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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Eight

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Seven.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Nine.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 4:05pm Top

And of course the:

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 4:05pm Top



Books Read So Far...

OTS- Off the Shelf


1) The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher 4 stars (audio)
2) The Fact of a Body: A Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich 5 stars (audio)
3) Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright 4.2 stars
4) What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah 4.2 stars
5) The White Album: Essays by Joan Didion 4 stars (E) OTS
6) Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens 3.7 stars (audio/print)
7) The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden 3.6 stars (audio)
8) Black Swan Green by David Mitchell 4.5 stars OTS
9) A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver 4.5 stars Poetry OTS
10) Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill 4 stars (audio) OTS
11) Woodsong by Gary Paulsen 4 stars (audio)
12) The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy 3.7 stars OTS


13) Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth 4.5 stars (E)
14) What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi 3.8 stars OTS
15) Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead 3.7 stars (audio) AAC OTS
16) Salt Houses by Hala Alyan 4.2 stars OTS
17) The Power by Naomi Alderman 4.3 stars (audio)
18) The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories by Denis Johnson 4.3 stars
19) Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli 4.2 stars
20) Barkskins by Annie Proulx 3.8 stars (audio) OTS
21) Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir 3.6 stars (audio)
22) The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck 4.2 stars
23) The Country I Remember by David Mason 4.5 stars (Poetry)


24) Don't Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin 4 stars ER
25) Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie 4.6 stars OTS (audio)
26) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones 4 stars (audio)
27) Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family’s Quest to Heal the Land by Scott Freeman 4 stars
28) American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee 4.5 stars (audio)
29) The Night In Question: Stories by Tobias Wolff 4 stars AAC OTS
30) My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman 4.2 stars (audio)
31) Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson 3.6 stars E
32) Where Now: New and Selected Poems by Laura Kasischke 5 stars Poetry

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 4:08pm Top

Welcome to the AAC V! It should be another fun year. Some interesting and diverse authors.

2018 AAC

January- Joan Didion Completed The White Album
February- Colson Whitehead Completed Sag Harbor
March- Tobias Wolff Completed The Night in Question: Stories
April- Alice Walker
May- Peter Hamill
June- Walter Mosley
July- Amy Tan
August- Louis L'Amour
September- Pat Conroy
October- Stephen King
November- Narrative Nonfiction
December- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here is a link to the General Discussion Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/279501#

Edited: Mar 5, 2018, 8:36pm Top

^After finishing the audio of the magnificent Catherine the Great, I am switching back to modern American society with An American Marriage. This has been getting solid buzz, along with a boost from Oprah. I am all ready into the second half of it and I am enjoying it.

I have also been reading Tarboo Creek. It is a slower, read, with the science and ecological detail but I still find much of it very interesting.

Mar 5, 2018, 8:39pm Top

Nice new thread toppers.

Surgery is at 1 pm on Tuesday but sounds like they're keeping me til Wednesday.

Edited: Mar 5, 2018, 8:41pm Top

^I know the Snowy got all the attention yesterday but I also managed to see several Red-Breasted Mergansers, swimming in a group. Are they cool looking or what?

I had to look them up, when I got home, but with the distinctive coloring, it wasn't difficult to identify.

Mar 5, 2018, 9:22pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Love that topper. I am going to send it to my friend, since she didn't have her camera! :-)

Mar 5, 2018, 9:38pm Top

>5 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. Glad you like the toppers! Our thoughts and prayers are with you, for your surgery tomorrow. Check in when you can.

>7 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Steal away. I loved your friend's Snowy tale.

Mar 6, 2018, 12:56am Top

Happy new one, Mark. Big waves from ovrr the pond.

Mar 6, 2018, 1:41am Top

Happy new thread, Mark.

Mar 6, 2018, 6:22am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new thread!!

Mar 6, 2018, 6:32am Top

>9 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. Big Waves back!

>10 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg.

>11 scaifea: Morning, Amber and thanks!

Mar 6, 2018, 6:34am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy new thread! My favorite of the mergansers has to be the hooded merganser:

By Ken Billington - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Mar 6, 2018, 6:55am Top

>13 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Aren't these hooded mergansers gorgeous? I saw a few a couple years ago, but we needed a scope. They are shy, like most water-fowl. Thanks for sharing.

Mar 6, 2018, 7:24am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Loving all the B word love here!
So glad you got to see your Snowy! How exciting! Your bird list must be getting quite long now.

Mar 6, 2018, 7:52am Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 6, 2018, 8:22am Top

Some nice feathered friends here Mark.

I'm loving the Wendell Berry poems, and just ordered the Library of America volume of the novels, as well as a Kindle edition of a correspondence between him and Gary Snyder, plus Conversations with WB. I love the Conversations editions, I have about a dozen of my favourite writers.

Mar 6, 2018, 8:58am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy new thread! Mergansers are gorgeous. Lucky you to see them.

Mar 6, 2018, 9:34am Top

>6 msf59:

Your Red-breasted Mergansers would be a Lifer for many of us!

Mar 6, 2018, 11:04am Top

>15 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle and thanks. Hooray for the Mighty B's! I think I am in the 50s on my Bird List.

>16 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel.

>17 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. Glad to hear you enjoying the Berry poetry. I hope to get to my collection, in a week or so. I am finishing up a different collection.

Mar 6, 2018, 11:07am Top

>18 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. The Hooded were the first Mergansers, that I had seen. Just beautiful.

>19 m.belljackson: Morning, Marianne. The Red-Breasted have been seen in different parts of the area. I am sure they are migrating through the Midwest. You may be able to see them, on a local body of water.

Mar 6, 2018, 11:14am Top

Happy new thread Mark. May this one be filled with your all B loves.... :D

Mar 6, 2018, 11:18am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new thread! I have big love for the Mergansers - they are so very cool looking.

I was sorry to hear about your aunt's passing - sounds like she lived a full and happy life. I am so glad that you got to see her to say goodbye.

Mar 6, 2018, 1:06pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I hope spring is coming to Chicagoland. I imagine you are ready for it. I'll watch for your comments on An American Marriage.

I love owls.

Mar 6, 2018, 1:40pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

>1 msf59: So the thread has upgraded to beauty, books, birds and beer... what will be the next addition? Birches, brownies, bread? ;-)

Mar 6, 2018, 3:19pm Top

Happy New thread, Mark. Adding birches, brownies and bread sounds like a good idea to me.

I'm enjoying the photos, particularly that topper, but where's that cool black and white photo of a snowy owl in a tree that someone (well, your pal) posted on your last thread?

Mar 6, 2018, 3:33pm Top

Sorry about your Aunt Mark. Glad you got to visit her.

But Yay for the snowy owl sighting.

Mar 6, 2018, 5:08pm Top

I have never heard of your merganser! Duck family?
You must have a funeral coming up, so I hope you get to connect with family and remember some good times together.

Edited: Mar 6, 2018, 5:58pm Top

^Early today, before noon, the cardinals and robins were sure busy singing. I also saw and heard a female Hairy Woodpecker, (my first time ever on the route and I do not think I have seen one at my home feeder either) and she was squeaking up a storm too. I got to watch her for my entire 10 minute break. The differences between the female Downy are quite evident, once you study them. (I do bring an old pair of binoculars along, that I keep in my personal bag, with my books and various sundries).

^Here is a comparison with the Downy on the left, obviously she is much smaller, but that is not always as noticeable, if you see them solo, high up in a tree.

Mar 6, 2018, 5:55pm Top

>22 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie! And hooray for B love!!

>23 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! Hooray for the mergansers! I have a lot to learn with the various waterfowl, but these are definitely special.

And I appreciate your comments, about my Aunt.

>24 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Hooray for owls and an approaching spring. I think early next week it is supposed warm up. Fingers crossed. I really enjoyed An American Marriage.

Mar 6, 2018, 6:08pm Top

Sincere condolences, Mark, on the passing of your Aunt.

At the same time Happy New thread buddy.

Mar 6, 2018, 6:20pm Top

>25 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. "Birches, brownies, bread" sound just fine, but I would include bacon too, and remember I also like to go on a good bike ride. Grins...

>26 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. More B's added to the list and let's not forget boobs. Oops, can I say that over here? Grins... You know, I loved the Snowy Owl image you shared but decided last minute to go with the photo. We can laugh about it, over a beer.

>27 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli. Seeing a Snowy was very high on my bird wishlist. Cross that baby off.

>28 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Yep, mergansers are in the duck family. Cool, huh? Yes, the funeral is tomorrow. Very early. My wife and daughter are going to join me too, which is great. It will be nice to see family but we should be back home, in the early afternoon.

Mar 6, 2018, 6:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Congrats for more incredible bird sightings! Honestly, unless the Downy and the Hairy are side by side, I wouldn't be able to tell which one was at my bird feeder. I'm going to hazard a guess and say the one we have is a Hairy because she is quite large and other birds scatter when she's at the feeder. The beak of the Hairy, in your photo, looks much more pronounced so I'll pay more attention next time she visits.

Mar 6, 2018, 7:07pm Top

>33 Carmenere: - Yes, the beak of the hairy is noticeably longer, in addition to the whole body being bigger. But even if you were at a distance where it might be difficult to gauge body size, the beak would be a dead giveaway. Their colours are pretty much identical. I had both on my feeder only once so it was striking to see the comparison, just like in Mark's pic. But of course, I didn't have my camera handy.

Mar 6, 2018, 7:11pm Top

>31 PaulCranswick: Big thanks, all around, Paul. Much appreciated.

>33 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. I think once you get used to seeing the Hairy, it will get easier. Their spots are more pronounced too. The beak is usually the first indicator, if you get a close enough look. I do not think I have seen one at my feeder yet. Good luck.

Mar 6, 2018, 7:11pm Top

-Harry Bliss

Mar 6, 2018, 7:31pm Top

>34 jessibud2: and >35 msf59: I have my camera at the ready and will post my picture when I digitally capture the Downy/Hairy Woodpecker. It's going to bug me until I determine which one she is.

Edited: Mar 6, 2018, 8:40pm Top

>34 jessibud2: This female Hairy made loud sqeaking noises too. A bit louder than the sounds I have heard various Downys make. They also say, that Hairy's drum louder too. Maybe it's the longer beak.

>37 Carmenere: Waiting for a classic photo, Lynda...

