Up in the Air Junior Birdman

Pagoda Circle

As we pulled into the art museum’s parking lot, Anne spied a Peregrine falcon perched on one of the light poles. We parked, tried to get a picture, but it was already in the air. It overflew us. We took this sighting as an omen. Dan and Britt are planning on using the Peregrine as the logo for their drone company. At the time, we were uncertain if this was a good or bad omen. Let me cut to the chase. On our first outing with the new drone we didn’t crash. I count that as a success.

We spent the afternoon walking around Forest Park, flying the drone and taking pictures. There weren’t very many people in the park. It was cold and overcast with occasional drizzle. Coming down off of Art Hill, we were attracted by all of the police activity around Picnic Island. We had walked this way on Saturday, but since then the news had reported that the authorities would be searching all week for some unnamed something in the waters around Picnic Island. A tent city had sprouted, peopled by dozens of law officers. I wanted to walk across Picnic Island like we did before. There were two barricades on the bridge to the island, but they were off to the side and I remembered that they had been there on Saturday. Anne asked about the yellow police line tape that now draped them. While we discussed this, we were approached by a nice FBI man who voted us off the island. He was wearing a blue windbreaker out of central casting, with FBI stenciled in yellow on it. Also on it was the acronym ERT, standing for Evidence Response Team. He was the agent-in-charge, making this his circus.

“Cellphone!” We had to take the long way around Picnic Island. On the way, we passed a group of men wading and diving in one of the back channels. They all had metal detectors and every once in a while, one of them would find another, “Cellphone!” According to a SLFD observer they had already found dozens.

Leaving this hub-bub behind, we continued on to Pagoda Circle, where I got this post’s photo. The drizzle started to intensify and checking radar, it was time to beat feet. We made it back to the car just as the drizzle turned to rain. Moments after getting home, rolling peels of thunder began. They rumbled on so long that at first I was unconvinced that it was really thunder. Today is trash day and I thought the rumbling was a neighbor rolling out their cans, but it was thunder.

Happy Birthday, Jay!

Breakneck Ridge

Hudson from Breakneck Ridge

This last weekend, Dan and Britt headed north out of the city. Driving along the Hudson River, not quite to Poughkeepsie, their destination was Hudson Highlands State Park. The going in plan was to fly their drone there, but wind conspired against them. Instead, they ended up hiking Breakneck Ridge. Aptly named, as it appeared in the photos that were sent. This “trail” involved scrambling up near vertical rock cliffs, but look at the vista that they saw. I bet it took the river a few million years to work its way through these hills, but maybe a glacier or two helped it along the way?

It could have been their weekend story, or their photos, or that Internet ad, but I took the plunge. Following in the footsteps of my brother and Dan, I bought a drone yesterday. Don’t you already have a drone? Well yes, but at fifty bucks, it’s not good for much more than crashing. I ordered a Mavic Mini, which is a smaller version of the drone that Chris has used to take his breathtaking movies along the rugged California coast. It should arrive today. Woo-Hoo!

Yesterday, started off quite balmy, still shorts weather, at least for those hardy few. We walked in Forest Park, which was doing its usual Sunday afternoon booming business. Boats were out and about, rented from the boathouse. However, today’s news reports that police are now searching those waters that we strolled along on Picnic Island yesterday. Boat rentals have been halted and state police divers called in. Authorities won’t disclose what they are looking for or why. Nearby, we encountered a couple looking for a lost wedding ring, but I think that the cops are looking for something else.

Over the course of the afternoon, the temperature began to drop. By the time we made it back to the car that was parked in De Mun, it was beginning to get brisk. It being midafternoon by then and we being still sans lunch, we decided to order takeout from Barrio, a café that had been recommended to Anne, when she got her hair cut. Recommended were their burgers, which are to die for. Poor choice of phrase? The one thing that I have really missed while in lockdown has been a good burger and these were really great.

Shortly after finishing our repast, the skies opened up and the rain fell down, buckets of it. We haven’t had almost any rain for months, but we got a couple of inches. Gone are the wildfire warnings and quite a few leaves from the trees. It is also quite a bit cooler today than it was before the front passed, but later this week the temperature is supposed to rise again, into the eighties and the shorts will be worn again, but maybe for the last time.