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Birding season: No grousing or sniping

As someone for whom having new hobbies has become a major hobby -- I try to acquire 30 to 40 new hobbies a year -- I sometimes worry that there won't be time left over to devote to such obligations as family, work, personal hygiene and legacy-burnishing. I'm thinking I need to drop some of the hobbies, including arch-singing, Bonzai gardening and motel-postcard collecting, and focus instead on just one activity -- something that I can get really good at, and that can then become an obsession elevated to an intensity of compulsiveness that will really clear the decks in terms of me having any friends. I'm thinking I may get into birding.

What I like about birding is, obviously, that it gets me out in nature, in the woods, along the river, with just me and the fresh air and the trilling birdies and, in my variation on the hobby, my trusty shotgun. Hear the call; see the bird; BOOM. It's beautiful.

But hold: What I really, really like about birding is the names of the birds. Somewhere along the way, the people who came up with the names of birds decided that they should be really cool words, like grackle and vireo. I think these people may have all been Scrabble players.

Sure, some birds have names that describe their activities, such as flycatcher, or gnatcatcher, or their general appearance, such as bluebird, or the place they tend to loiter, such as cowbird. I suspect that the grouse is so named because you just can't please it, and the loon so named because it's out of its freakin' gourd. But mostly birds have names that are simply good words that otherwise would have gone to waste.

Like finch. Like myna. Like grebe.

The word grebe was there for the taking. I really want to see a grebe sometime, not because I care what it looks like or tastes like or whatever it is that birders care about, but because I want to be able to say, "I just saw a grebe."

Other excellent bird names:

Bobolink
Bufflehead
Godwit
Kestrel
Magpie
Merganser
Plover
Puffin
Ruff
Scaup
Scoter
Shrike
Smew
Tern
Trogon
Wigeon

Now I'm trying to figure out why there's a snipe but not a snit.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 16, 2010; 7:53 AM ET
 
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Comments

And Phoebe and Frigate.

Posted by: Yoki | April 16, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I just saw a grebe!

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 16, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Is titmouse going to make it through the Wirty Dird Filter?

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

And in leech news:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/100415-new-species-t-rex-leech-orifices/

A toothed leech with a fondness for eyeballs.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

YOKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twas such a deelite to see you last evening. So little time, alas. I hope you and TBG have a fabulous trip through the back roads.

Y'all come back, now, hear????

Posted by: -ftb- | April 16, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I was just parroting Joel a minute ago.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 16, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Dr G and I had a "discussion" when we first moved into the suburbs about whether the birds who SING at first light are saying...

1. "YIPPEE! The SUN is COMING OUT!!! YAY! A NEW DAY!! TWEET TWEET!!!"

or

2. "NOOOOooooo! THE SUN! &$*%!! TOO EARLY!! GO AWAY!! %#$%!!"

Posted by: -TBG- | April 16, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Joel:

http://ibc.lynxeds.com/video/blue-black-grassquit-volatinia-jacarina/male-displaying-typical-jumps

Just take your laptop outside and enjoy nature at work, including this bird coming down from a bad pot trip.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Finally a Kit I can understand! We just put a bird feeder in front of the bay window that I sit near when on the Mac. The birds haven't found it yet, but I'm looking forward to that day. In the old house I could see the feeders more easily and there were lots of birds there that I don't see here. We had bluebirds, nuthatches and lots of wood peckers, I even saw a pileated woodpecker very near the house once. My favorite sighting back then was an indigo bunting and a cardinal at the feeder together.

We have lots of cardinals here but no bluebirds or indigo buntings :-(

Posted by: badsneakers | April 16, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

mudged

Good morning boodle! Gorgeous sunshine on deep blue water this morning. We've had a whole extra month of this as the ice is not normally out already.

Fatuous Garden Report-Sedum and Columbine are lush with new growth-with the Columbine now reseeding freely. How glad my NoVA gardener's heart would have been had I known one day I could grow these with ease. Ephemerals are leafing out so flowers will follow shortly. On the lookout for fiddleheads, then fresh asparagus should hit the farmers market next weekend. Ah, spring.

Update- loons and mergansers bobbing about on now wind whipped water. Swans and herons messing about as well. No pelicans yet.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 16, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I am getting in my loon on monday and escaping from reality on the river that "heals" me.
lotsa birds on the river too,i will report in on monday.
know the song "Almost Heaven......"

Posted by: greenwithenvy | April 16, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

My younger brother and his wife have been avid birders for nearly 20 years and enjoy it greatly. They couple it with photography. When I suggested that this had the benefit of proving their claims, they looked aghast at me. (They do this a lot anyway.) Evidently, birding is built on trust. Sorta like the mob.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 16, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Re-posting from the end of the last kit:

Homunculus, you are over-confident and over-eager in several respects:
(1) The He-3 content of the lunar regolith has been a proposed energy source for a very long time. Not H3, which is tritium; the half-life is too short to permit it to be effectively mined. A few problems: (a) we don't have working nuclear fusion power-reactors here on the ground, even using exotic fuels; (b) we don't have a confidence that there would be all that much He-3 implanted into the regolith; (c) we don't have effective mining technologies to recover it; (d) we don't have an international treaty framework in place to support mining the Moon for resources, but we DO have a treaty that says we may not do so. Even if not that many nations signed on.

(2) The lunar atmosphere is not so mysterious as you imagine. It is mostly atomic sodium and potassium. The lunar surface is an exobase, meaning that atoms released from the surface are capable of flying unhindered into space with velocities characteristic of the local temperature. This is an atmosphere as a technically-minded planetary scientist defines it, not something you could breathe or fly an aircraft in.

(3) The abundance of water is dramatically overstated. Yes, there is H2O ice (more than there is He-3). In principle, we understand how to mine it, extract it, and split it into hydrogen and oxygen so that we can use it for liquid rocket fuel and for breathable oxygen. There is a very long way to go from principle to practice, and we don't know yet whether there is enough water to make it practical. And we don't really know how we would mine it. And we have those treaty issues. This is a cart before the horse issue.

(4) In the mean-time, if you want to make cement and concrete, you will need water. Lots of water. Which you would have to send from Earth. Along with bull-dozers, and kilns, and rock-grinders, etc. Cart before the horse issues, again.

(5) If you land on the Moon, you have to take off from the Moon. Gravity is less than on Earth, but it's not all that low. If you want to recover resources from space, asteroids actually are a better bet -- no gravity issues, and the treaty limitations are much less clear.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 16, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Things I have learned from our local birds: all those little hopping birds that look alike are pretty bold. They eat a lot. Blue jays are thugs. Crows appear easily amused. Hawks can stay still a long time but they move fast. The Boy just saw one swoop down our driveway, talons out - I wonder what it was after. Perhaps the Boy. Owls are bigger than you think they are.

Not all birds are smart. I'm not actually saying any birds are smart, but I have observed a bird, or its descendants, decide to build a nest on top of our porch light, right next to the door, for several years in a row. We take the bulb out. However,the bird flies off the nest every time someone enters or leaves the house, walks by the carport, or walks by the open door. Also, at least one year a snake came down the bricks out of the attic and ate the baby birds. One year they fell out. You'd think the bird would figure this is not a good place for a nest.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 16, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Plus all the green cheese would gum up the bulldozer treads.

Hey, just trying to keep up my end of the conversation.

Is He-3 some sort of emoticon for a plumber with his head under the kitchen sink?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the local nesting market was tight and she was priced out of anything better, Ivansmom.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

There's a tremendous book out (maybe 10 or so years old) called "Mind of the Raven". I loved it. Ravens and crows actually makeup games to play, and really do seem to have a sense of humor.

And, you're right, Imom -- Blue Jays are indeed thugs, but they are very pretty while they're thugging. And I love cardinals -- especially in the winter. I saw one in the days after our last blizzard, and its blinding red color against the white snow was breathtakingly beautiful.

Egrets and herons are cool to watch, too. In Africa I saw what seemed to have been a Secretary bird (was I supposed to capitalize that?). Simply stunning.

I remember as a teenager, when looking out the kitchen window at the backyard bird bath, I noticed a grackle (ubiquitous in Michigan) perched on the edge ... where it remained doing nothing for hours on end. Indeed, it had died where it perched, and the leg muscle tension must have played a huge part in the fact that it didn't fall to the ground. That could have been 50 years ago. Wowie-Zowie, eh?

Too bad about the Caps (and the Red Wings). But there are six more games to play. The Caps cannot get too spooked at being in the playoffs, or they're out in the first round.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 16, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, JA, you left out the Nightjar and the Frogmouth and the Goatsucker and the Bushtit. And of course the fabulous Rufous Motmot-

http://www.mangoverde.com/birdsound/picpages/pic91-6-1.html

Posted by: kguy1 | April 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I've had a real concern for some time that a lot of our birds are disappearing. When I was a teen, I used to see (or mostly hear) warblers, and in recent years almost none. Meadowlarks seems to have disappeared around this area, along with bobwhites, cuckoos, and some others. Bluebirds have become rare, and I wonder how successful those bluebird box programs have really been. One problem is that the English sparrows usually get there first, unless you keep the hole closed until the bluebirds arrive. The crows seem pretty adaptable, though the avian flu may have reduced their numbers too. I'm sure habitat changes have hurt, both here as well as at their migratory homes as well.

Posted by: ebtnut | April 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Out in the desert southwest I saw a lot of ravens, crows, and magpies. I have no idea what Darwinian trick put a bunch of black birds out in the heat like that.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

jkt, funny line last kit about Ghost.

Got wrapped up in an intro video for Google Wave and was a disappeared,,, sorry.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, years ago I had a hanging plant under the roof by the front door in which a house finch decided to build her nest. We didn't use that door often but every time I watered the plant I was afraid I'd drown the baby birds. And yes, she or her daughters and granddaughters, nested there every year.

I love seeing all the different types of birds when I travel. My recent favorite were the toucans in CR. They fly with their beaks hanging down and it looks very awkward, but amusing.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 16, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

They aren't called Secretary birds anymore, ftb. They are called administrative assistant birds, now.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

A blue jay is the only bird I've ever fought with. One (presumably nesting nearby) started attacking me regularly when I went to and from my door. While I have some sympathy for the territorial imperative, I was there first and am a lot bigger.

So I started wearing my motorcycle helmet all the way to the door, and carrying a tennis racket. After being launched in various unexpected directions a few times, the critter started giving me a little more space.

I also spoke harshly to an aggressive goose once, but we both walked away from the encounter before it turned physical.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 16, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Are they paid more, Mudge?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 16, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Alas, no, ftb. HR assumed they'd just be happy with the prestigious title.

Ditto changing "receptionist" to "concierge." Although so far as I'm aware, there is not such thing as a receptionist bird.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry about those magpies, yello. They know what they're about.

"experiments have shown that white hair on cattle and white feathers on pigeons permit greater penetration of short-wave radiation to the skin than black."

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v283/n5745/abs/283373a0.html

Posted by: kguy1 | April 16, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

So the older I get the more short-wave radiation I'm getting on my head?

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Initially I included the bushtit in my list -- so obvious -- but after pondering it a while, I concluded that it's actually not a great word the way, say, finch or shrike is a great word. It's just more of a tee-hee word, you know? But others may disagree.

Posted by: joelache | April 16, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Before we downsized MrJS and I had a great backyard. There was a squirrel-proof bird feeder and two berry bushes (currant and gooseberry) just for the birds. It was wonderful to have such color and music flying through.

And I can attest that many bird names make great Scrabble plays. Feline names do well here, too: margay, lynx, jaguar. Fluffy, not so much. Too many F's.

Posted by: MsJS | April 16, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Titmouse is much better, if that's the direction you're gonna go anyway.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 16, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Ah, yes. Margay.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 16, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

When I was a grad student, a talented undergrad from the department in the next building was doing his honors project or whatever on tufted titmice. They got him up really early. I think he's now a psychiatrist.

Grasshopper sparrows are a bit of a problem in that people with middle-aged hearing loss typically can't hear their high pitched calls.

I once spotted a pair of mynas at Home Depot. It turned out that they're fast food specialists, swooping down on spilled fries.

My campaign to name the Jacksonville pro football team the Shrikes didn't work out. The birds like football fields, wear black masks, are fierce little predators, and show off their prowess by impaling samples of their prey.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 16, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

In fear of getting Joel more worked up over this, I have to say that, other than my years in one of those wet far western states, I have had little interest in birds... then I went to Florida and spent some time walking around Ding Darling and the Baily Tract. It is fascinating and entertaining.

We decided to try another spot and spent an afternoon at Corkscrew Swamp. That was amazing!!!!

Posted by: russianthistle | April 16, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

http://www.gardenvisit.com/blog/2008/09/30/squirrel-proof-bird-feeder-cage/

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Kingfisher

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Kingfisher

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 16, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The office building I used to work in had a couple of juniper trees out front. Cardinals, apparently, just love juniper berries. It's like cardinal crack. When the berries would drop, there would often be a mob of up to a couple dozen cardinals gorging themselves under the trees -- quite a sight since they usually seem to be solitary.

BobS, I once had a mockingbird nesting in a tree out front, which was as territorial as your jay. I never thought of the motorcycle-helmet-and-racket technique. It was more the run-to-the-car-while-waving-arms-above-head-like-a-lunatic approach.

ftb, the grackle wasn't dead, it was just stunned. Grackles stun easily. Or it might have been pining for the fjords.

Posted by: rashomon | April 16, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Kingfisher

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 16, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Kingfisher

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 16, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Kingfisher.

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 16, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Jumper, that's what happens with a lot of so-called squirrel proof bird feeders. Lemme tell ya from experience, it's a b1tch getting the squirrel out.

MrJS modified a standard pole feeder to squirrel-proof it. If I can find a photo of his handiwork, I'll post it.

Posted by: MsJS | April 16, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Enough of this birdy stuff. I want Joel to blog some more about his motel postcard collection.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry...phone.

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 16, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Do Britons still call ladies 'birds'?

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 16, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Do Britons still call ladies 'birds'?

Posted by: teddymzuri | April 16, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and: ptarmigan, wigeon. tragopan, egret, shag, bustard, limpkin, noddy, cockatoo, motmot, drongo,

Posted by: rashomon | April 16, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh great, now we're going to have umbraged birders coming out of the woodwork, so to speak. I was a bit miffed at the mention of Bonsai gardening, which was even spelled wrong. Harumph!

Posted by: seasea1 | April 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I expanded the base of our bird feeder and wrapped it with chicken wire to keep the stellar and scrub jays out. It didn't keep a grey squirrel out but it did keep him mostly in. One day I went out there and he only got his front half out. Had to judiciously apply the wire cutters and not get in the launch pattern.

Posted by: bh72 | April 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

BH72, any framework (cages, chicken wire, etc.) gives squirrels something to grab onto and/or chew through on their way to food.

It's useful to have thick work gloves and wire cutters handy in such moments.

Posted by: MsJS | April 16, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse


Proud to be a haven to countless yardbirds, i.e. your standard eastcoast song and feeder types, and many hummers.

Miss bobwhites from my youth . . . hardly ever hear their love calls anymore.

Live in-house with a green Amazon parrot who does not fly (though not wing-clipped).
About the intelligence of a four-year-old humanchild, I'd estimate. He treks around in his waddly fashion and loves cartrips on mr.talitha's shoulder . . . he's a one-man bird.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Want to defeat the furry tree rats? This is the thing-

http://www.bromebirdcare.com/english/plus-home.php

made in Ontario by Ontarians.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Brome makes a couple of good feeders, but, humm, it's made in Quebec by québécois. In Knowlton in the Eastern Township.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 16, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

We have sparrow-type birds that annually nest in the eaves of our three-story townhouse. It doesn't bug us in the morning since our bedroom is on the back of the unit. However, I came home one day to our next door neighbor whose bedroom is in the front sealing up the holes they had made.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I like the wagtail.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 16, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

My dad had squirrel problems in the bird feeder. No overhang or construction could keep the critters out.

Apparently vaseline on the upper couple of feet of the feeder pole and a liberal dusting of cayenne pepper did the trick. It needs ocassional reapplication but otherwise worked while in use.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

My bad. If I coulda spelt Kwebekwaz I woulda said that.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The ultimate challenge is keeping squirrels off suet blocks in winter. I've come up with a pretty good, and elaborate, system involving a modified stovepipe-type pole guard and a 16" plexiglass shield. But yet I get the odd suicidal squirrel that would try to catch the cage on its flight from the roof to the ground. You can almost hear them scream Banzai! when they launch from the eavesthrough.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

That was part of what defeated the cayenne solution. Eventually the beasts would do the dive bomb attack from whatever nearby perch they could reach. You really need an antigrav feeder with at least 20 metres or more of the surrounding airspace cleared.

Or a cat. The not being able to fly away part is problematic then.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 16, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I think THIS is the ultimate squirrel control device: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3Ya6z-NlDo&NR=1

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

After hours on the phone, mostly by my elder daughter, we are set to travel on Tuesday (unless Dublin airport has to close again). We plan a month-long forced march through the Irish countryside, one golf course at a time. The only real loss is that younger daughter and her husband can no longer come with us, and before anyone feels too sorry for me I should confess that they live across the street from us.

I took up golf two years ago to be able to spend time with my husband and elder daughter. One of the unexpected benefits has been encountering wildlife, especially birds. I enjoy seeing the wild turkeys, turkey buzzards, ospreys, etc.. We have a flock of Canadian geese who have (reasonably) decided to live year-round on one course we play. Crows are fun and opportunistic, very trickster-like. Luckily for our golf snacks, they lack opposable thumbs.

I will back-boodle (Is that right?) later to catch up. Thanks for your welcome.

Posted by: caroling | April 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

OFf topic, but great bit by Stewart on the The Daily Show Wednesday about Fox and their pundits saying the Nuclear Summit logo was made to appease muslims by the White House.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/15/stewart-hammers-fox-news_n_538584.html

Back on topic, northern flickers are easily the best birds we routinely get, other than the hawks building a family in the side yard.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

qgaliana,
I apologize for mispelling your handle earlier. Have I said how much I appreciate your posts. Pithy and pointed.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE this kit...except for the BOOM part. One of my favorite birdie names: black-capped chickadee. My little chickadees visit the feeders all winter.

The yellow-headed blackbirds are here right now. They only show up in early spring.

Finches may be small but they are loyal couples and the females while duller in color are friendlier towards humans. They love blueberries. They're songs are lovely, too.

Mocking birds always make me laugh.

We're gonna take a bird-watching trip to the Cherokee National Grasslands next month. Can't wait. Most of you may know this but just in case...I love birds! They make me happy. :-)

I could go on and on about birds but it might get overwhelming for non-birders. I will back-boodle all birdie comments but after completing a few errands. Ah, spring!

Posted by: Windy3 | April 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If anyone asks what I'm doing in retirement, I say that my full-time job is keeping fresh water in the birdbath. We don't feed the birds (others in the neighborhood do that), but it's not unusual for me to replace the water morning, noon, and evening. The birds like to bathe, and, boy, are they dirty. I have a scrub brush dedicated to the birdbath. And I use it at least every other day.

Fortunately, the birdbath only holds a gallon...

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

After hours on the phone, mostly by my elder daughter, we are set to travel on Tuesday (unless Dublin airport has to close again). We plan a month-long forced march through the Irish countryside, one golf course at a time. The only real loss is that younger daughter and her husband can no longer come with us.

I took up golf two years ago to be able to spend time with my husband and elder daughter. One of the unexpected benefits has been encountering wildlife, especially birds. I enjoy seeing the wild turkeys, turkey buzzards, ospreys, etc.. We have a flock of Canadian geese who have decided to live year-round on one course we play. Crows are fun and opportunistic, very trickster-like. They try to steal our golf snacks, we try to stop them. It feels like it's a game for all of us.

I will back-boodle (Is that right?) later to catch up.

Posted by: caroling | April 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

After hours on the phone, mostly by my elder daughter, we are set to travel on Tuesday (unless Dublin airport has to close again). We plan a month-long forced march through the Irish countryside, one golf course at a time. The only real loss is that younger daughter and her husband can no longer come with us, and before anyone feels too sorry for me I should confess that they live across the street from us.

I took up golf two years ago to be able to spend time with my husband and elder daughter. One of the unexpected benefits has been encountering wildlife, especially birds. I enjoy seeing the wild turkeys, turkey buzzards, ospreys, etc.. We have a flock of Canadian geese who have (reasonably) decided to live year-round on one course we play. Crows are fun and opportunistic, very trickster-like. It feels like it's a game for all of us when we chase them away from our golf snacks.

I will back-boodle (Is that right?) later to catch up. Thanks again for your welcome.

Posted by: caroling | April 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

qgaliana,
I apologize for mispelling your handle earlier. Have I said how much I appreciate your posts? Pithy and pointed.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll start worrying about squirrels in the bird feeder as soon as I outwit the raccoons. Mr. F is amused since "progress" in that area seems to be inadvertently training them to come to the porch for cat food.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If anyone asks what I'm doing in retirement, I say that my full-time job is keeping fresh water in the birdbath. We don't feed the birds (others in the neighborhood do that), but it's not unusual for me to replace the water morning, noon, and evening. The birds like to bathe, and, boy, are they dirty. I have a scrub brush dedicated to the birdbath. And I use it at least every other day.

Fortunately, the birdbath only holds a gallon...

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

After hours on the phone, mostly by my elder daughter, we are set to travel on Tuesday (unless Dublin airport has to close again). We plan a month-long forced march through the Irish countryside, one golf course at a time. The only real loss is that younger daughter and her husband can no longer come with us, and before anyone feels too sorry for me I should confess that they live across the street from us.

I took up golf two years ago to be able to spend time with my husband and elder daughter. One of the unexpected benefits has been encountering wildlife, especially birds. I enjoy seeing the wild turkeys, turkey buzzards, ospreys, etc.. We have a flock of Canadian geese who have (reasonably) decided to live year-round on one course we play. Crows are fun and opportunistic, very trickster-like. It feels like it's a game for all of us when we chase them away from our golf snacks.

I will back-boodle (Is that right?) later to catch up. Thanks again for your welcome.

Posted by: caroling | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If anyone asks what I'm doing in retirement, I say that my full-time job is keeping fresh water in the birdbath. We don't feed the birds (others in the neighborhood do that), but it's not unusual for me to replace the water morning, noon, and evening. The birds like to bathe, and, boy, are they dirty. I have a scrub brush dedicated to the birdbath. And I use it at least every other day.

Fortunately, the birdbath only holds a gallon...

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

So ... do shrikes shriek?

*just wondering*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but take a look at John Stewart and his rant against Fox and their minions saying that the Nuclear Summit Logo was an overt way to curry favor with the muslim world. His solution... to actually ask the White House rather than make stuff up... is classic.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If anyone asks what I'm doing in retirement, I say that my full-time job is keeping fresh water in the birdbath. We don't feed the birds (others in the neighborhood do that), but it's not unusual for me to replace the water morning, noon, and evening. The birds like to bathe, and, boy, are they dirty. I have a scrub brush dedicated to the birdbath. And I use it at least every other day.

Fortunately, the birdbath only holds a gallon...

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If anyone asks what I'm doing in retirement, I say that my full-time job is keeping fresh water in the birdbath. We don't feed the birds (others in the neighborhood do that), but it's not unusual for me to replace the water morning, noon, and evening. The birds like to bathe, and, boy, are they dirty. I have a scrub brush dedicated to the birdbath. And I use it at least every other day.

Fortunately, the birdbath only holds a gallon...

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll start worrying about squirrels in the bird feeder as soon as I outwit the raccoons. Mr. F is amused since "progress" in that area seems to be inadvertently training them to come to the porch for cat food.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

qgaliana,
I apologize for mispelling your handle earlier. Have I said how much I appreciate your posts? Pithy and pointed.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

qgaliana,
I apologize for mispelling your handle earlier. Have I said how much I appreciate your posts? Pithy and pointed.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Joel-
I thought it was spelled "bonsai". Unless you are talking about some kind of wild, manic, kamikaze "banzai" gardening of which I am unaware.

Posted by: Gomer144 | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

After hours on the phone, mostly by my elder daughter, we are set to travel on Tuesday (unless Dublin airport has to close again). We plan a month-long forced march through the Irish countryside, one golf course at a time. The only real loss is that younger daughter and her husband can no longer come with us, and before anyone feels too sorry for me I should confess that they live across the street from us.

