Staff photographer Andy Towle’s picture of the great blue heron on the front page of last week’s Payson Roundup was an amazing shot, wasn’t it? This grey-blue wader, with its six-foot wing span and long legs and neck, is a marvel to behold.
Along with the great blue heron, Green Valley Park is home to so many different species of birds. Some, such as the two great blue herons and many mallard ducks at the park, seem to be permanent, year-round residents. The white egret, which can be seen at the park now and is a cousin of the blue heron, is a very sporadic visitor.
The beautiful Canada and snow geese end their southern migration in Payson in November and then head back north again in March. The brightly colored wood ducks and American coots (which look like ducks but are classified as common waterfowl) have similar migration time tables.
The park’s lone American bald eagle and osprey, which enjoy plucking their trout dinners from the lake, seem to randomly come and go, spending anywhere from a couple of days to several months in their Payson homes before taking off to who knows where.
Can you believe that there was once a pelican sighting at Green Valley Park? It’s true — I saw it for myself. On June 20, 2004, for that one day only, a brown pelican (native to the eastern U.S.) graced the air and shore of our lake. None of us astounded observers at the park had ever seen a pelican in Payson (or in Arizona for that matter) before that day and no one has seen one since.
Just as there are so many different species of birds that bless our beautiful park and lake, there are a number of musical groups that have adopted their names from bird classifications. You may or may not be remember the 1950s one-hit-wonder groups, the Penguins (“Aurelia”) and the Swallows (“Itchy Twitchy Feeling”), but I’ll bet you can think of a number of other music groups that have taken their names from other bird groups.
This week’s music trivia winner will be the person who calls me with the longest list of bird groups. I’ve given you two — now come up with as many more as you can. Good luck!
This week’s winner will receive a complimentary haircut and style (a $30 value) from Amanda Ruff, owner of the Shear Oasis Salon in the Swiss Village. (If your hair has been looking like a bird’s nest lately, this is the prize for you!)
Now, let’s see how we did with last week’s music trivia question, which was: Can you match the titles of these “foolish” hits: A) “The Fool On The Hill,” B) “Chain Of Fools,” and C) “Fool #1” with their corresponding artists: 1) Brenda Lee, 2) The Beatles, and 3) Aretha Franklin.
Answer: “The Fool On The Hill“ (1967) was recorded by the Beatles; “Chain Of Fools” (1968), which was selected to both the Grammy and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, was by Aretha Franklin and “Fool #1” (1961) was a top five hit by Brenda Lee.
A pat on the back to last week’s music trivia winner, Bill Anderson, who won a $25 gift certificate to Rim Country Wireless (formerly Verizon Wireless), located in the Safeway Shopping Plaza.
It’s been several years since Bill last won our music trivia contest. Bill gave me an update of what has been going on in his life since he last won. He said, “I’m still a trustee at the Elks Lodge and a member at both the Moose Lodge and American Legion Hall. I’m still singing karaoke and I’m excited to say that my wife and I will be taking a cruise to Hawaii this coming Christmas.”
Lastly, I had the pleasure last Friday (April Fool’s Day), to provide music for the Raymond Griffith-Rebecca Ross wedding. Family and friends enjoyed beautiful blue skies and balmy weather at the Griffith’s ceremony next to Green Valley Lake, then headed indoors for the couple’s reception at the Best Western Inn.
The young couple’s ceremony was very special to Rebecca, as it was officiated by her former Payson High School drama teacher, John Siler, now retired. Before the ceremony, John told me, “In all of my 35 years of directing plays, Rebecca was one of the top five students I ever coached.”
During Rebecca’s school days, she lived in Pine and was a member of the Payson High School class of 2004. Her husband, Raymond, is from the Midwest.
Have a great week!
Web site: www.DJCraigInPayson.com