Friday, April 15, 2005


Red-bellied woodpecker
I saw a red-bellied woodpecker the other day. He stopped briefly in the tree we planted in the backyard to block the view of our backyard neighbor's parked RV. Then, he was off to a more promising tree. He may or may not be one of the 17 red-bellied woodpeckers counted here on April 11 during The Great Backyard Bird Count.

It has been noted in Dallas that Lake Jackson has a lot more grackles than Big D -- 6,151 in LJ compared with 1,043 in J.R. Ewing's hometown. This is patently ridiculous, given the disparity in size. The bird counters in Dallas obviously are just tabulating the pretty birds and skipping the monochromatic ones to enhance their town's image, something right outta J.R. Ewing's playbook. And in Houston, only 484 grackles? Puh-leeeze.

Here in LJ, we count 'em all, choosing not to discriminate against any of God's creatures whether they're known for defecating in the most unfortunate of places or simply beautifying our dreary, humdrum lives.

Moreover, check out the number of grackles in Alvin -- 392! If that's true, they're all living above the Nolan Ryan statue in front of City Hall.

Common grackle

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