I took up golf two years ago to be able to spend time with my husband and elder daughter. One of the unexpected benefits has been encountering wildlife, especially birds. I enjoy seeing the wild turkeys, turkey buzzards, ospreys, etc.. We have a flock of Canadian geese who have (reasonably) decided to live year-round on one course we play. Crows are fun and opportunistic, very trickster-like. It feels like it's a game for all of us when we chase them away from our golf snacks.

I will back-boodle (Is that right?) later to catch up. Thanks again for your welcome.

Posted by: caroling | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If anyone asks what I'm doing in retirement, I say that my full-time job is keeping fresh water in the birdbath. We don't feed the birds (others in the neighborhood do that), but it's not unusual for me to replace the water morning, noon, and evening. The birds like to bathe, and, boy, are they dirty. I have a scrub brush dedicated to the birdbath. And I use it at least every other day.

Fortunately, the birdbath only holds a gallon...

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Apparently "banzai!" means "10,000 years!" This is how long experts advise to wait before picking asparagus.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

After hours on the phone, mostly by my elder daughter, we are set to travel on Tuesday (unless Dublin airport has to close again). We plan a month-long forced march through the Irish countryside, one golf course at a time. The only real loss is that younger daughter and her husband can no longer come with us.

I took up golf two years ago to be able to spend time with my husband and elder daughter. One of the unexpected benefits has been encountering wildlife, especially birds. I enjoy seeing the wild turkeys, turkey buzzards, ospreys, etc.. We have a flock of Canadian geese who have decided to live year-round on one course we play. Crows are fun and opportunistic, very trickster-like. They try to steal our golf snacks, we try to stop them. It feels like it's a game for all of us.

I will back-boodle (Is that right?) later to catch up.

Posted by: caroling | April 16, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE this kit...except for the BOOM part. One of my favorite birdie names: black-capped chickadee. My little chickadees visit the feeders all winter.

The yellow-headed blackbirds are here right now. They only show up in early spring.

Finches may be small but they are loyal couples and the females while duller in color are friendlier towards humans. They love blueberries. They're songs are lovely, too.

Mocking birds always make me laugh.

We're gonna take a bird-watching trip to the Cherokee National Grasslands next month. Can't wait. Most of you may know this but just in case...I love birds! They make me happy. :-)

I could go on and on about birds but it might get overwhelming for non-birders. I will back-boodle all birdie comments after I run some errands. Ah, spring!

Posted by: Windy3 | April 16, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE this kit...except for the BOOM part. One of my favorite birdie names: black-capped chickadee. My little chickadees visit the feeders all winter.

The yellow-headed blackbirds are here right now. They only show up in early spring.

Finches may be small but they are loyal couples and the females while duller in color are friendlier towards humans. They love blueberries. They're songs are lovely, too.

Mocking birds always make me laugh.

We're gonna take a bird-watching trip to the Cherokee National Grasslands next month. Can't wait. Most of you may know this but just in case...I love birds! They make me happy. :-)

I could go on and on about birds but it might get overwhelming for non-birders. I will back-boodle all birdie comments after I run some errands. Ah, spring!

Posted by: Windy3 | April 16, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to point out that Bobolinks played a significant part in that classic 1962 cinematic epic of Lunar Exploration: "The Mouse on the Moon."

See. It all fits together.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 16, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

So ... do shrikes shriek? Or is it the other way around?

*just wondering*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

so sorry about the triple post! I thought it was hung-up, so kept pulling it and rewriting.
Yellojkt, I'm not sure how else to pronounce caroling. It is the present participle of "to carol." Am I missing a reference to something?

Posted by: caroling | April 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

We've used vasoline to keep ants from the hummingbird feeder but keeping squirrels away from bird feeders is a constant battle. One time we saw a squirrel trying to chew thru the plexiglass front of our 'squirrel proof feeder. He had done a pretty good job of it but we fixed it with duct tape!

Posted by: badsneakers | April 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Getting woozy from the duplicates here...
Some bird names are so often used for smething else we forget they were bird names to start with. The merlin is not only the engine of the venerable Spitfire aircraft but also a very nice small hawk that is currently making a very nice return in number.

A northern harrier is not just a fighter jet doing a vertical take off in Scotland but also another bird of prey. The female is easily twice the size of the male but the guy wears the pretty colours. The harrier can hover over a spot of interest, hence the name of the VTO aircraft.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm just picturing a distant cousin of Mati Hari named Karo Ling. I really can't help the paths my mind takes me down.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Wowza! I thought the problem was with me, because my attempt to post kept timing out! Sorry about that folks. Can we ask JA or the WaPo techies to delete the multiples?

On kit: I let the purple coneflowers go to seed for the express purpose of drawing goldfinches. There seem to be lots of them around, but we only catch sight when they come for the coneflower seeds...

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the duplicates--system was slow. I also meant their not they're songs. Just get too excited about birds I guess. :-)

Posted by: Windy3 | April 16, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't find a good photo of MrJS' squirrel-proof bird feeder, but here's a reasonable drawing:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28367496@N06/4526528730/

He used two inverted bowls on the pole instead of the usual one. Also, of course, it was placed a good 6 feet from overhanging tree branches.

We had gobs of squirrels in our yard and never saw a single one get at the bird feeder with this set up.

Posted by: MsJS | April 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

There is a swampy area not too far from where I live. There we can see white-billed grebes, Canada geese and mallards.

One year I had a pair of robins build their big mud nest atop a wreath on my front door. I seldom use that door so they raised their brood relatively undisturbed.

Posted by: Manon1 | April 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

My parent's have a 'pet' blue heron and snowy egret that they feed hot dogs every day. The heron perches himself on the deck railing with his huge pterodactyl claws and squawks until they feed him.

They have to get all the food to the birds before the seagulls show up. The bird my dad hates is the grackle which he claims has taken over most of the songbird habitats.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

We use the metal shepherds crooks to hang bird feeders. Mr seasea made sheet metal inverted cones to keep the squirrels from climbing the poles. The squirrels gnaw the sheet metal but have not made much progress on destroying the cones. The feeders are strategically place far enough from the back fence and nearby trees so that the squirrels don't leap on the feeders. We don't have much room to work with - I'm surprised they don't do that. I have a small suet feeder for the woodpeckers and smaller birds, such as bushtits, which come in flocks. Bigger birds like stellar jays and crows usually can't deal with the precarious feeders, but many try, and some succeed.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 16, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Pithy, yello? Who you calling pithy you hymenopteran mithcreant? Oh... wait... apology acthepted.

My name has been mispelled in so many ways by so many people (italianised, francised, anglicised, lusitanised, dyslxeisiced, etc) I don't even notice anymore. I once received from an employer duplicate copies of a certificate of appreciation for having worked on a project, awarded to different variations of my name as if it were different people. They were expensive colour printouts so I knew I was valued.

Definition #8 for pith (Webster's *koff* online ready *koff koff* dictionary): to destroy the brain or spinal cord of... fear me.

Posted by: qgaliana | April 16, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Named for the famous German explorer, Helmut Pith.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

SD, Merlin is also a state, about an hour or so outside the cities.

Sneaks, cooking spray works well for squirrels.

On kit, not only are some of the birds' names cool, but it's way cool to learn the calls and songs, hear when a predator's in the woods, or rain's coming (even though for the weather I can just look toward the ridge, it's still way cool).

Speaking of rain, there's a beater of a storm heading this way. And me, with the lawn not mowed. Oh well. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | April 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Pithing a frog. Done that. Love the compact and lithe Cooper's Hawk hanging around these days.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | April 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

OK, show of hands -- who else besides me had to look up "hymenopteran?"

It's always so educational around here.

Posted by: rashomon | April 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it some sort of woman's plumbing medical procedure? In 7th grade health class they always used to take the girls to another classroom to show them some sort of movie.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse


Speaking of titmice . . . . . dare I?
Oh, why not? The blue-footed b**by.
There. That's been driving me crazy all day. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Great bird, talitha. I've only seen pictures, but their feet are just adorable!

Waiting for "S" to come home so we can leave for the weekend. Going to his daughter's in NY. Long ride but should be fun as I haven't seen his grand children in a while.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 16, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Quarter after 4 on a warm Friday afternoon...sigh.

I regret to inform you taxpayers that your tax dollars are not being used quite up to maximum functional efficieny this afternoon.

*sigh*

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

OOOOH! OOOOH! Mistah Kotta! Call on me! My cousin Hymie is an opteran. I can get you new glasses for half price.

Of course I looked it up. I had to know exactly how much umbrage to rankle. It turns out I should be very proud to be one.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

But are those glasses made in Opterio by Opterians?

Posted by: kguy1 | April 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I only have a few bird stories apart from the Colonel. (He was an old bird in his own right.)

My backyard is visited by a heron or egret every so often. These are good moments.

In Texas the mockingbirds sang the songs of grackles.

In Charlotte the mockingbirds have begun to sing cellphone ringtones.

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

talitha!
The other person whose name I mangled this morning. I keep conflating it between Tabitha (my Bewitched childhood showing there) and Terabithia.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

And, so, while waiting for the WaPo server to actually serve up my boodle-post, I went off and did errands. These included getting the emissions test for the car (passed with flying (see, "on-kit") colors), and for behaving so well during said test, gassing up the car. Then off to the Giant to pick up the refill on my thyroid pills, and pick up some other stuff, and back I am after two hours. In backboodling, it looks like my post was actually, well, posted. No, slyness, you were definitely not alone.

It's like sitting in traffic on a sunny, hot Friday afternoon.

Oh, wait ...

Looking forward to the cold front, as the A/C is not on for the condo buildings today. To which I feel free to shout out any number of expletives.

Perhaps I should do some work today. Whaddya think, Mudgey?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 16, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I didn't have to look it up...biology major here. *smirk* ;-)

Posted by: Manon1 | April 16, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I used to soak bread crumbs in beer and throw them out for the birds on my porch. I was very popular, until I got charged with contributing to the delinquency of a mynah.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 16, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse


yello, funny but that's the second time the Samantha/Tabitha thing has come up within twelve hours on a blogger confusing my name. No prob . . . I *am* a little witchy.

boodle - what is up with the doubleposts and two hour breaks? I thought maybe WaPo had implemented their new comment page policy regarding staying on topic . . . heaven forbid!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I didn't have to look hymenoptera up, but it took me a couple of seconds to remember that it ain't just ants.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 16, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Nah, ftb. It's Miller time. Or Yuengling time. Or ... whatever.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Memo to lawyers: I am currently editing a thing written by one of your ilk. If I see one more word(s) quasi-pluralized like you can't make up your mind(s), I shall scream(s) forthwith and pursuant thereto.

Just sayin'(s).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Woodpeckers, bluebirds,
I'm the model of a bird dog;
A chicken pointer.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

steveb,
Another semi-recent addition to the boodler fold that I haven't been fawning enough to. Welcome and belated greetings on my behalf.

When we were doing the shaggy dog story puns somebody used one of my favorites in a slightly different version, but I couldn't figure out how to fit the following line into an on-kit digression:

I was arrested for transporting mynahs over staid lions for immortal porpoises.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Cruel afternoon tune cootie to hold you the entire weekend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngZh6ZSRoYg

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Thomas Wilbrodog Kinkade, Pointer of Chicken Light

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Sweetly thatched brick nests
Glowing with that inner light
of fire cooking chickens...

-Thomas Wilbrodog Kinkade-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

*Very* nice, pooch.

I'm outta heah.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 16, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

You guys quack me up!

Posted by: -ftb- | April 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

A few years ago we bought a nifty birdfeeder with a spring-activated hinge. Basically, it closes itself if the critter hanging on any part of it is larger than a small bird. This eliminates squirrels, crows, and really chubby wrens. The latter is, like striking a blow against avian obesity.

Anyway, the thing works really well. I was thinking of getting one attached to the refrigerator to defend myself from myself when there is leftover pie. But I digress.

The squirrels quickly abandoned the feeder, which led to a plethora of feathery delights. As I consider myself an expert on this matter, I can report with great confidence that they were real pretty. Some of them were blueish, some were reddish, and, now and again, there were some yellowish ones. You know, representatives from all the major avian phyla. Or genii. Or whatever.

