A CLAN OF OWLS

owls5 (2)

I think I’ve mentioned before that most times I prefer animals to people. I was lucky the other day when I bumped into the owl rescuers.

How can anyone not like owls? They’ve got more magic than Merlin’s wand. I took this shot (and the next one) with my phone. Both these little owls above hatched at about the same time. The little one hatched first but as you can see from the pic he’s not been well. Those that know these things told me that he’s getting buckets of care and should catch up in size with his younger brother soon. I never did ask their names, and as they look Scottish to me (it was the red feathers that convinced me) I’m calling them Donald and Duncan.

Next, definitely Scottish! They’ve got that Highlander look, all that’s missing is a kilt, so I awarded them Scots names as well. From left to right Fingal, Lexi and Ally. One day I’ll work out why I have to give animals names.

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With my new stuff still in the making I thought I’d run with an older song ‘Lemon Groves’. This was a prequel to my sound art album ‘Cosa Nostra’ themed around the Mafia. A song about revenge. Hope you like it. 

LEMON GROVES – Lyric

I heard the gunshot; I heard the cry

Heard the flapping of the wings

Heard the silence follow in its wake

Then heard the fallen angels sing

 

Lemon groves and midday sun

Shots this life’s undone

You be Abel now, families at war again

Lemon groves and midday sun

Shots this life’s undone

You’ll be Abel now, I’ll be Cane this time

 

I heard the gunshot and I heard the cry

Heard the flapping of the magpies’ wings

Heard silence follow in its wake

Then fallen angels start to sing

 

Lemon groves and midday sun

Shots this life’s undone

You be Abel now, families at war again

Lemon groves and midday sun

Shots this life’s undone

You’ll be Abel now, I’ll be Cane this time

 

I heard silence follow in its wake

 

Yet the pain of loss runs deep

I aim to kill or be killed well

With the fishes he will sleep

With the fishes he will sleep

Is the silence over

 

Lemon groves and midday sun

Shots this life’s undone

You be Abel now, families at war again

Lemon groves and midday sun

Shots this life’s undone

You’ll be Abel now, I’ll be Cane this time 

(Repeat until done)

Next up, one of my favourite bands, Rammstein and the number called ‘Amerika’ – 59 million views!

My last two albums are for sale/download at Bandcamp;

Apart from Rammstein – Copyright © 2014 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

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55 comments

    1. Thanks, Lady Yasmin. They are truly wonderful little things. If it was possible I’d have one sat on my shoulder most times. I’m just not sure what name I’d give her.

      1. It’s fascinating , too fascinating actually. I can’t help going to your post and seein her again and again , Lord Zoolon.
        Well, think of a nice name. Somethin like Zoolon, maybe 😊

      2. I found an owl goddess from old Celtic religion in Wales. Her name is Blodeuwedd – but I don’t know how to pronounce it! I’m not sure I’d ever remember how to spell it also!

