Monday, November 06, 2006

Parrot Sighting in Forest Park!

Hello, Mr. Polly Parrot!

Walking in Forest Park this morning, I rounded a bend in the trail and was absolutely stunned to see this huge blue parrot perched high on a mossy branch. “Oh my god!” I whispered, instinctively halting so as not to scare the magnificent bird away. I’ve seen The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, and I know there’s a flock of parrots living in Hyde Park in Chicago that have somehow adapted to that northern climate. So clearly parrots are tough, adaptable birds, but I hadn’t realized we had wild parrots in Portland. How fabulous!

I admired the bird for some seconds before realizing it was a two-dimensional cut-out, and that I’d been completely taken in. The parrot was perfectly sited, so as to make the most of the element of surprise. And it was amazingly realistic. I was really and truly fooled. This was even better than the Ned Flanders stunt. Getting that parrot situated would have required first making and painting the parrot and then maneuvering a tall ladder a good way along a steep, rocky footpath so as to get the parrot up on its perch. I sure hope that whoever is responsible for the parrot got to observe the effect of his or her handiwork on unsuspecting hikers. I should have checked to see if anyone was hidden among the sword ferns, snickering.

I am so glad I had time in my work schedule to nip out and take a hike in Forest Park this morning. Today’s weather (65 degrees, windy, and rainy) and Forest Park at this time of year were a combo I wouldn’t have liked to have missed. I set out in full-on rain combat gear (including a very fetching rain hat [not!]) and just soaked up the magical atmosphere. It was a feast for all five senses:

Sounds—a stiff, gusty wind shushing through the upper canopy of the forest.
Sights—the forest aglow with maples in every shade of yellow from pale ivory to schoolbus gold. Lazy clouds of mist drifting and shape-shifting at the higher elevations. It’s so much fun to walk right through these things. Hobbits. OK—no hobbits, but it was hobbit habitat.
Smells—an indescribable mixture of moss, slightly decaying deciduous leaves, cedar and fir that I’d love to distill and keep in a fancy bottle on my dresser—Eau de Pacific Northwest!
Textures—the slippy, gooshy mud under my boot soles and the cooling, refreshing pelt of raindrops on my face.
Tastes—I suppose I could have gnawed on a sliver of bark, but I’m really not up on edible forest plants, so, exercising prudence, I just opened my mouth and let a few raindrops fall in. Since there was no one around, I felt like giving free rein to my inner goofball.

Forest Park

And, oh yes. The beeramisu. I had some when I got home from my hike, and it was outstanding. I was totally surprised. I really hadn’t enjoyed drinking that porter and was prematurely ruing the fact that I’d allowed myself to be seduced by the name beeramisu. But beeramisu is seriously delicious. Better than many of the incarnations of tiramisu I've had. Go figure.

Today’s Random NaBloPoMo blog: Life Without Instructions


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