This blog originates on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, in Louisiana. It proposes to share the things that happen on and by the river as the seasons progress. As the river changes from quiet, warm, slow flow to rises of eighteen feet or more, there are changes in the lives of the birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles that use the river. And the mood of the river changes with the seasons. I propose to note and comment on these things.

My Photo
Location: Butte La Rose, Louisiana, United States

I transitioned a few years ago from a career as a water-pollution control biologist. I want to do this blog to stay in touch with a world outside my everyday surroundings, whatever they may be. I like open-minded company and the discussion of ideas. Photo by Brad Moon.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Lafayette CBC; Idiom

We did the annual Christmas Bird Count for the Lafayette area yesterday. My team (Ray Bauer and myself) had a good day (71 species) but didn’t get the number of species we usually get on this count – about 85. Don’t know why. We did get a couple really good birds: a group of seven Canvasback ducks and two Redhead ducks, both on the Scott oxidation pond. But we didn’t get some of the really common birds, like Goldfinch. I’m looking at nine of these little yellow/green birds at a feeder four feet from me, but yesterday in the Lafayette area we couldn’t find even one. We also found only one Robin, where we usually find hundreds or even thousands of them on this count. Maybe the lack of cold weather can account for that. Oh well, it was a good day anyway.

Anybody know how the phrase “Lead pipe cinch” got started? I (and a friend or two) have gathered together a collection of 900 idioms like this and for many of them I have no explanation as to their origin. Books written on this topic often just tell you what the meaning of the phrase is in current usage, but not where it came from. Let me know if you know, and your source if there is one.

The river is at 2.9 BLR today, and rising slowly. The Ohio is falling, so there isn’t much hope for water in the near future. Still almost no current, and when there is no current I can’t run the trotline. Reason? Because an east wind will push you upriver and replace the line in front of logs, etc., on the bottom. A current, on the other hand, will keep you stretched downstream where you have to be to keep the line in the right place. An east wind is pretty common when it’s as warm as it is now. Glad I don’t need the fish right now.

Rise and shine, Jim


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