Thursday, July 31, 2014

All the News Here

We were taking a water break during an outdoor rehearsal this evening when something glinted in the scrubby lawn. "If that were only a beetle," I thought, astounded by the impossibility of the colours. I looked again and, wonder of wonders, it was a beetle, and a quite a beauty for these parts, something called a Figeater Beetle (Cotinis mutabilis). I had no way to get a picture at the time, but here's one from BugGuide, which has a gallery of good shots. The interesting part about watching one of these on a lawn was, as brilliant as the green elytra look in the picture, they are actually. . .well, what I'd classify on a guitar as a "matte finish," not glossy. So between those and the stripes of beige at the edges, the creature would have blended in perfectly with a California high school lawn in the depths of summer, were it not for the gleaming of its emerald undercarriage. I thought it one of the loveliest things I had seen in a long while.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day

Here are the Commodores, the US Navy's own jazz ensemble, with the Stars and Stripes Forever.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Just because there is no such thing as too much Bruce Molsky, especially when he's singing along with his fiddle. (Thanks KDHX, St. Louis, for the virtual front-row seat.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Today is Memorial Day in Newfoundland, a tribute to the horrific losses sustained by the 1st Newfoundland Regiment at the Somme (Beaumont-Hamel, to be exact) on July 1, 1916. Some points of that history were more recently set, by Bob Hallett, to the old Scottish tune of "Twa Recruiting Sergeants." Here, he sings it.