Friday, November 5, 2010

The Pigeon House, The Mall, and The Interwebs

So here's what happened when I visited the nearby pigeon house: Nada. 
Disturbingly out-of-place and culturally confusing front yard extravaganza:  Still there.  Pigeon loft:  Gone.  Home-owners: Not home.  Sigh.

BUT, as I drove from the ridgeline toward the mall (errands, not recreation) I did, however, wax rhapsodic when a beautiful flock of 30-something assorted pigeons soared right over my car and onto a nearby phone wire.  Coincidence?  I like to think not.  And only 2 miles from my house, no less.

So my theory of suburban vs. urban pidges: shot.  New theory:  Pigeons love shopping.  Be it strip mall or ‘destination department store’ or city center:  They gots ta have stuff  and that’s why they congregate.  Reactions, anybody?

Next, to the interwebs!
Back home on Google, I quickly zeroed in on our regional hobbyists’ hang, the North Cascade Invitational Racing Pigeon Club.  From there, it was a short cyber-leap to and a feature on a guy named Billy, local breeder and aficionado, and his wife, Gina.  I watched the short video, read the article, and jotted his phone number.  He’s a former beekeeper too, so I’ve got an inside angle and I hope he’ll give me an interview and a tour…

Today I read Ch. 13, 14, & 15: “The Breast Farm” about squab production in South Carolina (raising baby pigeons and then butchering them for their itty bitty meat is exactly as gross but train-wreck fascinating as you’d think), “The Main Event” chronicling the most extensive annual pigeon race for lofts in NY,NJ, CT, and Long Island and for which Orlando, the main racer we follow throughout the book, has spent the year training his young birds, and finally “They Had No Choice” about a dinner at London’s House of Parliament to celebrate a new monument honoring all the animals – including messenger pigeons – who have served Great Britain in war. 

Questions:  What’s one to do with this new appreciation for a much maligned species?  How do I extend the understanding to other animals I’m likely to scorn?  Say, slugs or hobo spiders or earwigs?  Or Steller’s jays that drive me nuts? 

Action Steps:
* Call Jerry Guilmette to see if he’ll let me tour his coop. 
* Visit Blechman’s website (, and write the author an email of appreciation for his strong writing that made a potentially dull topic utterly fascinating.

Tomorrow:  A new book for the weekend!  

What do you suggest?  Write me a comment!


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