We have had such cold weather, (it is 44 degrees right now), that the leaves are appearing only tentatively on the trees. You will see below that Iris the Osprey is laying her first eggs in Missoula. And our own businesses are also opening slowly in the face of Covid-19.
From Russia with love--
Do you remember that plucky gentleman, Tom Moore? The 99 year old who walked 100 miles in his garden and stole the hearts of thousands of admirers in quarantine? Well one of those is a 97-year-old Russian World War II veteran who has taken inspiration from his record-breaking charity efforts, to raise $27,500 for the families of doctors who died of COVID-19. Unable to do laps in the garden, she is recounting her war stories on YouTube. Here is a message from Zinaida Korneva of St. Petersburg to Tom Moore in which she promises to knit him a pair of socks to keep him warm.
While we are in Russia, I would like to introduce you to another musical prodigy I am following. He is not the grandchild of a famous conductor or opera singer, but he has the same remarkable talent that has won the hearts of Russians everywhere! (And mine too.) Here is Elisey Mysin at age 5, in the Russian version of America's Got Talent.
Not all piano prodigies are human. An example is Tucker, whose ardor for piano--and voice--is no less than Elisay's!
Speaking of non-humans, there is one group for which the coronavirus has been a boon, not a curse. Give a thought to the many creatures in zoos who are suddenly free of crowds of gawkers. The places are quiet now with only natural sounds surrounding them through their days. The perfect thing, it seems, for love to blossom. Consider these pandas in Hong Kong.
And how things have changed in this zoo in Portland, Oregon, where you can now run with flamingos, take your porcupine for a stroll or your penguins to visit the seal exhibit like any good paying customer. I am especially fond of the swimming bear.
In the parking lot of Hellgate High School in Missoula, Iris the Osprey has returned to the nest. Yesterday she laid a second egg, after a raven stole her first one. Unfortunately, she has a deadbeat Dad this year who isn’t helping at all. Whether she can raise a chick as a single mother, we will see. I watched with delight as she raised a handsome young’un last year. This year's moment is captured by the Cornell webcam. You can check out the live cam at any time here.
I have noted before the amazing creativity, fun and generosity that has been unleashed in the confinement of COVID. Martha Slattery brought this to my attention: the Silly Walk Zones people have created in the US and now around the world.
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To appreciate the origin of this, I will first share this classic skit by John Cleese of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame, which inspired it..
A couple in Grosse Pointe, Michigan picked up on this idea, followed by folks in San Luis Obispo, then around the world! They have gained hundreds of followers on Instagram and visitors to their sidewalk!
I will end on a peaceful note for chaotic times. This one comes in the spirit of Native American tradition, created by and with the music of Gary Malkin and narration by Jyoti. I hope it soothes frayed indoor nerves! And that Spring is truly coming our way in all its fullness.
Please stay well,