Evening, dear readers.
The word of the day is oppressive. With regards to the atmosphere. The ambient air itself has transmogrified from a delicious, life-giving gas to a choking fog of super-heated dew. Minnesota’s throwing us all it’s got; yesterday it gifted us with a deluge of 4 inches in 3 hours, apparently a phenomenon so uncommon here that it hasn’t been seen in years. Last night, the kindly weatherman informed me that all of this week the temperature is expected to soar to the 90s and 100s in that most anachronistic of metrics, with 90%-100% humidity; a heat wave the likes of which hasn’t occurred here in over 10 years. While pleasing in its symmetry, it is most displeasing in its implications of sticky sweaty discomfort this coming week. Being bred in the dry, cool lands of Calgary AB, I am fundamentally unsuited to this tropical hell-weather, and expect to be showering thrice daily and eating liberal doses of iced cream. Today was the first day of this prodigious heat wave, and despite the temperature reaching a mere 89°F, and the sky lavishly adorning itself in blessed clouds, it was still difficult for my hypothalamus to implement proper measures to lower my body temperature, and I turned into something akin to this:
Despite the tyrannical efforts of the weather to hinder my weekend activities, Dad and I trekked out to the Zollman Zoo, and proceeded to have what the kids are calling a “blast”. I was a little afraid that it would turn out to be a roadside zoo with deplorable living conditions, and was pleasantly surprised. While the cages for the birds were a little smaller than I would have liked, there was great use made of the vertical space in all enclosures and suitable enrichment for all. I greatly enjoyed the native animals theme, and it probably makes all-season habitat maintenance and care much easier. After touring the enclosures, we stopped to take in the native non-enclosed wildlife.
The list of birds that were sighted today is nothing short of epic. There were billions of every species that I am about to list, with the exceptions of the Rose-Breasted Grosbreak (M) and Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (M), of which I only saw one specimen each. The others, in a beautiful visual feast seemingly crafted solely for the sake of my eyes, included the following: Goldfinch (M/F); Blue Jay (M/F); Northern Cardinal (M/F); Red-Bellied Woodpecker; House Sparrow (M/F); Northern Mockingbird; Red-Winged Blackbird. In particular, there was a bird-feeder station of sorts at the Zoo, where Dad and I set up camp. There were blue jays, cardinals and goldfinches all there at once, and it was like witnessing little fuzzy adorable fireworks. As they flew around in colourful blurs, the primaries seemed at times to blend into secondaries of green, purple and orange. Or maybe that was just the heat talking.
I want to take this opportunity to apologize for not informing you all yesterday of my continued existence after the storm. There were some internetical difficulties, and I sadly couldn’t update. Better late than never though, no?