Tuesday, June 18, 2024

You learn something new every day

Most mornings for me are about the same. Get up around 5:30 because the dog wants to get up. Take her outside so she can “take care of her business.” Bring her back inside to eat. Then take her back outside so she can take care of any undone business. 

But last Thursday, there was a little bit of a twist to our morning routine. It was dark outside. It was very quiet. And as I was walking the dog down the driveway, I heard a voice from somewhere out in the woods say as clear as a bell, “Uh-oh!”

Goosebumps popped up all over my arms. The hair on the back of my neck snapped to attention, stopping me dead in my tracks. And then I thought to myself, “Is the universe trying to tell me that I forgot to do something? Did I accidentally wrong somebody? And if I did, what are they doing out in the woods at 6 a.m. in the morning?”

And then there was another “Uh-oh” that sounded more like, “Well mister, you’ve done it now.” For the life of me I couldn’t remember what I might have done. The dog didn’t care one iota. She headed back to the house as fast as her little legs would let her, and I was close behind.

Of course, the dog probably knew right off that it was just a bird. It took me a bit longer, but then I just had to find out what kind of bird it was. So, I opened up my laptop and did a search for “the Uh-Oh Bird.”

I’m so thankful we live in a time when information like that is usually no more than a fingertip away. I can’t even imagine living in a time when we had no idea what anything was and had to resort to asking others who didn’t really know either, so they just made up answers. 

“Wife! I was just out walking near the woods and I heard the Uh-Oh Bird again! What do you think it means?”

“I’m not sure husband, but it sounds like thou is being watched by the spirits from the netherworlds because thou has been coveting the neighbor’s cow again — don’t deny it, I’ve seen ye. More than likely, thou art doomed for all eternity. Ye and that demon dog, too.”

“Uh-oh. That doesn’t sound good.”

Thanks to AllAboutBirds.org, I learned “Fish Crows have a distinctive caw that is short, nasal and quite different sounding than the American Crow. This caw is sometimes doubled-up with an inflection similar to someone saying uh-oh.” 

And just like that, I had a new animal friend.

Even though the Internet is full of a million things that are useful, it’s also full of a million things that can suck you down its gravity well of useless information from which there is no escape. It can drag you to the darkest regions of the Web, and before you know it, you can’t remember what month it is, the last time you’ve taken a shower or brushed your teeth, and — “Uh-Oh!” — you haven’t been to work in days.

Interesting fact: Fish Crows like to hang out around water. Crows and Ravens are some of the smartest birds. Turkeys are on the opposite end of the intelligence spectrum. The word “spectrum” was first used to describe colors. Spectrum’s broadband service has opened up for me an expansive world of information. Some flat earthers believe the eclipse covered up some repair work being done on the world’s dome. I don’t invite those people over for dinner. But, I found a new recipe for Charred Brussels Sprouts with Anchovy Butter. I just might make it tonight. Wait a minute. What day is it? Uh-oh.

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