Thursday, May 08, 2008

Almost Random Notes, Part 18



In another sign of the Apocalypse,* local birders have discovered a Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) feeding off the Grand Haven pier; apparently the first time the bird has been spotted in Michigan. The Neotropic Cormorant is found throughout the American tropics and subtropics, from the middle Rio Grande and the Gulf and California coasts south through Mexico and Central America to southern South America. It also breeds on the Bahamas, Cuba and Trinidad. It grows to approximately 64 cm long with a 100 cm wingspan, and weighs from 1 to 1.5 kg; birds of the southern populations tend to be bigger than the more northerly birds. It is small and slender, especially compared to the larger, heavier-looking Double-crested Cormorant. It has a long tail and frequently holds its neck in an S-shape. Adult plumage is mainly black, with a yellow-brown throat patch. During breeding, white tufts appear on the sides of the head, and the throat patch develops a white edge. Juveniles are brownish in color. Its diet consists mainly of small fish, but will also eat tadpoles, frogs, and aquatic insects. The Neotropic Cormorant forages for food by diving underwater, propelling itself by its feet. It is also known to forage in groups, with several birds beating the water with their wings to drive fish forward into shallows.

Unlike other cormorants, Neotropic Cormorants can often be seen perching on wires.**

NOTE: This photo is NOT of the Grand Haven bird, but those photographs can be found on the web.

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I had to have some work done on my car today, which pretty much necessitated that I remove most of the books and papers that had accumulated therein over the past two teaching semesters. Surely I can't be the only adjunct faculty who uses his or her car as a gigantic book shelf, snack bar, filing cabinet and clothes closet. It's kind of embarrassing, and now my studio area--where I hauled everything--is a complete mess.

But I have brakes again. And a new belt of some-sort that had gone bad.

Those are good things.


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I was looking at a copy of my first book, Holding Down the Earth (found under the driver's seat of my car as I was cleaning it this morning), and got a kick out of reading some of the poems. There are a more than a few awkward places in the book and I didn't have much of an idea of what a line was when I wrote it, but since it is pretty much out of print (it was published by a small press in 1995), it occurred to me that I might straighten out some of the awkward stuff and republish it (through LuLu, or whatever) under a DIY imprint and with a new cover.

Someday. After I do everything else I have promised to do.

Onward.

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*As I remember it, from Ghostbusters (1984):

RAY
I remember Revelation 7:12. And I looked, as he opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great Neotropic Cormorant, and the sun became as black as sackcloth. And the moon became as blood.

WINSTON
And the seas boiled and the skies fell.

**All bird-facts according to that font-of-all-wisdom, Wikipedia.

2 Comments:

Blogger Psychoflowers said...

Hi! Thanks for responding on my blog! I just got back from a mini trip to Shades and Turkey Run State Park where I spotted 2 American Bald Eagles! It was so breath taking literally. Then for an early mother's day present my kids got me a cockatiel that I named Psycho. It is now learning the theme to the Adams Family! But she loves jazz and classical too, especially Charlie Parker! haha!

12:41 AM  
Blogger greg rappleye said...

Welcome home!

Any cockatiel that loves Charlie Parker is okay with me.

6:07 AM  

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