Horse riding falconer hunts ducks and rabbits

Falconer with horse birds wine assistants
Jonathan Shaw hunts with hawks and falcons from horseback at his 467 acre farm in Queenstown on the eastern shore of Maryland. At the World Horse Expo 2019 at the Farm Complex in Harrisburg, he had two prey birds, his horse and two assistants. His avian hunter is Geronimo, a gyrfalcon, which will hunt ducks and pigeons. His Harris Hawk goes for rabbits, squirrels and, he adds tongue in cheek, “small children.” Historically, Shaw says, falconers would ride horses because they could catch up with the falcon which otherwise would eat the falconer's dinner! The tradition didn't die out until the invention of the gun, the first of which was named after a sparrow hawk, a "musket." Shaw goes on to tell about all the now common expressions that come from falconry like "hoodwink", "under my thumb" and "wrapped around her little finger." Shaw's ideal horse is a pasofino because of its even gait. It won't jostle the falcon up and down when it's sitting on the falconer's glove before release. Prior, he had hunted with American Paint horses but when he was trotting around the farm his "hawk would think I was shaking a cocktail." Watch video interview of falconer describing how he hunts ducks and rabbits with his hawks and falcons while riding horseback."


Now for sale: luxury home next to Chestnut Hill Library

Bradley new luxury germantown ave home
Berkshire Hathaway realtor Tyler Bradley points to the newly laid marble floor of 2 E Chestnut Hill Ave Unit #3 during an open house in this picture. The nearly completed 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 4500 square foot house next to the Chestnut Hill Library is listed at $2,495,000. Bradley led the way through the house pointing out its prime location and elaborating on its luxurious amenities.
 
The exterior is local schist stone and hardy plank siding which will be painted a shade of gray selected by the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, Bradley says
 
Off to the left as you walk in the front door is a large light filled corner kitchen with a large black island and black oven hood with contrasting white shaker cabinets.
 
In the center is a large flexible space which could be used as a dining room. Through an archway to the right is a spacious living room with a coffered ceiling, fireplace and large windows offering views of Germantown Avenue and the Chestnut Hill Library.
 
As new construction, the house qualifies for Philadelphia’s generous, and controversial, 10 year tax abatement, the subject of current reform efforts by some City Council members . Bradley estimates the yearly taxes at $2000 (By comparison, a Chestnut Hill home currently listed at $800,000 less comes with over a $17,000 yearly tax bill)
 
Upstairs are a guest suite, 2 bedrooms, a laundry room, and a luxurious, expansive master bedroom. The marbled bathroom has a walk-in shower and a soaking tub. There is a linen closet and a large walk-in closet. At the south end is a sitting room which is plumbed to potentially accommodate a wet bar or eating area. This opens out onto an L shaped balcony.
 
The finished basement has a laundry room, large bathroom and could accommodate a fifth bedroom, au pair suite or in-law suite. There is additional space which could serve as a media room, playroom, or office. A doorway at the south end leads to a two-car garage. The relatively steep curved driveway is graded. And it is heated to allow snow or ice free access.
 
When asked about some neighbors' perception that the structure is disproportionately large in relation to the lot size, Bradley acknowledged that perception but expressed the view that as with any new construction, once it is painted and landscaped, it will appear to have been there for decades.
 
Who might want to live here? Families who raise their children in Chestnut Hill, Bradley says. And he reports an influx of empty nesters from the suburbs who want to be close to “Main [street] and train."
The future inhabitants will have an easy walk down the avenue to cafes, restaurants, markets and gyms or to either of two Septa stations for a 30 minute commute downtown. "One of the biggest trends in real estate now is walkability.”
 
 
2 east chestnut hill luxury home
 

Fish fresh from Jersey's Atlantic Ocean trucked to farmers market in Chestnut Hill

Fresh jersey fish
A New Jersey van packed with fresh Atlantic seafood did a brisk business its first time out at the Chestnut Hill Farmers Market last Saturday. They plan to come every other week, alternating with the market they do in Bryn Mawr. Justin Hetrick introduced eager new customers and your correspondent to the fresh fish operation. "We are called Local130 Seafood [A large patriotic painting on the side of the van shouts it out] We are out of Asbury Park, New Jersey. The "130" stands for the amount of New Jersey coast line. All the fish that you see here today, with the exception of halibut which comes from New England, is coming right off the coast daily. Sea scallops out of Point Pleasant. You know Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island? We are Asbury Park, only 20 minutes from Point Pleasant and we can go the day they come in off the boat and get everything fresh that day. There’s a fleet of commercial boats that run out of there. Arguably, I think it’s the third largest port in New Jersey next to Barnegat Light and Cape May. They go out in all kinds of weather to catch us the fish that we need. We are pretty lucky and blessed to have that. Nothing here is ever frozen. Nothing that we sell in the shop is frozen. We pack it fresh and we put it on ice so it keeps the temperature nice and cold without ever actually freezing it. So it’s still soft to the touch. Here are some of the information cards that I didn’t put out yet - we have skate wings, the black sea bass, sea scallops, weakfish, fluke, A lot of people know it as flounder but we like to call it fluke. The only thing I don’t have a card for today is cod.” Watch video interview of fishmonger
at Chestnut Hill farmers market in Philadelphia of fish caught fresh from Atlantic Ocean here.


