Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ghost Birds

I just received a copy of Stephen Lyn Bales' excellent book on the story of Jim Tanner's work with the ivory-billed woodpecker. Even better, this was a gift from my friend Mike Martin, who had the author and Nancy Tanner (whom I've also met) inscribe it for me at a book signing in Tennessee (thanks, Mike!). Mike has gotten to know Mrs. Tanner in recent years, and she has followed with considerable interest the ivorybill reports and searches in both Arkansas and Florida. It's been four years now since I was gearing up with Mike, Geoff Hill, and others for a months-long search on the Choctawhatchee, and I plan to get back down there some again this winter. I'm not ready to say I think the birds are still there, but I do want to continue looking.

Stephen has a blog relating specifically to the book here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Church Sign Song

Auburn zoology grad students Christina Schmidt and Sean Graham (collectively, "Olin Howlin"), along with professor Craig Guyer, greatly entertained the Gopher Tortoise Council at our annual meeting this past weekend. A highlight was Christina and Sean's performance of this original composition, featuring the infamous W.S. Newell I-65 sign (previously featured on this blog), which is the only sign shown that is not actually in front of a church. I did the best I could capturing it on my Droid, but I missed a little of the beginning. Great job, Christina and Sean!

Sean tells me they adopted the name Olin Howlin from a 1930s to 50s-era movie actor.

This is my excuse to share one I photographed just down the road from here. I had to wonder how the appropriation of an old Budweiser slogan went over with some in the congregation. Then again, I suppose those most likely to take exception would be least likely to get the reference.

Feel free to use in your next version, Christina and Sean...