Yoga and…. strawberries!

I haven’t had a new “yoga and” combination in a while so I jumped at the opportunity to do yoga and pick strawberries one afternoon.

When she’s not torturing me with hot yoga,– it’s all good, I love it— my regular yoga instructor also organizes outdoor classes at different spot in the city. When she announced to our class that she had a yoga and strawberry picking event scheduled at Mitchell’s Berries, nostalgia took over.

Until roughly when I was in the 4th grade, we lived beside a strawberry field. “Beside” meaning about 10 feet across the gravel driveway. I remember the road at the end of our yard being lined with cars on summer mornings by people who came to pick their own quarts. Our proximity meant also picking berries regularly with MomBert’s warning that we had to pay for them. At one point the farmer had two big work horses– to my mind they were as huge as Clydesdales— to plow with and had the Amish come in to train them. This approach did not last long, but I remember the overhead wires shaking because the horses liked to use the utility poles as back scratchers.

I’ve not really had the opportunity or inclination to go berry picking since then unless you count throwing elbows at the grocery store for those really good berry sales. Maybe berry picking isn’t a cute look for me. I went through my photo album and only found this picture of my smelly sister and our dog circa 1981-82-ish. I texted MomBert, but she only came up with a picture of the horses!

This was a day with a lot of direct sunlight for me, and 4 p.m. exposure in Ohio is no joke; so I stuck with my gardening wear and maintained my cowboy hat for at least part of the practice. After yoga, the owners talked to us about the history of the farm and all the things that they grow.

These berries were gorgeous and sweet. Sampling while picking was encouraged. As a finishing treat, the owners served us a brownie with strawberry sauce on top to which she had added jalapenos! It had just a little warmth and I thought I was just making it up until someone else asked about the flavor. Recommend! I also left with a purchased bundle of really plump asparagus. They have certainly found ways to keep their business and farm functioning.

Stressful Fun: Little adventures

Sometimes my Adventure Buddies overestimate my abilities and level of adventurousness. I feel like my adventures are often food or festival based with some sightseeing and light exercise thrown in. There are definitely adventure ideas that make me wary.

Like kayaking.

My paranoid kayaking concerns in no particular order of paranoia:

  • Fitting into the kayak
  • Getting wet.
  • Getting wet in murky pond, lake, and/or river water
  • Rolling over into the above mentioned murky water and being trapped …
  • ….because my fat butt and legs are now firmly encased in a weird, unnatural L configuration called a kayak
  • Being at water level with things that live in the above mentioned murky water.
  • Example 1: snakes
  • Example 2: additional snake friends of the snake from example 1
  • Example 3: Giant water spiders. I am certain that these are a possibility.

As demonstrated by my list of concerns, it was with great hesitation and reluctance that I agreed to go to a short kayaking class with my Adventure Buddy who is very fit, already knows how to kayak, and does nutty things like eating vegetables, or going to two work outs in one day.

Later that day as I was working with students in the library, Adventure Buddy made a slow approach with an outstretched hand presumably so I could sniff it to know she was friendly.

I know I’m in trouble when people have news that they think I won’t like, and approach me like I’m a feral cat. Apparently my response looks something like this:

Adventure Buddy in low soothing voice: “So you know how you like nature?”

Me, fur starting to stand up: “Yesssssssssss?

Adventure Buddy in low soothing voice : “So you know how you like birdwatching?”

Me, claws extending slightly: “Yesssssssssss?”

Adventure Buddy in low soothing voice: “So wouldn’t it be really calming to float down a river with all the birds and nature to see?”

Me, low back of the throat whiny growl: “Nooooooooo.”

Adventure Buddy making calming gestures: “So the class was booked, so I signed us up for the 90 minute river kayaking.”

Me, whiny growl spiraling up to potential shriek: “But I agreed to a 45 minute ‘you’ve never been in a kayak before’ class on a POND!”

