By Michael Traynor
For those of you who were not listening to comedian Jimmy Durante’s radio broadcast on April 23,1949, this phrase was Jimmy’s trademark line. He meant that everybody strives to participate in a show once it is seen to be a success.
That axiom is true in the natural world as well. Nature’s annual show reaches its most visible success as the summer season reaches its peak. At that time, the natural world teems with life and its creatures most active and flourishing. While Spring sets the stage for the show and introduces the performers, it is summertime’s abundance that makes it clear nature has a hit on its hands. It seems like every creature is trying to pile onto the stage. In this riot of life, everybody wants to get into the act.
I like to imagine each creature is taking a victory lap in the race of life. Perhaps each proclaims its stardom to an appreciative universe, forming one big chorus — “I am here, right now, and I am alive!” Their enthusiasm is laden with justifiable pride in their performance. It also brims with gratitude for the opportunity to play a part in the show. It offers a loving nod to Nature for its backing of the show, and a playful wink to what is Unseen, who authored the screenplay.
Lincoln Park is a microcosm of the larger natural phenomenon. Here are some photos of the Park’s creatures appearing onstage at this time of year. Every creature is a star! We photographers fancy ourselves to be the Paparazzi at this show. We too want to get in the act! And so, without further delay, introducing Lincoln Park’s summer stars…
Bumblebee toils dutifully in bright sunshine
Red-Winged Blackbird defends its nest – watch out for dive bombing
Monarch narcissistically poses – the camera loves it
Mallards busily getting all their ducks in a row
Largemouth Bass demonstrating more than birds and bees do it
Bullfrog showing how easy it is to be green
Canada Goose taking fast growing goslings under her wing
Black Crowned Night Heron flying from nest – time to go get dinner
Great Blue Heron gripping a squirming fish in its powerful jaws, pondering the acrobatics now required to swallow its catch whole
Shy bunny showing its expertise at camouflage
Squirrels “splurting” – lying flat on tummies to stay cool on hot days
Ancient snapping turtle doing nothing; less fearsome since the dentures
Plus, a special guest star-
Fountain Girl and Her Flying Goldfinch