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Chimney Swifts

Bayou-Diversity (20 May 2018) If there was an occasion to choose the most martial of all bird species, I would not pick the majestic eagle with it fierce countenance or the falcon renowned for its hunting prowess. Instead, my vote would go to the five-inch chimney swift. Do not be misled by their high-pitched twittering calls sounding like the staccato noises emanating from a roomful of adolescent girls. These birds can fly! Though sooty-gray in color, they are the Blue Angels of the bird world. Wingtip to wingtip in perfect formation, they zip through the Louisiana summer sky twisting and turning with stiff, rapid wingbeats and graceful glides. They never perch on wires to rest like


Bayou-Diversity (6 May 2018) This year a spring storm determined my source of domestic heat for the coming winter. Straight-line winds toppled a huge southern red oak on an upland hardwood slope a few hundred yards west of my house. I came across the fallen tree soon afterwards during my ramblings and mentally marked it for mid-summer firewood gathering. The trunk was straight and void of forked limbs for the first forty feet. In its prime the tree was 105 feet tall and 28 inches in diameter – not a goliath but impressive nonetheless and indicative of having the good fortune to germinate on a moist, fertile site. I often wish that such organisms could possess and share an anamnesis, the


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