Archive for May 18th, 2013

The River

Moving In

The 1963 Alfred Hitchcock documentary film The Birds chronicles that parlous period when the birds of Sonoma County, California decided they’d had just about enough out of the humans, and so started pecking big holes in their bodies.

What the Hitchcock documentary does not depict is the armistice negotiated by the squirrels, which ended the bloodshed between the humans and the flying dinosaurs. As in the mike and manKorean War, there was no actual peace treaty, but instead merely an agreement to suspend hostilities.

Like the Koreans, the birds remain grumpy. As I experienced firsthand, when I lived in Sonoma County some decades ago. When I would labor on my automobile, for instance, ravens would wait until I was wedged under the thing, then swoop down and steal small loose parts with their demon beaks, returning with them to the trees, there to laugh in my face.

I was reminded of this Wrongness when I recently stumbled upon evidence of what appears to be a nationwide movement among animals to move into the yards and houses and automobiles of the humans.

Up there in the land of icepicks, a two-year old moose monikered variously Bullwinkle, Mr. Moose, and Mike, has taken to frequenting, in and around the hamlet of Crookston, a sugar beet factory, a pizzeria, a convenience store, a Ford dealership, and various and sundry backyards.

The moose seems a friendly enough creature, but nonetheless fills the humans with Fear. “Moose kill more humans than any other wild animal,” groused a human named Ross Hier, who claims to be some sort of “wildlife manager.” According to this quaky-pants, “if a moose doesn’t like the scenario, it can put its hooves through your stomach.”

Hier and Crookston Police Chief Tim Motherway said they were surprised about how the public was captivated by the moose, which grew into a tourist attraction. They feared that the moose would never want to leave.

However, success came on the fifth try of chasing the moose eastward with ATVs and other vehicles.

What a couple of nimrods. What if Mike the Moose gets pissed off? And rounds up some buddies? They could come thundering back into town, drunk on whiskey and hate, at which time no one’s stomach would be safe.

And speaking of whiskey, over in Brookline, Massachusetts a wild turkey flew through a window and into a house one recent Sunday night, apparently because it Felt Like It.

The turkey smashed through a double-paned window at the house on Addington Road around 6:30 p.m. April 28, leaving large holes in the screen and window shade, said Didi Coyle, who lives in the house.

Her husband, Tom Szydlowski, and their dog werelemme in sitting in the living room when the bird exploded through the glass. Coyle saw the incident from the outside; she was standing in her driveway with a neighbor when the bird barged in.

“I was just sort of casually watching it and I realized it was aiming for my house,” Coyle said. “It’s a big old Victorian house, a pinkish color, so I can’t imagine it didn’t see the house.”

The uninvited guest startled the family’s 12-year-old collie. While Coyle called police, the dazed turkey flew over Szydlowski’s head toward the back of the house, she said.

A Brookline police officer soon arrived and managed to corner the bird in a bathroom. The officer opened a back window and the turkey exited the house in a slightly more graceful manner than it had arrived, Coyle said.

Science Man Lowell George told Bedlam News Service that the turkey probably arrived in search of “weed, whites, and wine,” and will no doubt be back.

Finally, a black bear attempted to make off with a truck owned by Truckee, California human Evan Nielsen.

It’s a sight Evan Nielsen had to rewatch again and again to believe, even though he recorded the video—a black bear, making itself comfortable in his truck, after somehow opening the door and hopping in.
At one point, it seems like he even wavesgetaway driver to the camera.
“At one point, he had both hands up on the steering wheel, and was honking the horn with his snout,” Nielsen said. “It was pretty amazing for awhile.”
It looks like the bear was hoping to drive away, and very quickly. Nielsen knew he had to get this guy out, because in bear versus truck, the vehicle wasn’t holding up too well.
“Destroyed the back seat, this is where probably the majority of the damage is,” Nielsen said.
It appears that the bear, like the turkey, may be an imbiber of human beverages.
[Nielsen] thinks [the bear invasion] may have something to do with a cup filled with tea left it in his other car. The windows were down, the bear got in, drank the tea and went over to Nielsen’s truck, probably looking for more.

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