Mar 6, 2018, 8:56pm Top

>29 msf59: I like those two woodpeckers! And the merganser, now that's one I recognize, we have it too.
When it comes to sizes, it helps to compare it to a similar sized bird that you know well. Is it the size of a sparrow etc etc?

Mar 6, 2018, 9:00pm Top

I finally put the suet feeder out and the little downy woodpeckers stop by every morning. We have three northern flickers that are fairly regular visitors and the nuthatches like it, too.

We have mergansers here at the lake all summer but I think they are Common Mergansers (they look very similar to the Red-Breasted, though). The male and females look completely different from each other.

I think I sent my congrats on your snowy owl sighting but if not congrats! I’m jealous!

Edited: Mar 6, 2018, 9:32pm Top

>39 EllaTim: - Ella, according to my book, and to make it easier to compare for you in Europe, it says the European Starling is about 8 inches long (head to tail). A downy woodpecker is 6 inches and a hairy woodpecker is 9 inches. At least over here in North American, there are too many different kinds of sparrows of varying sizes, so I thought the starling might be a better measure for comparison. Does that help?

Edited: Mar 6, 2018, 9:46pm Top

>39 EllaTim: Hooray for woodpeckers and mergansers, Ella. One wood, one water. Grins...

>40 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. I think that is great that you get flickers at the feeders. We do have them in the area, I love their looks, but I have never seen them at a feeder. I think we get many Common Mergansers here, as well. I am still learning my water-fowl. They are much more difficult to study, since they keep at such a distance. Binocs, generally don't help as much. I need a spotting scope but that is going to be awhile down the road.

ETA- Oh yeah- Still buzzing on the Snowy sighting. Did not think that would happen, but there has been and continues to be lots of sightings in northern Illinois.

Mar 6, 2018, 9:57pm Top

Here’s one, just before he flew off. He’s got suet on his beak. I prefer them to eat the suet rather than the sunflower chips - the suet’s cheaper! Lol!

Mar 6, 2018, 10:03pm Top

Wow! Great photo, Joanne. I LOVE their coloring. Thanks for sharing.

Mar 7, 2018, 1:44am Top

We have lots of mergansers around my area, Mark . I see plenty of the hooded mergansers on my walks with Poppy. They hang around in the water. I also see plenty of Red-Breasted Mergansers. Cool hairstyles, those guys! Last night on James Corden they had some animals , most notably to me a such a tiny screech owl and then a vulture! I don't think I've ever seen a vulture in real life. Fascinating!

Mar 7, 2018, 6:21am Top

>41 jessibud2: How small they are than! Starling sized is a very easy measure to compare with.
I am still surprised at how different birds are in America, so then I forget that our common birds might be not so common in America.

>43 Copperskye: Beautiful!

Mar 7, 2018, 6:50am Top

>45 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. I am sure you get quite an eye-full at the bird sanctuary. So, the birds stay close enough where you can identify them? Ours seem to be more bashful and stay on the very fringes, far away from us Midwesterners. They are beauties though.

>46 EllaTim: I love the variety, Ella. No matter how you look at it.

Mar 7, 2018, 7:49am Top

Good morning, Mark! Congrats on the female hairy woodpecker. I've not seen any of those visiting our feeders. In my experience the downies are much friendlier — much more likely to stick around even when you are quite close.

Mar 7, 2018, 7:55am Top

'Morning, Mark! Add my congrats for the female Hairy Woodpecker. They are fun to watch. I hope you have a great day.

Mar 7, 2018, 7:56am Top

Morning, Harry! And hooray for the Hairy! The more I see birds, the easier it is to spot them. Like duh!

Heading out to Rockford. I'll be back this afternoon.

Mar 7, 2018, 8:24am Top

>43 Copperskye: - Beautiful!

Mar 7, 2018, 8:50am Top

>36 msf59: LOL!

You also cracked me up with adding "boobs" to the "b" words. Your creative mind is always working, my friend. :-)

This is our last day before we head to warmer temps in LA. Looking forward to getting out of the gray chill for a few days.

Edited: Mar 7, 2018, 9:30pm Top

>49 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for more Hairy Woodpeckers.

>51 jessibud2: You get Northern Flickers up there, in your neck of the woods, Shelley?

>52 jnwelch: Happy Wednesday, Joe. Finally getting around to replying. It has been a long day. Hooray for boobs and heading to LA. Sounds great. How long are you there for?

Edited: Mar 7, 2018, 9:37pm Top

"The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her

Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West."

^Next up on audio, is American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West. I have wanted to read this, since it came out last October. I was just waiting to see if I could snag an audio copy and I finally did. This rings many of my bells and I do love wolves...maybe not as much as owls, but pretty damn close.

Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 6:58am Top

^Thanks to the AAC, I am finally getting to a Wolff, after many years and I have not read his short fiction either, so I am looking forward to The Night in Question.

On the poetry front, I am still making my way through Where Now: New and Selected Poems, which has been excellent and I am trying to dip in and out of the Oliver collection, when I can.

Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 9:35am Top

^Happy Birthday to Bree. My best daughter and hiking partner. This was in the high desert of central Oregon, from a couple of years ago.

Mar 8, 2018, 7:14am Top

Happy birthday to Bree! Nice picture, where was this taken?

Mar 8, 2018, 7:17am Top

Happy Birthday to your daughter.

Mar 8, 2018, 7:21am Top

Enjoy American Wolf! That sounds like an interesting one

Happy Birthday, Bree!

Mar 8, 2018, 7:27am Top

'Morning, Mark, and Happy Birthday to Bree!

I hope you have a great day. I've got an extremely noisy Blue Jay, many Cardinals, and one Carolina Chickadee.

Mar 8, 2018, 7:41am Top

Happy birthday to Bree, Mark! Is that pic from your Mexico trip?

Mar 8, 2018, 7:48am Top

Happy Birthday to Bree, Mark!

Sweet Thursday, buddy. I'm another fan of wolves. Did you ever read Barry Lopez's Of Wolves and Men? Really good.

I'm enjoying One Goal: A Coach, and the second Bobiverse book. I'm taking mostly light ones on this trip, per usual for traveling, although I'll have Ms. Kasischke's collection with me. What a consistently good body of work over the years!

Hope you have a good one today. Spring is coming, right?

Mar 8, 2018, 9:38am Top

>57 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. The photo was taken in central Oregon, on a little camping trip we took.

>58 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline.

>59 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. American Wolf is off to a terrific start. I love reading about this stuff and Yellowstone is one of my favorite places on the planet.

Mar 8, 2018, 9:41am Top

>60 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. And hooray for all the bird activity.

>61 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. The photo was from our visit in Oregon and we went camping for a few days in the high desert. This was a beautiful hike and only my daughter was up for it, with me.

Mar 8, 2018, 9:41am Top

Happy new thread! And happy birthday to Bree!

Mar 8, 2018, 11:01am Top

>62 jnwelch: Sweet Thursday, Joe. And hooray for Bree. Looks like I should track the Lopez book down. Sounds great.

As you know, I am loving the Kasischke collection too. Still a 100 pages left and that is definitely not a bad thing.

>65 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. Sweet Thursday.

Mar 8, 2018, 11:21am Top

Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday to you and a very Happy Birthday to Bree!

Mar 8, 2018, 11:57am Top

Hey, Mark. Look what turned up today in my Cornell newsletter:

Downy vs Hairy Woodpeckers

Mar 8, 2018, 1:03pm Top

>32 msf59: I might have gotten to bacon, Mark, but bike in Dutch starts with a F (fiets) and doesn't belong to b-words in my head ;-)

>56 msf59: Happy birthday to Bree!

Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 6:43pm Top

>67 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. Hugs to my pal.

>68 jessibud2: Perfect timing, eh, Shelley? I think I may have seen a male Hairy at my feeder yesterday. I just didn't have enough time to study him, to be absolutely sure.

ETA- The Hairy in the Cornell article looks just like the one I saw at my feeder. Smiles...

>69 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita and thanks. Bird doesn't start with a B, in dutch either does it? Grins...Vogel, right?

Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 6:10pm Top

^This is 0-Six, (She was born in 2006), the Yellowstone wolf that is the star of American Wolf. She is definitely a bad-ass lupine! I am really loving this book. I NEED to get back to Yellowstone!

Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 6:21pm Top

>70 msf59: You are completely right, Mark, but birds are in your standard list ;-)

>71 msf59: Ohhh, I love pictures of wolves!

Mar 8, 2018, 6:44pm Top

>72 FAMeulstee: Excellent point, Anita. If you like wolves, you might love this book.

Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 8:07pm Top

24) Don't Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin 4 stars

Horace Hopper is a half-Native American ranch hand, working for an old couple, Mr. & Mrs. Reese, who have been his guardians, since he was abandoned, as a young boy. Horace loves working on the Nevada ranch, tending the sheep, but he can't shake his dream of becoming a champion boxer. Despite the sage and kindly protestations, from Mr. Reese, Horace leaves the ranch, moves to Arizona and pursues this boxing quest, trying to find his own identity and make something of himself. This is not a Hallmark Special, so he quickly finds himself immersed in a tough, unrelenting reality of poverty and brutal beatings.
This is not as bleak as it sounds, but I don't want to sugar-coat it. There is a split narrative going on here, one with Horace and one with Mr. Reese, and the latter is the one that brings a well-needed sense of love and hope, the perfect father-figure for Horace.
I have been wanting to read Vlautin for several years now, and I can now, see why. He is a natural storyteller and I love reading western-themed novels.

Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 8:12pm Top

^^Hey, I have hit 600 reviews! Okay, most are minis, but cut the Warbler some slack, okay?

Mar 8, 2018, 8:32pm Top

>75 msf59: Congrats Marc! 600 reviews is a lot, mini or not.

Loved the wolf picture. I read Never cry wolf some time ago, and liked it. Would like to read American Wolf as well

Mar 8, 2018, 8:55pm Top

>76 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. I also read and loved Never Cry Wolf. Plus, it is a very good film too. Hooray for the wolves. I hope you can track down a copy of American Wolf.

Edited: Mar 8, 2018, 9:00pm Top

25) Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie 4.6 stars

Sophia Augusta Fredericka, a minor German princess, travels to Russia, at the age of fourteen, to become the bride of Crown Prince Peter. Once she converts to the Russian Orthodox Church, she is renamed Catherine.
How this young woman transforms into Catherine the Great, makes one helluva good story. Going into this wonderful biography, I knew close to nothing about Catherine or much about Russian royalty, so what a great education. There is intrigue, sex, conspiracies and uprisings, aplenty, but the real joy of this bio is the evolution of this strong, brilliant, very modern woman, who may have been one of the best and most beloved leaders in world history.
We will have to see how President Trump stacks up. Grins...

