There comes a day every spring when I awaken to the sounds of dozens of song birds greeting the dawn.
It is a particularly nice day, predictably coming as it does at the end of winter, and proclaiming to everyone and everything in earshot that spring is at hand.
The advent of the spring songbird concert isn't sudden, it grows on you gradually. Some birds arrive early, some later on, and they just kind of show up. One day they aren't here and the next day they are. No news release, no TV promos, nothing. Birds don't exactly hire advance men to announce their arrival.
Rather, there is just an awareness that something is different and then you realize that you are not alone in the growing light of pre-dawn. It is nice to awaken this way, especially considering that the songbird melody will last for the better part of six months before they take flight to warmer climates again.
It is reassuring.
There are always birds around my house, both inside and outside, since my family and I make it a point to feed those that winter over. We provide various kinds of seeds and suet during the cold months, but we cut way back on the feeders in the spring and summer, preferring to plant seed bearing flora that attracts robins, bluebirds, finches, cardinals, orioles and many other varieties.
In addition to providing sources of food for both the seasonal and year-round residents, we are strong on organic gardening so you won't find much in the way of pesticides, herbicides or any of the other "cides" in our yard, that could harm avian reproductive processes.
We also hear from owls, hawks, eagles, turkeys and buzzards fairly regularly and we occasionally get a glimpse of a rare species.
It can get pretty noisy around here when all the species are going full tilt but I am never inclined to close my window and shut out the sounds. I guess it's because in the back of my mind I am aware that while one side of the cycle brings us life and hope, there will be a day in the future when I awaken to silence, or at best just the screech of blue jays, and I am on notice that winter is coming and I too will have to adjust my routines.
So I take what I can when I can, and appreciate the song birds, common and rare, for what they bring to my life, even if it is temporary.
Another Rare Sighting
Speaking of rare sightings, I saw Juliet Huddy on the Fox News channel about a week ago. It was a Saturday and she appeared during the afternoon with Mike Jerrick, her co-host on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, which airs in some markets - but not all.
The Morning Show went on the air in January, 2007 through Fox and MyNetworkTV. Huddy and Jerrick have hosted other news shows in the past, notably DaySide and Fox and Friends Weekend, both on the Fox News Channel.
In February 2007, the show was syndicated to ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates in cities where a MyNetworkTV or FOX station doesn't carry it. On January 23, 2008 The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet was renewed for a second season.
That is all very nice if you happen to live in a market where you can see Juliet, but unfortunately I don't.
Which is why I should point out that it has been 460 days since Juliet left the fans of the Fox News network for her syndicated morning show and there still are lots of us who want her back where we can see her regularly. I did send an email to my local Fox station manager pointing out that Juliet has a fan base in his broadcast area, and he did send back a very nicely worded rejection slip. But so far, no Juliet after 460 days.
You probably are wondering why I am making this point, so I will explain myself.
First, this is not meant to disparage any other hosts or hostesses on Fox. There are some first-rate talents on that channel from early morning til late night.
That having been said, which is redundant but who cares, Juliet Huddy is one of those people with that special "something," in her case a likability and approachability that many work for but never achieve.
As I have said on this site before, I became a fan when Juliet went out on the sidewalk in downtown Manhattan when she was co-hosting a Fox & Friends show, grabbed a basketball and swished 10 straight foul shots. You watch a performance like that and you get the feeling you could hang out with this person and not feel self-conscious.
I always enjoyed her show on Fox News, and I prefer to get my news from someone with whom I connect, even if it is over the airwaves.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have never met, spoken to, done business with, exchanged phone numbers, letters, emails or had any form of communication with Juliet Huddy.
But I also should point out that more than a year ago I wrote about Juliet's shift to the syndication arena, expressing my dissatisfaction and the hope that eventually I would be able to find her show in my market, which hasn't happened yet. And please don't tell me to look for her on the networks - I don't trust the networks, and I don't watch network news.
Anyway, ever since I wrote about Juliet last year, my website analysis program tells me that she has never gone out of favor with people who view this site. In other words, when I check the Keyword category, to see what issues or people are drawing readers here, Juliet Huddy is continually listed in the top percentages - even though I haven't written about her in more than a year!
So in a way, since the purpose of writing these columns is to draw people to the site, where I hope they will be interested enough to purchase a copy of Masters of the Art, A Fighting Marine's Memoir of Vietnam, Juliet Huddy has actually been helping sell my books by proxy.
Thus the least I can do is return the favor and make a plea to Fox to either get her back on the Fox News cable shows regularly, or help get her nationwide exposure.
I don't think that is too much to ask. Obviously, if I am writing about her she has a fan base that is not being considered. And if she keeps coming up on my keyword searches, people are very interested in her and what she is doing.
So what do you say, Folks at Fox? How about paying attention to the wants and needs of your loyal viewers?
I noticed that Barack Obama is going to appear on Fox News Sunday to face up to Chris Wallace tomorrow after more than 770 days of ducking an interview on that show.
I'll point out again, that it has been 460 days since Juliet Huddy was last a regular on Fox News. Your viewers are well aware that the Fox lineup is constantly being changed, toyed with, altered and switched.
So next time you get the urge to change things around, how about working out something with Juliet so she can be back in the lineup?
And ... don't make us wait 770 days.
Saturday, April 26, 2008