The problem is the cat. There is a neighborhood cat who runs feral. Now, whether or not this is best for the cat is not an issue I wish to delve in to. But there is no doubt that this cat is no good for the birds. For, like all domestic felines, it thinks of naught but murder all day long.

I don't know if the cat succeeded in doing in any little birdies, but there sure were a lot of feathers about.

But what really caused us angst is my wee little dog. Our Cairn Terriers does not much care for the presence of cats on her property. No sir. Can't say that she does.

Squirrels she will tolerate, but cats will reduce her to a barking fit in which she, and I am not making this up, will actually move backwards from the exertion like in those old cartoons by Fritz Lang, or Freleng. I forget. Whatever.

The thing is, an exploding dog does nobody any good. So, sadly, the birdfeeder is not going up this year. No birds. No cat. No canine petit mal seizures.

It's a circle of life kind of thing.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 16, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

No worry, talitha, there were site-wide problems with the software, hopefully now solved. It was tough in the meantime, wouldn't you agree? I hate when I can't read or post!

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse


When Joel goes a'birding I hope he espies
a hoopoe, a tinkerbird or a barbet.
Not to mention an oxpecker. The last should not be confused with an ox-gorer, but I digress. Wilbrodog should have some punny good times with those names.

(Full disclosure: Our mother being an avid birder, my sisters and I collected birdnames for a hobby.)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ilk, Mudge? Ilk? what kind of bird is that?

It is raining here, not as hard as elsewhere in the city (I have been back and forth today, forth and back) but sort of steady. I thought the slightly lower temperatures would cool the house, since we've only been running the fan, but the humidity did me in. April 16 this year is our first day of AC. With any luck we can turn it off for a while soon.

My view of birds, as I believe I've mentioned before, was permanently jaundiced by attending Rice: where grackles winter. Probably other birds too, but the grackles were ubiquitous. Also, unsightly, smelly, noisy, and a danger to unwary evening travelers walking on the many lavishly tree-shaded sidewalks. The experienced carried umbrellas, and not for rain.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 16, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Yep, anyone who has been "crowned" by a birdie in a tree one has walked beneath, has to be vigilant in letting it not happen again.

Is the Boy any better from his bout with the plague, Imom?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 16, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I think a Margery Allingham novel has a character named Hoopoe. He looks like a bird, too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 16, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The Boy attended school today, ftb, and is much perkier, but his digestive system is still not fully functional. However, there is much rejoicing amongst the Ivansclan, as the Boy has been accepted to a competitive and prestigious state arts institute program this summer. He will be among the youngest attendees. Overall the program, which encompasses various visual and performing arts, had 1400 student applicants this year for about 270 spots, so we're delighted he got in. The news has cheered him considerably.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 16, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, L(s)OL

Posted by: engelmann | April 16, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Fabulous news, Ivansmom! Please extend the congratulations of this imaginary friend to him. I know he will enjoy and benefit from the experience.

Posted by: slyness | April 16, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse


Congrats to Son, Ivansmom! I'm the mother of an Ian, an artist as well.
(Have I mentioned that he calls me Momhead?)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to the Boy, Imom!

Posted by: Manon1 | April 16, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Huzza for the Boy.
Looks like grackles are only part of the problem at Rice. (with a name like that, what would you expect? Hey, here's Nyger & Sunflower Seed Chips University, even better than Rice. )
I hate starlings more than grackles. At least the grackles migrate, they are in only part of the time. The bloody British imports stick around all year long. Gawd they are loud.

Brown head black birds and starlings are even more numerous than grackles at Rice. An old attempt at controlling the problem:

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1050&context=icwdmbirdcontrol

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 16, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Of course this was decades before you got to Rice U. Ivansmom. Things were differents many, many decades later.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 16, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Caroling,
Portland, Oregon's old, public Eastmoreland golf course had nutria, beavers, salmon, a broad selection of ducks, and the inevitable Canada geese.

Despite the course being across from a stately old neighborhood, the golfers were cheerfully slobby.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 16, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, shrieking denizen. I actually found that paper quite interesting and plan to show it to Ivansdad. "Decades", hah. Y'all are so sweet. It was whole single digits of years, sure. I note that in 1975 the peak at Rice was half a million birds. It is possible that went down by the time I got there, but I bet not even by half. We had us some serious bird infestation.

Posted by: Ivansmom | April 16, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Off topic again, but I just finished reading "The Gruffalo" (by Julia Donaldson) to my soon-to-be-3-yr-old for the fifth time this afternoon, after the missus picked it up at the library. Good book, and my new favorite term. IN the story, the Gruffalo is a beast imagined by a mouse to scare away the other animals. From now on, when someone imagines some crazy scenario to scare people enough to make them do silly things, to me it will be Gruffaling.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 16, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks yello. On the bird topic, we live in a lucky spot tucked against a wooded hillside adjacent to some farm fields (now developed) and next to some wetlands/swamps. We have a small man-made pond in the front yard, ringed by trees. We have been here about 5 years, and have been visited by wild turkeys, turkey vultures, hawks, the occasional heron, and a kingfisher once or twice. The 3-year-old is holding out for a penguin or an elephant seal, but no luck so far.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 16, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't you love the Bird Droppings (in kg) vs Winter 74-75 graphics?
The only thing missing is a mirror ball.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 16, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

So you're saying that Glenn Beck has been gruffaloing the tea-partiers?

Posted by: rashomon | April 16, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Catching up on my Boodling since the IBPH last night -- the company was great and the crabs delish. Only two words for next time -- hush puppies.

I'm coming to terms with the President's statements concerning direction for NASA's human spaceflight programs. I do think we should send people back to the moon to learn how to stay there (and see if we really can utilize the resources there -- I'm sure we can get any Moon Treaties modified if we built an international base like the ISS. I think it unlikely that the Chinese intend to put an international/open base there...), but I also really like the ideas of missions to asteroids and Mars. I'm not sure that it's time to give up on a national facility for reaching LEO simply because I am not at all sure that private industry is ready to step up yet, and I think the Russian situation is, well, uncertain. But Obama is setting lofty goals and willing to invest in developing technologies to achieve them, so I say -- let's go!

As far as birding goes, I'm lucky. I can watch a lot of birds from my desk -- blue heron, red-tailed hawks, red-winged blackbirds, jays, cardinals, canadian geese, a variety of ducks, turkey vultures, swallows, the occasional oriole and bald eagle, and more. I'm not a birder, but I try to keep my eyes open. BOOM! As far as good bird names, what's not to like about Kookaburra? Plus, I think Kingfisher beer is good... (not that I'm likely to see any of those birds in the wilds of the US Mid-Atlantic...)

I-mom, congrats.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 16, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Just to get the rest of my birdnames out to you:

wryneck
pipit
bustard
nightjar
bulbul
kiwi
mourning dove *and* laughing dove (!)
weaver (I can identify)
bowerbird (also weaves)
chat

but, alas, no 'blog'

and I forgot to mention we have guineas and peacocks here on the farm who make unearthly noise at ungodly hours.
Off to BBQ . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

What, no love for penguins, canaries and parakeets?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Parakeets are gone
Swinging in their cage one day
Parakits ate them...

-Wilbrodog-

Canaries in mines:
little helmets, picks, flashlights--
no oxygen, alas.

-Wilbrodog-

Penguins black and white
Except for goth emperor
All in black (like me!)

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

How about those Dodo birds, apparently one still lives, I have only made it through the first two paragraphs, thinking. Glad I saved the $200.00

Transcript from last evening,

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/an-intimate-evening-with-sarah-palin/article1537275/

Posted by: dmd3 | April 16, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Beak bigger than brain;
Useless forelimbs, yet it runs
See the dodo run...

-Wilbrodog-*

*The author wishes it understood this is expressly intended as a description of Raphus cucullatus, the extinct dodo only. Any other inferences are the reader's alone.*

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Yanno, just the phrase "an intimate evening with Sarah Palin" makes my gorge rise.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 16, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Mudge I beg you to go easy if you read it, it might make your editor brain explode.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 16, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that article as it was one of the Globe and Mail's links on my Facebook, the comments attached to it are hilarious. Not sure if anything can top Palin being unsure whether to say Buenos Aires or Bonjour in Hamilton, which is about 80% Italian/Italian descent.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 16, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Jay Gould, (You know, the "no data" guy), used to talk about the contingencies of evolution. That is, the definition of "fittest" was extremely sensitive to subtle changes in the environment. As an example of this, he talked about the development of the "terror birds" that were once the dominant carnivores of South America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorusrhacidae

As that wiki article explains, these redefine the term "Big Bird." Think oversized Puffins on meth.

The point being, if the dice of history had been thrown a bit differently birding might not have ended up being such a low-risk activity.

On the other hand, in such an alternative reality squirrels might not be quite so smug.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 16, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse


dmd3 - You owe me one, although I should have known better than to pick up that link. Got up to "I'm just getting off the trough from doing a lot of Tea Parties . . . " and had to log off. Trough?

Back to the Weber . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Pig trough and tea parties? Now there's an image.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I thought about mentioning penguins, decided against it. Ostriches, too.

A follow-up to a conversation with TBG and mo last night (and yello, now that I think about it): a history of the 9:30 club. Yes, the old pole is in there, as is Minor Threat, G. Love (where's Special Sauce?), Dave Grohl, George Clinton & P-funk, and of, course, Seth. And a lot of memories for me, too.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/artsandliving/930-club-turns-30/?hpid=artslot

pj, CqP, LiT, SonofG and some other DC-spec Boodlers will probably enjoy this video/slideshow homage.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 16, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Ode to Ostriches

Golf ball eyes on poles
That snake around and peck hard--
and kick like a mule.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Talitha, took me several tries to get through the article, and even when I did it was a lot of skimming - hurt my brain too much. I grew up next to the city where she was speaking, the references make me laugh.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 16, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Er. When Wilbrodog said he was a bird dog, he wasn't kidding.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so I'm watching the Nationals and getting way too into these "terror birds." Some of them were 10 feet tall with brutally powerful skull-crushing beaks. I keep imagining the commentary at a birding outing.

"Oh look...theres a double breasted soft flounced tripple doppler. What fun! And over there, why, it's a Titanis walleri. Which has eaten a goat."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 16, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Those terror birds would be about the same height as ostriches, the biggest a bit bigger, but those heads sure are wicked.

They should measure birds like that at the withers, only in pecks instead of hands.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

a bulbul's sweet song
brought a dying emperor
to life and my soul

Posted by: DNA_Girl | April 16, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Lovely, DNAgirl. The allusion sounds familiar somehow, but I can't place it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 16, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

bulbul is the arabic word for nightingale (also used in India)

Posted by: DNA_Girl | April 16, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Forgot the story link, sorry.
http://hca.gilead.org.il/nighting.html

Posted by: DNA_Girl | April 16, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

nightingale? I didn't know that I was speaking arabic when I watched Glenn Beck.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 16, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I want to make it perfectly clear there is nothing funny about a Ravens sense of humour. They are cruel and vicious bullies who would as soon ruin a fine summer day as eat. And heaven help me, when they are teenagers (in bird years), they are downright nasty.

We have had ravens nesting the last couple of summers and it is not fun. Sling shots have been mrdr's weapon of choice, but it never takes them long to learn what the range of it is.

But the upside is, less than an hour ago, I heard the first of the seasons cranes. And so it goes.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 16, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Roc is my bird. of course it's imaginary
(on Kit, and on Boodle)


sand sand everywhere
mirage mirage oasis
water water saved

(ok, that's an ersatz season

Posted by: omni3 | April 16, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, I just read about the horrible thing the Science household is going through right now. Not good at all. Here's hoping all is well.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 16, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

SCC

I should have left that first parenthetical out
so as to let you try and figure it out

Let the second stand

Posted by: omni3 | April 16, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse


DNAgirl - When I threw out bulbul I didn't know I'd get the emperor and the nightingale back in one . . . Loverly!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

When I was a very young child, one of my favorite books was Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America. I believe the best bird in that book is the painted bunting. I spent many hours looking at the pages, and I believe now that I can imagine what it was like to gradually come to be able to read the names of the birds. I'm sure I always loved books better than birds, and the Peterson's guide was a good metaphor for how much better books in general are than life in general. In the book: painted bunting. Out my window: sparrows.

http://delawaredunlins.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/pbunting.jpg

Posted by: kbertocci | April 16, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse


"tis the lark,
the herald of the morn"

(My best childhood friend was named Lark)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Masterful haiku, DNAg.

