Monday, April 03, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #112

Just finished my first experience with podcasting, as Gio and Dave at Kinetic Results interviewed me for a half hour plus. This was a result of milkriverblog being listed in the new book Blogosphere: Best of Blogs. The podcast will be delivered at Media Swamp when it has been edited -- but for other great content, and some insider info on podcasting, it's worth a visit now.

Reviews coming up from an incredible weekend at the Schreiner University Coffeehouse and the Bluebonnet Blues Festival in Marble Falls. Saw a bunch of old friends, made some personal discoveries that i'll be making room to see in the future, and saw a few legends -- and every minute was a blast. Seeing 15 bands rarely is so entertaining. Reviews coming on Jay Boy Adams and Will Owen-Gage, Flaco Jimenez, Someone Like You, The Moeller Bros., Pianorama with Johnny Nicholas, Riley Osborne, and Pinetop Perkins, W.C. Clark, and on and on.

John Baumann and a couple of his buds have started a carwashing business in San Antonio . . . so if it's that time of the month for you, why not give him a buzz at 210-643-1087 or email him here.

STAGE Theatre in Bulverde is producing the fantastic play QED from April 27-May13. I know it’s going to be a dynamite show because it’s being directed by Catherine Babbitt and stars Art Peden and Cackie Hayes. Babbitt and Hayes were Director and AD of The Drawer Boy last year, and Art Peden’s starring turn in that got him the STAGE Gold Medal as Best Actor in the show that the San Antonio Express-News named a Best of 2005. I’ll be there, and i’d bet it will be among the best things you see this year.

Squeek Reynolds wrote that he’s working on getting into the studio again. He recorded a demo over Christmas at Willie’s old Arlyn Studio. He also is looking at a regular gig at Austin’s Nutty Brown Cafe. He reports too that our buds The Boy Scout Cookies played a private SXSW party last week. Cool stuff . . .

Old friend Denice Franke, who has the smokiest voice and the smokingest songs, will be performing across the Northeast and Midwest for a while. If you’re in the vicinity you won’t regret listening in:

April 4, Tuesday, 7:30 pm, Denice to perform at the Turn of the Tide Music Series in Manchester, VT. Located at the Spiral Press Cafe at 15 Bonnet St (junction Rt 30 & 7A). For more info, call 802.235.2766 or go to

April 7, Friday, 7:30 pm, Denice to perform at the Gloria Krause Recital Hall, Delaware Arts Center, in Narrowsburg, NY. Located at 37 Main St. For more info, call 570.224.6830, email, or go to

April 16, Sunday, 8:30 pm, Denice at AK O'Conner's in Des Moines, IA. Located at 4050 Urbandale Ave. For more info, call 515.277.2227.

April 21, Friday, 8:00 pm, Denice & Mudslide at Traverse Brewing Company in Elk Rapids, MI. TIX: $12 adv, $15 at door. For more info, call 231.264.9343.

April 22, Saturday, 8:00 pm, Denice at Mudslide share the night with Claudia Schmidt in Traverse City, MI, at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall. Located at 6788 Center Rd (US 37). For more info, call 231.941.8667.

April 23, Sunday, 3:00 pm, Denice & Mudslide perform matinee show in Whitehall, MI, at the Howmet Playhouse. Located at 304 S Mears. TIX: $11 adv, $13 at door. For more info, call 616.636.5759 or 616.604.1001. Visit their website at

April 28, Friday, 8:00 pm, Denice and special guest Peter Cooper to perform in Fort Atkinson, WI, at Cafe Carpe. Located at 18 S Water St. For more info, call 920.563.9391 or go to

April 29, Saturday, Denice to perform in Wales, WI. This is a house concert with limited seating. Reservations are suggested. For more info, call 414.223.1060 or

April 30, Sunday, 7:00 pm, Denice to perform at Prairie's Edge Concerts in Independence, IA. Again, limited seating. Reservations are suggested. For more info, call 319.334.2866 or

There's the possibility of an additional performance of Denice & Mudslide on April 20. For additions and changes, please visit the tour page of Denice's website at

John Abbott and Bob Thomas made a pretty significant discovery in East Texas recently. Here’s a snippet of Abbott's posting to TexOdes about it:

Three weeks ago Bob Thomas and I discovered a population of emerging Banner Clubtails (Gomphus apomyius) along Indian Creek northwest of Jasper. We returned this weekend to try and photograph them. We had great success finding a number of individuals along the watershed. I believe this is the first report of this species in Texas since Nick Donnelly's description of it from Sam Houston National Forest in 1966. I don't recall if Nick reported it in his 1978 paper on Sam Houston National Forest and I don't have that handy to check. Our find does represents a new county record and certainly a new population for the state.

