Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Who Wants to See 30,000 Birds Roosting For the Night?

"Hey, let's go roost by NMC, I hear they have some nice trees."

Over the past few years we've had an interesting thing happen each August at the Nebraska Medical Center-migrating Purple Martins have been roosting in the trees getting ready to fly south. Over several weeks the numbers grow until at the peak (this week) there can be upwards of 30,000 birds swooping in each night looking for a nice tree to catch some winks. The "show" starts around 8 PM, and by 8:30 they're all settled in for a nap. If you can make it here, it is a sight worth seeing. There's construction slated for the area next year, so this might be the last time they make use of the Medical Center location.

Unlike the migrating cranes, the martins are rather quiet and well behaved. That said, I'd wear a bandanna on your head, and clothes you wouldn't mind laundering in hot water. I mean, 30,000 birds-the odds are against you getting out of there without a bid of bird poop.

30,000 shitting, squawking birds flying overhead, eh? Yeah, I'm gonna sit this one out this year, and let the boys go experience nature's whatever. Besides, I just washed my hair. With Prell (that's another post).

I decided all that nonsense about not wearing horizontal stripes was exactly that-nonsense. I found this dress at Goodwill for .99 cents, and in addition to being made of a comfortable jersey material, is easy care wash and tumble dry. Red and grey are dead easy to accessorise, and if it adds a few inches to my hips-so what? At my age (and with all the steroid medications and antibiotics I've had over the past year-yeah, again, for real, it never ends) that's the least of my concerns. I would however like to know where my shoulders went. The older I get, the more I reconsider the big shoulder pads of  80's. This dress would benefit from shoulder pads. 
Outfit Particulars:
1990's jersey dress-Goodwill
Clarks shoes-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage handbag-Somewhere in Massachusetts decades ago
Nana tights-K Mart
Necklace-Same as handbag above
Earrings-Thrift World
Dior slip peeking out of my dress (not deliberate, but what the hell)
Fragrance-Vintage Emeraude in perfume concentration (much different than the EDT, and I'm not certain I prefer it).

"Hey fashion rules..."

In all seriousness-if you can get to Omaha this week, it is worth checking out the purple martins. But wear old clothes, okay?


Bibi said...

I love that striped dress with the X detail, shoulder pads would definitely increase it's fabulousness. Those shoes look very pharmacist-y sensible.
There was an apartment complex in my native Sonoma where in early fall turkey vultures would gather to migrate. It was the weirdest & slightly Halloween-ish thing to see like 100 turkey vultures circling over a rather tacky run down mid century apartment complex. Turkey vulture poo is the worst. The apartments were painted a dark brown but when spackled with turkey vulture poo they took on a rather smelly zebra striped appearance.

Goody said...

On the farm, I came home one day to three of those bloody vultures sitting atop the hay barn...waiting for me!
"Aw, I told you guys she ain't ready for eatin' yet..."

That said, I'd prefer vultures to swooping little birds. The vulture will leave you long as you're breathing.

Mim said...

The purple martins massing reminds me of a quote about the masses of the now-extinct Passenger Pigeon - 'their droppings fell like snow'. Weird to think such a large population could be wiped out so completely. At least the martins escaped that fate.

I'd rather have purple martins than Bath's sandwich-stealing seagulls. Noisy, pooping, tourist-savaging monsters, so they are!

Sue said...

The striped dress is awesome, I love the criss cross bit on the front, shows of your fabulous shape, and yes your shape is fabulous. I'm with you, 30,000 shitting birds, no thanks. The lads will have stories for you and maybe even photos. Fashion rules, what fashion rules, us girls do not obey such things!!

Beth Waltz said...

What a find: gray shoes with style that don't require lisle (stockings)! And they're exactly what's needed to ground the stripes!
Well shopped!

I'd definitely prefer your purple martins over our Roberts Vultures. For apres road-kill suppers in town, several of them perch on a barn adjacent to the park and watch the festivities...with special interest in bingo nights.

Curtise said...

Yes, I'd probably pass on being covered in bird shit, but I am admiring that jersey dress! And completely agree with your pithy response to those pesky fashion "rules"! xxx

Goody said...

@Beth Waltz

The mental image of vultures watching the bingo parlour will *never* leave my mind now. Oh gawd, that's great.

I'm wearing stockings! I am officially elderly. Best keep clear of the bingo game.

I've never been bird-bombed at a birding event, but that's probably only due to the distance I keep from them. It is fun listening to people shrieking about it, like being pooped on by the birds is an unexpected thing.

Goody said...


Gulls are evil little bastards.
I suppose if purple martins had nice feathers they might have ended up like the passenger pigeons. Supposedly they are good for keeping down populations of bothersome insects, so people like having them around.

I'm expecting them to come home shouting, "We need the laundry done!"