All of my students have now locked in on this interaction as they would with any good cat video. One pipes up with, “It will be fine. I went kayaking; it was great!” She weighs 10 pounds and probably never wondered whether or not her body would actually fit in to a kayak.

Me, hissing: “What. If. It. Tips. Over?”

Adventure Buddy patting her pockets for treats she can offer me: “These are ocean kayaks so they are wider and less likely to tip.”

Me, low growl: “So my butt will fit?”

Helpful Student: “Your butt will be fine. My dad fit in a kayak!” I have no idea what her dad’s body type is. Absolutely no reference point.

Adventure Buddy backing away slowly, making eye contact with slow blinks : “It will be fine. I’ll see you at the boat ramp.”

Me, yowling at students: “Well, if I’m not in class tomorrow, you know where to start looking for my body.”

So I met her at the boat ramp because it was an opportunity to try something new. Even if I was scared, the truth was it probably was not going to do me bodily harm. I also knew that Adventure Buddy would take care of me because she’s the type of person who is a helper and worries about other people.

And there really were a lot of birds.

I took this afterwards from the bank with my phone which is why they seem so tiny and far. I could not bring myself to try kayaking with my good camera or my phone. It hurt to not take pictures. There were Great Blue Herons that took off over us, cormorants, and egrets galore.

The awkwardness of getting in and out of the kayak was the most difficult part. The first 10 minutes or so of trying to find my balance and learn how to navigate were the tippiest and the scariest. I basically stopped everything and held my breath when the kayak skimmed over underwater detritus in a very shallow part just as Adventure Buddy was warning me about getting snagged on the bottom.

My most irrational moment came when we got away from the boat ramp area and out on to the river. I saw what I KNEW were the bumpy nodules of a log sticking up slightly above the water. However my Brain, which might be more likely to kill me than a kayak, screamed: “That is a crocodile and it is coming for us!” There was an actual adrenaline surge that accompanied that stupid thought. I don’t need to make this shit up. Brain then cycled into some intense visualizations of just how deep the river was. In reality, not very deep. To Brain, it was a Mariana Trench situation. I shut that down pretty quickly and focused on paddling.

I veer right even though, based on the 5 seconds of instructions at the ramp, I should be veering left. Much of my time was spent navigating in the correct directions, and trying to get to the point where I could just float along. I saw the people around me including our park ranger guide, quietly sitting back and gliding effortlessly in a straight trajectory. I experimented with leaning back in the seat like my friends, but did not feel like I could paddle from that angle. So I got 90 minutes of arm work while sitting ramrod straight and overcorrecting my every move. That was the stressful part.

The fun part was the perspective. We went from the boat ramp all the way to our downtown area. I’ve never seen the skyline from the middle of the river or passed under any of the bridges. To be able to observe the river wildlife- we watched a GBH fly over and land nearby in a tree- and banks from that angle was fascinating. Although I did learn that I can’t look directly up and maintain kayak balance at the same time when some ducks flew low overhead.

Even though we had a major highway on one side and passed under busy bridges, it was quiet and pleasant on the water. I hesitantly, begrudgingly agreed that, yes, I would probably do it again.

The park ranger was brave enough to bring her phone and document my first outing.

Let’s Talk Turkey

“What did you do this weekend?”

“Oh, my friend and I toyed with the fragile emotions of a wild turkey. You?”

Adventure Buddy and I tried a new park this weekend. It basically does a 2 mile loop over meadow lands and a ridge. We were on the wooded ridge when Adventure Buddy gasped, “TURKEYS!”

I was in mid rant about something, so I thought it was someone yelling. That’s how loud it was. We stood and waited. He called again, and again. Tromping through what was probably poison ivy, we went over a little mound and spotted him in the trees just below us.

He was standing on a log, all alone; we assumed he was looking for love. So, of course, we catfished him.

From previous adventures, Adventure Buddy has a turkey call app. She found some hen clucks and sent him a few, “Hey sexy boyfriend” calls.

You can hear her giggling in the background.

He was very responsive and started to walk a little closer while puffing up a bit.

