A Flamboyance of Flamingos


I went to the zoo this week, the first that I’ve been there, since before London and it was a real zoo, with millions of screaming children running all about. It has warmed up and most of the animals are now out. This includes the flamingos, who winter in the old building that was once used for the sea lion show. The sea lions have a new facility, so they don’t use it any more. The flamingos are not on display in this building, but you can glimpse them through the windows. More importantly, they can see you too and it gets them pretty agitated, so I don’t like to do it often. This week, they were reinstalled in their summer quarters in the zoo’s central lake. While observing them, I overheard two women discuss how they were moved from their winter to summer quarters. Apparently, one keeper per bird, holds the bird with arms outstretched, one hand holding the neck and the other the legs. They try to keep the birds perfectly straight. I guess that this helps to subdue them for the quarter-mile hike.

I had lunch today with the Perma-Bear. We met at the Sugarfire Smokehouse in Olivette, which is really helping to put Saint Louis on the map as a kingpin in the barbecue biz. We caught up with each other on old times. I got to tell him about my travels and I was surprised with his news of the lengthy list of people who have left the company. I guess that I got out at a good time.

Love and Murder

Well, if not murder, then at least mayhem, but love and murder sounds better. You see, springtime is nesting time. Birds pair up, which is the love portion of this post’s title, but once paired, then they defend their territory, which leads to murder or at the least mayhem. Across the way, in the rich neighborhood (Have you ever noticed that a good murder-mystery always involves the wealthy?), we were walking earlier this week and came along the pictured feathers. They were found lying on the ground, but no body was found, hence the mayhem. Then yesterday, I was cycling by there again and caught the pictured perp, still noisily defending her territory. Her partner in crime was their too, but he was too elusive for my camera. Latter, I heard the answering call of the aggrieved party, so no murder, just a little roughing-up. They had decamped down the street, close, but not too close. The streets of this neighborhood are studded with aged oaks. Most have reached the end of their lifespan. Decay has set-in, making them prime habitat for these bug eaters, at least until the city forester gets the old oaks. I’ve added the feathers to Dan’s industrial sized dream-catcher, where their yellow shafts are set off nicely.

Today, Anne and I passed by this spot again, but this time did not tarry. We were on a mission, a mission to ride our bicycles to lunch. You know, we should have gone to Mission Taco, but we had just been there. It is the beginning of a four-day holiday weekend for Anne and today was a perfect day. Forest Park was delightfully uncrowded, just us two, plus a host of lawn mowers. Lunch was in the CWE, at a place called BBQ Saloon. Whiskey seems to be their main forte, but the barbecue was good too. When we first moved to Missouri, the word saloon was banned from the names of all drinking establishments.

I’ve done it again. I’ve buried my lead. Yesterday, I was texting Dave and asked him how Harvard was going? “Pretty sweet. I gave a talk today, about my research and there were so many big names in the audience. It was a little intimidating, but I think that it went well.” Cool!