Friday, January 11, 2008

Global warming delays Fall leaf drop, record!

The Fall of 2007 was the most unusual Fall I have ever seen. The Fall in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area was exceptionally warm, especially at night due to high dew points. My family has always marked my mom's birthday, November 9th, as being the time that all the leaves have fallen from all the trees. In 2007, a 100 year, record warm October and November in the region left trees with green leaves during the second week of November. December came and there were still fruit trees and shrubs with green leaves. The snows started and the green leaves started to fall. This was one of the weirdest Falls ever seen in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area.

Global warming? I would say so. It was also a record year of ice melt in the northern Arctic, with exceptional 20 degree above average temperatures. 2007 also marked a change in theory that now scientists estimate all the Arctic ice will be gone by the year 2012. That is a huge change in thinking, and is in line what I believe, that world change due to Global Warming will be far sooner than anyone has calculated.

I have seen changes during my lifetime where I live. Summers have been not only hotter, but much more humid. I need to only look into the sky to know why. I see a ever increasing tanish cast to the blue skies, and the stars at night have become difficult to see even in the most remote, dark places in the county. Relentless pollution spews into the air. I am left many times with a tickle in my lungs after my biking workouts due to the high ozone levels and I live in the "country". I think back to the mid 80's and wonder what happened to the cars that got a true 60MPG, like the Chevy Sprint and Honda Civic?

Our need for change and to do with less is ever more critical. I hope for radical changes, but feel people and political change will be too slow. Global warming has serious implications to migrating birds who time their migration to the peak of insects. That timing has been faltering as the insects are peaking sooner and bird nesting is failing.

Sorry to sound bleak. :(

Nature MP3 downloads now available!

I wanted to post that I have worked out the details and now have almost all of my CDs available as MP3 album downloads. Plus, there is at least one track of each album available as a single MP3 download. I hope to add other various tracks that didn't fit well into an album as single MP3 downloads in the future.

I wasn't as easy I as thought it would be to able to sell downloads. I spent over a month with endless hassles back and forth with numerous software vendors, and web hosts about the requirements of each. I am telling you, most people don't know how their own programs work, nor how downloads are handled. I eventually found a software engineer who knew what he was doing, and I was able to get his software integrated into the web site like I wanted to. Yay!

My MP3 downloads are large files. If you are used to downloading music, you will notice my track lengths are much longer, in the 10-30 minute range. Full albums are in the 100MB range. Those of you with dial-up Internet service may run into Microsoft time out errors while downloading due the length of the files. If you do have a time out error, that stops the download, try this: about every 10 minutes, cancel the file download, then restart the download, continue to repeat this until the file is downloaded. Windows saves the download in a temporary file and picks up where it left off when you restart the download. This a trick I learned from once being on dial-up out in the boonies until cable became available. Downloading an album with dial up will take over an hour. Those of you with DSL and Cable Internet service, should be able to download an album in less than 5 minutes, depending on your service provider.

Browse the MP3 files now at

Allegheny Plateau CD now available!

I introduce to you another Gold Series CD, Allegheny Plateau, Songs of Birds in Spring Chorus. The large, connected forests found in Northern Pennsylvania is a rare find in the Eastern USA. Once striped of almost every tree in the early 1900's, this region has bounced back having forests covering it's ridges and valleys. This is one of my favorite places to explore, camp, backpack, and to escape the constant hum of traffic. This region has begun to suffer from acid rain from states west of Pennsylvania. Some of the thrushes have suffered the most from the depleted snails and worms that need less acidic soil to thrive. I used to hear beautiful choruses of Wood Thrushes in the Summer evenings, but now I only hear a couple of birds. The Oven Bird has also lost serious numbers. The Verry, on the other hand, appear to be increasing in numbers in the past years, but that maybe that they are more noticeable with a lack of other birds. Good news for the future is that the New England states, since the federal government wasn't going to do anything, have successfully sued the power generating plants that were causing the majority of the acid rain problems to install scrubbers to dramatically reduce acid rain problems. I certainly hope the scrubbers being installed becomes reality.

I am surprised at the number of Warblers that nest and migrate through this region. While recording the material for this CD, I was surprised by two birds. I found a Woodcock in a small clearing in the forest, prenting in late May. It was so unusual to hear a Woodcock that late in the year. The other surprise was that I found some Whip-poor-wills. I know, your thinking that shouldn't a big deal. A few years ago, I was on a mission to record Whip-poor-wills. I went to southern Ohio, where I have always heard good numbers before and there was nothing. I had to travel all the way near the Ohio River to find enough to record. I since learned that Whip-poor-wills have been decreasing in numbers greatly, so to hear some in Northern Pennsylvania was a pleasant surprise. It also tells me that the area I was recording was a very good habitat that hasn't seen the wrath of human sprawl.

The Allegheny Plateau CD celebrates the sounds of this forest. The sounds were recorded with the lowest noise microphones available and the best, lowest noise microphone amplifier, with direct 24-bit, digital recording and editing. This is one of my very best Eastern woodland bird CDs. Allegheny Plateau differs from my Woodland Birds in Chorus series in that it is not as busy sounding, more relaxing. The Woodland Birds in Chorus series were recorded at the peak of the bird migration in rich sunrise choruses. Allegheny Plateau is a story of a day in the forest, with morning, afternoon, and evening bird songs. Buy your copy today at An MP3 album is also available for download.