and the rockets’ red glare

I live near an airport. Near the airport, there are lots of starlings. Lots of starlings. They get sucked into engines of airplanes and cause lots of problems. I had a biology professor back at North Texas State University who was in the Air Force and did research on birds getting sucked into engines of planes.

The birds

The birds

In the fall, the starlings get really bad, especially when the weather gets cold. They start to head south for the winter. Huge swaths of black undulate across the sky; thunderous beatings of wings thicken the air; and you really can’t help feel as if you have been transported to Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds.”

Dale, the new basset to our family, has quickly filled the empty hole left by our recently deceased basset, Wilson. He loves to walk. Every day at lunch and when I come home, he wants (needs) to go out for a spin. He is a bundle of pent up energy.



Tonight, we made it out for a late spin, just as the light was fading. The birds were filling the air above us, waving in ribbons across the sky, undulating and squawking their curious cacophony.

As we walked toward the subdivision down the road from us, we could hear blasts in the fields. Being hunting season, you would think the blasts were from late afternoon hunters. Instead, the airport sets off blasts that attempt to scare off the birds. As we got closer to the houses, we heard the whistling of firecrackers, similar to bottle rockets…screams, swirls, and pops…swiftly followed by the big booms of their blasting devices. It sounded like the Fourth of July, except there were no real fireworks…just the flapping of birds exploding across the sky.

We returned home, thankful we don’t live in that subdivision…all the noise with none of the glory…


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