Friday, May 30, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Crocodile

This is text only searching this out, the notion that an audience is a crocodile, metaphorically speaking, of course, sorta, I happened on one thought that has it that fiction writers, uncertain of who is going to buy their book, actually give shape to an audience for their book by peppering it with cues to draw folk in...well...this is very true!...take any writing class, and the first thing taught is the 'hook', myself, I've gone and filtered out hereabout folk expecting pics, and set a baited 'hook' for the curious of how an audience might be compared to a crocodile!!!...
hmmph...well, a bit on the history of audiences has seemed in order, and I've cast about for things on the web, or in the web, which is a kinda net, full of flopping viewers, like so many squirming sardines being hoisted aboard a fishing boat!!!...sigh...back to Graves again...I've been pondering the writing of Robert Graves for like forty or more years, which is way too much of an indulgence pondering someone else's indulgences!!!...but there is stuff to consider in his books, which find elliptical expression in his poems.. I found a sense lately of 'elliptical' with regard to meaning in poems in reference to Emily Dickenson's poems as being 'elliptical'... elliptical is compressing his books and commentaries, Graves expands on the compressed meanings of his poems...ah...I'm squirming a bit here!...let me get at what I snipped from his Paris Review interview regarding audiences....

Your poems are very complete and personal statements. Are you not at all reticent about what you reveal?
You tell things to your friends that you don't put into print.
But your audience . . .
Never use the word “audience.” The very idea of a public, unless a poet is writing for money, seems wrong to me. Poets don't have an “audience”: They're talking to a single person all the time. What's wrong with someone like Yevtushenko is that he's talking to thousands of people at once. All the so-called great artists were trying to talk to too many people. In a way, they were talking to nobody.


The trouble with Graves, is if you look at his comments with the same critical eye that he recommends in books like The Reader Over Your Shoulder, what he writes kinda goes soap bubble, and pops into insubstantialness!!!.... I'll not take a pin to the quote, but on reading Graves (and many others!) I take a defensive stance, and regard him as a potential huckster or charlatan!....

But it seems true enough, one does, with poems anyway, have in mind one of my poems for example...

Animals and Dreams

There ain't nobody here or there
Of that much importance,
So you can relax, and not worry your pretty head.

The Animals and Dreams ignore us, sure,
For the greediness of our wanting to know, that's why.

Someday, when we decide,
That we are ignorant and stupid things, after all,
The Animals and Dreams might not run away.

Until then, we'll sit by the campfire alone,
Surrounded by darkness.


There was a companion poem to this one that I wrote, which I still have, but it is buried in a scrap box...some have scrap books, I have scrap boxes...and if I get around to digging it out, I'll reference it was about outer space and such, and cues the last line in the above poem to the sun as the campfire, and to space as the I said, poems are elliptical!!!...and  I should add the poem is patronizing, a trait I have the 'you' in the poem once pointedly pointed out!...sigh...but one doesn't stop offering one's muse poems over a criticism!!! continue...

A search of 'audience history' on google doesn't bring up much, oh, on the first telling what's further along...but this site I thought good...


The theatre of the Restoration
consisted mainly of light, fluffy comedies performed
in an oratory style—actors posing, wearing BIG
costumes and practically screaming over the din of
the audience. Theatre companies still existed on the
patronage of the very wealthy and often performed
plays exclusively in the salons of the rich, famous and
powerful. A few hundred years later, opera composer
Richard Wagner figured out that to focus the
audience’s attention away from themselves and onto
the stage, the lights needed to be off—forcing the
audience to watch the performance. Since that time
the audience has taken its cue that the performance is
about to begin from the lights overhead beginning to
dim. This small adjustment in lighting effectively
erected a permanent barrier between the action
onstage and the audience.

That link will have to do for's a pdf file...wait...

well...not sure where in their site one finds the pdf file...anyway, I'd like to note the author..hmmph...

end quote

One is tempted here to drift into the relation of audience with politicians, and being in the dark!!!...but I had in mind a recalled vision from a movie scene of monkeys or baboons sitting about in the trees watching, audience like, and have found much on google about 'audience effect' in primates, and that search turned up this site, which I think very good!!!


The herd instinct produces weird phenomena. At one zoo, an entire baboon troop gathered on top of their rock, all staring in exactly the same direction. For an entire week they forgot to eat, mate, and groom. They just kept staring at something in the distance that no one could identify. Local newspapers were carrying pictures of the monkey rock, speculating that perhaps the animals had been frightened by a UFO. But even though this explanation had the unique advantage of combining an account of primate behavior with proof of UFOs, the truth is that no one knew the cause except that the baboons clearly were all of the same mind.

Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Connect

The most profound bonds between people begin in our bodies with imitation and synchronized movements.

By Frans de Waal|Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Discovery magazine article quoted is from this book, which is another for the Naturalist's bookshelf!!!

Reprinted from The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society. Copyright © 2009 by Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University. Published by Harmony Books, a division of Random House.

The web is turning the lights back up on the audience!!!

