Friday, March 9, 2012

Clowns of the county


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

Either it's because my life has been riddled with the pursuit of laughter or that humor has sustained me throughout the madness of the world for decades—whatever it is, I'm very partial to magpies. They're just flat-out hilarious. Magpies are passerine birds of the crow family, Corvidae. Known as the European magpie, they are believed to be one of the most intelligent of all animals. They are one of the few animal species that can recognize themselves in a mirror.

They seem to be all over the country, as I saw them in all parts of the United States when I traveled around in my youth. As a young lad in upstate New York, I favored the magpies and crows, and spent many a day being enormously entertained by their antics and style. My favorite cartoon characters at that time were Heckle and Jeckle, two wily crows who graced the comic pages for years and then were featured in animated cartoons.

Up here in Idaho and the Wood River Valley, they're everywhere, wreaking havoc with their audacious fun as they play on through their lives oblivious of the trials of life. When I worked at the Sawtooth N.R.A. headquarters, I was able to watch them year-round, in all kinds of weather in numerous settings. I would take my breaks outside every day so that I could enjoy their madcap antics, so much so that my supervisor would often have to come outside to retrieve me: "Hey! You wanna' come back in, now?" "I got magpies here!" "I got work in here and a paycheck!" "Coming in now!"

Nowadays, I enjoy their activity as they play around my cabin area next to the longest-reigning yard sale in the valley. Their black and white and blue colors sparkle in the sun as they swoop and land all over the trees and snow-covered lawn. They clack all day and harass one another much like the urban gangs of the cities of the western part of the country. They bounce off the trees, singing songs, chatting wildly while causing laughter all over the neighborhood with their rambunctious style. I love those guys!

So, if you find yourself buried in a low state of mind, get outside, check out these whackos and enjoy nature's skit comedians. The cover is free and you don't have to buy a drink.

Nice talking to you.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.