      3. That is interesting. Celtic is intriguing.
        You have to name your bird, Lord Zoolon. It can’t be Blodeuwedd !

      4. I’m half Celtic. I just checked the pronunciation online and it says, ‘Bulgar wheat’. That definitely won’t do!

  1. Currently in a tie: the shots/story of the owls. I agree: Scots they must be. Some not-so-few years ago I was doing a wetlands survey through what we in Central Florida are pleased to call a “Bayhead” cypress hammock. In the noontime darkness in the midst with slow creek/sheetflow running over my boots’ toes, I looked up for absolutely no reason at all and saw a Great Horned looking down on me, its head (ear) cocked slightly as if to pick up the sound of my younger brother sloshing through his portion of our line-of-work. My second “close encounter” with that magnificent breed. Later as we exited that particular 200-yard fecund and silent dome we both noticed the nighthawks taking their ease as well.
    Now: the song. Lemon Groves. Haunting poetry with wry grins and and uneasy commentary – being between two New York families (one in Miami, the other Tampa Bay) to watch over corporate – if you please – interests and with my hometown an historic pre-Arizone/Nevada playground and retirement center including some high times in the eary years of the 20th Century at the now Methodist Children’s Home across Lake Monroe in DeBary (Volusia County), I can empathize but our killings into and through the 1950s were quietly done – if a shotgunning at a Ginderville grocery on our southern outskirts can be called quiet (the shooter allegedly lived out his life quietly in retirement) in a place where the FBI used Orange County – not Seminole County! – deputies for a bolita raid on a(n) (in)famous night/stripclub Club Juana in Casselberry in the mid-50s, and where only The Numbers, Loan Sharking, Prostitution and other traditional criminal activities were allowed and not the newfound wealth of drugs and modern cyber-crimes because the low-profile edicts still held sway into the 1960s and almost midway into the 1970s only my summers in The Bronx gave me insight to that life. An uncle graduated from running numbers as a teen to a happy and harmonious life outside as a pharmacist and a grand-dad whose career as a runway tailor in the garment district told me more at the unveiling of his tombstone when a man in a July trenchcoat escorted another man in an impeccably tailored three-piece suit – with the second “guard?” watching to my father and since I was standing beside dad heard the man say “Would you and your three sons like box seats at The Yankees as a sign of our respect for your father-in-law?” Dad, sadly for me and my brothers, thanked the man for his kind offer but said we would be unable to attend as we had but a few more family obligations and thence a return quickly to Florida. Later I asked dad why, since I knew we had plenty of time. “You do not take gifts from those kinds of men,” was all he said. Then all the quiet stories from mom came back and I knew “what kinds of men.” Thanks, Zoolon for the evoking.

    1. I respect your tale of two situations comment beyond any measure. You took a long time out to write this and truly I appreciate it. Educational and fascinating. When I was composing my sound art, concept album ‘Cosa Nostra’ just a few years back I wish I’d had your story to work with rather than the fictional story I wrote to. Thanks again ~ Zoolon aka George

      1. George. The tale of the late Detective Sergeant Richard Cloud of Tampa and his demise continues to nag at my block, howling for a short story. Cloud’s killing (60s, 70s?) was a topic returned as I sat at a Lake Monroe-side bar-and-cafe in Sanford in the 1980s with one small, thin, rat-faced man intimating his habituate-status with notorious overseers of Mafia-mien from Tampa Bay. He was declaiming a shotgun killing of a Tampa cop to a few of his chums, and I turned from my fried grouper sandwich and said to his ear: “you mean Detective Cloud?” He twirled to me and said: “who?” Richard Cloud, I said. From that point on I was annointed Fast Friend. I can only guess why he was left in Sanford when everyone else moved on. In the audience was a point-forward for Marquette’s last Division I NCAA basketball championship coached by Al Maguire. What happens it seems everywhere manages to find its way to Sanford and thence to tickle my dreams.

      2. It certainly sounds a story that could be put to music or book one day. You might find when I’ve got the mass of work I’m putting together presently, I could get back to you for 8 timeline key moments in the tale. I’ll do my best to let you know in the fullness of time – call it a collaboration if it can be done. I’m liking the concept. What’s a fried grouper sandwich when it’s at home? I’ve not heard of those before.