I had not read Massie before but he turned me into an instant fan. I will be reading more of his work.

Mar 8, 2018, 11:34pm Top

Hey there Mark! Sweet Thursday from the West Coast. The bio hazard suit on my thread was just what I needed. Humour goes a long way, Lone Ranger. Thumbed your review of Don't Skip out on Me and I may have caught book bullet with Catherine The Great : Portrait of A Woman. I like those royal family stories.

Mar 9, 2018, 1:53am Top

>74 msf59: yay!
And, did you know, Willy Vlautin is in a band as well- called Richmond Fontaine. I hear they are pretty good (from a muso friend), but I have shockingly never checked them out! I was preoccupied with the fact that he is an author.

Mar 9, 2018, 6:23am Top

Morning, Mark! Congrats on 600!! That's amazing!

Mar 9, 2018, 6:36am Top

>79 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. Glad I could deliver a well-needed dose of humor. I appreciate the Thumbs. I highly recommend Catherine.

>80 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. I listened to Richmond Fontaine awhile back and remember them being very good. I will have to see if I still have something by them on CD.

>81 scaifea: Morning, Amber and thanks. I think you would like Catherine. Just sayin'...

Mar 9, 2018, 6:47am Top

Congrats on hitting 600 reviews! (601 now!)

I need to read that Yellowstone book! I read something online a while back about the wolves being introduced into the park and now it made other wildlife and plants flourish. I thought that was very interesting.

Mar 9, 2018, 7:01am Top

>83 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. I highly recommend American Wolf to all my nature-loving pals. There is so much interesting information to enjoy, besides the fascinating lives of these wolves. Hope you can track a copy down.

Mar 9, 2018, 7:06am Top

Good morning, Mark! Congrats on the 600 reviews!

Mar 9, 2018, 7:17am Top

600?! Wow! Does LT track this too? Or have you just privately been keeping count? I am so not a numbers person, so I have no idea what my own numbers would be....

Mar 9, 2018, 7:48am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you.

Congrats on 600 reviews. You da man.

Mar 9, 2018, 7:55am Top

Hi Mark!

Interesting about the downy and hairy woodpeckers. I don't think I've seen either.

I'm hoping to read American Wolves soon. It was the second place book in the voting for Outside magazine's Outside & Beyond Book club - I hope they just decide to have it as the book club selection next month and don't vote again. :)

I'd love to spend more time in Yellowstone, too. I've been thinking that it might be fun to work a trip around one of the Yellowstone Institute's field seminars. https://www.yellowstone.org/experience/yellowstone-forever-institute/field-semin...

Mar 9, 2018, 7:56am Top

>75 msf59: Impresseive landmark Mark.

Mar 9, 2018, 9:34am Top

Happy Friday, Mark. Congrats on hitting 600 reviews.

The Vlautin sounds good; I'll have to check him out.

Mar 9, 2018, 9:39am Top

>85 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry and thanks.

>86 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. The review total is on your profile page, right under Collections, otherwise I wouldn't keep track.

>87 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks.

>88 streamsong: Hi, Janet. Good to see you. You will love American Wolf and hooray for Yellowstone. It has been 20 years since I have been there, I am way overdue for another visit. I would like to go off season.

Mar 9, 2018, 10:04am Top

>91 msf59: - Ha! Who knew? I learn something every day here! :-)

Edited: Mar 9, 2018, 11:02am Top

>89 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline.

>90 BLBera: Happy Friday, Beth and thanks.

>92 jessibud2: It is not just about woodpeckers around here, Shelley. Grins...

Mar 9, 2018, 12:10pm Top

600 reviews is amazing. Even if all of them were one liners, I'd be impressed!
Catherine the Great is firmly on my list. Thanks for warbling. Keep it up Mark. :D

Mar 9, 2018, 3:23pm Top

Oof - 600 reviews! That's great!

Mar 9, 2018, 5:28pm Top

>94 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie! Unless, I am muzzled, the warbling will continue. Glad I landed a BB with Catherine.

>95 drneutron: It stacks up, Jim. Approaching my 10th year here, in June and I am sure I am over a thousand books read, so if you look at it that way...

Mar 9, 2018, 5:38pm Top

Congrats on all those reviews Mark. I'm trying to resist Catherine but all the enthusiasm on the threads is making it tricky...

Edited: Mar 9, 2018, 5:56pm Top

>54 msf59: Oooh - American Wolf sounds good!
Another one for the "Mark's Fault" tag

Happy Belated Birthday to Bree!!

Mar 9, 2018, 6:55pm Top

>97 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. I am glad the collective enthusiasm is beginning to sway you on Catherine and it should. It is an excellent bio.

>98 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli. Happy Friday! Yes, American Wolf deserves the Mark's Fault tag. I have absolutely no guilt on that one. I should wrap it up tomorrow. Expect more warbles.

Mar 9, 2018, 8:11pm Top

Happy Weekend, Mark and congratulations on creating 601 reviews.

Mar 9, 2018, 9:02pm Top

Yay for the Massie book Mark. It was soooo good. And congratulations on the 600 reviews.

Mar 9, 2018, 10:46pm Top

Congrats on 600 reviews, Mark. Have a great weekend!

Mar 9, 2018, 10:52pm Top

I just passed my 10th year on LT as well. I am also over 1,000 books read, but am not sure how many of them I have reviewed. I'll look when I get somewhere with stable internet service. I am on my way back to Kansas for spring break. There will be no wild adventures this spring break as I am staying home with mom. The Beast (the new Subaru) is sucking all of my extra cash right out of my pay check! It will be vacations at home for me for the next several years. Until I satisfy The Beast, that is.

Mar 9, 2018, 11:08pm Top

A trip to Yellowstone sounds like something you need to do, Mark. There are a huge variety of birds that hang out there which would enhance your visit. From Mountain Chickadees to Black Billed Magpies, there's a lot to see. Last time we were there, a Trumpeter Swan was nesting in a meadow next to the Madison River. BTW I've taken a BB for American Wolf.

Mar 10, 2018, 6:32am Top

Hi Mark! I hope you have a great day!

Mar 10, 2018, 6:47am Top

>100 vancouverdeb: >101 brenzi: >102 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Deb, Bonnie & Meg. Happy Weekend to you all!

>103 benitastrnad: Have a safe trip to Kansas, Benita. Be kind to The Beast and The Beat will be kind to you. Enjoy your time with your Mom.

>104 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. We did got to Yellowstone in the mid-90s and spent a long day there but as you know, that barely scratched the surface. Next time, I would like to take several days, hike around and really explore. Hooray for a Trumpeter Swan. I have not seen one yet. I am sure you will like American Wolf.

>105 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Leaving for work shortly...

Mar 10, 2018, 6:49am Top

Have a good day at work, Mark! Are you still listening to the Wolf story or was that one in print?

Edited: Mar 10, 2018, 6:52am Top

^I should wrap up American Wolf today. I will be sad to see this one go. It has been a good year for NF so far and I see no reason, why that should not continue.

I am also enjoying The Night in Question, my other Wolff collection. Grins...

Mar 10, 2018, 7:04am Top

>107 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. I am listening to Wolf on audio. It works very well in that format. You can always check post #2, to see what print and audio book that I have going.

Mar 10, 2018, 8:48am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark! Happy belated birthday to Bree! Congrats on your 600th review!
Things seem sort of wolfish around here ;0)
I've had such a slow start to March. Plainsong should be done today, hopefully, then on to Eventide. I like living in Holt.

Mar 10, 2018, 9:00am Top

>109 msf59: You know I rarely look at the top of someone's thread after the initial thread creation. I usually just pop down to the new posts at the bottom.
Glad the wolf book is working for you on audio. I started to read Bad Feminist on audio yesterday and it wasn't working for me. I'll have to get the print version of that one.

Mar 10, 2018, 9:34am Top

>110 Carmenere: "I like living in Holt." That is all I need to hear. B.A.G.

Morning, Lynda. Should be a nice day in the Midwest.

>111 ChelleBearss: Good to know about Bad Feminist, since I have that one saved on audio too. Does Gay narrate?

Edited: Mar 10, 2018, 10:26am Top

>112 msf59: the copy I had from the library was narrated by Bahni Turpin. It may work for you better as you are much more comfortable with audio. I’m just getting back into them and I found myself tuning her out.

Mar 10, 2018, 10:16am Top

Happy Saturday, buddy. Stopping by with greetings from LA.

600 reviews! Way to go. I'll try to do some more mini-reviews when I get back.

Based on your comments so far, I'll add American Wolf to the WL.

>110 Carmenere: I like living in Holt, too, Lynda. Those will be re-reads for me at some point.

Mar 10, 2018, 10:57am Top

>113 ChelleBearss: Gay narrated her recent memoir and I thought she did a good job. Glad to hear you are easing back into audios.

>114 jnwelch: Greetings from the sunny but chilly Midwest, Joe. Glad you are having a fine time in the LA area.

Let's plan on a reread of the Holt books, starting with Plainsong. Maybe in a month or 2?

Mar 10, 2018, 12:42pm Top

Hi, Mark! I hope your Saturday is going well. Quiet here on the bird front.

Edited: Mar 10, 2018, 6:15pm Top

This month's Sierra Club magazine featured a review of North on the Wing
by ornithologist Bruce Beehler.

"Beehler is primarily fascinated with wood warblers, the tiny songsters that fly
from the tropics to the northern United States and Canada every year.

The author tracks warblers up the Mississippi River valley, bounding from
wildlife refuges to small private reserves and state parks along the way,
binoculars in hand. There are many flashes of insight."

Edited: Mar 10, 2018, 6:24pm Top

I stopped at Parnuasses Books today. The purpose was to purchase a copy of Chemistry by Weike Wang and low and behold they were hosting a book talk today by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington. They are the author so The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist. It was a fascinating talk and so I just had to purchase a copy.

I hold you responsible for the purchase of both books. Chemistry because it's author was one of the authors you heard when you visited that bookstore, and after hearing your report I was hit with a book bullet, and this new one because I wouldn't have taken the time to stop at the bookstore today if my interest hadn't been picqued by you visit.

Shame on you. Now I have 8 books in my car instead of the 4 I brought with me to read from the library.