We did not get a full display until she played what we think is a fighting purr. We left this poor turkey not knowing if someone was going to fuck him or fight him. Sorry, Tom.

We could still hear him calling as we made it down the ridge.

Turkey hunters, please don’t yell at me if we got the calls and the body language wrong. I don’t hunt and really only eat these guys once a year!

Art & Procrastination: New Orleans

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Our introductory selfie for the takeover as is right and proper. Earrings by LinesNShapesJewelry over at Etsy.com

This past week I was guest host on an Instagram account called @columbus_collects. It asks locals to share their art collections and what drew them to the various pieces. The goal is to “demystify collecting”; collecting art does not have to be an expensive or high brow endeavor. I love adding new pieces to my home. I’m not particularly looking for any deeper meaning other than I was attracted to it—oooohh pretty, must have now—-, and it makes me happy to look at this piece in my house. Kind of like the characters in Portlandia, if you “put a bird on it,” a moon or some other natural element, I’m typically in favor of it.

I volunteered to take over back at the end of June which means I should have started writing and photographing things then because I was full of ideas and had complete sentences rattling around in my head. As established though, I am an expert at procrastination and basically waited until August 30, to start writing. Thank goodness, I had made some organizational notes in June. This lead to some late nights this week, digging up artist information and trying to find and remember dates. There was this feeling that I was going to disappoint, on so many levels, the woman who runs the account; many of the guest hosts seem to have way cooler photographs of their art and know more about it beyond “hey, pretty!”

Despite procrastination and performance anxiety, I got positive feedback and made some artists happy to have their work talked about and shared. I also realized that I spent a lot of time writing so, dagnabbit, I’m going to double dip here! (Forgive me.)

I chose to organize the beginning of my feed with stories about collecting while traveling since we were just coming off a long weekend and people are still in that “what did you do this summer?” mode. Being on an adventure and finding a piece  of art along the way only makes that piece more special.

New Orleans: In 2012, three Adventure Buddies and I headed to New Orleans for a long weekend. We did not have the drunken stereotypical “girls trip” that every movie suggests. Puking is not fun. Instead we ate well, toured everything we could, listened to music, and looked at the local art. (I could spend ALL my time in New Orleans eating and looking at/buying art.)

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We spent a good part of an afternoon in Jackson Square looking at what the local artists had to offer. One friend was looking for “swamp art” but at this point I don’t remember what that meant.

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Jackson Square, New Orleans

Jackson Square is where I found Laura Welter’s fabric nudes on display. The majority were all from behind or slightly profiled with the same twist at the waist and cocked hip. Twenty years and 50 pounds ago, I was a much more naked person, so I have a certain appreciation for a naked, confident, sassy ass. I could also appreciate Welter’s use of fabric remnants to paint on. Both of my grandmas were quilters, so playing with leftover bits and pieces of material was something that I grew up around and still feel driven to do. The large flower print seemed like something straight out of one of their sewing boxes. Plus she’s got a flower growing out of her bum! I love it! To do the takeover, I tracked down Laura’s current version of her nudes; they have evolved since 2012. I would happily return for more of them.

  • Artist: Laura Welter @welterarts
  • Title/year: untitled 2012
  • Materials/size: fabric and paint, 9×20

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Our second morning in New Orleans found us at Surrey’s Cafe and Juice bar on the edge of the Garden District, getting breakfast before heading to Jazzfest. We were seated at a table where, according to the photo on the wall, Matthew McConaughey had once sat. We were the luckiest little girls in the world.

Also on the wall was a magnificent display of brightly colored, crooked, quirky little houses. They were modeled after the shotgun style houses in New Orleans. Based on what I could dig up, Fortenberry used mirror shards scavenged after Hurricane Katrina to create the windows. There seem to be a few NOLA artists who make these, but I found that my tiny house and others attributed to Fortenberry have a raised, but hard to read maker’s mark on the front stoop. This is an example of me being attracted to a piece because of its surroundings. I too wanted a wall full of tiny houses! I often run into this problem with small pieces clustered together. Do I love it because of the context of all the pieces around it? Will I feel the same if I take it as a solo piece? No worries, my tiny lavender house found a space with other “small art” and has a happy home.

