In surely the creepiest of the first news stories in 2011 is the Arkansas dead bird phenomenon. On New Year's Eve Day, more than 3,000 dead birds, mostly red-winged blackbirds, were found scattering streets, yards, and rooftops in Beebe, Arkansas, and no one knows why.
Officials are guessing it's weather related, like lightning or high atmosphere hail, but what if it's something worse? Like the all-new bird flu or some awful man-made environmental mess?
Or, and I won't claim to be any sort of Bible expert, what if this is beginning of the end of the world?
Here are few well-known mentions about birds, in reference to the end of the world, from the Bible:
The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.
Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: "There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away ..."
"I will sweep away both men and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. The wicked will have only heaps of rubble when I cut off man from the face of the earth," declares the LORD.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God" ...
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh ...
Gulp! I mean, some of these are said to take place in Israel but Gulp!
So far we have the 100,000 dead fish, 3,000 dead birds, and the earth trembling in Indiana of all places. Should we be worried? I mean, those who have faith are not worried, but what about everyone else?
Maybe we should pray because it's probably out of our hands. But in the meantime, shouldn't everyone be locked inside their home until it's confirmed it's safe outside? Has anyone confirmed it's safe outside? End of the world or not, what if we're dealing with a toxic nightmare -- and we have those poor workers out nonchalantly picking up thousands of poisoned bird carcasses? With everything we do to our planet and put into our air and all the nightmares and slow destruction we have seen, shouldn't we be a little more worried and cautious about this situation? Cause we haven't treated this planet very nicely, and now thousands of BIRDS HAVE FALLEN DEAD OUT OF THE SKY.
I'm a big birdwatcher, and I was just out photographing red-winged blackbirds this weekend. They're beautiful birds, the way they cluster and swirl across the sky. However, if they started dropping out of midair before my eyes, I'd immediately detour toward the closest gas mask, and once I had it firmly over my nose and mouth, you can bet I would then and only then begin to pray.
Do you think it might be the end of the world, a huge sign from our ailing environment, or some weather-produced fluke?