Parks all over the city are in riotous bloom, with cherry trees and Bradford pears and crabapple trees and tulip trees all going at once. It’s the prettiest spring in years, and why are you still sitting in your cubicle?
Go ahead. Sneak away from work. That’s what we did. Get out for lunch. There’s surely a carryout near you that will be glad for the business, and you will be glad for the break.We headed over to the Boat Lake in Patterson Park Friday with salads, a couple of small loaves of bread, some animal crackers and a couple of Diet Cokes. The bread was for the legion of ducks and geese there; the rest was for us. We took an extra bag to carry our trash back.
The Canada geese were feeling randy that day, so there will surely be new Canada geese come about the first of May. The ducks have already paired up. The red-winged blackbirds are already nesting. You might notice that the island in the middle is about as crowded as the Preakness infield, and for good reason—a whole lot of birds are passing through in the spring migration, and another whole lot of birds has returned from the south.
There’s a kingfisher that sits in the willow tree challenging other birds that come by. The red-winged blackbirds will scold at you as you walk around the boardwalk—they like to nest in the reeds and trees on the north end.Sit on one of the benches for a while and you are likely to see a Great Blue Heron that has been spending a lot of time in Patterson Park. It’s very unlikely that the heron is nesting there, because herons like to nest in big groups. So he must be after the all-you-can-eat bluegill buffet.
The Boat Lake is teeming with all kinds of aquatic life—bluegills, itty bitty trout and bass, minnows and baby slider turtles with shells about the size of a quarter. We threw some of the bread to the ducks and geese and noticed that the fish were competing for it. If you want to get a closer look, drop a dough ball in the water and watch 15 to 20 fish go after it. We taught a very little boy how to roll dough balls. He had a great old time.
So did we. Think about getting outside and enjoying our parks. You will be glad you did. And hey, a favor—take your trash home with you, OK?