It’s SPRING!!!

It's SPRING!!!

I finally got out for some birding on Saturday morning at Palmyra Cove. It was a little chilly, and there weren’t any real big migrants there, but I still have a good time. One of the highlights was seeing quite a few Field Sparrows (Spizella pusilla) – a species I had seen before but not yet photgraphed. This little casanova was singing his heart out near the beaver pond.

It was great to be able to get outside with my camera and just look around. There weren’t too many new or different things to be found – although I did see a huge mature bald eagle and a winter wren, which are rarities for Palmyra – but just being out in the sun and walking around the park was great. We were going to try to do it again on Sunday, but real life stepped in and made us do stuff around the house instead.

We put in the screen windows, re-arranged our bedroom (well, Shari did, at least) and planned for some spring projects – repainting the whole bedroom, replacing the back door, our veggie/flower garden, etc. I’m actually looking forward to doing some stuff around the house with the improved weather. That is, after we get back from Atlanta for my nephew’s third birthday.


We also finally got through the 2 movies from Netflix that have been sitting on the table all week. “September Dawn” was an interesting movie about the Mountain Meadows Massacre in which 120 emigrants from Arkansas were slaughtered by a Mormon group. It was really a sad chapter of persecution turning into righteous zealotry in the name of protecting their culture, but a horrific one. Sadly, although the movie was well-acted (Jon Voight is great) and the cinematography great, the story is … well, abrasive. It’s definitely far from a tolerant movie and paints the Mormons as the 19th-century equivalents of Al Queda. And while the general story may be true, much of it is supposition – and nearly all of that supposition points to a very evil Mormon church, which makes it seem like a personal attack more than a balanced film.

To balance that, we also watched “Atonement”, which was fantastic. Great sets, superb cinematography (the 5.5-minute single tracking shot on the beaches of Dunkirk is simply amazing), and a good story – not to mention the beautiful Keira Knightley – made for the best of the ‘Best Movie’ nominees we’ve seen so far (over “No Country for Old Men” and “Michael Clayton”).

Last night, we delved into a movie my cousins recommended, “The Good German”. It was one of those movies which was both great and mediocre at the same time. The story involves a reporter heading to the Potsdam Conference after the fall of Nazi Germany in WWII. It is shot in a near-perfect imitation of 1940’s/1950’s style black-and-white – it looks exactly like a film that was originally filmed in that time period, in part because they used real film and fixed-focus lenses from that time period. The score to it is great, and also very authentic to movies of that time period and the way they were used to clue the audience into the mood of the moment. From an artistic perspective, it was a great film. However, despite some big names – George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and a completely different side of Tobey MacGuire, the story is slow and uneven. It’s a shame, because it had some potential, too.

Film Ratings (out of 5?)

September Dawn – ♦ ♦ ½
Atonement – ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
The Good German – ♦ ♦ ♦


2 Responses to “It’s SPRING!!!

  • I haven’t seen Atonement or September Dawn, sound intriguing, I’m adding them to my library list. I really liked Cate in the Good German.

  • Glad you made it out to do some birding and I have yet to see a field sparrow or winter wren this year!

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