We revisited the Earth Day festival today, the largest in the Midwest. Crystal blue skies and a wee bit more warmth successfully brought the throngs out. We bicycled today, which was a good thing, because parking would have been impossible. There was such a long line of bikes waiting to cross Skinker and enter the park that we had to go with the flow and run the red, just to make that light cycle. I’m sure that played well with the endless line of cars that were backed up all along Skinker, but they weren’t going anywhere anyway, at least anytime soon. I’m seen here sporting the latest fashion in bike lids, a waxing crescent moon helmet. If I turn my head and give you the other profile then you can see the waning crescent. Creator Lynn Herzberger fitted it and snapped the photo. It was tough to balance it on top of my head. He was supporting ISDC 2017, the International Space Development Conference, which occurs next month, here in Saint Louis. As part of their promotional effort they were touting Saint Louis engineering firsts: The Eads Bridge – First bridge across the Mississippi; The Spirit of Saint Louis – First nonstop transatlantic flight; Fabrication of the Mercury space capsules – First US manned spaceship. I’m not sure how much all of this has to do with Earth Day, but it was a lot of fun posing as a moon man and it has to be more relevant than rain gutters and replacement windows.
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Merry, merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra! Laugh, Kookaburra!
Gay your life must be
Today’s Earth Day dawned rather wet. It rained so that I was afraid that the earth might drown, but by noon it stopped and we soon headed over to Forest Park and the annual Earth Day festival. At least, the rain succeeded in knocking all of the pollen out of the air that has been bothering me of late. The festival acts like an outdoor mall, with hundreds of little booths, all of which are hawking something. Sometimes it is a cause, but on others it is merchandise. The connection that some of these booths have with Earth Day is pretty obvious, but for others it is a long march down the path of six degrees of separation. The weather had muted today’s turnout, but that’s OK, fewer people made for a more enjoyable experience. Tomorrow will be the pick day and I suspect that the crowds will be there for it. Today’s low turnout made each booth’s hawker all the more desperate to lure you in to listen to their spiel, if not actually buy.
As the years roll-on from that first Earth Day, oh so long ago, each new year’s festival seems to lose a little more of that quirky hippy-dippy atmosphere of the original, only to be supplanted with more and more corporate order. The below pictured van was a notable exception to this corporate creep. The festival’s food booths were a noticeable improvement over the past. Plenty of local restaurants were there representing. We’ll likely return again tomorrow, because we plan on bicycling in the park and the festival’s food would make for a nice lunch stop.
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.