Mar 10, 2018, 6:39pm Top

>116 harrygbutler: Happy Saturday, Harry. Quiet here on the bird front too. I did visit my Mama GHO today though. Always a highlight.

>117 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I love warblers, so thanks for the recommendation. They should be arriving in the Chicagoland area, in the next couple of weeks. There is such a wide variety of them, that it is going to take some time for me to really learn each species.

>118 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. How did you end up in the Nashville area? Were you picking up your sister? Hooray for stopping at Parnassus Books and snagging a copy of Chemistry: A Novel. I hope you like it. Well, you got me with a BB, with The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist. That one sounds really good.

Edited: Mar 10, 2018, 6:46pm Top

^Well, I paid a visit, to my Mama GHO today, after work and she is still sitting majestically on her nest, (Not my photo). She seems to be sitting up higher, so I am hoping she has a couple of owlets beneath her. I plan on checking on her weekly, so expect updates. No sign of Papa GHO...once again.

Highlight: My wife joined me at this location and seen her first GHO. She is a Happy Camper.

Edited: Mar 10, 2018, 6:57pm Top

^Okay, a rare book dilemma: On audio, I started My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. I like Backman, (I have read and enjoyed 2 of his novels) but not sure this one is ringing my bells, after listening to the first hour or so. Any defenders out there? Any detractors? I have until Monday morning, to decide. Come on Mighty 75! Help me out here!

Mar 10, 2018, 8:06pm Top

Woo hoo for GHO!!!!! :-)

Mar 10, 2018, 8:20pm Top

Mark, re your question on my thread. I just asked my friend about the oriole feeder. Here is her reply:

Hammer in a nail and stick an orange half on it. Better: get an oriole feeder with a section for a dish, and fill it with grape jelly.

Mar 10, 2018, 10:46pm Top

Very cool, Mark! A GHO and your wife saw it too. Poppy and I saw two trumpeter swans today. I haven't seen them since last summer. I guess it might be spring? Although for all I know, the swans hang around all winter.

Mar 11, 2018, 12:20am Top

>121 msf59:. Yes, yes, yes! I will be very sad if you don't like this. One of my favorites from last year.

It's the book that caused me to almost ugly cry in public at a bar. And that's a good thing.

Okay I won't be sad if you don't like it, but it hit on all cylinders with me

Mar 11, 2018, 12:24am Top

My review is near the top of my last thread from last year

Edited: Mar 11, 2018, 12:30am Top

Hi Mark! Glad that you liked your Vlautin; he seems like the perfect author for you, but Don't Skip Out On Me was a bit too grim for me. I liked The Free better.

and happy belated birthday to Bree! Great picture.

Mar 11, 2018, 12:51am Top

Spotting a nesting GHO. Good

Doing 600 reviews: also good.

Stopping by my thread: Thank you.

Reading Consider the Lobster. Footnote City. And here I thought Nicholson Baker did footnotes. Esp. in The Mezzanine. DFW beats Baker all hollow.

Went nuts at Goodwill this afternoon.

Guess your Sunday is going to be an hour shorter.

Mar 11, 2018, 7:49am Top

>122 jessibud2: >123 jessibud2: Yah, for the GHO! I like that idea of grape jelly for the orioles but I hope it doesn't attract other critters and insects. I would give it a try though. I would love to see that splash of color at my feeders.

>124 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. We are sure hoping to see an owlet or two. Wouldn't that top things off nicely? I want to see a trumpeter swan. We don't get those through here very often.

>125 mahsdad: >126 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. I did see your rave review of Grandmother Asked, while I was scanning reviews here and on Good Reads. I will give it another try tomorrow. Maybe, I got distracted, thinking about owls and such. I sure could use your photography skills, as I go birding.

Mar 11, 2018, 7:52am Top

>121 msf59: I loved it, Mark, maybe it is better when read in print?

Edited: Mar 11, 2018, 7:55am Top

>127 banjo123: Happy Sunday, Rhonda. Thanks for chiming in on Vlautin. I agree that Don't Skip Out had a grim tone to it. I want to try his other work, including The Free. Was that the only 2, that you have read by him?

>128 weird_O: Howdy, Bill. Great to see you. I have Consider the Lobster on shelf. I love his essay work. I have not read Baker. Hooray for going nuts at Goodwill. I will have to stop by and take a gander at the book haul.

>130 FAMeulstee: Well, that is 2 Big Thumbs Up, for Grandmother Asked, so that settles it, Anita. Thanks.

Mar 11, 2018, 8:03am Top

Morning, Mark! Yay for the GHO!
Hope your audio starts to work for you. Perhaps it the narrator?

Mar 11, 2018, 8:24am Top

>132 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. I don't think it is the audio narrator and I do like the quirky grandmother and precocious little girl, so maybe I just got distracted the last 20-30 minutes, plus I do like Backman's work. I will continue.

Edited: Mar 11, 2018, 8:28am Top

^Happy Sunday! Not a lot planned for the day. Some house chores and I hope to get out for a nature stroll, although it remains cool here. The sunshine should help though. I have to attend to my bird feeders and hope to see some activity there, as well. The afternoon should be spent with the books.

Edited: Mar 11, 2018, 9:14am Top

We had a fabulous trip to Iceland. Got home last night so I have today to recover, but feel pretty normal now, even with DST.

It was a great week with my mom, sister, and brother. Reykjavik is really easy to get around. The people were very friendly and we had hired a local guide for two trips, so I feel like we go a bit of a personal look at what it is like to live there. We thought a lot about where we were going to eat. The food is so good, I am sure you can't go wrong, but we had a lot of special dining experiences. The only disappointment for my mom: even though we went on a northern lights tour, they weren't very active last week, so we didn't get to see them. You can, however, occasionally see them in WI, so I'll have to pay attention to that.

I need to do a little research to ID the birds I saw. Even though we weren't there during spring migration or went to birding hotspots, I am sure there is a handful of lifers in there for me. The lake where we saw the ducks had some ID signs, so I took pictures of those too - I am sure they will be helpful.

Of course, pictures cannot capture the beauty. I have some, but mostly to trigger my memory of what we saw there.
Here is one I shared on FB and is from about 5 minutes from the place we stayed:

Mar 11, 2018, 9:56am Top

Good morning, Mark! I'll be looking forward to the weekly GHO reports. Enjoy your Sunday!

Mar 11, 2018, 10:13am Top

>135 alphaorder: Hooray for Iceland, Nancy. Thanks for the great update. I loved the photos you shared. Sorry, your Mom didn't get to see the Northern Lights. Hopefully, she will someday. I heard it is very expensive there. Did you find it the same?

Could you post that photo of the ducks and swans over here. I LOVE that one. Good luck getting back into the groove.

>136 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. You can count on my GHO reports, along with any other owl sightings. I sure hope to spot an owlet, in this nest.

Mar 11, 2018, 10:22am Top

Morning, Mark! I really hate springing forward. It makes me grumpy.

Mar 11, 2018, 10:37am Top

Morning, Mamie! I am glad I went to bed early last night, (Yep, very exciting Saturday night for the Freeburgs) so getting up this A.M. wasn't that bad. I was enjoying how light it has been in the early hours. Now, it needs to catch back up.

Mar 11, 2018, 11:05am Top

I think this is the picture you were talking about, right, Mark?

Mar 11, 2018, 2:46pm Top

>140 alphaorder: Yes, it is, Nancy. Thanks for sharing. Perfect serenity.

Edited: Mar 11, 2018, 2:56pm Top

^Well, I went for a solo Sunday bird stroll. It is about 40 degrees here, with sunshine, so not bad. Migration season is still a few weeks off, so I just saw the usual suspects, which is fine with me: juncos, cardinals, (plenty singing too), chickadees, robins, a nuthatch, red-winged blackbirds, Canada geese, gulls, mallards, (There were other ducks on the lake but it was too far off to identify) and a red-tailed hawk soaring, (photo above). Surprising, I did not eyeball any woodpeckers, although I heard a few, drumming and chattering.

I have not cracked a book yet today, but I am about to...

Edited: Mar 11, 2018, 3:02pm Top

Hooray for couples viewing GHO's! I look forward to your weekly updates.
I got a picture of our visiting woodpecker. I'll download it to my thread later today.

ETA: >142 msf59: Holy Moly! What a shot!!

Mar 11, 2018, 5:10pm Top

>143 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. I am enjoying my GHO visits. It is nice that it is on my way home from work. Quick in, quick out. Looking forward to seeing your visiting woodpecker.

The photo of the red-tailed hawk, is very similar to the one I saw earlier, flying with the sun, lighting up it's tail.

Edited: Mar 11, 2018, 7:02pm Top

I was passing through Nashvlle on my way to Kansas for Spring Break. I will be spending the time with my mother. My niece lives in Nashville and I was to meet her at a Starbucks that is close to Parnassus Books. However, my niece got sick so I instead of lunch with her I spent three hours at the bookstore and got to hear the two authors.

I drove through a snow storm today. I hit snow east of St. Louis and it stayed with me all the way to Columbia, MO. There is a reason why I call it the State of Misery. American Fire is easing the pain. I am now in Kansas City and only 5 more hours to home. I have about 15 minutes left on American Fire and then I will start listening to the YA fantasy novel Caraval

Mar 11, 2018, 7:39pm Top

>145 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Thanks for the check in. Sorry to hear that your niece is sick but hooray for Parnassus Books. How were the authors? Boo, for a snowstorm in the State of Misery. Glad you survived it and I glad to hear you are enjoying American Fire. I loved that one too.

Edited: Mar 11, 2018, 7:44pm Top

^Well, based on the love that My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry has received from my LT pals, it looks like I will continue the Backman. Quite possibly, I was just distracted the last 30 minutes of listening to the audio yesterday. It has happened before...The undisciplined mind.

One thing I really admire about Backman is the fact, that he avoids being pigeon-holed. All 3 I have read, have a distinct style and approach.

Mar 11, 2018, 7:48pm Top

Hi Mark! Yes, The Free is the only other Vlautin I have read. Did you listen to the Richmond Fontaine song that goes with Don't Skip Out On Me?

Mar 11, 2018, 7:50pm Top

>142 msf59: That's a beautiful hawk! And a good picture, as well.

>140 alphaorder: Love those swans, they don't seem shy at all.

Mar 11, 2018, 8:04pm Top

>148 banjo123: I know there is a soundtrack that goes along with Don't Skip Out, but I have not heard it yet. I remember enjoying his band Richmond Fontaine many years ago. I need to revisit them too. Have you heard them? They are from the PNW!