30Roc is my show.

Cockatrice is my mythical bird.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

And here's someone else besides Achenbach and me (and the boodle, to be sure) who loves both words and birds: Jonathan Franzen. This is from his book _The Discomfort Zone_. (the setting is Florida's Gulf Coast)

"...Farther down the beach, still looking for the promised throngs of red knots and Wilson's plovers, I came upon a particularly charmless stretch of muddy sand on which there were a handful of more common shorebirds, dunlins and semipalmated plovers and least sandpipers, in their brownish-gray winter plumage. Camped out amid high-rise condos and hotels, surveying the beach in postures of sleepy disgruntlement, with their heads scrunched down and their eyes half shut, they looked like a little band of misfits. Like a premonition of a future in which all birds will either collaborate with modernity or go off to die someplace quietly. What I felt for them went beyond love. I felt outright identification. The well-adjusted throngs of collaborator birds in South Florida, both the trash pigeons and trash grackles and the more stately but equally tame pelicans and cormorants, all struck me now as traitors. It was this motley band of modest peeps and plovers on the beach who reminded me of the human beings I loved best--the ones who didn't fit in. These birds may or may not have been capable of emotion, but the way they looked, beleaguered there, few in number, my outcast friends, was how I felt. I'd been told that it was bad to anthropomorphize, but I could no longer remember why. It was, in any case, anthropomorphic only to see yourself in other species, not to see them in yourself. To be hungry all the time, to be mad for sex, to not believe in global warming, to be shortsighted, to live without thought of your grandchildren, to spend half your life on personal grooming, to be perpetually on guard, to be compulsive, to be habit-bound, to be avid, to be unimpressed with humanity, to prefer your own kind: these were all ways of being like a bird. Later in the evening, in posh necropolitan Naples, on a sidewalk outside a hotel whose elevator doors were decorated with huge blowups of cute children and the monosyllabic injunction SMILE, I spotted two disaffected teenagers, two little chicks, in full Goth plumage, and I wished that I could introduce them to the brownish-gray misfits on the beach."

from "My Bird Problem," by Jonathan Franzen

Posted by: kbertocci | April 16, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

kbert we had a Birds of North America book that I looked at often as a child. Still enjoy seeing the birds around here, many many times though what I see are sparrows :-).

A lot of house finches around this spring, I do not recall seeing/hearing them before, not sure if I was not looking or there are more this year.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 16, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

kb,
That passage is beautiful.

When at the beach in Florida, the seagulls are annoying, but the pelicans are to be avoided at all costs. Particularly if you own a convertible.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 16, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

That Palin transcript... In an effort to save my sanity I started speed reading and had to bail out when I saw something about Plato.

On Palin I can only offer this bit, still as applicable today as the day it was filmed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pbKRc-0mSs

Posted by: qgaliana | April 16, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse


Loved that, kbertocci . . . thank you.
And it caused me to remember a lovely time of little dunlins and plovers scurrying back and forth with the tide on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Thank you.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 16, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

kb, thanks for that. I loved watching sandpipers at the ocean when I was kid. I had some sort of cards with birds on them, too. The one I most wanted to see was the rose-breasted grosbeak. Or the scarlet tanager.

qgaliana, very good on explaining Palin. I saw the Plato reference too, and she was using him as an example of being kind. (Why, I don't know - I haven't retained much about Plato.) Sarah Palin is the farthest thing from kind I have ever seen. She's always on the attack, and it's what turned me off about her from the get-go. Chris Cillizza and others wrote just this week about her sarcasm and how it probably really won't help her (can't find his article at the moment, the link seems to have gone kerflooey).
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/04/sarah_palin_is_not_running_for.html

Posted by: seasea1 | April 17, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I've been watching the DVDs of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. They're wonderful. I hope the series continues. I had forgotten that Anthony Minghella directed the pilot.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 17, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Here's a local weather/climate expert's take on the Iceland volcano:
http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2010/04/icelands-volcanic-eruption-what-will-be.html

Posted by: seasea1 | April 17, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

An egret visits my front yard on occasions. Besides house sparrows, there’s another kind of bird that visits my front yard frequently. It’s about 3” head to tail. Its body is brown and its head is black. Its beak is light blue. I tried to google for the name but to no avail.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 17, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

I feel left out of the earlier tech issues, so I'm gonna post this thrice.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 17, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

I feel left out of the earlier tech issues, so I'm gonna post this twice.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 17, 2010 3:28 AM | Report abuse

I feel left out of the earlier tech issues, so I'm gonna post this.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 17, 2010 3:29 AM | Report abuse

(reckon I could!)

Posted by: bobsewell | April 17, 2010 3:30 AM | Report abuse

This is getting mildly creepy. Bob-S is back (I think).

Posted by: bobsewell | April 17, 2010 3:35 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm...

Posted by: bobsewell | April 17, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

I visited Fort Myers, FL, in the mid ‘80s and got to know a couple whose hobby was bird watching. He would bring a drawing pad with him and made a rough sketch of the birds they saw. When he got home he’d paint the birds he saw. He would always started with the eyes first. If he didn’t get the eyes right, he’d stop and paint another bird.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 17, 2010 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the tech issues are resolved.

Posted by: rainforest1 | April 17, 2010 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Tech issues come and tech issues go, but I'm here either way. And that guarantees problems.

Posted by: bobsewell | April 17, 2010 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all. Thank you JA for the discussion on birding, I do believe I could talk/write for hours and hours about birds, but will limit this post to the exciting news that yesterday I bought a potted, trellised pink Mandevilla for our deck, specifically for our hummingbirds, whenever they show up. (run on sentence) It looks more like a trumpet vine to me than anything else, which survives well out of doors in Virginia. This plant will have to winter in our garage to make it through.

Will read entire boodle now.

Fantastic picture of the painted bunting, KBert.

Posted by: VintageLady | April 17, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

I really couldn't make it much further than this sentence:

"[Tea Party events are] rowdy and they’re wild and it’s just another melting pot, there’s just diversity there and all walks of life and all forms of partisanship and non partisanship just wanting good things to happen in this part of the world."

Just try to count the Palinisms in just that one line.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 17, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse


"There is a basic line dividing criticism from violence or its advocacy, and that the closer you get to the line, and the more responsibility you have, the more you have to THINK about the echo chamber in which your words resonate"

...

"What we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or that we should reduce our passion for the positions we hold - but that the words we use really do matter, because there's this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike," he said.

15th ann. of these words from Pres. Bill Clinton

(He also said that the more power we have, the more we must temper what we say.)

Posted by: russianthistle | April 17, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse


Morning, Boodle.
Does the boodle often stutter or was yesterday an exception?

At a tea party, according to herself, are we to assume that the partisans feed at the trough and the nonpartisans from the melting pot?

Though I learned much from the spacetalk
I'm more at home on a birdwalk.

Have been empathizing with those stranded by the volcano *fallout* having been somewhat similarly affected during the Mt. St. Helene eruption. This applies especially to boodlers whose plans are disrupted.

Just random thoughts as I greet the day.
A good one to you all . . .

Posted by: talitha1 | April 17, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, great to be home!! I-Mom, mega kudos to the Boy, may he have an entirely enlightening summer! :-)

Speaking of the arts, I gotta call NukeSpawn and see how her multi-day trek to a national band competition went.

Speaking of grackles, I saw quite a few on my trip (I think). Odd how their territorial behavior involves simultaneously bending themselves in half, backwards, while puffing up to about double their actual size. Any resemblance to a certain ex-governor's behavior is unintentional, I'm sure.

And speaking of odd behavior, Ms. Freshly-Minted-Pulitzer is on the ball this morning (she's speaking of odd behavior, not being odd herself, BTW):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/16/AR2010041603842.html

That terrible Icelandic volcano (it's not THAT terrible ((no no, I meant terribly violent)) Oh, yeah, yeah) don't know its own strength -- as I was traveling home, heard a gentleman saying his attempt to get back to Zurich would temporarily deposit him in N.C. -- slyness, jack, SonOfG, you all take good care of him, y'hear?

*trying-to-catch-up Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 17, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all, happy weekend. Hi Cassandra!

I remember where I was when I heard the first reports about the Oklahoma City bombing: paying for lunch, which I shared with the friend who would officiate at my wedding to Mr. T. We were discussing the details of the ceremony. Several months later, I had the priviledge of listening to the stories of firefighters and officers who were part of the rescue and recovery effort. Heartbreaking, heroic stuff.

Posted by: slyness | April 17, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Happy saturdaying, ye Boodlers!

There is a bunch of LBJs (little brown jobs)messing about outside my apartment.
But my favorites are the green chirpies otherwise known as parakeets. In the last few days, they been attacking yummy green shoots of a tree in front of my balcony.

They gather several shoots, bunch them together. Snap! Ferocious beaks close and the chirpies do some happy munching.

I am back from Valparaiso. The tall ships made a spectacular show. Though somewhat scarred from the earthquake, the city is as lovely as ever.

Over 300,000 people have visited the ships so far.

A full report is in the making.

Have a good weekend, yawl!

Brag

Posted by: Braguine | April 17, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, I was in the Seattle area in 1980 when St Helen's blew, so I avoided most of the ash. Still, I have relatives in Centralia and points west who got the full effect. My aunt tells me she is still finding remnants of the ash in the nooks and crannies of her back yard. Somewhere around here I have a small jar full of the ash. For those not familiar, it's like extremely gritty baby powder. If the stuff being blown into the air above Iceland is similar, I sure wouldn't want to risk flying through it.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 17, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

That's what happens when you win a Pulitzer, you have to start acting all Sane and Rational. If Parker keeps taking on gun-waving wingnuts, she will lose all her conservative cred.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 17, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse


RD - I was in the panhandle of Idaho when St.Helen blew, having just driven past it the day before when it (she?) was smoking.
My flight back to Colorado was delayed for two days.
A friend's father who owned a car dealership in the immediate vicinity lose his entire inventory under the ash. Ironically he made up the monetary losses with new inventory sold when everyone had to replace their wheels!

Interesting phenom on the boodle this morning, at least for me. When I return/refresh I get truncated versions from yesterday, but only by using certain entry points. The archive has the entire postings. (Anyone else observe this?)

I was trying to access one of Wilbrodog's haiku. Would hate to think any of our bon mots, etc. were lost to the ages.

Lovely day here . . . got your binoculars polished?

Posted by: talitha1 | April 17, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all,Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. A kit about birds. A good choice. I, like Bob, almost always had to fight my way in my apartment because a mother bird(don't know what kind)decided to build her nest near the entrance of my apartment in a tree. At first I didn't know what was going on, but then I discovered, she's got a nest. I just gave her a wide berth, but still ran into the occasional fluttering.

Hello, Slyness. I attended Grandparent's Day at the g-girl's school yesterday, crutches and all. It was wonderful, so many people. And they had a bookfair which was packed with grannies and kids. I love the kids' book fairs. They have so much stuff besides the books. I had to sit, but the g-girl roamed and got two books and other stuff. I was pooped by the time it ended, but it was all good.

We're getting ready to welcome a new edition to the family. The g-girl's mom is expecting!

Ivansmom, congratulations to the Boy.

Kbert, so glad to hear from you, and that piece you submitted is just beautiful.

Have a great weekend, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 17, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Side by side boodling here with Yoki in our hotel room. We had a great mini BPH with Jumper and son of g last night. A larger one is planned for tonight with Slyness and jack this evening.

We had a beautiful drive down yesterday. I took her through the central part of the state through Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Danville. Then she crossed into North Carolina for the first time. Today we'll drive the few miles down into South Carolina so she make another notch in her state list. (must have something to do with the invasion, eh?)

Now it's time for a southern breakfast, complete with grits, of course.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 17, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Great news Cassandra! A boodle (grand)baby!

Posted by: -TBG- | April 17, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

How wonderful Cassandra, a new grandchild. Love the grandparents day idea for schools.

