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blue point #123058
02/16/04 11:12 PM
02/16/04 11:12 PM
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wwh Offline OP
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From O.Henry short story "The Harbinger":
The warble of the first robin in Hackensack, the stirring of the maple sap in Bennington, the budding of the pussy willows along Main Street in Syracuse, the first chirp of the bluebird, the swan song of the Blue Point, the annual tornado in St. Louis, the plaint of the peach pessimist from Pompton, N. J., the regular visit of the tame wild goose with a broken leg to the pond near Bilgewater Junction, the base attempt of the Drug Trust to boost the price of quinine foiled in the House by Congressman Jinks, the first tall poplar struck by lightning and the usual stunned picknickers who had taken refuge, the first crack of the ice jam in the Allegheny River, the finding of a violet in its mossy bed by the correspondent at Round Corners - these are the advance signs of the burgeoning season that are wired into the wise city, while the farmer sees nothing but winter upon his dreary fields.

The Blue Point oyster was named for Blue Point, Long Island in New York, where this exceptionally fine oyster was first discovered. The name is now generally used for any medium size Atlantic oyster eaten raw.


I'm not sure what "the swan song" refers to. There are
months in which eating shellfish is hazardous because
of microscopic organisms (dinoflagellates) that are very toxic, but I think that happens only in warm water later in the year.



Re: blue point #123059
02/16/04 11:17 PM
02/16/04 11:17 PM
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Portland, Oregon
Fiberbabe Offline
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Might he be saying "the end of oyster season"? I dunno... just a guess.


Re: blue point #123060
02/16/04 11:26 PM
02/16/04 11:26 PM
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Dear Fiberbabe: I remember an old saw about avoiding months
with and "R" in them, but in those days nobody knew what
caused the trouble. O.Henry is talking about a seasonal
thing, but I'm still not sure what he meant. I'm searching
for "shellfish toxicity" but have a lot more to wade through.



Re: blue point #123061
02/17/04 12:25 AM
02/17/04 12:25 AM
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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these are the advance signs of the burgeoning season

I'm with CyberFiber on this one.




formerly known as etaoin...
Re: blue point #123062
02/17/04 12:41 AM
02/17/04 12:41 AM
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To me "swan song" means goodbye, not "Hello!"


Re: blue point #123063
02/17/04 12:48 AM
02/17/04 12:48 AM
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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right, but it's the end of the oyster season that ushers in the new season.



formerly known as etaoin...
Re: blue point #123064
02/17/04 12:58 AM
02/17/04 12:58 AM
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Dear etaoin: Please don't tantalize me. Give the beginning and ending month of the oyster season. I should think the
oyster season might start with spring high tides, which when they go out would give better access to oyster beds,
and the arrival of hot weather mark the end, because of its
incubating the dinoflagellites. Got a better theory?


Re: blue point #123065
02/17/04 01:05 AM
02/17/04 01:05 AM
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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well, I was only going on the paragraph itself, and what I felt it implied, however, I did find this, that I think, supports my(and fb's!) idea:
DNR Extends Oyster Season Two Weeks
Ice cover prevented watermen from working Annapolis, MD (February 18, 2000)--Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Sarah Taylor-Rogers, responding to a unanimous recommendation of the Tidal Fish Advisory Committee last night, has decided to issue a two-week extension of the commercial oyster season.

"Ice cover prevented many watermen from working for more than three weeks this winter," Secretary Taylor-Rogers said. "This two-week extension will give them an opportunity to make up for some of their losses. The State is committed to following a balanced path, ensuring a viable commercial fishery, while expanding the Bay's oyster population ten-fold over the next 10 years."

The commercial oyster season was scheduled to close on March 31, and will now remain open through April 14.


and a couple of other sites talk about a mid-fall beginning...

sounds to me like the end of oyster season welcomes in Spring.


formerly known as etaoin...
Re: blue point #123066
02/17/04 01:12 AM
02/17/04 01:12 AM
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Dear etaoin: I goofed about the "R" business. The months
with "R" are supposed to be OK. So Spring would be the end
of the oyster season. But the oysters would be rejoicing
because of gaining respite from harvest, not singing their
own funeral dirge. The Walrus and the Carpenter would be
the ones singing the blues .


Re: blue point #123067
02/17/04 01:18 AM
02/17/04 01:18 AM
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Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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singing their
own funeral dirge. The Walrus and the Carpenter would be
the ones singing the blues.


I think you got that right!



formerly known as etaoin...
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