The National Cherry Festival Airshow

Last winter I read an article that suggested putting dog hair–accumulated from grooming–in a suet feeder to make it available for the birds to use in their nests. I thought that was a very good idea, especially since we have to put bird feeders away in the Spring because bears are very hungry when they wake up from hibernation and they consider bird seeds to be a good source of food. I’ve heard that bears remember where they find food and will return to the source so I don’t want to attract a bear. Whenever I brush Danny, I always accumulate a huge pile of his hair. I usually just threw it out in the yard, but it seemed much better to put it in the suet feeder. I stuffed a bunch of Danny’s hair in the suet feeder in May. I didn’t see any birds take any of it, but just because I didn’t see it didn’t mean it wasn’t happening. JJ kept saying it was gross, but I kept it out there because it wasn’t really hurting anything. This morning while I was drinking a cup of coffee, I noticed two tufted titmouses (titmices?) fluttering around the post that the suet feeder is hanging on. I grabbed my camera, zoomed in, and photographed them pulling Danny’s hair from the feeder. I pulled JJ over to the window, “See? See! I am VINDICATED! Ha! The birds are taking Danny’s hair!”

After breakfast EJ and I drove to our local grocery store to buy picnic supplies. The store was the busiest that I’ve ever seen. Not only is Northern Michigan filled with vacationing tourist, but this is a big holiday weekend, with both Independence Day and Traverse City’s annual National Cherry Festival.

As we were driving back up our driveway, we saw a wild turkey with a group of babies move off into the grass. I took a video:

Thousands and thousands of people usually attend the National Cherry Festival. We usually just attend the airshow that is always part of the festival. The main feature is the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds which alternate years performing at the airshow. Last year we watched the Blue Angels and this year it was the Thunderbirds’ turn to perform. EJ works next to the airport so we go to his company to watch the airshow rather than fight the crowds at “center stage.” There’s only maybe a couple dozen other people who go to the same place to watch so it’s not crowded at all. We don’t get a “front seat” view, but do get to see the behind the scenes activity as the planes are prepared for flight. We have a wonderful view of the Blue Angels/Thunderbirds as they fly overhead.

Piper

And we get to see Piper, the cool airport dog. Piper works at the airport, chasing away the birds and other animals that could cause a hazard to airplanes. He has become an internet sensation. I’m always watch for him and I’m thrilled when I see him. I was hoping he would come closer to the fence so I could pet him, but he didn’t. He was too busy working. EJ began talking with another spectator who said he used to work at the airport but is now retired. The guy said that Piper knows the airfield so well that if a person threw a banana peel over the fence, he would notice and alert his handler. You can click on a link at the right under Northern Michigan Features to see an awesome news report about him.

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