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Bird Watching social media posts
Redbeard | Hollister, CA
What do the California Condor and Illinois-native Robert Wadlow have in common? Wingspan. At 8 feet, 11 inches tall, Robert Wadlow is the tallest man who ever lived, according to Guinness World Records. And that means his arm span matched his height approximately, fingertip to fingertip. But California Condors, which nest and soar in Pinnacles National Park, beat Wadlow by a few inches with a staggering wingspan of 9 feet, 5 inches. You can visit these magnificently huge carrion-eaters at the Pinnacles year-round.
We all know the familiar chirp of songbirds in the morning. You may even be able to identify a species or two based on their repetitive songs. But the Yellow-breasted Chat will throw you for a loop. When the males of these large warblers burst into song, they sound like a beatboxer laying down a hot track, spitting cackles, whistles, gurgles and pops to attract a flirty mate. Explore the dense thickets of San Benito County in early spring to hear these peculiar songbirds for yourself.
What looks like a songbird, but acts like a duck? This isn’t a riddle, it’s the American Dipper. When this chubby, gray songbird gets hungry, it goes for a dip in the nearest swiftly-flowing stream, diving underwater for its prey or bobbing along on the water like traditional aquatic birds. And the similarities don’t end there. Once per year, the American Dipper molts its wing and tail feathers, just like ducks do. So next time you walk by a fresh stream, keep an eye out for this peculiar avian pal.
We describe the Great Egret with one word: Elegance. These tall, white beauties are the embodiment of sophistication, so much so that they were nearly hunted into extinction in the late 1800s for their snow-white plumes. But conservationists took action just in time to save the graceful water waders. Keep an eye out in Hollister and Paicines to see the Great Egret in its marshy home.
Even ladies of the animal kingdom make fashion statements to set them apart. The Belted Kingfisher gets its name from the broad, copper-colored band spread across the female’s chest. Along with that crazy hairdo, this bird is determined to leave an impression. You’ll find this sassy flyer diving headlong into bodies of water for her next meal, or burrowed near the water’s edge with her hatchlings. Careful where you step!
Kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy playing in the mud. When the Black Phoebe gets ready to settle down and have her chicks, her mate shows her around to potential nesting spots, then she carefully collects mud to build a cup-shaped nest in a covered nook or overhang, protected from the elements. With her house in order, she’s free to hunt for quick insects and minnows to feed her new babies. You’ll always find these soot-colored songbirds near water, be it an ocean, lake, stream or puddle.
Can’t make it to Rio this summer for the Olympics? Don’t worry; the Downy Woodpecker’s acrobatic tricks will keep you entertained as they spin perilously from thin branch to thin branch. For beginner bird-watchers, the Downy Woodpecker is an easy friend to spot. With its loud tree drumming habits, outstanding black and white checkered wings, and little red hat, this grub-eater is hard to miss.
What do Dana Carvey from Saturday Night Live and the Lesser Nighthawk have in common? They are both Masters of Disguise. But while Carvey used his talent to impersonate famous people, the Lesser Nighthawk uses its camouflage skills to hide from predators by blending into the rocky desert floor. And watch where you step – when the Nighthawk lays its speckled eggs on the ground, they also blend right into the dusty landscape.
You may first think of ravens at the mention of blackbirds, but the lesser-known Brewer’s Blackbird has ravens beat in the beauty department. In full sun, these shiny midnight-black birds shimmer with iridescent blue and green wings. Paired with their yellow, unblinking eyes, their presence can be mesmerizing. In San Benito County, these insect-eaters are a farmer’s best friend, snatching up the bugs that would otherwise harm valuable crops.
Copyright Redbeard Communications, Hollister CA
fresh Magazine | Springfield, MO
Husband and wife business duo Tim and Kas Clegg have always had entrepreneurship in mind, even operating a Sno-biz franchise in town, but it wasn’t until they visited a specialty donut shop in Kansas that they decided to take action. Three short years later, Hurts Donut in downtown Springfield opened its doors and hasn’t closed them since. The first of its kind in town, this small 24-hour gourmet donut shop has made big waves in the community since the moment it opened in November 2013. Its catchy name originates from the classic joke where one person offers another a Hurts Donut, then proceeds to punch their friend in the arm while saying, “Hurts, don’t it?”
