Friday, November 12, 2010

Poem for Friday and Arctic Animals

Field Note
By Eric Pankey

An arctic, oblique light—
Grave, earthward—
Roughs in a snowfield's scoured basin,

A curved pine-flecked horizon,
As if onto a province
The door of an Advent calendar

Whispered as an aside,
Tallies and marginalia

Erased, yet readable still
In the sleet-lacquered gullies
And scored rock,

A province severed
From the present,
Marooned in the tectonic

Slippage, in the stress
Fractures of the mythic.


I was having a slow Veterans Day morning when my mother called and said she had been at the Strathmore Museum Shop Around, at which about 20 local museum shops sell crafts, jewelry, clothing, books, CDs, games, artwork, and unusual gifts. So I asked if I could meet her there, and we ended up having lunch at their little cafe (excellent butternut squash soup) and visiting the shops set up around the mansion, which include the Audubon Sanctuary, National Geographic, the Kennedy Center, the National Archives, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Shakespeare Theatre -- the latter of which had coin purses and bags made from costume shop scraps. I didn't actually buy much (my mother got me a deck of pirate playing cards) but it was a lot of fun to look!

I had expected Adam to be late coming home because he had a math make-up test, but that got postponed until Friday, so he and I actually arrived at nearly the same time and we fed the cats together. Daniel stayed late for robotics. After dinner -- veggie masala -- we watched $%&! My Dad Says, which finally made up for its ongoing gay jokes by having Shatner's character tell his military buddies in no uncertain terms that he wouldn't tolerate gay-bashing, and Nikita finally gave Jaden a real story arc, which makes me very happy in an episode that's otherwise very Nikita/Michael-focused (not that I object to that, just that the women on the show interest me a thousand times more than the men do). And the Falcons just beat the Ravens in the last minute, so here are happier Baltimore thoughts.

One of the polar bears at the Maryland Zoo's Arctic exhibit.

The zoo also has an arctic fox. The zoo doesn't need a sign for people to see that it is nocturnal.

And the zoo has a pair of snowy owls.

During hot summer days, the polar bears swim...

...and play with blocks of ice.

The owls actually seem to pant when they are warm.

Whereas the fox...sleeps some more.

The zoo is attempting to breed the bears. No word on whether there's a baby polar bear on the way.

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