Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Sunday, January 09, 2011: Hideous. Pure unadulterated hideosity. I just got in fromoutside and this simply sucks. It’s not only bitterly cold and fully snowedover and ice caked but my wind gauge has spiked to over 40 mph. That puts wind-chillsin the arctic zone.
This weather cruelness forces a weird degree ofphilosophizing. It wasn’t that many moons ago that I was hissing obscenities atthe sizzling skies. Recall, if you can, that in 2010 we had more 90-degree-plusdays than had ever been previously recorded. It was so hot that entire dayswere all but shot to hell if you weren’t tucked in some air-conditionedcubicle. I now find myself contemplating what’s worse: ferocious frigidity withfrostbite written all over it or searing heat that can melt the brain out eardrums?
Of course, there are many who point to these meteoro-extremesas the stuff of global warming. Somehow or other, the warmists actually ratchetup their foreboding beliefs in the face of freezes. They hotly assert that thefrigid side of “warming” is due to radical weather patterns caused by the big icecaps meltdown – and related shifts in global wind and ocean currents fosteringiciness and torridity.
Truth be told, it’s all academic as to why sky-things seemso crazed out there. I, for one, feel it’s the way the world is now so utterlyaware of everything. Via a seamless grid of real-time computer communications,we now hear and often see every metrological outburst as it happens -- everywhere.Tell me all this sky wildness hasn’t been happening for millions of years. Nowthat we’re totally tuned in, it all seems wild and wooly – when seeing it as ithappens.
IT’S RAINING BIRDS: Far more crazed than brutal weatherswings are bizarre wildlife die-offs taking place around the planet. Massivefish and crab die-offs are being seen in Europe. But morestunning are birds going psycho. (I’m a Hitchcock fan)
Not that far south of us, redwing blackbirds and starlings aresuddenly dropping from the sky, dead as flying doornails. And we’re not justtalking Heckle and Jeckle found DOA in the gutter. Within a short timeframe (acouple weeks), dead and dying blackbirds all but poured out of the skies over Arkansasand Tennessee –5,000-plus DOAs crash-landingnear Beebe, Ark.more than a few Bible Belt southerners were more than a tad spooked by deadanimals falling from above.
To rule out a potentially communicable disease, healthdepartment officials tested many of those lifeless birds. They quickly came upwith that strangest of medical diagnoses: the birds were all healthy, albeit quite dead.
On second shake, that healthy-but-dead prognosis is actuallyquite accurate. There wasn’t a single bird showing the presence of any killerpathogens. Weirdly, all the tested birds had died of internal injuries from bluntforce trauma. Not that disease was high on the possibility list. There’svirtually no known illness that can cause 5,000 birds to die simultaneously inmid-flight. And, NO (!), there were no windmills within miles. (Don’t even getme started on that crap)
As predictably as PETA asserting some human cruelty causedthe bird deaths, doomdayists are bandwagoning, saying it’s all a vivid preludeto end times, circa late 2012. One overly dedicated Mayan calendar worshippereven produced a “primitive Mayan painting,” highlighted by images of dead birdsall over the ground, right beneath the date “2010.” It caused quite the mediauproar -- which rapidly subsided when a reporter noticed the “primitive”artifact still had wet paint and all the birds had little “X”s in their eyes.
Not to be left out of the doomsday loop, conspiracy buffsare absolutely salivating over “indisputable evidence” that it was secret testsby our government that knocked the birds for a loop, via an LRAD (long range acousticdevice), sometimes called a sound cannon or, more recently, a TweetyTenderizer. One astuteness-challenged conspiracist even suggested, “The deadbirds should be checked for hearing loss.” Newsflash: The birds are dead, dude.They can’t hear anything.
In due respect for those lost blackbirds, I decided I shouldtry to ferret out why those flocks of birds suddenly kicked the featherybucket? What I discovered on first flush, I mean first blush, was the absoluteun-uniqueness of such die-offs. Therehave been reports of astounding and instantaneous bird die-offs dating backthousands of years – and right up to the present. Pretty much the entire planethas experienced such avian fallout.
One knee-jerk theory is lightning, which surely can take outa whole slice of sky in a billion-volt heartbeat. That flashy possibility fadesin the face of research showing that most investigated bird die-offs occurred onclear days – often the clearest of clear days. Also, a lighting strike would surely singe andburn its victim. No such damage could be found on birds checked after recent die-offs.All in all, it remains a mystery – albeit a cool mystery.
As for the recent showing of fish and crab die-offs (mainlyin Europe), I’ll bet the farm those are related toeither weather (thermal shock) or toxins (human or natural). Those causes are easilyproven. I’m sure the crabs float-ups in Englandand the fish die-offs in Swedenare not even remotely related to birds crashing down in Tennessee.Now, to have crabs crashing out of the skies …