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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Hot, hot and hotter

June 30, 2012 | 10:00 a.m. CDT
John Hall photographed this female Cardinal, who he refers to as Mrs. Cardinal, during the heat wave this week.

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.

One of the dogs chased the neighbor's cat this morning and it was so hot they both walked. That's an old joke but this weather is quickly getting the same way.

Whenever the water hose is turned on the birds come from every direction. The robins usually show up to see if any earth worms are being washed to the surface and the cardinals come to take a shower.

Mrs. Cardinal usually showers perched on the picket fence. The male will do it that way sometimes but really prefers to sit in the forsythia bush and remain there until the water source is turned off.  One photo was snapped as the wind blew a tree limb between the camera lens and the subject. However, its pretty obvious that Mr. Cardinal was enjoying the shower more than playing baseball at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

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

Robins usually prefers baths but will shower in emergencies. The robins and the sparrows  have vied for the leftover meal worms from the bluebird feeding frenzy that went on for a couple of weeks. I still hear and see Mr. Bluebird on a daily basis but I think the four young ones are already in school. I'll bet you thought only fish went to schools but birds have their own formal education. In those classes they learn to "shape up and fly right."

So much for the bad puns. There were a few photos take of millers and bumblebees on the butterfly bush. Notice the amount of pollen that the bumblebee collects, all over its anatomy. Sure hope he isn't allergic to pollen.

Well, that concludes the photos for this time. If you can't get enough cardinal photos, let me know. It seems that when one set of cardinals have a family tragedy the surviving bird goes out and finds a new mate or else a new couple comes to town and runs roughshod over the widow or widower as the case may be.

If these photos don't meet your exacting standards of taste and quality just return the portion not viewed for double your money back.

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.