>149 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. It wasn't my photo but it sure captured the image that I saw, as it flew overhead.

Mar 11, 2018, 8:24pm Top

Hi Mark! Idid hear Richmond Fontaine once. They are good, but kind of slow for me. Anyway here is a link to a you tube of the song.

Mar 11, 2018, 11:57pm Top

>142 msf59: That is a pretty awesome list of "usual suspects," Mark. I'm loving following along on your bird adventures. And I love that you're keeping an eye on a Great Horned Owl. SO cool.

Congrats on 600 reviews!

I kind of want to read American Wolf except that I fear it will make me cry. If I end up getting, and taking, this job I'm interviewing for, I'll be living less than one day's drive from Yellowstone....

Happy (almost) Monday, my friend!

Mar 12, 2018, 6:34am Top

>151 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. I will check it out.

>152 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Glad my pals are enjoying my various birding adventures, especially since I have no plans to let up. Grins...

There is definitely sadness involved in American Wolf and you will probably cry, but I still highly recommend reading it. And wow, being that close to Yellowstone. Sweet!

Edited: Mar 12, 2018, 6:46am Top

"I was their only child. They named me Sequoyah, meaning sparrow, after the great teacher who developed the Cherokee language. My mother said she should've named me Yellow Sky, because I was always there to bring her light, like the dawn."

Where the Dead Sit Talking is a novel about a fifteen year old Cherokee boy, being placed in a foster home, while his mother is in prison. This is a new book, that I received as an egalley. It is off to a very good start. I had not heard of Hobson but it looks he takes on interesting topics.

Mar 12, 2018, 7:07am Top

Good morning, Mark! Nice shot of the hawk! Nothing unusual around here, either.

Mar 12, 2018, 7:50am Top

Morning, Mark! Hope the audio starts to work for you today. I have Backman on my radar as I have A Man Called Ove already but haven't gotten to it yet. I'll keep my eye out for your thoughts

Mar 12, 2018, 8:16am Top

Hi Mark. Though I haven't seen them yet, I definitely heard a robin (or two) this morning!! Can spring be far off? :-)

Mar 12, 2018, 11:39am Top

>155 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Breezy and overcast here. Not expecting to see much bird activity.

>156 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. I loved Ove and many others here did too. You should have a good time with it. And I am enjoying my current Backman too.

>157 jessibud2: Hooray for the robins, Shelley. I have been seeing small groups of male robins, here and there. Not much singing though.

Mar 12, 2018, 3:07pm Top

Yay for all the owl sightings. Hopefully the papa makes an appearance soon too as I'm sure that will be super exciting for you to see! Do you know if they only have 1 mate for life kinda of deal?

I haven't read any Backman yet, but he is on my radar.

Happy Mondays, Mark. :)

Mar 12, 2018, 3:57pm Top

Okay, when I am feeling strong and brave I will get a copy of American Wolf and read it. I do think I would love it. I would love to learn what it has to teach.

Mar 12, 2018, 5:51pm Top

>159 jolerie: Hi, Valerie. I plan on visiting my GHOs on Thursday, this week and I hope to see Papa this time, along with a possible surprise, peeking out of the nest. Fingers crossed. Definitely give Mr. Backman a try. This is also shaping up to be a gem.

>160 EBT1002: Well, that didn't take to much pressure, right, Ellen? Grins...It works very well on audio too, if you decide to go that route.

Mar 12, 2018, 6:07pm Top

I loved A Man Called Ove Mark and must make room for another one of his. I have Beartown on my Overdrive list.

Mar 12, 2018, 8:10pm Top

I'm way behind on threads due to my spring break travels.

>78 msf59: I hope to get to that one eventually. It's been on my wish list ever since it was released.

Mar 12, 2018, 10:03pm Top

>162 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I think you will like Backman. I really liked Beartown too.

>163 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. Great to see you. I can't believe it took me this long to get to Massie, but Catherine the Great is a fine place to start with him.

Mar 13, 2018, 1:54am Top

>140 alphaorder: That is quite the picture. Here we have the ducks but the larger birds are Canada geese and they tend to stay in segregated flocks.

I can remember when robins were a sign of spring when I lived back east. They overwinter here so are around all year long. They don't like it much when it snows though.

Mar 13, 2018, 6:16am Top

Morning, Mark! I was reminded this weekend that a group of owls is called a "parliament," which sounds so cool, doesn't it? And I thought of you, of course. I love those groups-of-animal names (which I'm sure has its own name, but I can't think of it).

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 6:35am Top

>165 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Good to see you. We have robins that stick around too but not many. Mostly a few hardy males.

>166 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Hooray for a parliament of owls. That is a very cool name. This species is known for being solitary, so I wonder if anyone has actually seen a "Parliament"?

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 7:03am Top

Well I'm sure some of us would LOVE to have a parliament of wise owls leading our nations. Sign me up.

Mar 13, 2018, 7:07am Top

>168 Caroline_McElwee: You would probably have a better chance to see a hundred owls on a wire, than that happening, Caroline. Shakes head sadly...

I hope your week is off to a good start.

Mar 13, 2018, 7:08am Top

Morning, Mark! I'm sleep-deprived and a little loopy - hope you are in better shape :)

Mar 13, 2018, 8:18am Top

Morning, Mark! Hope you are having a warm day without much mail!
Is the Backman audio starting to work better?

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 10:41am Top

>168 Caroline_McElwee: - You got that right! Here too

Mar 13, 2018, 8:32am Top

Good morning, Mark! Here it is snowy and windy, so I don't expect to see much activity at the feeders until the wind dies down. Hope your day goes well.

Mar 13, 2018, 9:45am Top

Hi Mark and happy Tuesday to you.

I was so busy over the weekend and yesterday that I haven't been by to visit, but am glad that you are visiting the GHOs and had a great birding day on Sunday!

I saw a woman reading My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry on a plane going to California the year the English translation came out, 2015. I thought it a strange title. I hope you enjoy it.

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 9:48am Top

>170 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. Safe travels. I hope your body gets adjusted quickly. No fun being tired and loopy.

>171 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. Yes, I am glad I hung in there with My Grandmother. It has been very good and the little girl is a hoot.

>172 jessibud2: ?? Big morning waves to Shelley.

Mar 13, 2018, 10:10am Top

Morning, Mark! Hoping your Tuesday is off to a good start.

Mar 13, 2018, 10:43am Top

>175 msf59: - Haha! Oopsy. I have now corrected my post - I was replying to Caroline in >168 Caroline_McElwee: (I had left off the 8) when she mentioned this: Well I'm sure some of us would LOVE to have a parliament of wise owls leading our nations. Sign me up.

Now, more than ever.

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 11:03am Top

>173 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Fortunately, it is not snowing here, just cold. Spring is next week, right?

>174 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Missed you for those couple of days. Yes, My Grandmother Asked is a clunky title, but it has been a fun read.

>176 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. My Tuesday is off to a fine start, I just want a bit more warmth. Can you send some up?

>177 jessibud2: I thought that was the one you were referring to, Shelley. LOL.

Mar 13, 2018, 11:21am Top

>178 msf59: I will do my best!

Mar 13, 2018, 11:26am Top

>178 msf59: Yep, next week. :-) I think we should already have planted some of the cool-season crops.

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 2:20pm Top

>167 msf59: Well, I've seen several family groups (family parliaments?) of GHO which would be 4 or 5 together.

The new director of a nearby private refuge is claiming having seen 45 short eared owls in a small area of the refuge. There are a few trails along the outer edge of the refuge. I haven't ever seen a wild SEO (ETA:) so I think I'll spend a little time on the peripheral trails.


Mar 13, 2018, 1:04pm Top

In case you have some spare time. Not owls but still gorgeous:


Mar 13, 2018, 5:09pm Top

HI, Mark! Great thread, lovely pictures, interesting books and visitors. I'll have to stop by more often.

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 6:01pm Top

>180 harrygbutler: Well, Harry, I was completely wrong about the snow today, (I blame the weather channel) because we got several waves of snow, rolling through here this afternoon. It is actually still snowing now. Fortunately, I was just about done with the route, but I was completely covered in the glorious white stuff and I didn't have my rain-gear along either. Crazy!

>181 streamsong: Hi, Janet. Not, officially sure a family of owls constitutes a "parliament" but I think it works just fine. I think seeing four or five together, at any time, is an absolute treat. Glad you have had the chance. I have not seen a Short-Eared Owl yet, but I have been trying. I know the best time to spot them, is dawn and dusk. They will be migrating out of here very soon, if they are not all ready gone.

Loved the article!


Mar 13, 2018, 6:04pm Top

>182 jessibud2: Thanks for the eagle-cam, Shelley. I don't watch them very often, due to time restraints but these are very cool. I will swing by and check them out again.

>183 ffortsa: Hi, Judy. Great to see you. Yes, it can be a little crazy following along over here, but I try to make it interesting, so drop in again, when you can.

Mar 13, 2018, 6:14pm Top

>108 msf59: Ooh, you got me! I've got American Wolf requested at my library. Thanks!

Karen O.

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 6:15pm Top

The reviews for Where the Dead Sit Talking are very good. So good that I purchased a new copy of the book. It is a YA novel so I figure that if I don't like it I can donate it to the library.

Mar 13, 2018, 6:45pm Top

Hi Mark - an online book site mentioned today that David Sibley has released a book
of watercolor postcards of his favorite birds. That sounds like a fun bookstore find!

Mar 13, 2018, 6:56pm Top

>186 klobrien2: Hi, Karen. Great to see you. Glad I got you with a worthy BB. American Wolf is excellent. Let me know what you think.

>187 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. I am enjoying Where the Dead Sit Talking, but it is a dark, moody, somewhat disturbing read and I am not sure where it is headed but it appears to be a bleak destination. I know these characters, are in their mid-teens but I would not consider this YA. Not sure, it is it your cuppa either but you would find out in the first 20-30 pages.

>188 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I will have to look up this book. Sibley Rules!

Mar 13, 2018, 7:21pm Top

I love the parliament of owls- both as a saying, and also the image up there :) I wonder if an owl could do better than some current political leaders??! ;)

Mar 13, 2018, 8:03pm Top

>190 LovingLit: Hooray for a parliament of owls, Megan. And yes, I definitely think they could do a much better job, than the current crop we have going. The nightmare we can not wake up from.

