Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bella and Carlo's Family

 (Continued from Mourning Dove Family II)

APRIL 16 (Monday)  I was home from Connecticut by 7:00 pm.  Most anxious 
I was to visit my family.  Carlo's feathers were highly and totally ruffled in the 
strong winds.  He was sitting high...possibly standing over “his charges”,
 protecting them as best he could!

APRIL 17 (Tuesday 4:30 to 5 pm)  Chilly air, sunny.  Sat at table with novel
to read. Bella, lovingly on her nest.  I was startled at the size of Frieda and Felix 
who sat each side of her.  How big they were!  How developed they were! 
Born only 8 days ago! “How could they grow so quickly and be so healthy?”
I ask myself.
(5:15 pm)  Heard the Twitters...believed it shift-time.  My two “Fat Fledglings”
sat side-by-side like beautiful twins...filling and crowding their nest home.
How cute and adorable they were...certainly wished my camera was operating.
Card was full and spare small-pic-card was also full...will go to Duncan and 
Wright tomorrow to rectify my problem.

APRIL 18 (Wednesday 9:00 am)  Before noon, left for Hamilton to meet my 
grandson, Jonathan, to install the repaired computer for my continued use.   
He was impressed with my Dove Family!  When we left here at 4:30 pm, 
Felix and Frieda alone.

APRIL 19 (Thursday 7:00 am)  No parent around...nor at 8:30 am.
(10:30 am)  Bella arrives to protect and feed them.  Carlo arrives on the railing
behind their nest.  Throughout the day both parents are constantly present...
preparing for Flight Day...I am sure!!! 
(1:30 pm) Carlo on the nest...then at 4:30 pm Bella arrives.  Felix (or is it Frieda?)
who actually spreads and flutters his wings and jumps about 5 inches off the nest
landing on the chair seat!  He looks “so mature” and almost like an “adult”! 
Frieda (?) flutters her wings...no attempt to jump! 
(5:30 to 6 pm) at my table chair and took photo.
(6:10 pm)  Carlo took off flying over the hydro wires. Took a close-up of F and F. 
The offspring are restless, anxious, knowing they must soon accomplish something.
They flap their wings with whole body in motion...such perfectly formed wings!
Preparation for Flight Day tomorrow...is a certainty!

April 20 (Friday 7 am)  They are ALONE!  Is this “Flight Day”?  It was
14 days ago they were born!  Incredible is the growth spurt in this time frame!

(8:00 am)  Bella swoops in with her Twitters...to oversee today's events.
(11:30 am)  Sitting at my table chair to observe “proceedings of the day”.
Very chilly!  The young ones are fluttering their wings...very anxious they are
on this possibly significant day!  They look very sizeable when spreading their
wings 5 to 6 inches.  One parent flies to the railing...then the other to urge, to
encourage, to demonstrate and to invite them to fly...today!  Parents wait together
for about 10 minutes before “swooshing” to the hydro wires for another 15 minute
...waiting.  I then moved from the table area to my near chair by the door...
not wanting to disturb their “instruction day”.  The young ones are again anxious
and fidgety and obviously nervous about the expectations of this day!
Bella flew to the railing behind nest...waited a few minutes before retreating to 
the wires with Carlos.  Felix and Frieda flex their wings many times into widespread
position...then settle into the nest for a rest.  Carlos flew to the rail...again waited...
retreating to the hydro wires. 
(12:10 pm)  I came inside to prepare lunch..contemplating about this Flight Day,
realizing that they will soon be leaving this 3rd floor balcony abode.
(12:15 pm)  Checking again...both parents there.  I opened the door about 2 inches;
Carlo flew away...leaving Bella “in charge”.She feeds Felix with mighty thrusts
such that their bodies tremble and shake with each pumping action to deliver
“lunch” ...which I believe energizes the fledgling. 
(2:30 to 3 pm)  Only Felix and Frieda occupying “the home”.
(4:00 pm)  Took novel with me to observe again.  Felix and Frieda stand for a few
minutes...then flex their wings many times to full width...nervously they preen
their feathers in between these efforts. 
(5:00 pm) Bella swooped in from the east... air-sailing with full feathered formation
and her 7 Twitter message...landing on the back railing.  She WAITS!  From there
she flies over the balcony, swooping downward (first time I've seen this direction)
to the concrete walkway below.
(5:16 pm)  I come inside; 2 minutes later hear her message; checking, I note she is
feeding F or F; she stays around; at 5:55 she's gone again!
(6:30 pm) Bella returns to feed other fledgling...hopefully strength for flight.
She retreats to the high wires. 
(7:30 pm)  Carlo appears briefly... at 8:00 pm I note F and F are alone for the night.

