Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Baking Blackbird Pie in Beebe

Sing a Song of Sixpence
[AKA blackbirds in a Pie
 (nursery rhyme)

Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh! wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey,
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

There are many traditions in the U.S. for bringing in the New Year, like the falling ball drop at Times Square in New York City, or the possum drop in Brasstown, NC; even more mundane events such as fireworks, or even firing rifles into the sky are family traditions.

However, Beebe, Arkansas, hopes that a blackbird drop does not become an annual welcome for a New Year.  No one lost their nose as the maiden in the rhyme, or at least it has yet to be reported.

Nor do I think they wish to recreate the nursery rhyme and try to recycle over 5000 red wing blackbirds into pies to start a new trend. Although if tasty, it might increase the city's revenues, since the state's small cities all have suffered financially during the recession. 

NAH--I doubt my philantropic nature would contribute to the cause, nor my fo0d addiction be that intrenchable.

It has been widely reported that on New Year's Eve Beebe, Arkansas became an astonishing death field of red winged black-birds, not 24, but various estimates include the number 5000.

This article in the New York Times today summarizes the event which still has a mysterious element as to the cause. Please refer to the link for the full story. It is well written. 

Another somewhat humorous story is Apocalypse Now. Recently,  there has been a big fish kill near Beebe, too. This  little town is near Little Rock, AR. Fish and birds, what next?

The event has been reported in several other media, too. The next day cleanup had  persons roaming the town in environmental protection suits with masks, etc., the normal dress for hazardous material disasters. Since the cause is speculated, but still not known or proven, all necessary precautions were taken.

Now various species blackbirds are common in Arkansas in  large numbers, and are considered nuisance when the flocks descend on a town en masse. If the birds remain in the same general area for any length of time they can leave knee-deep droppings according to one article.

In the years I've lived here we have had a few invasions of blackbirds. As I remember, fireworks and other loud noises were used to move them on. I would not relish knee deep droppings nor their noise; songbirds they are not.

Do a google search on blackbirds, Beebe AR and there are so many numerous articles it may keep you giggling all day.

This event also reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock's Movie, The Birds.


Pat - Arkansas said...

Beebe is about 20 miles from me. The fish kill was about 100 miles upstream on the Arkansas River. So far as I can tell from reading various articles, the two occurrences are not related. The bird-kill did stir up some headlines around here, though.

As to being song birds, red-winged blackbirds are, I suppose, not such by definition. However, to my ear, the call of a red-winged blackbird perched on a cat-tail stalk is one of the sweetest sounds in the world.

I have experienced some sorrow over the red-winged blackbird deaths, but starlings are, in my opinion, only a nuisance bird, as are grackles.

Lorna said...

That is chilling if the stories are related in any way. And don't make me think of The Birds---still skittish after all these years.

Arkansas Patti said...

I have been reading about that and am just glad I don't live in Beebe or on the Arkansas river.
Bizarre events but then with the daily earthquakes near Guy, we are a busy state.

richies said...

This has been a strange story. I read today that another large blackbird kill occurred this week in New Roads, Louisana.

An Arkies Musings


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faye said...

I've been following the blackbird
story... strange. Can't imagine
seeing that many birds fall from the
sky.. sad too.

flowerweaver said...

I did read about this in the news, how strange!

Nezzy said...

It happened again in Louisiana...now I'm no rocket scientist but I don't buy that fireworks internal injury theory. I'm gonna read the article as soon as I pop outta here.

I sooo remember watchin' 'The Birds' when I was a kid. I'm not sure why Mama let me watch it...scared the bejeebers outta me.

God bless ya and have a marvelous New Year sweetie!!!

Sandi McBride said...

I can only hope that this is not a case of poisoning nor a case of suicide as one idiot scientist on GMA put forth this morning. I'm watching my redwing blackbirds a bit more cautiously as they feed at the stands today tho, just in case they need a bit of prozac.


CHERI said...

Oh how I hated that movie THE BIRDS!!! Did you know the same thing happened with some birds a few days back in another country? I don't remember which one but the news did say there had been some fireworks being shot right before folks found the birds. I hope there is a sensible explanation...nothng eerie!

Silver said...

Heard about the story from my colleague too. The reason seemed to defy logic.

Anyway, how have you been? Your Kindle still serving you well?

(My internet connection is really bad today. If you see this twice, that's because i wasn't sure if the first comment i hit out got through or not.)

Virginia Mallon-Ackermann said...

In New York a lot of "end of days" theory has been floating around (granted we have more than our share of religious loonies per acre than anywhere on earth and mars). What has me nervous is that we will indeed bring about our own demise. Bees, birds, fish...not long before the foodchain makes it way to us.

Seriously, do you think it has something to do with the stuff they dumped in the Gulf of Mexico? We humans have such short memory and yesterday's news crisis is just a ghost too . . . but I think it will have its repercussions for a long long time. What do you think?

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

lol with the Black bird song.
I was wondering who was going to do a post about this horrible freak thing that happened in Beebe.
Strange town name too.
If I lived there I would probably be freaked by now and looking for a new home. Something caused them to fall there. haha
Stephen King movie next.
Hope you have a weekend with out birds falling around you

Liz said...

Gosh! I somehow missed hearing about that phenomenon. Poor things.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Wow!!! That's so horrible!!! Just stopping in to say "hello" to you, and find out how you are doing!! Love and miss you!! ~Janine xoxo