Photo

nprontheroad:

In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray, South Carolina.  Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of purple martins come streaming towards the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour of wheeling and singing they settle down on a small island.

For the past 25 years, Lake Murray has boasted the largest purple martin roost in the United States. The birds gather there in the hundreds of thousands before beginning their epic migration to South America. Every year hundreds of boats full of purple martin admirers crowd the waters around the island. Every year 500,000 birds put on a breathtaking aerial performance.

But not this year.

This year, the boats went out as usual. But the birds didn’t show up.

And so Skunk Bear (NPR’s science tumblr) has gone mobile in search of the missing martins.  We – that’s photojournalist Maggie Starbard and science reporter Adam Cole – have vowed not to return to HQ until we’ve located the errant flock … or until Tuesday morning. Whichever comes first.

We’re starting our search where the birds were last seen: in American backyards. Purple martins on the east coast rely entirely on human-built dwellings to breed, and thousands of humans have taken it upon themselves to provide these nesting colonies. We’re hoping this slightly crazy fellowship of purple martin “landlords” (that’s what they call themselves) can point us in the right direction.

Maybe we’ll find out where the birds went.  Maybe we’ll find out why they are so dependent on humans. And maybe we’ll find out why all these people are so invested in their survival. Stay tuned.

It’s because we humans have done everything possible to kill off / destroy /
remove their primary food source: insects. Their absence isn’t a mystery.

(via npr)

Source: nprontheroad
Photo

Orange you wondering what my favorite color is?

Photo

I upgraded my guitar set up, added some pedals, ran new cables, and the results have been loss of tone, sound cutting out, mayhem and confusion. Add my iPad acting all crazy and I think I might have to go back to plugging direct into the board and memorizing lyrics! ;-). Thanks Donna Cole for taking such a great photo. This is a vocal mistake I regularly make, tilting my head (fooling myself that I can control mic volume or that it helps me reach the note). Really, it just helps me level out the world by tilting sideways. @annapoliscreative

Photo

Studies are out showing that the insect biodiversity is down 45%! Stop it with the roundup monoculture sprawl perfect lawn lifestyle. Oh, and this is a Butterfly-less Butterfly Bush outside of Brian Boru in Severna Park, where I’ll be singing and strumming tonight from 8-12. Come see me, but no guarantees on the insects.

Photo

Gig with a view. @lowdenguitars headstock contrasts nicely with the cool blue of the deep end. #morebassresponse

Photo

Anyone who can bring a bird cage out to The Point in Arnold, with bird seed in the cage, I will buy you a beer. There is a stunning, bright yellow-green budgerigar (Parakeet), flying around… Yes I am gigging tonight, but I’ll adopt him / her if we can get her and her owners aren’t located. Beer for a bird cage… do we have a deal? See you ASAP.

Photo

Hey @charmcityrun I started my training for #boordyvineyards on August 17th. Sure, I’ll only be singing and playing guitar… but I’m quite certain I’ll get a PR that evening. ;-) #brooksrunning #ouchmyquads

Photo

Between airplanes being shot out of the peaceful skies over Ukraine, and the war in the Middle East, the plethora of never-ending violence and tragedy and negativity streamed non-stop over the internet, one can quickly lose faith in humanity. Here is a lovely moth. I enjoyed it on my bricks last night. It wanted nothing more than a peaceful spot to rest while I showed it the light.

Audio
Audio