APRIL 21 (Saturday 8 am)  15th day following birth.  Alone! Overcast sky and 
may rain. Extremely chilly and breezy! 
(12:40 pm)  Bella on the chair...F and F flutter wings several times...practising!
Both parents continue to fly in and out...during my 90 minute bridge game with
Renda (from Oregon) on BBO...and wonder if she has had experiences with
Mourning Doves. Carlo and Bella twittering with their constant visits between
railing and high wire positions.  Of interest to note that....both parents are
“together” on these exercises to promote messages to these “babes” they must fly
...giving them instruction and direction how to do so! 
(1:00 pm)  Bella arrives to “chat”(?) about today's challenge and expectations.
Bella flies to the chair arm....Felix does likewise!  (Good Boy...I say).  She
swoops downward to the ground...he observes...yet nervously and with his
determination, he takes off to follow her.  (Frieda remains on the nest).
Looking over the balcony to the paved path below...do not see him or her.
A second glance tells me he landed on a  main floor patio wooden fence.
There he sits!  Made it!!! 
Now, Frieda realizes she is ALONE on the nest...very nervous and edgy and
frustrated...she walks around the chair seat...flutters her wings and jumps to
the chair arm...(Hurray...I say)...she flaps her wings a bit looking at the
railing that is about 13 inches higher than the chair arm.  Sadly she retreats
to the nest.  Repeating this exercise...flies easily to chair arm...she seriously
contemplates and hesitates...makes a 3rd attempt and fails to go further.
(3:35 pm) Due to cold...my hands an feet are almost numb...I come inside.
During this 2 ½ hour time period Bella returns again and again with her
constant Twitters each time. Returning to balcony, I see Carlo on the paved
walkway below...Felix leaves the patio fence...and with “Dad” struts along
the walkway to the grassy area.  Carlo flies up to the fence...Felix flutters
up there, too.Next, Carlo flies into a low leafy tree branch...and guess what?
Felix followed him. Over the next hour or so, “Dad” and “son” playfully strut
around from ground to fence to trees. Once I saw a black squirrel in their vicinity
and wondered about his intent …Carlo would then fly them to the fence and into
the trees...then I lost track of  them.

It is suffise for me to summarize the next few hours.  Frieda tried desperately
to make that flight...since she was now ALONE.  She made 40 to 50 attempts
jumping easily to the chair arm...walking its length a few times...looking at the
railing...flapping her wings...hesitating each time...viewing Bella through the
balcony bar uprights. Every 10 minutes or so, Bella would swoop up to the railing...
or to the neighbour's railing...or to the roof overhang...each time swooping
down to the ground.This repetition I conclude is to show Frieda “how easy it is”
(but as I say to my son frequently...'it's easy...when you know how'). 
With brief feedings for her, Bella again jumped to the chair arm...then to the railing
and waited...before swooping again to the ground below.  I estimate that Bella must
have made at least 25 visits to Frieda with her fly-ups to these three locations and
swoop downs to urge her babe.  Frieda, after several attempts, returned to nest for
preening and rest.  I sympathized with her...wanting to gently hold and place her
on the railing...but THIS I WOULD NOT DO...she needed  her mama or papa
to fly down with her to join the family.  ALONE, she was nervous and frustrated!

The parents spent 4 ½ hours prodding their fledglings to fly!
(5:30 pm)  Nothing occurring! 
(7:30 pm)   Frieda is ALONE!  I told her, “You tried your best, my little friend.
Have a good rest tonight. Tomorrow is another day!”

APRIL 21 (Saturday 8 am)  THE NEST IS EMPTY … SHE FLEW!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

This second experience of observing and following the lives
of these two mating pairs of Mourning Doves
has impressed me with the given opportunities
(both unexpected)
to value...what is so rare!

Grateful thanks I give to
Rosie, Papa...Henry and Heather
and to Bella, Carlo...Frieda and Felix
for sharing their families with me.

“Pearl of Wisdom”
Your enjoyment of something doubles
if you realize how lucky you are to have it!
If everyone had huge diamonds on their fingers,
or if sunsets  were universally scarlet and gold,
then we wouldn't Value them at all!
(Gerry Spence)

Merle Baird-Kerr … written April 24, 2012
Comments welcome … scroll down (may sign in as “anonymous”)
or e-mail...inezkate@gmail.com

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mourning Dove Family II

My first introduction to these birds  was late July, 2010.  My third floor
balcony became their home during the nesting period.  How privileged I was
to have the time to not only educate myself about them, but especially to observe
their routines which I documented on a daily basis.  There is much to be learned
about these mating  pairs. The similarity  between Mourning Doves and Humans
in relationships is uncanny and amazing!

