when it is 90 degrees & the humidity is around 99%, which is a better outdoor activity: kayaking, tubing, biking, or drinking into stupor?
arrived at my mom’s place in west virginia yesterday. tom showed us the nest of the great crested flycatchers in the wooden birdhouse box on a tree just off the side portch. four little babies tweeting and a mother darting in and out of the trees in search of tasty insects for them.
when we came home from dinner, we saw one little guy leaning out of the hole and were there to see him flutter and fall to the ground about fifteen feet below the birdhouse. then we noticed a second one down there.
after going back and forth on what to do and poking about on the internets (are they nestlings or fledglings? they have some feathers, but really just barely? should we put them back in the nest, leave them, or make another nest closer to the ground? etc) we followed the advice of one bird site and made a mini-nest out of a margarine tub and we nailed it to the tree about five feet off the ground. we put the two little nest/fledgelings in there and they tweeted for a little while and then went to sleep.
we wondered if we’d done the right thing, and this morning we found out the answer: definitely not. the two little birds in the margarine tub? gone. the two remaining babies in the birdhouse? gone. the nesting materials? everywhere. apparently a crow or an owl or something else found them in the night. now the home is nothing but an empty hole.
was it because the margarine tub was white and obvious? did this then alert the predator to the birdhouse above? would the owl have found them on the ground under the tree? did they tweet to alert the predator? in the immortal words of mike lafontaine, wha’ happened?
should we have put the birds back in the birdhouse? left them on the ground? the internet did not have solid answers and so we failed. we doomed four infant birdies to their distruction and we doomed a mama and a papa great crested flycatcher to tweet a sadder tweet today. you can hear it in their song, which is softer this morning. it’s a lament. a wail. a damning call to shame.
2:30 get in ocean 2:45 get out of ocean 2:50 walk to house 2:55 gather materials 3:00 call into teleconference 4:30 get off the phone 4:35 finish typing up notes 4:40 walk to beach 4:45 get in ocean
The 19 hour drive to North Carolina has begun. Welcome, vacation, welcome. Goodbye, tornados, floods, goodbye.
So this is some bullshit:
TORNADO WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE QUAD CITIES IA IL 949 PM CDT THU JUN 12 2008
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE QUAD CITIES HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WARNING FOR… SOUTHEASTERN CLINTON COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL IOWA… SCOTT COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL IOWA… CENTRAL ROCK ISLAND COUNTY IN NORTHWEST ILLINOIS… SOUTHWESTERN WHITESIDE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST ILLINOIS…
* UNTIL 1030 PM CDT.
Sirens keep going off. The tv beeps. The radio beeps. Warning warning. Get in the flippin’ basement ya knobs. Warning warning. Then we go in the basement and huddle. Then we breathe a sigh of relief as they describe the cell’s movement east and out of here (it’s almost like sports broadcasting). Then we go upstairs and wait for the next siren.
It is raining like the devil just ass-raped Mrs. Clause and Jesus himself is weeping at the YouTube clip. How can it rain horizontally in every direction. The windows patter as if rain is flying into each of them parallel to the ground. The basement is a concrete swamp and the overflowing gutters can’t keep up, jammed as they are with the fallen seeds of maple trees.
It is bad here but worse nearby. In Cedar Rapids, about an hour and a half away, the Cedar River has breached and has completely sunk Mays Island, which is where the government usually is. In Iowa City, about 45 minutes away, the Iowa River has breached and created similar mayhem. In the far west of the state, boy scout camps are being destroyed by funnels and the Missouri is flooding. The Mississippi is fine here, but the Rock River has been flooding for weeks. This wet winter became a wet spring and is now a wet summer.
Dude, I did not move to Kansas. This is some bullshit.
Adam: “It’s easier to get out of Iraq than it is to choose Chinese food.”
Now we’re upstairs deciding what kind of Chinese to order. So bizarro. I think I’ll take the Kung Pao.
So six of us are currently in our basement listening to emergency radios in a tornado warning… Fun!
Being an airline means never having to say you’re sorry. Being a customer of an airline means never having to say thank you.