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May 17 2007

Thrusday grackle blogging

grackle_bacon.jpg

Imagine Stingray’s surprise this morning at breakfast when an enormous carnivorous pterodactyl swooped down out of the miasma of Barton Springs Boulevard and made off with her bacon. I snapped this photo on his first attempt; as you can see, the massive animal fat content of the rasher initially proved too much for him, and he was forced to abort the mission. He would return moments later, however, and this time, triumph would be his.

grackle_bacon2.jpg

74 comments

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  1. Hawise

    Way cool, nice size rasher. Did the grackle eat it and immediately die of cardiac arrest or did you find his corpse later in the day?

  2. Twisty

    Funny you should mention it. Stingray and I were horrified at the prospect of the bird’s clogged arteries, when it dawned on us simultaneously that she had been about to eat that thing herself and we’d thought nothing of it.

  3. MzNicky

    Twisty: Please tell me you misspelled “Thursday” on purpose for some ironic reason that I cannot understand. Please.

  4. MzNicky

    And is that Bert in the background in the second photo, coming to make off with both the pterodactyl and the stolen bacon?

  5. Twisty

    No, I misspelled “Thursday” because I don’t have my glasses on and my typing skills seem to have vanished when my ovaries did.

    Also, that’s not Bert, but he was very envious of the grackle.

  6. Q Grrl

    Ah but was it a common grackle or the slightly more interesting boat-tailed grackle?

  7. Puffin

    Are you ever without your camera at the dinner table?

  8. Twisty

    Neither, Q Grrl; it’s was a great-tailed grackle. Observe the great tail.

  9. SJ

    Oh how I miss grackles. I think they are really beautiful pests. Here there be starlings. Squawky, annoying, and dull as dishwater. Well, they do have those snazzy yellow beaks. I like the idea of Thursday becoming Grackleday.

  10. yankee transplant

    Excellent photos. (Note to self: Carry camera at all times.)

  11. Bitey

    I had never experienced the joy that is the grackle until a business trip to Dallas. Apparently, when a squadron of grackles took up residence in a little copse outside our offices, their raucous calls made a significant number of employees believe that the campus had been invaded by monkeys. Grackles are awesome, and I wish we had them here in LA. (Maybe we do, but I think all we have that look like that are starlings.) We do have large herds of parrots, though, which are delightfully screamy.

  12. S-kat

    Twisty, please erase this derailment if you so please.

    I just learned about this “Parental Alienation Syndrome” being used in courts to help grant custody rights to abusive husbands/fathers and was so disgusted I had to race over here to blame.

    Durn it! How do you make the link HTML? Well here it is for cut and paste purposes: http://www.now.org/news/note/051707.html

    Blame, blame, blame!

  13. S-kat

    Oh… look it does HTML on it’s own.
    How clever!

  14. CatStaff

    The grackles here in northern Virginia are the bullies of the bird feeder set. I have an array of feeders all around my deck, filled with gourmet delights guaranteed to pique the most jaded avian palate, and the grackles want to run the other birds off, no matter what’s on the menu in any given feeder.

    There must be someone to blame for that.

  15. pheeno

    One of those hateful bitds flew into my house once, directly at my head. After my hysterical screaming and dogs flipping out chased it out of the house, it spent the next week laughing and mocking me in the backyard.

    OT

    I saved a cute little hummingbird today. It was trapped in a glass stairwell, and I used a broom to gently guide it down, where I scooped it up into my hand and took it further out and released it.

    Im sure it looked awesome to the people standing outside when I came down the stairs, opened my hand and a hummingbird flew out.

  16. pheeno

    edit

    Farther, even.

    Jeez.

  17. TP

    Excellent Grackle photography! You work wonders with that forty-pound hunk of camera.

  18. Rene

    I’m so glad to find another grackle fan. I love their sharkskin plumage and their creepy moonstone eyes. I’m not surprised that they love bacon; birds love fatty cholesterol-laden foodstuffs. My sister-in-law’s parakeet used to swoop down and try to steal beakfuls of scrambled eggs — preemptive avian cannibalism.

    One of my cats found a tiny little baby bird carcass on our balcony. At first I thought it was one of those gross little cocktail shrimp, the kind that comes in cans. I’m guessing that a bird (maybe a grackle?) plucked it from its nest (possibly pecking it out of its egg first — it did look sort of fetal) and then lost its grip. Red in tooth and claw, etc.!