I invite you to “read all about it” in a 4-part written account posted on my blog
from August 1 to August 4, 2011 titled:  From Nuisance to Miracle
                                                             Nuisance to Miracle Pt II, Part III, Part IV.
                                                             Read this 2010 narration about Rosie,
                                                             Rosie, Papa and their two young ones,
                                                             Henry and Heather.
Last summer, there was a low, almost flat nest built again (as in 2010) on the same
black wrought-iron-chair...composed of twigs and grasses.  Unfortunately, no doves
to lay eggs.  The “why” is unknown to me.

To appreciate today's writing about my current family, these basic facts
may interest you.As a member of the “dove family,” they are also called
Turtle Doves or Australian Mourning Doves or Rain Doves ~ also formerly
known as Carolina Pigeons or Carolina Turtle Doves.
The dove is one of the most abundant and widespread of North American
birds.  It is also the leading Game Bird in United States.
Its ability to sustain its population, under such pressure to exist, stems from
its prolific breeding.  In warm areas, one pair may raise up to 6 broods a year
(here in southern Canada, up to 4 a year.) Its plaintive...woo-OO-oo-oo-oo
call, gives the bird its name. 
The wings can make a whistling or whooshing sound on take-off or landing. 
A strong flier, it is capable of speeds up to 88 k/h (55 m/h). 
Notation: The only conversation(s) I heard from among my two pairs of
doves was a series of  fast….twitter, twitter, twitter, twitter, twitter, 
twitter, twitters.

                SIZE AND SHAPE: Streamlined and graceful in appearance with a
                relatively small head and long pointed tail measuring from tail tip to
                bill up to 13 inches in length. Males and females are often the same
                size and therefore, not distinguishable.

                 COLOUR PATTERN:  They are overall grayish blue or grayish brown
                 and generally muted in colour.  Some are light buffy-tan (as the doves
                 in this story); all have black spots  (speckles) on their wings and have
                 black-bordered white wing tips to the tail feathers.  They have small
                 black bills  and reddish-pink legs and feet.  The male may be larger
                 than female and slightly brighter in colour.  Males may have a bluish
                 crown and rosy-beige breast (like Papa in my first family).

                 HABITAT:  Mourning Doves may be seen nearly everywhere except
                 deep woods.  Look for them in open fields of bare ground or on overhead
                 perches e.g. telephone and hydro wires;  they are frequently seen in treed
                 neighbourhoods  of village, town or city. 
                FOOD:  Mourning Doves eat almost exclusively seeds.  The young are fed
                crop milk by both parents for the first 3 or 4 days which is regurgitated and
                fed with a “pumping motion” by both parent and babe (which become more
                physically thrusting as the hatchlings grow).  After this, the parents begin to
                add more seeds to the regurgitated food until the young leave the nest.

                LIFESTYLE:  The species is generally monogamous with 2 squals (young)
                per brood.  Both parents, once mated, build the nest together, incubate the
                two sizeable white eggs by shift-changes  (day and night) for about 14 or
                15 days, and together tend to and care for their young.  These fledglings
                grow and mature quickly and are able to fly from the nest in about 15
                days.  The adults usually live to approximately 1 ½ years in the wild;
                yet one Mourning Dove reportedly lived to 19.3 years.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MARCH 16 (Friday 11:10 am)  I hear a familiar series of Twitters.
From my balcony door, I glance to the far black wrought-iron-chair and
see a sleek mourning dove on the “beginning-of-a-straw-and-twig nest.
While peering through my 2-inch open door…so as to not frighten the visitor
…a “fatty dove” flew to the far end balcony railing with a long twig
cross-wise in her beak. The lengthy twig is deposited on the nest.
The sleek slim dove then flew away…and “fatty” flew to the barrier wall
at my end of the balcony.
Indeed!  A most pleasant surprise!!!

(11:30 am)  “Fatty” is perched on the telephone wire across from my
balcony. Imagine…a Dove Family again!!!  I must name her “Bella”
(Isabel)…since her size indicates a“pregnant mama”!
(11:50 am)  One dove on the nest.  Left the door ajar ~ when it closed
with a click, she flew!
(12:50 pm)  Both doves are face-to-face on the nest.  “Carlo” is slender
and the younger of this mating pair.  This time, I leave the door ajar with
a couple chair cushions…so I can view them “silently”.  As I observe,
one flies away…then the other.(2:40 pm)  Neither has returned.

MARCH 17 (Saturday 10 am…and My Birthday)  I  hear Twitters 
outside ~ the birds are not seen ~ yet evident,  more nesting material
has been placed. 
(12 noon)  A mourning dove is on the nest…unable to determine which one.
(1:45 pm)  Dove is gone … take photo of the nest!  I’m away for the
afternoon from 4:30 until 9 pm for a Birthday Dinner with my family.

