Saturday, September 20, 2008

Condor Chick News! The Cathedral Lead Fledge and How about THE LIFE OF THE SKIES?.

Great news and links sent in by way of Karen Anne Kolling, --

News from Wildlife rehabilitator, Bobby Horvath, concerning the 2008 Cathedral Fledge who was found to be suffering from lead poisoning with the resulting neuropathy affecting one foot and leg---

Leadfoot is still here and most likely not releasable . Besides his foot problem, which has corrected with time, he has a wing issue undetectable by x ray but just the same he isn't fully flighted yet. We creance him in a field nearby and he struggles to stay in the air still. Unless something changes he'll be unreleasable unfortunately.
And all from a tiny speck of lead no bigger than a period at the end of a sentence... D.B.

R. of Illinois sends in a book review excerpt for a book that sounds downright fascinating---

Birder of Paradise



By Jonathan Rosen.

Illustrated. 324 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $24.

As goes bird-watching, one of America’s fastest growing forms of outdoor recreation, so go the bird-watching books. Once, Roger Tory Peterson’s “Field Guide to the Birds” and a pair of binoculars were all you needed. Then came “The Sibley Guide to Birds,” with drawings that made things a little easier for the not-so-eagle-eyed. Now, Jonathan Rosen has written the birding book for the birder who ponders philosophy and theology while quietly sitting by a pond at dusk. If Peterson and Sibley provided checklists — birding as scratching off answers on multiple-choice tests — then “The Life of the Skies” is the essay question, the question being: Does bird-watching offer a bird-watcher an avenue toward greater meaning, like prayer or yoga? For his part, Rosen, a novelist and the author of “The Talmud and the Internet,” has a lot of faith in it as a meditative act. “I can’t think of any activity that more fully captures what it means to be human in the modern world than watching birds,”...

As for Rosen’s own style of bird-watching, he is not a “lister,” one of those scorekeeping diehards who bolt from the room when somebody says “chestnut-sided warbler.” He is a guy who runs home to look at a Robert Frost poem, or a story by Baal Shem Tov, whose presence you can feel in Rosen’s birding: it is a down-to-earth mystical practice, a balm to mere academic pursuits. Birding has offered him a view on parenting, assuaged his grief over the death of his father, and given him sheer adventure. “Life of the Skies” begins and almost ends on a shaggy-dog bird tale, his own search for the ivory-billed woodpecker. Once thought extinct thanks to the cutting of old-growth swamp, the ivory-bill appears in William Faulkner’s short story “The Bear,” where it is referred to as the Lord-to-God bird. For Faulkner, the clattering of the bird is the banging of man in the dark swamp of life, the grasp for meaning in the quag. Birds “seem to possess something that transcends happiness or sadness — they simply are,” Rosen says. “Birding gives me a little of that. " ...


donegal browne

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

I got to wondering if the redwood trees, such as the one the condor chick nest is in, damaged in the fire had any hope of surviving, and apparently they do, if the cambrium under the bark survives burning.

says "In general, the redwood tree is very resistant to fire for several reasons. The trunk is very thick, there is a lot of water contained in the wood itself, and pitch, which is very flammable, is not contained in the tree. The bark lacks the resin found in pine, fir, and spruce trees, and the sap is largely water which adds to the fire resistance. The redwood tree is particularly resistant to fires which remain primarily along the ground.

Despite its resistance, however, repeated fires may reach the heartwood through cracks in the bark. The tree may be "hollowed out"as the damaged heartwood decays, while the outside, growing layers remain intact."

What is surprising to many visitors, however, is the degree to which an enormous redwood tree can survive fire damage which hollows out and weakens the wood at the base of the tree. Fungi can invade the damaged wood and cause it to rot, eventually forming a cavernous hollow area. A "chimney tree" is a redwood whose entire interior was burned out by fire. Trees with hollows this large, which may be the result of 50-100 fires, are often also called "goosepen" trees as they made convenient places to keep domestic animals such as geese. The may also serve as shelter or residences for black bears and colonies of bats."