Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Pied-billed Grebe Floats and The Mules Watch

Pied-billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
From Central Park photographer, Eleanor Tauber, a lovely photo of the Pied-billed Grebe at the Model Boat Pond. She reports that the Grebe has been observed eating and seems to be doing just fine.

Though the Model Boat Pond isn't a natural pond in any way, it seems to be hosting the Grebe, its species being extremely partial to ponds, very nicely.

Looking at the Model Boat Pond's Grebe, a person could wonder why this pale beaked, small brown diving duck was said to be Pied-billed. Now a piebald horse has noticeable and contrasting spots. The Pied Piper, true to his medieval profession as an entertainer, wears bright parti-colored clothing.
So what's with the duck?
The Pied-billed Grebe, during breeding season, develops a black, not exactly bright colored but nicely contrasting with it's pale bill, ring around its bill.
The ducklings on the other hand are downright parti-colored when it comes to down. They have black and white stripes and a patch of red on the top of their heads and another between their eye and bill.

Once again here are my favorite mules, Kitty, Kitten, Dewey, and Zed. They're waiting their turn to plow once across the field in the plowing demonstration at the Rock River Thresheree. First comes the team of horses, then the mules, and various era tractors then follow showing the progression in American plowing practices.
I began to notice that the mules were watching the horses plow with various levels of interest. Dewey being the most focused. Could mules be competitive and Dewey just the most competitive of all?

Or does he find one of these blond mares to be particularly attractive? I'm betting on the mares.


A milestone was reached this week which reminded me of Henry the Raven. After 500 years, the first female Beefeater has been hired at The Tower of London. Which brought to mind Henry the Raven who was fired from The Tower. Dear Henry would escape from The Tower, walk down the sidewalk, climb a fire escape, make his way to the roof, and dismantle people's TV antennas. This proved to be extremely unpopular with the neighbors. After several episodes, he was sent on an "extended vacation" to a sanctuary in the country.
One does hope the sanctuary had cable.
Donegal Browne

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