Here is a project I have been following for a while, led by evergreen.ca, an organization that works in part to green school yards. This a much bigger project to create an urban oasis in downtown Toronto on the grounds of the old Brickworks factory.

Birds are in the video! Is that a fish eye lens used to film the video - it creates a great effect.

http://www.thestar.com/videozone/792459--old-brick-factory-becomes-urban-oasis

Posted by: dmd3 | April 17, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Salut, Boodle! Cassandra, such happy news. Seasea, so glad to hear about your employment status.

TGB and I are enjoying our road trip immensely. Beautiful weather so far, and good fun last night with SonofG and Jumper1. Can't wait for tonight's gathering; I think there may be barbeque in my future.

Beside the great company and conversation, I really enjoyed seeing the countryside. What with Calgary being so sere, it refreshed my eyes to see all the variegated light greens of the spring leaves, though all that vegetation can be a little overwhelming to one used to long vistas.

TBG also initiated me into the mysteries of the I-85 crossover.

We will have more fun of an urban variety today in Charlotte, as well as add the notch of South Carolina to my imaginary belt.

Posted by: Yoki | April 17, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Go to Fort Mill and look around, TBG and Yoki. Beautiful little town, it has a real Southern atmosphere.

Cassandra, I hope the expecting one feels well and that all will be uneventful. That's what we want, an uneventful pregnancy. A good friend became a grandmother last night. I remember when the baby's father was a baby himself. Oh my.

So looking forward to seeing boodlers tonight! I've confirmed the reservation, so we are good to go!

Posted by: slyness | April 17, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Yipee the Hoopoe
Needlenose pliers digs bugs out
from ground-- kingly feast.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Cassandra and to the rest of the family.

Glad you're all having a great time, Yoki and TBG.

And, now, lunch, I think. . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | April 17, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Since I had volcanoes on the mind, I went looking for a pretty cool picture of volcanic ash I remembered running across some time back.

Success!

http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2007/volcanic-ash-in-philippines/

Posted by: Bob-S | April 17, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse


Wilbrodog gets the hoopoe!
A kingly feast indeed.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 17, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments.

Yoki, I hope you have a beautiful visit. Just enjoy the sun and the sights, and of course, the people.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 17, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Ivan and Cassandra! It's nice when good news spreads. sboyington, welcome.

We all know the Canadian invasion has been spurred by DFG (desire for grits). Yoki, glad you and TBG are road tripping. Barbeque, mmmmm.

Trying to gear up to do some yardwork before tackling the house. Anyone have Natalie Merchant's new cd? Should I download it?

Have a beautiful day, All.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 17, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

(mphf, bit titchy. mphf)
Pass more hoopoe *burp* please;
Buttered and debeaked.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I love Natalie Merchant - didn't realize she had a new CD out. It's very popular on Amazon (#1), and from what I've listened to, I like it. The songs are adapted from 19th and 20th century poetry, and from the titles, I almost thought it was for children. But as one review says, it's about childhood, not for children, exactly.
http://www.amazon.com/Leave-Your-Sleep-Natalie-Merchant/dp/B002ZCDR88/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1271526582&sr=1-1
How could I not like an album with songs called "Equestrienne" and "The Dancing Bear" ?

Good column by Dan Balz on Tea Partiers:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/17/AR2010041701613.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: seasea1 | April 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse


A buttered hoopoe . . . ymmmmm

Go Wibrodog - and chase the lyre-tailed nightjar in yonder field.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 17, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Ode to the Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird:

Tink-tink-tink go they
spreading African mistletoe:
Wild tree gonorrhea.

-Wilbrodog-

http://www.birdinfo.co.za/landbirds/15_tinkerbirds_mistletoe.htm

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse


clap hands for the tinkerbird - she lives!

and talitha yields to the mighty Wilbrodog.


Posted by: talitha1 | April 17, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Technicolor Barbet Mess

Coppersmith barbets
flew through palettes to "pok" on
Unbarbered barbets

-Wilbrodog-

References:

http://www.birdwatch.ph/html/gallery/cbarbet1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Barbety_suki_2009_pl3.jpg

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse


I see Wilbrodog has met his Gallic unshorn cousin while chasing barbets.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 17, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear-- boodle's dead.
Just like Cock Robin? Noooo! Breathe!
I'll be good! Promise!

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Nope, Boodle's just trying to hold down everything to keep it from blowing away! Quite windy out there!

And good news from NukeSpawn -- The percussion ensemble took second place!! :-) The conductor thought they did better in the preliminary round, but oh well.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 17, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Yay, NukeSpawn, along with proud Snukepappa!

Posted by: -ftb- | April 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

That's good news, S'nuke. If you're going to have percussion rehearsals in your house, they should be GOOD :).

Congratulation on her competition.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse


Congratulations Nukefamily!

I'll be good, boodle. Didn't mean to raise a gale.
Have to go fill the birdfeeders and bath.
Thanks for the fun, 'dog.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 17, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

In the Philly Art Museum there is a chair made entirely of doilies.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 17, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey dbG and seasea, I'm one of ten thousand. I saw them back in '90 driving through a snow storm to boot. Driving from Gaithersburg to the Patriot center in Fairfax GMU

http://www.nataliemerchant.com/p/leave-your-sleep

Posted by: omni3 | April 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

yello, crocheted rattan?

Posted by: Manon1 | April 17, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

And Steve Erenberg has a chair made pretty much entirely of wrenches:

http://industrialanatomy.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/wrenchchair.jpg?w=432&h=671

Posted by: Bob-S | April 17, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Of course, sometimes nothing will do but a good bone throne:

http://www.hammergallery.com/Artists/EVB/VB-BC-3-MS.JPG

Posted by: Bob-S | April 17, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what hurts more, my back or my back side (If you know what I mean...)OUCH

Posted by: omni3 | April 17, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Nope. Crocheted out of string. Security wouldn't let me take a picture, but here is a blog with one:

http://marinsawa.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/lace/

It's by Marcel Wanders and it had two matching crochet lamps that looked like six foot tall bowling pins.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 17, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's a better link:

http://bestchairsdesign.blogspot.com/2009/04/crochet-chair-design-by-marcel-wanders.html

How many do we need for The Bunker?

Posted by: yellojkt | April 17, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

And congrats to NukeDrummer. Band trips are so fun, but I'm glad I'm past that.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 17, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Nukey percussion sounds like something that should include tubular bells, thunder sheet and the biggest possible gong.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 17, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

A good bone thrown? Where?
Sniff, sniff, wish I saw it thrown--
Bet that pug stole it.

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to percussionists, expecting moms, and IBPH road trippers. Spring cleaning commenced today Chez Frostbitten, a month early.

Fatuous garden report-peonies are up, with stalks as thick as my thumb. I must find a new place for the bird feeder so when the raccoons figure it out,as they do every year-no matter what devices we try, they don't trample the flowers. Mr. F thinks they may pass on the sunflower seeds in favor of cat food this year, since I can't seem to keep them off the porch, or remember to bring in the food at night.

Off to curl up with my Nook and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. A good choice for a first book on an e-reader, though I have been alternating between it and Pride and Prejudice.

Later gators.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 17, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

Relaxing after a long afternoon under, around, and over Ye Olde German sedan. Replaced a few flaky sensors, changed the oil and a few filters, and spent a remarkable couple of hours just changing the plugs and plug boots. Plug on cyl #6 took me an hour all by itself, as it was corroded into the head. Salvaged it - and the threads - with only a slightly sore back as evidence.

Glad to hear of the IBPH festivitites down south and of Nukespawn's success.

Enjoying a beverage and flipping back and forth between the American LeMans sports car race in Long Beach, CA, and the Caps/Canadiens Stanley Cup Playoff.

A crocheted chair... and ones made out of bones or wrenches... I'm willing to try them in the Bunker, though I'm not sure how well they'll go with decor.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 17, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, buenos aires, Boodle. I'm X hausted. Spread manure/humus all around raised veggie garden (why anyone would want to mix half a bag of s--- with half a bag of diced chick paeas is beyong me; I'm just doing what I was told), then neighbor with roto-tiller tilled it, me raking. Then when done planted six tomato plants, three sets of onions (red, white, mixed/unknown) while the Missus planted cukes, broccoli, squash, eggplant and peppers. So the garden is about 70% planted. Still gotta build my tomato cages, but I have time for that.

That takes us up to lunchtime.

#3 dottir is having a house (aprtment) warming tomorrow, which she and my wife have been planning for weeks. So this afternoon was cooking/prepping all the horsey dovers. We finished about 7 p.m., too tired to eat dinner.

Am now fighting desperately to stay away.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 17, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Mr. T worked me hard today, so I was tired, but we made up for it by having dinner with TBG, SonofG, Yoki, and Friend of SonofG. Delightful! Great company, good food and drink. Now I'm not only tired, but full...

Posted by: slyness | April 17, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Those crocheted chairs look beautiful. I don't think I'd want to sit on them though - they look so delicate.

They aren't even selling tomato plants here yet. I have some started from seed, but they're still puny. Tulips and bluebells (the invasive bulbs and the Virginia bluebells) are flowing, columbine in bud. I've seen lots of lilacs in flower in the neighborhood.

Charlie Rose talked to the director of the Dragon Tattoo movies Fri night. The clip doesn't seem to be up on his website yet. There could be spoilers, but nothing that would ruin it, I don't think. The director said the first movie has made $100 million so far (including Europe) and it cost $7 million to make. He also said there may be an American remake.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 17, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, rotated the tires, too, which usually strikes me as a somewhat redundant description. Caps pulling back to within one goal (4-3) with 16:08 left. We'll see.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 17, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

SCC - flowering, not flowing. The clematis is doing more of the flowing thing at the moment. Speaking of which, Mr seasea got too close to one clematis with the weed whacker and cut its only vine. I hate weed whackers! It had quite a few buds too. It should survive but it will probably be next year for flowers.

The Boodle road trip sounds like soooo much fun.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 17, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse


Evening, boodle.

yello - A quick question about the crocheted chair. I've looked at it on several sites but can't find a description or discern two things: 1) Is there a visible framework; or is it molded and stiffened or stretched over a lucite "bubble"? 2) Could you tell what the fiber content was and approximately how thick the cord?

The technique is to crochet the "doilies" and then semi-randomly join them at junctions; sort of a free-form grannysquare afghan. Easily done, but the frame or molding is hard to ascertain from photos.

Thanks - freeform crochet is a major interest of mine.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 17, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The second link of yellojkt's says:
"the crochet chair design is constructed from individual, hand-sewn crochet flowers that are stitched together, formed over a mould and stiffened with resin."

So it seems like they turn it into plastic...still not convinced it would hold up well in my house, but it sure looks cool.

I love freeform crochet too, but have never done it myself. I do crochet doilies from time to time, but I've never thought about making a chair with them.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 17, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

The crocheted chair is moulded with resin. Sturdy for sitting.

I'm quite sure it will match the TV cozy I knitted last year. Or was it the year before? No matter, I'm sure it will match perfectly. Now where did you fellas put it?

Exciting as the idea of crochted chairs is, I have big news.

Usually the cranes flying over at this time of year are the ordinary brown crane. Ordinary but really striking.

We weren't sure yesterday, but Mrdr saw 4 more cranes today. The cranes we have seen this spring are whooping cranes. They don't usually fly over us, but the drought we are in has dried up a lot of the shallow prairie lakes, including one they stop on. They have shifted just enough that we have the pleasure of seeing them.

We'll try for some photos.

Posted by: --dr-- | April 17, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Mets and Cardinals are starting the 17th inning... 0-0.

Cards left the bases loaded THREE TIMES in extra innings!

I'm getting tired just watching!!! :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 17, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

And the Rockies' Ubaldo Jiminez just threw the first no-hitter of the season and the first ever for Colorado.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 17, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

One of the Mets catchers is wearing a rally mask in the dugout! (Mudge will appreciate that) :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 17, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Caps win in OT to tie the series 1-1.

And a no-no tonight, cool.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 17, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Former Nats infielder Felipe Lopez in now pitching for the Cards in the 18th inning... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 17, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

And Lopez pitches a 1-2-3 18th!!! *ROFL*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 17, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

SCC: Lopez did issue a walk. My apologies, it's easy to lose track at this point...

