of information about attention science. The book was written in a easy going style and was full of interesting information. The best parts of the book were the parts that were about the court case and about Attention Science.

The book is about a car wreck in Utah in 2007 in which two scientists were killed. They were hit by a teenager who was tailgating a semi-tractor trailer and whose SUV crossed the center line, clipped the oncoming car, causing it to careen into the oncoming traffic lane were it was hit by a heavily loaded pickup pulling a trailer. The teen driver said he had hydroplaned on wet roads. Later investigation showed that he had been texting while driving and he did not remember texting at all. How could that be? That is where the Attention Science part of the book comes into play and the reading becomes fascinating. The author goes back to the beginnings of Attention Science in WWII when scientists tried to figure out why RADAR operators missed so many incoming enemy planes when they plainly showed up on screens.

Once the Utah Highway patrol figured out that the facts of the wreck didn't add up and started investigating, decisions had to be made about how to charge the driver who caused the wreck. Could he be tried? Did any laws currently on the books in Utah apply? Ultimately these questions led to the passage of some of the toughest distracted driving laws in the U. S. by the state of Utah in 2012.

Everybody thinks that they can multitask, but the scientific fact is that we can't. Our brains can only do one thing at a time and the brain selects what is the most important and puts the rest off to deal with later. That is what the science shows. The science is at war with business in this case. As the author points out, Telephone companies deliberately advertised the use of cell phones while driving and did so up until 2015. Cell phone towers were deliberately placed along interstate highways and popular main arterial highways to ensure that there would be few dropped calls. It turns out that even talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous and increases the likelihood of an accident. There is little difference in the statistics of hands free talking on the phone or holding a phone while talking. The author takes the time to explain why, in general, talking to a passenger in the car with you is safer than using a phone - turns out that two pairs of eyes are better than one. The passenger acts as a second set of eyes and alerts the driver of things that they should notice. This book explains how the science, the implement, the driver, and our culture all come together to create a very dangerous situation for those who use cell phones while driving.

This was certainly an eye-opening book, and it will make any conscientious person put the wireless telephone in the trunk of the car each time they get in to drive, but it could have been a much better book than it was. The author gets into the weeds when he starts delving into the personal lives of everybody involved in this particular case and that part of the book gets monotonous. Even so, I think that the topic is so important that it should have many more readers than it seemed to get. If you can find a copy of this book, I would recommend reading it.

Ago 12, 12:07pm

My niece is expecting a baby in September and her friends had a "Book Shower" for her. Everybody sent children's books to her by mail since they couldn't travel to have a baby shower. I haven't seen what all she got, but I just like the idea of a book shower.

Ago 12, 12:54pm

Poor Barry, that's always a sad time when a belovèd figure fails to wake up.

Remember how much I liked Hench? It's on KINDLESALE TODAY! All of $1.99:

Editado: Ago 12, 2:08pm

>198 benitastrnad: >199 benitastrnad: Good review of Deadly Wandering, Benita. Do you post your reviews anywhere or just share them on selective threads? I hope you also do the former.

And hooray for Book Showers! We just put a tall bookshelf in Bree's nursery and should have that filled in no time.

>200 richardderus: Hey, RD. Yep, poor Barry. She was a fine girl and brought joy to many followers. I will check out Hench. Thanks!

ETA- I snagged it!!

Editado: Ago 18, 6:48pm

The Gods Watch Us Through the Window

We sit at the table with the fourth side open.
The perfect family show. Claire belts “Twinkle, Twinkle”,
How I wa wa (mumble) are!
We beam like stars. Isn’t she gifted? Isn’t life great?

What a large target we make.
The great dramas all begin like this:
a surfeit of happiness, a glass-smooth pond
just begging for a stone.

-Beth Ann Fennelly This is from her collection Tender Hooks: Poems, which I just finished. A frank and poignant look at motherhood.

Ago 12, 5:33pm

"Nature's Best Hope advocates for homeowners everywhere to turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats. This home-based approach doesn’t rely on the federal government and protects the environment from the whims of politics."

^Laura put Nature's Best Hope on my radar and I immediately added it to my audio list. After finally finishing Yellow Bird, I am free to start this one.

BTW- Second Place is off to an excellent start.

Ago 12, 8:32pm

>203 msf59: yay! I hope you enjoy Nature's Best Hope, Mark.

