In a Vacuum Improv

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What to do on a cloudy, wet, windy, cold spring day? Work on music in my cosy darkroom/music studio, go for a walk out to the river in the rain, capture the above photo, and finish an improv for this post. I created “In a Vacuum Improv” by playing the rhythm guitar and a bass line over a recording I made of a vacuum pump the Iceman used to suck moisture out of the refrigeration system when he repaired our floral refrigerator. The pump made such interesting sounds and rhythms, I simply had to record it. I added a couple of percussion tracks, and played the lead guitar to finish it out. I say it’s an Improve, because I only played the lead guitar once through.

B-24 Liberator

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The B-24 Liberator was used heavily in WWII. It was a fast, long rang bomber that carried a heavy bomb load. Airman considered it difficult to fly, and preferred the B-17 Flying Fortress; however, the powers that were during WWII liked the B-24, and commissioned around 18,500 of them over a five year period between 1940 and 1945. Whereas, only 12,731 B-17s were produced over a nine year period between 1936 and 1945.

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This B-24, named “Witchcraft”, was flown by the 467th Bomb Group in WWII, which flew a record 130 combat missions during the war.

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Despite so many B-24s being produced, Witchcraft is the only B-24 in the world that still flies. It has been fully restored, and is kept in flying condition by the Collings Foundation of Stowe, MA.

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Sitting

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Female owl sitting on her eggs.

I didn’t think Great Horned Owls used the same nesting spot two years in a row, but this pair of owls proved me wrong.

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Male owl standing guard.

Owl Season’s Underway

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A couple we often see in the bosque, told me they had just discovered the nesting place of a pair of owls last night. When I got to the nesting area a few minutes later, there were two owls to be seen — a larger owl in a cottonwood, and another, smaller owl, in an elm tree next to the cottonwood.  The larger female was out taking a break, I presumed.  She was hooting up a storm on her perch in the cottonwood. The smaller owl was perched on a limb, a silent sentry, very alert, guarding the area.   The sun had been down for fifteen minutes or so, forcing me to bump up my ISO to 3200 to get a somewhat sensible shutter speed. As I was photographing the owls, a chorus of coyotes started howling from the undergrowth all around where I was standing beneath the owls. The scene became surreal as I was standing in a small clearing, darkness falling all around, the owl hooting from above, and coyotes yipping and howling in surround sound.

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Hooting. I wonder if you pushed up on the tail feathers of a Great Horned Owl if it would hoot.
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She spies something in the distance.
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Ready. Set…
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¡Hasta la vista!