Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ovenbird vs. Governmental Regulations

A man I know--well, I have read many of his posts, but have never met him otherwise--made an observation about the oven bird pictures that I sent him that showed the process involved with its nest building techniques. His reply and observations just tickled me pea green, so I thought I would share. Now to give background, the oven bird builds its nest with a series of teeny tiny beaks full of mud stuck to a flat surface somewhere away from the ground in a normally inaccessible place. But that type of structure would NEVER be beyond government intervention in Keith's mind:

Interesting pictures. I was curious and looked up the bird. Took a little effort in Google to confirm my first impression. It’s an Ovenbird, more precisely a Red Ovenbird. They get their name from the mud nests they build that look like small mud ovens. I found another picture of a similar nest in a tree. Not sure what the greatest skill involved is. I don’t know of many carpenters who work with mud. It certainly is a feat of engineering. It got me to thinking.

If we would build a similar home for ourselves we’d first have to submit the idea to the engineering department. They would propose multiple designs and subject them to thorough testing over a three year period. Other engineers would experiment with several varieties and consistencies of mud and do more tests. Chemists would look in to making synthetic mud in case the demand for mud houses resulted in mud shortages. Prototypes would be built and cost estimates determined. The marketing department would develop a strategy to bring the design to the public and convince them they really need this. Finally blueprints would be submitted to appropriate government agencies for approval who would reject the plans because the house has only one point of egress.

There would be a host of social and political issues to deal with. Residential window and door manufacturers would oppose them since houses with only one door and no windows would pretty much eliminate most of them. The carpentry and woodworking unions would protest that this is a Republican conspiracy to take work away from them. Home Depot and Lowes would lay off thousands of employees and shut down their indoor lumberyards as demand for two-by-fours and plywood dried up. Environmentalists would be pleased with a reduction of logging but worried about strip mining mud for all new houses. A super PAC would be formed to support only politicians who subscribed to their motto, “Mud houses are for the birds.”

Well, I didn’t say it got me to thinking very clearly.

Keith [Mattson]

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