MARCH 18 (Sunday 8:35 am)  Unlocked my balcony door QUIETLY!
 A mourning dove on the nest as another one arrived…”shift change”…
the nest bird flew away…soaring over the hydro wires.
 I EXPECT there must be EGGS!  As I peeked through the door
10 minutes later, she (?) flew away and perched on a high wire.  '
(Did she see me?...I doubt it!)
But, alas…no eggs yet! In a moment, he joined her as together,
on the high wire, they preened their feathers for about ten minutes
…side by side. Isn’t that romantic???

Activity on the Bike Path:  A man walking his dog notes that someone
 has stupidly removed the garbage can insert and DUMPED its contents
on the path.  He, holding his leash in one hand, picks it all up…piece
 by piece…placing it in the garbage can…and returns it to the container
by one of the walk entry benches.  What a good citizen!
Then closes the lid with a BANG!  My birds seem a little skittish!
Eventually, one returns to the nest. 
(9:35 am)  Both on the nest and chair seat; one flies to the hydro wire. 
A few minutes later, other bird soared into the sky…leaving partner
on the wire. (10:10 am)  Both in attendance…one on nest, other
on railing behind the chair. The doves twitter their series of
Twitters as they “come and go” 
At 10:30, no doves in sight. (12 noon), Bella is on the nest.
(12:05 pm)  She twitters her leave…perching on wires for overall view.
(12:30 pm)  Both on nest.  Check at 1:40 pm and 5:15 pm…no one.

MARCH 19 (Monday 8:45 am)  I unlock the door as quietly as possible
…yet both flew away with twtters. (just the slight squeaking of the door)!
I am confident this is not the returning pair of two years ago.
There are many old maple leaves on the balcony floor below and near the
table…did the wind blow them there?  As I swept them away…surprise!!!
A black squirrel is in my white elephant pot below the table…ideally, he
believes, for the making of his nest!!! With great determination and great
reluctance, he hustles away.  Then I cover the container…did not want him
around to disturb my Mourning Dove Family!
(10:35  am)  Bella on the nest and at 10: 55 am, Carlo joins her for a
few minutes,  then they both exit for the high wire preening session.

MARCH 20 (Wednesday 8:30 am)  Bella present and at 9 am,
flew away into the trees.(11 am)  Both doves in attendance for
15 minutes…then off flew one. (7:30 pm)  Carlo arrives for his shift….
this is the First Overnight... EGGS, there must be!

MARCH 21 (Thursday 8:30 am)  Bella here all day.
(5:30 pm)  I venture SLOWLY out to my end of the balcony..
knowledgeable that with eggs, neither he or she will leave the nest!
Carlo, watches me with beady eyes before flying away at 5:55 pm.
A few minutes later, Bella arrives. I note that she has more black spots
on her wings than he.  Between the departure and arrival of Bella…
I photographed both beautiful white eggs! They seem a bit larger than
the ones of two years ago.  Bella, I am confident will have a chat with
Carlo for leaving the nest  “on his shift”!  Like the “Mother” I am,
calculated these eggs should hatch Easter weekend (14 to 16 days)…
how appropriate! 

MARCH 22 (Friday )  Bella on their nest…incubating the eggs.  I went
to my chair (furthest from the nest to crochet.  Carlo there late afternoon
…he was OK while I was there, but when I left (too cool to be outside
 longer), he flew away…abandoning the nest… leaving the EGGS!
One hour later, a parent returned.  Bella will admonish him for
 “leaving the nest unattended”…like a driverleaving the scene of an
accident!  He’s Young…He Will Learn!

MARCH 24 (Saturday Bella on nest all day. Twitters at 5:25
announcing the shift. Carlo has arrived for his all-night incubation job!
With my previous pair a couple years ago, Rosie was the “night shift”
 and Papa took the day-shift.

MARCH 25 (Sunday)  Beautifully sunny  for Around the Bay Road Race
today…the best weather-day ever for this annual event.
All peaceful at the Mourning Dove residence. Sat on the balcony for
1 ½ hours with scarf I’m knitting to match giraffe sweater for Jessica’s
May birthday.

