My fascination with the birds of Green Valley Park has steadily grown over the 11 years that I’ve lived in Payson — and has pretty much exploded over the last year-and-a-half.
Identifying, researching the birds’ habits and observing them at the lake has become a keen interest for me. I’ve become fascinated by the predatory nature of the birds and how they have honed their skills to survive in this world. And maybe more than anything, I’ve enjoyed photographing these winged creatures and sharing my pictures with friends and others who enjoy all the beauty that these beaked animals have to offer.
Some of Green Valley Park’s birds are full-year residents, such as the great blue herons, mallards and a handful of Canada geese. Most of the birds, though, like the American bald eagles, mergansers and cormorants frequent the park in the cooler months of the year, arriving in October or November and leaving in March or early April.
But, there are also a few species of birds that use our park for just a short layover on their way to their summer or winter homes. Some of these short-stay birds, like the cattle egrets, white-face ibises, willets and cinnamon teals, spend just a day, while others make themselves at home for a week or so.
All are beautiful and fun to watch and photograph.
If you’d like to see new pictures that I’ve added this past week of the 20-plus birds that I’ve “shot” at the park within the past few months, please visit my website listed below. Included is a nice sequence of the osprey, a raptor relative of the bald eagle, plunging into the water and snagging a trout.
This week’s question
In the early 1960s, garage-rock bands (literally born in suburbia garages) became all the rage. One of the garage-rock bands that made it big, albeit briefly, haled from Minneapolis. The quartet scored only two songs on the Billboard Hot-100 Chart, then faded back into their “one-car garage” studio.
The group’s two hits “Surfin’ Bird,” (which I remember to this day my father hating it — and now, as an old dude myself, I understand why) and “Bird Dance Beat,” rose to No. 4 and No. 30, respectively.
This week’s trivia question is: Can you name the garage-rock band that recorded these two “bird” songs? Was it A) The Trashmen, B) The Shadows of Knight, C) The Troggs, or D) The Kingsmen?
If you’re the fifth caller this week with the correct answer, you’ll win a CD of your choice of artist or music genre.
Last week’s question
In 1965, R&B singer-composer Mack Rice released the song
“Mustang Sally,” which became a moderate success, at best. The following year, another R&B artist covered Mack’s “car” song and it became an instant hit, with his version later being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Some of this artist’s other Top-25 hits included “In the Midnight Hour,” “Land of 1000 Dances” and “Funky Broadway.”
The choices for last week’s music trivia question were A) Sam Cooke, B) Little Richard, C) Wilson Pickett, and D) Jimi Hendricks.
The correct answer was Alabama-born and raised Wilson Picket.
Soul singer Sam Cooke was popular on the charts from 1957 through the mid-1960s, before being murdered by a gunshot in 1964. He is probably best remembered by most for his debut and signature song, 1957’s “You Send Me.”
R&B-rock ’n’ roll singer/ pianist Little Richard charted hits from 1956 through 1970. His three Top-10 hits were the late 1950s songs “Long Tall Sally,” “Jenny, Jenny” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly.”
Legendary psychedelic-blues-rock singer/guitarist Jimi Hendrix recorded during the late 1960s, before dying of a drug overdose in 1970. His top hits were “Foxey Lady,” “Purple Haze” and “Fire.”
Congratulations to last week’s multiple-time winner, Mike Leigh.
A final note
This Saturday afternoon, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Payson Community Kids is celebrating its new location with an open house. Its new building is located at 213 S. Colcord St. (the former site of the Christian school).
“We will have food and music, give tours of our beautiful facility and have games for the kids,” said PCK director Suzy Tubbs.
Payson Community Kids is a not-for-profit after-school organization, serving school-age children in the greater Payson area on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. “We have more than 200 children in our program, with about 60 children who come regularly. We are growing by leaps and bounds,” said Tubbs. “We may in the near future expand our program to five days a week. We definitely need more volunteers to help with crafts, homework, our reading program and just general supervision.”
To learn more about Payson Community Kids, the open house or volunteering, call Suzy Tubbs (928) 978-3256 or Perla Guereque (928) 978-3653.
Have a great Rim Country week!
DJ Craig – (928) 468-1482 – www.djcraiginpayson.com