Sunday we did a lot of birding. In some really nasty hot humid weather. And it involved hills. 2.8 miles of gawdforsaken wooded, root and rock plagued hills. . .but I’m not going to complain because I’m still lying to myself and think that with enough of these near-death marches, pushing a stroller, I’ll be able to bounce quarters off my eternally fat, flat Scotch-Irish ass.
Anywhooooooo. . .After the hiking, Mac was exhausted. So tired, in fact, that he endured transfer from the stroller to the car seat with hardly so much as a twitch.
That meant we needed to kill some time while he got a decent nap. In the car.
We were already south of the house and decided we might be able to drive around the Beltway, cross the Key Bridge and get to North Point State Park in time to get Mac awake, wander around a bit, give him some snacks and be home in time for dog walks and dinner.
While we were driving around, Chris and I started to reminisce about the time we saw the huge raft of Scaup on the Cabin Branch just off the first Beltway exit not too far from the Key Bridge.
We agreed that since we had nothing but time, we’d check out the area again. We knew the time wasn’t right to see a huge raft of waterfowl, however, there had been many reported sightings of common ravens in the area so we figured we’d check it out. . .
And as usual, I had to push it.
I suggested that since Mac was still asleep, we should just swing past Fort Armistead.
For those of you not familiar, Fort Armistead is practically the armpit of all historical Forts in the Greater Baltimore area.
To access the area, you have to drive past a landfill and some sort of former chemical refinery/manufacturing plant which is in a state of demolition. It’s located in the shadow of the Key Bridge, has a view of the long abandoned, seagull and cormorant infested Ft. Carroll and the now defunct Sparrows Point Steel Mill. . .and it seems to be home to about a gazillion feral cats – whom some sad soul apparently feeds routinely.
It’s a rather sorrowful void of a place. . .but still has enough promise to make the occasionally optimistic me want to keep checking on it.
Speaking of promise, we still had the promise of catching a glimpse of a raven. And who knew what might be hiding out under the bridge (peregrine falcon, pretty please), so Chris agreed.
The past two times we’ve visited Ft. Armistead. . .or three. . .It’s been cold. So usually aside from a few folks sitting in their cars presumably enjoying their lunch, or the feral cats, or their drugs, we had the place to ourselves.
Labor Day weekend?!
The place could most accurately be described as a degenerate Jimmy Buffett tailgate sans any visible frozen concoction consumption or joy.
There were people everywhere.
There was even a hot dog cart!
When we first came upon the scene, I felt a little flutter of excitement. . .like perhaps this would be a cool place to take some photos or have a little walk along the pier (and yes, maybe get a hot dog ‘cuz you know I LOVE those bitches and never eat them but now have a perfect excuse called a kid!)
However, my excitement was quickly tempered by the eerily hollow leering stares of the men fishing along the shore. We continued driving past the water, where we encountered a small SUV full of adults reclined in various positions while their two young boys stood in the middle of the road and hurled rocks at signs, pigeons, and any other target they deemed appropriate.
As we continued on closer to the girders of the bridge, I held my binoculars tightly, clinging to hope. Chris had already begun his running commentary. . .”Oh, well, if you’re going to let your kids hurl rocks at everything while you pass out or take a nap, why wouldn’t you park closer to this area where there’s less traffic. . .”
And as he wheels the car around. . .
“Oh that’s wonderful. That guy is peeing.”
I remove the bins from my face just in time to see a guy standing beside a car but pretty much in the middle of all the action, peeing.
He didn’t bother to walk a few feet into the woods. . .
He didn’t care there were women and children around. . .
There he was in all his glory urinating.
That’s when Chris hit the accelerator. . .on both the car and his mockery. . .of me.
Chris: ”It’s always a great day when I go birding and I get to see a penis. Well played Deni. You just had to come here didn’t you? I had to see a penis. Thank goodness Mac was asleep. How would we explain this to him? We’ve been telling him tinkle goes in the potty. And then he might have seen this. Oh, you wanted to see new birds. Instead, I saw a PENIS!!!”
He might have said more but I was still reeling from seeing some random dude’s penis. Pretty close up. Not as close up as this one. . .but still.
I also might have been thanking the Lord that I didn’t have my binoculars aimed at it.
After Chris finally shut it for a minute, I said to him, “Did he really have to have the whole thing outside of his pants to urinate?”
Chris looked at me like I was crazy.
And then he gave me the low-down on how men urinate.
Turns out you do need to fully extract the um mouse from the trousers otherwise you run the risk of urinating on your pants.
Which makes urinals even more bizarre to me.
He also gave me a few other pointers.
All I can say is thank goodness we saw some random guy peeing in public, or else Mac would have had one very piss poor potty training experience.
See? Everything does happen for a reason.
Even if it involves random dicks.