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 8:07pm Top

27) Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family’s Quest to Heal the Land by Scott Freeman 4 stars

“Planting a tree is a way to apply hope. In restoration is the preservation of the world.”

“An ecosystem is a tapestry; climate change pulls at the threads.”

“In just the past thousand years, our increased population and ability to alter habitats around the globe has hit the earth like an asteroid.”

Tarboo Creek, in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, was once a thriving salmon run but over time, due to erosion, development and neglect, it became a damaged trickle. The Freeman family, authors of this book, decided to purchase a large plot of land that the Tarboo traversed and then to restore this creek to it's former glory, making it habitable for the spawning salmon. It was a huge under-taking but one filled with many rewards, for all involved.
The author packs a lot into these 200 pages and your level of interest in nature, biology and ecology, will determine what you will take out of this. It gets very detailed, (my eyes came close to glossing over a time or two) but I learned a whole lot about trees and tree restoration, the hardy lives of salmon and the impact of deforestation and climate change on our planet. I feel it is a timely and important read.

Edited: Mar 13, 2018, 8:37pm Top

A parliament of Owls is the title of several books.

And I Googled the term and found this fun painting

I have seen families of Owls, but I know they can have common roosting places in winter, where you can find groups of Owls.

>192 msf59: Oh, I want to read this one!

Mar 13, 2018, 10:39pm Top

>193 EllaTim: I love that image, Ella. Thanks for sharing.

Mar 13, 2018, 10:51pm Top

I dropped by this morning whilst you was out delivering mail or making snow angels or whatever, and wrote you about a minor flood we had. Thinking of the serious flood you had, what?, a couple of weeks ago. Stopping back this evening, I couldn't find your reply. Exploring further, I couldn't find my post. What the...?

Haha on me. I mistook Mamie's thread for yours. I can't explain it. Brain fart. Yeah, that's it. Brain fart.

Anyway, here's the original:

Hi, Mark! We had our own small flood that went unnoticed for several days (weeks?). The plumber just left after replacing the pressure tank. You probably don't have a well. When you depend on one for water, you have a pressure tank to establish water pressure and to automatically turn the pump on and off. Ours, hidden away in the basement utility room, was 28 years old and started leaking. I just happened to look in the room for something and discovered a puddle covering most of the floor and seeping under the wall sills to a closet on one side and a big storage room on the other. Some loss but nothing seriously valuable.

This calls for...COFFEE!

Edited: Mar 14, 2018, 6:39am Top

>195 weird_O: Hi, Bill. I saw your post on Mamie's thread. I was going to stop by your digs and notify you but didn't get around to it. LOL.

Sorry, to hear about the flooding issues. Glad it wasn't any worse and you had minimal damage. I sure you don't keep any books down there right?

Edited: Mar 14, 2018, 7:00am Top


Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O’er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

-From Poem-A-Day

Mar 14, 2018, 7:53am Top

>197 msf59: - I like that one! Thanks

Mar 14, 2018, 8:32am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you. I'd call it Hump Day, but your schedule varies so.

>192 msf59: Good review of an interesting book. I've added it to my wish list.

Mar 14, 2018, 9:25am Top

Good morning, Mark! The Forsythe NWR at the shore reports an osprey sighting, so the migrants are beginning to return.

>197 msf59: Nice to see Longfellow.

Mar 14, 2018, 9:45am Top

>198 jessibud2: Glad you enjoyed the Longfellow, Shelley. I mostly identify and prefer more modern poetry but every once in awhile an old-school poem resonates with me.

>199 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Actually it is a short week for me, since I have the weekend off. Looking forward to it.

>200 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Hooray for the osprey. I wish they were more common around here. One of my faves.

So osprey migrate south, like bald eagles do?

Mar 14, 2018, 10:32am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday!

>197 msf59: Like.

Mar 14, 2018, 11:00am Top

Morning, Mamie. Happy Wednesday! Glad you like the poem.

Mar 14, 2018, 11:48am Top

>197 msf59: I'm not a huge poem person, but that one I love. Maybe because I'm such a homebody..haha Thanks for sharing Mark. :)

Mar 14, 2018, 4:39pm Top

Good to see that Longfellow poem, Mark.

I'm glad you ended up liking Saving Tarboo Creek. Nice review. That eyes-glossing-over detail doomed it for Debbi; she Pearl-ruled it.

I just finished a YA I think you'd like: We Are Okay. Amber recommended it, and now I second that recommendation.

I'm going to try to catch up a bit on mini-reviews in the next couple of days. (I haven't forgotten!)

Mar 14, 2018, 5:40pm Top

Ah, Longfellow! I've loved him since reading his poetry as a child. I think my favorite then (and now) is, for some reason, The Wreck of the Hesperus. Guess I've always been a bit of a fan of the macabre. (I also loved The Children's Hour.) Good memories.

Loving the parliaments of owls! And, yeah, that's a great word for it! Not as good as murder of crows, of course, but close. :)

Mar 14, 2018, 5:55pm Top

>204 jolerie: Hi, Valerie! Hooray for homeboy poems! Glad you liked it.

>205 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Welcome back. Tarboo Creek will not be for everyone, but if the description interests anyone, I say give it a shot. I learned a lot.

It looks like I am going to have to request We Are Okay. It really looks good, along with the strong endorsements form Amber and you.

>206 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary. Good to see you. I have read very little Longfellow. I seem to gravitate to more contemporary poetry, but I will have to sample more of his work.

Hooray for a parliaments of owls & a murder of crows!

Mar 14, 2018, 6:16pm Top

Murder of crows I’ve heard of. Parliament of owls? Nope. I learn so much from you Mark😊

Mar 14, 2018, 6:37pm Top

Hi, Bonnie. LT can be an education if you let it. It is like going back to school, but without all the boring bits, plus it includes minimal homework and gobs of reading.

Edited: Mar 14, 2018, 6:51pm Top

^Surprisingly, I had not read Oliver Sacks. The only connection I had with him, early on, is really enjoying the Robin Williams film, "Awakenings", back in the 80s. He died in 2015 and once The River of Consciousness came out last year, I knew I had to finally read him. I have River saved on audio too but wanted to start with one of his most popular, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales. It is off to an interesting start.

I have been curious about his memoir On the Move: A Life too. Anyone here read that one?

Mar 14, 2018, 6:59pm Top

Yup, that one was filled with interesting stories. Generally I’ve liked and enjoyed his books. The brain is weird...

Edited: Mar 14, 2018, 7:21pm Top

>210 msf59: - I have both River of Consciousness and On the Move sitting on my shelf waiting their turn to be read but I have read other titles by him as well. I really want to get my hands on Gratitude, as well. I think that was the last book he wrote. I love his writing.

By the way, I had a hairy woodpecker at my feeder this afternoon! Pretty exciting! And, coincidentally, in one of the newsletters I subscribe to, there was an article about the pros and cons of using jam or jelly in an oriole feeder.

pros and cons of jelly for oriole feeders

Mar 14, 2018, 8:31pm Top

Grand-baby has arrived! Details on my thread. Name is Melissa, please don't mention it if you know on facebook. Mom and dad are very private people. All good!

Mar 14, 2018, 9:42pm Top

>211 drneutron: "The brain is weird..." It sure is, Jim. Thanks for chiming in on the Sacks.

>212 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Since I like my current Sacks, I am sure I will be reading River of Consciousness, hopefully later in the year. Not familair with Gratitude.

Funny, I saw that oriole feeder article, in an email, but haven't read it yet. I was going to share it with you. LOL.

>213 vancouverdeb: Hooray for baby Melissa! You are a grandmother! How exciting. Congrats, my friend.

Edited: Mar 14, 2018, 9:47pm Top

^Tonight was the Woodcock bird walk/sky dance spectacular. If you remember, I did this same thing last year. March is their mating dance month. We did see a few but nothing like last year, when they were popping up and hurtling into the sky, all over the place.

Mar 14, 2018, 9:48pm Top

>197 msf59: Lovely ! Thanks for sharing!

Mar 14, 2018, 9:55pm Top

What time of the evening do you look for them?

In forests or prairie or ?

Thank you!

Mar 14, 2018, 10:04pm Top

>216 Copperskye: Glad you like the poem, Joanne.

>217 m.belljackson: Dusk and dawn. Easier at dusk. They do the mating ritual in the open prairie but spend the rest of the time deep in the marshy woodlands, feeding on the ground. Look for any woodcock sightings in your area, somewhere they favor and go check them out. Cool stuff.

Mar 14, 2018, 11:31pm Top

>192 msf59: a companion read to Barkskins? I am also reading a companion read, of sorts. It's called Mountains without Handrails, subtitle: Reflections on the National Parks...written in the early 1980s and about the preservation of natural areas that Barkskins attacked from the other angle.

>215 msf59: Impressive mating dance! I had to look away so I didn't get wooed. ;)

Edited: Mar 15, 2018, 3:50am Top

>210 msf59: Another fan of Sacks here On the Move was eye opening - especially re the drug use. How anyone got any work done I have no idea.

I liked his book about music too - Musicophilia.

Mar 15, 2018, 6:23am Top

Morning, Mark!

Oh, yes, definitely read We Are Okay - I think it's something you'd love.

Mar 15, 2018, 6:34am Top

>219 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Yes, I think Barkskins would be a fine companion piece to Saving Tarboo and it is much much shorter. Grins... Mountains without Handrails sounds really interesting too. My kind of book. Thanks.

Glad you avoided being wooed by the woodcock. Whew! They are weird birds.

>220 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Thanks for chiming in on the Sacks. I think I have the memoir saved on audio and Musicophilia sounds interesting to. He was quite a prolific author.

>221 scaifea: Morning, Amber. It looks like I better request We Are Okay, ASAP.

Edited: Mar 15, 2018, 6:58am Top

^I have no idea why this cover caught my eye. The lovely blue cover, perhaps? I had slapped this one on the To-Read list as soon as it came out, last spring and then promptly forgot about it. Well, Donna recently read and loved it and suggested this would be a good fit for me. Let's see if she is correct, as I will start this one today.

Mar 15, 2018, 7:17am Top

Good morning, Mark! Glad you got a chance to see the woodcocks again. It has been several years since we were treated to a look.

Mar 15, 2018, 7:18am Top

>210 msf59: yay, you are getting to Sacks, Mark. I've been a fan for years, and started with the same volume as you. He was a great polymath, and one of those people I'd have loved to meet. I loved his memoir.

