Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Big Bird Territory


The blue herons returned here this morning. I have no idea where they've been since last fall but as of today they are back at the same old spot in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park that begins here in town.
These large, ungainly birds draw people from near and far to stare at the oversized nests they build in the trees along Bath Road. They also stare at the herons as they come in to land on or near the nests. In doing so they look for all the world like an out of control airplane about to crash land. So many viewers congregate that they had to build a strip where bird watchers could park as otherwise traffic would be at a standstill along the road.
Other, more people-oriented viewers, travel a little farther west on Bath Road to see where Jeffrey Dahmer grew up and conducted his early experiments in killing first wildlife and then humans. That, I believe, was a little before the blue herons decided this would be a great place to live. Perhaps they are smarter than we realize.
So now that the herons are back the next thing we have to look forward to is the return of the buzzards to Hinckley. Just what it is that attracts big birds to this section of the Western Reserve escapes me, but we also have eagles soaring over the valley.
The surprising thing about the buzzards is that they always return on the exact same day of the year. Without knowing that, one might easily believe that birds, buzzards in particular, never look at a calendar. Apparently they do because every year crowds gather on Buzzard Day and stare at the sky. Sure enough, without fail here they come, dozens of them. A day earlier the first scouts fly in to make sure everything is as it shoud be, but that has nothing to do with the fact that the main body of buzzards shows up on the same date every year.
Once the blue herons and buzzards are back there isn't a whole lot to anticipate except the woolyworm festival and that's well in the future.
Sophie the hamster and I share a common feeling about all this. Neither of us gives a damn. Dahmer really was a lot more interesting.



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