“We had so many ideas for names; we were stuck on "Holy Donuts" for a long time,” Kas Clegg says. “Our logo was going to be a donut with a Halo. We also pondered "Dough Biz" and a few others before I posted something on Facebook asking my friends for help. When someone said "Hurtz, Donut??" I smacked my head; I was so mad that I didn’t think of it first! Thank goodness for witty friends!”
Among the dozens of unique donut flavors, one best-selling long john takes the lead: the maple bacon. Kas says that within the first 90 days of the store’s opening, more than 10,000 maple bacons left with hungry patrons. The
irresistible treat doesn't skimp on toppings, covered with a generous handful of juicy bacon-bits, which Kas insists are 100% farm fresh. Some of the other creative flavors include the Fire in the Hole donut hole, which is filled with jalapeno and cream cheese, then covered in a sweet and spicy Sriracha glaze, and the Fat Elvis, which is a peanut butter and chocolate donut filled with banana and topped with pork rinds.
Then, of course, there are the dozens of “Cereal Killer” flavors with toppings than range from Lucky Charms or Coco Pebbles, to Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Captain Crunch. Every donut is a distinct taste experience, but the varieties don’t stop at sugary. For example, at Hurts Donut, the Bismarck donut, which is traditionally filled with cream or jelly, is instead made into a lunch meal with a hot sausage and gravy filling. Also rounding out the lunch menu is a hot dog wrapped in a long john, covered with chili and cheese. Kas’ personal favorites are Carmel Delight, Jesus and Streusel.
With so much creativity and community popularity, Kas and Tim decided right away that Hurts Donut needed a mobile vehicle for catering and deliveries. After refurbishing an old ambulance, the Emergency Donut Vehicle took to the streets only a few months after the shops opening. Its tantalizingly colorful exterior is hard to miss.
Despite this quick investment, Kas says that she and Tim have no plans of moving away from downtown to a larger venue due to the success of the current location. Even with the smallest kitchen in the world and the limited ability to cook 15 donuts at a time in their small fryer, hole-in-the-wall Hurts is staying put. The staff, on the other hand, has increased from six employees to around 30 since November to keep up with the rising demand. She says they do plan to eventually expand the Hurts Donut brand to other cities in the future.
9 Podcasts That Will Make
Rush Hour Traffic Your Favorite
Part of the Day
Redbeard | Hollister, CA
It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in LA for 10 years or 10 minutes, as a Southern Californian, you understand the mental and physical drain of rush hour traffic. The hours-long, bumper to bumper, steering wheel-clenching frustration of gridlock. We get that it seems counter-intuitive to want to sit in traffic, but allowing your brain to sit idle isn’t your only option. Instead, use that time as an opportunity to do some learning. Our suggestion? Podcasts.
While it certainly is difficult to narrow down the 9 best podcasts out of the more than 300,000 available for download, here are our top picks that we’re sure you’ll love. Get ready to laugh, cry and become a more interesting person as you fill your traveling mind with intriguing topics and conversation starters.
1. Radio Lab
Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich explore interesting scientific topics and the sometimes unanswerable questions of the human condition with funny banter in an honest quest for truth.
2. This American Life
Ira Glass covers one theme per episode, told by several different stories, and sometimes just one story. This journalistic show covers a very wide range of topics so the listener can always expect a surprise in who they will meet and what they will learn in an episode.
3. Reply All
PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman host this show about the internet, covering topics that are as far-reaching as the internet itself, solving the technical and interpersonal problems of their listeners, and dissecting baffling pop culture Tweets.
4. 99% Invisible
Roman Mars looks below the surface of human perception to meet the professionals who create the architecture of the world that no one even thinks about, like sound, structure and light, right underneath our noses.
Sarah Koenig tells one story, one episode at a time, over the course of a season. She examines every aspect of the human interactions that have led, and are leading, to the fates of her subjects, emotionally, criminally and relationally.
