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Where Are My Birds?

Posted by Pete | Posted in News | Posted on 26-09-2019


No small birds are coming to my bird bath or feeders anymore….No sparrows, no jays, no house wrens, no robins….matter of fact, you remember me talking about the bird that kept calling “c’mere” last year…..He’s not calling for me anymore. No songbirds…even my hummers have left but it was about time for them to leave I guess. My old hawk still comes by ever so often for his bath and a few doves come by but other than that, none, nil, zilch….where could they have gone? I hope they will return by next spring anyway.   I miss them.

Comments (12)

I hope your birds have not fallen victim of global warming. It has been a long, hot summer. We have plenty of them n Bryant if you want to borrow some. More than likely some enterprising kid with his fancy air rifle has been using them for target practice. Instead of bird watching, it may pay to take up flower watching. I hope you find your birds. I would hate to have to admit to the MSM that they are right about Global, Warming. Personally, I like Global Warming. It’s much better than getting up on a cold frosty morning to feed the hogs like I used to do in Coal Fire.
There must be something to this Global Warming. It has been so long since I’ve seen frost, I don’t know what it is like any more (and Arkansas is further north than Coal Fire).

I have no idea the cause of my missing birds…..I just know that they are gone. Today while watering out back I did see a few small birds, as a
matter of fact, five of them over about 30 minutes. However, I had fed and watered birds for years and they are not coming around anymore. I am concerned of course, but I have no idea as to the reason. At first I thought it was the hawk that comes around frequently, however, he has been doing that for years also….so something else is the cause. I’ll keep watching…

You know! Miners used to take canaries with them into coal mines to determine the health of the mine air for human consumption. Perhaps the air in New Mexico has been so contaminated with “enchantment” that the birds can’t stand it any more. Perhaps I will have to send you some clean Alabama air (or relatively clean Arkansas air instead.) Cecil told me before he died that the traffic in Albuquerque has become horrendous. Perhaps your birds have become allergic to the new traffic. People don’t like placing filters on their tail pipes to clean the pollutants from their emissions. Poor birds! They just have to breathe polluted air. Perhaps the extra pollution has affected the ability of your birds to reproduce. Your birds aren’t missing. They just passed on to their father’s Heaven in the sky. You know! Something like Jonathan Livingston Seagull! Albuquerque was a beautiful town before it become so big and so populous. Your area was a desert when I was riding my bicycle in the area of the new interstate exchanges in that area. I used to wonder why are they building interstate highways in an area so desolate. Now, I suppose all the empty land is about to run out. Empty, desolate land every where; people everywhere and water and birds no where. Must this be the story every where that man choses to establish himself.

How about the roadrunner? Are they disappearing too? If so, this is getting serious. Before you know it, they will be on the endangered species list. Then the next down on the list will be the coyote. Then we won’t have any more cartoons to entertain us “flatlanders” on those boring Saturday nights in Reform, although I guess it is done in living rooms in front of televisions now. Those coyotes that couldn’t find a roadrunner to chase chose my bicycle. I guess there are no bicycles for them to chase this century.

The roadrunner seem to be doing well. They may be part of the problem for smaller birds as they raid the nests and eat the eggs and or baby
birds. They also come to my back yard to chase the lizards.

I’ve heard of the dumbing down of America, but this is ridiculous. Even animals search and search for moving objects to chase where food is so plentiful but have to settle with inanimate objects of metal because food is so plentiful. In the next century, I can’t imagine the kind of objects that will be chased or the objects doing the chasing because all objects will be so screwed up that the hungry and the fun loving will be the same. When my AF biking counterpart is biking across the desert in late 2180, Imagine the mainstay of his environment. The desert will have become a luscious pastureland with cows gorging themselves on lush green grass and the cyclist will struggle up the mountains of mud while the roadsliders skid down the mountains with glee.

Any solution yet to your bird crisis. I bet there are lots of birds (and all kinds of other varmints) running around Uncle Webb’s and Uncle Stillman’s old houses in Coal Fire. Return there and you can take your pick. Now you may even find some bear. Maybe even an occasional lion. And the snakes…. It has gotten to the point that I am a little afraid to go up into the yard of Mother and Dad’s ole house after seeing the video of the snake on my timbercutter’s iPhone. That was the largest snake that I have ever seen in my life. This snake was, at least, eight inches in diameter. I never saw its full length, but it must have been close to 30 feet long. This snake may be eating your poor birds. It was seen near the bog where Dad had his sawmill where the remains of the sawdust pile is now. This snake would explain the disappearance of your birds. It would take a lot of little birds to keep this snake happy. You probably don’t have a wet lander kind of snake in Albuquerque like this one, but you do have rattlesnakes, which might explain your bird disappearance.

