Big breakfast, no lunch, our morning meal kept us motoring all afternoon. We walked Forest Park. Searching out its empty quarters, as best we could. The warmer weather brought out the throng. Always avian alert, in addition to the usual fowl, we spied several special species. Pictured is one of two Peregrine falcons that we saw. The other one looked immature. In addition to these sighting, we also saw a Kingfisher and a Green-winged Teal. Quite the haul.
I had brought the drone along, but did not fly it. Nothing photogenic enough presented itself. Probably a good thing, because Wiki nicknames the Peregrine the duck hawk. Just below it is where we saw the Green-winged Teal, which was hanging out with a bunch of Mallards. Smaller than the Mallards, it would be a likely target of these falcons, but if I flew, it might decide that a drone is just as good as a duck and one near miss is enough for one week.
I read today that the Trump administration has sanctioned DJI, the manufacturer of my drone. It turns out that they have been selling drones to Chinese officials, who use them to spy on the Uyghurs, as part of that government’s oppression of this minority. This will make it harder for DJI to get parts. The actual drones being used this way are a more expensive model then the one that I have, so maybe only that version will be sanctioned. Too soon to know.
For television, we watched Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. New on Netflix, this delightful holiday musical features an all black production, starring Forest Whitaker. Set in a fantasy Steampunk Victorian world, this movie tells the story of Jeronicus Jangle, toymaker extraordinaire. Great music accompanies fabulous production numbers and makes this heartwarming tale an instant Christmas classic, but I almost ruined it for Anne by asking her too much if she liked it. Who knew that Whitaker first trained as an opera singer?
It was too cloudy last night to observe the Great Conjunction, but today looks much better and tomorrow is the big day. Hopefully one of these two days will be clear. There is always afterwards too. The planets are not going to be moving apart that quickly after Monday. Tomorrow is also Winter solstice, for all you druids out there, the shortest day, longest night and the first day of winter.
There used to be a pair of peregrine falcons nesting in the bell tower on campus. There were regularly duck bones on the ground – the river isn’t that far away as the falcon flies. One afternoon during Summer Festival I was waiting for friends on a bench and looked up to see if I could see one – sure enough there was one facing me from the bell tower ‘windows’. There was a toddler running around the fountain and I swear the falcon was watching him trying to decide if he could take the toddler or if he was too big.
I think that these two are just passing through, heading south for the winter.