Baltimore Oriole

Oh no, did I leave the oven on again?

By the time I was 13 I had realized that these birds were called “Orioles” and not “Oreos”, but up until that point I had figured that Baltimore won the jackpot when it came to great team names and endorsements.

I stumbled upon this guy while adventuring along the Leslie Street Spit in Toronto. A man-made peninsula I have seen from my office every day for the past three years, but only just recently finally actually visited. It has quickly evolved into a bustling migration and nesting zone for birds so the city is trying to roll with that and make it more focused to that purpose. In light of that, no dogs are allowed, no motor vehicles are allowed, it’s basically foot or bike traffic only. No garbage bins in the entire area, so what you take in you had best take out.

Unfortunately on this journey I made another discovery of what the area is lacking. After a delightful 4.5km walk I was coming up to the end point, and my intestines were causing what can best be described as a “Rumble in the Bronx”. I noticed things were escalating at a quicker pace than standard. I texted my friend who knew the area if there were bathrooms at the end of the trail, and his answer did nothing to fill me with delight.

I was not in a good spot.

Map showing distance from me to bathroom

I was exactly where I didn’t want to be

So began a careful and not very comfortable shuffle back towards the entrance. By the 1km mark, I was starting to worry. This was not a slow train coming into the station, and thinking about how few options I really had was doing nothing to cheer me up. At the 2km mark, I was in pain, and starting to consider how difficult it would be to slink off to the water unseen and just do something that would never be mentioned to anybody ever. Analysis concluded it would actually be unfairly difficult.

At the 2.5km mark I saw this Oriole, and decided that I after about ten minutes of taking shots of it, decided that I have very stupid priorities matched with equally stupid impulses.

Once hitting that 3k mark, I figured I was back at the entrance. Just had to get around the corner and everything could be right again. Instead I was met with a continued stretch of road that curved off in the distance. At this point I started mulling over the best way to hail someone with a bike and barter my camera gear to borrow it so I could make it in time. I also mulled over curling up by the side of the path in a meditative coma in hopes that someone would go get help and a vehicle could come take me to the entrance. A few other things flew through my head, but they would constitute fever dream material, and those two were my only sound plans.

Somehow I made it to the 4.24km mark, though, and allowed myself to ride the subway home with dignity and clean undergarments.

Now whenever I look at this park from my office, I’ll just get images of a figure slowly moving along the trail mumbling “oh no… oh dear… oh no oh boy oh no…”. It hasn’t done much for my desire to go back.

I took this with my 150-600mm lens, shooting at 1/1000 and f6.3 with an ISO of 400.

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