Blog Archives

Living in the rural district…

Bird's nest over our front porch.

Sunny day, warm weather and I spent the last half hour sitting out on my porch with my next door neighbor, Francis, talking about lawn mowing, hay growing, birds nesting, different kinds of tree blossoms…etc,etc. This is nice.

If you are going to be retired, I can’t think of a better place. It’s a great place to write and develop theatre projects (John Case and I are working on an updated

Flowering Pear Tree

version of Odets’ “Waiting for Lefty” which will include contemporary references and some music… we’ll be performing it at The Folly sometime this summer.) It’s also wonderful for gardening and other outdoor activities.

There’s a whole different kind of concerns out here than there is in the closer suburbs… the weather relates more to how the land operates than to what you’ll wear and how you will move around. Rain out here is is a prized phenomenon (and we expect some this afternoon and tomorrow.)

And now that winter has been eliminated by an early spring, it looks like things will get even better.

Eighth Day Accompanied on Dog Walk by Red-Winged Blackbird.

I’m pretty sure it’s the same one since there are several others around but none of them seems concerned with the route we are taking. This one jumps from bush to bush to stay within 5′ to 10′ ahead us as we walk.

I’ve named him Nik-Nik after the sound he makes (which I imitate back to him) between chirps (I fear I am a lousy chirper.)

Now that we’re over a week since the first time he walked with us (I think he really comes out when he sees us walk out of the front door of the house), I’ll be disappointed if he’s not there tomorrow.

The Red-Winged Blackbird who is looking for friends…

Red-Winged Blackbird

For two days now, as I’ve taken Byron and Nestle on their walk around the neighborhood, there has been this bird.. a red-winged blackbird, that has been following us, going from perch to perch. Once or twice it has suspended itself in the air a few feet above us chirping and, I think, trying to get our attention.

It started yesterday when I heard this guy (it’s a male, according to the birdwatching directory) doing two different kinds of chirps… one lower tone that sounds like a click, and a higher tone that is a louder call. At first I started imitating the click… then the high chirp… and I could swear this bird started talking back.

He began following us as we shared chirps and went from bush to bush as we walked around the little drainage pond near the house.

This morning as I walked the dogs I heard the chirps behind me, turned around and saw what must have been the same bird sitting on our road sign. I did the clicks and chirps again and he followed us on our walk once more…flying away as we headed back to the house.

I guess he wants to be friends… we’ll see if he is out there tomorrow.

More Than 1,000 Dead Birds Fall From The Sky

clipped from
BEEBE, Ark. — Environmental service workers finished picking up the carcasses on Sunday of about 2,000 red-winged blackbirds that fell dead from the sky in a central Arkansas town.
The birds had fallen Friday night over a 1-mile area of Beebe, and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area. The workers from U.S. Environmental Services started the cleanup Saturday.
Mike Robertson, the mayor in Beebe, told The Associated Press the last dead bird was removed about 11 a.m. Sunday in the town about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock. He said 12 to 15 workers, hired by the city to do the cleanup, wore environmental-protection suits for the task.

Robertson said the workers wore the suits as a matter of routine and not out of fear that the birds might be contaminated. He said speculation on the cause is not focusing on disease or poisoning.
Bird Government Testing, Lightning Or Poison? What Caused Birds To Fall Dead In Arkansas?

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Wow…it’s like an old Twilight Zone Episode.
Any thoughts?