Ago 13, 12:18am

>191 msf59: I always thought Mordor was just a bit up the road from Bakersfield. I suspect the Bakersfield folk though pretty much the same about our valley across the Sierras, if they thought of us at all.

Ago 13, 7:18am

>204 lauralkeet: It is off to a good start, Laura.

>205 quondame: Hi, Susan. Good to see you. Thanks for chiming in on the Mordor/Bakersfield connection. Grins...

Editado: Ago 13, 7:29am

^The nursery. Bree's MIL and SIL painted the mural. I thought they did an impressive job. We installed the bookshelf yesterday. Can't wait to fill up that bad boy!

Of course, those are baby clothes hanging on the edge of the crib.

Ago 13, 8:03am

Morning, Mark!

Aw, that baby room is adorable! I love the mural!

Ago 13, 8:12am

>208 scaifea: Thanks, Amber! They did a lovely job. I like the idea of my grandson sleeping in the mountains.

Editado: Ago 13, 8:12am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you.

I love the nursery, and of course there are baby clothes hanging on the edge of the crib. It's a wonderful time, anticipating the new baby.

edited to add: I must have missed the news that it's a boy. Yay.

Ago 13, 8:32am

The nursery looks terrific! Like Karen, I must have missed the gender reveal party LOL. It won't be long now before you're cuddling that little one. So exciting!

Ago 13, 8:40am

>210 karenmarie: >211 lauralkeet: Morning, Karen & Laura. Yep, the excitement is building. He will have his own closet too and it is all ready filled with his little outfits. Smiles...Of course, I saw Bree yesterday too. I think she looks beautiful but she feels like a beached whale.

Ago 13, 8:41am

>207 msf59: It won't be long Mark. I'm sure your hand will be first up when it's time for bedtime stories.

Editado: Ago 13, 8:46am

What a beautiful mural! One that will grow with him as he leaves babyhood behind, too.

You know that board books are the best for small babies, since most everything finds its way to their mouths. And, since they are dog lovers, you know that Good Dog, Carl is a must, as one of the first to fill the shelves. Just saying... ;-) In fact, my cousin's daughter is expecting in November and I am in the process of preparing a book basket for them, myself....(they are dog and book lovers, too!)

Poor Bree. It can't be fun to be so close to the end in this heat. Soon, soon...

Ago 13, 9:01am

>207 msf59: Loooks lovely, Mark, the nursery feels like a warm welcome to this world.

Editado: Ago 13, 10:35am

>200 richardderus: Sold!

>207 msf59: What a beautiful job they did. He's a lucky guy.

Happy Friday, Mark! I might skip everything to finish House in the Cerulean Sea. It's got me hooked.

That Beth Ann Fennelly poem is excellent. Are the rest in Tender Hooks that good?

Hope you've got a good weekend ahead of you, buddy.

Ago 13, 10:51am

>207 msf59: How beautiful! What a lovely choice of subject. I'm so glad for the kid's future that there's a giant pod of love all around!

Have fun at the shore. Those pesky shorebirds all adopted such similar camouflage...darn them!

Ago 13, 11:06am

Morning, Mark! I love the nursery mural and the color of the crib. Fun times!

Ago 13, 12:05pm

Great stuff, Mark. Like the mountains. Are they local? *snerk*

Knew a guy who lived in Champaign, worked for the University. He liked to say he lived in the foothills of Mt. Level.

Ago 13, 1:13pm

>213 Caroline_McElwee: You know, I can't wait to read to my grandson, Caroline. I may be a bit out of practice. It has been nearly 30 years.

>214 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. It is a lovely mural. I will have to ask Bree who picked it out or if it was a joint effort. I will take note of Good Dog, Carl. Sounds like a good addition.

>215 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. We are excited.

Ago 13, 1:22pm

>216 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe. I grabbed Hench too. Sounds like my cuppa. Yes, they did a wonderful job on the mural. He will be happy. I will add House in the Cerulean Sea to the list, after that much warbling.

Yes, Tender Hooks: Poems is a terrific collection, with just enough edge to keep me happy. I will seek her out again.

>217 richardderus: Hey, RD. Hooray for giant pods of love! This kid will have be mobbed with that. Migrating shorebirds can be found everywhere. I do not have to travel to the "shore". They can easily be found on mudflats or shorelines, on any pond, fluddle or marshy area. With all our recent rain, it has made it a bit difficult.

>218 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! Happy Friday.

