“Dogtown Dance Theatre” – how could I say no? 

24 November, 2019            “Dogtown Dance Theatre” – how could I say no? 

Long zoom iphone image of my favorite costume of the evening: 


LOVE YOUR SELF” – that was my favorite thing, right from the start. What a perfect holiday message! What a perfect message for any time!

The picture below was from early in the show – the  younger kids came out first:

Joyful, joyful energy – what a treasure!

There were several groups – they all got together at the end:

Most of the people from the show. They were in such high spirits, it was infectious. I’m glad I was there!

Dogtown Dance Theatre presented an energetic holiday show yesterday evening.  Richmond Urban Dance put on a show called A Christmas Mixtape. On Dogtown’s website it said “Join us for a special performance featuring a compilation of dances set to favorite pieces of music by various artists of Christmas’ past, present and future.” But that sounds so dry. If you’d been there and described it to someone later, you would’ve expressed yourself differently. You would use words like “joyful“ and “ecstatic” and “engaging” and “vigorous” and “cheerful” and “bright” and so much fun! Evelyn and friends and I went and it was in every way entertaining. It was fast moving and energetic and warm-hearted and warm – the perfect place to spend a cold rainy late November evening. Check out their schedule! Catch another show at Dogtown – you won’t regret it. 

Even in November (maybe especially in November) I spend more time outdoors than in. This is an image I enjoy:

Red-shouldered hawk at Bryan Park Thursday, with matching background:

That Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) is from Bryan Park Thursday. A lot of what is written about hawks and other raptors portrays them as bold and noble. They appear that way to us, or they do to me anyway. They’re obviously (again, to me, anyway) great looking birds. My primary (and usually my secondary) source for researching birds for this blog is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. You won’t find a more precise source of birding information. Here’s what they say about Red-shouldered hawks: “While a Red-shouldered Hawk was observed chasing a Great Horned Owl, its mate took a young owl out of its nest and ate it.” There is no nobility – it’s all about the calories. 

True story about the Red-shouldered Hawk stealing the young owl out of the nest and eating it. To learn that hawks steal baby owls from their nests and eat them, look on the Cornell Lab website under “Cool Facts.” Great Horned Owls obviously don’t read that website. 

Half an hour before I saw that hawk I saw a handful of Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) on the lake. Hooded Mergansers also eat living beings, as it says under Cornell’s “basic description.” Their exact words are that it eats “fish, crayfish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills.” Compared to the hawk eating the owl, that seems like nothing at all. It’s interesting (maybe it’s just me) that we feel real sad about a bird eating a baby bird, but we don’t even blink when we read about a bird eating a fish or a crayfish. Here’s a male Hooded Merganser from Thursday: 

Male Hooded Merganser from Bryan Park Thursday

I had Mackey and Turner with me there and got a couple of pictures but didn’t like the way they turned out. Now (I just looked at a few other images from that day) I realize I could have made a nice image with them. I took this picture from the causeway/dam that divides the two lakes: 

Upper Young’s Pond – Bryan Park

Of course I took Mackey and Turner to Pony Pasture with me this morning. We’re getting down there moderately (but not extremely) early but the sunrise is getting later every morning. That will stop a week from Friday (incredibly) and sunrise will get earlier again. But the sun wasn’t shining on the river rocks yet when we got down there at a little after 9:00. Mackey’s face was pure black – it’s a blob. But we took a real long walk with lots of breaks, and they were still energetic when we got back to the rapids 1.5+ hours later. So we hopped back down to the rocks and took a couple pictures in nicer light. Yuki was at the airport picking up a friend (human) so it was just my two boys and me. 

Mackey and Turner this morning after our 1.5 hour hike

Mackey stands and Turner lies down, but it’s not due to Mackey being less tired. Mackey’s old hips are pretty sore and he won’t lie down unless he knows I’m going to stop for a while.

Have a great week! Come back next week! All best, 


About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Bryan Park, Dogs, Dogtown Dance Theatre, Fun, James River, love, People, Pony Pasture, raptors, red-shouldered hawks, Richmond Urban Dance, Rivers, simplify, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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