Monday, July 3, 2017
I have for the past few years taken students in the fall to the Plum Creek Literacy Festival.
This spring, the organizers tried something new on 18 March. They hosted a special
breakfast event, something I hope will continue in the years to come.
The breakfast featured an appearance by Jane Yolen and her daughter, with whom Jane collaborates on a number of projects.
Linda and I enjoyed the presentation a great deal and purchased a couple books.
I met Jane Yolen around fifteen years ago in Ft. Lauderdale, at an ICFA conference where she raised money for the James Tiptree, Jr., Award.
As she said to me, "We are getting old." I did not know until her presentation, however, that we share a passion for "all things birds."
Monday, May 1, 2017
As I have for the past multiple years, I arrived at Indian Cave State Park at 8:00 in the morning to begin my contribution to the annual Spring Festival.
And as has happened for more years than I care to remember, rain fell and temperatures dropped throughout the 5 and 1/2 hours of my stay.
But despite the chill, enthusiastic youngsters--including the park ranger's daughter pictured
above--and parents visited my station in the tent. I conducted a variation of my Feathers and Verses presentation, giving out photographs and coloring material while playing bird songs for those interested.
We all enjoyed a lot of fun in the wet chill.
And on Friday and Saturday, I went to my Arbor Day presentation at The Keeping Room in Nebraska City, a wonderful place to enjoy lunch and look at (or purchase!) some beautiful antiques and other offerings.
I send special thanks to Kelly Bequette for inviting me back.
This time around, my presentation included video and photographs from my night last year spent in a blind along the
Platte River where I viewed with Dan Holtz Sandhill Cranes at the Rowe Santuary; in addition, I showed a short video and photographs from my Greater Prairie Chicken adventure with Linda at the Big Blue Ranch.
Then for the first time, I shared a hundred or so photographs of Florida birds--oh, and Manatees.
I posted a collection of photographs from Indian Cave and the Keeping Room.
I enjoyed sharing and talking about the images and look forward to the next Arbor Day and hope for better weather.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Last late March, as a retirement gift to my friend Dan Holtz, I treated him to an unusual experience: we stayed for around fifteen hours in a blind along the Platte River to view the arrival and the departure of the Sandhill Cranes.
As the photographs show, we saw the cranes pretty much up close and personal.
The images do not indicate, however, that we spent one long and uncomfortable night listening to crane music, for the temperature dropped below freezing in the damp along the river.
But the morning exit of the cranes made the discomfort from the chill almost worth the price of admission.
I took pictures, and Dan helmed the movie camera. I made two short videos, attempting to capture the huge number of birds and the stunning sounds that filled the air.
Evening with the cranes:
I had wanted for years to watch the cranes departure, for they leave in huge numbers and pretty quickly:
In the morning, fortified by the car heater and a cup of good coffee, Dan and I visited Don Welch, one of the state's premier poets; Don passed away a couple months later, so I am glad we got to say hello.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Each Spring--and I fell over a year behind with my Around Peru Blog and aim catch up and keep up--I look forward to attending Calvert Elementary School in Auburn, where I now live.
Students in Gina Bitner's class work for weeks with fifth graders at the school on creating a picture book. Generally, each of Gina's college students works with a student at Calvert Elementary.
On the day I visit the class, everyone gathers to receive their individual books, the product of their long collaboration.
A special day, to be sure, and one none of the students from PSC and Calvert will soon forget.
At the conclusion of an unusually busy spring term last year, 2016, I spent a Saturday morning at the annual Spring Festival at Indian Cave and that afternoon at the Keeping Room in Nebraska City--there I gave presentations to adults and children
about birds, something I will do again this Arbor Day Weekend.
Anyway, that Saturday night, I attend the Peru State Cheater Company Awards Banquet.
Looking over the pictures from the evening collected on Flickr, the number of students who graduated after taking part in drama productions over the past many years startled me.
All that excellent talent.
And some of the same students continue this year in the play productions--alas, I have not gotten to as many functions as I would like, owing to my own at times crazy schedule.
The highlight of the event for me came when I received an award for my own participation in the Theater Company events, recognition that means a lot to me.