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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Bluebirds on parade

June 24, 2012 | 10:00 a.m. CDT
Photographer John Hall has been photographing the baby bluebirds in his backyard for weeks. They are finally out on their own but still under the care of Mr. Bluebird.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings and 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. This is Mr. Hall's seventh post describing the actions of a Bluebird family in his backyard. You can find the first six here, here, here, here here, and here.

When the last photos were shared I was sure that the bluebird saga was at an end.  Currently, I'm not sure it ever will be. Yesterday I heard the patter of little feet and the unmistakable voice of the male bluebird. So, I hauled the Nikon gun (camera) and the Sigma bullet (lense) out of the basement and shot some bluebirds. While out there Mr. Bluebird asked that I keep the mealworm bowl supplied with eating material since he was running all over the south end of town feeding the four little ones who think they are big enough to be on their own but aren't. He told me a couple of them would probably be moving back in with him when they graduated from BU. That's neither Baylor nor Boston University, but rather Bird University. More on bird higher education at another time.


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

A couple of other photos of zinnias with and without visiting bumblebees and black-eyed Susans are included for a bit of color and to break up the monotony of bluebirds.

I'm saving the readership from the scenes of death and destruction. Yesterday, I had to lay pop cardinal beneath the bird bath after he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. The killer didn't even stop to examine the body or lay it beside the road. The final resting place of pop cardinal was just a few feet from the blackberry patch where he hung out waiting for the next berry to ripen. 

In that same area, within five feet of pop cardinal's grave, stands the monument to senseless brutality. The roof was ripped from the wren house and an entire generation never got to see the light of day. I've put out the call to any "kind hearts" to join in John's Backyard Watch but as yet there are no takers. And, if I had to make a prediction I'd guess there won't be any, either. 

However, I'm not alone when it comes to people losing their friends. I heard this week from one photo recipient who lost their pet duck to the neighbor's dog. Another story that turned out well was a fellow photographer who heard sounds of anguish on the Katy Trail. It was a young fawn caught in a fence. She was unable to free it but a couple of cyclists came along and got the little thing out of its predicament. It hobbled away with three good legs and one in very nasty shape. She shared a photo of it but none of the gore.

I'm sure none of you enjoy bad news but the news of the exploits of nature surpass the news seen on television or in the newspaper about the exploits of man. Methinks that I'll stay outdoors and take pictures of nature at least until the passage of the first Tuesday in November. Can I get an Amen on that?

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.