After a night of rain, I expected more of the same when Koko and I went walking this morning. Instead, my breath was taken away when I emerged from the trees around my house to see a vast expanse of stars — made all the more sweeping by the absence of clouds over the Giant — topped by a brilliant, twinkling Venus.
The air was chill, with a brisk wind blowing from the north, driving a wedge of clouds makai, and as we walked through the blackness, senses fully alive, I felt something and looked up to see a pueo flying silently overhead, its tawny wings faintly illuminated in the starlight.
Anybody who reads this blog knows I have an affinity for birds, which is why I took a particular interest in the massive bird deaths that occurred in Arkansas on Saturday, followed by a smaller number of deaths in Louisiana on Monday.
Then came the report of a large number of birds found dead in Sweden on Monday night and Tuesday morning, with the Swedish National Veterinary Institute saying autopsies performed on five of the birds showing they died due to "sudden, hard external blows," and another report of some 200 dead birds in Texas, and yet another report of mass bird deaths in western Kentucky.
And that's not all. There were also numerous reports of mass fish kills. This site gives a world map view of the recent mass animal deaths.
The die offs have even caught the attention of the U.N. Environment Program, which is calling for more research.
So when I saw the headline, ”Mysterious bird deaths explained,” followed by a report that the Louisiana birds supposedly were startled into a mad flush by fireworks, I just didn’t buy it. And when I looked at some of the 3,308 comments that followed that report, it was clear that a lot of other folks are skeptical, too, raising such points as if that were the case, why don’t we see mass bird deaths every 4th of July, and how, then, to explain the deaths elsewhere?
What also emerged in looking at comments posted on reports about these birds is a lot of people don’t trust the government, with good cause.
My take on it is that it's an acoustical weapon. Or as a friend described in an email:
What a clean way to kill things...subsonic sounds (very deep) with big sound waves. I’m creeped out.
Yes, we should be creeped out. While I'm not one to believe in the Apocalypse, when you start looking at some of the weapons that are being developed, it becomes pretty clear that there's some worrisome stuff going on.
Along those lines, global food prices rose to a record high last month and food and fuel prices are expected to keep going up. Meanwhile, 48 million Americans are living in poverty.
And still the war drum, and its associated economic, social, environmental costs, keeps beating, with Obama sending another 1,400 Marines to the quagmire of Afghanistan.