Except for a dozen Canada geese, a handful of mallards and two coot families, there isn’t much bird watching going on lately at Green Valley Park, especially with our resident Great Blue Herons away from the lake most of the time during their nesting period.
But that could change very soon. It shouldn’t be long before a new brood of Great Blue Heron chicks are ready leave their nests for their first flights down to the lake.
Recently, I learned where these magnificent herons call home — about a mile north of the
lake, at the pinnacle of three 150-ft. tall ponderosa pine trees. Neighbors say the herons have been nesting there for about 10 years, bringing to their nests fish, birds and even a squirrel or two for their young to devour. They also report seeing a hawk recently attack and kill one of the adult herons.
Some neighbors say they enjoy having these birds above their yards, while others aren’t fond of the middle of the night squawking and the mess they make that drips through the nests and onto their sidewalks.
From what I could observe of the nests, it looked like there were between three to six juvenile herons, now nearly full grown and elbowing for space.
With my camera clicking, I stood in awe as, one by one, the young cranes took practice flights between the tall, adjacent timbers, seeming to feel more confident with each flight.
It won’t surprise me to see these young birds, any day now, down at the lake, fishing for themselves.
This Week’s Music Trivia Question
One of my favorite groups as I was growing up was the folk-rock band, The Byrds. The five-member group first recorded as the Beefeaters for Elektra in 1964 and also as the Jetset.
In 1965, The Byrds released their debut song “Mr. Tambourine Man,” which rocketed up the charts and topped out for one week at number 1. The band’s third release, “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season),” enjoyed even larger success, topping the charts for three weeks in the fall of 1965 and earning induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The group’s last big hit came the following year with “Eight Miles High,” earning induction into both the Grammy and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame.
This week’s music trivia question is: Was the folk-rock group, The Byrds, from A) Los Angeles, Calif.; B) Sydney, Australia; C) Manchester, England; or D) Manitoba, Canada?
If you’re the fifth caller and have the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your favorite artist or genre. Good luck!
Last Week’s Music Trivia Question
Last week’s music trivia question asked if you could name the operatic rock & roll singer-songwriter-guitartist who sang the song “Coming Home,” which appeared on his 1992 album “King of Hearts” (which was released four years after this artist’s death in 1988.) Some of his top hits were “Only The Lonely,” “Running Scared” and “Oh, Pretty Woman.”
The choices were: A) Paul Anka; B) Frankie Avalon; C) Roy Orbison; and D) Gene Pitney.
The correct answer was Roy Orbison, which was submitted by this past week’s first-time music trivia winner, Ralph Roberts.
Ralph was born in Milton, Mass. and raised in nearby Braintree. After graduating from Braintree High School in 1964, Ralph enlisted in the Air Force, where he would serve for the next 20 years. After his tours of duty, he would go on to spend the next 23 years in the Valley as a mini-storage manager, before retiring to Payson with his wife in 2009.
Now, Ralph spends a good deal of time enjoying his passions — photography and hiking. He credits former Roundup editor, Tom Brossart, for igniting his interest in capturing on camera area birds, landscapes, flowers and more. “I’ve taken four or five of Tom’s classes at the junior college and just loved them,” he said.
When he’s not tromping through the forest or toting his camera at Green Valley Park, Ralph enjoys listening to popular music from the 1960s. His favorite artists are Jay & the Americans, Roy Orbison, Dion & the Belmonts and Josh Groban.
A Final Note
This Saturday, Payson’s Parks and Rec program will present its seventh summer concert under the stars at Green Valley Park. The always-popular John Carpino & The Hot Cappuccinos will be on stage from 7 to 9 p.m., performing a mix of classic rock, country rock, reggae, Motown and originals. John, on lead guitar and vocals, is joined by some of the area’s finest musicians — Dave Yoder on drums, Davis Brooks on bass and Lu Carpino on keyboard, percussion and vocals. The combination is always dynamic — an energetic, fun sound with an emphasis on strong vocals and harmonies.
Lastly, I’d like to add my words of praise to the town of Payson for another whole-lot-of-fun 4th of July celebration at Green Valley Park. Payson always attracts large crowds to this all-day and evening festival, but in my 12 years of living in Payson, I’ve never seen the crowd as big as it was this year. The day started with a flag-raising tribute to America, followed by games for kids of all ages, the annual Payson vs. out-of-towners tug of war, fastest-in-Payson race, the evening concert by the J. Powers Band — and finished with the weather-delayed, but always spectacular, fireworks show over the lake.
If you visit our website, you’ll see a bunch of pictures we took throughout the day at this wonderful event.
Have a great Rim Country week.
DJ Craig – (928) 468-1482 – www.djcraiginpayson.com