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 17, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least the resin solves the great problem of crotcheted antimassacar slippage. We'll have to buy some to make sure Mudge can't remove all the crotcheted lace in the bunker.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can wrap some doilies on his wooden leg when he's sleeping, too. That bright white will look so attractive on that dark cherry varnish.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 17, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

you see them about
see them mating in the boughs
building their nests now

Posted by: omni3 | April 17, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse


Crotchety crocheters
I've known few
Dangling doilies too

'night, boodle

Posted by: talitha1 | April 18, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

who can tell who lurks,
who mates, kills, cloaked in the dark
night in parliament?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | April 18, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Mets finally beat the Cards after 20 innings in that marathon, 2-1.

Nats whipped the Brewers 6-0 as Hernandez pitches a complete-game 4-hit shutout. Pretty cool. (Can't believe we're 6-5: that's downright respectable. And eight National League teams have worse records. Only four teams have better records, believe it or not.)

SNL was certainly not worth staying up for.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | April 18, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the well wishes, everyone. The fox encounter was a bit scary, but hardly as devastating as a household crisis can be.

Friday morning the county animal control officer brought by a dead fox she'd just picked up about a mile away. ScienceTim and ScienceKid#1 identified it as the one that had scrapped with our dog. The next morning, the health department called to report that the fox had tested positive for rabies.

So ScienceKid#1 will have to continue her series of shots. I've been very impressed with her matter-of-fact approach to the whole incident, as well as with the staff of the several county agencies we've talked with the last few days.

Joel, be sure to avoid Vulpes vulpes while you're out seeking those oddly-named birds.

Posted by: ScienceSpouse | April 18, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Across the board, AL and NL, there were as of this AM twelve teams behind and twelve teams ahead of the Nats, the rest being tied

Go Nads

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse

ScienceKid:psuedonym:SuperTrooper

Do they still stick ten inch needles you know where?

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 2:01 AM | Report abuse

I've a buddy who just recently completed his rabies prophylaxis after he'd been exposed. No ten-inch needles, just regular shots into (most or all) of your meaty parts.

Budgerigar isn't especially pretty, and doesn't sound like a bird name at all, but I'm assured by reliable witnesses that I managed to grab a fistful of feathers from one when I was a wee crib-bound tot.

Posted by: Bob-S | April 18, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

For some of y'all, that would be a cot-bound bairn.

Posted by: Bob-S | April 18, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

ScienceSpouse, that is so scary. Hope all continues to go ok. I'm impressed with the whole ScienceFamily - I'll freak out for you, k?

Posted by: seasea1 | April 18, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

I'll be at the Nats game in eleven hours. Let us hope that the Brewskis are still shell-shocked.

Posted by: Bob-S | April 18, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of brewskis, Ubaldo Jiminez owes a few teammates a drink, eh? He pitched a *heck* of a game, but some darned fine very-near-hits ended up in the gloves of teammates who were working their butts off.

Posted by: Bob-S | April 18, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Aww heck, since we're in a hopeful mood anyway, let us also start hoping that if Ubaldo Jiminez appears in his scheduled Thursday start against the Nationals, that he's lost just a little bit of edge.

Posted by: Bob-S | April 18, 2010 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Somebody explain this to me -

http://www.eteamz.com/NABAWV/images/tem_expos01.gif

Looks like elb to me

? Was told it is an M (for Montreal). AN m ???

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 3:05 AM | Report abuse

It's obviously two penes, one peppermint & one blueberry, both displaying pronounced scrota, but no observable glans. And, according to the "they" that discuss such stuff, the only letters that need concern you are the "e" [Expos] on the left, the "b" [baseball] on the right, and the "M" [Montreal] which comprises the aforementioned elements.

Everything else is in your head. (Tee-hee)

Posted by: Bob-S | April 18, 2010 3:23 AM | Report abuse

To the best of my knowledge (which is usually pretty good about these things), "No Observable Glans" is (for a few minutes, anyway) a Google-nope, and available as a 'boodle handle or a rock band name.

Posted by: Bob-S | April 18, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

That is the logo I remember as a kid Omni, a fancy script capital M, th e on the front line of the M for Expos, the second straight line of the M is for baseball.

Would need to confirm with Shriek, but all combined short for Les Expos Baseball, which forms the M for Montreal and of course in Expo colours.

I always liked that logo.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 18, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks. turns out I was two thirds right after all


Why didn't I think of this first?

From wiki

Logo Design: A stylized "M" for Montreal, containing a red "e" for Expos, and a blue "b" for baseball

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

That's the Expos' M for Montreal. I have a cap somewhere with that logo. You have to remember this logo was designed in 68-69 and it sure looks like an artifact of the period.

Big frost this morning. *sign*

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 18, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

And in keeping with a kit for the birds

http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2398
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3186

Posted by: DNA_Girl | April 18, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"No observable cerebellum" is also a googlenope, but "No observable brain" is not.

http://www.mymultiplesclerosis.co.uk/misc/mysterious-brain.html

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Finally! One of the three dryers went dead on my watch, which meant that I had to use one of the others *again* to dry my clothes. I hate it when that happens.

On the bright side, however, I get to deposit a check today. Well, truth be told, it came from one of my Canukistani clients, so it was really a cheque. Pleased however it's spelled, of course.

Next on the agenda is a trip to a grocery store and then back to water the plants.

It's very, very crispy today. I slept with the windows open and one of the balcony doors open. I have since thawed out. But what great sleeping weather! Unfortunately, to be the first one in and out of the laundry room, I had to rocket myself outta bed entirely too early (it opens at 8, and it usually takes me an hour to keep the peepers open long enough to handle the task, alas).

Nice that the Caps won last night, and hats off to my beloved Red Wings from the night before (who won 7-4 against Phoenix, but I may be the only one here following that series). Now it comes to Detroit. Detroit should win the first series.

*wanting so much to bring Stanley back to Detroit, which really has nothing more going for it, and wouldn't it be nice if something really terrific would happen to it instead of the usual cr@p*

On that note, off I go. Cya later.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 18, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I am pleased to tell you that I have now heard Kevin Kling in person. I urge you all to go out and buy everything he has in print and every recording that he has made. If that is beyond your means, then go to the library and get his work there. He is absolutely phenomenal.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 18, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I remember hearing Kevin Kling years ago on NPR as I was driving home. He was telling a story about a squirrel, and I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe. This was long before the programs were available on the Web, and I checked the library, which had nothing. I checked just now, and they have a couple of his books and a book on CD. He is brilliant.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 18, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse


afternoon, Boodle
and good Sunday to all

I have to share something with you.
Last night after reading the latest update on the impact of the volcano in Europe
I clicked on the comment page for idle amusement . . . it didn't take half a second:

Some no-nothing was pontificating about his theories of seismic activity and wrote: " . . . extraction of geothermal to operate evil infrastructure on Iceland destabillised [sic] the volcano. Plate
teutonics [sic] is also a good fallback."

The very next wag submitted:
"Plate teutonics? I don't see what German tableware has to do with this ;)"

I logged off considering myself sufficiently amused for the moment.

And agree with Mudge about SNL, btw.
Have a great day!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 18, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Very funny, talitha.

Okay, go back to sleep, boodle.

Posted by: -ftb- | April 18, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Now, now. We all know that chugging beer requires banging the mug and swinging it about like a good Teuton while singing Spam, spam, spam.
Presumably there's another Teutonic ritual just for breaking plates.

BTW, destabilised would be British spelling. That was clearly not a know-nothing American, at least.


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse


'destabilised', fine.
But he used two "l"s, hence my [sic] ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 18, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, maybe the volcano destabilized because of shock at being billed so highly for evil infrastructures?


Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Okay. The Nats are behind 10 to zip in the first stinkin' inning. Time to turn off the television and back slowly away. Gonna go outside. And, you know, look at some birds.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 18, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Take a dog with you.

Wilbrodog insists.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of shell-shocked, I imagine BobS is right *now.* Oy. RD, going out to look at the birds is probably better for your blood pressure than the swarm of flies you probably saw in that first inning.

Oh, well, easy come, easy go.

Science Family, I'm thinking of you. I appreciate the equanimity with which you're approaching the fox situation, too.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed. The shots aren't fun, but they work when delivered ASAP. Hopefully the dog's up on the rabies vaccinations.

Thank god for Louis Pasteur.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titicaca_Flightless_Grebe

Stupid article doesn't 'splain excellently named grebe's flightlessness. I feel faint.

Posted by: Boomslang | April 18, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Grebe species are waterfowl with narrow wings that dive from danger. They make floating nests out of plant material.

Ideally, they'd only need to fly to migrate or find new lakes (so all the North American and Eurasian species are migratory). Otherwise, they barely need land, never mind the air.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Afternoon all!!! Thanks for the NukeSpawn support, she had a great time! :-)

I'd have been here earlier, but a) the cable 'net connection was fritz-y and b) the business notebook decided it wanted to install a WinXP Service Pack... *SIGHHHH*

I think one of the Brewers' homers must have hit an antenna somewhere and discombobulated the cable... *SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 18, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Here's a pix:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JsaKcGUQTd4/SU2ymlIH0KI/AAAAAAAABOc/eWg_R7YmFYM/s400/Titicaca+Grebe10.JPG

A pix is worth a lot of words, and it is clear why this bird is flightless

More birds than I can shake a stick at here:

http://hogsas.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

You want bird names? Check out the blog I linked to above. Also check the archives, this dude is major league

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that a flightless bird inhabiting the world's highest lake has an interesting evolutionary history.


Boko

Posted by: Boomslang | April 18, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The fox has turned in a deceased state, and tested positive for rabies. In a little while, we'll take the kid back to the ER for the next round of innoculations.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 18, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, too bad, SciTim. When I was a kid, I was bitten by a dog and had to go through some rounds of rabies shots -- in my abdominal area, IIRC.

A lollipop or some bourbon should help.

*faxing an abundance of karma to SciKid and the SciParents*

Posted by: -ftb- | April 18, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

SciTim, Continued good thoughts for the SciTrooper!!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 18, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I think they make painkiller lollipops for kids with cancer.

Bourbon-flavored painkiller lollipops would be interesting, especially if it gave a buzz or triggered a bar song sing-a-long.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Our 6 mo. old dachsie had to be quarantined for 90 days after a run in with a rabid fox. The poor fox was on it's last legs as it staggered through our croquet game and under the cottage. I managed to grab Tammy just as his rear end was disappearing under the porch so he never actually touched the sick animal. Lucky for him and me.

Tip to ScienceKid. Reddi-whip tastes better than shaving cream.

Posted by: Boomslang | April 18, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The New York Times is several years behind the boodle:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/world/asia/18civetcoffee.html

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

All you DC locals, remember the gun rallies April 19:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/18/AR2010041802391.html?hpid=topnews
Hope no one gets hurt.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 18, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. April 19th. The anniversaries of the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, and Hitler's birthday. Nothing could possibly go wrong calling for a rally on that day.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt you have been quiet for quite a spell. beeb bar hopping around baltamar?
Weed control day. Finally over 70 degrees F to roundup spray the emerging 'hitchhiker burr" plants. Most disagreeable plants to have around when you have an Airedale and Welsh Terrier running around over the countryside in the fall.
Slathered the back of hands with aspercreame this morning and proceeded to mow the weeds along the driveway and another half acre on the flats. So far so good waiting for the gin the take effect until the nap kicks in.
What's the trademark key on a Mac?

Posted by: bh72 | April 18, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

bh72,
It's so rare that I get accused of being quiet. The wife and I were on a weekend trip to Philthydelphia to see a Picasso retrospective. It was long on cubists but short on Picassos.

The semi-boutique hotel we stayed at was over-run with recent acceptees to Wharton. For brunch we went to the very nice Parc french bistro on Rittenhouse Square where we were sat next to nearly two dozen of same.

Never have I seen such a collection of fresh-scrubbed youthful privilege. They all seem so eager to get their MBAs, become investment bankers and trash the economy. Would it be a telling detail to note that at one of Philadelphia's finest French restaurants about half of them ordered cheeseburgers?

On the way out of town we hit the politically incorrectly named First Oriental Supermarket where if there is a Vietnamese food product not for sale there, it doesn't exist. The live bullfrogs go for $4.99 a pound.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, umm, asking for a French cheeseburger in Philadelphia...