City crew grinds tree stump

Workers grind tree stump

A severe storm earlier in the summer uprooted a large maple tree on our street and it fell on the roofs of our neighbors’ houses. Some weeks after the tree was cut down and removed, a city work crew and contractor Scott’s Tree Service arrived to grind down the stump. City worker Ed Jardell described how the stump is ground down in sweeping back and forth passes of the grinder’s large rotary blade. The machine takes off more or less two inches at a time depending on the species and hardness of the tree and whether there is any sponginess or rot. Watch video of Philadelphia City crew grinding down the stump of a maple tree uprooted by a storm


Celebrating Lima Beans in West Cape May

 Uncle joe lima bean
Lima beans were traditionally grown in Cape May County, New Jersey and to celebrate the bean, West Cape May holds an annual festival. Cindy Amiano shown here in festival photo album put her name in a drawing box a few years ago and had the luck of being picked as Lima Bean Queen. In that role she has appeared in the Christmas day and the July 4th parade and featured in the Exit Zero magazine. The festival features singing, a flea market, funny commemorative shirts and lots of food especially of the lima bean variety, chilies, soups and even drinks. Watch video of lima bean queen and the West Cape May annual festival here.


Kushner envies Zuckerberg's Facebook Data - painted

Jared kushner envies data of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg painting
 
"These are some of the folks that have been haunting my dreams. These are the folks that I've been thinking about, watching on TV...and so much of the imagery... I feel a need to process it in some kind of way that helps me cathartically to just deal with everything that's going on. It's also a way of exercising my free speech. This painting is called "Data Envy." This is Jared Kushner [senior advisor to his father-in-law, President Trump] looking curiously or longingly at Mark Zuckerberg , Facebook founder. He's interested in data, how to use that data machine that is Facebook to potentially win over the whole country. There's moments that I can picture in my mind that results in what we are living through now." Germantown painter Colleen Quinn's other dark portraits depict former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Quinn was exhibiting at the Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival. Watch video of artist describing her painting of presidential advisor Jared Kushner longing for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his data.

Music for the living and dying and wishing....

  Before i die large

At the Chestnut Hill Fall Arts Festival, people took up pieces of colored chalk and wrote anonymously on a large community chalk board, revealing their personal hopes and plans and dreams for the future, completing the sentence, “Before I die, I want to…” The Philomusica Chorale mounted this community “bucket list” and director Gayle Wieand will weave them into an original, classic-style choral composition to be premiered May 18 and May 19 at Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church. Wieand was moved by some of the posts such as someone who wanted to provide energy to the world and serious about it enough to enter a NASA competition. Others held personal appeal for Wieand such as “…have a cottage on the water.” “And I have a desire to get all the people who put skydiving on the list together to skydive!” Watch video of people writing on chalk board what's on their bucket list for new choral piece

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Dying and such with a musical focus was also the subject of another group presenting at the festival.

Theshhold singers

The Threshold Choir sings soothing acapela non-religious songs for the dying at several hospices in the Philadelphia area. And it performs for people dealing with other situations such as addiction or the premature birth of a child. The songs emphasize loving-kindness, peace and freedom from suffering. The Choir began in San Francisco and now has chapters around the world. “It’s people who want to sing and give their voice at times of change” Member Patty Rogers. The choir will not sing to people who do not want to be sung to. In order of appearance speaking in the accompanying video, were Jim Knight, Kris Olson, and Rogers .

SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE CHESTNUT HILL FALL FOR THE ARTS FESTIVAL HERE

 

 


City workers grind down tree stump

Stump grinder
A severe storm earlier in the summer uprooted a large maple tree on our street and it fell on the roofs of our neighbors’ houses. Some weeks after the tree was cut down and removed, a city work crew and contractor Scott’s Tree Service arrived to grind down the stump. City worker Ed Jardell described how the stump is ground down in sweeping back and forth passes of the grinder’s large rotary blade. The machine takes off more or less two inches at a time depending on the species and hardness of the tree and whether there is any sponginess or rot. Watch video of workers grinding down tree stump and interview of worker describing process.

Improvising for fun or revenge and profit

 
Cu amber improv teacher erika
Erika May McNichol, founder and instructor, Ambler Improv, improvises a short scene after being introduced to your correspondent’s wife (Andrea) and given the prompt “You know each other.” They improvise a scene about Andrea helping Erika pick out a dress but not being completely forthright about the color Erika picked. Pike Fest community festival in Spring House, Pa Watch video of improv teacher improvising.
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Cu george revenge on telemarketer
 
George has so had it with telemarketers that he turns the table on them when the ring. They solicit all sorts of things, George says, sometimes pharmaceuticals. George recreated a particular bit he does with them after they ask, "Is this George?" "No, you're calling Ginger. This is a hotline. For one on one girl, press one, for guy 'n guy press two, for three-way, press three. Ten dollars a minute." Watch video of George trolling phone telemarketers with counteroffer of phone sex.

Exiled Romanian bronze sculptor mounts outdoor show at Woodmere

Farcas bronze
 
Viorel Farcas, a sculptor in bronze in the expressionistic, figurative tradition and whose works are in the collections of notable European institutions left Romania in 1985 as a political refugee. Under the Romanian dictatorship his works were destroyed for being "politically incorrect" as his wife Mihaela euphemistically put it when she showed me around her husband's outdoor sculptures at the Woodmere Art Museum. I had videoed Farcas and Museum Director of Exhibits Rick Ortwein installing the pieces the day before and coming back to take some still shots, she had approached me without introducing herself at first, asking what I thought of the work. Farcas has made his home in Philadelphia since arriving in the U.S. and has produced 100s of monumental pieces but has not had a showing at a major area art institution and neither has sought out the limelight. In his sculptures, long arms and limbs are often attenuated, frequently disjointed and reassembled with disturbing yet graceful, artful effect. Museum Director Bill Valerio is excited to mount this show of Farcas' work, officially opening on September 22. For more information see https://woodmereartmuseum.org/experience/exhibitions/expressionism-in-bronze-the-sculpture-of-viorel-farcas
 
Farcas arm