>219 weird_O: Hey, Bill. These mountains look like the Tetons. Far, far away from us, but I hope this inspires the little guy to love and respect the great outdoors. Mt. Level has it's own charms but I also like Mt. Rugged, now and then.

Ago 13, 1:23pm

-Harry Bliss

Ago 13, 1:47pm

Hi Mark! I have Nature's Best Hope home from the library, too, although it will still be a bit before I begin reading it.

Of course I love the nursery mural (wow! on the talent) and I'm glad you've added the most important piece of furniture, the bookshelf.

Your camping trip looks absolutely gorgeous. Do you have a particular style of camper in mind? Have you started window shopping for one? (Think how lovely lovely lovely it will be in a few years to share your camping adventures with a grandchild!)

Ago 13, 1:50pm

>207 msf59: That is a beautiful space, just waiting for a sparkling little fella to bring it alive. All sympathy for Bree in these last days...

Ago 13, 1:58pm

What a beautiful mural and lovely crib for new baby's room. It is such exciting times for you and your family. Look forward to hearing your news.

Ago 13, 2:09pm

Hi Mark - Everything's so Perfect in the room up there, just waiting for the Sweet Baby smells!


Re: Northern Wisconsin mystery author = Except for The Hillermans and Nevada Barr,
I avoid mysteries that cause nightmares...this author sounds pretty mild.
Maybe he will set one at Devil's Lake or Horicon.

(Real Life mysteries are tough enough = I can't read the memoir Torn Lilacs at night:
incredibly well written, but terrifying.)

Ago 13, 4:48pm

>201 msf59:
I posted that review to your thread in hopes you would succumb to the warbling and read the book. Or at least put it on your bookshelf.

Editado: Ago 13, 5:26pm

>223 streamsong: Hi, Janet. Always good to see you. Nature's Best Hope is an easy, quick informative read. Yes, we have a very good idea about the camper we want, including the floor plan. That seems to be our biggest need. This will be a medium-sized camper that sleeps us comfortably and 2 guests, semi-comfortably. Of course, a bathroom is a Must!

>224 laytonwoman3rd: Happy Friday, Linda. I can't wait to hold that " sparkling little fella".

>225 mdoris: Hi, Mary. They did a fine job on the nursery, now to fill it with that bundle of joy.

>226 m.belljackson: I can't wait for those Sweet Baby smells, Marianne. I might give that WI mystery author a try.

>227 benitastrnad: You have worked your magic, Benita. Grins...

Ago 13, 5:37pm

-Mike Luckovich

Ago 13, 6:57pm

>207 msf59: A fabulous setting for a precious jewel.

>229 msf59: I'm thinking it should be the head that went flying - tough Kathy Griffin got in trouble for such imagery.

Ago 13, 7:31pm

Wow! That nursery is amazing! When is the due date? Congrats to Bree (and you!).

Editado: Ago 15, 9:57pm

Wow, what a great looking nursery, soon to be Grandpa!!

Ago 14, 3:13am

Hi Mark, happy Saturday!

Ago 14, 7:49am

>230 quondame: Thanks, Susan. I can't wait to hold that "precious jewel".

>231 Berly: Thanks, Kim. The original due date was 8/27 and then they moved it up a week and then back but the good news is, she should have the baby next weekend.

>232 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. Great to see you. I can't wait to be a grandpa.

>233 connie53: Happy Saturday, Connie!

Ago 14, 8:31am

^Bree saw the doctor yesterday and is all ready to go. She should have the baby next weekend. Yah! She is elated, especially since this bouncing baby boy is nearly topping 8 pounds. Both parents were also 8 pounders.

Ago 14, 9:04am

Hi Mark, and happy Saturday to you!

>234 msf59: Next weekend! Fantastic news. Summer babies are hard on to-be-mommies. Bree and Sean will be happy to start the next phase of their lives for sure.

>235 msf59: 👍

Ago 14, 9:31am

>235 msf59: That's so exciting!

You know about this site, right?:

May come in handy...

Editado: Ago 14, 12:23pm

>236 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. We are super pumped.

>237 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. I appreciate the link. I am sure I could add a few of these classics. B.A.G.

Ago 14, 12:52pm

>235 msf59: Wonderful news! And that nursery mural is gorgeous!

>203 msf59: I also have that one checked out from the library.

>150 msf59: Sometimes I miss my tent camping days. Thanks for the reality check.

I was in your fair state of Illinois last week. Saw and (mostly) heard some cardinals and also some other birds I (sadly) couldn't recognize.

