It was Guardian Goose who raised the alarm that spooked the Great Blue Heron and caused the mallards to leave their perches on the ice and float into the free water. He started clucking before Rigby and I were within 150 yards of the edge of Deer Lake, and continued making his odd noise as we approached. The morning gloom was just beginning to lift and Rigby had to sniff every little clump of everything we encountered, so I let him drag me off from that spot and we headed east.
When we entered the park, at Wells Drive and Skinker Boulevard, a thick fog dimmed the further details and added an air of mystery to familiar scenes. I spent some time looking for good images, and ultimately stopped by the side of the Muny Colonnade, where we parked and started our walk. Rigby was described to us, by the St. Louis Humane Society, where we first met him, as a terrier/lab mix. The lab part is easy to see in his body and fur (which, particularly on his head and ears, is thick and soft), but the terrier is a bit more hidden. Terrier, by the way, is the code the Humane Society uses for “pit bull.” They seem to think that breed scares potential families away, but such is not the case with us. Rigby is a sniffer, and must investigate every part of a new environment and since he doesn’t get to go to Forest Park every day, he was making the most of today’s excursion.
Among other things, we found what is probably a collapsed muskrat den, with multiple tunnels leading from it, lots of birds and almost no sign of human life other than cars speeding through the park on their way somewhere else. We traipsed along several waterways, across the Lafayette Bridge, through the swamp, around Deer Lake and the Muny pond and back to our motor vehicle before heading west along Lagoon Drive. by one of the bridges on Lagoon drive, as we neared the Grand Basin, we say two snowy egrets looking for breakfast.
Though we found a few things, we had not found the sun (cue Raffi Cavoukian singing "Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, Please shine down on me.”), so late this afternoon, after trying to get some work done, I went back to catch a sunset. The sun did indeed set, but it wasn’t managed very well by the cloud bureau, so it didn’t look so hot. Here’s what I did find.