  • Artist: Casey King Fortenberry (?)
  • Title/year: untitled 2012
  • Materials/size: plaster, acrylic, broken mirrors 3 -1/2 x 5

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I almost included the water meter covers designed by Edwin Ford in the 1920’s  in my takeover. We mostly saw these in the Garden District and were told by our guide that there were so few because people stole them due to the design. However local artists have used the design in jewelry, and prints. I purchased a t-shirt with the design. It really is the prettiest meter cover I’ve ever seen.

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“When life gives you lemons…throw them.” Yoga and Axes

 I’ve done a lot of “yoga and…”

Yoga and:

In keeping with my own trends and those trending culturally, I can now add yoga and axes.

“When life gives you lemons…throw them.”August2019

I’ve thrown an axe unsuccessfully before under the vague tutelage of a viking horde at Lilyfest. Viking Advice: Hit the target.

During this session, I got just a little more guidance. We did an hour of yoga on the indoor turf of the football bowling field…somehow my mat migrated a foot to the left during the class. GoYoga provided an excellent, bendy start to the day.

Fully flexible, our Throw Nation hostess, gave us a quick tutorial on throwing form.

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Turns out, form helps. However, I did much better when I didn’t overthink it. Nothing like axe throwing to make you really look at your butt.

What you’re not seeing are the 20 million tiny video clips of me completely missing everything.

Adventure Buddy and I agreed that we could see the appeal; there was the impulse to keep throwing again and again to try to get it right. However, we only used about 45 minutes of our allotted throwing hour and much of that was spent standing around wondering why on Earth anyone would add alcohol to this environment. Yes, to ideally be on trend you’re supposed to add drinking to the “and axe throwing.” Alcohol fueled competitiveness, and coordination plus deadly weapons. Bingo.

Part of the standing around in a  state of “meh” was also due to our hostess. She didn’t want the dozen of us to touch any of the other throwing lanes which meant lots of waiting, and was not inclined to organize any games. Basically, she seemed unprepared for the event, and kept saying things like “there’s not a manager here today” and “mmmmm yea that game is not open right now.” But OMIGOD she is going back to college this week! Squeeeee!

So we threw axes. It was okay. We are badasses….in theory.

Check mark. No major need to repeat this adventure.

 

 

Little Adventures: Tourist for a Day

Summer plans started with a book, a list, ana pamphlet this year. The book is Secret Columbus: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure by Anietria Hamper. It’s a collection of two-page spreads that use a mix of history and sightseeing to make a reader want to start wandering the city a little bit more which is where the list came in. The list trustingly titled “KStew and [Adventure Buddy’s] Best Summer Break Ever!!!!!” is a collection we started of “Hey, we should do that sometime” type of stuff. Adventure Buddy was just bored/motivated enough to put it all in a calendar complete with links. One of those sometime things was the Columbus Coffee Trail. We got the pamphlet in our Craftin’ Outlaws swag bag; and if we visit four of the coffee shops, we get t-shirts! We seem to be driven by tangible rewards at the end of ridiculous tasks- see the entire winter hike series.

Want to start your day drinking a honey latte in a blue velvet alcove surrounded by a wall of live plants? Yes, please.

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Well-caffeinated and slightly disoriented by multiple trips to the underground parking garage, we took off to walking points of interest.

While The Peanut Shoppe was not on our list of stops (it probably should have been we passed it like three times), it is included in the book and features the original neon from the 1930s (Hamper 32-33).

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Our first “tourist” destination was the Rhodes State Office Tower  which has “the best open-air view of Columbus” (Hamper 28-29). According to the book, there are views from all four sides of the 40th floor which is open to public visitors. This works if you count the view of the LeVeque Tower and Vets Memorial from the tiny window across from the elevator; this side is otherwise taken up by offices.