Edited: Mar 15, 2018, 8:08am Top

Howdy, Mark!

>197 msf59: I so agree with Longfellow! Although, nice little excursions are nice just to remind you how nice home is.
>213 vancouverdeb: ooo, congrats to Deborah. I must visit her thread.
>215 msf59: The woodcock bird dance walk sounds really nice.

What say you, Mark............Downy? Hairy?

Mar 15, 2018, 7:32am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Thursday to you, and am glad to hear that you have the weekend off. Gonna have a few brews for St. Patrick's Day?

I've read The Man Who Mistook His Wife For His Hat and have two more of his books on my shelves.

Woodcocks are here in the SE during non-breeding season, so looks like we don't get the wonderful aerial displays like you do. I've never seen one. Have fun!

Mar 15, 2018, 7:48am Top

>220 charl08: - I have Musicophilia on the shelf next to the other 5 titles of his I have yet to read! Another really fascinating one of his was The Mind's Eye. He sure was prolific. Here is a list, in case you have some spare time!


Mar 15, 2018, 8:33am Top

>223 msf59: I can see why that would catch your eye. It's a lovely cover!

Mar 15, 2018, 10:08am Top

>224 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Glad you had a chance to see a woodcock. It if you do not see them during their mating dance, they are very hard to spot in the wild.

>225 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. Thanks for chiming in on Dr. Sacks. I am impressed so far.

>226 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. I can't be sure on the woodpecker. The photo appears a bit fuzzy on my iPad. My first guess is a downy.

>228 jessibud2: What do you think, Shelley?

Edited: Mar 15, 2018, 10:19am Top

>226 Carmenere:, >230 msf59: - Agreed, that the pic is a bit fuzzy to tell for sure. The size of it looks like a hairy but can't see enough of the beak to determine for sure. I had a hairy on my feeder yesterday and I will add the photos to my gallery later this afternoon. I got some pretty good shots and when I post them, I will put up soe shots of a downy as well, for comparison. I am leaving the house in a few minutes to go get my snow tires off (sorry, you guys who won't be even thinking of that for some time!)

Mar 15, 2018, 10:46am Top

>230 msf59: >231 jessibud2: I was afraid the picture wouldn't be clear. It's because of the screen window. I took a few so I'll check them to see if anyone of them has a better view of the beak. My guess, is there isn't.
I'll be sure to check your photos later today, Shelley.

Mar 15, 2018, 11:33am Top

>227 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. You know I will be having a few beers St. Pats Day and they won't be green. Grins...

>229 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. Looking forward to starting the book at lunchtime and see if it is at least as good as its cover.

Mar 15, 2018, 11:36am Top

>231 jessibud2: >232 Carmenere: I would focus mostly on the beak, Lynda, if you can see it clearly. It is hard to determine size in a photo. You should be able to get used to telling them apart if you see them at your feeder enough.

Mar 15, 2018, 1:24pm Top

>222 msf59: That's a gorgeous cover.

And agreed re Sacks. At one point in the memoir I think he talks about insomnia - but how he fitted in the work and the writing I don't know!

Mar 15, 2018, 2:22pm Top

Just read another mention of Oliver Sacks in where memories go by Sally Magnusson.

He was a founder of the Institute of Music and Neurologic Function.
It led the way to finding how and why music is so valuable in relieving dementia symptoms.

Mar 15, 2018, 4:24pm Top

>232 Carmenere: - Lynda, and Mark, my pics are now up on my gallery. Mine are also through a window screen and not at all sharp but I have a decent zoom so was able to focus on the beak. Let me know what you think

Edited: Mar 15, 2018, 5:46pm Top

>235 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. I am assuming you were referring to the Mozart's Starling cover? If so, I love it too. I want to read the Sacks memoir.

>236 m.belljackson: Thanks for the Sacks info, Marianne. Much appreciated.

>237 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I think you tagged your photos correctly. We should be experts, after to long. Beak and size are the keys there.

Edited: Mar 15, 2018, 8:34pm Top

^Well, I was able to make my weekly GHO visit. Mama was sitting prominently on the nest. This time she was sitting up high and I saw at least 2/3rds of her body, along with both eyes, (closed). I am hoping to spot an owlet soon. Once again, no sign of Papa. There is a tall, dense pine tree, (where I saw him the first time) and he just may be very well-hidden.

Mar 15, 2018, 8:34pm Top

HERE you are! Sneaking off like that...trying to shake me off, wicked man! I missed this thread, so I'll pick up from here.

Edited: Mar 16, 2018, 1:55pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark!

I finally got here. Hope you had a good one. Did you already read On Tyranny? It's as good as Ellen and others said.

Edited: Mar 16, 2018, 12:05am Top

Wrong touchstone for On Tyranny, Joe. I saw on Twitter that Amber has posted a review on the Snyder book. (Just checked and see that Mamie also posted a review.) I just started listening to it!

Mar 16, 2018, 1:14am Top

Hi there, Mark. I am just going to say Happy Friday and pretend I am all caught up here. : )

Mar 16, 2018, 7:27am Top

>240 richardderus: Man, I was so well hidden too...grins. How ya doing, RD?

>241 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe. It looks like I NEED to request On Tyranny. Whenever a book sweeps through my LT pals, I better get on board.

>242 Storeetllr: Ooh, I am going to see if I can find it on audio, Mary.

>243 Berly: Hi, Kimmers. Good to see you, my friend.

Edited: Mar 16, 2018, 7:36am Top

^I found On Tyranny on audio. Thanks, guys. I think I will request the print book too.

ETA: I requested the print book too. Bam!!

Mar 16, 2018, 7:47am Top

>245 msf59: - I read it in print, Mark, and because I bought it, I marked passages that resonated for me (I only write in books I own, just FYI...;-) You should know, I have a majority of pages marked in this slim volume... Enjoy!

Mar 16, 2018, 7:49am Top

Happy Friday, Mark. Glad you got to see Mama GHO! That would be awesome to see the little ones some day!

Mar 16, 2018, 7:53am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you. I hope you get to see owlets soon.

Mar 16, 2018, 8:06am Top

>246 jessibud2: That is exactly why I would like to have the print copy too. Not to write in the library book of course, (grins) but to bookmark any memorable passages, which I am sure there are plenty.

>247 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. I have no idea when these owlets were hatched but I have a feeling they should be making an appearance in the next few weeks, if not sooner.

>248 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Me too!

Mar 16, 2018, 9:15am Top

Good morning, Mark! Enjoy your Friday!

Mar 16, 2018, 9:20am Top

Veeeeerrrrry interesting...

Edited: Mar 16, 2018, 10:07am Top

>250 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry and thanks.

>251 richardderus: Well, that is a blast from the past, RD. And a big blast too. Grins...

Heading out for a bird/nature walk. Be back this afternoon...

Mar 16, 2018, 10:07am Top

>251 richardderus: - LOL! I recognize that guy!

Mar 16, 2018, 11:38am Top

Mar 16, 2018, 12:30pm Top

>254 richardderus: - Excellent! If only there were more like this guy!

Mar 16, 2018, 12:58pm Top

I picked up American Wolf at the library yesterday. Works out well because I need a title with a nationality for one of my reading challenges.

I can tell the birds are happy with the spring weather. I had to refill the bird feeders after only a few days. Little feathered pigs.

I should finish up The Heart's Invisible Furies today. Next up is A Walk in the Woods Still listening to The Silkworm

Loving the GHO updates

Mar 16, 2018, 1:37pm Top

I finished the audio of On Tyranny last night, and all I have to say is this very short book should, as others have said, be required reading for every American citizen and especially those in high school and college. It is one of only about 3 or 4 books I've ever wanted to buy copies of to give away. And I will also be buying a copy of the print book for myself (yes, I agree with Shelley that a hard copy is a must).

Have a great Friday, Mark! Enjoy your nature walk!

Mar 16, 2018, 1:58pm Top

Hiya, Mark.

I'm glad you picked up On Tyranny! I'm like you, if a whole bunch of our pals are recommending a book, I know I need to read it.

Happy Friday, my friend. Nature walk? Good! Enjoy it, buddy.

Mar 16, 2018, 2:15pm Top

>254 richardderus: Look at the feet on those owls! But they're very calm about it.

Edited: Mar 16, 2018, 2:58pm Top

>254 richardderus: I love this RD! Thanks for sharing and hooray for Norman Smith ! A true owl crusader!

>255 jessibud2: I am with you, Shelley!

>256 SuziQoregon: Happy Friday, Juli! Hooray for American Wolf & little feathered pigs! My feeders seem to be hopping today too. I just was out there, topping everything off and freshening up the birdbath.

I hope you loved Invisible Furies as much as I did and I loved A Walk in the Woods. Perfect choice.

Mar 16, 2018, 3:02pm Top

Hi Mark, I've been sitting at the computer and watching two male hummingbirds squabbling over our feeder outside the window. Those little guys get quite fiece when they are defending what they think of as their territory! I noticed today that there are lots of birds and bird noises outside, a sure sign that Spring is here. Hope you have a great weekend!

Mar 16, 2018, 3:05pm Top

>257 Storeetllr: I love it, when my LT buddies get into a book frenzy, on a certain title. As soon as I get my print copy from the library, I will start the audiobook.

I had a very good hike, Mary. Love traipsing around in the woods or the prairie.

>258 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. There is sure a flurry of love for On Tyranny. Always gets me stoked. I should get to it next week. Loved my hike today. Good day for it too.

>259 EllaTim: I was impressed with the size of the owl's feet too, Ella and impressed how gentle they are, as they are being handled.

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 4:04pm Top

^The highlight of my bird hike were spotting several eastern bluebirds. My first of the year and they never fail to put a smile on my face. One of my favorites. The rest were the usual suspects, lots of chickadees but I also saw my first Great Blue Heron of the year too.

Funny, once I got back to my own neighborhood, I heard and then saw a few flocks of sandhill cranes, flying high above. My first sighting of them, in a couple of weeks. Must be the right wind conditions.

Mar 16, 2018, 5:05pm Top

That owl guy clip made my day. How great that he's so passionate about helping these glorious birds.

Mar 16, 2018, 5:56pm Top

>263 msf59: that's a beaut Mark.

Mar 16, 2018, 9:10pm Top

We have two nesting pairs of bluebirds that regularly hang out in our backyard. One pair has claimed our back deck rail as their territory, so we get really good views from our kitchen window - plus they get really upset at us when we sit on th deck in the evenings in the spring. They really are beautiful birds!

