Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aviarist Encounter (Part II) - Through A Glass Darkly

(NOTE: The first part of this dream can be enjoyed here.)

... That many exotics clustered in such a small area was too much for me to resist investigating. Asking a neighbor revealed to which house the birds belonged. A maid answered the door, and when I asked about the birds, she let me in. It's a very nice place inside - well appointed. I was immediately introduced to the couple responsible for the birds. Apparently they: ran a "world-famous" exotic bird rehab center/aviary, had authored books on the subject and even had an "exotic" sounding last name; Zormun, I believe. I was then introduced to their three teenage children, and we all sat and chatted for a bit. Dad was a character; a fabulous fabulist as it were.

I was then informed things had to move along as they needed to catch a plane, for an out-of-the-country conference, later that evening. Toward that end, they gave me an autographed copy of their latest book. It was a hefty compendium of all known escaped-bird populations in the continental U.S. - replete with VERY detailed maps. I'm floored, humbled, and honored all at the same time.

I'm then taken on a tour of the grounds. French doors lead to a porch and fairly spacious backyard - at least an acre I'd guess. In the very back appeared to be a very large, seemingly iron/mesh wire, structure - the formal aviary I presume. Sadly, the tour never got that far.

(the flight-cage in the dream closely resembled the "1904 free-flight aviary" found at the St. Louis Zoo, pictured here.)

Why we never make it that far never surfaces, but it may have something to do with the following. Between the porch and the aviary was a tennis court and a large, empty, in-ground pool. Dozens upon dozens of people were huddled in small groups or milling about both features, and the yard in general. Mrs. Zumon, "Ursula" I believe, was proudly droning on about the place. I missed it all as I became more and more intrigued by these people. Looking more closely, it became obvious they (including children) were not in good shape. The arrangement looked to me either like a refugee, or detention, camp. I was revolted. Why was she just going on as if they didn't exist, why were they here, and who were they? I couldn't stomach questioning, so no answer ever came. Again for reasons never explained, the tour then wrapped up abruptly and awkwardly (at least for me). I soon walked out the front door, in the direction of my car. Some delivery digression, eh? The last thing I remember is looking up and seeing another pair of "tyrant" flycatcher, Sulphur-bellied, hanging out at the top of a tree bordering the street.

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher (Myiodynastes luteiventris)
Image Found Online Here

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