Country musician Willie Nelson’s new album


This music video from the USA is called Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth? Willie Nelson.

By Hiram Lee in the USA:

Willie Nelson’s Band of Brothers: A songwriter returns

2 September 2014

Veteran country music artist Willie Nelson is now 81 years old. Approaching the sixth decade of his career, he continues to record and perform at an impressive pace. A talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, it is hard to think of another performer in the genre as well liked as he.

Nelson has been making music professionally since 1956. While he found little success as a recording artist in those first several years, he was able to establish himself quickly as a songwriter of note. Some of his early compositions have become standards recorded by large numbers of country, jazz and blues musicians. Nelson wrote “Crazy,” made famous in a legendary recording by Patsy Cline, and “Night Life,” which Ray Price recorded. “Hello Walls” became a hit for Faron Young and “Funny How Time Slips Away” was recorded by Billy Walker.

Like most country music performers, the Texas-born Nelson’s career eventually became centered in Nashville. But Nelson never quite fit in there. He grew frustrated with the constraints of the Nashville entertainment industry and moved back to Texas in the early 1970s. …

In more recent years, an even larger majority of Nelson’s recorded output has consisted of songs by other composers. His latest album, Band of Brothers, however, marks a return to songwriting. Not since his 1996 release Spirit has a Willie Nelson album featured this many new compositions.

Band of Brothers is an interesting and entertaining album. Nelson’s unique, nasal singing voice has begun to weaken somewhat, but his loose—even casual—sense of rhythm remains. His lyrics fall into the music like clothes tossed onto a bed, but they fit him well in the end. …

This music video from the USA is called Willie Nelson/ The Git Go – New Album “Band Of Brothers”.

While Band of Brothers may represent Nelson’s return as a songwriter, some of the strongest songs are still those written by other composers. Perhaps the best verse on the album belongs to veteran songwriter Billy Joe Shaver and his song “The Git Go.” In a duet with Jamey Johnson, Nelson sings Shaver’s angry words:

Money breeds war as long as there’s a man alive/Rich kids go to college and the poor kids fight/And high rollers crap out every time/Roll up soldiers’ bones like loaded dice/War is a beast that makes every mother cry.

One is reminded that when popular country music stars, including Toby Keith and Darryl Worley, wrote openly pro-war songs like “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” and “Have You Forgotten?” during preparations for the Iraq war in 2003, Willie Nelson responded with the anti-war song “Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?” in which he asked the questions: “How much oil is one human life worth?” and “How much is a liar’s word worth?”

Texas homophobia bigwig’s wife left him for another woman


This video is about Germany in the 1930s and 1940s called Nazi Holocaust – The Forgotten Gay Victims.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Wife of anti-gay group president left him – for another woman

Posted 7 hours ago by Dina Rickman

Meet Jonathan Saenz, devout Catholic and president of American anti-gay group Texas Values.

Under Mr Saenz’s leadership Texas Values has led the fight against equal marriage, while Mr Saenz has suggested gay marriage will lead to people marrying their stepchildren and polygamy. He has also supported gay conversion therapy and suggested LGBT activists want to put Christians in concentration camps.

I have no idea on what Mr Saenz bases this assertion.

I do know about a proposal by a religious Rightist comparable to Mr Saenz to put LGBTQ people in concentration camps; like happeened in Hitler’s Third Reich..

Saenz (no surprise) is a favourite of Fox News, part of the Rupert Murdoch empire.

Now reports have emerged that months before he started the role in early 2012, his wife left him for another women.

According to court records cited by Lone Star Q, Mr Saenz’s ex-wife Corrine Morris Rodriguez Saenz filed from divorce in August 2011. She is said to still be dating Ercilia Paredes, the woman she left him for. The pair share custody of their three children, all of whom are under the age of 10.

Mr Saenz and his attorney did not respond to requests to comment to Lone Star Q. As yet Mr Saenz has not commented publicly on the reports.

MEET THE FIRST ACTIVE GAY DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL PLAYER “Arizona State football player Edward ‘Chip’ Sarafin has publicly come out as gay. The redshirt senior made his announcement in an interview with Compete magazine. The 6’6″, 320-pound backup offensive lineman is believed to be the first active college football player at a Division I program to publicly come out as gay, according to Outsports.” [HuffPost]

Purple martins in Texas, USA


This video is called Purple Martins at Highland Mall, Austin, Texas 2012.

From Associated Press:

Thousands of birds nest near abandoned Austin mall

Published: July 25, 2014 10:12 AM

AUSTIN, Texas – — Outside an abandoned Austin shopping mall is a little-known visual phenomenon to rival the bat flights from the downtown Congress Avenue bridge.

