Collington Bird Group

By Anne Chase and Joe Howard

Collington is blessed with a large campus much of which is forest, wild and cultivated bushes, shrubs, a large open field, ponds, and streams. In other words, a unique parkland in a metropolitan area. The wildlife and especially bird life is abundant.

Early September 2020, Joe Howard suggested to Mike Burke that we should establish an informal “Bird Discussion Group” by e-mail. Mike, who is a bird expert, agreed and a new group was enthusiastically formed on the “Collington Discussion Group” with a membership now over 40 residents.  

(Photo by Bud Gardiner)

Mike and Anne Chase have collaborated on a survey asking members about their interests.  Following is a selected brief summary.  

  • Over four-fifths of the group expressed interest in (1) learning to identify birds (2) learning about bird behavior and (3) improving their understanding of the natural world.  
  • Backyard birders favored three items: (1) learn which plants birds love (2) learn what bird food attracts each species (3) learn how to deal with unwanted guests.
  • Most were interested in birding locations within 30 minutes of Collington, and in locations in the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia area.
  • Also of interest was information regarding birding websites, birding apps, and bird ID guides.

Stay tuned for future lectures, movies, campus bird walks and posts regarding bird facts and interesting sitings here at Collington.

To become a member please respond to this post.

The Collington Limerick Challenge

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

The Collington Discussion-Group has brought news, gossip, amusement, entertainment, solace and comfort to residents during the covid crisis.  One thing it brought to its members in late April was a spurt of literary creativity in the form of limericks.   Here is the collection, introduced and curated by website editor, Julia Freeman.

The first one appeared on April 21, created by Lyle Dennison.  Following this, Nadine Hathaway issued a challenge to the community to keep sending more.  Residents responded for several days with 20 examples.

Here is Lyle’s first:

When facing a new kind of threat
We’re told to hide under the bed
But, really, THAT can’t be the solution:
Under there, dust is just more pollution
And the social distance makes us sick in the head.
Lyle Dennison Limerick

Lyle went on to post several more:

There once was a realtor from New Yawk
Who said covid was a day in the pawk
Soon we all realized, and now must remember
That a reckoning comes due in November
When those who survive can say, “Take a walk”

From a friendly source of an occasional rhyme.
An idled scribbler, shut in with too much time:

Being shutdown makes some kinda squirrely
Others are getting a bit surly
But good Santa, he loaned us some elves
Who fill up the Country Store shelves
And now we have Christmas early!

 Clap your hands for Dr. Fauci
(Don’t need to get all feely and touchy)
At the podium he’s really so great
Tells us the truth, full and straight
Best of all, he makes the President grouchy

The virus makes us so sad and blue
We have no real idea what to do
But no need to hurry
To be all fretful and worry
Cause the President says ’tis only the flu

The checks, they said, were going out soon,
Delighted, to Trump we cheered “You make us swoon!”
Then on TV we watched a White House brief,
And found,to our everlasting grief,
That their value will slump if banks open too soon

Nadine Hathaway got the challenge going with:

Wisely closed the schools, the eateries, the factory
But then so quickly came the quack-ery
“Scientists, doctors, what do they know?
We want football, a manicure, the rodeo!”
Good grief, me stay home and make a daiquiri

There once was a singer named Callas
Who told us she lived in a palace 
Her voice it did falter
Her fans they did alter
“You ought to sing more of de Lassus”

In no particular order, others rose to the challenge.

Marilyn Haskel:

First an oldie:

There once was an owl in a wood
Who sang hymns to himself when he could.
What the words were about
He could never make out,
But he felt it was doing him good. 

Now an original:

There once was a virus so cruel
That we shut every shop, church, and school.
What to do in this mess
We could barely assess,
But we all knew the 6-foot rule.

Don Lewis submitted:

Armageddon is on us I think
Peoples’ futures have gone down the sink
Covid, locusts, and war
Hatreds, famine, and more
And my coffee pot’s gone on the blink

Ben Hutchinson:

One of my all-time favorites:

A dashing young gourmet named Pettibone,
Took pate de foi gras and spread it on,
A chocolate biscuit; then murmured, “I’ll risk it!”
His tomb bears the date that he said it on.

Pat Howard:

A diner while dining at Crewe
Found a very large mouse in his stew.
Said the waiter “Don’t shout
And wave it about,
Or the others will be wanting one too!”

Linda Ewald:

There once was a monk from Siberia
Life grew drearier and drearier.
Then strange to tell
He escaped from his cell
And eloped with the Mother Superior.

Dave Montgomery:

There was a young man from Japan
Whose limericks never would scan.
When asked why that was,
He replied “It’s because
I always try to cram as many words into the last line as I possibly can.”

Marion Henry:

I live with some wonderful folks
who share their thoughts and their jokes
though i am often weary
though never teary
I just wish this whole thing WAS a hoax

Steve Woodbury:

Though China was where it’s begun,
Now around the whole world it has run.
But for deaths and for cases,
Trump’s favorite phrase is:
“America’s now Number One!”
(Sad but true.  And avoidable.)

Dan Kelly:

To avoid catching Covid-19
Keep your distance, two meters between.
If Trump makes you grouchy
Just listen to Fauci;

you’re Irish, go lower poteen.  [Poteen (“pa-CHEEN”) = moonshine]

Ken Burton:

So the challenge may be “redux”,
But our present circumstance sucks.
Confined to our quarters,
We may all become hoarders,
One example of life now in flux.

George Newman:

The prez may think it’s a hoax
But covid targets us old folks
So, advice to geezers:
Please avoid sneezers
And other boorish blokes

Collington Celebrates National Poetry Month


Collington celebrates National Poetry Month with this first-ever display in the Creative Arts hallway across from The Landing bistro. Check the display for new poems, books, and inspirations every week during April.


Lee McKnight was the longtime leader of the poetry group at Collington. He was a man of great compassion, wit, and generosity of spirit. He is greatly missed.

Everyone is invited to join the Poetry Group:

Who: We are residents who simply enjoy reading poetry.

What: We each bring a published poem to read to the group and tell a bit about the poem’s author.

When: The Poetry Group meets the 2nd Thursday of the month from 3:00-4:00

Where: In the Board Room.


Foreign Affairs Interest Discussion Group

Contributed by Dorothy Yuan

On November 17, 2017 about 20 resident-members of this focus group met to discuss the topic:   “How Governments Should Deal with Inequality”.

The topic was suggested by the Group Chair, Carl Brown.  In preparation for the discussion the group was asked to read two articles from Foreign Affairs:  “What Kills Inequality” by Timur Kuran, and “How Should Governments Address Inequality?”, by Melissa S. Kearney.

 George Newman started the discussion with the provocative quotation from Orwell:  “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”, a viewpoint that sets the tone for the generally pessimistic view of the group regarding whether government can successfully address inequality.

The outstanding factor, of the many cited by the group, was actually addressed in the book  “What’s the Matter with Kansas” by Thomas Frank.  His book was published in 2006, but remains current in explaining why many  Americans consistently vote against government programs that would benefit them.  It seems that the desire to continue to support their particular affinity group cannot be overcome by events that are clearly against their moral conscience.

On the optimistic side the group suggested that for humanity as a whole, increased globalization may serve to reduce the divide as evidenced by the increase in the percentage of  the middle class in China and India.

A note of thanks was given to Lorrie Rogers for providing easier access to reading materials for these sessions.