Image credit: Classic FM.

Image credit: Classic FM.

Think Igor Stravinsky. Now read the following:

Reporters are agog  about a solar plant in the Mojave Desert. The plant has more than 300,000 mirrors. It seems that when birds fly through the concentrated rays of the mirrors our feathered friends ignite in midair.* Workers at the plant call them “streamers.” For more, see here and here.**


*I don’t know why, but the image of flaming birds reminds me of one of my favorite poems:

Little bird out in the snow, with busted wing, and broken toe. First I will lure thee with a piece of bread, and then I will crush your tiny head.

Anonymous student at lower middle class high school in Maumee, Ohio.

**Do you think this post requires a trigger warning for people who suffer from environmental schizophrenia?

14 responses

  1. When I read that, I thought more of Wagner’s Death of the Valkyries. Oh, wait….

    On the other hand, it’s prepared food for the critters on the ground, whose ecology otherwise is upset by all those sunshades.

    Do you thing this post requires a trigger warning for people who suffer from environmental schizophrenia?

    You have some evidence they suffer from it? There’re big bucks to be had from any controversy, but especially from (irony trigger alert) green ones.


    Eric Hines

  2. I should open a bar within binocular distance of this instillation and raise pigeons and quail out back.

    I think I could take every last dollar off the poor wayward souls passing through who stopped in for a beer and to inquire about the installation over yonder.

  3. some thoughts while waiting for my coffee to brew
    1. it always leaves me content when I read of another victory in the longest and most successful running War on Nature (trademark).
    2.F$#K those birds if they didn’t deal with a good roasting they weren’t real Phoenixes anyway,it’s called hazing look it up.
    3.depending on the carbon dating of the lyrical etchings into the top of that desk in the back row of homeroom at Maumee High School could evidence one of the earliest and finest odes to the bait car ever Some one should look into that
    Anywho coffee’s done better hop off this flog course and back to the wife and tadpoles for the night has a thousand eyes and can’t keep them traps shut wouldn’t want a misunderstanding to cost me my lily pad or nuthin’

  4. Hapless thee Toad the one true Lord of the Flies,

    First, love your web name. Second,and most importantly, I agree that if you are a bird and burst into flame while flying through a ray gun beam you are at fault for being a bird brain. All the best.


  5. John,

    I agree. Terrific investment opportunity.

    The trick will be to catch the streamers as they fall to, but do not touch, the earth. Sanitation and all. I am thinking a big net shot out of a small cannon might work just like those illegal gill nets used on Japanese fishing ships.

    Serving drinks on the cheap,such as Pabst Blue Ribbon and Go Big Red Whiskey,your diner cum bar–featuring free range streamers on wild rice–will be a cash cow. But, look out for the bird people.

    They are very likely to picket. They will wear faux stone washed shirts, safari shorts with pockets stuffed full of Nature Valley Granola Bars, birkenstocks and hand woven wool socks. Taking a page from the Ferguson book, they will no doubt scream and chant: “Wings up, don’t flame. What do we want? Justice for feathered friends,even the stupid ones.”

    If that happens,run a special for the Hell’s Angels. Problem solved in a variety of amusing ways even though I, too, think the Angels might be a tad bit too militarized nowdays.

    Count me in. All the best.


  6. Eric,

    Snark is good especially for environmental freaks. I can just see and hear the tizzy between the Department of Energy and the Interior Department. I know, let’s do an environmental impact statement!

    All the best.


    PS I spent a lot of time fighting the “bird people” on the Platte River when I represented the Central Platte Natural Resources District that had jurisdiction over the big bend reach of the Platte river. Think allegedly endangered birds like Interior Least Terns, Piping Plovers and Whooping Cranes. Among the other things that I learned: Sautéed in butter, those critters are good eating.

  7. You’d think the plant operators would, at the least, put up a sign warning the birds.

    All of which reminds me of an experience I had when I was a brand-new lawyer. I was hired to defend a farm family from a claim by a construction worker who said that, when he needed to relieve himself and decided to do so on the other side of the farmer’s cattle fence, he was very nearly killed by the electric shock from the fence. Never mind that the “shock” from the fence wasn’t powerful enough to kill a cockroach. At any rate, I, the dutiful junior lawyer, walked through the field with the farmer asking all the questions my torts professor taught me to ask. “Did you ever,” I asked of the farmer, “have a sign warning of the electrified cattle fence?” “No,” he answered with a look that told me that he clearly was unimpressed with the city lawyer. “Our cows can’t read.”

    All best,


  8. If there were no federal tax credits for projects such as this, they would never get built. The numbers don’t work.

    Compare and contrast with our abundance of natural gas. The fires in North Dakota can be seen from outer space. The reason why the natural gas is being burned is because there are not enough pipelines in North Dakota.

  9. So you prefer the crude oil coating the birds to prolong their suffering before death? And I miss the river so polluted in Cleveland that it caught fire routinely.. That was neat. Those damn environmentalists will ruin everything.

  10. RNJ,

    Coming from Toledo, I do have to say that when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland erupted in flames that brought a big smile to my face. Pray tell, what else would you think?

    All the best.


  11. I come from Toledo too. Miss the raw sewage from our town spilling into the ten mile creek, known as the Ottawa River, in the more fashionable parts of Toledo, thence into the Maumee, and thence into Lake Erie. But progress is still alive, the entire water system of Toledo was shut down due to a polluted Lake Erie. Take that you clean water fans.

  12. On a less snarky tone(maybe), what happened to the Party of two great Environmentalists?Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon(maybe not great but pretty good).
    Do the Koch brothers really rule the roost? I just returned from North Dakota. The juxtaposition of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the nearby wretched oil ruined towns is remarkable in a shameful way.

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