A Wealth of Information?

97694314_c401889909_o_1Well, that’s just great! While I was in a funk I got nominated for a blog award over at One Woman’s World. You can vote HERE and you probably should because some of your favorites are in the running. I suspect I got nominated by my good friend who is nominated in the Happy Blog category as well as one or two others and rightly so. I like the categories for these awards; they include things like "Most Meetable in Real Life"- that one was easy for me. I am in the "Learn Something New Every Day" category which is a little ironic since I can’t even figure out how to put little icons in my sidebar. (Bet you didn’t know I’ve won Blogging for Books a couple times or that I’ve taken part in knitting things and charity things and bird things and all sorts of bloggy things; I just can’t put those icons in there.)

Anyway, I am honored to be in this category. Here at OutsideIn you can learn a little about this, a little about that. Because my mind is filled with a little of this and a little of that. Just a little.

1134833_1Moving Right Along…Bullock’s Oriole. This is a charming little guy, a fruit and insect eater, who falls under the category, Neo-Tropical Migrator. Like most of God’s creatures, he’s adapted himself to a certain habitat and that is where he wants to be and that is where you will find him. Here is a map:Ra5080_1
(Mz.S, in her best Mr. Bill voice: "oh,no! not another map!" Don’t worry, Mary- it may be science but it’s junk science illustrated with little down home anecdotes.) You see? Bullock’s Oriole is not generally anywhere near Michigan or Wit’s End. So why is this colorful creature here now? I don’t know.  I just know that he is and he’s causing quite a stir in the birding community (not to be confused with bird watcher community). He’s been favoring one feeder and yesterday there were upwards of 30 birders from Audubon and Sierra Club and the University stomping around in the cold, watching him. Me? At 6 degrees and a -14 windchill, I look, take a couple pictures, come home and look some more, sitting next to the heat register.

A little digression: Yesterday was viciously cold. We went out to check on Wit’s End and the swans, in particular, after last week’s mid-air collision. Amazingly the hobbled juvenile survived, as predicted by FC, but yesterday he and his mate were frozen into the ice. Now that’s a pickle. But I’ve seen this happen before when we have a quick cool-down. It had been 55 midweek and then overnight the temps dropped into the teens so there was a flash freeze layer of ice over the lake. It’s a thin layer so it won’t take much sun for them to break free and they can handle up to a couple days like that. Now, I’ll have to check on them again tomorrow- if it’s not one reason to drive 2 hours it’s another. Here’s a picture I took yesterday morning. The sun was blinding, the ice and water layered and there are the swans.Ice_1
Back to Bullock’s Oriole. None of the birders have come up with any good reason why this bird is so far afield and what it means. This morning in church my mind was wandering, as it is wont to do, and I was thinking about this: When I was about five we had this big coffee table-type book (I believe both coffee tables and coffee table books were a new idea in decorating at the time) on the Undersea World. National Geographic was just expanding their marketing realm and this book was a beauty. I couldn’t get enough of all those undersea oddities, especially jellyfish and moon jellies. I asked my father why we couldn’t live under the sea and he said, "Because God wants you to grow where you’re planted. And also you need to clip the edges around the lawn."

At the time, it seemed profoundly wise and also a good idea to go do my Saturday chore. It’s also the only time I ever remember my father invoking God as a reason for anything so that stuck with me: God wants you to grow where you’re planted.

As an adult, I think that’s hogwash. All those Bible people were wandering around as nomads forever. And Noah had to pack up the whole joint and get moving. So, it’ll be a cold day when I believe God wants me to live out my days in Michigan. Actually it is, another, very cold day. I’m fairly certain I can grow-or stagnate, my choice- where ever I am living. With that in mind, I’m going to pack for Florida and go see the Snarl.

