Thursday, December 7, 2006

@ RTPI

Thursday, December 7, 2006
5 comments

I gave my presentation on the new book of essays by Roger Tory Peterson last night at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. RTPI is in RTP's hometown of Jamestown, New York (also the birthplace of Lucille Ball and hometown of Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs). The staff at RTPI made me feel very welcome and comfy and the crowd for both the reception and presentation were kind and enthusiastic. Mon@rch's Blog has a nice recap of the evening and photographic evidence, too.

A huge treat was getting a guided tour of the RTP archives at the institute. Marlene, the archivist, showed me original RTP paintings, correspondence with practically every luminary of the past 80 years, and thousands of books, hundreds of thousands of slides--the lifetime output of a great man.

Working on the book of his BWD column essays, I had a chance to look through lots of Rogers photographs. Compared to the images that you or I can get with our auto-everything cameras by pushing a single button, Rogers images are of moderate quality. He often wrote about his passion for photography and spent countless hours trying to get good shots of birds, insects, and animals. It makes me wonder, given his passion and drive, what kinds of images he'd get today, using the powerful, auto-focus, image stabilized digital cameras.

This morning, I awoke in my Jamestown hotel room to lake-effect snow. There are already 4 inches on the ground and more expected. I'm planning to wait until the roads are plowed before I venture out. The folks at RTPI laughed at me when I told them about the expected snow: "Eight inches? That's nothing! That's just a dusting!" Of course they have lots more experience living with the 200 to 300 inches of snow per year that Chautauqua County, NY gets.

I'm in no hurry today, so I'll take it slow and easy on the highway.

I want to thank Jim Berry and all the kind people at RTPI for having me as part of their lecture series. And I want to encourage Bill of the birds readers to visit the RTPI in Jamestown. It's a pilgrimage well worth making. And in summer, I understand, the area has very little snow.

5 comments:

On December 7, 2006 at 9:04 AM mon@rch said...

B3 – it is an honor that you included a linked the evening to my site! I had such a wonderful time hearing about your many adventures with Peterson and becoming an editor of Birdwatchers Digest. Hope you are able to return again soon and be sure to bring more fun music with you!

On December 7, 2006 at 10:26 AM elizabird said...

You better be careful!

On December 7, 2006 at 10:55 AM Rondeau Ric said...

Summer is two weeks of bad sledding. Also known as mosquitoe season.

Drive with care BOTB

On December 7, 2006 at 4:47 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Made it home after an 8-hour drive--should have been 4.5 hours!
Was very careful, Liz!

On December 7, 2006 at 9:53 PM Anonymous said...

So glad that you got home safe and sound. It was great to meet you and hear your talk. Your personal anecdotes about RTP brought him back to us for a little while. mon@rch and I agree about seeing the 'tangs on the patio next summer! LOB


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