MARCH 26 (Monday 8:30 am)  Too chilly to be outside.
MARCH 27 (Tuesday) Too chilly..left patio door closed.
MARCH  28 (Wednesday) Milder, but windier and sunny.
MARCH  29 (Thursday)  Sunny and air very chilly.
APRIL 1 (Sunday)  Drizzling all day…heard the Twitters for
 shift changes.
APRIL 2 (Monday 5 pm)  Took novel to balcony observation time.
Bella “on duty”. (5: 45 pm)  Carlo flew to the rear railing ~ watched me
 for a few minutes then flew away.  I note that this pair does not
wait on the tel. or hydro wires at shift-time as did Rosie and Papa
of 2 years ago. 
(6:00 pm)  Carlo returns and Bella leaves.  I stand to come inside  ~
Carlo again flees! I photo the eggs again…and 5 minutes later he
returns. I wait quietly for him to settle on his nest ~ with my
 movement, he again flees!  He’d Better Arrive Back Soon!

APRIL 3 (Tuesday 2 pm)  Loud machinery noises along the bike path…
Bella is alert...yet remains on the nest..

APRIL 4 (Wednesday 9:30 am)  Bella flew to the nest and stood
on the chair for a couple minutes while Carlo remained on the eggs..
Unusual…I wonder, “Is this the birth date ??? (14 days since
 the eggs were laid)”  Rosie’s hatched on days 14 and 15.

April 6 (Good Friday 1 pm)  I hear Twitters and check the
nesting chair. A dove flies off the nest, soaring over the balcony..
From my doorway I see No Eggs! Walking towards the chair ~
2 small babies plus ½ egg shell!!!  I retrieve my camera to photo
the little ones…so tiny…squirming a bit…such magic, such wonder,
such beauty in these tiny lives…on this sunny bright,
yet chilly-air-day!!!  I’m totally enthralled…and feel So Lucky
to experience this scene before me.  IMAGINE !
Born on Good Friday…I name the babies Frieda and Felix
Checked at 3 pm…Bella quiet with her babes beneath her.
(5:00 pm)  I slowly approach my near table chair with a novel,
Glory Seekers, and camera. (5:15 pm)  I take a flash photo of her
with her hatchlings barely visible below her breast.
(5:40 pm)  Shift change by Twitters.

APRIL 7 (Saturday)  Bella  proudly keeping her babes warm…
haven’t noticed any feeding. (10:30 am)  Hear the Twitter series.
Both Carlo and Bella on the nesting chair. I see the babies squirming
below her breast.  I take a photo!  They stay!
(4:00 pm)  Warm sunny afternoon.  I now go out and in freely, sitting
at the table…about six feet from them…while Bella on the nest.
I tell her how beautiful she is and chat coo-ingly to her, asking about
Felix and Frieda.  I comment on her feathers which she keeps
well-spread to protect her babes
(6:00 pm)  began a scenario: Carlo fluttered to the nest railing, \
then immediately escaped to the hydro wire... I’m at the table??? 
BELLA WAITS! (6:30 pm)  Carlo flew to the next pole and wire,
returns to the near wire at 6:35 pm. (6:40 pm)  He again disappeared.
SHE WONDERS! (7:00 pm)  Again, he’s on the hydro line!
BELLA  VERY ANXIOUS…sits tall in the nest and turns her head
to see him.  Reading the scene.. moved from the table
to the chair near my door. HE DOESN'T COME TO REPLACE HER!!!
(7:10 pm)  Bella is disgusted…finally flees the scene while he remains
perched on wire. I photo Felix and Frieda…who have grown
So Much in these 2 days!  UNBELIEVABLE to note their small wings
are beginning to develop! I return inside and Carlo takes over…
frightened of me…I guess!

APRIL 8 (Sunday 10:30 am)  Hearing the series of Twitters  again,
I see both on the nest Chair with the hatchlings visible.  I took a photo
 ~ one parent flew away…probably due to the flash.  I check
 mid-afternoon (had lost one of my cushion since the no-wind-morning.
Have not yet seen the wee ones being fed.

APRIL 9 (Monday)  Extreme winds; their feathers are totally ruffled
 by the wind gusts.

APRIL 10 (Tuesday 7:00 am)  Last morning here with my Dove Family
for a few days…leaving for a visit to Connecticut  I muse...that in two
weeks these fledglings could be flying.(Born on April 6th Good Friday,
therefore April 20th  might be their Flight Day).
I plan to attend this important event.

(Bella and Carlo’s Family…to be continued)

Merle Baird-Kerr … written April 23, 2012
Comments welcome … scroll down (may enter as “anonymous”)
or e-mail … inezkate@gmail.com

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Police Humour

 Question:  How do you  tell the difference between a Canadian Police Officer
                   an Australian Police Officer and an American Police Officer?

Answer:     First ~ Let's pose the following scenario:

A  Police Officer in Canada

You're on duty by yourself walking on a deserted street late at night.  
 Suddenly a young dark-skinned man armed with a  huge knife, comes 
around the corner,  locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife 
and lunges at you.

