Most of you might know that Grand Rapids Michigan is the home of late President Gerald Ford. Some of you might know it is also the home of Roger B, Chaffee, one of the astronauts from the Apollo One tragedy. If you have a friend who still pressures you to buy Amway, you also know Grand Rapids is headquarters of the soap conglomerate. And if you follow my blog, you know it’s my home away from home until China reopens it border again. But there is one more thing that calls Grand Rapids is their homes.
The red-wing black bird, a scowling look-alike of a Baltimore Oriole, isn’t a fan of social distancing. How do I know this? I had to use my social distancing hat to fend one off.
OK. I have to admit, I did look scary prancing around with a face mask and an art project on my head. I took a photo for my first graders the sweater tree that was inspiration for my social distancing hat, a recent project for online learning. I told the kids that trees in Michigan all wear sweaters because of the winter snow.
Little did I know that the sweater tree was close to tree where a red-wing black bird had built its nest.
The male bird, often seen perching in high places, takes its job more serious than the robin, sparrow, cardinal, hummingbird, or pooping goose. It will dive-bomb anyone who gets too close to nearby eggs.
How do I know?
I got assaulted by one. Make that two. Actually three.
While filming a video for my students, one of these birds came after me like a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, its distinguished chirp warning me to get away. I looked like a total moron, bystanders more afraid of me than the obnoxious bird.
That’s when I came up with a plan.
I would use my social distancing hat to fend off the bird.
After relaying my horror story in a local merchant, the cashier chuckled, “Yeah, I can’t ride my bike near the river for about three weeks”.
But the weirdest part of the story isn’t the birds. Or the attacks. Or the sweater tree. Or the looks I got posing with my social distancing hat. It’s that sentence of how I don’t feel home anywhere any more.
Maybe I need a nest to protect, too.