      3. Grouper is a special form of sea bass – some grouper species called Jewfish can get close to tickling a thousand pounds and, thankfully no longer are legal to catch. They eat crabs and other crustacea along sea- and laboon- and estuary-bottoms: at least that’s what they bite on. Grouper caught – like our snapper species another in the big family of Florida coastal fish – are a white- and firm-fleshed fish which can be steamed (try banan leaves), baked (whole and sometimes with lemon, onion, herbs and such in an avocado-leaf wrapper or naked, scaled and slashed along each side to prevent curling) blackened (seasoning spices) and grilled indoors our out but if blackened best done in a white-hot cast-iron skillet out-of-doors to preserve domestic harmony with the fussier among us whom by (my) nature are necessary all of the time and impossible even more often. Lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and coated in a flimsy almost tempura-like batter (beer, flour, cornstarch admixture?) and fried served in a largish Vietnamese French-inspired split roll with a handmade tartar sauce of homemade mayonnaise, sweet (and sometimes dill) pickle mince, sweet onion mince and a splash of worchestershire sauce, lemon squeeze and maybe if adventurous some Old Bay seasoning either in the tartar or on the battered fish. When time from catch-clean-cook-eat is measured in hours it is heaven. In minutes: ecstacy. Eating a fresh-caught Florida East Coast Pink or Red shrimp – of a Gulf Coast White – after a quick dip in fresh water to clean and a baptism in boiling water (or wine or beer admixture) for 30 or 45 seconds almost a religious experience. The idea of gathering local source-materials and sites for same sounds intriguing, Zoolon. Accoutrement to the FGS well might be romaine or crisp iceberg lettuce. Some say tomato and I wax poetic about why not make a lett-tom salad and keep the sammy pristine (except of course for the sauce: though some the the best ever I’ve had were simple bread, lemon squeeze and salt-pepper. Grouper range from smallish large-hand sized for 5-6-10pounders. Expensive. Easily switched in a store-shelf with Redfish or other similarly-fleshed but not-quite-so-sweet flesh. A good grouper sammy well may run past a dozen dollars thse days. Serving a steamed or baked grouper on a rice pilaf with a black-bean-orange section and mango salsa a delight. Sorry, George, I took so long to answer such a small question. I will await your pleasure re: Det. Cloud.

      4. I’m guessing you’re a restaurant owner – if not you should be. It sounds good. French style I like – I get to France as much as I can. As to iceberg lettuce you need to read my post before the latest one where I admit to my shortcomings re the dreaded ‘iceberg’! Best of luck. George

      5. I have toiled at the bar and in “the back” in several restaurants/bars/taverns/cafes. But owned? No. Not a big fan of milking cows or restaurants…though I have on occasion come home with the cows and stayed at sup past closing in return for my ichi ban eggplant fry and dipping sauce whilst the football game finished…and the lager seemingly didn’t. Iceberg is misunderstood. Shredded under taco-fillings, though the traditional cabbage shred is fine for fish-tacos (out of Baja and the San Diego environs of old – and new – Mexico) but when Boston (or Bibb) lettuce comes dear a cup of inner iceberg makes a fine depository for most any kind of stir fry, especially spicy. I will so go back and research your sordid past with the terrible and oft rightly so demeaned ‘berg. I prefer mesclun, romaine, of course bibb, and the trendier miniscule varieties cut down savagely in their youths to adorn frou-frou plates which I must confess I adore. But nothing sops a burger’s juice better’n a few leaves of disparagement. My culinary adventures in France began in Toulon in tow of several French Foreign Legionnaires who took pity on a just-20-year-old US Marine Lance Corporal miles from Fleet Landing in search of a less boisterous crowd and supper simple with ordinary local wine to suit a quite slim purse. The rest of my boot camp buddies were mopping up Hue City and I was with a battalion landing team touring the Mediterranean, a trade then-regretted but in sober seasons gratefully received. I had freedom unusual for such a lowly rank: the battalion’s attached journalist/photographer, though I had two senior photographers attached to my “shop” both were more interested in liquid pursuits first and tempting venereal disease second. What I found to eat and drink in Crete, Sardinia, Livorno (Leghorn) and beyond and Turkey turned me totally into a food-as-passion person. I even learned how to make palatable the venerable C-Ration when finally my turn in the barrel came where I learned both high- and low-brow Vietnamese cuisines. Definitely: take the high, but if you are a guest, eat the pig fat strips adorning your roadside ditch mix of salad greens: that porker’s best parts when to enrich small family coffers and they skimped themselves to lay on the extra condiment of fatty pork strips amid the cresses and herbs. I did however, shock my prospective Sister-In-Law at the wedding rehearsal banquet in San Francisco Chinatown top-hat restaurant (relatives of my Taiwanese newly related family owned) when I lustily chewed first and then swallowed the guests-of-honor fish centerpiece eyeball which new-sis Lin’s then Beijing-based grandmother also received. All three of us Richards boys learned cooking – and eating – as propounded by a Navy aviation enlisted man father and the regular – real cooking, American, Jewish, German, Dutch, Irish, Greek and Italian (somehow French failed to wedge its way into the canon, but Julia Child and Joy of Cooking remedied that, however poorly executed, but Jacques Pepin came thence to the rescue. Outside of growing provender, preparing – then eating it is right up besides reading (OK, and writing). Sorry to have gone on so long, George. You sparked the interest: plus the garden after three consecutive days of one-inch steady drizzle-rains has be and my mouth watering and scheming. J