  19. Bitey

    pheeno: “Further” and “farther” are interchangable when speaking of physical distance. It is when not speaking of distance that “further” is used. This, from Merriam Webster:

    Farther and further have been used more or less interchangeably throughout most of their history, but currently they are showing signs of diverging. As adverbs they continue to be used interchangeably whenever spatial, temporal, or metaphorical distance is involved. But where there is no notion of distance, further is used: our techniques can be further refined. Further is also used as a sentence modifier further, the workshop participants were scarcely optimistic — L. B. Mayhew, but farther is not. A polarizing process appears to be taking place in their adjective use. Farther is taking over the meaning of distance the farther shore and further the meaning of addition needed no further invitation.

    I love grammar.

  20. Queen of Spades (nee Amaz0n)

    What differentiates a grackle from a crow? Off to Google with me.

  21. Mau de Katt

    Oh Twisty! Nice photo catch of that beautiful tail spread! I’ve not seen too many pictures of great-tailed grackles that managed to capture the fully-spread tail like that.

    We had purple grackles down in the SE Colorado plains when I was a kid. Pesty birds, but amusing in their antics. Fortunately they never discovered our backyard feeder, or else had better food sources to raid, so our backyard sparrows and finches ate unmolested. But every spring when the bad winds would hit, we’d find baby grackles on the grass in the park across the street, blown out of their nests by the wind.

  22. Bonnie

    Twisty –

    Thank you for your lovely artwork. Thank you for (some time ago) reminding me what your camera is.

    Beautiful partner just (finally!) purchased a Canon EOS 10.1 megapixel camera. I am hoping that she turns her predilection for botanical photography into more (and larger) framed works for our home. We have numerous such already but her shots can be enlarged only to about 8 x 10 before they start to turn grainy.

    Anyway, thanks again. Wonderful. All of it.

  23. Sara

    I always thought they were pretty (if rude, noisy, and messy), but I have had a particularly soft spot in my heart for grackles ever since a local, licensed, wildlife rehabber helped me rescue a baby that had gotten out of his nest.

    He was in my custody overnight. I fed him a chopped up earthworm I’d captured for the purpose, and then dry cat food soaked in water (per the rehabber’s instructions; only acceptable in an emergency and for a very short time) when that proved too much for me to repeat. I was charged to put him in a box in the closet overnight so he’d be warm and safe and get a full night’s sleep, and it was all I could do not to keep peeking. It was one of the best mornings of my life when I awoke and found him still alive at dawn and cheeping for breakfast. Then I took him to my qualified, knowledgeable friend, who raised him with all the other baby birds deposited with her that week, like every week of every spring, summer and fall, and released him. He still hangs out in my friend’s yard and has probably raised babies of his own many times now.

    He bonded with me while I had him, or I with him. He stuck his little claw out and gripped my forefinger with all his might. When I knew him, he was an ugly little handful of blood quills and open mouth, one of those creatures so ugly they’re cute, and cute also by virtue of his absolute vulnerability. I never saw him as an audacious, iridescent adult like this breakfast bandit you’ve shown us here, but that memory of fragile scruffiness close up and long ago makes my heart contract when I look at this one anyway.

  24. Pinko Punko

    I blame the gracklearchy. knobs.

  25. cycles

    Speaking of birds swooping: I know I’m going to Family Values Hell for posting a link to a clip from that frequently-insipid show AFV, but when this was broadcast, it had me in hysterics for half an hour.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xc7_WeykaM

    (guess the title kind of ruins the surprise)

    AFV is funny if you fast-forward through the pre-clip narration. Sometimes completely turning off the sound helps. I developed a more refined appreciation for the slapstick artistry of Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton after watching about a thousand hours of AFV when we first got cable.

  26. Iris

    In more rural areas of Michigan, we see grackles vying for hogging- rights at the feeder with blue jays. I always thought they were beautiful as a kid. That ‘Great’ tail really balances out their body– rendering them more graceful and less–well lumpy than a starling. That stubby tail makes starlings look like flying dumplings, or badly made little boats, maybe.

    Show starlings love though. They’re an invasive pest, but the chatter they make is really neat.