We checked in with our driver’s licenses in the main lobby, got i.d. stickers to wear, and were escorted up 40 floors in a very swift, but shaky elevator by security personnel Andre. Andre gave us a few stats, pointed out the set up, tried to gawk at window washers with us, and basically said that if we weren’t down in 20 minutes, someone would come looking for us. We are suspicious characters.

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The view kind of looked like this:

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This is coming out really small on my screen. I hope it is view-able.

Fortunately, there were signs at each window clearly labeling what the heck we were looking at because for the most part I was clueless. We made sure to find Adventure Buddy’s husband’s building and obnoxiously text and wave at him.

It seemed to be raining much harder outside the 40th floor than it had been at ground level and the wires for the window washer platforms kept swaying. This is high on the list of jobs I never want to try. We must not have outstayed our welcome because Andre did not come looking for us.

Back at ground level, we took time to look at the portraits and read the profiles for the displayed Faces of Addiction project which is on tour. It is terrifying how easily people can slip in to lives fed by addiction and how daunting get out is.

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Re-orienting for our next locale, we had our mouths set for a Reuben at Katzinger’s in German Village, but on the way back to the car, I saw a sign. An “AH-HA” clouds parting sign from another page in the book.

I was certain that I had read about the Ringside Cafe, oldest bar in Columbus (Hamper 70-71). Goodbye, Katzinger’s.June20193

It was hidden away off Pearl Alley. Tiny, dark inside and we had it to ourselves! (I assure you it had filled up a bit by the time we left. That seems important.)

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Because we are gluttons for punishment…or just gluttons, we ordered the Buster Douglas. Even split, it is a monster! Thankfully, the kitchen cut it in half for our sharing needs. I have never paid $28 for a hamburger. I’m not sure whether to be embarrassed or blase.

We also replaced one of the two order of fries it comes with with an order of onion rings. The onion rings were perfect. That ridiculous thing where the entire onion slice slides out of the ring of breading on the first bite never happened. They were all crispy little rings of joy!

Adventure Buddy said this was my look of determination before I went all wrinkly nosed, wild animal on it. Not sure what’s up with my tongue. Limbering up I guess.

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Our server said we “won that round” which I think translates to “you have consumed several thousand fatty calories that you don’t need and should walk to your next destination.” So we did.IMG_5325

I had never visited either the downtown branch of the public library which was mercifully quiet like libraries should be, or the topiary garden in the park behind it. The garden was another item on the list and a spread in the book. It has “fifty-four life-size topiary figures” recreating a Seurat painting (Hamper 74).

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The topiary garden was a peaceful little pocket in the middle of construction and busy roads. I think some of the people needed a trim, but it was an impressive endeavor to capture all the details.

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We wrapped our day by transitioning back to the Coffee Trail and ended up at Pistacia Vera in German Village where I was reminded that macarons seem like a brilliant idea until I bite into them. There’s a weird texture thing there for me, but the flavors are delicious and their ham croissant is yummmmmm.

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Blogger fail: Forgot to take a tasteful before photo.

I would recommend all of today’s experiences. We had a flexible plan, logged a lot of steps, ate good food, and saw cool stuff. Nobody almost died.

Look an MLA citation! My students act like this is an impossible task even though there are a billion websites who will create the citation for them; don’t get them started on the impossibilities of in-text citations. Eye roll. I used to have how to write this shit memorized!

Hamper, Anietra. Secret Columbus: a Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. Reedy Press, LLC, 2018.

Little Adventures: Bird Nerd Edition

At the beginning of April, I decided to visit the eagles on the river. I had heard that they were back, had added to the nest, and had at least two eaglets. However when I arrived the male was on the nest and no fuzzy baby heads were visible. I amused myself watching the variety of birds arriving at the suet cake some avid birder had placed by the viewing site.

