Sunday Afternoon in the Park

Two Great Horned Owlets

Yesterday, we walked in Forest Park. Not a long walk, more like an owl prowl. First thing we did was to checkout the owlets, but they weren’t where we had left them last. We asked a guy who was doing some plein air painting if he knew anything about them and he said that when he first got here, a bunch of birders were looking this one tree and he pointed to it. We thanked him and headed off. We found the owlets soon after. They were huddled together so cutely. Afterwards, we heard music and went off to investigate that. A duet of guitar players was performing outside the boathouse. The boathouse has long had outdoor seating, but I guess because of the pandemic they have expanded outside their fenced in section and spread-out across the grass. We sat, socially distanced and listened to the end of the band’s set. Setting off again, we climbed Government Hill, looking at the flowers and doing some people watching too. It was a gorgeous day, but quite windy. We ended up back in the owl zone. This time there was a new guy who had a huge telephoto lens on a tripod. He was nice enough to point out to us that Sophie, the mother, was also sitting in the tree, right above her two owlets. We gawked at the three of them for a while, before heading back home.

Returning home, there was an Amazon package waiting for us on the porch. As it turns out there were supposed to be two. That’s what the photograph taken by the delivery guy showed. We had been porch pirated. Stolen were two SD cards of about $10 value. For some reason they took one package and left the other one. This is the first time that we have ever been pirated. The whole experience leaves me with a sour taste.

Stop the presses! Remember I mentioned how windy it was yesterday? It is not  quite so windy today, but after someone found and returned the package it still blew halfway down our walk. One of those large Amazon plastic envelopes with only two SD cards in it makes for a great kite. All’s well that ends well. 

Great Horned Owlets

Great Horned Owlet

We had just finished our walk in Forest Park. Anne had found fifteen different bird species, but nothing very noteworthy, just all of the usual suspects. We were in the car and had just started driving home when Anne spied this owlet. I quickly pulled over and parked. There were a couple of other women already watching them. There were actually two owlets that had just fledged within the last week. Both women knew Mark of Forest Park Owls fame. Mark has been following these Great Horned owls for years and years. Charles, the patriarch has been the thread running through this story. Sarah, his first mate died, but the old guy got a new mate, Sophie, and is obviously still in the game. Mark names these birds. I had kind of lost track of this owl family, when they moved their nest. Racoons had evicted them from their old home. They have found a new one only a few trees away. The owlets have flown from the nest tree to two different neighboring trees. Now that we know that they are there we’ll be sure to look for them again soon, like maybe tomorrow.

On the Banks of the Euphrates

Babylon Willow

We had a very windy winding walk in Forest Park. As is her wont, Anne counted bird species. She strives for ten and this time she got thirteen. Most notable among them being a mature Bald eagle and a kestrel. As its archaic name implies, the kestrel was doing a fair amount of wind hovering, while the eagle just soared along on the breeze. It was difficult photographing the willow in the wind. According to wiki the Babylon willow originally hails from China, before being distributed along the Silk road. It is a variety of Weeping willow. I thought that it had an interesting blossom, although handling it did cause my eyes to tear.

A Day at the Mouth Spa

T-Rex Teeth

Also-known-as the dentist. Anne and I had dueling appointments, our first in over a year. We went in for a cleaning, but it looks like we’ll be back for so much more. Our dentist of thirty years retired a couple of years ago and not a moment too soon. A dentist with palsy is not a comforting prospect. A year before he retired, he teamed with a much younger, much more entrepreneurial dentist. Basically a move to prolong his practice another year and then hand it off. The former guy is gone now, off to Arizona and he really was a fan of the other former guy. There is nothing more uncomfortable than being ranted at by a man who holds a diametrically opposite political view point than your own, all the while thrusting sharp metal implements down your throat. The new guy has more of a factory than a practice. Staffed all by women, I guess that makes him the cock of the walk. They all wear the same uniform and are all interlocked via a wireless intercom system. I lucked out and got a really nice hygienist, with gentle hands. She’s the one that coined the phrase, a day at the mouth spa, which got a snort from me. Anne pointed out that the T-Rex probably had minions to clean its teeth, to which I countered, so did I. The hygienist was tiny and at one point she even called in her own minion to assist her by taking notes.