Heading to http://www.capeanngiclee.comto tape a homiecast with the boys. Nothing easier to bring over a six pax than The Crooked Fish Beer Trap made locally by Enza Iacono
In thinking about how colors are created in bird feathers, I wondered if it was similar to how color is formed in butterfly wings. I learned that yes, it is very similar, and that bird feather color has evolved in several ways, from pigmentation present or as a result of light refracting through the layered structure of the feather.
Color from Pigment
Pigments are colored material found in plants, animals, and nearly every physical substance in nature. Pigmentation in birds comes from three different sources: melanins, carotenoids, and porphyrines.
Melanins are tiny bits of color in the feathers of birds and in their skin. Melanins produce colors from palest yellow to rusty red browns to the richest black, depending on where the melanin is located and in what degree of concentration. Feathers with melanin are the strongest of all. A bird’s flight feathers are the most susceptible to wear and usually have the highest degree of melanin.
Red-winged Blackbirds and American Robins are strong flyers. Their flight feathers have rich concentrations of melanin.
Carotenoids are produced by plants. Birds that eat specific plants, or eat something that has eaten the plant, acquire pigment from carotenoids. A carotenoid-rich diet is responsible for the beautiful vermillion feathers of the Northern Cardinal, as well as the electrifying cadmium yellow of the male American Goldfinch. Another example is the pink feathers of the flamingo, which also have a diet rich in carotenoids that come from the crustaceans that they eat, which ate algae. Melanins and carotenoids can interact to produce feathers such as olive green.
The third group of pigments are called porphyrins and they are the rarest, found only in a handful of bird families. Porphyrins are produced by modified amino acids and all share a common trait, which is to fluoresce bright red when exposed to ultraviolet light. Porphyrins are found in some pigeons, owls, and turacos.
The intensity of the red of the Northern Cardinal is an example of how feather color plays an important role in the survival of a species. Cardinal foods high in carotenoids include rose hips and dogwood berries. The brightest red birds usually have superior breeding territories, with the greatest abundance of their preferred foods. The reddest birds make the most successful parents because of their ability to bring an increased amount of food to the nestlings. When Cardinals are raised in captivity on a diet lacking in carotenoids, with each successive molt, the feathers become paler and paler.
Like butterflies, birds can see color in the ultraviolet spectrum (we humans cannot). Perhaps the way we see birds is entirely different from they way they see themselves!
Part Two Structural Color continued tomorrow.
Male Red-winged Blackbird
More Cape Ann Dining News-
Rose Sheehan and Colin de la Barre Sing Songs of Spring at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church Saturday, April 16 at 7:00 PM
Mother and son acapella duo Rose Sheehan and Colin de la Barre of Gloucester, MA will sing traditional and traditionally inspired songs of the British Isles and North America in celebration of Spring on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM in the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church vestry. Entrance is at 10 Church Street. Admission is $10 at the door.
Rose Sheehan, a life-long native of Massachusetts, grew up enjoying music of all genres, happily singing in church and school choirs. At age 19, she was introduced to the world of traditional music and dance and was smitten with the sound. After settling in Boston, she formed a musical duo with Bob Doucet. They performed throughout the Northeast region at coffeehouses and small taverns including the Nameless Coffeehouse, Cambridge, the Pressroom, NH, the Thirsty Whale, ME and at Toronto’s Fiddler’s Green.
Following that partnership, Rose became a dance musician for Morris Dance, an English ritual dance form. She was soon attending dance events where she learned songs from John Roberts and Tony Barrand, Ian Robb and others. She studied vocal technique with Anabel Graetz and Frankie Armstrong. John Langstaff cast Rose as a solo vocalist in a production of the Spring Revels.
Eventually Rose moved to the Greenfield area and started a family. Her musical interests became community oriented. She founded two participatory events: Montague May Celebration and Welcome Yule! A Midwinter Celebration. Both events have run for over 30 years and continue to be presented annually, involving hundreds of participants of all ages in song and dance. During that time, Rose sang in a small vocal ensemble directed by Susan Waters alongside Rani Arbo of Salamander Crossing.
Colin de la Barre grew up in western Massachusetts in a musical household, attending his first musical event at age two months. When asked, Colin says he began singing with his mom in his late teens. Rose asserts that they’ve been “singing together since before he was born!”
Colin demonstrated his talent for music and rhythm as a very young child, dancing before he could speak. He played fiddle during his middle childhood years, easily picking up tunes by ear. He performed annually in the children’s chorus of Welcome Yule! and sang in school choruses. One day he started singing along with his parents in harmony and soon began making performance appearances with them at venues including the Mystic Sea Music Festival and the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival.
As a duo, Rose and Colin are especially known for their inspired harmonies and rich blend of familial voices.
They have led workshops and presented concerts for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington and once paired with Ann Mayo Muir and her daughter Christina Muir to co-lead a harmony singing workshop. They have performed at the Indian Neck Folk Festival, the New England Folk Festival and at local north shore coffeehouses. In 2014 they were selected as juried showcase performers for the North East Regional Folk Alliance Conference in Kerhonkson, NY.
We took a trip the Museum of Fine Arts the other day. Other than not having nearly enough time to see it all, we had a fantastic afternoon.
If you haven’t been in a while, you should totally plan a trip. An added bonus is that kids 6 and under are always free and children 7-17 are free during all non-school hours (weekdays after 3:00, weekends, and holidays).
Here is a tiny sample of what we saw…..which was only 1/4 of the what the amazing collection has to offer. And, yes, if you look the through the photos you will indeed see my younger son giggling uncontrollably at some of the nude paintings and sculptures. You can take the boy out of the hockey rink, but you can’t take the hockey rink out of the boy.
I own Tiny Planet Computer here in Gloucester and I’m currently running a raffle to benefit the Gloucester Angel Program. The prize is a complete computer system built by us and includes a 19” LED monitor, HP all-in-one printer and all the needed accessories to get started.
Tickets are $10 each and are available at Tiny Planet Computer, 76 Rogers Street, Gloucester as well as Geoff Richon Co., 17 Duncan Street in Gloucester.
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Heated/Massage State of The Art Dentist Chairs- Pain Free Dentistry, Convenient Downtown Location With Off Street Parking-Rockin Good Music Piped Through The Joint- Super Friendly Staff.
Harbor Cove Dental Has It ALL.
Complete 100% Absolute No Brainer. Like why in heaven’s name would you go anywhere else? Would you rather get drilled out by 1970’s technology?
Beauty and the Beast at Beeman Memorial School April 12, April 13 and April 14
The Beeman Elementary School Chorus presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Tuesday, April 12, Wednesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 7:00PM at Beeman School, 138 Cherry Street, Gloucester. All tickets for the production are $5.00 each and will be sold at the door the night of the performance.
The production features 30 fourth and fifth grade Beeman students directed by Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop director and actress Heidi Dallin with musical direction by Beeman Music teacher Beth Goldberg. Dallin was brought into the elementary school by the Gloucester Education Foundation initiative to support and enhance elementary school theatre by partnering teachers with theatre professionals.