There is no one living now in West Coal Fire. It would take a very hardy soul to move back there now. Perhaps a true Daniel Boone type who is willing to live and die by his long gun. There are people still around the Church area but no one west of Ott’s old store place. Perhaps brother Alan brought down a taboo on the place when he killed his friend on it that time although I don’t think that had anything to do with murder because Alan was obviously “out of his mind” when that event occurred. Alan was too gentle a soul to have actually killed anyone. At any rate, he has paid dearly for it while living with his deed in that jail cell in South Alabama. I only regret that there wasn’t more that I could have done because I will always feel that Alan was innocent of the whole thing and that the entire affair was just something that the abuse of drugs and alcohol had gotten him into. In a perfect world, I would have loved to have enrolled in law school just for the purpose of bringing lawyers Paluzzi and McCool to just for the kind of “defense” they gave Alan. Marina wouldn’t let me. It just wasn’t to be. I am confident that lawyer McCool will be the one “burning in Hell” in the end while Alan is resting comfortably in the “bosom or his Lord”. I am not saying that Alan was quiltless in the death of his friend, but there was an extenuating circumstance in terms of the chemicals presence (alcohol and drugs) that rendered Alan incapable of doing the right thing. God knows. The Alabama Criminal Justice system did not. Now the whole even leaves me with Grandpappy Iveson’s old home place with a very bad albatross hanging over it perhaps rendering it inappropriate for habitation for some future period of time inhabited only by snakes, bears, and all kinds of other strange varments (perhaps even ghost of Alan and his two “drinking buddies”. I’m asking you, Pete. After what has happened to the place, would you go back to the old place of your family to try to right the wrong done to it by events that you had no control over. I just have a strange feeling every time I go back to a reunion in Coal Fire and look up the old driveway, knowing that my Mercedes will not negotiate the present state of the driveway and being afraid to fight off the snakes that may be required if I tried to walk up to the old house. I am frankly at a loss in knowing what to do.

I know the birds are around, even in New Mexico….probably up in the mountains and down around the Rio Grande River….I was out again today doing a count and saw plenty of dove but still only a few of the songbirds. I’m hopeful they will return to this area.

They will return. This old earth has plenty of miles (and Years) left in it yet. It is not ready to fold to global warming alarmists yet. Up on the mesa on the base, I never saw very many birds, but I did see them on the occasional trip I made into the mountains, especially the mountains around Santa Fe and Glorieta. They were a lovely sight to see in the wild in such a lonely and desolate place. It started me to thinking that New Mexico wasn’t such a lonely and desolate place after all, which was my first thought after my plane touched down on Kirtland AFB when I first arrived especially after daylight occurred revealing nothing but the bareness and desolation of the Sandia and Monzano Mountains. I guess that is the thing that led me to the isolation of the Goat Farm (Radiobiology Laboratory) near the foot of those mountains. I thought life would be a lot of fun out there as opposed to the life of a cooped up trouper on the base in a modern, sprawling six-story building. I was right. There is just something about working in a laboratory metal building that has a frontier rawness about it that enhances the scientific experience. Then, there was all of those days with the sheep, vaccinating them, helping the animal handlers feed and water them, and, yes, drawing that precious blood, and putting it through our precious, tax-payer-paid instrumentation to generate those precious numbers that was supposed to be the answer to the trooper’s prayers in the event of a nuclear war, which has never occurred, but which is still in the realm of possibility. I was a lot of fun. I never dreamed that I would have a military experience that was such fun and educationally stimulating. I had the opportunity to work with some stimulating people too. When I worked with them, they were at the tail end of their careers, and most were treading water waiting retirement, but they had some real experiences to talk about, when the only experiences I had to talk about was that of hustling cord wood for paper in the woods of west Alabama and a little of “picking cotton”, which they had already heard about mostly by people with “black faces”. My saddest experience occurred about a year later when my immediate supervisor, Dr. Jim Wright left to teach chemistry at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. It was the saddest moment for me but the happiest moment for him.

