The kites whose nest is in the sycamore one street over are raising young now. We see them flying back to the nest with food frequently, many trips in a day. The hummingbirds have been sipping nectar from the cardinal flowers, now blooming, and the brilliant golden finches visit the coneflowers on the only sunny side of the house. I love to come home after work, sit on the back stoop with a cup of tea and watch them, or in the morning with a cup of coffee, as the light starts filtering through the sycamore and the oak. The wren family is still around, though no longer using the wren house as far as I can tell. The male still comes to sing, though, on top of the house or from the limb in front of it. The crow family that built a nest in the pin oak and raised young in our yard in 2011-2012 still comes around. Recently the older crow siblings have been holding flight school for the young crew.
On the human plane, St. Louis has attained the rank of 19 among the world’s most dangerous cities in terms of murders per capita, but at the same time is among the nations most affordable cities in terms of home prices. We approach the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of the unrest in Ferguson and the larger national debate about racism. The Republican presidential primary field reminds me of H.L. Mencken’s quote: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”