A Varied Menu

The Vice President Debate

Who won?  Take your pick:
Paul Ryan wins the polls against laughing Joe Biden
Joe Biden bests a smirking Paul Ryan

How the Republicans will fix Sesame Street


Yes, We Canada!

Chris Cannon and Brian Calvert,  founders of the Canada Party, recently considered setting up a faux PAC in support of getting Canada (the entire country) on our ballot [for President]. “Canadian modesty prevents us from having a super-PAC,” says Cannon, who describes the organization, modestly, as an “adequate-PAC.”


(Tubac, Arizona, an artist colony, is an hour south of Tucson.)  Went to an opening reception at the Tubac Center for the Arts for Timeless Meditations: Mandalas and Patterns in Nature.  My friend knew one of the artists, Martha Lochert, a photographer, shown here with my favorite photo of an agave.

Also loved this awesome quilt.  (You can click on it to see the incredible detailing.)

We had dinner at Elvira’s Restaurant  (authentic Mexican cuisine in a setting where the ceiling is covered in blown-glass) where there were five choices of mole (a sauce served over turkey or chicken, based on chili peppers and chocolate.  See my blog
https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/the-state-dinner/ where my co-host made a mole for our “State Dinner”.)  My friend and I split the macadamia nut mole – really good!

The Birds Is Coming

(Yes, grammatically incorrect, but used to advertise Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds.)

Why would a bird that has lived by my house for, say, a year, think that the house has POOF disappeared, and think that it can fly through its no fly zone?  Or are these visiting birds who don’t know that the house has been here for eight years?  (Yes, I realize that the windows reflect the sky.)

A couple of weeks ago when my grandkids and I were making dinner, CRASH a bird splattered itself all over the newly washed ($$$) window, despite the UV reflective static decal of the hawk in the center of said window.  My kitchen is on the second floor and my ladder is very heavy, so the windows are not easy to wash.  However, a few days later my handyman, finishing a tree-trimming job, set up his ladder and had the window spotless in five minutes.  Unfortunately, the female cardinal he found was quite dead.

A week later while I was in the kitchen CRASH a dove flew into one of the sliders (under 15 feet of ceiling!), turned around in flight, and flew away.  Photo of the glass door, which I washed myself.

This morning a dead goldfinch on my deck, too small to have made much of an imprint on the glass.  A friend thinks we’ll be left with only the smarter birds, by Natural Selections.

Skyscrapers are the worst, especially to migrating flocks which fly at night.  (Are the sidewalks of New York piled with bird carcasses?)  A few cities have adopted the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) – Toronto, Chicago and NYC – adopting night lighting reduction programs for large glass buildings.  But window glazing also needs to be addressed.

To avoid those fatal strikes, the Wildlife Conservation Society decided to try a new kind of glass intended to be more visible to birds. It is made with a patterned coating that reflects ultraviolet light. Birds can see this pattern, but it is faint or imperceptible to people.  The glass, called Ornilux, is made by Arnold Glas in Germany. It typically costs at least 50 percent more than regular glass.1 

Unfortunately, the cost of this glass is prohibitive for houses.

There is also a new product, a “clear film with UV-absorbing and UV-reflecting patterns that can be used on exteriors of existing windows. The film, made by Solutia, a St. Louis company, has worked well at preventing bird collisions.”  I have emailed the company to find out the details for that film.

So there is hope for our bird populations.


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2 Responses to “A Varied Menu”

  1. dick Says:

    Lynne: the Bird Rescue Center had a lecturer who spoke about bird/window accidents, which are responsible for a surprising large proportion of bird injuries in rehab. There is apparently also an exterior coating available that doesn’t reflect the sky (which is obviously why birds fly into them) but is invisible from inside. Some people purposefully keep their windows dirty (!) and some use bird netting over them. Birds are not stupid, they just didn’t evolve with glass windows in the environment.

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      I wonder if the “coating” is the film that I sent an email of inquiry regarding? Yes, I had no recent bird mishaps until I got my windows cleaned. If and when I design another house, I’ll use the expensive anti-bird glazing.

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