Monday’s Blog; How Many Keys?


Surely, we are allowed our day dreams to come true. It happens! Going on the road, selling the house and dispersing our belongings also meant, I will have no acoustic piano in my life any more. I always had a piano to run to and play, to practice, give student recitals in my young years and to just while time away or for solace in times of stress. I tried for so long to compensate by trying the guitar, Mandolin, and Ukulele. Alas, the arthritic fingers got in the way as did that illusive creature–enough time in the day. My son Dan has the string player talent, not me. My musician dad was thrilled that I stuck with piano and voice well into adulthood. 

But I missed a keyboard to play and expressed my desire (just a small 61 key board would fill the bill I said) to a great musician, friend and neighbor in our beautiful RV park in Southern Cal. Because of his efforts and insistence, 


I now own a large Yamaha keyboard (professional and beyond my talents), but what fun to play. 
Yes that is me with earphones to protect the innocent!


It’s home is in the shed on our site. It will stay here, too big to cart in the RV. But, we are spending so much more time in California (who would have guessed that a few years ago.) 
So hello from our sunny state, and happy tunes and trails to all of you.
Ann Carol

Monday’s Blog; Cardinal reprieve

Yes, the last few weeks my obsessions have been focused on the crumbling of our great country in the hands of the so called president but in actuality, dictator, demagogue and egomaniac of the highest order and his flock of officers. I need a break, hopefully you do as well. On this day of the Women’s March, A Day Without Women showing our influence on the fabric of this country of ours I offer a diversion in the world of nature.

Years ago we visited The Museum of the Brazos http://www.brazosvalleymuseum.org/ A memorable venue if you have not been there. I am remembering this after reading an article and hearing a podcast focussed on the Northern Male Cardinal, the bird of reknown for it’s vivid red color and fetching behavioral patterns. It was at the Brazos that we first witnessed this behavior at length and have now witnessed many times since. 

I offer a generalized quote from the article;

“The male Northern Cardinal is perhaps responsible for getting more people to open up a field guide than any other bird. They’re a perfect combination of familiarity, conspicuousness, and style: a shade of red you can’t take your eyes off. Even the brown females sport a sharp crest and warm red accents. Cardinals don’t migrate and they don’t molt into a dull plumage, so they’re still breathtaking in winter’s snowy backyards. In summer, their sweet whistles are one of the first sounds of the morning.”
Surely most of you are so familiar with the species that they are not the novelty to spot as I once believed they were before traveling the countryside. The discussion focussed at length on one of the bird’s behavioral patterns that I first remember watching in the Brazos museum: a constant bumping into window. The Cardinal would bash his head against a window, mirror or other shiny reflective surface for hours at a time and days at a time.  It is the response to the mating season, of course, the bird is convinced that his reflection is in competition for his charms. Hopefully, mother nature can override any concussion the bird may suffer in his quest to find a mate. What a head ache indeed.


The  glorious Cardinal found in the wild


I hope to be writing more posts this week and thank you for all of your feedback. I am keeping this short and hopefully sweet as I promise in message in a Minute and I hope your day is filled with sunshine, smiles, bird song and peace. 
Ann Carol