Sunday, May 31, 2009

Adventures in Nature

I love this time of year. Being able to go outside without having to gear up against the cold is pure bliss to me. It makes me feel like I gain the whole outdoors as an extra room to my house. At my oldest son's request, we took off to do a little sunset birdwatching at Bombay Hook a couple of weeks ago. We saw a few interesting birds, but the outing was definitely all about the foxes. We first came across a pair of kits on their own. They were right at the side of the road--maybe 10 feet from us--pouncing on each other and wrestling around.

A short time later we saw an adult running through a field with a rabbit in its mouth. Then, as we headed back toward where we had seen the babies, there was another adult in the road. When we approached, it lay down in the road and made itself as flat as possible.

We also saw this nasty looking snapping turtle.

That one can't compare, though, to this massive one we caught about to slip into our own pond.

I don't have much love for these creepy looking, duck killing dinosaurs, I must say, but they are fascinating in their own way.

So, back in our own yard once again, Carter has been working on his snake wrangling skills. This week he has progressed from this cute little ring necked snake:

to this considerably more formidable black snake:

On the cute and cuddly front, we discovered a baby tufted titmouse in our yard this morning. It apparently fell from its nest before it was quite ready to fly. It spent most of the day under a tree in our yard while its parents took turns bringing it food. As was inevitable, our cat discovered it. We were at a loss as to what to do to keep the little creature safe. Well, we took the top off our hanging birdfeeder and made it a little makeshift nest. It seems quite happy there and the parents have been continuing to feed it.

Good luck, little bird!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Aural Fixations

This post is dedicated to Kimberly, not only for her request of the subject, but also to show her that I do not intend to reserve this blog for strictly serious topics.

This, for those of you who do not watch American Idol out of principle, lack of time, or complete disinterest, is Adam Lambert--one of two remaining contestants on the show. I must confess--to my certain embarrassment--that he is the reason I have found little coherent to say on my blog for more than a month. The majority of my internet time has been devoted to scouring YouTube for examples of his flamboyant brilliance or reading articles analyzing his voice, his lifestyle, and his fashion sense. I am, in a word, addicted.

In my own feeble defense, I must say that Adam has one of the finest voices I have ever heard. His range is mind-boggling and his tone is exquisite. He has such control that he can move from chest voice to head voice to falsetto or from soft to loud with no hint of a transition. The timbre of his voice is versatile enough to adapt seamlessly to any vocal style (okay, maybe not country) without losing its distinctive qualities.

Of course, Mr. Lambert has plenty to appeal to the fangirl in me, too. His pretty mouth, piercing eyes (guyliner and all), the wild hair, and the expressive hands (with or without fingerless gloves and nail polish) make him the picture of lovely decadence. And the way he moves and presents himself onstage exude a sensual charisma that is as much a part of his singing as his voice itself.

It is, perhaps, this sensuality that has been the most polarizing thing about him as an American Idol contestant. Those who hate him have called him over-the-top and theatrical, accusing him of acting a role rather than delivering a sincere performance. I understand that it's probably a simple matter of personal taste, but to me there is nothing more goosebump-inducing than a singer who can embrace the character of a song without inhibition or reserve. Give me the passion and angst of a committed performer willing to hold nothing back with the skills to deliver it like it's the most important emotion of his life.

Tomorrow night is the Idol finale and I will be devotedly voting my little fingers to the bone, because that's the kind of girl I am and because it feels great to be so obsessed, I mean, inspired. :-)