My year in hikes and field trips, 2016

Most of my exploring was close to home this year.

And several trips to my home park, Huntley Meadows Park.

2015’s list. 2014’s list. 2013’s list. 2012’s list. 2011’s list. 2010’s list. 2009’s list. 2008’s list.

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New venues, 2016

One bucket list venue checked off this year:

  • Rams Head Tavern, Annapolis
  • Blues Alley
  • Eastman Studio Theatre, Gallaudet University

2015’s list.. 2014’s list. 2013’s list. 2012’s list. 2011’s list.

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The year in review, 2016

The last couple months have been eventful, albeit not blogworthy. Nevertheless, here’s the first sentence (more or less) of the first post of each month from this blog:

  • 2 January: Let the driving begin!
  • 7 February: Stephanie Strom visits a big soybean/corn agricultural complex (spanning two states) and finds a old school farm practice that improves soil quality, reduces sediment runoff, and improves yields: cover crops.
  • 5 March: Emily Graslie talks to Robb Telfer about his work to conserve Illinois’s only endemic flowering plant, Kankakee Mallow (Iliamna remota), to Langham Island in the Kankakee River.
  • 3 April: A generous notice from Susan Brall for DCMetroTheaterArts.
  • 1 May: Oh, dear Fox, yes: “Stop Saying ‘I Feel Like.’”
  • 5 June: One more report from the nest box monitoring team for the season.
  • 1 July: An oldie but a goodie, saved from linkrot: Thomas the NJ Transit train.
  • 6 August: Another visit to our Boston office this past week.
  • 2 September: We bounced back from the dismal 2015.
  • 2 October: “Why Some Wars Get More Attention Than Others,” by Amanda Taub.
  • 5 November: Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss is an ambitious, but unsuccessful attempt to bring the horrors of violence in today’s Syria into the American living room.
  • 1 December: Pat Padua reports that Artomatic is coming back to Crystal City for 2017.

The year in review:

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My 2016 in one beat

JIM. Woulda come to your aid there, only I’m dealing with a little, uh, issue.

RUSS. Oh yeah?

JIM. Piano I told ya about?

RUSS. Right?

JIM. Didya ever… (lowers voice) … ever need a truss? Have to wear one of those?

RUSS. Uhhhh… Don’t recall.

JIM. Oh, you’d recall it if you did.

RUSS. Guess not, then.

JIM. Then you are a fortunate man.

RUSS. I hear you.

JIM. Bend the knees or suffer the consequences.

RUSS. Yup.

—Bruce Norris, Clybourne Park, act 1
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Some links: 77

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Upcoming: 47

Pat Padua reports that Artomatic is coming back to Crystal City for 2017.

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Passings: 3

George Belcher watches the slow fading of New York diner culture.

After the Cafe [at 97th Street and Columbus] succumbed in 2005, I spent months looking for my next “third place.” Diner regulars can be particular. The ambience has to be friendly but not intrusive, the sound level low but not funereal, the smell a little greasy but not cloying, and the décor more utilitarian than fussy. I eventually settled in at the Metro [on 100th Street and Broadway].

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Checking in at the monuments

frame within the frameI saw a Bald Eagle soaring over the Tidal Basin. Maybe it’s going to be okay, after all.

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Time heals

A message of hope from Vi Hart.

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Squee

What a great idea: there’s a growing movement (partly imported from Japan) of sport fishing to maximize the number of species caught, rather than the size of the individuals. Anglers go after shiners and darters rather than bass and trout.

Micro-fishing, you’re using the smallest-size hook you can find at your local tackle stores, so your fly fishing hooks and things like that,” [Michael] Moore says. “And instead of casting, like you would with regular fishing, it feels really weird, but you’re usually just dangling the bait in front of fish that you can see.”

Some successful fishers have a species list that numbers in the 400s. There aren’t a lot of birders that have a list that long.

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Dogberry’s wisdom

Whoever touches pitch will be defiled,
and whoever associates with a proud man will become like him.
Do not lift a weight beyond your strength,
nor associate with a man mightier and richer than you.
How can the clay pot associate with the iron kettle?
The pot will strike against it, and will itself be broken.
A rich man does wrong, and he even adds reproaches;
a poor man suffers wrong, and he must add apologies.
A rich man will exploit you if you can be of use to him,
but if you are in need he will forsake you.
If you own something, he will live with you;
he will drain your resources and he will not care.
When he needs you he will deceive you,
he will smile at you and give you hope.
He will speak to you kindly and say, “What do you need?”
He will shame you with his foods,
until he has drained you two or three times;
and finally he will deride you.
Should he see you afterwards, he will forsake you,
and shake his head at you.

Sirach 13:1-7
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Something new

Kaveh Waddell sketches Adlam: a script not yet 30 years old, invented for speakers of Fulani, a language spoken by 40 million West Africans.

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Best practices

Gustave Axelson reminds us of the shade coffee-and-birds connection. His visit to a farm owned by Veronica Sanchez and her family is particularly heartening.

Why?, I ask Sanchez. Why do all this, preserving and planting trees and messing with plastic bottle traps, and forgo the money in the here-and-now that her neighbor is getting?

“We use good practices and we have a peace of mind knowing we are producing something of organic quality,” if not certified organic, she said.

“If we apply poisons to the coffee, we also poison the animals from the land and sky, such as insects and birds, and in turn we pollute the water.” And that affects everything from her family to the people who drink her coffee, she said.

Por eso son malas prácticas,” she said. These are malpractices.

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On the BBT

Biscayne National Park has partnered with the Tropical Audubon Society to promote a fun way to get new birders birding, especially kids. Birders can earn achievement certificates for identifying as many birds as they can within the confines of the park.

Listing rules follow the ABA Code of Ethics. To maximize the number of species seen, budding naturalists are encouraged to visit multiple locations on the Biscayne Birding Trail.

Here’s hoping other organizations across the country can put together similar programs.

American Birding Association Birder’s Guide to Conservation and Community

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The view from Maine

Richard Russo (Empire Falls), in conversation with Renée Montagne, offers an interesting take on recent political developments:

… we’ve been hearing a lot of talk about jobs. But I would draw a distinction between jobs and work. I don’t have a job, but I have tons and tons of work. That work sustains me. I’m doing something that gives my life meaning, it connects me to other people.

I think when you lose a job, you have less money and you get scared. But when you lose work, which has happened to many of Donald Trump’s supporters – or they fear is going to happen to them – you lose your dignity. Maybe you’re nobody. Maybe you don’t matter.

I think that Trump supporters have really been worried about their sense of not belonging anymore. If I blame Trump supporters for anything, it’s that if they’ve been feeling undervalued, denigrated, ignored, that’s not a new feeling. It’s just new to them, you know? Black people in America have felt that way for a long time. So have Latinos.

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