FROM READERS: John Hall's small world

Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 6:34 p.m. CDT
Reader John Hall shared this picture of a cardinal.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

Late March has continued like the first part — mostly beautiful.  The days are full of action starting with foggy mornings and the the sights and sounds of nature becoming more optimistic that it will continue to be a perfect year.

Last week the rental agreement was worked out with the Sparrow family. However, some of their shiftless cousins decided to move into the Bluebird family mansion. There was a lot of activity from a bunch of hooligans who thought they had found a great hangout. Quickly, I went out and posted the "No Vacancy" sign.  Not willing to give up, the Sparrows continued to try to figure out how to fix that trap door.  One of the guys finally figured out that he had entered that home earlier in the day through a hole in the door. So, he sticks his head in that hole again to see if that procedure would work again.

Two things are vying for #1 in the backyard beauty pageant this week. The Cherry tree seems to be winning at the present time. My wife loves it and continues to make comments on its appearance. Each time she says how beautiful it is I'm reminded of the day I put it in the ground nearly 20 years ago. "Oh, that thing won't grow and you might as well cut it down now." I believe that might be the only time in over 50 years I've been right when "discussing" things with my wife. I'm now "1 for 1,000,000."

With a lot of Cardinal activity, and the starting of construction of their nests, it is predictable that the Cowbirds have returned. I noticed this lady Cowbird was "messing around" in the seed pile with the Cardinal family acting as if she wanted to be friends. All that she is doing is spying on them to figure out where they are building. Then, when the nest is built she'll hop in, lay the eggs and say "adios" to the little eggs and leave the raising of her family up to someone else. I've never figured out if Cowbirds are incompetent when it comes to bird raising or if they have figured out the system that it is easier for them to let others to take care of their responsibilities. When I figure that out I'll then become an expert in human interactions.

March 27th was a great moon and galaxy evening but I couldn't get all of the images of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, or whatever they were into the camera lens so I stuck with the quarter moon. I almost got "stuck" with something else early this morning when picking up a plastic planter contained. I shook it and out came a wasp. This wasp wasn't that aggressive as all it wanted to do was burrow into the ground.

The other folks in the photos are Banshee and Skye, the English Cockers. They were thrilled when I took the cushions out of the basement and put them on the chairs on the patio. At the crack of dawn, today, they were out there enjoying the spring breeze and wheezing because of the nearby Wisteria. This old guy and Banshee have been friends longer than George Bush and Barack Obama have been president, combined. We hope to be friends long after both of them are gone from the political arena. However, Banshee has lost her hearing in recent weeks and we communicate with hand signals which works well. I've noticed recently that we're both going to have the same level of hearing before many more of those quarter moons shown in are experienced.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how.

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