You are carrying  a Glock .40 and you are an expert shot. However,
 you  have only a split second to react before he reaches you. What do you do?

Canuck Police  Officer:  Firstly, the officer must consider the man's
      Human Rights...
Does the man look poor or oppressed?
Does he have a Treaty of Waitangi gripe?
Maybe his unemployment benefit has been unfairly stopped???
Perhaps he is just about to fight a Taniwha  who stole his Big Mac, so I'm
     actually in no danger at all???
Did his bet at the TAB not go as planned?
Is he angry because his KFC  is under-cooked?
Has he been unfairly told to get a job?
Am I being culturally insensitive towards him in any way?
Has he just mistaken me for of his “P” supplier that is unfairly demanding payment?
Is he newly arrived in this country and does not  yet understand the law?
Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
Am I dressed provocatively?
Could I run away?
Could I possibly swing my gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
Should I try and negotiate with him to discuss his wrong doings?
Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send
     to society?
Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
If I were to grab his knees and hold on, would he still want to stab and kill me?
If I raise my gun and he turns and runs away, do I get blamed if he falls over ,
     knocks his head and kills himself?
If I shoot and  wound  him and lose the subsequent court case, does he have  the
     opportunity  to sue me, costing me my job, my credibility and the loss of my
     family home?

Australian Police Officer:  BANG!

American Police Officer:  BANG!  BANG!  BANG!  BANG!  BANG!  BANG!
BANG!  BANG!  BANG! BANG!  BANG!  'click'...
(The Sergeant arrives at the scene later and remarks: “Nice grouping”)


A Speeding Senior

An elderly lady gets pulled over for speeding.

Woman:     “Is there a problem, Officer?”
Officer:      “Ma'am,  you were speeding”
Woman:     “Oh,  I see.”
Officer:      “Can I see your licence, please?”
Woman:     “I'd give it to you, but I don't have one.”
Officer:      “Why not?”
Woman:     “Lost it 4 years ago for drunk driving.”
Officer:      “I see.  Can I see your vehicle registration papers, please?”
Woman:     “I can't do that.”
Officer:      “Why not?”
Woman:     “I stole it.”
Officer:      “Stole it?”
Woman:     “Yes, and I killed and hacked up the owner.”
Officer:      “You  what?”
Woman:     “His body parts are in plastic bags in the trunk if you want to see.”

The officer looks at the woman and slowly backs away to  his cruiser and calls for
'back up' ... within minutes, 5 police cars  circle her car.  A senior officer slowly 
approaches it, clasping his half-drawn gun.

Officer 2 :      “Ma'am, could you please step out of your vehicle, please?”
Woman:         “Is there a problem, sir?” as she steps out of her vehicle.
Officer 2:       “One of my officers told me that you have stolen this car and
                        murdered the owner.”
Woman:           “Murdered the owner?”
Officer 2:        “Yes, would you open the trunk of your car, please?”
Woman:           (Woman...opens the trunk, revealing nothing but an empty trunk.)
Officer 2:        “Is this your car, Ma'am?”
Woman:          “Yes, here are the registration papers.”  The officer is stunned!
Officer 2:        “One of my officers claims you do not have a driving licence.”

The woman digs into her bag and pulls out a driver's licence and hands it the officer
who examines the licence  ... looking puzzled.

Officer 2:        “Thank you Ma'am.  One of my officers told me you  didn't have a
                       licence, that you stole the car, that you murdered and hacked up 
                       the owner.”
Woman:          “Bet the liar told you I was speeding, too!”

Moral:  Don't Mess With Little Old Ladies!


Needing Help

While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted
 by a little girl about 6 years old.  Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked,
“Are you a cop?”  I answered, “Yes,” as I continued writing the report. 

“My mother said, if I ever needed help, I should ask the police. Is that right?” 
  she asked.
“Yes, that's right!” I told her.  “Well,” she said as she extended her right foot
  toward me, “would you please tie my shoe?”


A Good Question!

It  was at the end of the day when I parked my police van in the front of the station. 
As I gathered together my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake was barking...and I saw
a little boy staring at me.  “Is that a dog you got back there?” he asked.
“It sure is,”  I replied. 
Puzzled, the boy looked at me.  Finally, he asked, “What did  he do?”


“Pearl of Wisdom”
I shall have no objection to go over the same life
from the beginning to the end;
requesting only the advantage authors have...
of correcting a second edition...the faults of the first.”
(Benjamin Franklin )

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . composed October 17, 2011

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day Tribute

 My dear friend wrote a special tribute to honour Earth Day
(Sunday, April 22, 2012)
She comments, “ I couldn't write any better words than what are here...
To Everything, There Is A Season.  Thanks for inspiring me.”