Now, don't yawn...don't you dare...please yawning!!! endures much...Crocodile...


Friday, May 23, 2014

Pond Goslings

Donut Shop Pond has Goslings...two, and clips for sometime, taken  this morning...yesterday, I went to the Animal Mummies Show at Bowers Museum...Museum has grown a bit, but still has the old exhibits. which I was glad to revisit...cloudy yesterday, today, sunny warm breezy hazy...I can go on and on about old Egyptian things, but will exhibit restraint...saw Godzilla in 3d this afternoon while shopping for down mummy bag...and will do likewise!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Red Rock

Back in mid-December, my sister, Sally, and I,  rolled out to Red Rock from was very critter quiet, heard Cricket, and that was all!...I took some scenic pics, but the Desert I find vey hard to photograph, and the day's pics have been in the sometime box...I eventually get around to things!...there were probably a lot of critter indicators, like tracks and scat and burrows and such, but I'm not too good with those...anyway, here's a link to folk very good with those, and a study made of Red Rock and Desert has always had a Desert Tortoise or two, one was very small that I found in Joshua Tree when I was a kid (Tortoises pee when picked up--this in fifties, long before restrictions) and another found beside Brookhurst Street coming out of a Beanfield, this in sixties...the small Tortoise never grew, and perished, probably through my neglect, not lack of food, but just attention I didn't have time for, having grown a bit my own self!...the Brookhurst Tortoies disappeared from sister's backyard just awhile back, burrowed into another yard maybe, but this Tortoise mated with my sister's female, and they had two or three offspring, which I'm impressed with how fast they've grown!...anyway, Fish and Game has a quarterly magazine, and looks to be in the process of putting all back issues, and current, on the web, somewhat like the old Yosemite Nature Notes, both a fine resource!

historic cover art

Status of the desert tortoise in Red Rock Canyon State Park. Kristin H. Berry, Kevin Keith, and Tracy Bailey



U.S. Geological Survey

Western Ecological Research Center

Box Springs Field Station

22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos

Moreno Valley, CA 92553



619 Pinon Court

Ridgecrest, CA 93555


Our objectives included: (1) providing an historical background of land uses

for interpreting tortoise population data, (2) creating baseline data for long-term

monitoring of status and recent trends in a low density desert tortoise population, (3)

comparing survey methods in areas with low density of tortoises, (4) identifying

significant correlations between tortoise counts and anthropogenic impacts; and (5)

proposing management options for enhancing protection and recovery of the desert

tortoise. For the Park, an important objective was to maximize the amount of data and

information on distribution and demographic attributes within a limited budget.

unquote budgets are frustrating!!!


Common ravens, Corvus corax, predators on juvenile tortoises, increased 10-fold

in the Mojave Desert in the 24-year period between 1968 and 1992 and may still be

increasing in numbers (Boarman and Berry 1995). Ravens are attracted to highways,

roadside rests, campgrounds, trash, and visitors—all of which are present in the Park

(Boarman and Coe 2002, Kristan et al. 2004). They have the potential to reduce juvenile

recruitment and contribute to population declines and local extinctions (Kristan and

Boarman 2003).


From what I could gather, Ravens were not always  in Yosemite, and their current numbers there are likely making trouble for Critters like in the Desert.  At all the Rest Stops on the roll to Texas and Back, from Bakersfield, there were always Ravens, or Crows. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Finally found a good place to park near the section of River Trail I most frequent--Atlanta St. off Brookhurst, this near the Crossover Bike Bridge... Rolled from mile 2 to mile 3 and return... Sycamore being mobbed by Crows, Cooper's Hawk too...pic up...and clips for, Hawk, Redtail, atop tower being pestered by Redwing, for sometime...Redwings clic like Juncos when annoyed, protecting Nest I think...for sometime too, Swallow pic, unknown little bird pic--faraways and too dark..will try to get better pics to post!...Parrots are more about than in the Winter months...but two have always frequented the Tall Palms across street from Frontyard...sunny warm blue breezy...maintenance work is afoot in the River Bed...Willows, Palms, tall Brush removed, and Sand piled up here and there--seeing the Sand I realized Sand is covering up the Cement!...and without manintenance, the Cement would be covered over with Sand and Soil, taking the River back to it's original Riverine condition!...I could darken Heron in flight pic, and,  it would be the proper thing to do!, but pic wouldn't be the knockdown one it is with the light exposure!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Crocodile Poem

