FROM READERS: A Cardinal who got all wet and an update on Daddy Bluebird

Thursday, June 7, 2012 | 7:08 p.m. CDT; updated 2:52 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 11, 2012
This bird is a male of the Cardinal species, after getting wet. This how the St. Louis Cardinals look after a road trip to Atlanta, New York and Houston. They have changed their color, are all wet and are back in the bush leagues.

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

(If you can't see the slideshow embedded above, view it on Flickr here.)

Well, I missed the Venus, Sun rarity this week since I didn't know about it until it was over. But, I was up prior to sunrise on the 5th and captured the "Moon-set." I captured it as it attempted to hide behind a pine tree and then a maple.

Since I was already up I decided to drink a cup of coffee and walk the yard. The first thing captured was the Rose of Sharon which hangs around the southeast side of the house for protection. Then, I walked out toward the street where some of the zinnias think they are cowboys and cowgirls and hang out around an old wagon wheel. The black-eyed Susans have lived there for a while. In that last photo of that group, one of the Susans is hosting a beetle.

The photo of the butterfly is shown not to demonstrate the ability of the camera to take the photo of a butterfly a half block away but to brag about my ability to have seen it with the naked eye at that distance.

Some sagas never end, and the bluebird/sparrow battles never cease. I found the sparrows pretty much behaving. However, when turning the big lens toward the bluebird box I spied a sparrow in the wrong place. Immediately, I went from picture taker to landlord enforcement officer. I didn't take the time to lecture the sparrow only to tell it that severe punishment was imminent if what I feared had happened.

I knew the bluebirds had a nest of little ones. So, to check on their health I opened the front of the box and saw four mouths in the "begging for food" position. The sparrow had been deterred from killing off the little blues, and I waited for daddy blue to come back from worm harvesting. He went and checked things out and then left. Mom arrived a short time later to change the diapers and wait for dad to bring home a midmorning snack.

Just as he had done a couple of days ago (here's the first chapter of the story), blue daddy came back with a spider. The photos show dad again being rebuffed from bringing the spider into the nest. I don't know if there is any significance to dad being shunned or not. However, I've seen him hanging out the last couple of days looking at another bird house. I don't know if he's contemplating moving out of his current arrangement or is looking for someone with whom he can move in who isn't so picky about spiders.

It's the little things that cause some birds to "fly the coop" if you get my drift, and since you all are more than "Three times seven" you do get it.

Figuring out what bird was the most appreciative of my watering efforts yesterday is depicted next. With the extremely dry weather, the birds come running, or flying, when they see the sprinkler running up my water bill.

A male cardinal stopped in the wisteria bush and bathed as long as the water was on. It's amazing how their color and appearance change when they are taking a bath, combing and blow drying their hair in anticipation of a night on the town or day in the backyard. This is how the St. Louis Cardinals look after a road trip to Atlanta, New York and Houston. They have changed their color, are all wet and are back in the bush leagues. You're looking at a male of the cardinal species.

Summer is tough on dogs too. Miss Banshee loves cold weather, and when the temperature gets about 60 she'd just as soon lay around the house and take it easy. Now, into her 15th summer she's figured things out. Thor, on the other hand, still dreams of being a ballplayer and carries one around with him, even to take a nap. He might even be thinking of his mother.

Never was there a dog who loved chasing a yellow/green tennis ball more than Miss Daisy. If the ball was any other color she'd have nothing to do with it. It was nearly two years ago at this time she left us but she took along one of those balls to her final resting place. I suspect she gets up when no one is looking and chases it around the back yard once in a while.

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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