And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that June 6 is sometimes referred to as “The Longest Day” in recognition of the D-Day landings in WWII. The longest day of the year is really around June 20-21 each year.

But I thought about that as a robin was singing when I awoke around 4 a.m. this morning. I often can still hear them as late as 10 p.m., so they might put in a 16 hour day some days. Really a long day. Do they take a siesta in the afternoon?

Speaking of birds, I heard a succession of various songs coming from the same tree area one morning. I could not place the usual familiar blue jay, oriole or cardinal pattern with which I am familiar. Then a catbird flew away and took all the tunes with it. They are sometimes called a mocking bird because of the ability to mimic or create many bird calls. It’s as if God made up for their drab dark grey color by giving them this other talent.

There are lots of creatures to entertain us if humans fail. Not that a 4 a.m. bird song is necessarily entertaining.

And neither is the very early sound of a bumble bee between the window shade and glass pane of one’s bedroom window! That happened to me on successive mornings recently.

I groggily made a half-hearted look once and saw nothing, but consoled myself with the thought that if the bee stayed there and took out its frustration at being trapped inside, I was safe in my bed. But at least twice it sounded as if it had escaped into the room, because the buzz was louder and sounded angrier. In my mind’s eye, the black and gold bee was the size of a Hawkeye offensive lineman wearing the same colors!

But soon, silence. Never did find out why.

Still speaking of bees, I found it somewhat ironic that one of the ESPN networks televised the national spelling bee finals again this year. It’s not exactly a sporting event.

And again, I marveled at the fact that the majority of the spellers were of east Asian or Indian (the Caucasian Indians, not early Americans) ancestry. Why is that so? I am not a good speller. Do they study harder?

I am also not mechanically inclined. Except when leaning against a machine.

I noticed an item from a specialty catalog recently. The blurb said some items require extra shipping charges because of shape. None was indicated with this oddly-shaped item, but I called customer service to make sure. I was told there was no extra charge, and it was noted that items from that issue of the catalog were shipped free if a minimum order was placed.

When it arrived, it came in a normal box-shaped box, which should have been a clue that “some assembly is required”, which are some of the scariest words in the English language for someone with my mechanical bent.

But assembly was a success.

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