Friday, April 11, 2008

Lores

The lores, which sounds like a Dr. Seus character, is that space between a bird’s eyes and its beak. During the breeding season, the lores of the great egret (Ardea alba) – a spectacular bird of snowy whiteness, as its scientific name suggests – turns an iridescent emerald green. It’s just about an inch long, this shimmering on both sides of the head, up from the spear-like yellow bill, and really only visible through binoculars. Yesterday, on the Lull Water, I saw one of the egrets, all wispy in the breeze, and its lores was flaring like some creature in a fairy tale. A century ago, these birds were almost eradicated to provide plumes to the millinery trade. (I plucked these pics from that innernet thing; sorry for the lack of credit.)

I’d forgotten that the park is still open to cars during the rush hours. I’m rarely there during those times on weekdays, but yesterday after work I met them swooping around the drive as if they were on a NASCAR track. Madness. Most of vehicles had only one person per car. Insanity.

I read almost half of Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union last night. It’s a particularly strange novel: an alternative history, like Roth’s Plot Against America, steeped in nostalgia and insecurity, but eminently readable. If I wasn’t such a New Yorker (Lenny Bruce: “Everybody in New York is a Jew, even the Catholics”), I’d be mighty lost amid the ganifs, pishers, shtarkers, shtekelehs, eruvs, & etc. Nu?

2 comments:

Marie said...

Do we humans have lores too? Truncated ones?

Thew said...

I sure have one. In breeding season, anyway.