By Alkali Springs Correspondent
Out our way at the tiny cabin on Beaver Creek, this has been the week of birds. In fact, for the last month we have been having our share of beautiful and unusual birds. At least unusual for us to see.
First there are the goldfinches. They are all over the yard and we think the reason for them there is the thistle feeder that we installed a year ago. At last count, at least ten of those bright yellow birds flit from the feeder through the aspens and evergreens making even the most dull day much brighter.
Our old bird book has plenty to say about goldfinches. We will quote a little here to give you the esteem that book holds goldfinches in.
"It is a bird that the most casual observer can enthuse over, and one that the bird student will never tire raving about. Their love song is delivered with an ecstasy and abandon which carries them off their feet, and they will circle over the field sowing the air with musicThe goldfinches gathers his thistledown and fine grasses together for the nest in a berry bush or some other low shaded place just out of the sun's rays."
And if those wonderful birds are not enough to "crow" about for the first time ever since we have been bird watching in the back yard, we have an abundance of mourning doves at our feeder.
We have a theory about mourning doves around these parts. Years ago in Havre, there were no mourning doves at all. And then maybe a dozen years ago, they were just starting to be heard around town. Our theory is that they started out at the cemetery and branched out from there. At any rate for the first time ever, there are mourning doves all day long pecking on the ground below our feeders. And they flit through the bosky dells that surround our cabin. And oh, their song! Well, once again the bird book comes through much better than we could.
"The best-known characteristic of the mourning dove is its call - it can hardly be called a song - which may suggest hopeless sorrow or the tenderest love and devotion, according to the mood of the listener."
But best of all, last night we were sitting on the living room couch watching television when something outside of the big window caught our eye. We looked out and there was a mom pheasant at the feeder chomping at our quail block and the hillside above her was just simply alive with movement. Finally, out in the open came nine of the cutest just newborn pheasant chicks we have ever seen. None were as large as a silver dollar. They ate for a time and then all turned and followed mom back up the hillside. That was the neatest thing we had observed in our bird observations for many a moon! And it sparked us to really put out the bird food this morning.
We read in a paper that someone changed a highway sign from Bears Paw Mountains to Bear Paw Mountains. Officials are, if we are to believe the story, calling it an act of vandalism.
Not true, we say! That is just correcting bad grammar. In our book, a statue of whoever the poor soul was who had had enough of looking at that glaring error, ought to be placed right next to the one of Jim Hill!