Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 55

UP THE CREEK

Birdfeeder Politics

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BY KEN M. BLOMBERG

The more I learn

about birds, the
more I realize how little I know. And the
more I learn about people, the more I
discover they're a lot like birds.
Bird watching has become a favorite
pastime for our family. The boss calls
the feeders and the birds that frequent
them hers. She seems to revel in the fact
that over time, her kitchen has become
a gathering place for family and guests -
drawn to the kitchen table like chickadees
to the sunflower seeds. The table is
pressed up against the picture window that
overlooks the feeders. At any given time, a
spotting scope, binoculars and bird books
can be found sharing the table with dishes,
glasses, silverware, family and guests. Our
granddaughter learned the names of all
common birds before outgrowing diapers.
I believe it was humorist Will Rogers
who once professed, "I love a dog. He
does nothing for political reasons." He also
often labeled politicians as birds.
Perhaps, in the same vein, that is why
I like all things wild and free - as they do
nothing for political justification. Unless, of
course, you consider the daily show right
outside the kitchen window - an event I
submit to you as birdfeeder politics. Even
an untutored eye will notice the backyard
bird chain of command, on display for
those willing to observe.
On top of the ladder is the governing
shrike - appearing now and then - but for
the most part hiding in the shadows. When
he enters the picture, all others scatter
- bowing to his stature and position on
top of the food chain. At his side are the
lieutenant governor, attorney general and
secretary of state - Blue Jays, one and all.
Our senate of cardinals come and go
as they please, but are first to arrive in the
morning and last to leave at the end of
the day. A mixed caucus of chickadees,
juncos, redpolls and finches make up our
assembly and can be found here, there and
anywhere - quick to debate any birdseed

deficit, swift to seek subsidy offerings.
Their legislative support staff - nuthatches
and sparrows - dig in and clean up after
those higher on the feeder's organizational
chart. No matter what issues come to the
plate, at the end of the day, all the political
players at the feeder retreat and roost to
survive the elements of the night.
Daylight each morning brings lobbying
woodpeckers of various legal stripes,
which can be caught roaming the box elder
and locust halls, beaks open for leftover
pork and fat scraps at the trough. Always
on top of their game, they are at their
best while entertaining feeder landlords,
influencing bureaucratic birdwatchers and
securing passage of suet legislation.
Bipartisan at times, but for the most
part, split by party - peace-loving doves
on the left and more aggressive hawks
circling the sky to the right. That is, until
election storms roll in. Then, it's every

bird for himself. Low pressure fronts
trigger feeding frenzies, while feathered
candidates perch above them all, singing
promises of better weather, full feeders
and sunny skies.
Will Rogers, a political satirist and
friend of presidents, senators, prime
ministers and kings, loved to poke fun at
elected officials from all parties. He knew
the nature of their antics and enjoyed
following the affairs of state and nation.
He summed it up when he quipped,
"Politics is the best show in America. I
love animals and I love politicians and I love
to watch both of 'em play..." ●
This column also appeared in Ken's recently
released book UP THE CREEK, published
by Orange Hat Publishing. Signed copies
of the book are now available to Rural
Water members for $15.62, which includes
shipping. Ken will donate $5.00 of each
RURAL WATER

55



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017

From the President
Surviving Hurricanes
Emergency Preparedness
Indiana Teamwork During a Flood Emergency
Rates and Long-Term Sustainability
Technology: Ammonia – A Growing Problem with a Practical Solution
Emergency Management: Biological Wastewater Treatment Toxicity
Insurance: Commercial General Liability Coverage Basics
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Regulatory Update
Case Study: Installing Granular Activated Carbon Today to Prevent Regulatory Issues in the Future
Cleared for Takeoff
Up the Creek: Birdfeeder Politics
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - intro
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - cover1
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - cover2
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 3
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 4
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 5
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 6
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 7
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 8
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 9
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 10
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - From the President
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Surviving Hurricanes
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 13
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 14
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 15
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 16
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 17
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Emergency Preparedness
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 19
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 20
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 21
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 22
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 23
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 24
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 25
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 26
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Indiana Teamwork During a Flood Emergency
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 28
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 29
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 30
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Rates and Long-Term Sustainability
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 32
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 33
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 34
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Technology: Ammonia – A Growing Problem with a Practical Solution
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 36
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 37
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 38
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Emergency Management: Biological Wastewater Treatment Toxicity
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 40
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 41
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 42
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Insurance: Commercial General Liability Coverage Basics
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 44
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 46
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Regulatory Update
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 48
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 49
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 50
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Case Study: Installing Granular Activated Carbon Today to Prevent Regulatory Issues in the Future
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 52
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Cleared for Takeoff
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 54
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Up the Creek: Birdfeeder Politics
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 56
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 57
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 59
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 60
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - 62
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - cover3
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2017 - cover4
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