Look out for falling birds
Much has been made of the recent mass bird deaths in Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky. I must admit, it’s pretty strange that thousands of dead birds just fall from the sky at one time. I’m just glad I wasn’t one of those people driving under the poor flying creatures when they met their untimely end.
It’s one thing to try and drive on icy roads. It’s another to try and navigate through a shower of falling feathers.
There are lots of theories about why the birds died: lightning strikes, power lines, fireworks, or the effects of some sort of poisoning or disease. In the end, however, no one really knows what happened.
That was the case back in 1876, too, when a lady in Kentucky reported meat – yes, meat- fell from the sky. According to an old New York Times story, Mrs. Crouch of Olympian Springs, Ky. was working in her yard when she was pelted with what they describe as a “gentle shower of meat.”
The meat, some pieces as large as three to four inches square, fell across her yard. It was fresh and later identified as either mutton or venison.
How was it identified you ask? It seems two men – one a neighbor and another a newspaper reporter- tasted the meat. I’m not sure I would have been so curious about the meat’s source that I would sample it myself, but I guess some people just have to have the answer to everything.
It took a year before experts issued an opinion on what they thought caused the meat shower.
They said the meat was “of animal origin,” (no mutton or venison mentioned) and said the popular theory of what caused the incident was probably correct. It attributed the meat shower to a large pack of buzzards. The buzzards, the theory said, ate some dead horses, took to the sky and then, to put it nicely, lost their lunch.
The result was a shower of meat. The experts said such incidents were not unheard of and could be expected in the future.
Hmmm….I’ve never heard of such a meat shower any other time, so maybe buzzards are smarter than they look and learned their lesson the first time.
I do know this, however. I for one would rather have thousands of dead birds in my yard than hundreds of pounds of bird-gnawed meat. But I can tell you this: I wouldn’t be tasting either one of them.