Mar 16, 2018, 9:43pm Top

>263 msf59: The New York State Bird! Now those I know something about Mark. A local ornithologist came to our house one day many, many years ago, and asked if he could set up five or six birdhouses that were developed specifically for the Eastern Bluebird and of course we were thrilled to have them. Every spring we would watch for them and they never failed to show up. Sadly, since I moved I haven’t seen a single Bluebird.

Mar 17, 2018, 3:20am Top

It was sunny and warm here today so there were a lot of people out walking on the path by the lake. There was a flock of Canada Geese at the lake along with the ducks. I was following close behind a couple when I noticed there were a couple of geese waiting on the lake side of the path obviously wanting to cross the path. They waited patiently for the couple to pass them and then for me to pass before they proceeded. It was like they were trained to watch for traffic.

Mar 17, 2018, 7:38am Top

>264 richardderus: People like this can really make a difference, RD. There were many examples of this in Tarboo Creek and in American Wolf. Maybe, I can doing something like this, after I retire. Smiles...

>265 Caroline_McElwee: Definitely put a smile on my face, Caroline.

>266 drneutron: That is absolutely perfect, Jim. The splashes of color we get at our feeders are the cardinals and the goldfinch, (with their summer plumage, of course). I sure wish I had a deck to look out at my feeders.

Mar 17, 2018, 7:44am Top

>267 brenzi: Wow, Bonnie, that must have been quite a treat. Did you have that much property, that you could put up that many boxes? If so, that is great. Our forest preserves are dotted with bluebird houses, but they have to be maintained, otherwise other birds can take over, like tree swallows.

We never seen them in our neighborhood. They seem to prefer quiet open spaces, with trees nearby.

>268 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. I wish it was warm and sunny here. Are you able to tell the differences, with your ducks? I am still learning. A long process, since they are so hard to see and study here. We get inundated with Canada geese here too and once their little ones hatch, they will be everywhere.

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 8:10am Top

Morning, Mark! Here's to spotting the first bluebirds and Great Blue Heron of the year!

Mar 17, 2018, 8:32am Top

>271 Carmenere: Ooh, what a perfect image to see, this early St. Patrick's Day morning. I will be waiting a few hours before indulging but I will be thinking about that one.

Happy Saturday, Lynda!

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 4:09pm Top

28) American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee 4.5 stars

O-Six is a Yellowstone Wolf. An alpha female, named for the year of her birth. She is fierce and loyal. A perfect leader and was beloved by wolf watchers in Yellowstone National Park. This is her story along, with the tumultuous history of the wolves of North America, who once roamed, the country, in mass numbers. This was before the Europeans came and hunted them to the brink of extinction.
Starting in 1995, wolves were introduced back into Yellowstone and O-Six was part of this introduction. This turned out to be a big success but like many good things, it was plagued by problems, mainly from ranchers and hunters. It also became a very thorny, political issue, in the western states and in Washington.

This is an excellent book, with an informative narrative, along with a strong story-telling flow and the reader will learn plenty about conservation and the courageous lives of not just the wolves, but the other wildlife that makes it's home in this majestic place.


-The wolf-watchers

Mar 17, 2018, 9:14am Top

>273 msf59: Seems like a really good read. I can understand the controversy. Wolves really belong in an area like Yellowstone, but of course they can also decide to leave and go for nearby ranches. Is that what it was about?

In Holland sometimes we see lone wolves nowadays, coming in from Germany. There's always a big commotion when that happens, some people would love to see them come back, farmers, and especially sheep farmers hate the idea. But the last one got killed by traffic.

Mar 17, 2018, 9:31am Top

>261 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Sorry, I missed you up there. Glad you are enjoying the hummingbird wars. I am a bit jealous. I will put up my hummingbird feeder, in about a month.

>274 EllaTim: American Wolf is excellent, Ella. And yes, wolves can roam and kill livestock and ranchers are allowed to kill them if they do. Wolves have also thinned out the elk population, (a natural course of things) and this has enraged the hunters and guide services.

I would not have guessed that wolves have strayed into Holland. Wow. That is cool. The nearest wolves we have here are found in the upper reaches of Michigan.

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 9:41am Top

>275 msf59: In Germany they actively started protecting wolves over a decade ago, Mark, and since then wolves spread all over Germany. Some packs are relatively close to our Eastern border, so sometimes a wolf wanders into our country. Like in the USA there are many pro-wolf and many others fear their more permanent arrival.
eta: It is not allowed to shoot them, as they are protected wildlife.

Mar 17, 2018, 10:04am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you!

My friend Louise was telling me about the bluebirds she saw yesterday. I think I need to move the bluebird houses to places where I can see them - one's too far to the left from the sunroom windows and one's behind a magnolia. If I did it now, would it be too late and disrupt them from building a nest?

Mar 17, 2018, 10:06am Top

Happy weekend, Mark.

I went on a night owl hike last night and while the hiking part was fun, if a little cold, we didn't get to see any owls, although we heard a few of them. *sigh* I may have more luck with owl sightings when I am next in Tokyo next month and find some time to visit one of the owl cafes.

Mar 17, 2018, 10:09am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark!

>254 richardderus: Very cool video! Thanks for sharing!

We have wolves in the valley where I live, although I have never seen one.

Here's some strange species-ist trivia. There is a fund that will pay owners for livestock lost to wolves. It will also pay if your dog is killed. However, it does not pay for the loss of a cat.

Mar 17, 2018, 10:16am Top

Morning, Mark! All caught up here - I had fallen behind, but I'll try not to let it happen again. Hoping your weekend is full of fabulous!

Mar 17, 2018, 10:44am Top

Happy weekend, Mark. Sending big waves from over the pond.

Mar 17, 2018, 10:55am Top

Hi Mark - Happy Saturday. Great comments on American Wolf; I've also had that on my list after seeing Joanne's comments.

Mar 17, 2018, 11:09am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark. Did you get any ice/freezing rain? For once, it was good to be north. Nothing whatsoever up here.

Spring is in the air. I've been hearing some singing birds around.

Mar 17, 2018, 11:11am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark. Enjoyed that review of American Wolf; thumb from me, and I'll add it to the WL.

We didn't see any wolves in Yellowstone (bears, bison and moose, mainly). We only saw elk once we got out of Yellowstone; I am sorry to hear their population has gone down.

Mar 17, 2018, 11:38am Top

>276 FAMeulstee: Thanks for that, Anita. I had no idea that wolves have made such a comeback in Germany. Glad to hear that they remain on the protected list.

>277 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I think it is great that you have bluebird houses set up. You may have to ask Louise about moving any of the boxes. I think it might be risky if they are preparing a nest.

>278 cameling: Hooray for an owl walk, Caro. Was this with a group? Sorry, you didn't see any. I have gone on 2 night ones now and struck out both times. They are extremely good at not being seen. Hope you get to see one in Japan...a wild one, that is.

Mar 17, 2018, 11:43am Top

>279 streamsong: Morning, Janet. Great to see you. I am not surprised that you have wolves in your area, but they are also very evasive. I would sure love to see one in the wild. Thanks for the trivia. According to the book, if wolves start eating livestock, they have a tendency to keep returning, like bears do and this is a sad fact.

>280 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. Glad you got caught up. I am trying to the same over the weekend. It can be a mighty task.

>281 Ameise1: Happy Saturday, Barb. Nice to see you.

Mar 17, 2018, 11:46am Top

^I saw a lone killdeer in the Costco parking lot. These are shore birds and are a bit shy. I was surprised and delighted. (Not my photo)

Mar 17, 2018, 11:51am Top

>282 BLBera: Morning, Beth. I hope my warbling pays off on American Wolf. All my NF and nature loving pals, should love this one.

>283 lindapanzo: Morning, Linda. Yes, we did get ice and freezing rain, but not a lot and it is almost gone. We are seeing and hearing a lot of bird activity here. Spring is coming...

>284 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Thanks for the Thumb. I really want to spread the word on American Wolf. We saw herds of elk when we visited Yellowstone, but no moose. Fortunately, we saw a few in Wyoming, outside the park. Love me a moose!

Mar 17, 2018, 12:04pm Top

>287 msf59: - Hi Mark. Aren't those killdeer adorable? A couple of years ago I saw a mama and baby toddling around a grassy area near a major parking lot I had parked in. I took a bunch of photos and if I can find them, I will post on my gallery and let you know. I was amazed! They really are so distinctive (and easy to ID!)

Mar 17, 2018, 12:09pm Top

>287 msf59: Costco on a Saturday?! You are a brave man!
Cute bird!
Hope you are having a great day!

Edited: Mar 17, 2018, 1:01pm Top

Morning Mark,

Haven't talked about my reading much of late, so to bring you up to date: My nonfiction read is Robert Reich's The Common Good, which I am listening to during my commute. My fiction read is Lisa Genova's forthcoming Every Note Played, where ALS is the subject.

Mar 17, 2018, 1:39pm Top

>289 jessibud2: Yes, killdeer are adorable and I like the sound they make too. Very distinctive. Seeing a baby killdeer must have been quite a treat.

>290 ChelleBearss: The wife and I alternate weekly food-shopping and usually go on weekends. When I go to Costgo, I have learned to arrive right when they open. I can knock out the shopping and checking out, in a snap. This is why I saw the shore bird this morning. the parking lot was mostly empty.

>291 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. Great to see you. Thanks for the reading update. Both sound interesting. I think you would like American Wolf and my current print book, Mozart's Starling.

Mar 17, 2018, 2:01pm Top

>269 msf59: THERE's a retirement career I can see being worthy of your energies! Go Mark! Go Mark!

Mar 17, 2018, 3:35pm Top

>270 msf59: We had forty acres Mark so there was plenty of room. And you’re right about the tree swallows. But our Bird man, as we liked to call him, was vigilant at maintaining the houses so we had a happy bunch of bluebirds.

Thumb for your excellent review of American Wolf. I have that one on my Overdrive list.

Mar 17, 2018, 4:20pm Top

>293 richardderus: It is sure nice to have retirement options, RD. Not sure the wife would tolerate me being gone for such long stretches, but you never know...

>294 brenzi: Ooh, 40 acres. That sounds like bliss, Bonnie. I would have bluebird boxes myself, and do the maintenance. I am sure you will love American Wolf. It is a keeper.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Nine.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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