6. The Moth
A diversity of people from varying backgrounds tell their true stories in front of live audiences, spanning more than 25 states, relaying tales of love, hurt, triumph and their countless life lessons.
Ben Johnson investigates the impact that technology has on our lives, from the internet, to electronic devices and innovations of the future.
8. The Longest Shortest Time
Hillary Frank strives to bring the joy and pain of parenting out into the open in this relatable show that highlights stories of the frustration and simultaneous satisfaction of being a mom and dad.
9. Freakonomics Radio
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, co-authors of the New York Times bestseller Freakonomics and other headliners, discuss topics in innumerable categories, from weird science and economics, to music and kitchen tips.
Copyright Redbeard Communications, Hollister CA
fresh Magazine | Springfield, MO
It takes only a moment for Devin Durham to cross the floor, greet visitors and explain the rules as they enter 1984 Arcade in downtown Springfield. Durham, along with six other part-owners, first opened the classic 80s-style arcade to find a use for the more than 25 retro game machines he had stashed around his house. Now, years later, the popular weekend destination offers around 60 vintage videogames ripe for the playing at any given time, and more than 50 stowed away in the back room to switch out if a machine needs repair.
With pinball machines and classic arcade games lining the walls, 1984 was intended as low maintenance hobby; a novel escape for male 35 to 40-somethings looking for a nerdy flashback. Upon opening the shop, Durham quickly realized that neither of these were the case. As men and women, boys and girls of all ages flooded the venue weekend after weekend, Durham and his part owners began shifting their attention away from their “real jobs” to their innovative new business. He never intended the hobby to become such a hotspot, but says that now people travel from states away to visit.
Stepping into 1984 is a bright deja vu from 30 years ago; vintage posters and toys hang from every exposed wall space and retro music videos blare classic tunes around every corner. Many of the classic décor was already Durham’s, but the owner says that funny enough, people donate old art and knickknacks all the time.
Even as 1984’s rented space fills up with newly-acquired retro games, Durham says he refuses to sell anything. He is always on the lookout for rare and popular machines, though his favorite games are already in the store: Tron, Robotron, any of the pinball machines and Atari Football 1978; the last of which is one of only six of its kind left in the world, according to Durham.
These games and many others are available from 4 -11 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday with a $5 admission. Each pinball play is an extra 25 to 50 cents. 1984 Arcade is located at 400 S Jefferson Ave. in Springfield.
"Real Weddings -
Lori and Scott Ealey"
417 Bride Magazine | Springfield, MO
Lori Campbell didn’t believe in love at first sight until she met Scott Ealey through a mutual friend in 2012. From that point on, the two were inseparable, even though Lori lived in Denver and Scott lived in Dallas. When a pair of veteran lovebirds asked when the happy couple would get hitched, they both laughed, and Scott hinted at future plans. Exactly six months later, Scott proposed while they were on a weekend getaway in San Diego celebrating Lori’s birthday.
After just a few months of planning, the couple exchanged vows at Tuscan Hill in Springfield on September 1, 2013. Lori’s family flew in for the big day, and everyone helped set up the tables, linens and table settings. While Lori was inside getting ready for the ceremony, the skies darkened and a downpour soaked everything. Without telling the bride, Lori’s father gathered a group to pray for a miracle as the bridal party frantically threw linens and chair covers into the dryer. The sunshine broke through just in time to set everything back up for the almost entirely outdoor wedding Lori had her heart set on.
With the sun shining above, her father married the couple on the Tuscan Hill lawn. After a celebratory cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a mashed potato and sweet potato bar along with barbecue sundaes layered with all the favorites. The sugary sweet candy buffet outfitted in Lori’s wedding colors—lime green, yellow and red—was the perfect final touch to the meal.
On their honeymoon in Nassau, Bahamas, the newlyweds snorkeled, scuba dived and emerged the victors of a resort newlywed game. Now, the Ealeys lead an active lifestyle of biking, skiing, camping and more in Denver.
