It was, as Mister Rogers would so often say, a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Yours truly was eager to get his two-wheeled contraption, Romiette, out on the road again after weeks of inactivity, so he aired up the tires, dug his riding gear out from under a mountain of miscellaneous clothing, strapped on his helmet, pulled on the special riding gloves, wrapped his GoPro strap around his chest, and unleashed the power! Or something like that. He huffed, and he puffed and he blew around that old park (all 2 square miles of it) at an average (if the park’s stated milage is correct) of close to 18 miles per hour. Not dead yet, evidently.
As he went, he contemplated the year so far. Ups and downs in the weather, snow, ice and chill winter winds, the occasional balmy day and the swarms of visitors they bring out to the park, and all of the secret creatures who live in the park, busy hiding themselves during the cold months. Raccoons, opossums, squirrels, chipmunks, bats, muskrats, mink, foxes and coyotes (a beaver was trapped in 2009) from the class Mammalia, the huge number of birds who live and visit the park during the year (by some counts as many as 200, but I don’t count ‘em unless I’ve caught a photo. in 2009 I think I caught about 80 avian species, including the Peregrine Falcons that were nesting at Washington University Medical Center that year).
Other than turtles, however, reptiles are hard to find, but there are a great variety of insects, arachnids and bugs to be found in Forest Park! And, of course, my favorite species, homo sapiens are always to be found there. Some of said species even live in the park. So when you wake up craving adventure, just think,
“Oh, right, adventure is out there in Forest Park!”