Friday, June 18, 2010

Vacation Adventures

Turd Bird is a very special guy.

I'm not sure what kind of bird he is, but he is the only one by the shore we have ever seen that has one feather on the top of his head that sticks up, no matter what he does.

He has a very handsome pattern in his feathers, brown spots underneath him shade to a blue-gray back. His long legs sport talons that it is obvious could do damage, and his beak would be a formidable weapon, but he has never offered to harm any of us.

One of the times we were out on the dock fishing, I was sitting on a narrow area he wanted to walk past to get to where the children were. I really didn't want to move from my shady spot, so I sat cross-legged and didn't look directly at him. I concentrated on my book, and when he was sure I wasn't going to jump up or do anything startling, he walked past me quickly. His beady eye was focused on me the whole time, and he was probably less than half a meter from me at the furthest. I felt honored that we have fed him enough over the years that he would dare to walk so close, even though he was wary.

He always bows to the person who throws him a fish, and wipes his beak on the dock when he is finished swallowing, which can be quite a performance when the fish is large. His neck expands so wide that I am always fascinated watching it.

He is not polite to his competitors, however. This year, another bird dared to come out to the dock while he was there. He chased the interloper off in no uncertain terms.

I just hope they are able to keep the oil away enough that we get to enjoy his company for years to come.

Today is

Autistic Pride Day

Constitution Day, Seychelles

Dulcimer Days, Coshocton, Ohio -- through the 20th

Go Fishing Day

Independence Day, Egypt

International Picnic Day

International Sushi Day

Midsummer Celebration, Finland and Sweden

National Cherry Tart Day

National Splurge Day - Oh yeah!!

St. Alena's Day (patron against eye disease, toothaches)


Viking Festival, Denmark

Waterloo Day, UK

Birthdays Today:

Nathan Morris, 1971
Carol Kane, 1952
Isabella Rossellini, 1952
Roger Ebert, 1942
Paul McCartney, 1942
Red Adair, 1915
E.G. Marshall, 1910
Bud Collyer, 1908
Jeanette MacDonald, 1903
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicolaievna Romanova of Russia, 1901
E.W. Scripps, 1854

Today in History:

Li Yuan becomes Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China, 618
Five monks from Canterbury report seeing "two horns of light" on the shaded side of the moon, probably witnessing the meteor impact formation of the Giordano Bruno crater, 1178
The Parliament of Ireland meets at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature, 1264
French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeat the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay, 1429
Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sights Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island, 1767
The U.S. Congress declares war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1812
The Battle of Waterloo leads to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and last time, 1815
Empress Dowager Longyu of China orders all foreigners killed, including foreign diplomats and their families, 1900
Aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly as a passenger in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean, 1928
The "Finest Hour" speech is delivered by Winston Churchill, 1940
The Republic of Egypt is declared and the monarchy is abolished, 1953
Governor of Louisiana Earl K. Long is committed to a state mental hospital; he responds by having the hospital's director fired and replaced with a crony who proceeds to proclaim him perfectly sane, 1959
The AIDS epidemic is formally recognized by medical professionals in San Francisco, California, 1981
Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space, 1983

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