Another year, another Mikemas. We spent the weekend celebrating my 36th birthday, which was Saturday. The festivities included brunch with family, drinks with friends, and a fantastic time at Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion.Â Although this radio show, which airs nationally on National Public Radio, is based out of Minnesota, Garrison and the gang come to NYC at least once a year and we always try to attend. This time around, the guests included big-band leader Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks, pianist AndrÃ© Watts, and the powerful blues singer Odetta. The comedy was high, the monologues were pithy, and violinist Andy Stein blew me away with my first taste of blues violin during an Odetta song.
And what would Mikemas be without the traditional wilderness excursion. This time out, the Core Team took a walk around Pelton Pond, part of the ever-unfolding wonder that is Fahnestock State Park. There wasn’t much to Pelton Pond. More of a small lake than a large pond, it required no more than 30 minutes to circumambulate. But the water was as smooth as glass and spring was definitely in the air. It felt good to stretch our legs in preparation for better days to come. As far as birds went, we saw very few, a soaring red-tail here, a fresh-feathered robin there. But in a few weeks, Fahnestock and every other favorite New York birding spot will be abundant with avifauna. I can’t wait.