Friday, October 23, 2009
I spent most of the day today bottling the 2008 wines. Bottled 50 bottles of Cabernet (two kinds, 25 bottles each) and 24 bottles of Sangiovese. Sulfited each batch to 52pmm. Finished printing the labels this morning. They look good on the bottles. Made back labels to distinguish the two different treatments of the Cabernet. I will have to finish labeling the Sangiovese tomorrow.
I got to taste the finished wines for the first time. The Sangiovese is fairly ordinary--as it always has been--although it's markedly better than in previous years. This reinforces my view that it's best made into rosé.
The Cabs, however, are startlingly good. I'm really impressed with both of them, but especially the one fermented with the French Bordeaux yeast. It's a bit tannic on the finish, but it's young. I have high hopes for these wines. the Cabs keep getting better every year.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
More found art. Patterns in the paint on the playground at my son's new school. These (oddly) are extremely reminiscent of some of the prints of Hideo Hagiwara, one of Japan's most respected modern printmakers. Actually, these are more boldly abstract than most of Hagiwara's work, but still, they are similar in feel. I am feeling inspired to do something--a painting or a print--based on these interesting pavement patterns.
I took a walk around Spring Lake again today. Didn't see much, but got a great shot of a yellow-rumped warbler with my new camera lens. Sooooo much better than trying to shoot through the spotting scope. This is an incredibly lightweight 140mm - 600mm zoom from Olympus for my E-3. Perfect for birding.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Took a quick run out to Bodega late this afternoon (the 19th). Didn't have much time, so I just raced through the usual spots. The tide was very low. I don't think I've ever seen it so low. Not a lot of birds were around. Not a single bird at the farm pond to the left side of the road as you approach from Sebastopol.
At Porto Bodega, I saw: Belted kingfisher, snowy egret, Western gull, ring-billed gull, double-crested cormorant, Western sandpiper, a second sandpiper species (least sandpipers I'm guessing because of their smallish black bills and yellow legs), willets, whimbrel (1), long-billed dowitcher (1), black-crowned night heron (2, one immature, one adult; the adult is pictured here), brown pelican, Clark's grebes, surf scoters, and greater yellowlegs.
At bodega harbor, I saw: Common loon, Pacific loon, Clark's grebe, surf scoters, and a great blue heron.
At Campbell Cove, I saw: Great egret, snowy egrets (4), Clark's grebe, and surf scoters.
So, nothing out of the ordinary, but many more ducks and grebes than in the recent past (I hadn't been out in about a week and a half). Tomorrow I'm hoping to go out to the Las Gallinas ponds, Rodeo Lagoon, Point Reyes area--if work permits.
Following the three inches of rain we got during last week's storm, a morning of rain today added 0.45 to the 2009-2010 total. That gives us a total of about 3.55 inches for the season so far. A great start. I just hope it clears up tomorrow. I'd like to go out to Pt. Reyes to look for birds.
[Update] I did go. Didn't see that much, but was able to add three new birds to my life list: Horned Grebe, Savannah Sparrow, and American Wigeon--all at Rodeo Lagoon. Saw a Whimbrel up close--amazing blue legs--and observed a pair of Dunlins in winter plumage up close. There was also a lone female Common Merganser.