Six oak trees stand in a bank parking lot on the north side of Highland Mall. For decades, every July, birds called purple martins have flocked to the trees by the thousands to roost for the night. And the spectacle draws dozens of bird-watchers each night.

The birds, which are the largest North American swallow breed, migrate to the spot in July and August as they head north from Brazil to breed. The Purple Martin Conservation Association says flocks have shown up on National Weather Service radar.

The Travis Audubon Society holds watching parties from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. each Friday and Saturday evening in July.

Skinks in North America


This video from the USA says about itself:

Four-Lined Skink Found In Bush Alongside Brownsville Texas

11 February 2014

Plestiodon tetragrammus. The four-lined skink is a species of lizard, which is endemic to North America. It feeds on insects and spiders. It is a medium-sized member of the Plestiodon skinks. It ranges through Central and southern Texas, south into Mexico, north to south-central Arizona and extreme southwestern New Mexico.

From eNature Blog in the USA:

Blue Streak Special— Ever See A Skink?

Thursday, July 10, 2014 by eNature

There’s a rustling in the leaves. You look to see what made the sound, and bam—a blue streak vanishes into the duff. Was it a snake? A lizard? Was that intense cobalt color even real?

Yes, it was real. The creature responsible for the streak was a lizard called a skink. Now’s the time when the newborns hatch, and the intense blue tails of the juveniles are as bright as neon signs.

There are fifteen species of skinks in North America, a small percentage of the 1,200-plus species found worldwide (it’s the largest family of lizards). Most species keep their blue tails for the first two years of life; the tails of adults fade to gray or brown. As for why the young skink needs such a gaudy appendage, the standard textbook answer is that predators like birds and mammals will grab first at the bright tail. Because the tail easily detaches, the lizard escapes—tailless, yes, but at least still alive.

If this strategy is so advantageous, though, why don’t adult skinks have blue tails? One possible explanation is that young skinks tend to spend more time above ground where they’re subject to more predators. When they become adults, skinks establish territories inside rotting logs or under rocks and spend little time moving from place to place. (To tell the difference between a mature male and a mature female, look for the orange highlights on the male’s head.)

Mating takes place in the spring. Then, in late spring, the adult females retreat to burrows or other sheltered recesses, often deep in the ground, where they lay eggs and remain with them until hatching. A female may keep its eggs moist by licking them or otherwise moistening them or it may simply guard the clutch of two to six eggs. When the eggs hatch, adult females and their brightly colored newborns come to the surface to feed on insects and spiders for the summer. The first chill of autumn sends them underground, where they wait until the first warm days of spring beckon them back to the surface.

Have you come across skinks or other colorful amphibians? We always enjoy your stories!

Skinks are not amphibians, of course, but reptiles.

Reddish egrets, what do they eat?


This video from the USA is called Crazy Reddish Egret dance hunting for fish, Marco Island, Florida.

From Waterbirds in the USA:

Comparisons of Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) Diet During the Breeding Season Across its Geographic Range

Abstract

Although the prey of Reddish Egrets (Egretta rufescens) generally consists of shallow-water, euryhaline fish species, rangewide differences in breeding season diet have not been examined. Furthermore, the relative proportions of the two Reddish Egret color morphs vary from east to west across the species’ range. Color morph may influence foraging efficiency, but variations in prey across the species’ range and between morphs is undocumented.

By examining boluses from Reddish Egret (n = 109) nestlings, prey species proportions were compared between morphs, among regions and among colonies within Texas. Between regions, prey species and proportion of species differed widely; however, fish species with similar life histories were selected across the Reddish Egret’s range (Bahamas: 100% sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus); Texas: 85% sheepshead minnow; Baja California Sur: 49% American shadow goby (Quietula y-cauda); Yucatán: 64% Yucatán pupfish (C. artifrons).

Within the Laguna Madre in Texas, significant differences in prey species were not detected between morphs (F(1,61) = 1.36, P = 0.224); however, prey mass by species differed between colonies (F(1,60) = 2.68, P = 0.010). While our results only pertain to Reddish Egret diet during the breeding season, this study increases our understanding of Reddish Egret ecology and provides initial diet information across the species’ range.

Rock climbing black bear mother and cub, video


This video from Big Bend National Park in Texas, USA says about itself:

Rock Climbing Bears

Mommas with children or cubs don’t try this at home! Endangered Mexican Black Bears (momma and cub) climb Santa Elena Canyon wall, March 21st 2014. Spotted while kayaking and shared for your nature loving, rock climbing, suspenseful satisfaction.

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