Pictured above are a pair of White Storks at the Saint Louis Zoo. Storks have long been associated with the delivery of babies, maybe because they are such good parents themselves. The stork pairs mate for life and return to the same nest each year. Storks are also thought to bring both luck and wealth. They build their bulky nests on rooftops, chimneys and telephone poles. Storks have disappeared from western Europe, and now the human populations there are shrinking. Coincidence? I think not. 😉
This pair of storks shared a pen with a Nyala, which appeared to me to be some sort of antelope. Anyway the Nyala was behaving erratically. Alternately it would seem to fence with its horns a small low hanging tree branch and then it would chase a pair of East African Crowned Cranes that were also sharing the pen. This behavior made the storks very nervous. Their coping behavior was to tilt their heads backwards so that they were both inverted and then snap their beaks rapidly together. There is a little movie at the end of this post.
I got up and out Thursday morning, for my first bike ride in the early morning dark, in a long time. Rain could be seen coming in on the radar, but it managed to hold off until after I got to work. It rained the rest of the day. It was a good ride. I got fifteen miles.