Spring is here, spring is here. Life is skittles, life is beer. I think the very best time of the year is the spring. I do. Don’t you? I think I’d better stop now before Tom Lehrer comes after me for plagiarism. I don’t really mean to copy him, but frankly, I like the sentiment of the line. Life is skittles and beer in the spring. New plants and flowers are growing in the garden, the deer lose their shyness and eat the said plants so I never have to weed, and lastly the newly un-snow-covered dog-turds release a traditional fragrance which reminds us all that inside is cleaner and we should be watching reruns of the National Geographic specials if we want nature.
Nature is just too dangerous and not for the faint of heart. Last year for instance, I went to the park for a short walk with my son and we were quickly set upon and trapped by a hoard of very strange creatures. They looked almost human which I admit was a very deceptive disguise. It lured us in very quickly. By the time I noticed the binoculars and long-range cameras it was too late. The jumped us, surrounded, and set upon us asking questions about the avians we had seen. Yes, we were attacked by birdwatchers. Our walk just happened to coincide with a warbler migration. Oh, horror.
Let me explain. Birdwatchers are a strange group who study flight paths of our feathered friends in the hopes of seeing a rare specimen. Apparently, I live in an area which happens to be a rest stop for warblers. You might not know this, but to cause a birdwatcher to miss spotting a bird, is a legitimate excuse to kill someone. Look it up. the case is People vs Irwin Noodlemeyer. Apparently, he stood up in front of a judge and plead guilty. When asked why, Irwin answered, “He made me miss a Ruby Throated, Yellow Crested Blackburnian Warbler.” The judge dismissed the case, grabbed a pair of binoculars and ordered Noodlemeyer to take him to the exact spot. Sad to say they’ve infiltrated out justice system.
Anyway, my son and I were frightened, being mobbed with so many questions, and surrounded by so many watchers. Luckily someone whispered, “Hey, there’s a Blue Throated, Black Beak,” and for some reason they all ran away to snap pictures. We slipped away with our lives intact.
You might think this is a minor thing, nothing but a group of overzealous hobbyists. Well I believe this behavior is caused by excessive exposure to nature not just simple exuberance. Why it wasn’t a hundred yards down the creek, we were following, we saw a flock of killer ducks. An old man, just trying to nice, had tossed a few pieces of moldy bread to some green-headed monsters. They came out of the water quacking and demanding more. The man threw a couple of crusts but the murderous fowl were not satisfied. I kid you not. They came at the man flapping and setting up a smoke screen of flying molted feathers. The feathers overtook the man and the ducks kept coming. We turned our heads away from the scene which was sure to be bloodier than the worst teen slasher movie. Thank goodness his lawyer showed up in time with a Cease-and-Desist order, and a few state troopers. The ducks went slowly back to the creek, but they kept looking back at the old man, threateningly, as if to say, “We’re still watching you.”
The thing is that if nature stayed within its boundaries it might be all right, but it doesn’t. When I was growing up there was a big department store parking lot across the street from the lake. The gulls claimed it as their own. For a while all species lived in harmony, until someone dropped half a donut. The morsel sat there for a few moments then the birds descended on it like they were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Overnight their love for people-food became unbelievable. At first, they were happy with scraps, but the need grew into open stealing. The donut shop had to close when a lady was attacked for her box of glazed delicacies. Peace returned only when it was decided a bag of fries allowed three humans safe passage. That was before the Canadian geese moved in.
The geese had pretty much kept to the golf course for several years until they bred to much. They needed more room and wanted that parking lot. It was a turf war of the first magnitude. And as in every war it was the innocent who suffered. As the birds played out their drama the geese learned of the Holy Grail of snacks, and started stealing from the gulls, but more so directly from the poor humans. There was much blood and carnage and few survivors. These days the parking lot and department store are just a ghost town. None but the stoutest of heart go there. To this day, though the fries are no longer, the geese and gulls still battle over the debris, even though all the spoils are long gone.
And just when you think there might be stability in the area once again, a new threat rears its ugly head. What horrors will befall us you can only imagine, but one look at these foul beasts strikes fear in the hearts of the most unbendable of men. I have seen the monstrous creatures myself and I fear the lake. For lack of a better name I have christened them the “Punk Ducks.”
If you have never seen the fowl creatures, I will attempt to describe them. First, they wear all gray, not white like a dove or black like a crow, but somewhere in between immediately labeling itself as a rebel. Then it has dyed its hair orange and shaved it into a mohawk. No good can come from this radical behavior. I even noticed its beak is curved at the end with a pointy hook. Obviously, a strange piercing of some sort. I only saw these freaks of nature swimming but I just bet they don’t wear belts and their pants hang over their butts showing off their underwear. It’s disgusting.
I started watching one bird sitting on the lake then another joined, then another and another. A gang was forming as I watched. Then from the side a bird, which looked very similar except it was well groomed with slicked back black feathers, came up to the freaks. A poor clean-cut youth was trying to get into the gang. A ranger tried to tell me that the slick one was a male and the orange ones with mohawks were females. It’s worse than I thought. The Punk Ducks are using sex and prostitution to recruit new members. In no time at all they’ll be taking over parking lots from the geese and gulls. It may not matter to you, but soon the geese on golf courses will be overrun as well. Then you’ll all take notice.
Yet another news story the press seems to ignore. But I wanted to mention it. Hey, since we’re all stuck inside because of Covid-19, we may as well think the rest of nature is dangerous too.