It’s cold!

Every American not in the southwest is cold today, and they predict several more inches of snow in Chicago. Reader Diana MacPherson, who is famous for reversing the toilet rolls at other people’s houses, sent a picture of a dove fluffing itself up against the weather. Her notes:

This chilly dove is a Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura). They are the bullies at the feeders, always throwing their weight around. The chipmunks have learned to run at them to make them back down (they even try to bully the chippies who are bigger).

Chilly Dove Has Had Enough

81 Comments

  1. Mark Joseph
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Great picture, but by “famous,” don’t you mean “infamous”? ;-)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Depends on your philosophical disposition vis à vis toilet paper orientation.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Well Diana, this is your fifteen minutes of Internet fame. In the future, anyone Googling your name will come up with this reference. You will be immortalised by a toilet roll. Could be worse.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Crapper
        :)

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Meh. I’m okay with it.

      • Thanny
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        If you arrange it so that the free sheet is stuck on the wall, rather than hanging accessibly in the air away from the wall, then infamy is your rightful claim.

        • Marella
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Yes, poor Diana, while no doubt a well meaning person and interesting commenter, is unfortunately an infidel on the subject of proper toilet roll orientation, and will no doubt go down in history thus.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 9, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            I prefer the term, “heretic”.

            • gbjames
              Posted February 9, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

              I’m an accomodationist on this subject.

            • Marella
              Posted February 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

              I can work with that.

        • Dominic
          Posted February 10, 2014 at 3:17 am | Permalink

          Agreed!

  2. Posted February 8, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Bumptious bird on such a winter’s day.

    • Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Dreary day’s dominating dove.

      If the toilet paper is an outie (paper edge facing outwards), I have been known to fold it into a neat point.

  3. jstackpo
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Hmmm… The M-Doves at my Maryland feeder are quite subdued – they stay on the ground and peck at what falls on them as other birds toss out the seeds they (the feeder birds) don’t like, like millet.

    Does Diana MacP. live in an aggressive part of the country?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Are you sure they are being kind? If you look closely, you may see them shove other birds out of the way.

      • gbjames
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        I saw one with a little Taser throw a sparrow under a bus. Completely unacceptable.

    • merilee
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I believe Diana lives out of “the country” in the same area as I do: southern Ontario. We have a ton o’ them outside our kitchen window, too, competing aggressively with the squirrels, cardinals, blue jays, and chicadees.
      Great photo, Diana!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. Maybe our Canadian doves are jerks. The Rob Fords of the dove family. :)

        • merilee
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          aaarghhh, Rob Ford. The only good thing I can say about him is that he doesn’t talk about religion – at least not yet…

    • Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      I too have never seen doves acting aggressively at all, and I’ve been feeding doves for many years in many different locations of the country. They seem to “get along” w/ just about anything that lands near them.

      I have observed them as very skiddish birds; they take flight at the slightest noise or commotion. And I never, ever see them in the bird feeders; they always feed on the ground.

      I wonder what explains this discrepancy.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        My doves always freeze when all the other birds flee. This has resulted in many a dove dinner for hawks.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Also are yours mourning doves? There are lots of kinds. My doves usually feed on the ground but they will cram their big dove bodies onto the feeders occasionally.

        Not that these are your doves but I especially like Zebra doves. I saw them in Hawaii (I think they are considered pests there) but they were cute & would approach people for food. They are much smaller than mourning doves.

      • gbjames
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        You should see what they do when you’re not looking!

        Very, very tricky birds. A bit like weeping angels.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          Don’t blink!

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted February 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

            I think they were at their best in their first appearance in ‘Blink’. Quite possibly the best Dr Who episode ever. And the Angels were the scariest monster, too, and all done with some polystyrene statues and supremely clever editing. The cast was superb and the story, besides being highly complicated but it logically hangs together perfectly, was a delightful human interest story (and I don’t normally care for ‘human interest’).

            Oh, and it flatters the viewer with having enough intelligence to follow it without needing to have everything pointed out to them.

            By the way, the views of the Angel in that clip gbjames linked to owe a lot to Ridley Scott’s trick with the crummy video in ‘Alien’.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted February 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

              I still find cybermen the scariest villains.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted February 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

                Never! If there has to be an iconic Dr Who villain, of course, it *has* to be a Dalek. Even if their weapons look like an egg-whisk and a toilet plunger. “Exterminate! Exterminate!” Death by domestic utensil.

                Hey, shall we have a totally off-topic war of the Dr Who villains on Dr Ceiling Cat’s page? Better not. ;)

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

                I have a dalek sec like this dalek but black (obviously). He’s so cool. He recognizes words like cyberman and doctor and reacts to them. If he loses his eye stalk, he says all panicky “I cannot see!”