The Crocodile Poem

Every week, on Friday evening,
Marta would have her gathering in the small room
In the town by the ocean,
And I as an inland stranger
Would arrive early,
Be seated in a folding chair,
Waiting for the invited poet to stand behind the lectern
And read a few poems, and receive some applause:
Poems not read loud or raucous, though often too sing song, I'd think,
And applause courteous, not shouts and whistles and standing
It was a terrible effort to make, so low key, so restrained,
And afterwards, after the invited poets,
The lectern was open to those who dared
Walk up and shuffle through their papers and read a poem or two
In a constrained time
As there were sometimes too many who would dare!
Enough, I thought,
And during one week,
Prepared to break through this orthodoxy,
And found a heavy rubber crocodile in the toy sections,
And thought it through...
"I will set you, toy,  at the foot of the folded chair seated audience's
   front feet,"
"And before you, toy, I will kneel"
"With one leg folded, knee on floor,"
"One leg folded, knee up,"
"One hand flat on floor,"
"And one hand turned down atop my head, "
"Sprinkling water that I had cupped from the stream before me,"
"The stream with the muddy bank where you rest sleepy,"
"The stream between you and me,"


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Whittier Hawk

Whittier was on the way to Bakersfield, where the long trip to Texas would begin, and I needed to stop in Whittier at Rio Hondo College at the Smog Umpire, and had made an appointment for around noon. I arrived a bit early, and rolled about and sighted Hawk on Tower. Hawk being mobbed by Crow is Denny's Hawk, which I had sighted flying out of the Sycamore Tree across the Street while at Breakfast. And Antelope is at Carrizo Plain, pics up in earlier post, Carrizo Plain being where I nearly spent the night, Silver being broken down beside the road from overheating. I had just had an oil change, and when I checked the dip stick, the oil was so clear, that I thought it wasn't there! Fearful of going forward an inch, I called Auto Club.  As it worked out, overheating caused by low coolant, and lots of dust and bugs on radiator. Fortunatly, the cell phone reached Auto Club, and with lift with the flat bed tow truck,  I reached my sister's around midnight.  A long day!

This morning, I'm waiting for call on how repairs on Silver are doing, this time brakes.  And too, to check for the DW, which reoccurred on that roll to Bakersfield, and diverted me a second time to surface streets that take one through Ojai and over 33, which is how I came back from Bakersfield after the garage up there, who had worked on the DW, new shocks, new track bar, told me the next thing to try was new trailer arms.  (Silver is a Jeep Wrangle 2005, DW is the dreaded Death Wobble, or as Chrysler puts it, Steering System Vibration)  Rather than have work done far away from home in Bakersfield, I'm having any further DW related repairs done in garages nearby, so, so I can go rant when thing aren't working out!  I guess...actually I'm patient.  sorta 

I've driven Silver for almost 40,000 miles now, and have somehow managed the DW, usually by just slowing down from 50 miles an hour or so, when it usually commences after a bump, or bumps.  At times it has been so bad, that I've had to completely stop, and I've replaced two track bars, and the shocks, and new tires, and two alignments and balancings, and scratched my head much reading the accounts on the web!

Garage yesterday (C. dealer), said the rotors were warped, but things in the suspension seem tight and okay.  The warped rotors do what bumps do, the brakes don't stop smooth, and vibrate, and begin the DW.   Garage said they'd test drive again with the new rotors, but unless they can find a bumpy road or railroad crossing, I doubt they can get the DW to show!  No one seems to be able to point exactly at the DW cause, and it's curious ocurrance most often between 45 and 50 miles an hour.  "Some kinda harmonic..."

Well, as I post, the phone call came, 'all set'.  I'll hop on 43 now, the Bus that goes down Harbor, and retrieve Silver! :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Red Wing Blackbird

My bike got swiped! went shopping, Big 5, Target, amazon, and Target had the Huffy Beach Cruiser on sale, and it's red and black with some brown--my first two wheel bike was red and black..:)...Took it for ride yesterday from Moon Park to Talbert and return, which has become the routine Riverride...have a backlog of pics, not a lot, but for sometime soon to post up...lots of Redwings about, and Swallows too, which were too illusive for pics!...sunny warm blue gear doesn't get me up the looptedoos easy....river bike trail goes down and up again to pass under streets, and to save my knees I've just been walking the up...drop handles came swooping by and one shouted out something derisive...I...oh, if I could just catch that thief and such and say a few things nose to nose!...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sycamore Owl

Found Owl today,  just took two second traded glances! old times...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Texas Cardinal

My sister's Cocker Spaniel, Lucy, and I, waited in the McKenny Texas motel room for my sister to return, both of us a bit anxious. For my part, having been left behind to look after Lucy, I wanted to walkabout the nearby Park and look for Cardinals! Once there at the Park, I found the wooded Nature Trail, and a Stump to sit upon awhile, with Cardinals all about! But very hard to sight in heavy Canopy, and pics blurry faraways. But Cardinals a longtime hopetosee, and a surprising wonder to hear! Pics up are from the long hurried roll thereabout, taken at roadside rest stops and such. There was one layover day near Cottonwood, Arizona, and one in Texas, and the rest:  three days on road there, and three same way back--Bakersfield to Flagstaff to Roswell to Mckenny, and back same way.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Hwy 33 Deer

On roll home from Bakersfield on Wednesday, sighted Deer from Hwy 33 about fifteen miles into the Hills from the Intersection with Hwy 166, this between Ojai and the Carizzo Plain.   Deer posed a moment, then bounded off into the Chaparral--like old times!