Birdseed attracts cardinal friends

The birds, God's poor who cannot wait.

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The birdfeeder by my back window has been packed this week with cardinals.

I've never seen anything like it. I changed birdseed to a discount brand and almost didn't notice the cardinal pictured on the front of the bag.

Well, it works -- red (and brown) birds everywhere.

I sit by the window and sip my coffee and watch them for minutes on end, only getting up to slap the glass when a squirrel bullies his way onto the tray.

I turned the little dog out on him once. He chased the squirrel up a tree and kept watch at its base until the cardinals could come back for lunch.

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SQUIRREL NEWS: I'm not the only one irritated with squirrels. Clemson University has undertaken a gray squirrel contraceptive research project.

According to their press release, "Clemson campus landscape crews have documented more than 100 mature trees killed by squirrels, with an additional 100 trees severely damaged.

"Most people don't realize the extent of damage gray squirrels can cause," said Greg Yarrow, a Clemson wildlife ecology professor. "This study will evaluate the effectiveness of two different types of contraceptives in preventing reproduction in gray squirrels."

Of course, I could send my little dog up to Clemson. He has his own methods, and would no doubt be effective.

Unfortunately, out-of-state fees might be prohibitive.

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QUOTE QUESTION: On Sunday I attributed a quote to football coach Woody Hayes about passing plays -- "Three things can happen, and two are bad."

A shrewd reader suggested that famous quote belongs to Daryl Royal of Texas.

You could be right. But I also found it attributed numerous times to the late Coach Hayes, and to Bear Bryant .

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SATURDAY BIRTHDAY: Peter Cakanic Jr. , of North Augusta, wants us to remember that Saturday is the birthdate of Bing Crosby , who died on a golf course in 1977. If he'd lived, he'd be 105.

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TODAY'S JOKE: A man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.

He took her to the police station, where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk, where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally ... I assumed you had stolen the car."

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