Many many many moons ago when I bought and moved into this house, a large colony of great-tailed grackles lived in the top of the huge pine tree in the front yard. I quickly grew to appreciate them. The large, vainglorious males are a dazzling blue-black, and they love to strut around on the ground to show off. Something about them and their fierce eyes reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and horror movies in general, so I named the alpha male Vincent.
|Male great-tailed grackle|
The only thing I didn't like about them was the fact that their young ones were constantly falling out of their nests and splatting themselves on the concrete driveway. I may love reading crime fiction, but I do not enjoy scraping little corpses off anything! More than once I would look up into the tree and admonish them. "Build higher sides on your nests!" "Teach your kids not to fall out of bed!" (I must've entertained the neighbors a lot.)
But about eight years ago, a crow started making regular visits to the huge pine tree to eat the eggs and the fledglings of the grackles. The crow was just too big for the grackles to fight off. So the grackles moved away. They were gone for five years, but they've come back. I am so happy that we have our early warning system back-- even if none of them can carry a tune in a bucket. Hopefully, word won't spread to the crow community...
But I won't think of that now. It's time to mosey out to the corral. I might even be able to say hello to Vincent III. Head 'em up! Moooove 'em out!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Behind the book dedications.
- Doris Day's biggest hit is a song she could have done without.
- The moon is slowly shrinking, which may be causing "moonquakes" on its surface.
- Why is a literary collective translating 100 classic Indian novels?
- Did Susan Sontag write the seminal book attributed to her husband?
- The glacier that produced that Titanic iceberg has suddenly stopped flowing.
- The Sunday Times thriller list is being criticized for "bias against women." Here's the list if you want to take a look.
- These glowing plants could one day light our homes.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- Archaeologists are excavating the site of a Scottish massacre that inspired the Game of Thrones Red Wedding.
- Pompeii fixed potholes with molten iron.
- Found: A stolen letter written by Alexander Hamilton.
- This virtual reality museum allows users to explore five shipwrecked vessels.
- Why Wales is the place to see amazing Roman forts.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- A French bulldog and his little human buddy cruise around the block in a remote-controlled toy Jeep.
- When it comes to waging war, ants and humans have a lot in common.
- Escaped pet parrots are doing great in the wild.
- Why "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" trope isn't an exaggeration.
- An enterprising Oregon man picks up local canine clients for daycare in a bright yellow doggie school bus.
- A fawn sneaked into a family's backyard every day to cool off by swimming in their pool.
- The smooth sounds of a snoring cat.
- Brazilian veterinarians fit a baby armadillo with a customized wheelchair for its paralyzed back legs.
- Granville Coggs fought racism in the military as a Tuskegee airman.
- Lily Parr, a pioneering English footballer, scores a bronze monument.
- Barbara Neely, the activist-turned-crime writer who inspired a generation.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Five books about being a tree.
- Which writers have won the most major prizes?
- 100 of the season's best thrillers, mysteries, and noirs.
- From Agatha Christie to Gillian Flynn: 50 great thrillers by women.
- Seven thrillers to make you wonder if your best friend is a murderer.
- Ten characters left out of the movie adaptations of popular books.
- Six epic fantasy series to fill the dragon-shaped hole in your life.
- Fifteen forgotten female mystery writers from the Golden Age and beyond.
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!