Thursday, November 12, 2009

Birds I'm Watching: Ellis Creek Water Treatment Ponds

Spent the day out at the Ellis Creek Water Treatment Ponds, in Petaluma. Went with a group of very serious birders--a bit too serious, it seemed to me. Had fun nevertheless. The group saw something like 70 species, of which I saw 54. I saw a number of birds for the first time. Highlights were a flying American bittern, a pair of peregrine falcons, a sora, a greater white-fronted goose, a few common goldeneyes, and some really good looks at a number of Say's phoebes.

Other birds I saw were: cedar waxwing, orange-crowned warbler (pictured), yellow-rumped warbler, savannah sparrow, song sparrow, golden-crowned sparrow, red-winged blackbirds, Western meadowlark (lots), American pipits, white pelican, pied-billed grebe, Western grebe, snowy egret, turkey vulture, mute swans, gadwall, American wigeon, mallard, cinnamon teal, northern shoveler, black phoebe, red-tailed hawk, Canada goose, long-billed dowitcher, hooded merganser, white-tailed kite, Cooper's Hawk, red-shouldered hawk, coots, killdeer, black-necked stilts, American avocet, greater yellowlegs, Wilson's snipe, Western gull, mourning dove, robins, European starling, great egret, Bonaparte's gull, kestrel, crow, scrub jay, Northern pintail, greater scaup, horned grebe, marsh wren, and brewer's blackbird.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wines I'm Making: Racked wines yesterday

Racked the last of the 2009 wines yesterday--the Cabernet Sauvignon, the second-run Cab, and the Sangiovese rosé. Lightly sulfited each. Added oak staves to the two Cabernet wines. All are now resting out in the garage. The flavor of the Cabernet was again impressive, even at this stage.

Miscellaneous: Autumn Colors (November 10, 2009)

Autumn colors in Santa Rosa. Peppers at Imwalle gardens, on Dutton Ave. Imwalle is one of those old-fashioned farm fruit and vegetable stands that I remember from visits to my grandmother's house, in Dayton, Ohio when I was a boy. We lived in New York at the time, but would drive out to see her. Mumma's and Wampler's were the big ones--full of fresh produce in barn-like buildings, much of it in bushel baskets, with the fields starting right at the edge of the parking area. I especially remember glass gallon jars of honey with squares of comb floating in them and bringing home corn. My brother and I got to husk the corn. Always rainbow sherbet for desert.
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