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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, June 26, 1904, Image 55

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1904-06-26/ed-1/seq-55/

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Varied Ways in Which It Is Dis
New stories are constantly told by naturalists,
both amateur and professional, regarding the
performances of birds and animals, which raise
anew the query whether they are guided by any
■Cher faculty than instinct. One of the proposi
tions which may agitate the minds of some of
the amateur naturalists who haunt the woods
and fie!,]-; this year, with opera glass in hand,
Starching for material for papers os such sub
ject* as "How It Seems to Ovt Up Kaily and H« a.
the nirds Sing, by One Who Has Done It." is
that of the possibility of Bickers becoming in
sane. John Burroughs has said that if ever the
Dicker went crazy he would go crazy boring
boles. Dallas l>ore Sharp In his new book,
"Hoof and Meadow" (copyright by The Dtury
Company, ]!*H). tells stories of two flicker*
Whir* he thought were crazy.
Both of these flickers bored holes, one In a
bam an I th other in r. tin rain pipe. Early ii
the spring: the first flicker appeared. She alight
ed on the ridgepole of a new barn built in a
broad grain field. The barn was tight, being
•jell shingled, and sided with white pine bo:rd-i
thai lapped at the edges, so that not a crack
Was revealed within by the sunlight test. There
Was nothing In the barn. The flicker rappe.l on
the ridgepole, .and such a ring as it gave forth!
Burely, this was a find indeed. It suggested to
b*T mind glorious homes for all her progeny, no
matter how many of them there might be. In
srLantJy she began looking about for a good place
to begin boring. The roof of the barn was not
satisfactory, for the flicker dots not do things
a* one would expect, but must stand in a
peculiar manner. The nicker flew around to one
end and, selecting a spot at the lapping of two
boards to begin operations, braced hers If by her
spine pointed tail and drove home her bilL
P^rk. peck, peck, she hammered away, and by
mri<i by she had made a hole into the barn.
]:v.i--ntly the result was not what «
peeled; it was a place too big for her to think
Of tilling v:;> for a nest, so she passed over to
another seam and tapj*-d again. She listened.
and the sound seeming satisfactory, she 1 egma
anew hole. It operied Into the same bis, cavern
CTtfpnyiueed fr-im "WnrlJ*3 Wjrk." by courtesy of ti» publi.hrra, PouMe.'ay, V:i^b ft Cn.V
ous place. Ftlll unsatisfied, she returned to her
task afresh at another point. For some reason
she did n<vt learn her lesson. Again she Imred
her waj- into the barn. Hay after day either
Blie or other flickers In the neighborhood kept
boring away, until the end of the barn looked
as if it had been bombarded by a battery. While
the naturalist found much to Interest him in
th.s performance, tho farmer, who had no* built
the barn for the c-xercist- of the Insanely iruided
eiur^ks of birds. sa.w no good in the holes
at all.
The owner of BOOM fir c bouses was the suf
ferer from the actions of the other Bicker. This
second crazy flicker is said to have been a male.
His performance suggests another perplexing
proposition, and that is the possibility of birds,
;is human beings are said to do sometimes, be
coming unbalanced because of unrequited love.
This flicker arrived earlier in the spring than
any of his fellows. His arrival was announced
by a ringing roll on a galvanised Iron ventilator.
The persons in the bouse were startled, and
passersby in the street looked up to s-e what
this strange noise was and whence it proceeded.
There was nothing to be seen. The tattoo again
sound* d. and soon up out of the chimney popped
the flicker in an ecstasy over bis new drum. He
was undoubtedly tuning up for his spring ser
enade, although no coy female Dickers had ar
rived to receive his advances. Spying another
and larg«r drum, a big ventilator on an adjoin
ing house, he sailed over anil hit it bard. It
boomed with a roll that would haw captured
the heart of the coyest and most coquettish of
maiden flickers. Again there was no response.
His bill did not By into flinders as one would
have thought, but the sound apparently went to
his bead. His tender passion quickly changed
into an Intense satisfaction in making a noise.
Be became more and more crazy over galvan
ised pipe, and. finding no response to his sere
nading, found satisfaction in serenading him
S.veral days after his arrival he attacked the
rain pipes. Then the sympathetic feeling which
he had elicited as liii ardent lover who could
not express half his feeling upon a rotten stump
changed into a fc-c-;ing of Indignation. One
ij.orriii:g he wajj discovered up under the eaves
dinging to a. bracket of the rain pipe and drill
