Signs of Spring

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Anne and I bicycled today. We didn’t launch until the crack of noon, so we missed all of the Go! Marathon hubbub and this delay also gave the weather a chance to warm up a bit. We saw our first egret of the season, a Great White. I also saw a guy jogging while wearing a bulletproof vest. He was wearing it on the outside of his running cloths. He looked like he could be police or maybe military. He had the haircut. I didn’t see any firearm. It just seemed kind of strange. Why would you train in a vest? Wouldn’t that just get it all smelly? It’s a mystery, but it is certainly not the strangest thing that I’ve seen on the Forest Park bike path.

I’ve seen a jogging juggler or was he a juggling jogger, tossing his batons as he went. When you think about it, this sounds like a pretty good workout. I’ve seen nuns in full habits riding their bicycles. I’ve even seen a bare-chested guy, who was wearing nothing above his waist except for an eight-foot boa constrictor. He had it draped across his shoulders and was using it to pick up chicks. And that is just a selection of the human oddities that the park has to offer.

We saw four deer last weekend, in the woods on Government hill. We saw a bald eagle this last winter by the new golf clubhouse. When I was riding by myself in the wee dark hours of the winter, I once saw a family of six raccoons who were all perched upon the curb as I rode by them, just a few scant feet away. I turned my head to watch them watch me and the light mounted on my helmet retro-reflected in their eyes, leaving them glowing green in the dark, as they stared intently at me, as I passed by.

I’ve seen coyotes and foxes in the park, but my scariest animal encountered occurred on another one of those dark winter’s night bike rides. I was climbing the hill to that corner of the park by the Highpoint. Except for my huffing and puffing, it was a still night, with first light yet an hour away. All of a sudden a full-grown turkey flushed from the side of the bike path just as I passed it. To this day, I couldn’t tell you which one of us was the most frightened.

Anne and I continued on out of the park and over to Tower Grove park, which we circled. Then we headed over to South Grand for lunch. Anne picked Café Natasha’s Persian Cuisine, now celebrating their 30th anniversary. Other than the three loud louts at the adjoining table, it was a pleasant dining experience and the louts were not unpleasant other than for being who they were and I guess that they can’t really help that. We split a gyro and then indulged in dessert. We had baklava à la mode. The baklava was good, but the ice cream was to die for. It was Persian vanilla with pistachios and then scented with rose-water. The ride home was uneventful, except that our much-anticipated tailwind had turned around to face us.

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