City Desk

Neighborhood News Roundup: The Problem With Nature Edition

A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.

Neighborhood News RoundupFlight of the Birds: In a thread titled "Starling Cacophony," members of the Takoma Park email list debate a newfound annoyance: birds that chirp so loudly they're awoken in early hours of the morning. The original poster said, "Has anyone else taken note of the starlings roosting in the trees at sunrise and sunset? I've lived here for nearly 30 years and have never experienced this before. Have migratory patterns changed?" It's doubtful anyone could speak to the birds' migratory patterns without ornithology training; residents are divided on the new symphony outside their windows. "Yes! I've just noticed this in the last week. They seem to have taken an interest in the park between Maple and Willow, behind the CVS. I've seen what seems like thousands of birds flying in," one commenter wrote. Another actually enjoys the sound of hundreds of screeching birds, "Are they Starlings? I'm not a birder, but I thought these 'blackbirds' were smallish—and aren't Starlings, um, larger-ish? [Like I said, I'm not a birder.] But I love the sounds of the flocks."

A Bamboo Mitzvah: For some, the fall means Jewish holiday after Jewish holiday to celebrate. One of the lesser-known is Sukkot, which includes the building of a temporary little hut for celebratory purposes. A member of the Cleveland Park email list is on the hunt for bamboo to concoct his own sukka hut. He writes, "It's that time of year again (the coming Jewish holiday of Sukkot) and a few of us are looking for overgrown bamboo you'd like to get rid of. I/we will come cut it at your convenience and of course haul it away. Thanks, in advance." Evidently there was much bamboo available: The member wrote to update, "I'm already set with the bamboo I need and so can't haul any more away."

Starting Old: Are you interested in starting your elderly career early? If that's a yes, the Chevy Chase Community Center is offering bridge classes starting in November. A posting on the neighborhood email list advertises, "Have you always wanted to play bridge? Have you heard many people say this is the greatest game on earth and wondered how you can get in on the fun?" For the price of $110, you can be on your way to becoming a master of bridge—the class is open to the inexperienced and the experience. If you're dying to learn bridge that badly, you can sign up for the class at the Parks and Recreation website.

Blunt and Confused: A member of an ANC 6A email list has requested, without explanation, a didgeridoo. He needs it for two weeks, but has left the other members of the list clueless. One commenter simply replies, "Okay Mike. What is it?" (For those who also don't know, it's a hilarious Australian wind instrument). Another commenter is only slightly more helpful, writing, "I went to a concert with a string quartet and didgeridoo at the Library of Congress several years back. The quartet members played on the Stradivarius instruments housed at the Library, so maybe—just maybe—the didgeridoo was actually supplied by the Library too. But my guess is not. And my guess is also that it would be pretty darn hard to convince the Library to loan you the instrument."

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