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FROM READERS: Photos of stormy skies, cowbirds and toadstools

Monday, May 7, 2012 | 6:31 p.m. CDT; updated 9:16 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 7, 2012
Reader John Hall shared this photo of a toad stool. He wrote in his FROM READERS submission that they "looked good enough to eat."

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years. Hall was featured in a Columbia Missourian article published Saturday in which he reminisced on his days as a bat boy in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri (KOM) Baseball League.

Some days it was just better staying indoors and taking photos of the sky boiling like a witches cauldron. In the three photos of the stormy sky, I stood in the front door for a view of the "end of the world" and then went to the back door to catch the last of the photos. It didn't look too promising by searching the sky in all directions. It "shaked, rattled and rolled" for a few minutes. Then, the sun came out and the humidity skyrocketed.

Most of you have tired of my iris and I think my first wife has too. One lost its leg and my wife was ready to throw it in the trash but I saved it by placing it in a small glass of water. It took a big swig and said "Thank you."

As you are also probably tired of hearing, the cowbirds and cardinals are always in the same area. The cowbirds are nest robbers in the sense they lay their eggs in the cardinal's nest and they hatch prior to the baby red birds. Then, the little cowbirds kick the little cardinals out of the nest when they hatch. There are always more baby cardinals on the ground begging for a second chance than any other bird in my rookery.

Prior to mowing the lawn Saturday I checked out the toad stool production from the overnight hours. They looked good enough to eat. But by virtue of my writing this late on Sunday afternoon you know I refrained from consuming any of them. When I see a toad stool I think of one of the roles Clint Eastwood played where he ate some at a meal hosted by a group of nuns. I think that was a movie or else I'm hallucinating from handling those fungi yesterday.

Well, I'm done. Oh, one other thing. If any of you saw the newspaper article that appeared today, I have a lot to say about that photo of Yours truly. I've already taken a lot of heat for it and in turn I've increased the heat on the pictorial staff of the publication. I've already had readers send me photos of themselves in the same pose that photo made it appear I was. No, I wasn't doing a nasal exam and I'm consulting my lawyers —Dewey, Cheatum and Howe — to ascertain what kind of damages can be obtained, in a civil suit, other than a nose bleed. I had some consolation from my wife who told me the photo didn't look like me at all. I don't know if she was telling me I looked worse or not quite as bad. For those of you who are interested I can share a photo from one reader who was so insensitive as to attempt to emulate my pose. As of tomorrow I'm going into the witness protection program to avoid being seen in public. It's the pits to be embarrassed in front of "God and the world."

Once I get out of the witness protection program, and have facial reconstruction surgery, I'll get back with you. If you have any suggestions who I should be made to appear as, let me know. Maybe, I should tell my plastic surgeon to make me look like Clint Eastwood did before he ate the toad stool dinner.

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. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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