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mockingbird, cardinal, downy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker (I think)

In addition to the suet cake, the birders added a sealed envelope and notebook for people to add dated entries about the eagles. Pretty cool. After standing around for a while listening to the bird gossipseriously, this is how I learn now– the male eagle started screaming. Mom eagle came back empty-taloned, and then they both screamed about it for a bit. Nature is amazing.

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Part of the gossip I picked up was about the owlet in the cemetery.

Bird Woman who showed up with three kids: “I’m taking the kids to see the owlets next.”

Alpha Bird Woman (she is so the one in charge and her camera is massive):”You know it’s branching.”

I recently learned that “branching” is when fledglings take adventures outside the nest. That determined my next stop for the day!

Out of the nest! Boom! At one point a car drove by and his/her little “horns perked up.

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Look at the floofers on this dude!

DSCF4086a*** I started writing this on April 30 and it’s now June 5. Queen of procrastination! The “eaglets” have now filled out to their juvenile feathers and I need to visit before they leave! I think my master plan with this post was to add in two April adventures. Here goes!

Two weeks later, I took off on an early morning whim to re-visit the eagles. Miraculously, I was the only person in the tiny parking lot! Just me and some eagles.

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Me, some eagles, and this downy woodpecker who did not care that I was three feet away.

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I wasn’t alone for long and my best shot showed at least one fuzzy head popping up.

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Again on impulse, I decided to travel from there across town to another nesting site that I had seen a number of posts about: Pickerington Ponds. Given my current location, I was only 25 minutes away instead of the regular 40.

This park is a cluster of ponds and a bird mecca. I actually saw one of the eagles there land in a field as I drove towards the park entrance.

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Swallows…I think, a red winged blackbird, cormorants and a Canada goose

My first stop yielded lots of small birds, a couple who had no idea where the eagle nest was, and a terrifyingly long water snake.

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I was more successful at the next pond. This nest has… probably HAD at this point… 3 eaglets.

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Fortunately, it was beautiful breezy day and I spotted a fellow bird nerd in the form of  a tiny woman with binoculars and a mission. Not being familiar with the park, I trailed her around the pond to a prime viewing spot for the eagle nest. I am terrified and too paranoid to go into parks alone (Thanks, MomBert?). You’ll never find me hiking by myself; and if you do find me, it’s probably because you are the horribly violent, assault minded creature that I fear lurks on lonely paths. Even being alone on what was an open, sunny,  but isolated path would not have happened had it not been for my impromptu adventure buddy.

We chatted about the eagles and our various sightings. I shared my borrowed giant “moonoculars” with her,  and she gave me some tips on focusing. Another traveler stopped to talk to us about the eagles and said that he had just passed a giant turtle on the path. I asked what kind it was and he said he didn’t get close enough. I try not to roll my eyes and sigh at people I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure turtles are known for being SLOW.

Me: “Did it look like a dinosaur that wanted to eat you?”

He still didn’t know. From their size and slitted eyes to huge claws and spiked tails, I feel like snapping turtles are really easy to identify. Fuck it. I announced that I was off to see a giant turtle!

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It’s a leftover dinosaur! It was about 18 x 15 inches not counting tail length.

When I looked back, Adventure Buddy was behind me on the path. Based on the guy’s directions it took longer to find the turtle than I thought it would, but finally there it was by the path. We both admired it and talked to it about its turtle life choices: “Why are you so far out from mud and water? Do you need a hug? What’s going on with your left eye? If I hugged you and carried you to the pond, would you promise not to bite my fingers off?

Finally, I asked the really big question: “Have we been taking pictures of a dead turtle?”

The turtle had not visibly moved, blinked, or hissed, and I noticed that there were ants walking in its neck folds. This seemed bad.

Adventure Buddy offered to touch it and we both stepped back like we had found an exploding turtle. She tentatively tapped the turtle booty with the very tip of her tennis shoe, and the turtle immediately rose up about an inch and then went back to its position.

