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Monday, February 16, 2009
This is a sad story in one way, yet I am really happy to be able to show you these pictures.
The set-up and a digression: I live just a mile from a small town. When I can shop there I often walk to town. Today I had to get the remainder of my antibiotic prescription. Wal-mart didn't have enough pills Friday night, but I needed to get the partial fill because they wanted me to start the medicine right away. This prescription isn't one of the ones on their $4 generic list. (I learned that there are over 300 generic drugs that you can't get at those low prices.) So I switched it to the hometown store and Maggie and I walked in to pick it up. Here's a real eye-opener. 8 pills at Wal-Mart were $21.66, or $2.71 each. The remaining 22 pills at the hometown store were $30.21, which is $1.37 each- half the price. Very interesting!
Now back to the main story: Just as we entered town, Maggie started to poke around at the base of a street sign. Of course I figured she was just exploring where some other dog had staked out a claim. But as I tugged at her leash I noticed that there was something she was really sniffing at. I discovered a dead hen pheasant, just lying on the snow. Possibly it had been hit by a car and was able to run just out of the road before dying.
Pheasants have become so ordinary here in the northeast US that we have all but forgotten that they were introduced here in 1857 for hunting. The birds are actually native to Asia. They are a fairly large bird, this female is probably 18 inches from beak to the end of the tail. The cock pheasants are very beautiful. Perhaps I'll be able to get some pictures of one sometime. The beauty of the hens is more subtle, with muted colors and the repetition of the feather patterns. Even though they are not native, they are one of my favorite birds.