Driving home from work one day, I noticed a hint of a new hue--a titch of red, emerging in the trees that line Big Creek along Old Forty. I slowed to get a better view, and after peering closely, saw scarlet fruit emerging on the many mulberry trees that dot our landscape. My first thought was it seems a bit early for the mulberries to ripen. My next thought was oh no. It’s purple splotch bomb time.
Not only do insects like those luscious berries, but birds do too, with decidedly undesirable results. Everywhere I look during mulberry season, I see purple splotches splattering cars, lawn furniture, windows, porches, the dog’s back, and on infrequent occasions, a human head! Based on their splatter techniques, some might think Jackson Pollock took art lessons from mulberry fed blue jays.
I know humans studied birds for years to determine how we too might fly. Looking around our place at the results of fruity explosions, I wonder if tactical bombing instructors used these feathered friends’ techniques to learn new bombing strategies.
The idea of carpet-bombing undoubtedly occurred to some poor military tactician who suffered the misfortune of standing in the wrong place when a flock of birds hastily digested their diets of deep purple fruit during a quick take off. It wouldn’t take long to put two and two together to determine how to dispatch a group of planes loaded with missiles aimed at a common target.
Some brilliant scientist must have modeled stealth bombing after more streamlined birds that swoop in for a morsel and then fly a direct pattern over a specified site. Most recently, that would have been a spot on my car door that we could not avoid touching when we exited and reached to shut the door. It didn’t take long for me to interpret my daughter’s disgusted squalls as she rapidly wiped her hand up and down her pant leg after closing the door.
This form of attack also comes into play when birds sight in on the human head. No one is safe. Golf courses, picnics, baseball games, and gardens are declared certified bombing ranges. The human pate in the open offers a clear invitation--Hit me--Hit me--Who can blame the bird?
Unfortunately for the splatted upon, some birds come with sighting devices that would amaze Pentagon or Chinese military whizzes. One bird’s eye view and that poor skull is done for. Show me the man or woman who can graciously exit a group of bystanders after a fully loaded bird hits ground zero, and I’ll introduce you to the next mediator general of the world.
Be warned! Beware of mulberry loaded, low flying birds. Consider them armed and dangerous. For your own protection, wear a hat at all times.