  27. Virago

    Earlier this spring, my former sister-in-law announced to everyone at a wedding reception that she hated birds. All birds. Though my first impulse was to slap the champagne flute out of her hand and challenge her to a duel, I resisted. How can anyone hate birds? Look at that clever grackle, fer cryssakes!

    When I lived in Tokyo, the crows were enormous, scratchy-voiced tricksters and quite cheeky when it came to snagging things offa ya. I once watched a pair of them swoop about gathering white t-shirts from the laundry hanging on the balconies in my neighborhood. What does a bird need with a t-shirt?

  28. Artemis

    Who knew I could fall for the grackles of Austin. But I did. The quirky little twist of the head. Those sun-ring eyes. The jaunty walk, the insouciance. But then, I never lost a chunk of a meal to one. Or a chee-to.

    http://www.grackle.net/paintings/grack.html

  29. trystero49

    Damn, that’s a brazen bird! Once we were at a picnic and the largest bumblebee you ever saw came along and stole a slice of ham my sister had taken off her sandwich. It was a full slice, so the bee was lifting something ten times the size of itself.

    In other news, I love the sound of the word “grackle” even more than the bird itself. Grackle grackle grackle!

  30. MM

    I love grackles, starlings and ravens too. One starling I raised from abandoned nestling (sent to me by local scientist who received it from someone else) and me and that bird did everything together – flying lessons, looking for food, eventual independence: it would be outside all day and come when I called – and ask to be let in at night (open the door, bird flies through house to its cage). That starling sat on my shoulder, snuggled into my hair, and was wonderful to spend time with.

    Raven story: I saw one fly off with a steak that must have been outside for someone’s BBQ.

    Can’t leave your groceries in a pickup truck either. Ravens seek out the fools who do this and have a really great group picnic.

  31. Ron Sullivan

    I am so impressed I can barely type. Wotta bird! Wotta shot! Wotta bacon!

    Re: fat: If Stingray could fly, she’d need that bacon. Fat! Energy! Zoom! As she presumably doesn’t fly much under her own power, the bacon is optional. MMmmmmm, bacon.

  32. Margarita

    That’s an incredible photograph! You are an excellent photographer, Twisty, seeing such a great picture has brightened up my day! I love it when birds do crazy food-snatching swoops though i’ve never seen a grackle before. Either we don’t have them here or know them by another name.

  33. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Whether they be grackles or starlings, their iridescence and sass warm my cockles. (My father: “There’s four million starlings in Ohio, and every one of ’em a goddamned nuisance, but Antoinette loves them.”) But then again, I never had snatch part of my breakfast.

    My sister, on the other hand, lives in a more rustic environment than I do, and fears the red-tailed hawk will make off with her toy fox terrier from the backyard one a these days.

  34. Cath

    As a freshman at UT in 1988, I made the mistake of walking down Speedway after an evening test. It was a grackle gauntlet; the trees were filled with alien sounds and the constant flutter of greasy wings. I was within a block of the tree-free engineering complex (salvation!) when something warm landed ON MY FACE.

    Kill them all, I say.

  35. BubbasNightmare

    We don’t see many grackles here in the Great Frozen Wastes.

    We do get crows (cursed be their offspring!), and the occasional raven, and cowbirds can be mistaken for grackles if you’re woozy from dental anesthesia.

  36. Rumblelizard

    trystero49, a BUMBLEBEE stole your sister’s ham?!?

    I am not questioning your truthfulness, but I can’t understand what a bumblebee would want with ham. Aren’t they nectar eaters?

  37. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    BubbasNightmare, crows are birds of ill omen. The West Nile virus came through here a few years ago and cleaned some of ’em out, and I can’t say I was terribly sorry to see it happen.

    I think there was a cowbird at my birdbath Tuesday evening, and I was not under the influence of anything stronger than a nice glass of cabernet. Chickadees are also pretty plentiful around here. And the cardinal family has taken up permanent residence in my apple tree.

  38. kiki

    First you stand against racism on the other thread and now a beautiful ode to the great-tailed grackle. You’re on a roll. When I was a younger women there was a saying tossed about by bigoted rancher types, “An Indian, a snake, and a grackle, should all be killed.” It perfectly captures that malice born of ignorance and greed that has caused so much pain in this part of the Americas. Of course, IBTP.

