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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: A number of fowl fly through Columbia

By JOHN HALL/MISSOURIAN READER
February 18, 2013 | 4:51 p.m. CST
Pelicans make their way north through Missouri.

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

Here are a few things spotted after the sun came up.  The great pelican drive is now under way. Boys from the Bayou country drive these mighty herds of pelicans up the central flyway making sure they eat well and are protected before they sell them to pelican ranchers of the Great Lakes.  They collect their pay, just like the cowboys did on the Chisholm and other trails, when the cattle were driven to the railroad centers for transport to Chicago and Kansas City.  It is rumored that Pelicans are preferred over prime beef in some areas and thus every measure possible, is taken, to make sure every head arrives safely at their summer destination. Don't get upset. If people eat cows, pigs, sheep, duck, geese et. al., what would be so bad if they ate the Louisiana State symbol?  Maybe someone has tried and didn't like it. I once lived in Florida and went to a barbershop where the proprietor told me of his bird netting project.  He caught Cardinals and ate them.  As I recall, I never went back to that establishment. Okay, so much for my sordid stories of the past.

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A few White Fronted Geese were spotted but they were in a hurry to pack their bags for the Siberian express. I guess other than pelicans, the mallards, northern shovelers and green wing teals stole the limelight in the brief, early morning bird shoot.

Once again, I found that when you don't do something on a regular basis you forget the basics.  I intended to use a support for the big camera lens this morning.  When I put it on the mono pod that thing wilted like a willow in a wind storm.  So, the photos taken with "Big Bertha" or "Big Bert," whatever gender that lens happens to be, the photos were a bit blurry.  But, if the photos I share with you were perfect I'd have to charge for them and then I wouldn't have a single viewer.

Happy Presidents Day, I guess.  About all it means is that the mail won't be delivered and the trash won't be hauled.  Maybe with the government employees off the street, for another day, I can make it back to the wild outdoors tomorrow,  with a hefty tripod, and take some good pictures.  Or, as I keep telling my wife, maybe I should get me one of those fancy new cameras before going out again. Chances of that happening — somewhere between the national debt being abolished in three years and the Cubs winning the World Series in this century. 

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

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 Joy Mayer.