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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Orioles are Orioles

Claire, Bea, Kirk and James-Allen
When I visit Baltimore, I always squeeze in some birding, even for a short visit. Knowing that, I was so tickled when Kirk told me I was in for a treat, a visit to Birdland! 
Yay, Orioles!

We arrived at a huge facility, Kirk told me was called Oriole Park at Camden Yards. OMG, with a name like that, I knew I was in for some fantastic birding.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards
To enter the park we had to go through a security shake down. Never did that on a birding adventure before.  Then we were in the park. below you can see concessionaires in the pink building on the left, with the ball park to the right. I looked around and spotted the ubiquitous house sparrows, but hope springs eternal, where were the Orioles? Kirk & Bea suggested begin with dinner at Dempsey's Brew Pub & Restaurant . Well, no birds in there, but OK. 

At Dempsey's we enjoyed scrumptious meals. Kirk ordered a round of Bacon on a Stick for the table - and to show me how freakn' cool the appetizers are - and the are! Big thick hunks of Hungarian bacon drizzled with Old Bay maple glaze (you drooling yet?) on sticks stuck in bottles, stuck in a six-pack. Eat enough of them and lose your six pack I say! I tasted one, but now being bereft of a gall bladder, I thought I'd better skip the yummy bacon or I'd later be skipping any birding in favor of hoovering over a toilet. Let's just leave all that here, OK?
Niece Bea and Great Neph James-Allen and Bad-Ass Bacon
After a good meal we headed to the Ball Park next door. I figured we'd be high up in the stadium, so all the better for me to see some birds. Then Bea said, ironically enough, the teams today were the Baltimore Orioles vs. the New York Yankees, you know, 'the bums'. First up, I wondered if Kirk had misunderstood my need to see some birds, thinking I'd said I needed to see something named after a bird. Also, I wondered if there were some unresolved issues concerning our origins, as Bea, Kirk; all of us - save James-Allen - were all born in NYC. That didn't preclude finding out that the whole of my Baltimore family are die-hard Orioles fans. I kept my NYC bred mouth shut and concluded I may have understood Kirk's offer to 'go see the Orioles play'. Silly me.

That's Yankee Chase Headley at bat, and yes, I had to look that info up on-line
because I don't know a Yankee uniform or player from a hole in the ground
The Oriole Bird, the official Orioles Mascot. Hum... looks more like a Raven to me

Bea, Kirk & James-Allen kept their baseball dunce of an Aunt up on what happened in the Ball field and on the cool, digital thingmajig scoreboard. I bet the last time I was at a game they used chalk on a blackboard to keep score. What were the two giant birds on the top of the scoreboard... hum. Massive Orioles.

We didn't stay for the entire game, for one thing, James-Allen has to get up for school in the morning. Ah, bless kids for giving adults a reason to leave early - that is 'moi' as I'm sure Bea & Kirk wouldn't have minded staying on. Before we left, they wanted me to take a tour of Camden Park.

The first thing I noted was this sign... not standard American Birding Association or Sibley stuff.

James-Allen risks posing quite close to a bat wielding crow.... um, Oriole
There is a whole playground for kids in the stadium
 Aside from the playground, Camden Yards has an area set aside with huge bronze statues in homage to great Oriole players of the past. Cool.

So as the sun set, I had to admit, no one had fibbed to me - I did, after all, see Baltimore Orioles.

You know, I normally visit Baltimore in the Fall. If my niece Ain offers to take me to see her beloved Ravens, I go. You know I won't turn down the chance to watch Ravens at play.

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