  39. Errihu

    We don’t have grackles in Alberta (are they anything like crows?) but we have something called a magpie. These are black and white members of the corvid family with very long tails and iridescent patches on their wings. They are generally considered to be a nuisance, but I kind of like them. They’re extremely smart, and extremely mischevious. My mother likes them because of the sweet sounds they make when talking to their nestlings, very different from the raucious calls they make when they’re harassing neighborhood pets.

  40. BubbasNightmare

    I don’t care for crows because of their nest-robbing preponderances; the local robin nests are regularly pilfered. You would, however, be heartened to watch half-a-dozen little red-winged blackbirds dive-bomb crows that try to steal from their nests.

    A fact known by few and cared for by fewer:

    There is a legend that when the ravens abandon the Tower of London, England will fall. Therefore, there are (or were) efforts to capture ravens, clip their wings, and house them at the Tower. The problem therein is, since ravens only reproduce on the wing, there is/was a constant need to bring in new ravens.

  41. Tricia

    Heya fellow Albertan!

    I had never even heard the word “grackle” before today, and I’m loving it. Grackle grackle grackle grackle!

    Gorgeous photography, Twisty! I wish I could have your alacrity with the lens – usually by the time I grab the camera, turn it on, and all that, whatever I’m trying to photograph is off doing something else.

  42. Jezebella

    Ah, the grackles of Texas. Pretty in their dark way, but loathed by my pals who waited tables on San Antonio’s Riverwalk. I hear there is nothing nice about grackle-crap on a big creamy wedge of cheesecake.

    I’m still convinced that the Siamese kitten that appeared in my back yard eight years ago was originally nabbed by one of the giant neighborhood crows who had thought he might be a tasty treat. When his pointy claws and feisty, bitey self proved to be not worth the trouble, he ended up at my house. He was much too small to have gotten there himself. These crows used to toss things (like pizza crusts) at my roommate when he disturbed their cawing concerti.

  43. kiki

    I don’t care for crows because of their nest-robbing preponderances; the local robin nests are regularly pilfered.

    You should see the roadrunner in action. There was a roadrunner nest in our cottonwood tree and my daughter thought that it was the coolest thing until she saw the roadrunner whacking a helpless baby bird on the branch before tossing it into her nest. Talk about living dinosaurs.

  44. beth

    Ah, the grackels of Austin Java. I must admit that they scare me a little with their brazeness. They immediately take over a table when the occupants leave, and pick any scrapes that have been left. I worry that they will jump the gun and steal my scraps before I even leave.

    I must admit, I’m not a fan. I’m sitting in my livingroom now listening to the noise of one right out side the window. Although, I do prefer them to the jays.

    I’m starting to wonder if I have a hidden fear of birds. I was attacked by a canada goose when I was three.

  45. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Sara, I loved your story. Made me get misty-eyed, it did.

  46. Bird

    Wow, two other Albertans? We’re taking over!

    Errihu, I’m a magpie lover, and like your mother, the song they sing to their babies (and to their mates, too) makes me smile. My father’s neighbourhood is infested with them, and they love to tease his cats through the windows. Somebody feeds them, I think, because some of them are so fat that they look like they could never leave the ground.

    I have a soft spot for corvids, though. Crows are fascinating, and ravens strike me with awe every time I see them. They’re such social, clever birds. Did you know that ravens can even learn to talk like parrots do?

  47. Rumblelizard

    I like crows, despite their predatory ways. They’re just doing their job, really. I read that crows never die alone, there’s always another crow there with them. A guy I used to know had a pet crow that he found injured and nursed back to health. That crow was cool, he was very much part of the gang and would come back and hang out with us even after he healed and was able to go about his crow business. Only problem was, he never really got the hint that crapping wherever just wasn’t polite.

  48. Errihu

    Bird – Yeah, and they’re better at it than parrots, for the most part. When I was younger, I was dismayed to discover that it is illegal to keep corvids as pets – I wanted a shoulder sitting raven to whisper the world’s secrets like I was some kind of female Odin. Ah the fantasies of youth!

  49. Errihu

    I got goosed by a goose at 3, squarely on the bottom. It was a surprising and enlightening experience – I learned a healthy respect for geese after that. We had big white ones on the farm, and a gander that was constantly clotheslining himself on the electric fence because he was too stupid and proud to bend his neck down and go UNDER it. Must be a male thing.

  50. Kristina

    I wanted a shoulder sitting raven to whisper the world’s secrets like I was some kind of female Odin.

    Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

    Sorry, I could not help myself. It was just there.

  51. Jezebella

    Errihu: we all learn sooner or later that geese are just flat-out ORNERY.

    Imagine my astonishment when I went to England and discovered that swans may look pretty, but in fact they are taller, meaner, grabbier geese. Try sitting on a picnic bench with fish and chips, fending off swans, whose heads are just the right height to peck at your fish and your chips. It’s not so picturesque.

  52. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    A swan swallowed my right arm dern near up to my shoulder when I was four. It was trying to drag me into a nearby body of water. A peacock terrorized me when I was a little ‘un too. It fanned its tail and came at me hissing like a feathered tea-kettle. It backed me up against a fence, and I be fearin’ what would’ve happened had not my sister lured it away with food.

    They were just defending their territory, and I grew up to be a lifelong bird-fancier anyway. But I’m still deeply distrustful of males. And rightly so.

  53. Pontiste

    Twisty, I thought at first that you were making an avian pun (“Thrushday”) and just forgot the last “h” (even though they’re probably not related, thrushes and grackles; I am a bird dunce).

    I’m seeing a lot of love here, which I share, for the cheeky, brazen, audacious, etc. birds. I heartily enjoy watching the local gang of barn swallows terrorize my cats. I guess I exercise (exorcise?) my mean streak that way.

  54. S-kat

    Yesterday I passed a grackle picking at a dead little birdy (probably a sparrow) on the sidewalk for dinner. Yuck! I still love them though, especially the way they dive at your head fearlessly.

  55. Bird

    Errihu, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thought they would make a good companion. I read a whole lot of Celtic myth as a kid, and the raven as the symbol of the Morrigan, the dark goddess of battles, always appealed. Ravens always look like they have something interesting that they aren’t going to tell you right now.

    I was one of those kids, I guess.

  56. octopod

    Whereas crows always look like they have something really funny that they aren’t going to tell you right now. Cheeky bastards.

    All the corvids are so iridescent and clever you can’t help but like ’em. Anyone around here get much time with magpies? Like jays but smarter and not quite as mean.

  57. Bird

    The trio of Alberta women have all agreed that magpies are delightful creatures. Definitely worth watching over a cup of tea on the back porch, in my opinion.

  58. Errihu

    We have tons, octopod. Even in the city where I live now, we have many. I know there’s several nesting pairs on my block. They’re beautiful, loud, and completely unapologetic. They drive the neighborhood pets to distraction. I’m fond of them. My father is not so fond of them, he’s been known to peg them with his slingshot (I’m glad I haven’t lived with my father for more than a decade). My mother on the other hand, loves them. We don’t have a pet for them to harass, and they can actually be quite musical when they want to be.

  59. Errihu

    Geese can be really good pets (although extremely messy!) if you raise them from goslings. The gander that I mentioned that was too proud to bend his neck wasn’t raised from the egg, but both he and his mate bonded with me. I was the only human they let touch the nest. My maternal grandmother, as a child, raised an entire flock which would follow her every time she stepped from the house, in a great noisy gaggle.

    My mom originally got them because she heard geese would weed your strawberries and leave the berries. Ours ate the strawberries and left the weeds. They also got into the supply shed and ate some cement powder, and were surprisingly none the worse for it. I suspect however that the cement corprolites they left in the driveway are probably STILL there, 15 years later.

  60. Cath

    Don’t get me started on geese. They are made of hatred and poop.

    I don’t hate all birds, honestly. Only those who have excreted upon or hissed at me.

  61. Sylvanite

    Ah, the grackles of the San Antonio Riverwalk. I remember watching one try to get into a packet of Equal. Silly grackle.

    I’m fond of the grackles (all common grackles) around here, simply because they keep the starlings in line. Living in Philly, I mostly can only attract the more aggressive birds to my feeders because of the house sparrow/starling axis of evil. The only exception is the goldfinches, since they have a special feeder only they can feed at, and the mourning doves, because they feed on the ground. The grackles are definitely cheeky, however. I haven’t seen too many cowbirds this year – I think they preferred the sunflower seeds that were on offer last year that I had to discontinue because I was attracting rock doves (you know – pigeons). My neighbors didn’t much care for that, not that I blame them. At least I now get some cool woodpeckers to go with the sweet-voiced Eurotrash (starlings) and fluffy bundles of pure aggression (house sparrows).

