YES, I AM STILL HERE looking out the window on Main Street, and I am celebrating the return of our Mississippi Kites.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. Yes, those are Mississippi Kites circling over our neighborhoods. They appeared here a week ago but I was unable to squeeze enough space somewhere in this column to make a grand announcement heralding their arrival for the summer.
Great birds to watch. They find wind currents and ride and ride and ride. If they espy something on the dinner table below they fold their wings and dive at a dizzying speed. I once saw them trailing bats over Main Street in Nashville. They hunted in pairs. The lead Kite would fly into the swarm of bats, and the trailing Kite would snatch breakfast from the scattered swarm. They took turns.
BIRD BATTLES. I’ve already written about the sparrow that chases a male Cardinal away from the peanut table on my patio. It even follows the Cardinal into the bush where the redbird apparently has a nest.
Now I have observed a Mockingbird which chases a female Bluebird right up to the entrance of her Bluebird box on my patio. I have not observed the Mockingbird chase Daddy Bluebird.
What’s going on with the birds? And why do my neighbors have colorful Orioles and I do not?
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ONE OF THE MEN who kept a low profile while helping form this community was CC ‘Corky’ Carlton who was buried here last week. For a couple of years he and I drove over to the planetarium at Henderson State University to watch those fascinating half-hour productions which are projected on the domed ceiling.
Corky told me he appreciated our trips because he could no longer drive at night. He also pointed out to me the spot where he was standing on the HSU campus when he heard the news that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.
He promoted the growth of commerce by luring some businesses, including the first local Walmart, to his SouthPark Shopping Center. It’s still a busy place. He also served SW Arkansas in the Arkansas Legislature. He was an entertaining man who had seen much of the world, and would gladly tell you about it. I think he also put in the first storage unit business here.
Peace to his family, and thanks to the Almighty for putting such people among us.
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I WILL BELIEVE it when I lay eyes on it.
Astronomers are predicting that we earthlings will be able to see a comet with naked eye beginning in June.
The comet is called SWAN, and it was discovered by an amateur astronomer from Swan Hill in Victoria, Australia.
This kind of comet is supposedly just a great big piece of space ice which has already circled the sun and is heading back our way.
I hate to tell you this because I know it won’t really happen — but we’re supposed to be able to get the best look at it shortly after sunset in the west-northwest sky, or just before dawn in the east-northeast.
As I said, I hate to get your hopes up.
Also, I hate it when the astronomers suggest that I go outside naked shortly after sunset.
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SUNDAY WORSHIP during the quarantine. For yet another Sunday the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to attend religious services in a variety of ways including local radio, Facebook, YouTube or streamed on the Internet home pages of churches
The obligation of Catholics to be present at a Sunday Mass is still suspended as of this writing.
But old habits die hard and I am trained to attend Mass on Sundays. Lately I’ve taken to picking out a church worldwide, and attending its live or streamed broadcast.
This past weekend I ‘attended’ Mass held in a modest side chapel at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Bergvliet, Capetown, South Africa.
The Mass was in the Queen’s English. The priest did not wear a facemask but he did use hand sanitizer once during the service. This time there was no altarboy. Instead, there was another priest who assisted but generally stayed off camera.
There were a few singers present but I never got a look at them. They didn’t sound like the first string, anyway.
If you keep up with this column you know that in previous quarantine Sundays I’ve been at Mass at Little Rock, New York City, Boston, Hong Kong, and in a small flower-surrounded church office in the Dominican Republic — all via the Internet. One of the good things about this kind of Sunday worship is that I can have a cup of coffee on the table beside me.
Next, maybe I’ll be at Sunday Mass from Nova Scotia, Singapore or Amsterdam.
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WORD GAMES. More twins: Curds and Whey. I’m not sure what they are, but Little Miss Muffet likes to sit on a tuffet and eat.
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HE SAID: “And I’d like to give my love to everybody, and let them know that the grass may look greener on the other side, but believe me, it’s just as hard to cut.” ‘Little Richard’ Penniman, singer, songwriter and musician
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SHE SAID: “Encourage children to write their own stories, and then don’t rain on their parade. Don’t say, ‘That’s not true.’ Applaud flights of fantasy. Help with spelling and grammar, but stand up and cheer the use of imagination.” Gail Carson Levine, author of young adult books
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby