Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Some of the music on my CD player recently:
~ Red Priest's new album, "Handel on the Wind". The group's own Suite from The Messiah and takes on other Baroque works with digressions to music from other sources (such as the Jaws theme!). Red Priest Recordings, 2014.
~ "Venezia 1625". Recorder player Maurice Steger and Ensemble in works by Fontana, Uccelini, Storace and other Baroque composers. Harmonia Mundi, 2009. (Steger has a new album of Vivaldi flute concerti coming out on HM.)
~ Sinfonie and concerti by Alessandro Scarlatti. I Musici with William Bennett on flute. Philips, 1992.
~ Brahms's Concerto for Violin and Cello. Heifetz and Piatigorsky with the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alfred Wallenstein. RCA, 1960. (From RCA's Heifetz-Piatigorsky Concerts Album Collection.)
~ Live recording of the April 7, 1962, performance of Puccini's "Tosca" at the Metropolitan Opera. Leontyne Price as Tosca; Franco Corelli as Cavaradossi; Cornell MacNeil as Scarpia. Kurt Adler conducting. Sony Classical, 2011.
~ "Caramelos Latinos" -- Latin American "Lollipops". Maximiano Valdes conducts the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in works by Ginastera, Revueltas, Moncayo, Carreno, Guarnieri and Plaza. Dorian, 1995. (From the label's Music of Latin American Masters series.)
~ Violin Sonatas 1, 4 and 6 and Three Dances by "rebellious Soviet avant-garde composer" Nikolai Roslavets. (He softened his approach by the time he composed Sonata No. 6, but that one was still some gripping listening.) Violinist Solomia Soroka and pianist Arthur Greene. Naxos, 2006.
Also anticipated: Volume 7 of Hyperion's Romantic Cello Concerto series, works for cello and orchestra by Fitzenhagen and that composer's arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
A few scenes around Lake Kittamaqundi over the past week....The tiger swallowtail above, photographed yesterday, was the first one I spotted since the heavy rains and flash flood watch earlier in the week.
Dragonhunter -- a large dragonfly
which preys on other dragonflies and large butterflies.
A green heron -- not seen at this lake often. They seem to prefer nearby Wilde Lake.
An American goldfinch feeds on coneflower seeds in the little park on Vantage Point Road.
Let's take a cue from Gracey and take it easy!
Friday, August 14, 2015
Yesterday, I visited Western Regional Park out in western Howard County to see what butterflies could be found there. I was not disappointed. That's a red-spotted purple above -- sucking nutrients from a small animal carcass. Among others were several northern pearly-eyes and fritillaries. I have a few photos here, and there's a link to a Flickr album at the end of this post.
Interior of the Glenwood Branch of Howard County Public Library, adjacent to the park.
my Western Regional Park album
Friday, August 7, 2015
While stopped in traffic this afternoon, I decided to make use of the compact camera which I had with me.
Before I went out for this trip, I did not let this red-banded hairstreak stow away on my car. I've been seeing more of these supposedly uncommon members of the gossamer-wing group lately.
One evening earlier this week, I caught a pair of monarch butterflies in the act at Lake Kittamaqundi. That rated immediate reporting to our survey leader, and others have spotted mating monarchs recently.
I'm seeing many more tiger swallowtails around the lake this summer than last summer.
If you're there at the right moment, you can see the beaver heading out for dinner in the evening.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Just a few recordings, new and old, which have been on my CD player recently:
~ "The Queen of Spades" ("Pikovaya dama"), opera by Tchaikovsky. A new Melodiya remastering of a 1967 recording by Bolshoi Opera forces with Khaikin conducting.
~ Concierto fantastico; Rapsodia espanola; by Isaac Albeniz. Piano Concerto reconstructed from music by Enrique Granados by pianist Melani Mestre. Pianist Mestre with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins. The latest issue in Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series.
~ Burlesca and other works for orchestra by Ottorino Respighi. The BBC Philharmonic conducted by Gianandrea Noseda on Chandos (2006).
~ Celtic Symphony; The Witch of Atlas; other works for orchestra by Sir Granville Bantock. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley on Hyperion (1990).
~ Late Masterpieces by Chopin with Stephen Hough on piano. Hyperion (2010).
~ Encores played by the Leipzig String Quartet on MDG (2006). Various composers -- but I want to mention the delightful work by Hindemith titled thus: Overture to the Flying Dutchman as Played at Sight by a Second-Rate Concert Orchestra at the Village Well at 7 o'clock in the Morning.
The newest purchases above were ordered from Amazon, but that last one by the Leipzig was found last week at Daedalus Books and Music here in Columbia.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Several species of the gossamer-wing butterflies can be found in the area. They are about the size of your thumb nail or smaller, but each is striking in appearance. The tiny butterflies which generally flutter around closer to the ground looking like crazy flashes of blue are the more common azures and tailed-blues. One of their less common cousins surprised me at my front door yesterday -- a red-banded hairstreak.
The rarer juniper hairstreak has been reported at the Mount Pleasant section of the Howard County Conservancy. Some members of our butterfly survey group met there last Saturday to look for butterflies, and we counted dragonflies, too, as part of a county survey of those insects being held that day. We didn't see any juniper hairstreaks, but we found another gossamer-wing, the American copper. Much more abundant were the larger butterflies, especially the swallowtails -- very encouraging to see after concerns about lower numbers. The group counter 35 tiger swallowtails. A much lower count for monarchs was made -- 7 in all -- but that's a few more than the one I have seen in Town Center so far this summer.
I took a lot of photos of the Conservancy walk, including some scenery and a couple of the few dragonflies spotted there. Here is a link to an album on Flickr: Butterfly and Dragonfly Walk
Friday, July 24, 2015
I went looking for butterflies, but I found a wheel bug instead.
You really don't want one of these bugs biting you. They rarely bite people, but if they happen to land on you and bite, the very painful wound takes a long time to heal. The "biting" appendage is usually used on prey, which can include butterflies and caterpillars. Wheel bugs are still a beneficial part of the ecosystem because of some of the other insects they attack. I've been told that they go after stink bugs, too.