Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year - Day 8 - Birds, SPEBSQSA - Random Thoughts

Clear Sky with Birds - January 8, 2011
(all those little black lumps on the branches are Grackles)

Not all the birds in Arkansas fell out of the sky last week, as is evidenced by the hundred or so Grackles that are perched on the branches of this tree.   I was working in my craft room in midafternoon when I heard raucous noises from the back yard.  Black birds (not Blackbirds, but Grackles) were thick on the ground, scratching in the leaves for any dropped seeds around the bird feeders, or under the trees and bushes in search of bugs.  Dozens more were  fighting to drink from the bird baths at the same time.  When I tried to sneak around the side of the house to photograph them in the yard, they took flight, many perching in the neighbor's tree before flying on to where ever it is that Grackles go.

I consider Grackles 'nuisance birds' but they do have their own beauty. Sunlight glancing off their feathers reveals a blue/purple/green sheen; their feathers are actually quite pretty.  I hate to have just filled my feeders with expensive bird seed before a Grackle throng appears. They can clean out every feeder in a matter of minutes, leaving my Cardinals, Wrens, and other sweet little birds without a bite to eat.

After supper, I visited one of my rubber stamping buddies.  She lives about five miles from me, and I am a frequent visitor to her home. She has a marvelous craft area, a separate room that her sweet husband built for her several years ago. He says it was in self-defense; he was tired of seeing and walking around her craft supplies in the main part of the house.  That she also entertained her stamping friends in their den, where he really would have liked to have been watching TV, probably had nothing to do with his decision. Wanna bet?

My son, whose birthday it was today, was in Dallas at a Barbershop Quartet competition, so we had no birthday celebration.  He is very active in the Barbershop Harmony Society, also known as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc.  or SPEBSQSA.  You can read all about it here should you care to do so.  He is the director of the Diamond State Chorus, and he and three other fine fellows sing together beautifully in a quartet they have named Flashback, They do quite well in local and regional competitions.  I've been thinking about him and wishing them well today.  We'll celebrate his birthday one evening this coming week.

That's about it for this eighth day of the new year. Tomorrow is also a day.


Arkansas Patti said...

Don't Grackles make the most awful noise? I have found that beating on a garbage can lid scares the flock away to empty someone else's bird feeders. Gee do you think I sent them to you?
Happy Birthday to your son. Know you will enjoy the celebration when it happens.
Love the sound of barbershop quartets.

Abby said...

We don't have grackles here in the winter (at least none I see) but occasionally a flock of starlings show up. In winter they are speckled, making them even uglier than usual. I'm enjoying your sky pictures. If I did the same, all my pix would be gray, gray, gray.

Snap said...

Grackles will be grackles won't they?! Fortunately, I don't see them at our feeder ... perhaps because of my small space (postage stamp) back yard. I love Barbershop Quartets. Don't think there is another sound quite like it. Happy Birthday to your son and happy stamping!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

This is ugly but I wish it was the grackles who fell from the sky instead of the blackbirds... Oh Well.... That wasn't nice to say....

I used to have a good friend who was big in the Barbershop Quartet group (SPEBSQSA) ... He died several years ago--but he LOVED being involved in that group. Does your son sing with a quartet? OR is he judging competitions?

Are you supposed to get snow today/tomorrow? We are --and we already have about 2 inches on the ground and a low of 5 degrees this morning... Yipes!!!


rhymeswithplague said...

Loving your daily posts! It's nice to know that not ALL the birds fell out of the sky over Arkansas.

Ah, Speb-squassa! (at least, that's the way I say it).... Marietta, Georgia, is home to The Big Chicken Chorus, which, since your post is semi-avian, you might be interested in investingating why.

Barbershop singing requires unique skills, not the least of which is NO VIBRATO. My vibrato is so wide you could drive a truck through it, and getting worse as I get older. I guess it's no Speb-squassa for me!

Please convey Happy Birthday wishes to your son from the home area of The Big Chicken Chorus.

rhymeswithplague said...

You might also be interested in investigating.

Teacher's Pet said...

I love feeding "my" birds spring, summer, winter, and fall....they are so beautiful to watch. I learn a lot from watching them.
Hugs and smiles to you from Jackie

glenda said...

How could I get into rubber stamping, im in my sixtys know nothing about stamping but would love to learn,I live in Cabot Ar