Ago 14, 1:01pm

>235 msf59: That's welcome news, given that it's summer. All those eight-pounders! May the delivery be as easy as possible.

Ago 14, 3:52pm

>239 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. Happy Saturday. I am sure you will get a lot out of Nature's Best Hope. Yep, our days of tent camping has just about played out. I hope you had a good visit with your son. I wish we could have managed a Meet Up. Maybe, next time?

>240 richardderus: It is definitely welcome news, RD. We are on Cloud Nine. Hooray for the eight pounder club. I was a premmie, so underweight. Not sure about Sue...

Ago 14, 3:58pm

^Black-Crowned Night Heron. Juvenile feeding in a marsh. From this morning's walk. Only the second time I have seen a night heron this year.

Ago 14, 4:06pm

Whoa to the 8 pounders! Mine were all 6 pounders except for Abby who was 7 lbs 7 oz. EIGHT POUNDS! I cannot imagine. I will echo Richard and say may the delivery be as easy as possible. All of us here at the Pecan Paradise are very excited for you and yours.

Ago 15, 7:09am

>243 Crazymamie: It sounds like you delivered small, tidy babies, Mamie. I am sure your body appreciated it. Thanks to all at the Pecan Paradiso. We are getting very excited.

Editado: Ago 15, 7:37am

"A unique coming-of-age story, Any Other World Will Do is inventive, irreverent science fiction, a wry commentary on the primal urge to flee our troubles and the romantic way we remember the journey."

^ I do not read much science or speculative fiction these days, but Marianne suggested I would like it and kindly sent me a copy of Any Other World Will Do. I will give it a shot and start it today. The author hails from Chicago too, so that is a bonus, right?

Ago 15, 8:32am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you.

>242 msf59: Excellent photo! Thanks for sharing.

And the excitement is building...

Ago 15, 9:10am

>242 msf59: Great picture, Mark!
I thought it looked a lot like a very rare bird over here, and a quick search revealed that the Black-Crowned Night Heron is the same bird we call "Kwak" :-)

Ago 15, 9:22am

>246 karenmarie: Happy Sunday, Karen and thank you. Yes, the excitement continues to build...

>247 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Hooray for the Kwak! One of my favorite wading birds.

Editado: Ago 15, 9:27am

-Little Blue Heron. Juvenile.

^On Friday's bird outing, we found a previously reported little blue heron feeding in a marshy area. It was another young one. I have seen an adult, on our Mexico trip but this is the first time in Illinois. The juveniles are nearly white in color, where the adults are a deeper blue. Like this one:


Ago 15, 9:34am

>248 msf59: And there is also a Belgian ale with the same name.

CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Ago 15, 10:03am

>250 FAMeulstee: Now, that is a win-win, Anita. I do like Belgium style ales.

Ago 15, 10:52am

>249 msf59: I wonder what the advantage of being blinding white in youth is to a birb. Seems like a blah brown would be a better choice to avoid being targeted by predators?

>245 msf59: *guilty hangdog look* That one's been on my Kindle for a while....

Ago 15, 11:23am

Morning, Mark! That blue heron is full of gorgeous.

You made me laugh with "small, tidy babies"! There is absolutely nothing tidy about childbirth, but it's a lovely thought.

>245 msf59: This looks interesting - I will await your thoughts.

Ago 15, 12:29pm

>253 Crazymamie: As you can clearly see, I have not delivered a baby. LOL. Any Other World Will Do is off to a strong start. A nice, easy narrative.

Happy Sunday, Mamie. Glad you like the LBH.

Ago 15, 1:33pm

Congrats on your upcoming grandchild, Mark. Being a grandparent absolutely rocks! Can you believe my Scout is 8 already! Enjoy every moment.

I started and stalled on Last Town on Earth; I keep meaning to pick it up again.

I'm reading and enjoying Great Circle right now and am anxious to hear your comments on the Cusk.

Ago 15, 2:44pm

>255 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Great to see you. I am sure you love every minute of Scout. I can't wait. I hope you can give The Last Town on Earth another try. I plan on reading Great Circle in the coming weeks.

Second Place was excellent. I will have to seek out more of her work.

Ago 15, 3:33pm

Happy Sunday, Mark! Sorry your camping trip had to be cut short. Tent camping is the only kind I've done, and certainly challenging under the conditions you describe! Congrats to Bree and your family, and hope baby comes on time and healthy. And finally, love seeing all the bird pictures from your jaunts.

