An e-mail exchange between an avid golfer and an avid birder on the subject "spring has sprung!" Birder:  Have you been seeing robins, red wing blackbirds, or turkey vultures? More signs that spring has sprung quite early!

Golfer:  Spring officially begins when the golf balls start flying!

Birder:  I've never heard of the golf ball bird. Is that a bird of open grasslands that avoids water and enjoys perching on little wooden sticks?

Golfer:  Yes. Its unofficial name is dimplebird. It generally can only fly 200 to 300 yards at a time. It is afraid of daylight, and often ducks in small holes. In some cultures, men don spiked shoes and chase the dimplebird with long sticks while yelling obscenities.

-- from Susan L. White, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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