You know, when I moved to Southern California in spring of 2003 I thought I had escaped the muggy humid hot weather of the American Midwest for good... But apparently weather patterns have bought into Thomas Friedman's flatworld globalization since then and I've spent the better part of this week drinking and fanning like mad to keep from evaporating into the thick steamy air.
Then.... it rained on Thursday afternoon and suddenly everything was much nicer and cooler. An odd occurrence in this climate. It used to be that in Missouri it rains to cool the earth off, while in San Diego it can't rain if the air isn't cool enough (the atmosphere here being so dry and all). I looked out the window at the unusual sight and got a real treat when I spotted a winged visitor on the neighbor's back fence! A real life redtailed hawk!
That was the closest I've got to a redtailed hawk in the wild... And he still somehow managed to spot me soon after the clip ended and flew off. I don't know how Chula Vista Nature Center manages to capture so many of the local raptors to house in their facility on the Bayfront (you can visit these birds for free since they aren't inside the main building).
On a more somber note, Sir Charles Mackerras (1925 - 2010), the great Australian classical conductor died earlier this week at age 84...
He really was great especially with Classical and Romantic period numbers with prominent woodwinds features. His complete recording of Mozart's Idomeneo with Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson should be on the music shelves of all lovers of Mozart operas. It is easy to neglect to appreciate how good a classical conductor is nowadays. What with the generally better trained and discipline orchestras... But Sir Charles was one of those whose presence can turn a good group into a great one.