Ago 16, 7:09am

>257 bell7: Hi, Mary. Good to see you. Thanks, in regards to Bree and fast-arriving baby. As you can tell, we are super excited. Glad you like the photos. I hope to snap off a few more in the coming weeks.

Ago 16, 8:36am

'Morning, Mark! Good luck on the shorebirding adventure.

🤞 on fast-arriving.

Ago 16, 9:47am

>242 msf59:, >249 msf59: cool.

>245 msf59: It's science fiction? Now i'm doubly looking forward to your reaction.

I'm going to start Mozart's Starling, a gift from my other sister. I forget; did you read this one? As you can tell, it's got a bird in it. :-)

Ago 16, 11:10am

Hiya Birddude! Have fun shorebirding, and may the Lifers cooperate with you by wearing little sashes and carrying signs saying "I'M A ____".

Ago 16, 4:24pm

>259 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. It was a very good shorebird day. Details to follow...

>260 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I definitely think Any Other World Will Do will be your cuppa. And yes I did read Mozart's Starling and enjoyed it quite a bit. I hope you enjoy it.

>261 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I love the idea of these shorebirds wearing signs. It would come in so handy. This would have clearly worked this morning. I did snag 3 Lifers but with assistance.

Editado: Ago 16, 4:41pm

-Stilt Sandpiper (NMP)

"An elegant shorebird perched on long, yellow-green legs, the Stilt Sandpiper is distinctive with its long, slightly curved bill. Stilt Sandpipers forage in freshwater habitats and avoid the tidal mudflats used by so many sandpipers."

August is slow for land bird sightings but really picks up for shorebirds, as they begin their slow migration south. Learning to ID these birds is something I am working on. It can be very difficult, even for more experienced birders. That is why I try to go out with a couple of birding buddies, so we can all help to contribute. I was on the hunt for a Western Sandpiper today, that had been seen at this location. It was spotted but I never could get on it. I did snag 3 Lifers though, with the Baird's Sandpiper, the Stilt Sandpiper and the White-Rumped Sandpiper. We used a scope for the best looks so I didn't even have my camera. A good day.

-Baird's Sandpiper (NMP)

"Nesting in the high Arctic, this sandpiper is seen by birders mostly in its migrations through the Great Plains. Many other shorebirds that migrate north through the prairies in spring go south off our Atlantic Coast in fall; however, Baird's follows the plains route at both seasons, although a few spread out to either coast in fall."

Ago 16, 4:52pm

>263 msf59: Congratulations on three lifers, Mark, a well spend day :-)
I hope you will get a look on a Western Sandpiper soon.

Editado: Ago 16, 6:49pm

>264 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. It was a good bird day. The Western Sandpiper is the rarest, so it might be the toughest to track down.

Editado: Ago 16, 6:56pm

Some book arrivals: I finally bought a copy of A Sand County Almanac. It is a nature/environmental classic, which I have been meaning to read forever. I have also wanted to read the very timely The Pull of the Stars ever since it came out last year. I will start it soon. Benita kindly sent me Unseen City, which also looks promising.

I also like my coffee mug. 😊

Ago 16, 7:12pm

Three! Count 'em, three! That is a well-spent day indeed. And hooray for the Sand County Almanac joining the library. A necessity for any nature-lover's shelves.

Ago 17, 7:36am

>267 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. It was a good birding day, and I just missed a fourth. So another A Sand County Almanac fan? Yah!

Ago 17, 7:59am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you. Congrats on three Lifers, and yay for your >266 msf59: new arrivals.

My birdfeeders are eerily empty right now. Not a single bird in sight.

Ago 17, 8:06am

>269 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen and thanks. I am sure your feeder activity will begin to pick up in no time.

Ago 17, 8:35am

Morning, Mark! Glad the books and the birds are treating you well.

Ago 17, 8:42am

>271 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Yep, those duo Bs are treating me just fine. Thanks.

Editado: Ago 17, 8:43am

-Randall Enos

^This one fits in very well with my current audio, Nature's Best Hope.

Ago 17, 10:10am

Today's online BIRDS AND BLOOMS has a nice feature about our old Favorite, Red-Winged Blackbirds.

