News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

April 10, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: Who do we think we're foolin' over time dance?

It seems like only yesterday we’d head for the Family Sports Center at an early hour. The sky in the east was a lighter shade of gray. We could see kids waiting for the school bus a block or more ahead. By the time we got to Hulman Field, there was actually a bit of pink in the sky.

Then, on March 25, we followed the rest of the sheep and turned our clocks ahead an hour. Instead of the promise of a sunny day, we were back in the dark. Kids were scooting back from the curb as they waited.

Now, again, it is getting light as we head east. This past Friday an orange sun nearly blinded us when we reached Tabertown Road. It will be this sun-in-the-eye thing for awhile, then, come Nov. 4, we shove our clocks back an hour and go back to dark.

Whose idea was this anyway?

You don’t fool the birds. Prior to March 25, I would step out to pick up the newspaper and, with the first shot of pale gray in the eastern sky, they were already a-twitter. After March 25, they were still snuggled in the nest for a few more winks before starting the daily grind of hunting worms or bugs or whatever their diet of choice. Now they are twittering again as we pull out of the driveway.

That seems more like the natural order. You don’t fool the birds and it’s tough to fool this old farm girl. You can call it any time we wish, but a rooster in the hen yard remains definite about when to rouse the hens for another day of egg laying.

Maybe I won’t go so far as to say that species of fowl are smarter than humans, but we can be fooled into thinking time is what we are told it is, but you don’t fool a rooster into believing that old wheeze. We can call it 7 a.m. if we choose, but the rooster knows the sun says it’s only 5 a.m.

Which brings me to the point. Pretending to “save” daylight by flipping the clock twice a year doesn’t add even a few seconds to the allotted 24 hours. As if that extra hour of daylight in the evening, which leaves the chickens still scratching for grubs, isn’t enough, we are asked to believe that the sun puts us on the same time as Boston and Bangor. We are two hours behind the sun however you call it.

You may fool us, but you can’t fool a bird brain.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to

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