Grandstanders, God, Satan, typos, hawks and more hurricane stuff

Wow! Am I the only one who wants to kill those grandstanding TV news commentators who stand in the middle of a hurricane telling people to stay in their homes? Hey, I understand the "fun" of being in the middle of a storm - just be honest about it! You're there because you want to be, stupid as it may be.

Well - that aside, I do have a fabulous, eyewitness account of the 1938 hurricane in Westport - with pictures. That was a killer storm, taking three lives in Westport Harbor alone. But note, the author was there because he wanted to see the storm! I put the account on the Westport Historical Society web site here. That occupied most of my morning, but I did have time to see Teddy Kennedy is not afraid to call a fraud a fraud. (See: "Us and the World.") And there are a pair of new contributions to "Now that's funny." The first had even me reaching for the spellchecker! The second is where God and satan get into the act.

The hawks, btw, were very cooperative on Wednesday. More than 200 showed up, which was the best day on Wachusetts this season. But 12 miles to the north on Watatic they saw 1,300 that day! I'm hoping for a big day on Wachusetts Sunday. (What's a big day? Last year it was 10,000 - but there have even been days of 20,000 and 40,000 there, so who knows! And maybe it will be on Saturday instead. I think the hawks have all been sitting around waiting for Isabel to scram. I'm betting the wind shifts to NW on Sunday and brings them out.)

Posted by Greg Stone at September 19, 2003 11:04 AM

Good luck tomorrow!

Posted by: James P at September 19, 2003 11:45 AM

Well, I was wrong.

Not that it was a disaster. Bren and I had great fun. In fact, the official record will show more than a thousand hawks were spotted. But the vast majority of them came after 2:45 pm - which is when we left - and as Jane Stein, the official reporter, noted, they were nearly all "scope dots." That means you see what looks like a lot of pepper swirling about if you have powerful enough optics. If not, you don't see anything and you wonder what people are talking about and whether or not you are looking in the right piece of sky. In short, not much fun.

What was fun was the kettle of 22 broadwings that was naked-eye, though far overhead just underneath a cloud. And when it went south, a lone coopers came over and gave us a wonderful, close look. The hawk watchers all applauded spontaneously as he headed off. The coopers heard it, turned around, and came back. This time he briefly joined two sailplanes in a thermal right over the mountain top - just a beautiful sight - men, planes, hawk all swirling about, riding on an invisible column of air!

We had other good birds too - mostly sharpies and kestrells. A pair of sharpies put on a nice show of aerobatics, jousting with one another. Made you wonder how they ever get anywhere as they seem eager to take on anything else in the sky, including another sharpie!

Posted by: Greg at September 25, 2003 09:59 AM
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