  62. bitchphd

    I love, love, love birds like that. So pushy, so indifferent to opinion.

  63. bitchphd

    Also, we have a scrub jay in the backyard that delights in teasing the cat. When she ignores him/her, it just swoops closer and bitches more loudly. Such a fabulous animal, even though I kinda feel sorry for my cat.

    (But not really, b/c she’d do the same if she could.)

  64. Ron Sullivan

    Grackles are nest raiders too, at least of swallows, which I guess is why swallows will mob them. Jays raid nests, like all corvids I know of. Marsh wrens raid the nests of red-winged blackbirds. Et cetera.

    Chipmunks and mice eat eggs, and of course so do carnivores like snakes and foxes and generalists like skunks and raccoons.

    I once watched a great egret catch and eat a song sparrow, and deer have been reported eating box turtles. Tough world out there, even before the patriarchy. IBTP for making it all harder than it has to be, and I don’t mean only on fellow humans.

  65. kate

    I don’t know if anyone else thought this (just commenting quick here) but in the second pic, it looks like the grackle is wearing a new pair of bright orange ‘crocs’, you know those rubbery slip on shoes? I realize its bacon, but he does look shod.

  66. Mar Iguana

    Oh, that’s funny. It does, kate. Looks like the grackle is modeling its shoes.

  67. Errihu

    Ron – that reminds me of something I’ve thought about lately. In children’s media that involves talking animals, sometimes the humans will apologize to eagles, dragons, etc, for eating eggs for breakfast. Why should that be offensive? Eagles and dragons would presumably eat OTHER creature’s eggs. The humans are presumably not eating eagle or dragon eggs, afterall. Some people eat veal, which is baby cow, but we don’t assume they’re going to go around eating baby human.

    Everything that moves, eats. Animals are no different in this respect, but we tend to romanticize the animal world as being one of peace and harmony rather than one of “I try to eat you/your baby, you try to eat me/my baby” that it really is.

  68. RadFemHedonist

    “Some people eat veal, which is baby cow, but we don’t assume they’re going to go around eating baby human.”

    You do realise the production of veal involves animal abuse as an part of the process, they aren’t allowed to walk and run, they have to stay in small cages to make the meat a certain colour (they are anemic), people aren’t annoyed because it’s a young animal, they are annoyed because the process involves mistreating the animal.

    Second, there is no such thing as a creature.

    It’s unfair to equate veal with other kinds of meat eating and use it as an example because you cannot ethically produce veal, if it’s veal, the animal has been abused. Lamb would have been better.

  69. Mau

    By far the tops in bird aggressio, though, are hummingbirds. Seriously — those things are so tiny, but they will attack ~anything~ they perceive to be a threat. They seem so cute and harmless, but watch a mob at a hummingbird feeder sometime… lol….

    Here’s a good YouTube link to a prime example, if anyone is interested:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo53GfUQxn0

    We’ve got them everywhere up in the mountains and Front Range foothills; I love watching them when I visit friends who live up there. Sadly, they don’t seem to venture down into the lower altitudes of the main metro area where I live.

  70. Errihu

    Sorry RFM, lamb is a better analogy. My bad.

    I’m the daughter of a former cattle farmer, and my family won’t eat veal. We didn’t raise it either, it’s a barbaric practice.

  71. Tigs

    Actually, when I finally gave up meat altogether, it was after a conversation about feminism, human rights, and animal rights. A woman I met was writing her dissertation on ‘the Animal question,’ and was making connections between the way we as a society treat animals and the way we as a society treat women.
    (Not to sound too priggish about it) There’s a lot of really good literature on women, meat, and oppression.

    *thinks really hard of a way to make this relate to the post*

    Not only are those beautiful photographs, those are beautiful outdoor chairs.

  72. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Yes, hummingbirds are fierce. Tiny things usually are. Two of them fighting (over the feeder or nesting area) sound like Sikorsky helicopters relentlessly battering each other.

    The babies are certainly the epitome of cuteness, though.

  73. CoolAunt

    Grackles are not my friends, not since about six weeks ago when, as I was dining on chicken pot pie on the patio at Cheddars, one of them shit on my head. It’s a patriarchal conspiracy between misogynists and grackles; I just know it is. ;)

  74. Cathy

    S-kat:
    Alec Baldwin, anyone?

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