Words adapted from the Bible, Book of Ecclesiastes
Music ~ Pete Seeger

                                                  To Everything, There a season,
                                                  And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

                                                  A time to be born, a time to die ~
                                                  A time to plant, a time to reap ~
                                                  A time to kill, a time to heal …
                                                  A time to laugh, a time to weep.

                                                  To Everything, There is a season,
                                                  And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

                                                  A time to build up, a time to break down ~
                                                  A time to dance, a time to mourn ~
                                                  A time to cast away stones …
                                                  A time to gather stones together.

                                                  To Everything, There is a season,
                                                  And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

                                                  A time of love, a time of hate ~
                                                  A time of war, a time of peace ~
                                                  A time you may embrace …
                                                  A time to refrain from embracing.

                                                 To Everything, There is a season,
                                                 And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.

                                                 A time to gain, a time to lose ~
                                                 A time to rend, a time to sew ~
                                                 A time for love, a time for hate …
                                                 A time for peace, I swear it's not too late.

Ontario families are marking the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day
by helping protect the environment and participating in Earth Day Activities.
Organizations locally have planned events...
of Walk/Fun Runs through Nature trails,
of Tree Planting Festivals for families and friends.

My Earth Day Thoughts to All

We in Canada and northern US
      are recipients of Nature's Four Seasons'
My mind conceives images in richly in colour
  portraying the beauty and wonder of each.

     The woodlands' trilliums and violets spring forth;
   The warm sun ablazes on patios and beach;
    Autumn's leaves turn to golds and reds;
        Winter creates snowflakes so lacy and white.

Are these not Reasons to Celebrate Earth Day?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The cartoon, Mutts, from today's Spec ...
Mooch reminds Mr. Oinks who is rolling in the wet dirt,
“Don't forget to celebrate Earth Day!
to which Mr Oinks replies, “Don't Worry, Mooch! 
I'm ALL over that! ”,
then smilingly nestles himself deeply
in the comfy dark, damp, soggy soil

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written April 20, 2012
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eight Wonders of the World

The Seven Wonders of the World has historically been a listing of seven sites
known to the Ancient Greeks as the most notable locales in their known world.

Since then, many have developed lists of the “modern” 
Seven Wonders of the World.
The only list that really stands out and has stood the test of time 
for more than a decade
is...the Seven Wonders of the Modern World...
developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Wonder” is defined as a feeling of mingled surprise,
admiration, marvel and astonishment.

Seven Wonders of the World       Seven Wonders of the Modern World
The Colossus of Rhodes                  Channel Tunnel
The Great Pyramid of Giza                 CN Tower
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon       Empire State Building
The Lighthouse of Alexandria             Golden Gate Bridge
The Mausoleum Halicarnassus           Itaipu Dam
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia            Netherlands North Sea Protection Works
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus      Panama Canal

                                In 1997, CNN announced a listing of the
                                Seven Natural Wonders of the World 
                                Grand Canyon
                                The Great Barrier Reef
                                The Harbour at Rio de Janeiro
                                Mt. Everest
                                Northern Lights 
                                Paricutin Volcano – Mexico
                                Victoria Falls – Africa
                                On July 7 (7-7-07) an organization announced
                                a "new set" (based on online voting) of the
                                "New" Seven Wonders of the World
                                Chichan Itza - Mexico
                                Christ Redeemer - Brazil 
                                The Great Wall - China
                                Petra, Jordan -Ancient City 
                                The Roman Colosseum - Italy
                                The Taj Mahal - India
The Eight Wonders of “Merle's World”

               Pacific Ocean                                         Zen (or Lama of Tibet)
               Niagara Falls                                         Eiffel Tower
               English Countryside                               Polaris
               Rock of Gibraltar                                   Eros

Each above is symbolic of a specific character trait 
or distinguishing human quality.
Match them to the “random-order” clues below ...
signifying my “Eight Wonders of the World!

 Brilliance                                                     Depth of Character
 Love & Romance (physical & spiritual)      Mastery of Engineering
 Power and Might of Thinking                     Strength
 Unique Natural Charm                               Wisdom, Enlightenment, Inspiration

Reward ~ to meet and know someone with all these attributes ... 
may be a Miracle!

A Note from the Universe...says it all :
You only ever have to ride the wave of life ~
not create it ~ to take you anywhere you dream of being.”

"Pearl of Wisdom"
Pause and Experience the wonder and beauty of our world.
There is incredible richness all around us
and we only have to open our eyes to see it.

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . composed November 14, 2011 
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Parental Humour II


Remember When?