            • Marella
              Posted February 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

              I agree, it was terrifying. Definitely the best Dr Who evar!

  4. W.Benson
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    At 1 p.m. it is 93º F on both the wunderground map and in the kitchen at my shack in the jungle. It has been like this for over two weeks. Even the parakeets and hummingbirds are sitting it out.

  5. Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The Mourning Doves here seem to mostly spend their times being sad on top of street lamps. Maybe I’ll notice them being more aggressive when I’ve got the garden going….

    b&

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      That’s how they suck you in. :) I also think that blue eye make up look is to suck you in too.

      • gbjames
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Yeah, they’re waiting for a passing bus to toss another sparrow under. They’re like wolves in sheep clothing. In fact sometimes when you see sheep it is actually just some doves on the prowl. Clever bastards.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          When you see them under the bird feeder the appear to be eating seeds, but they’re really planning their next bank heist. You heard me right, I said “next” because they’ve robbed large institutions before, sometimes just through computer hacking (Doves are into white colour crimes as well).

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            white collar crimes. LOL

            • Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

              Silly me…here I thought that doves are into black collar crime….

              b&

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

                What is spooky is I actually thought that same thing as I was typing it.

              • Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

                That we must be telepathetic is once again demonstrated….

                b&

        • Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          Wait — where’d the Otididae come into the picture?

          b&

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            Yeah. The story made total sense until that part!

            • merilee
              Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

              Plenty of bastards, but no bustards that I know of around here.

  6. Jim Thomerson
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Here in Austin, TX, yesterday the YMCA closed the outdoor pool, despite protests, because of inclement weather. I think it will be open over the weekend.

    • gbjames
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      What’s an “outdoor pool”?

      • jstackpo
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        An “outdoor pool” is a set of financial wagers on the final outcomes of the winter Olympics.

        • gbjames
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          Ah! And hence my question. I’m not a sports fan!

      • Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        I think he just means, “pool.” The “outdoor” must have been added for hyperbolic repetition, like “wet water,” or, “corrupt New Jersey politician.”

        Cheers,

        b&

        • gbjames
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          You sure it isn’t a form of billiards played on lawns? (whatever “lawns” are)

          • Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            You mean golf?

            b&

            • gbjames
              Posted February 8, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

              I guess. Like I said, I’m no sports fan. I can’t tell them apart. Although I understand how skating works as a result of my daily stroll to my local coffee shop.

              • Posted February 8, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

                I’m no sports fan, either, but it’s impossible to miss the huge plots of once-pristine desert in this area now turned green not with edible crops but instead monocultures of close-cropped grasses. And they simply discard the parts they keep harvesting. And people wonder why our rivers and riparian areas are all dried up….

                b&

  7. John Taylor
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    After a week in Jamaica I’m sitting in the airport in Montego Bay waiting on a flight back to Ottawa. Not looking forward to the cold. : (

    • Rod
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      You’ll need help digging your car our of the parking lot if you used Park’n’Fly.

      • John Taylor
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        I sure did. Not looking forward to that.

  8. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Reader Diana MacPherson, who is famous for reversing the toilet rolls at other people’s houses…

    What? Did I miss that conversation? Does she just change them to the opposite of what they were? Or is it that when she finds one installed wrong, she sets it right?

    We all know what the correct way is, of course.

    • Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      The correct way is, of course, over the top, so the flap is in front rather than in the rear. For reasons known best to herself, Ms. MacPherson thinks the “backwards orientation” is correct. I will allow her to explain her thinking her, and her habit of changing the direction of rolls at her friends’ houses.

      The only advantage I see to the “backwards roll” is that it’s impossible for cats to unroll the whole thing with their paws. But I see that as a disadvantage for cats (and their owners, who think it’s cute).

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        I realize I hold very strong and controversial opinions when it comes to toilet paper hanging. Indeed, I am in the minority according to Wikipedia (it cite US stats but I’m sure Canadians aren’t much different).

        I think the under orientation is more aesthetically pleasing and it also roles faster so you can get away with using just one hand. Some cheap people see this as a disadvantage as they want to limit toilet paper consumption, but I don’t think you should skimp on toilet paper – that’s unhygienic and messy.

        I like to be helpful, so I change the orientation in public places where possible as well. I recently changed it at my massage therapist’s office.

        I have a friend who admitted to doing the same thing (thus undoing all my good work) but she does it for the over position. She isn’t as crafty as me because her sister-in-law caught her and confronted her :D. My friends have never caught me & I suspect they either blame family members or know it’s me and either accept or fear my quirks.

        • Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          Touch not the bum bot a paper?

          b&

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

            Yes precisely!

