Saturday, October 18, 2008

Giant Things of Panama City

Wherever you go in the world, it's comforting to know that there are Giant Things to see and admire. This guy lives in front of the Shrine Building in the Albrook region of Panama City. I really dig his fez and his white shoes.

This was on my first morning in Panama. There was a tropical screech-owl calling nearby.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Giant Things of Lake Erie

I recently caught on film (with my digital camera) this rare creature which has been haunting the Lakeside area of Ohio's Lake Erie shore for the past five decades. It was vastly larger than my van, which scared me stupid, just like Ernest.

I believe this lumbering behemoth was returning to The Prehistoric Forest region after lunching at the nearby Cheesehaven.

According to my field guide this is a Goudasaurus and is made entirely of soft Dutch cheese.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Giant Things of Nebraska

Donut shops seem to have more than their fair share of cool roadside signs. These signs often incorporate Giant Things. It's been a while since I've shared a Giant Thing sighting here in BOTB, but it's not from a lack of desire on my part. I simply have not been fortunate enough to see the usual plethora of Giant Things from which I would pluck only the most fascinating and succulent.

This giant rooster has a lot to recommend it. It's really big. It's a cool rendition of a cocksure bird. It's crowing to let you know that the donuts are hot and fresh. AND it's announcing the recent birth of somebody's l'il rooster.

Next time you're in Kearney, Nebraska looking for a cup of joe and a sack of hot donut holes, check out Daylight Donuts right on the main drag. I photographed E. Clair Cruller, the Daylight Donut Rooster earlier this month in Kearney. It was the peak of crane and goose migration and the sky was full of birds, so I'm surprised there aren't V's of geese in the blue sky behind E. Clair.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Giant Things That Dance!

Dirty dancing giant things! What next?

Way back on September 1, Zick and I were doing a book reading and signing at the new Books-A-Million in Triadelphia, West Virginia (a town that is soon to be renamed Cabela's, West Virginia for the giant outfitter store that has consumed that corner of The Mountain State).

As we drove up to the bookstore, which was celebrating its grand opening, we saw one of those giant dancing air sock things, powered by an air blower. This one looked like the result of a giant banana having mated successfully with a foot-long hot dog. Its movements were fluid--mesmerizing even.

Throughout the afternoon, as I watched it, it became clear that the giant dancing hotdoganana was putting the heavy moves on a nearby lamppost. It was like Patrick Swayze and that lamppost-like woman in Dirty Dancing. Except that the bananadog had better hair than the Swayzmeister.

Lots of 70s dance moves are coming back into vogue.

We did not stick around after our reading to see if the lamppost finally gave in to the undeniable charm of Mr. Yellow Wigglesdog. But if I see a bunch of yellow lampposts shimmying and shaking in front of that bookstore next time I'm there, I'll be sure to feature it here at Bill of the Birds.

I'm not sure The Bump is coming back, but you never know.

Awesome robot moves!

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Monday, September 17, 2007

A Champion for Bill--Jousting Piper

Oh, Liz of the Cosmos, we love you. Krazy girl. Only you would give us a giant metal peep. For Letters from Eden readers, this is the same Liz who appears at the opening of the chapter, "Calling Kali." She is a font of the good and the bizarre alike. And often the bizarrely good.--JZ

Silver legs, yellow bill, crested crown these were the first field marks I noted. But it was big--BIG--too big for a shorebird.
It must be a Bill of the Bird's bird!
So there I was snapping pictures of this giant silly bird with a golden egg wondering if it was the city mascot, thinking, this is perfect for Bill. He could blog about this and have the best time. That silly man. He makes me laugh and it is fun to make him laugh.
I thought, wait I could blog about the great metal peep--yes, my precious. He shall not have it! It is mine. Yessss.
Then I awoke from my dreams to find Bilbo had been sent on a quest. A quest that would take him beyond the bounds of Indigo Hill, flying on the back of the Dragon to the mountains of the Inca. Bill of the Birds must leave the shire on a mission and needs a guest host to post.
So the story begins. I grabbed my cosmic communicator and buzzed the Snow Hill Chamber of Commerce to find out about the origin of the Jousting Sandpiper that lives across the street from the greatest bookstore in Snow Hill Maryland, ALICE on the banks of the Pocomoke River.
The Chamber maid informed me that this was one in a series of sandpipers commissioned for a fundraiser out of Ocean City, MD "Ocean City Birds". South Padre Island TX had Porpoises. Wilmington, DE had Dinosaurs. New Orleans wanted crazy Buddhas...but that idea was shot down.
Sandpipers in various forms painted by various artists live all over
Worcester county. "The Den of Iniquity" a Maryland blog has photos of the complete flock
I like Driftwood!

--photo by Den of Iniquity

After all this time of holding that silly photo I have the rest of the story.
Thanks for trippin' Bilbo!

Here's wishing you and all your friends a bearded helmetcrest hummingbird.
May we all get to Peru someday.
Happy trails,
Liz of the Cosmos

All right, you've outed him. He's in Peru. He called me on our anniversary, September 11. He was on a riverboat in the upper Amazon. Pink dolphins were surfacing all around the boat. He couldn't stop calling out their locations to everyone else. The conversation went something like this:

"So, yes, I do miss you and I want to..RIGHT THERE!! RIGHT AGAINST THAT DARK LOG!!! get home and start NO! FARTHER TO THE RIGHT!!...figuring out..WOW THEY'RE SOOO PINK!!!

I understood, and let him go. --JZ

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Weird Birds of the Weekend

While driving through snow on Saturday morning (and watching careless drivers spin out on the icy overpasses) we chanced upon this Roadside Hawk near Canal Winchester, Ohio. This certainly must be the first state record for Ohio for this species. We also took its nest building as proof of breeding, so we'll send this record into the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas, too.

Just in case you don't believe us, here's proof that it was by a roadside. This bird was large enough to qualify as a Giant Thing here at BOTB.

It's clearly a hawk. It's on the roadside. Roadside hawk. What else could it be?

Later that day, Zick and I were giving our "Music of the Birds" program at Aullwood Audubon Center near Dayton, Ohio. Our Canadian pals Rondeau Ric and Anne came to hear us and to do a bit of birding. Ric photographed this male northern cardinal at the Aullwood feeders. Clearly this fellow's been through a lot. Losing his head feathers to mites. Getting trapped in a mist net and banded (see color bands on his near leg).

These trials and tribulations did not seem to affect his appetite, however.

Photo by Rondeau Ric

Our evening performance at Aullwood went well. The audience was enthusiastic and Tom Hissong and the good folks on the Aullwood staff made us feel right at home. It's a wonderful nature center with plenty to do and see. If you have the chance to visit Aullwood, which is just north of I-70 on Dayton's west side, don't miss it.

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