august 24/RUN

2.5 miles
44th ave, north/32nd st, east/river road, north/river road, south/edmund, south
77 degrees
dew point: 66

Ran just after noon. So hot and bright! Ran up 44th on sidewalks strewn with acorns, past Cooper Field with no shade in sight. Past the aspen eyes and the crowded parking lot. Under the Lake street bridge, up the hill, on the trail that winds above the Minneapolis Rowing Club. I turned around and ran back down the hill below the bridge, and up the other side, through the grass in front of Minnehaha Academy, up the hill on Edmund,

For the first time this year (I think), I saw the man in black! He wore a white shirt and black shorts today. So tall, such long legs.

I ran above the river for at least a mile of the run but I don’t remember seeing it. Was I distracted or was there too much green? Probably both.

Heard the beep beep beep of a truck backing up again. Also heard the machines (what kinds of machines?) at the construction site above the tunnel of trees. Heard cicadas and crickets. Don’t remember hearing any geese or cardinals or chickadees.

Noticed the bright glare of the sun on a few cars. Beautiful and annoying.

Ran on sidewalks covered in acorns, bumpy roads, uneven grass, narrowly rutted trails, a pock-marked parking lot, on the very edge of the bluff.

Today’s Wonder: Grackles

This morning, I encountered a tweet from a poetry person: “the grackles are here.” I knew grackles were birds but not much else. I assumed that the tweet was done in the tone of delight. Then I looked up grackles and realized my mistake. Here are a few things I learned about grackles this morning (main source):

  • They are a nuisance. The collective noun for grackles is sometimes “a nuisance of grackles” or “a plague of grackles”.
  • The congregate in the fall in big groups. Very big groups. According to the Mass Audubon site, up to a million grackles in a group.
  • Their short call sounds like a rusty gate.
  • They have yellow googley eyes and iridescent feathers.
  • They are a bigger threat to corn than crows.
  • They’re into “anting”–they let ants crawl all over them so the ants can secrete acid from their stings on their feathers to kill parasites.

The Grackle/ Ogden Nash

The grackle’s voice is less than mellow,
His heart is black, his eye is yellow,
He bullies more attractive birds
With hoodlum deeds and vulgar words,
And should a human interfere,
Attacks that human in the rear.
I cannot help but deem the grackle
An ornithological debacle.

Have I ever seen or heard a grackle? I’m not sure.