Here’s a real puzzler for you: the Wallace Line. Alfred Wallace, who coined the phrase Darwinism without jealousy or rancor, was the first to write about what he and Darwin discovered almost simultaneously. There are places in the world, Wallace’s Line to whit, where fauna-birds and mammals- are distinctly living in one spot and less than 18 miles away, they are not. And never, it seems, does the twain meet. Parrots live and thrive on Bali, but there’s nary a one, except from PetsRUs, living in Australia. All those marsupials with big pockets full of joeys? Australian. You see any kangaroos hopping around in Asia? No. So, I ask you again: What is that Bullock’s Oriole doing out at Wit’s End?

12 responses to “A Wealth of Information?

  1. MommaK might have nominated you, but I did, too.

    And I nominated Petroville for Happiest Blog.

  2. Me and Raehan, Raehan and Me…great minds think alike. I’m always happiest when we are on the same team. Rah rah Vicki!!

    I do learn something new everyday here which is why I chose that category- but I would like to meet you too. What’s funny is that if I met you I’m sure I’d learn even more from you than I do from reading your blog. How ironic…

    Hope you are having a great weekend.


    I can help you with the buttons if you’d like.

  3. The answer is global warming. Haven’t you noticed that by and large the Great Lakes are free of ice for the first time in memory? That a resort island in Lake Erie is going broke for lack of ice. The answer is: The Oriole just wanted to be someplace warm.

  4. “The poor man is wont to complain that this is a cold world.”
    ~Henry David Thoreau

    Your Wit’s End question was rhetorical, oui? Thanks for brightening my world with the Bullock’s Oriole photo and info today! Until we meet again!! ;~)

  5. The swans in the ice reminds me of the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” and the story of the pond that was no longer there because large group (gaggle, flock, whatever you want to call them) or ducks or geese or “water birds of some type” settled on the lake. A quick, snap, deep freeze occured overnight and when they flew away the next morning, they took the entire frozen pond with them. OK, never mind, but that is what it reminded me of.

    I don’t know why you have the colorful Oriole in Michigan. Maybe it didn’t read the text books. Perhaps the leader of the pack told them to “Go East Young Birds”, perhaps to visit relatives in Baltimore.

    I put out a sac thistle feeder in the bush outside my window. Finally one little bird showed up. I think he kept it a secret for almost two weeks, but today, the word is out. I counted ten trying to hang on and get some grub. Kept the cats busy watching and wishing.

  6. I voted for all of my favorite gals. If it makes you feel any warmer, it’s about 12 here in Dyersburg. I’m taking to the bed to mourn the loss of my SD dream *sniff*

  7. I voted for you.
    Wow, that little bird is far from “home”. Could there be an Audubon prankster who live traps birds and then releases them outside their area just to watch Life Listers go nuts?
    It wasn’t me, I swear.

    Good news on the swan, glad he’s making it. Bummer to be frozen in place though.

  8. Congrats 0n your nomination! And that is a beautiful picture of Wit’s End. I am going to go vote for you now.

  9. I voted! Vicki, I think that bird just got his directional signals crossed up somehow. We have seagulls in Raleigh – a good 250-300 miles from the ocean – so why not that pretty little orange belly in MI?

  10. You are better in a funk than many of us are at the top of our game. (whatever our game is)

  11. Don’t even get me started on global warming. The good news: E-spouse has been invited to give a half-day presentation on sustainability to 40 NPR journalists next week in LA. 60 Minutes had a segment on global warming last night–funded by RSwiss–a huge secondary insurer. Secondary insurers are terrified of global warming, and rightly so. Can you say N’awlins?

    Okay, enough for today. Congrats on the nomination, V. How come I never know any of the bloggers on these nomination forms? I need to get out more, I guess.

  12. “Planted in one place!” Yikes. I think the better impetus from the Bible would be: “Go forth and multiply”, as in: Get away from your cousin. Follow this Godly adage to the nth dgree, and you get Tiger Woods and Benji…two extremely evolved creatures who suggest the anthropolgical reward for mixing it up.

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