29 September 2012

Bugeater Chronicles - Church on South 24th Street

Just before 7 p.m., a driven departure occurred for a Friday night foray for the next determination of the bugeater chronicles. The destination was a couple of big chimneys on south 24th Street that were worth a closer look.

A few swifts had already congregated upon arrival. They twittered and swirled, which is their typical routine on any autumn evening anywhere on the river city scene.

Their particular chimney of interest was uncertain. There was another seemingly suitable chimney next door. After watching and looking about the immediate vicinity, it became apparent that the Immaculate Conception Church place would be the focus of the evenings watch, with whatever sort of results. There was also a parking place readily available with an appropriate view.

To indicate the size, the structure was 5.5x5.5 bricks, and more than four stories in height. It is at the southwest corner of 24th and Bancroft Streets, towards the back of the place of worship.
Immaculate Conception Church, south 24th Street; 29 September 2012.

With a focus on swifts, other dynamics soon became obvious. This was a place of spying eyes.

There were watchers wondering why someone was parked in their lot, and looking intently at the building.

A priest in his holy garb was noticed giving an intent look at the swarming birds.

No one inquired about the reason for a there being a swift watcher in the parking lot.

The dynamics soon changed. A big, white Suburban, with an obvious confrontational purpose arrived and parked seven spaces westward in the parking lot. The manly driver was talking on a cell phone, seemingly continuously, because my attention was mostly focused elsewhere.

As nighttime descended, and that would be about 7:45 p.m., the swifts were done but the dynamic situation continued. Mr. SUV moved his vehicle to a spot which can be best be conveyed as the second parking spot to the west at the south side of the lot on the south side of the church.

Obviously there was a confrontation of non-understanding underway. It would have been easy to leave, and perhaps it might have been proper to leave. However, this was not going to be the scenario.

Feet away, Mr. Suburbanite never got off the phone.

During this extended interval, notes were made and revised pertinent to these times associated with the bugeater chronicles.

During a short interlude of observation, there was no interest nor effort to inquire about this purpose. The effort was completely done without having even stepped a foot on the church property, which from a directed perspective, did not have any signs forbidding trespassing.

A few minutes after 8 p.m., the "Suburbanite" with a 59 number on its plate -- corresponding to Sarpy County, departed from the parking lot.

The situation was nearly over, but continued in particular significance so that the scenario would continue to its own significance.

Upon my personal departure, an attempt was made to get someone to answer the door bell at the church. That did not happen.

After driving around the church, the reverend father was obvious on the north walk of the church.

It was time to talk.

Two men then had a significant chat about the evenings events.

What followed was a brief explanation about the basic, yet essential tenets of swiftology, and how the church chimney was obviously important to the migration of these birds. The commentary included direct points how the birds should be appreciated, how they eat bugs, and that they should be appreciate and celebrated. Also mentioned was the loss of other swift habitat because other churches in eastern Omaha have capped their chimneys without any regard as to their value as a haven for birds    .

The priest of the church was certainly relieved to have been given an explanation regarding the occurrence of some     unknown person in their parking lot. His concern was about thievery by break-ins in the neighborhood.

It was a time of sharing. We shook hands. A blessing was also given by the reverend Father. A suggestion was given that he do a sermon on how the church is a safe haven for the bugeaters, and how the chimney is a place appreciated by some of "God's creatures" as spoken to particularly express a religious theme.

Whether there will be any advantage for the chimney swifts is in no way apparent. At least there was a new realization.