Thursday, February 28, 2013

Welcome to my blog about classical music (and environmental issues and...)

That's how I tried to sum up my blog at the Hocoblogs party a couple of nights ago. When I started the blog, I assigned myself a classical music, mostly opera, agenda, but as time passed I clearly wanted a chance to harp on other issues, too. I also enjoy and post about gardening, cats, movies and books.

I slipped out early from the party at Union Jack's, but I'm glad I had a chance to meet our local blog network in person. I'll try to stay longer at the next party!

The photo: It's a running theme, the same view of Lake Kittamaqundi as it appears at different times of the year in different conditions. I also want to document how it changes under other influences, which brings up an environmental issue now. You see the taller, darker tree towards the right edge of the photo? That was the bald eagle's perch featured in a recent post here. I'm afraid the tree is an ash -- looking at one of the first photos I took of this view last summer, I see that its leaf cover is very poor, like that of ash trees recently cut down around Columbia and Howard County. An insect called the emerald ash borer is killing the county's numerous ashes, and the county must cut them down and remove them as they deteriorate. So sooner or later, that distinctive tree in this view of the lake must disappear.

We'll also see how things change as a proposed multi-use path eventually encircles the lake. At present, a paved path goes around only the southern half, then you're roughing it on a dirt, sometimes mud, path if you want to walk all the way around the lake.

Another development in this view: Those white scars visible on the far bank are sand or sediment deposited when Hurricane Sandy blew by last year and caused the nearby Little Patuxent River to burst its banks and cascade into the lake.

For my classical music agenda: If life has a soundtrack, perhaps Smetana's dramatic tone poem depicting the course of the Moldau River from its source to its mouth is appropriate here. If you want to find a recording, the German title is "Die Moldau" and the Czech title is "Vltava". It's part of a cycle of tone poems by Smetana called "Ma Vlast", or "My Fatherland". I have the Naxos recording of an excellent performance of the cycle by conductor Antoni Wit and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Added later: Here's a shot of my view towards the north end of the lake without wide-angle and with a couple of human figures in the frame.

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