 Today, we reminisce in reading the following...
and are humoured by the “code of living” in yesteryear.
Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting
board with the same knife...and no bleach...but we didn't get food poisoning!

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter; I used to eat it raw sometimes, too!

Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag,
not in ice pack coolers...but I can't remember us getting e.coli!

Almost all of us would rather have gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring)...no beach closures then!

The term cell phone would have been conjured up a phone in a jail cell,
and a pager  was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE...and risked permanent injury with a pair of high-top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with
air cushions and built-in light reflectors.  I can't recall any injuries...but they
must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now!

Flunking gym was not an option...even for stupid kids!  (I guess  PE must be
much harder than gym.)

We never got driven to school and had to go home for lunch and then walked
all the way back to school!  We never had SNOW DAYS OFF!

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the National Anthem.

We must have had horribly damaged  psyches! What an archaic health system
we had then...remember school nurses?  Ours wore a hat and everything!

I also remember cleaning house without an allowance and baby-sitting plus
clean the family kitchen without being paid!

I thought I was to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself!

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Stations,
Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations!

Oh yeah...and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that
bee sting? I could have been killed!!!

We played “King of the Hill” on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites...and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the bottle of Mercurochrome
(48 cents); kids liked  it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then
we got our butts spanked!

Now, it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat!

We didn't act up at the neighbour's home either...because if we did, we got our butt spanked there...and then we got our butt spanked again when we got  home!

I recall Donnie Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks
on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she
could have owned our home! Instead, she picked him up for being such a goof.
 It was a neighbourhood...run amok!

To top it all off, not a single person I knew, had ever been told that they were
a dysfunctional family!

How could we have possibly known that we needed to get group therapy and anger management classes?  We were obviously, so duped by so many societal ills...that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

How did we ever survive?
(Author unknown)

Modern Day Interpretation of “The Birds and the Bees”!

  A little boy goes to his father and asks,“Daddy...how was I born?”

The father  answers, “Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a Chat Room at Yahoo.
Then I set up a date via E-mail with your  Mom and we met at a Cyber-cafe.
We sneaked into a secluded room and Googled each other.  Then your Mother agreed to a Download from my Hard-drive.

As soon as I was ready to Upload, we discovered that neither of us had used a Firewall and since it was too late to hit the Delete key, nine months later,
a little Pop-up appeared that said ... You Got Male!

So much for the Stork!
(Unknown author)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Pearl of Wisdom”
In Youth we Learn!
In old age...we Understand!

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . composed March 15, 2012
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Parental Humour I

(by Ian Frazier)

Laws of Forbidden Places

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight, you may eat...but not in the Living Room.

Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat...but not 
in the Living Room.

Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat... but not 
in the Living Room.

Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of t he oats and of the cereals that are of bright colour and unknown provenance, you may eat...
but not in the Living Room.

Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats, you may eat...
but absolutely not in the Living Room.

Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink...but not in the Living Room; neither may you carry such therein. Indeed, when you reach the place where the Living Room carpet begins, of any food 
or beverage there you may not eat, neither may you drink. But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the Living Room.

Laws When at Table

And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were.

Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage, to show your feet upon the table is an abomination and worthy of rebuke.

Drink your milk as it is given to you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork,
nor knife, nor spoon for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away.

When you have drunk, let the empty cup remain upon upon the table, and do 
not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck...for you will be sent away.

When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed 
and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within. I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same to you.

Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say 
again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is.

And though your stick of carrot may indeed resemble a marker, draw not 
with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do not do that, that is why. 
And though the pieces of broccoli are very like little trees, do not stand 
them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why.

Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide 
down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now, behold, even I have said, it has come to pass.

Laws Pertaining to Dessert

For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, 
saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert.

But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have taken enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see...then you 
shall have dessert.

But if you have a lesser number of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, 
you shall not have dessert., no, not even a small portion thereof.

And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear what you have eaten what you have not, you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have no dessert.

On Screaming

Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offence with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you scream not, only remonstrate with 
the server, that the server may correct the fault.

Likewise, if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is to you and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelms you, and causes you to faint unto death, make not that sound 
from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers
to your nose. For even I have made the fish as it should be; behold, I eat it 
myself, yet do not die.

Concerning Face and Hands

Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains are upon you; even to the back of your head, there is rice thereon.

And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice 
and other fragments are distributed in a manner wonderful to see.

Only hold yourself still; hold also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go hence until I have done.

Various Other Laws, Statutes and Ordinances

Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of the bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in 
the package; nor rub yourself against cars, nor against any building; nor eat sand.

Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? And hum not the humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.

My son may not recall that he sent me this article
on May 18, 1999...thank you.

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written November 22, 2011
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