ing his way through the pipe. He had given up
drumming for drilling, and was cutting away
like any tinsmith. When discovered he had aJ
ready made a hole half as big as firm's fist. lie
was finally scared away, but not until he had
aroused the indignation of several householders;
One of Mr. Sharp's friends, "a keen arid trust
worthy naturalist," found a pair of catbirds
building a nest in the thick tangle of vines just
outside her dining room. In a neighboring apple
tree a pair of robins wore hatching their eggs.
The robins, she observed from time 10 time,
looked over toward the house which was being
built by the newcomers. They seemed to be es
pecially Interested In the affairs of the new
neighbors — a sort of neighborly interest, not the
Inquisitive kind. What they saw appeared to
perturb them. Evidently they, as experienced
bouse builders, saw something wrong in the way
it was being put together. Perhaps the catbirds
were young, and this was tin first house. Ap
parently the robins were being .idly over
come with the desire to assist in the construction
of the nest by offering a little advice;
No opportunity to break in, however, presented
Itself for a day or two. At last both of the cat
birds Dow away. The robins saw them disap
pear, and, unable to contain themselves longer,
sprang from their own dooryard to the ground.
One of them hastily picked up a piece of coarse
grass, and, flying to the catbird's nest, now half
built, laid it around the rim of the clumsy
structure. Cuddling down inside, the bird drew
the rough, unfinished walla of the nest up around
her round, shapely red breast to mould it Into
something like form. Then the robins flew away
to the grape arbor. The catbirds soon returned
with some line rootlets, which they proceeded
to entwine In the nest, but th. did not see the
robin in the grape arbor looking at them with
head corked.
A woman of newly acquired wealth went into
a Kifth-.tvi'. art gallery th>* other day and said
she wanted a painting a certain size.
"I have Just what y«>u wrint," th« dealer as
sured her, and he sbow< 1 her a genuine Troyon
of the size desired, .1 beautiful animal painting.
The woman looked at it for a few minutes
and shook her head.
"It won't do."' she paid. "I want this picture
for my drawing room."
"Well?" questioned the dealer, who saw no
reason fcr the rejection so far as the drawing
room was concerned.
"Yon co'ildn't have a. cow In th« drawing
room, you know."
AJid tiii.t eiid^d tt.
So the Thermometer Is Regarded
from Varying Points of View.
The approach of summer serves to emphasis*
anew the fact that the manufacturer of tin
mometers, while the source of a blessing to
mankind, is also the source of a curse. for the
rest of the season one will be in constant danger
of hearing "Is it hot enough for you?" or "llow
would you like to be the iceman?" tiresome
reiterated Ml every hand. Cheerful Idiots, with
so few ideas in their craniums that these never
by any chance make one another sweat became
of the cramped quarters; stride up behind one,
slap one on th» shoulder and add insult to in
jury by committing an aural assault. "Geo!"
ejaculates the small minded neighbor of the
suburbanite on his way to the station as he
overhauls him, 'but wasn't yesterday hot? it
looks as if it would be hotter to-day. Do you
know how hot It was at 7 o'clock this morning?"
The suburbanite groans inwardly, fur this is the
fifth time he has been asked that same ques
tion since he left the house. The Cheerful Idiot
continues by answering his own question, "When
I opened the door this morning and looked at
the thermometer the mercury registered TS. 1
met Smith, who lives next door, and he said hi 3
registered only 77, but Jones, who lives on tha
Other side of me. said his went even higher than
mine. That makes me think my thermometer
was right.** Then he drags his hat from hi*,
head, mops his head with his handker
chief, stuffs the latter inside his collar and re
places his bat on the back of his head.
On the other hand, the thermometer manu
facturer Is a blessing to the man who seeds a
topic of conversation when he meets a bowing
acquaintance in the elevator. To bashful lew
he is an angel In disguise. His occupation i;
one of those whose profits in part are reaped
from man' desire to satisfy his curiosity, Pc >-
pie wen* never by any chance roasted to d -;ith
by overheated dwelling houses before thermom
eters became s> cheap that the poorest could
afford to own one. Many persons to-day buy
them simply to satisfy curiosity.
There are many different uses for thermom
eters and as many different styles as us-a.
They range from the tiny half-inch tubes ;■.t
tached to Christmas calendars to the enormous
twelve-foot Instruments used In experimental
Cu*»tiuur»l un elf tenth f»««.

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