Zoo Blues

Flamingo Reflections

It was a dark and stormy night, followed by an even stormier morning. I was a little slow in getting out of bed and when I did, I discovered that Anne was gone and so was the car. I was stranded, at least for a while. The rain let up and rather than subject my bicycle to the duress of Skinker’s Swamp amid flash flooding, I decided to walk. I got as far as Kaldi’s on DeMun, when I got a text. It was bad news. A friend had passed last night. Anne and I had lunched with this friend just before we left town for the summer and I had thought of reaching out to this friend just yesterday. Bike races are featured this coming weekend and I thought that getting together for dinner would be a good idea. Like we did last year. You always think that you have more time than you really do. As the mutual friend who relayed this sad news always says, never buy green bananas.

With a lot on my mind, I continued on to the zoo, which I also hadn’t seen all summer. School and the morning’s rain had tamped down the crowds, which always seems to make the animals more responsive to the few people that are there. I got a few good shots. I liked this one the best. I was trying to recreate one of my all time favorites, which is only doable at this time of year, after a full summer of bird poop and heat allows the algae to turn the water a brilliant lime green. There wasn’t enough sun today to rival the sparkle of the previous shot, but the reflections of other flamingos in the background add some interesting character. I’m not sure what the zoo plans on doing with the flamingos come winter. In the past, they got warehoused in the old sea lion show exhibit, but that has been torn down and will be replaced with an outdoor enclosure for small prehensile mammals, called Primate Canopy Trails.

Back on the Bikes

Great Blue Heron Amoung Astoria Pilings

We pretty much took this summer off from cycling, but we’re back on the bikes. With two weeks to go until this year’s Bike MS ride, Anne and I are trying to whip our butts into shape. Based upon today’s modest ride around the park that might be a rather poor choice of words. Still, we’re out there and we’re trying.

In addition to riding, we also lunched at 1764 Public House. Named for the year Saint Louis was founded. Located in the CWE. It is at the corner of Euclid and Pine. This area of town has been undergoing renovation for years now and it has finally begun to come together. Kitty-corner is a new Whole Foods and high-rise condos abound. I doubt that there are any buildings older than ten years left near this intersection. 1764 has street, inside and upstairs seating. We selected a fourth option that was both inside and out. We had a roof over our heads, but all of the garage door sized windows had been hydraulically opened, giving us the inside-outside vibe. Students from both Wash U and SLU are returning to town and with the CWE situated halfway between these two schools, they give the area an international cosmopolitan feel.

After lunch, we rode up Euclid to Left Bank Books and Anne ordered this month’s selection by the Birch Point Book Club, Summer at Firefly Beach, by Jenny Hale. It is billed as the perfect feel good summer romance. Anne won’t be able to participate in this month’s meeting, but she can still live vicariously and maybe extend summer a bit longer by reading it.