Some questions were being asked on TexBirds about the apparent decline of Rabdotus snails in South Texas, and i posted my two articles about this very subject to the list (here and here). John Arvin responded to the list with this nice account with some new info:

Tony and Texbirders,
It is interesting to me that you have not seen Roadrunner predation on Rabdotus. I personally have watched them. They carry snails to a hard object (rock, which the Valley is very short of, or old beer bottle, which are plentiful) and whack the shells into fragments and eat the snail. You see a halo of shell fragments around just about any hard object on the ground in mesquite-nopal brush. The kites' prey can be told by the pattern of damage to the shell. They insert the tip of the beak just to the rear of the aperture and bite away a hole that permits the bill to snip the adductor muscle and out comes the body. I found the first Hook-billed Kite's nest I ever saw by being drawn by curiosity to a 3 ft. diameter pile of empty shells. The parents soon made an appearance and solved the mystery. I was standing right under the nest which was directly over a trail at Santa Ana NWR. They fly in with snails, perch nearby on the same limb every time, de-shell the snails letting the shell drop, and then move to the nest to feed the young. The only other species of bird that I have observed prey on the snails is Brown Jay.

As for the invasive Pomacea, I hear that it has been found in a number of counties in SE Texas. I don't know what species of Pomacea is involved, but quite recently an Apple Snail of one species or another has invaded Gatun Lake in Panama, which is part of the Panama Canal system. As of as recently as 1989 when Ridgely's Birds of Panama, 2nd ed., was published there were only a few records of Snail Kite for the country. Last March I rode the Panama Railroad from Colon to Panama City. It cuts across the shallow upper end of Gatun Lake. We counted over 100 Snail Kites from the train. If you know the species of Pomacea that has invaded Gatun Lake I can guarantee that Snail Kites prey on it. If we have the same species I think it is just a matter of time before Snail Kites and Limpkins appear on the scene.

John C. Arvin, Research Coordinator, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

A gorgeous Grant's Stallion.

Malcolm Swan's has been a leader in posting videoclips of wild birds -- and they're just down the road in SA. I was marvelling the other day at how much new info they've got posted and ran across this page about filming/taping wary wildlife and learned a few new things. They do some things differently than i do, but i've seen their results and know their methods work. They use fine Canon GL2s. After you've checked this out be sure to look over their burgeoning list of species caught on tape.

Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2006.

Those of us who live down here and have spent a good amount of time in Mexico, already know about this. Coca-Cola is better in Mexico. Period. Most of us Coke fanatics can mark the day that US bottlers switched sugar suppliers. It was in that New Coke window that nearly drove off Coca-Cola's major fan base (when's the last time you saw that New Coke garbage in stores). Anyway, an interesting story. Perhaps someday i'll get up the nerve and the time to discuss my adventures with the President of Coca-Cola Mexico, and the recent demise of Vanilla Coke . . . oh wait i think i've already discussed both on here somewhere . . . well a good slam is always worth repeating.

Part of my weekend was visiting with Kathleen Hudson's 89-year-old Aunt Barbara in Granite Shoals, and she mentioned to us the Bald Eagle nest down the road twoards Llano, and i remembered this online camera of a nest up north.

Another old bud, Bret Whitney, a master of bird song, recently got some great national press. Check it out here.

Kerr WMA is hosting some seminars this spring and summer. here’s the word on some:

Kerr WMA-Birding Seminar and Field Trip-April 22
Kerr WMA-Birding Seminar and Field Trip-May 20
-An ecosystems approach as it pertains to range management and conservation specifically dealing with wildlife habitat and neo-tropical migrant songbirds, including endangered species. Attendance is limited to 50 people. 10 a.m. - evening; reservations required, (830) 238-4483. is also now in the podcast business. Check out their first here.

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