Thursday, June 4, 2009

The One About Me Starring in a Vintage Horror Film

Yes, I've been away for awhile. A long while. I might have been in a blogging funk, not sure. I've been busy, maybe even doing some things that were interesting enough to blog about, but I just couldn't. And now I am.

Today I got busy celebrating the last full week of school. I'm trying to pack in all those things I said I'd do without having kids in tow. It was a gorgeous day here, sunny and almost 70, so I decided to take off to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. I love this place. It's best to go alone, really. Or maybe with a quiet friend who also loves gardens. Today it was just me. And the birds.

I should have interpreted the sign to mean so much more than I did. The hand-lettered sign politely told wandering guests that "it's nesting season for our bird friends and some get a bit nervous when we get too close to their babies. They might swoop around your head to scare you away, so don't be alarmed".

Okay, what the sign should have said was, "run back to your car and grab your hardhat if you've got one 'cause the birds are nuts and they're going to try and rip your scalp off".

I am not kidding. It was like I had morphed into Tippi Hedron the minute I stepped into the garden. Red-winged black birds were dive bombing me (and others) whenever I walked near a tree where they had a nest. These freaking birds were literally crashing into my head, squawking and then flying off frantically in the opposite direction from where they came. And often it wasn't just one bird at a time, they would tag-team their helpless victims. I had to walk through most of the gardens with my purse over my head as protection so the birds wouldn't get their sharp little feet stuck in my crazy hair. It was truly unbelievable.The high point of my visit was the part where I was screaming, running with my purse over my head and trying to hit back with my other arm. I now think I have aviariaphobia or something like that.

But, being the true combat photojournalist that I am, I was somehow able to keep my purse over my head and snap some photos to document my time in the battlefield. The flowers were lovely and so were the smells.