The Lope: Transitional Weekend

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Transitional Weekend

Time was the theme this past weekend as the Earth and Sun danced a well-rehearsed number and crossed a line on the floor that changes the name we give the season.

Time had hardly started but was soon to end for this baby starling that had fallen from a nest in the Wiley Building. It had probably been blown out by a freakish straight wind Wednesday night. I'd run across it Thursday night during Hutchinson's downtown Third Thursday event and just couldn't leave it. Sharon and Patsy helped with fast research on what exactly to do with the little critter. I fed it (worms, Gatorade dabbed onto its beak) and kept it warm all night (chemical pack wrapped in laundry). Patsy directed me to the right people at the Hutchinson Zoo to take over its care on Friday.

Friday night and Saturday morning, author Andrew Chaikin spoke at the Cosmosphere.

Chaikin is the author of several books on the space program, including A Man on the Moon, upon which Tom Hanks' Emmy-winning HBO miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon, was based. He has the rather cool title of "space journalist."

After doing a video clip of Chaikin for the Cosmosphere, I dallied awhile at the museum Saturday morning and watched rain drip off the fins of a Mercury-Redstone rocket. I feel rather lucky that I - a guy who was raised with the space program - can move among such relics so often.

I saw a clock run backward in the Fox Theatre during a showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Early Sunday morning Spring gave way to Summer. I saw the first dragon fly of the season in my garden. It eats mosquitoes - if dragon flies could read, I'd hang a "welcome" sign.

We had one of those ten-minute storms Sunday evening. Here it is after it moved on.

Two sounds of summer emerged Sunday. The time had come for the ice cream truck to make its rounds in my neighborhood. Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" has been replaced with "Happy and you know it" complete with cartoon sound effects and a "Hello" that could veer me toward a healthier diet. But not just yet - I bought an ice cream sandwich.

In the background you can hear what I was really excited about - the first sounds of cicadas in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Monday was the first full day of Summer and Spring yielded much in the manner of a delicate rain-drenched flower stepping into a hair dryer. It was just shy of 100 degrees.

Monday evening I was able to get a clip of the sound made by the cicada that most typifies those heard in these parts - Tibicen pruinosa. The little guys - and the ones that sing are all males - had emerged after two or three years growing underground, had moulted and were out singing for females. Whether they get lucky or not, they keel over in a few weeks. I'll have more on cicadas, soon - all in good time.


Anonymous sigerson said...

Yes, that is one creepy ice-cream van. I feel for the poor driver who has to listen to that all day.

Wed Jun 24, 04:14:00 PM  

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