I'm currently in South Pasadena, CA, visiting family, enjoying the warm, smoggy air, and listening with a happy smile to the crazy squawks of the wild green parrots that seem to be everywhere in the San Gabriel Valley. They fly in hordes or in small clusters, land on phone lines, treetops, in the large fronds of palm trees, and endlessly chatter about everything under the sun that seems to affect their days here. Who knows what parrots discuss?
"Hey, Jean, there's a great-looking perch in that jacaranda tree. Let's go check it out and squawk at those silly-looking people rushing about below."
"Sure, Elsie--and look, Martin and Bill are there too! We can catch up on the latest while we snack on the leaves."
(I can't say that parrots eat jacaranda leaves, by the way. I really have no idea what they ingest. Bugs?)
There are differing stories on the original arrival of the parrots, ranging from ship escapees to illegal pet store escapees to who-knows-what. However, they have been here since the 1940s or so, are absolutely everywhere, are not native, and they really startle people the first time they open their beaks in mid-flight overhead. You'd think we were in Belize rather than a huge West Coast sprawl.
I've adored the parrots for a long time, although not everyone agrees. If I can get a good picture this time, I'll post one, but so far I've only managed blurry, far-away snaps (my camera isn't super-special). In the meantime, I'm going to take a stroll around the neighborhood and keep an eye out for those distinctively loud imports as they zip and swoop around their adopted home. One does NOT see wild green parrots in Colorado!