Relieved that we had not been talking to a dead turtle, we backtracked to the eagle nest, spotted an osprey in flight, and totally forgot to tell the park ranger we met about the turtle. Bird brains. Ugh.

Going by units of animal measurement, that was a four eagle one giant turtle day which is a very good day!

 

Bird Nerd!

Bird Nerd is what Adventure Buddy started calling me this weekend, but she’s the one who brought two different sets of binoculars!

Scioto Audubon Metro Park posted that the ospreys were building on their usual perch, but by the time I showed up on Saturday, they had moved on to other projects. I spent a lot of time on Saturday taking pictures of discolored and misshapen-ed trees that might have been disguised as birds. I got someone’s talons in a branch over the river; I’m going to claim it as osprey feet!

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Osprey nest sans osprey.

Mostly I got turtles hanging out

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I stopped at the nature center desk to ask about the eagle nest that I watched last year. Sounds like they are back and have kids. In the course of the conversation, one worker pointed me to a local bird photography Facebook group—I now have major camera envy; their photos are amazing!— and told me about a Great Horned Owl nest with fledgling in Greenlawn Cemetery which to my mind was basically around the corner!

While the nature center volunteer told me that they had marked caution tape in a wide perimeter around the owl tree, I neglected to ask in which part of the cemetery which is 360 acres. Three cemetery workers got to explain it to me and draw a map. I don’t think I was the first one to ask about this.

It was easy enough to find, and I lucked out that the fledgling was sitting up. Sadly I could not see it well, and texted Adventure Buddy, “Can’t tell if I’m looking at an owl or part of a tree impersonating an owl.” It wasn’t until I loaded the photos on my computer that I could really see the results and started screaming, “I GOT THE BABY!!!” The cats did not thank me.

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Mom Owl was in a nearby pine tree. A guy with a bigger camera than mine showed me her belly feathers.

Adventure Buddy was so impressed that she willingly met me back at the cemetery on Sunday evening. It was a little colder and drearier than Saturday, choosing our moment of arrival to rain. The fledgling was a barely visible ball of fluff squished into the tree cavity. Mom was no where that we could see though we suspected that she was watching us.

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However it occurred to me to photograph the base of the tree from the backside, looking for owl pellets. There is a collection of mysterious lumps and feathers there.

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With that minor success, we went “right around the corner” to check in with the ospreys. There were three circling the nest area. the volunteers had told me on Saturday that the couple was building a nest but a third osprey kept showing up and causing trouble. I did not have any major photo success.

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Three filters later, this bad picture kinda looks cool.

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When you promise your friend turkey sex…

You wanna see turkeys doin’ it? (Spring break, yow!)

Absolutely!

Entering the metro park, two turkeys slow walked in the crosswalk in front of my car. Turkeys, they’re all about safety. They joined a group of six who were kicking through leaves in the woods to the left of the road. While I gawked from the driver’s seat, Adventure Buddy came slow walking up the road from the parking lot, keeping a wary eye on the rafter. (That’s a group of turkeys. Learning.) She had already taken video of her car being surrounded by turkeys. Terrifying. They’re basically miniature dinosaurs.

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The park’s post about turkey mating season suggested that over 100 turkeys lived there and could best be seen in the open meadows and along the edge of the woods. So rather than backtrack from the parking lot to the group along the road, we diligently followed the map and slogged through puddles, and mud in the rain along the edges of two meadows. Adventure Buddy ended up ankle deep in her tennis shoes, and even my hiking boots weren’t totally cutting it. No turkeys.

Having completed the muddy, swamp portion of our hike, we went back along the paved road to check up on the original turkeys. We were rewarded with a small group.

Adventure Buddy: “They’re aggressive, right?”

Me walking towards gang of turkeys: “Oh, yea, they’ll kick the shit out of you.” ( I don’t know. They might.)

They totally moved on.

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Driving out of the park, we came across this handsome devil and his ladies in the recommended meadow environment.

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He is sooooo getting laid, cloaca to cloaca sexiness.

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Turkeys really dig slow jazz to get in the mood.