Farmer’s Calendar for June 2016

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All month, a bird in our woods has been driving me crazy. I call it the heeby-jeeby bird, because that’s what its call sounds like to me: “heeby-jeeby, heeby-jeeby,” or sometimes “heeby-jeeby-jeeby.” I haven’t seen it, so I can’t look it up in bird books. Googling “bird that says ‘heeby-jeeby’” wasn’t helpful.

We had to drive to Connecticut for a commencement, so we decided to try listening to a CD of bird calls—perhaps we would hear it there. We hadn’t counted on the dogs, who lounged in the back cargo area.

When they heard the recorded Canada geese, they stiffened. They know all about Canada geese, having chased and been chased by them. They started to thrash around, checking all the windows. Where were those geese? The recording moved on to the Wood Duck, the Gambel’s Quail, the Greater Yellowlegs, none of which are familiar sounds around our house. False alarm: The dogs relaxed.

Then the Barred Owl started hooting: red alert! Wiggles spun in mad circles, scanning 360 degrees. Echo barked, she bayed, she squealed in excitement; she did her level best to hoot back. Fearing that some dog would crash through a window, we finally had to turn off the CD player.

We never did hear the heeby-jeeby bird.

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