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Diana, your ‘under’ orientation is just so wrong for many toilet roll holders. In many (most?) holders, with the roll in the ‘over’ position, a quick tug on the paper tends to push the roll against the wall, thus providing enough friction to make the paper tear off at the perforation single-handed. In the ‘under’ position, pulling on the end lifts the roll away from the wall, letting it unroll freely into a great loop on the floor. So you have to use two hands.

          So I always change the roll into the ‘over’ position.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

            If you ever find that your roll is turned back to “under”. You’ll know I’ve visited. :)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Here was my original confession with toilet paper.

  9. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I shouldn’t be posting this, I should be painting the windowframes. As soon as I finish that, I’ll go to the beach. The water yesterday was warm and the clearest I’ve ever seen it (it’s usually churned up by the surf). That’s here in NZ, I might as well make the most of it while it lasts. (It is, of course, summer here on the underside).

    BUT, you USAnians aren’t the only ones having wild weather. The south of England is experiencing floods of biblical proportions. I follow an English railway group and they’re currently discussing which lines are open and which are blocked by the effects of weather – the list is growing longer every day. Exeter, for example, the transport hub for the west of England, has three main rail lines radiating from it – one comprehensively flooded, one lost its seawall to huge waves (take months to repair), and the third just had a slip which will take a week to fix.
    It must be chaotic.

  10. Cliff Melick
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Our (Palm Beach Gardens) high today was 80 F; that’s in south Florida, which last time I checked was in the southeastern US. So some Americans not in the southwest were definitely not cold today.

    • Merilee
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Don’t want to hear about it…:-)

      • Posted February 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Oh, so you’d rather hear about the Southwest? We’re just coming out of a real cold snap, highs in the 50s and 60s….

        b&

        • Merilee
          Posted February 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          Naaaaaaaaa….go awaaaaayyyy. I usually don’t mind winter but this year it’s been mostly too cold to snowshoe, even w three layers of longjohns, a balaclava, and hot shots in gloves and boots. I’ll stop whining now…

          • Posted February 8, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            Have you tried a cat? One worn ’round the neck generally does a very nice job at keeping you warm, I’ve found.

            b&

            • merilee
              Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

              Freddie’s not mad for being a feline neck-stole, unlike my dear departed Shaq. He does, however, love getting tail lifts off the ground. In fact he demands them. It’s very cute, but does not keep one warm in the snow.

              • Posted February 9, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

                Curious…Baihu likes me to pull on his tail as he stretches his claws on the scratching post….

                b&

              • merilee
                Posted February 9, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

                My vet says Fred’s got an exceptionally muscular tail-base, but not to overdo the lifting…If I’m in the bathtub, F cruises by constantly and meows to be tail-lifted. He’ll shake off the water from my wet hand and then come back and demand more.

              • Posted February 9, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

                I let Baihu decide how hard to pull…I just keep my hand steady, in the “every action has an equal and opposite reaction” sense.

                b&

              • Merilee
                Posted February 9, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

                Great physics demo! Also angular momentum with dropped cat maneuvering tail to allow it ( aforementioned ( afurmentioned?) cat)to land on its feet.

              • Posted February 9, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

                Yup…shows that he’s a strong little bugger, too.

                Works great for ear rubs as well. However hard he presses his head into my hand, that’s how hard I press back.

                b&

  11. Jim Thomerson
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I have understood that the toilet paper thing is sex related. Men install the rolls over, while women install them under. Not a result of a controlled study you understand.

    We have had white wing doves in good numbers here in Austin, TX. They used to be confined to the Rio Grande Valley and south. We have several species of dove around here.

    When I lived in Illinois, my back yard was dug up for septic system work. An area of bare soil was pioneered by a small croton (I think). At times there would be 20 or 30 mourning doves eating the seeds. They build crude tree nests out of sticks, and will do the broken wing thing to lure you away, if you get too close.

    • merilee
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      This female always installs the roll over. The male in this household installs it randomly.

    • gbjames
      Posted February 9, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Not so fast, there, cowboy. My own behavior is subject to context. There are two main types of TP dispensers in homes: a “stick out from the wall” type and an “flush with the wall” (so to speak) type. When confronted with the latter type I always put the TP in so that it rolls from the bottom. This is because a fresh roll will often be pinched in the dispenser and won’t rotate on the spindle unless lifted up a bit.

      The “not in the wall” types of dispensers don’t have that problem and, consequently, the “roll from the top” approach works better.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 9, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        +1

        Agree it’s dependent on the specific design of the holder.

        The critical factor (for me) is to achieve the right degree of friction so that a steady pull will unroll it, but a sharp tug will tear the roll at the perforations.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 10, 2014 at 5:52 am | Permalink

        I put it under on my not in the wall type. It works well and looks nice because you can’t see the flap.


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