Nice read…thanks for the comments..

It must be fun to teach chemistry at the Air Force Academy where all the students learn “By the numbers” and no one fails except on occasion when a poor soul gets ramrodded out of service as an undesirable. Of course, that never happens in the Air Force. It only happens in the Army. I remember when Doug was in the Army on leave from Germany and visiting his parent’s home at the gas plant in Thoreau. He talked about visiting the weapons depository somewhere near Thoreau or Gallup in order to use the BX. At the time, I wondered how there could be such conveniences in the midst of such desolation. Then, Uncle Renzo gave me a personal tour of the Navejo sawmill at Window Rock where I found out how square lumber was really made from round logs as opposed to the way Dad use to do it on his “peckerwood” mill. I realized, though, that there was at least one big difference. Dad use to make lumber from seasoned heart white oak and hickory timber. The only kind of timber I saw on the Navejo site was ponderosa pine. There is a huge difference in the way a saw cuts the two kinds of wood. When I realized that fact, I had more respect for Dad’s “peckerwood” mill, especially in his ability to sharpen and tune his saw. In addition, the Navejo mill used band saws. I doubt if they would even cut hickory or white oak timber. This is the way that my Air Force experience broke me loose from the experience that I had grown up with in West Alabama, and this was before I was even introduced to my life on the “Goat Farm”. It is sad to see the state of the “Goat Farm” today, however. The layout is still recognizable and most of the buildings, at least the ones that are still standing. We pitched some “Jim Dandy” horseshoe games there during our lunch hour and break times. Had some great unit picnics and feast there too. The beauty of it all is that I am still using he skills that I learned there in analytical chemistry to make a pretty good living even today. The entire enterprise may have been a big waste of money, but it wasn’t from my viewpoint. The saddest part is the state of our popular trees that we set out lining the drive way going into the compound. They are all dead and dried up now. We use to water them every day and had them growing lusciously and green. Every time I see the picture of the compound on the internet, I miss our popular trees. Our whole body counter there was the counter where the original seven astronauts were counted in the early Sixties. My friend, MSgt Samuel Mason, did the counting and generated the data on all seven of them. Sam is dead now. He was a WWII veteran a black guy, and one of the Greatest Generation. I will never forget his reaction after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis. He almost lost it! He withdrew into a shell and didn’t come out of it for two weeks. Even his wife was unable to reach him. He eventually did though. Then, the assassination of Robert Kennedy occurred. Kennedy was his idol politician in whom he had high hopes in the presidential run of 1968. After Kennedy was so brutally killed in Las Angeles, he went back into his shell again only coming out of it just before I left at the end of the year. Sam Mason was a good man. When he was young, he was a Golden Gloves Boxing Champion, a health nut, and a darn good medical technician. He was another one of the Greatest Generation that came through the Goat Farm that I was proud to know and to work with. It’s a matter of record that he is the one who did the radiation counting of the original seven astronauts at the beginning of their training. His daughter later became a veterinary doctor, and she married one. I guess they are still practicing somewhere in New Mexico or Colorado.

The last time I saw Sam Mason was after I graduated from Southeastern Seminary and I was back in Albuquerque trying to decide whether to go into church work or go back into chemistry. His wife, Meta, had been forced to retire early from Sandia Corporation, now the National Laboratory. and his daughter was a graduate horse doctor and married to one and they were practicing together somewhere in southern Colorado. It seemed that Sam’s cancer had come back with a vengeance, as he died shortly after that. Sam was black, but he was a real father image to me. He was my Dad away from home. He was my third Daddy image after my own Dad, my surrogate Dad, brother Cecil, during the time that Dad was away at the war in the Philippines and Japan and my third Dad during those latter Air Force days when my Coal Fire world was coming apart, and I was searching for a new way. Sam was essentially on his death bed then because he never again recovered although he talked about having beaten cancer even at that time. Meta took early retirement from Sandia and died shortly after he did. I guess his life represented my life’s small touch with greatness since it was through Sam Mason that I was able to know just a little about the personal lives of the original seven astronauts. Sam called me when we were still living in El Dorado to let me know that he had beaten his cancer. I think he was trying to give me hope because I had just been diagnosed with it and had just had a prostatectomy. He died shortly after that.

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