Monday, December 31, 2012

New Calendar And Pioneering Birds

I got a new calendar over the weekend. Last week I posted about last year’s calendar.

This year instead of shopping around here and picking from the local selection I went to Amazon and searched for “bird calendars.” I found this one from the Audubon Society. It only cost a couple dollars more than the low-quality things I find locally but it is very well made with heavy paper stock.

And instead of one bird per month, there is one feature bird per month along with interesting facts on why that bird is featured and then almost every day of every month gets its own bird photograph.

Very cool stuff.

The featured bird for January 2013 is the Northern Cardinal.

The interesting fact about Cardinals is—I didn’t know this at all—prior to the 20th century the Cardinal was primarily a southern bird. As winters have gradually moderated, and more people have put out bird feeders and winter-fruiting bushes and shrubs, the National Audubon Society has found that the majority of species in their Bird Counts have been shifting the center of their ranges farther north.

And Cardinals were one of the first birds to begin the adjustment to the northern states.

Cardinals—pioneer birds.


This was a strange weekend and I didn’t do much of anything I planned on doing, but I did get a lot done. I’m hoping over the start of the new year to get to post here about some of the things I did over the weekend but only time will tell.

One of the things I did—sort of on the topic of pioneers prior to the 20th century—was to write three jokes. There’s a connection here in a convoluted way to these old posts.

When The Night Shapes Itself

Clouds Drift As If They’re Listening

You And Me, I Mean, Mare Carminum

There will be more about this kind of stuff later, but I’m really moving very slowly on a bunch of projects that I had hoped to move quickly on. Still, slow is better than no movement at all.

Three Jokes
A Nineteenth Century Comedian
Might Tell

We took the train out here from California. All the way through the western territories a kid behind me was kicking the back of my seat. Finally I turned around and said to the mother, “Lady, can we hold the tap dancing until we get to the Catskills?”

How about those railroad peanuts? I said to the conductor, “Are these peanuts, or are these the bullets the Indians were shooting at us all through Navajo country?”

Have your kids gone crazy over this new technology thing they’ve got? Now they’ve got telegraph offices everywhere. Let me tell you, my daughter is going crazy, every day she’s sending telegrams to her friends all over the country. I said, “Sweetheart, have you seen the Western Union bill? They charge by the word!” She said, “Dad, you get paid by the joke. Just tell more jokes!”


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