11 Movies Your Mom Would Hate (But You Have To See)
Redbeard | Hollister, CA
Ok, we get it. Your aunt is a total movie buff. She’s seen every movie on this list, four times, and frequently quotes them back to you as life lessons. She’s the coolest person you know and hangs up movie posters in her living room instead of family photos. You wish your mom was more like her, but unfortunately, she can’t handle the films listed below for the following reasons:
· They’re long – she falls asleep halfway through the opening credits.
· They’re subtitled – you expect her to read? During a movie?
· They’re suspenseful – her nerves can’t handle a rattling.
· They’re complex – she prefers movies that spell. everything. out.
You, on the other hand, appreciate good cinema and embrace all types of expression in film, which is why this list is for you (and your cool aunt).
1. Cloud Atlas
Follow a handful of award-winning actors through time as they portray various characters in an interweaving story of mystery, betrayal and uprising, spanning thousands of years. Yes, it’s long, but seriously, this movie is incredible ... watch it right now.
2. The Intouchables
The only reason your mom wouldn’t like this movie is because of the subtitles. It’s a sweet story about a young French guy from a poor neighborhood who becomes best friends with an old, rich paraplegic guy when he applies to be his in-home nurse. Their adventurous friendship leaps over so many cultural divides – age, race, economic status, worldview – so grab the tissues and prepare to laugh and cry.
3. The World’s End
A group of middle-aged friends attempt to relive the glory of their youth with one last epic bar crawl in their hometown, led by their immature, unemployed mate who can’t seem to catch up with the present. This sci-fi action flick will leave you wondering what you just saw, in the best way.
4. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Take the age-old story of a father hanging out with his estranged son for the first time, then add Bill Murray to the mix (no this isn’t Broken Flowers), an elusive leopard shark and a gaggle of unpaid marine interns, and you have The Life Aquatic. Here are some more intriguing nouns from the movie: helicopter, pirates, opera house, blood, submarine, kidnapping, red beanies, Portuguese man o’ war zooid.
If you can get over Joaquin Phoenix’s weird mustache, this bizarre love story is worth witnessing. When a lonely letter writer installs the latest version of artificial intelligence on his computer, the last thing he’s looking for is romance, but the hard drive wants what it wants.
The complexity of this suspense thriller would drive your mom crazy. After a violent attack that leaves him without a wife and without the capability to store short-term memories, the main character seeks revenge for all he has lost, with only his tattoos to guide him. Pay attention as the story progresses in two different directions at the same time; one from beginning to end and the other from end to beginning, overlapping in the middle.
7. Gone Girl
When a simple marital dispute turns ugly, Ben Affleck’s character must convince the police and his community that he didn’t kill his wife. But with every action, he further incriminates himself, leaving everyone, even himself, wondering, might he have committed the ultimate crime? This movie is both complex and suspenseful, leaving your mom totally lost.
This is an older movie, but in the current political situation America is facing, it will leave chills running down your spine. When a fantastically average military guy is accidentally cryogenically frozen for 500 years, he wakes up in a society dumbed down to an elementary level, literally covered in trash, with a pro-wrestler for a president. Now as the smartest man alive, he must single-handedly save the planet from all of its problems.
9. 10 Cloverfield Lane
You saw Cloverfield, the monster movie from 2008. While both of these films were produced by JJ Abrams, this thriller is definitely not a sequel to Cloverfield, so slow down with your assumptions. Waking up after a car accident, the main character finds herself trapped underground with two doomsday preppers who claim the outside world is ruined after a chemical attack. She has no choice but to believe them, but do you?
10. The Tree of Life
Watch a young Texan named Jack struggle with the classic questions of family and faith, spliced with long-cut scenes of dinosaurs, outer space, geometric shapes and nature. Want to experience the disorientation of hallucinogens, without actually taking illicit drugs? This is it.
11. When Harry Met Sally
Just kidding, your mom already loves this movie. If you haven’t seen it, you might be a man. Watch it anyway, you’ll love it.
Copyright Redbeard Communications, Hollister CA