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December 17, 2005

bittern queens

rickie & bryan
This morning I was up far earlier than I should be after a concert (more on that later) in preparation for the annual Christmas bird count and census. Regardless, it was good to get outdoors in our relatively scorching heat wave of 47 degrees. Our group of 3 stalwart gay birders were assigned to census the bird population at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Part of the National Park Service National Capital Parks East group of local parks. I had never visited before and will surely make a point to visit the area now that I know where it is, and having seen the some 20 or so lily ponds set aside for public viewing.
The area was mostly a marshy backwater area of the Anacostia River, where the more common species spotted were gulls, mallards, canadian geese and various bottomland species.
gulls, not seagulls
American BitternIn addition to all the waterfowl and seabird species spotted, we managed to see a well-camouflaged American Bittern and two bald eagles joining in flight.

The aquatic gardens were developed as a hobby by Walter B. Shaw, which later became a business for he and his family as the W.B. Shaw Lily Ponds, attracting visitors by the thousands. Naturally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came in to destroy the gardens as part of their mission to annhilate anything wetland related. Fortunately the Interior Department stepped in to purchase the gardens in 1938 to preserve something nice for the people. Shaw's lily ponds were later named Kenilworth for the community that had grown up in the neighboring farmlands. Walter B. Shaw was quite the hottie in his day, wasn't he?
Walter Shaw

Time for a nap in preparation for my final online exam for this semester's classes and for the rugby team holiday party to follow. I'm pretty beat after waking up at 5am from the concert the night before with Superstar Brettie, Ed, Clay and his rowdy lesbian posse. Opening for Cyndi Lauper was the everfierce Sandra Bernhard and Jill __?___, best known for her fun 1996 song "I Kissed A Girl." Cyndi was a lot of fun, with a set and band similar to when I saw her last year at Wolf Trap. It made for a good evening for girls just wanting to have fun.

Posted by jimbo at December 17, 2005 1:44 PM


Sobule. Jill Sobule.

Posted by: Joe.My.God. at December 17, 2005 3:11 PM

Jill Sobule. Yes I really am a lesbian, I didn't even have to think about it.

That sounds like a useful and enjoyable outing, even if it also looks really cold.

Posted by: copperred at December 17, 2005 4:05 PM

Jimbo, you are my bird watching hero!!!

Posted by: homer at December 17, 2005 5:28 PM

Jill Sobule

Posted by: KAS at December 17, 2005 6:25 PM

Nice Bittern!

Posted by: 'monster at December 17, 2005 11:11 PM

Some of us, for better or for worse, went to see "the movie that shall not be named" Friday night. And, maybe Jimbo was right. A little too much hype. Yes the story was moving. Yes Ang Lee knows how to frame a shot . . . in fact, some of the shots were awe inspiring. Sure the acting was great. Lots of angst.

But if you go to see it go for Michelle Williams' performance and doubly for Roberta Maxwell's performance (in the role of Jack Twist's mother). They were the ones who got to me the most. They were the ones who suffered and couldn't do anything about it . . . except to continue to love the man that was special to them and then make the best of thier lives in spite of that love.

Posted by: boo Augustus at December 18, 2005 1:20 PM

Jimbo - Canadian geese? My ornithology professor would have thrown something at you! I’m sure your checklist said “Canada goose!”

Posted by: Jim at December 18, 2005 2:33 PM

Jim, who correctly corrects Jimbo above, what would you have Jimbo do when the professorially-hurled item nears him? "Duck"?:)

Posted by: nick at December 20, 2005 5:10 AM

Goddamn grammar bitches. Listen up, I may not know my common or Latin names, but I know what I see and I'll I.D. it quicker than youse bitches any day, no matter what I call them. Little Old Ladies don't have shit on my birding skillz, y'all.

Posted by: jimbo at December 20, 2005 2:17 PM