…from the Birdies

Double click for a larger version of the image.
Double click for a larger version of the image.

I enjoy playing golf.  I’ve not played a real round of golf for nearly a year and a half, if not two years.  That’s not good, but my golf buddies all live about 2450 miles away.  My game has, I’m sure, totally fallen apart.  Sometimes I debate whether or not I should even keep my clubs or get rid of them.

But I do remember how the game is played.  It is interesting that in golf, there are names for taking more shots than “par”: bogeys (which is not a flying airplane, but taking one more shot than you should on a hole), double-bogeys (taking two shots more than you should), etc.  But what’s really interesting is that taking less shots on a hole than “par” are named for feathered beings: birdie (one shot under par), an eagle (two shots under par)…and well, if you are three shots under par on a single hole, well, let’s just say that you must walk on water in your spare time.  Why birdies?  I don’t know!  Why not call them after breeds of hogs: Duroc, Berkshire, etc.?

I have had some birdies in my life – even an eagle or two.  But I find it is much easier to shoot birdies with my camera…like today’s photo.  This, I believe, is a house finch.  We often see gold finches, too.

My wife, who has really gotten into birds, was pointing out to me that the male gold finches change colors as it gets closer to mating season.  There were two on the feeder just yesterday.  One was still fairly brownish, but definitely had color, and the other was a bright yellow.  She told me that the males get more colorful and attractive as mating season gets closer and closer.  I hadn’t known that.

Maybe young guys who are looking to impress a fine young lady in the hopes of getting her to marry him could take a lesson from the birds.  Pull those pants up so they aren’t hanging down below your rear, and show the young lady that you respect her by respecting how you present yourself!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  one hundred and fifty years ago (1865), the final campaign of the Civil War began in Virginia when Union troops under General Grant moved against the Confederate trenches around Petersburg. General Robert E. Lee’s outnumbered Rebels were forced to evacuate the city and race westward.

Eleven months earlier, Grant moved his army across the Rapidan River in northern Virginia and began the bloodiest campaign of the war. For six weeks, Lee and Grant fought along an arc that swung east of the Confederate capital at Richmond. They engaged in some of the conflict’s bloodiest battles at The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor before settling into trenches for a siege of Petersburg, 25 miles south of Richmond. The trenches eventually stretched all the way to Richmond, and during the ensuing months the armies glared at each other across a no man’s land. Periodically, Grant launched attacks against sections of the Rebel defenses, but Lee’s army managed to fend them off.

Time was running out for Lee, though. His army was dwindling in size to about 55,000, while Grant’s continued to grow–the Army of the Potomac now had more than 125,000 men ready for service. On March 25, Lee attempted to split the Union lines when he attacked Fort Stedman, a stronghold along the Yankee trenches. His army was beaten back, and he lost nearly 5,000 men. On March 29, Grant seized the initiative, sending 12,000 men past the Confederates’ left flank and threatening to cut Lee’s escape route from Petersburg. Fighting broke out there, several miles southwest of the city. Lee’s men could not stop the Federal advance. On April 1, the Yankees struck at Five Forks, soundly defeating the Rebels and leaving Lee no alternative. He pulled his forces from their trenches and raced west, followed by Grant. It was a race that even the great Lee could not win. He surrendered his army on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Somewhere between 50% to 75% of drunk drivers who have their licenses suspended for DUI convictions continue to drive without a license.

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