Friday, November 13, 2020

It's Suddenly Winter And It Sucks

 I am gonna whine.  We didn't even get a real Fall.  We got two weeks of crappy windy weather, one hard freeze and all the leaves blew off and now it's Winter and it sucks.  It's not fair, and I'm cold.  Plus there are weird, fat, fluffy grey birds, big chubby ones the size of chickens, sitting in the trees and I don't know what kind of birds they are.  It's Winter, I'm cold, and I'm a disgrace to birders everywhere.

One good thing about Covid is that the Guns of Autumn seem to have been largely silenced.  I live in a migratory corridor and the cornfields and ponds are usually ablaze with gunfire as the ducks and geese go over, every morning and evening, like an artillery barrage.  Really, that bad.  From sunup for a solid hour, and then around sundown for another good hour.  Apparently you can hunt all day long starting in September until March (waterfowl, upland game birds, and turkeys.  And you know what; go for the turkeys.  Shoot those motherfuckin' turkeys.  I have been menaced and victimized and taunted and harassed by turkeys for years now and just fuck turkeys.)   

Now, I am not anti-hunting.  Not at all (see above statement about turkeys.)  But this area is a bottleneck in the migratory corridor, and there is usually, as I've said, a metric shit-ton of gunfire going on. Very little gets through.  And then I come to find out that a lot of those birds get left lying in the field. And people are very casual about it; like a living thing is no more important than a beer bottle you'd shoot off a stump.  These are the same people who bitch about all the coyotes coming down from the mountains and taking their February calves, you understand.

That's not hunting.  Hunters eat what they shoot.  If someone leaves an animal dead in the field, that person belongs in a gravel pit shooting television sets and washing machines, because that person is not a hunter.  That person is a dick.

But then comes Covid, and the skies are alive again!  Thousands of snow geese, swans, you name it, flocks like I used to see when I was a kid! 

I still hear a few guns go off, and that's the way it is.  But the huge difference it's made in the number of animals I see is remarkable.  Between one year and the next!  Despite my inability to identify the mysterious chubby grey birds, I do keep track of this kind of thing, and I swear I have not seen anything like this since about 1968, back when I lived in another migratory flyway/ bottleneck, in the Willamette Valley.  The skies, day and night, filled with migrating birds.  It's astounding!  Birds blacking out the stars!  The whole auditory landscape filled with the calls of brandts and snow geese, for hours!

And I think, fly fast and fly sneaky, birds.  Get where you're going and keep your heads low.  I want my great-grandchildren to be able to see hundreds of hawks kettling overhead, and vast flocks of redwings circling and turning and flashing through the sky like immense schools of fish in the ocean; and the geese flying overhead in chevrons, from horizon to horizon in the Fall.


anne marie in philly said...

come here; we are still in autumn time.

Mistress Maddie said...

Anne Marie is right. Our goregous fall is still in full swing and it's been glorious. Funny about the birdies making racket and flying over heard. Every night, usually around 10:30 -11pm I hear gaggles of geese flying over head...flying to the lake I suspect. I think they must all gather there at night is huge groups. Then in the morning, I can hear them again flying over returning to their day spot I suppose. Also lately during the day, the wild turkeys and Guinea Hens are running around. They only venture down from lake this time of year.

Shall I get the Fireball shots ready toots?

dinahmow said...

I was hoping the Covid thing might have kept the gun nutters at home.
I'm with you on hunting. A quick, clean death and a struggling family gets enough protein to work through a few more weeks.
And make NO MISTAKE, hunting for food is not the same as wild animals being trapped and shipped in dreadful conditions to markets supplying sad old men who think exotic animals are like Viagra.

Bob said...

We were warm, near 80s last week, and now we're cooling to the 60s; leaves are falling. It's nice.

Ms Scarlet said...

I want to know what the fat chubby birds are!!

Anyhow, they are much the same with pheasants around these parts - it's disgusting - they shoot badly and leave the birds to suffer a lingering death. Horrible.