For The Birds

It has been a tough week for birds in Austin. Monday morning, we all awoke to news of a mysterious bird kill which closed downtown for most of the morning. Our team of crack reporters captured the shocking image of the hazmat team in action at right. You can only imagine the stench. Most of the affected birds were, fortunately, only grackles, which are universally recognized as a force of evil. Their nefarious squawks are harbingers of doom, and their aggressive behavior places them well outside the societal norms established by most of the bird population. They are the baboons of the bird world: not without physical beauty, but with the personality of a Very Naughty Child. Fortunately, their presence in Bouldin Creek is counterbalanced by the avian heroes of the neighborhood, the peacocks of Green Pastures restaurant. On my daily bike ride to work, I often see the peacocks helping to stop traffic on South Fifth and Live Oak so that little old ladies and school children may cross in safety. They are a force of good, and can easily kick grackle ass in a fight. They are, however, sorely outnumbered. I could not get a photo of the elusive white peacock, the King of all Bouldin wildlife, a benevolent monarch to be sure. Perhaps he was ushered off into hiding during this week of uncertain times.

I did, however, capture the Great Rooster of Bouldin Creek, pictured top left. A fixture of our neighborhood, a directional aid, even ("When you get to the chicken, turn left").

But even a giant papier mache chicken is not safe from scorn in these uncertain times. A suspected newcomer neighbor to Bouldin Creek tattled on the chicken's owner for conducting business activity on the premises, igniting a brief firefight in our neighborhood's culture war. Even clucky neighbors like those pictured bottom right are no longer safe from the fanatical anti-livestock faction that has recently invaded the neighborhood. Strange days indeed.