Ago 17, 10:35am

Hiya, Mark! Just trying to get caught up after being away. I did as you asked and delivered Marianne a hug from you when I saw her in Boston :)

Ago 17, 11:06am

Hiya, Mark. I’m enjoying Mozart’s Starling very much. For obvious reasons, at the start it’s reminding me a bit of H is for Hawk.

Wow, what a nice day. I’m having coffee on the front porch. It feels odd to have the coasts suffering in August while we’re doing okay.

Loving the bird photos. I still feel fortunate whenever we get to see any kind of heron.

Have you heard of “Brand New Cherry Flavor” on Netflix? Very dark and twisty. As one reviewer said, it’s like being in a fever dream. The young lead actress, Rosa Salazar, is excellent.

Ago 17, 11:09am

Hi Mark - I'm on pins and needles with you...our 4th grandchild is due this week too, and it feels just as exciting as the first! Son #1 will have 3 kids under the age of 3 and son #2 just had his first in May.

We just spent 4 days in Colorado - great hiking and good weather. I thought of you when we sighted gorgeous black-billed magpies during our hikes, but I never had a chance to get a good photo.

Ago 17, 11:43am

>273 msf59: Pretty sure that the answer to that one is "NO" but there we are....

Happy Tuesday cocoon.

Ago 17, 1:34pm

>274 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I will check it out. Not seeing as many red-winged blackbirds these days and rarely hear them.

>275 katiekrug: Welcome back, Katie. I am sure you had a wonderful Meet Up with Marianne. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

Editado: Ago 17, 1:41pm

>276 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I am glad yo hear you are enjoying Mozart’s Starling, although I am not really surprised. It is another beautiful day but no birding for me today. It looks like they finished the rehab work at Montrose. You guys should take a stroll around there.

“Brand New Cherry Flavor” does sound like my cuppa. I have added it to my watchlist. Thanks.

>277 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Great to see you. A 4th grandchild coming? We are deeply envious. Bree has all ready stated she is a one-and-done-mother. We hope that changes when she holds that big baby boy. Your Colorado trip sounds amazing. I would love to get back there.

>278 richardderus: I am with you on that one, Richard. Happy Tuesday.

Ago 17, 1:49pm

That looks like a very welcoming room for the much anticipated grandson, Mark. Good luck to Bree. Eight pounds is a big one, but any size is definitely labour! (Mine was 6 pounds, not that it made much difference.)

I hope you are enjoying Hench. I thought it was great!

Ago 17, 7:51pm

>281 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Great to see you and thank you. We are super excited. Any day now...

I purchased an ebook copy of Hench but have not started it. It may be awhile. Glad to hear you also loved it.

Ago 17, 9:41pm

I didn't realize we were getting so close to the birth of your first grandchild Mark. Exciting times ahead. That mural is beautiful. You'll be surprised at how quickly the place is crammed with all the baby stuff that's required these days lol.

Ago 18, 7:03am

>283 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Yes, we should have a new addition on Saturday. We are very excited. I am also impressed how well that mural came out.

Ago 18, 9:02am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you.

I'm sure Bree and Sean can hardly wait, much less all the grandparents and other relatives! Joyous times ahead.

Editado: Ago 18, 9:57am

Good morning, Mark.

Man, I'm sorry i finished Brand New Cherry Flavor. Like a good book. You won't believe I liked it - it'd be hard to get much darker.:-)

Besides Mozart's Starling (still good), I"m reading Hench, recommended by RD. Definitely a slice from a different pie.

We may get some rain, but otherwise it looks like another good 'un.

Ago 18, 1:40pm

Happy Humpday, Birddude. Any lifers this morning?

Ago 18, 1:45pm

>285 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Excitement building...Sean's parents all ready have 4 grandchildren but of course they still can't wait.

>286 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I watched the first 2 eps of Brand New Cherry Flavor last night, on your rec. I like it and I am glad were pleased with it right until the end. Hooray for Mozart's Starling and starting Hench. I have an ebook copy. I plan on bookhorning it in, for next month.

Editado: Ago 18, 2:03pm

-Peter Kuper

Ago 18, 2:18pm

>289 msf59: tee hee, but also :-(

Ago 18, 2:24pm

>289 msf59: No icebergs, but everyone on board has the latest variant of the Covid virus.

Ago 18, 4:28pm

>290 Caroline_McElwee: I am with you, Caroline.

>291 weird_O: >292 richardderus: I hope like hell that Covid is not still around 20 years from now. Shudders...

Editado: Ago 18, 6:30pm

Este tópico foi continuado por Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Thirteen.