Previous month:
June 2006
Next month:
August 2006

Bloggers vs Journalists

During my daily blog browsing I came across this post at Jeff Jarvis. Jarvis takes apart an article written in the New Yorker by Nicholas Lemann.
Here's a quote from the post (Jarvis commenting on the article in the New Yorker) that I particularly liked:

So Lemann continues to paint this as a fight: bloggers v. journalists. He continues to try to define journalists as the professionals, to define the act by the person who performs it (and, implicitly, the training he has) rather than by the act itself. He continues to try to limit journalism to journalists, wanting in his last line for reporters (note, he didn’t say reporting) to move to citizens’ journalism.

I so wish I had seen him instead imagine the possibilities for news when journalists and bloggers join to work together in a network made possible by the internet. I wish he had seen journalism expanded way past the walls of newsrooms and j-schools to gather and share more information for an informed society. I wish he had used his lofty perch to see beyond the horizon to a new future for journalism and the students he — and I — are teaching now.

But no. Pity.

And now there are three - The Demise of The View?

As I have said before I am a TV junkie. I watch far too much TV. There, I've said it. Thanks to TIVO I get to select shows that I want. One of my favorite morning shows is The View. 5 women talking about stuff. Its like hanging out with one's girl friends. There was Meredith: witty and quick, Elizabeth (Survivor participant)- young, stuffy and Republican, Star (ex prosecutor and shoe goddess)- glamorous, intelligent and fabulous, Joy - wicked wit and one liners and of course Grandma - Barbara Walters. This was a great mix of different view points and different ages. It worked. For nine (is it really?) seasons it works.

Then, Meredith announces she is leaving to join the Today Show. The View quickly announces that Rosie O (who has guest hosted before) will be joining in September. I think, okay this should be fun. Rosie will mix things up a little. It will be interesting.

And then last week (gasp, shock, horror) Star announces that she will not be returning to the View next season. She is dignified, eloquent and only a little bit sentimental. I could cry. What are we going to do without Star Jones Reynolds? But hey, I'm okay. Everyone loves one another - Right?

Er, not so right. The following morning's View is a shocker. (Gasp!) Barbara Walters, The BW - the Grandma of Female Talking Heads delivers a long lecture about how Star will not be back. You mean we are not going to have a chance to say goodbye? (Wail, wail) The View spent one tiresome week saying their goodbyes to Meredith. Why not Star? Why is one favored and the other not?

Then we hear through the tabloids that Star's contract was not going to be renewed, and Star felt as though she had been "fired". Then we hear of Star not wanting to play by her bosses script for her departure. O woe is me.

And so, then there was three...

For me, an avid fan, it is not the same. I now find BW plain annoying. The chemistry is not the same. Is this the end? Is this the end of the View?
(Tearjerking music plays to fade...)

2006 Rocky Mountain National Park Artist in Residence

Kevin arrived back from his 2 week artist in residency at Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday. I really did miss him.

The artists are accomodated at the William Allen White Cabin in the park. For over 30 years (1912 to 1943) the cabin was the summer home of William Allen White. White was an influential editor and writer. He was a figure of some influence with friendships with Presidents William McKinley and Franklin D Roosevelt. The cabin was restored with attention to historic detail. The exterior looks exactly as it did when White summered there. However, the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom have been modernized. The Kitchen "Hoosier", the rolltop desk and the hickory rockers (for the front porch) are all original furnishings.

The Hoosier in the Kitchen.


Interior of the Hoosier in the Kitchen.


"What's the Matter with Kansas?" was a piece of writing that brought him national attention. Here is another piece defending freedom of speech written by White in 1922.

As part of the program artists are required to give two public free presentations. Kevin's were on Digital Mosiacs (a method for creating high resolution scenic photographs.) He also demonstrated using his field camera- a nice juxtaposition of the old with the new.

For more information about the Artist in Residence program at Rocky Mountain National Park go here.

This is a digital scouting image that Kevin took of Bear Lake.


Another scouting image of Shark's Tooth. I love the flowers in the foreground and the jagged edge of the Shark's Tooth in the background.


The wildflowers this year were really not good due to lack of spring snow and rains. But the wildflowers that were around were gorgeous. This photo is of a Golden Banner.


My Mom and Dad came up and spent a couple of days with us. This photo is of my Father taking an early morning sunrise of the Moraine Valley.


This photo is taken at Cub Lake with Kevin's field camera in the foreground.


Kevin posing in front of the cabin.


Kevin and I pose in front of the front door.


Posing on the porch rockers.


Sunrise over the Loch.


This is the view behind and above the cabin overlooking the Morraine Valley, and looking directly at the Mummy Range.


Timberline Falls.

Now that Kevin is back we will be reviewing his photos and selecting which one's we think are saleable. For Kevin's website go here.

Why I watch Birds and other things

Blogging has been light. I had a work related exam which I passed (phew!) and we have been getting prepared for Kevin's Artist in residency at Rocky Mountain National Park. I spent 5 stunning days up at Rocky staying with him. It was simply glorious to kick back and do nothing.
Of course all these events conspired to keep me from blogging and I missed a number of Blog Carnivals that I really, really wanted to participate in.

I love I and the Bird blog carnival. I missed its anniversary carnival. The theme: Why? Why do we bird watch?

I am busy browsing through the various entries. Check out the carnival round up at 10,000 Birds.

Reading through the wonderfully written posts got me thinking too. Why? Why do we do it? I grew up surrounded by birds, wild and caged. My family toyed with birdwatching. As a little girl I can remember being bored silly at a birding event. It was hot, I was getting bitten by mosquitos and I didn't get it. I thought the grown ups around me were a fussy lot. I just didn't think birds were that interesting.

It was only later on while I was studying for my law degree that I met a birder. Not a fussy type. But a real honest to goodness, no nonsense birder. I would spend long weekends with her and our group of friends. We would walk through the bush - I just followed. She would walk purposefully through the bush, armed with her binoculars. Through her I learnt about birds, and how fascinating they are. Through her we invented a game. (To annoy the fussy birding types.) We would learn the latin names of the birds, and only refer to those birds through their latin names. Many years later, all I remember is Haliaatus vocifer (I pronounced it "Halitosis wash haare".) Learning the latin names made us look at the groups and families of birds. Why are Fish Eagles in a different grouping to other Eagles (aquila)?

I found that the more I looked the more interested I became. Not only was I noticing birds, I could take the time to stop and observe behavior. Ducks feeding, finches singing, hawks scanning and hunting. I remember vividly the sound of a Martial Eagle tearing at its prey. The sound the birds make exactly one hour before sunrise.

Then I moved from South Africa to Colorado. Within the first month of my arrival I had bought a bird field guide. 5 years later Kevin and I always have our field guide and our binoculars no matter where we are going. We love to return to well known birding spots. But mostly it is about discovery, of learning new things.

Spring never fails to excite me. Where will the thrushes build their nests? Will it be the same as last year? Will the finches return to their urban pole apartment (inside the wash line support pole) ? Who will be new to my garden?