A fictional, funny and scary prediction–Christmas bird count 2021
By Rod Myers
By Rod Myers
This years Christmas bird count, as usual, is divided into a North and South version. The North count is on Dec. 15th, and the South count is on Dec. 29th. What will Winnebago Countys Christmas bird count be like in 20 years? Well, here is my off-the-wall, scary-yet-funny prediction. Lets jump into a time machine, shall we?
In 2021, the number of acres being farmed in Winnebago County is at an all-time low of 296. The three farms that were left were set aside and are now protected Illinois farm preserves. They lie in the safety of strict laws governed by the Illinois Farm Preserves Commission. Ironically, in 2021 our county has fewer farm acres than acres of protected native prairie; however, those numbers are about to change because Governor Miss Ed Locals has just signed an order to convert, or should I say, divide up, Winnebago County prairies. A portion will go to farmers as pasture, 90 percent to developers, and 6 percent will become resting places for statues of local developers loved ones.
Youre probably getting the picture. By now, there is very little open space in 2021 so the Christmas bird count can only take place in the remaining overdeveloped people-strewn county forest preserves. Lets examine the key events that led to a critical open space shortage.
In 2002, development came to a standstill in Winnebago County due to the bad economy, falsely blamed on the continuing war on terrorism. In 2003, Osama bin Laden escaped to the Canadian tundra, where he started a seemingly untouchable new culture based on reindeer moss. Weeks after his escape, President Bush outlawed all new construction over two stories high. Thats all our local developers needed to hear, so they began to cover the county with houses and stuff. In 10 years, there was nothing left to develop.
Oh, there were outcries from angry open space proponents; in fact, there was one rebellion. Folks called it the Pavement War of 2008. Sixty-nine environmentalists from Rockford started a holy war, but Toscou Glastod, director of City Pavement Company, had his goons put down the rebellion. The goons bought off half the aging environmentalists and pushed the rest onto a nursing home reservation. The surprise came in 2014 when a county referendum passed, ordering one-third of the county to be restored to its original vegetation landscape. The next spring, county nature lovers were delirious with restoration anticipation; however, in May of 2015, it was discovered that Osama bin Laden and his reindeer moss culture had escaped to the planet Mars. Shortly after, President Laura Bush pushed through both houses the Lets Finally Get Bin Laden Act. This act legalized a $325 trillion tax that would hopefully put 20,000 Marines on Mars in eight years.
Well, there went the restoration money. So here we are in 2021, and according to the Mars Global Surveyor, bin Laden is playing golf in a space suit on the top of Olympus Mons, Mars largest volcano. Back home here on Earth, overtaxed Americans are just two years away from sending 20,000 Marines to the angry red planet. And meIm just figuring out how to escape from the nursing home reservation so I can help do the 2021 bird count on the five miles of hard-surface trails at the three-acre City Pavement Company Forest Preserve.
Rod Myers is a local resident with an interest in nature and the environment. He is a member of the Rockford Amateur Astronomers Club, the Sinnissippi Audubon Society, Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and the Planetary Society.