      6. ‘Steady drizzle’! You should try living in England. Dylan’s ‘Bucket of Rain’ would have a whole new meaning. Ever thought of writing your ‘Life & Times’?

    1. I remember being at some place in North Devon as a kid. A barn. They made you shut your eyes while the owl crossed the barn, one end to the other, without a sound – hence they hunt so well as their prey has no idea they’re coming. Beautiful creatures, for sure.

    1. Thanks, Candy. The owl has to be one of my favourite birds, although if Brian the Sparrow and his girlfriend, Ruby from the harbour side cafe heard me say that they wouldn’t be too pleased!

      1. I imagine not! Owls have always fascinated me. So much …..I think your post may have just helped to inspire my upcoming piece since my short hiatus away from WordPress.

  2. Owls.the little ones so cute and fluffy. The adults so intelligent and so superior. They just look right through you with a ” what have you come as” look. And the words…. those drew several pictures in my mind. Thanks for this.

    1. Thank you, Anne. Owls always look like they know something special that we don’t know. It give them a sort of superior look, although I don’t think they realize that.

  3. George, what majestic birds, the Scottish names suit them so well. Their eyes are really something, a gorgeous color, and beautiful feathers, a camouflage jumper. ‘Lemon Groves’ has a dark and fatal lyric, it would be wonderful as a theme song for the opening credits of an ongoing Crime Series. Terrific song, the melody of the chorus is addicting. Great line, ‘You’ll be Abel now, I’ll be Cane this time’. Hope you have a creative Tuesday. ~ PM

    1. Thanks, PM. I think the best part re these owls is that they have an amazing dedicated team who rescued them, then restored them. In a world of horrible people it good a few decent humans exist. To write the music for a crime series would be a dream come true. Enjoy your day, PM ~ JGC

  4. I love the lyrics to Lemon Groves. Your owls are wise and wonderful. I like the names you gave them. The dental hygienist I saw today lived with goats and chickens when her daughters were little. They named them all.

    1. Thank you. When I was a kid living in Devon we had a fish pond with 57 goldfish. My dad named them all Brian except for the black goldfish who was called Black Brian. I remember I thought he was a cool fish.

  5. Hey, I have a question for you. You are a professional in all things music, from playing to recording properly. So, I am wondering if you think my tempo’s are erratic. And/or if you hear that when I use reverb, that things are way out of sync. I have an old musician friend, a pro in Los Angeles. He is raggin sometimes about my tempo. Gave me a tutorial on the proper usage of reverb. Understand that I use that after a track is laid out dry. Add verb later as, a blurring tool. So I am not certain that I do not use it properly. Wondering if what my L.A friend hears is just a matter of taste, cup of tea, not his aesthetic. Or If I am really off or something?

    1. No worries, Ted. I’ll take a listen and get back to you. It probably will be tomorrow sometime, but rest assured I will report back. I’ve got a 1st class degree in music technology so it I can’t give you the analysis you need they may as well shoot me! Thanks for asking.

      1. Hey it okay! This is not a pressing issue. Take your time. Understand, I am really lo-fi. If you should listen, and find the tempo really aberrant , lemme know. Going to bed early. Night

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