Doesn't that sound like they were hoping for philly cheesesteaks?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

The St. Petersburg Times has kicked off a series of stories on the Florida panther by staff reporter Craig Pittman.

The first installment is well-done.
http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2010/interactives/florida-panther-habitat-facts/

I would suggest that the US Fish and Wildlife Service is in fact limited in what it can do.

Also, thanks to unending lawsuits and political problems, issues that would have been left to staff biologists twenty years ago are now strictly the purview of management. The agency adopted a "line and staff" mode of organization some years ago, I think during the senior Bush administration. Biologists have been feeling left out ever since.

(Peter Drucker wrote about managing knowledge workers many years ago, before knowledge workers were perceived as important. It might be worth digging him out of the library).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 18, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt,
It's my impression that organizers of the DC 2nd amendment march are insisting that everyone comply with city law. No civil disobedience.

They vigorously deny any connection to the sort of armed-crowd thing in Virginia.

Up in Boston, it's Patriot Day and the Marathon looks like it'll be missing a lot of participants from overseas.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 18, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod,
No. Clearly identified as a cheeseBURGER on the menu. We did go to Dalessandro's Steaks in Roxborough and theirs were every bit as good as I had been told. And they even have a little bit of indoor seating which came in handy on Saturday.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

DotC,
The organizers did emphasize that April 19 is also the anniversary of Lexington and Concord. I guess Taxachusetts is claiming prior art on Patriot Day and not moving it to September 11.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

This is also the anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake -- the big one of 1906. Almost missed it!

The Damndest Finest Ruins

Put me somewhere west of East Street, where there’s nothing left but dust,
And the boys are all abustling, and everything’s gone bust;
And where the buildings that are standing sort of blink and blindly stare
At the damndest finest ruins every gazed on anywhere.

Bully ruins, brick and wall, through the night I’ve heard you call,
Sort of sorry for each other, cause you had to burn and fall;
From the Ferry to Van Ness, you’re a God-forsaken mess,
But you’re the damndest finest ruins, nothing more or nothing less.

And the rubes who come a rubbering and hunting souvenirs,
And the fools who try to tell us it’ll take a hundred years
Before we’ve even started and why don’t we come and live
And build our homes in OAKLAND, on the land they’ve got to give.

Got to give – why believe me! On my soul, I would rather bore a hole
And live right in those ashes than go to the Oakland mole;
And if they’d all give me my pick of their buildings fine and slick,
In those damndest, finest ruins, I would rather be a brick.

Larry Harris
After the San Francisco earthquake, October 1906

Posted by: nellie4 | April 18, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Adrian Higgins' story on a wildflower meadow looks like an excellent job. It's essential to herbicide for a couple of years to partially exhaust weed seeds in the soil, and to kill off existing plants. Burning's nearly essential, too. Amazing that it's being done so close to Washington.

I should have done something similar in my own back yard, which has several bad pests, including bermuda grass and what seems to be Commelina benghalensis, a rather pretty dayflower.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 18, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

But was it posh, Yellojkt?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Dalessandro's is far from posh, as a cheesesteak place should be. Formica counter bar. Grille visible from the line. Over 25 brands of beer available. Sriracha sauce available on the side.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

The Amazing Race is being preempted by some sort of country music awards. Why are we not liveblogging the fashions. Let's see, there was a female performer in a tan halter, bare midriff, tight demin jeans, chaps to match the halter, and some cowboy boots.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

DaveoftheCoonties and yello

Wapo's top homepage headline all afternoon has been about the two 'open-carry' gatherings tomorrow.

According to the article, two of the speakers will be "cross-overs", so there is some connection. I won't try to paraphrase assuming any who are interested can easily find the site/article. (I'm useless with setting up links - apologies.) Warning:
the comments will burn your eyeballs.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 18, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

The San Francisco earthquake seems more than a bit like the later hurricanes in Galveston, Miami, and Palm Beach-Belle Glade. Emergency assistance was refused, casualty counts faked, and people at the bottom of the social ladder abused.

San Francisco does have a sort of monument to the earthquake in the form of the Palace of Fine Arts, an architectural masterpiece, even if an anachronistic one--a sort of Rachmaninoff in the age of Stravinsky. It features sculptures of women, backs to the world, looking into sarcophagi.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 18, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

DaveoftheCoonties and yello

Wapo's top homepage headline all afternoon has been about the two 'open-carry' gatherings tomorrow.

According to the article, two of the speakers will be "cross-overs", so there is some connection. I won't try to paraphrase assuming any who are interested can easily find the site/article. (I'm useless with setting up links - apologies.) Warning:
the comments will burn your eyeballs.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 18, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse


Obviously, I'm also useless with postings as well. Sorry!

Posted by: talitha1 | April 18, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

bh72

option g ©
option r ®
option 2 ™

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

You can also go with general entities:

©
®

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

oops the general entities are



&™

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse


thanks, omni

but I have no idea what that means
I'm very right-brained,
but will get out my
Windows7forDummies tomorrow
and try, I promise.

Thanks for the roadmap! ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 18, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

seasea linked to the article at 6:51 p.m. if you need the source material. The comments are about par for the course on WaPo.com. Meh.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Still not working, crikey

©
®
™

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Mayagüez


Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 18, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

General entities are used in markup languages which is what HTML is, notice the extension in the address bar

HTML is Hyper Text Markup Language

I must have right-brain damage, because I have no idea what right-brained means

Posted by: omni3 | April 18, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwMoDrmY7-0

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 18, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

By right-brained she means she's round-headed, not pointy-sciency or wiry-techy, omni.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 18, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse


What Wilbrod said, omni, but my GPS improves with every effort you make and I thank you.

Sorry I didn't realize y'all had already seen WaPo's article, but was trying to say that the two events aren't as benignly separate as some of the organizers are trying to portray them.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 18, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm working my way through the vacation photos and put together my shots of Taliesin West for you FLW fans.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/sets/72157623760493541/detail/

Posted by: yellojkt | April 18, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Did I ever mention that my cardiologist's office building was built by Frank Lloyd W. I believe my Dr. bought it from the original owner, who was (if I remember) a dentist. It is a handsome brick and wood building with a huge fireplace in the waiting room. It has absolutely no insulation in the walls, and winters, even tho this is California, make one wish they would light that thing off!

Posted by: nellie4 | April 18, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, the Nats won today, 7 to 1. When I arrived at the stadium at about 2:00 P.M., there were only two outs in the top of the first inning, and an obvious scoreboard malfunction had assigned ten runs to the Brewers. The final out of the half-inning was achieved in short order, and the Nationals proceeded to outscore the Brewers 7-1.

That ten-run thing was just a horrible mistake, right?

Posted by: Bob-S | April 19, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

'Zactly, Bob. *SIGH*

*diving-once-more-into-the-maelstrom-of-multiple-tasks Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 19, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

The more I learn about Frankie, the more I realize he was way more art than tech.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 19, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, yello! I'm not just a fan, but practically a groupie. The funny thing is that FLW knew it, and didn't care. He had engineers and others who fought him on practicalities, but he had the ego to overcome them.

There is an excellent biography of Wright by Meryle Secrest from the late 1990s, as well as a most excellent novel about his love affair with Mameh Cheney, by Nancy Horan, called "Loving Frank." Sadly, it includes an account of her murder by their man-servant at Taliesan.

Posted by: Yoki | April 19, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, all, and happy Monday! Hi Cassandra, I hope you will have a pleasant day!

Yello, I'm with you, I don't think I'd want to live in the FLW house, given what I've read about Fallingwater. One small bathroom? For Christmas, I was given a book about castles and palatial houses in Britain. Amazing how many thousand year old castles had luxurious quarters for kings and nobles. Of course, our definition of luxurious may have changed across the centuries. Mudge could address that, I'm sure.

Posted by: slyness | April 19, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

At Taliesin West, Wright's private living quarters were very small. The suite was only about 10 feet by 20 feet with a single bed separated from the sitting area by a half-height partition. I've been in the bedrooms of Catholic priests which were far more luxurious.

The bathroom was small but functional but done completely in stainless steel. More of a novelty than anything else.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 19, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, one and all.
How's the road trip going?

I'd live at Fallingwater if it just had
a outdoor privy and a washtub! You could shower when it rains under one of the roof leaks . . . though recent reconstruction has been of some help.
I've toured it several times; the behind-the-scenes extended tours are great.
But the isolated setting and organic essence of the interior spaces are more than a trade-off for Wright's lack of desire to provide luxury bathrooms.
Just one old hippie's opinion. ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 19, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

'Morning everybody. Watching the start of the Boston marathon. The wheelchair division just left the starting line. Beautiful day for a race!

Congratulations Cassandra! Science Tim and family, I'm in awe of your calm in the face of the rabies treatment! Only skimmed thru what I missed over the weekend so if I've left out any comments I should have made, fill in the appropriate sentiment please!

Posted by: badsneakers | April 19, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Yello, next time in Philly, go to the huge international market on Adams Ave. It's only about 20 minutes from where you were staying and right next to a Vietnamese restaurant. Go during the day, however. A little iffy at night, for me anyway. You can get a great picture of the statues behind one of the counters--buddha sandwiched between hello kitty and picachu.

I lived in isolated settings and loved it except for the work commute.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 19, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse


dbg - check your seldom-used inbox :)

Posted by: talitha1 | April 19, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning, friends. Hi there, Slyness. It's cold, but bright and sunny, hoping the warmth will catch up with the brightness.

Have a good day all, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | April 19, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Sigh. I've got that let-down feeling when the trip is over for me. Yoki's just beginning her journey home, but I'm suffering from the "is that all?" depression that comes with the end of a FABULOUS weekend.

We enjoyed an impromptu lunch in Richmond yesterday with abeac and her delightful kids and breakfast this morning at my house with RD Padouk, as well as my sister and her husband (who live down the street).

So all in all, a good visit for Yoki, boodler-wise; I believe she was able to visit with about 14 or 15 boodlers. Pretty good for a furrener.

Posted by: -TBG- | April 19, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! In St. Paul and loving the early spring. Bleeding heart and tulips in the park! In the bed we've adopted the astilbe and hostas are up, ground covers creeping along, and lilies of the valley just shy of flowers. Might have to buy some pansies for instant gratification.

Attending some Rybak campaign training in anticipation of next week's DFL state convention. In wonk heaven this week!

Later gators!

Posted by: frostbitten1 | April 19, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Be that as it may, TBG, I'm still concerned about all this reconnaissance she did of those states she added to her repertoire. It's all part of the pre-invasion planning, I feel it in my bones.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 19, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

shhhhhh

Posted by: Yoki | April 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Clearly our Canadian liberators are going to need to know where all the best crab and barbecue places are. And I just gave up important cheesesteak intel in the clear. They are going to revoke my security clearance.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

We are calm because the alternative is terror. I don't hear so much of people dying from rabies these days, so I take away the belief that the treatment must be extremely effective -- like, very nearly 100%. I refuse to inquire/Google whether this conviction is actually accurate. What I could do more productively if I found otherwise? My big reaction is to realize that I need to research Louis Pasteur and the development of the rabies vaccine in order to construct a new story for my storytelling. One which I ASSUME will have a happy ending.

Posted by: ScienceTim | April 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Yoki's been everywhere in the world. She probably already knew the best places for everything.

Talitha, check your spam. I answered yesterday using my most-used email account.

I'm thinking of renting a house (4 bedrooms iirc) in the Poconos for a week in July. Who'll come visit?

Posted by: -dbG- | April 19, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

New kit.

Volcano time!

Posted by: yellojkt | April 19, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yoki's been everywhere in the world. She probably already knew the best places for everything.

Talitha, check your spam. I answered yesterday using my most-used email account.

I'm thinking of renting a house (4 bedrooms iirc) in the Poconos for a week in July. Who'll come visit?

Posted by: -dbG- | April 19, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yoki's been everywhere in the world. She probably already knew the best places for everything.

Talitha, check your spam. I answered yesterday using my most-used email account.

I'm thinking of renting a house (4 bedrooms iirc) in the Poconos for a week in July. Who'll come visit?

Posted by: -dbG- | April 19, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. It seemed stuck.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 19, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

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