I am in the Greenville/Spartanburg area of South Carolina, and it’s all green and the weather is warm—no need for a jacket. And I got to see Snowball the Cockatoo dance (it looks much like this), and dance to several songs with different beats. (I also learned that, after practice, Snowball learned to dance to Dave Brubeck’s jazz classic “Take Five” (see the song here), which is in 5/4 time. You try dancing to that!) Remember that this sulphur-crested cockatoo remains the only individual animal ever shown to move rhythmically to a beat, varying his dancing to match the song. He is said to have seventeen dance moves, and I saw a bunch of them.
It was a truly stunning display of animal behavior, and I will put up some videos I took when I get back to Chicago. I also received many presents from my affable hosts, including wonderful pastries, a Snowball book, customized buttons, a Drosophila mug, and so on, followed by a great dinner at Stella’s Southern Bistro (I had the pickled Florida rock shrimp, followed by “Beeler’s Farm Pork Ribeye & Stuffed Carolina Quail, with laurel aged rice & Sea Island red pea hoppin’ john, fava beans, fines herbs, applewood bacon jus.” That was fantastic, with the quail very juicy and gamey and the local pork ribeye cooked with a bit of pinkness in the middle. I have eaten well.
At noon I lecture on evolution at Furman University, sign copies of WEIT, and have a BBQ dinner with the local humanist group. Life is good. But I will be occupied much of the day, and posting is likely to be light. I do my best.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is using her usual method to gain entry to the house, but his staff is outside:
Hili: I’m afraid you are not at home.
A: No, I’m not, because I’m taking pictures of you.
Hili: In that case I will stop banging on the window.
Hili: Obawiam się, że nie ma cię w domu.
Ja: Bo robię ci zdjęcie.
Hili: W takim razie przestaję pukać do okna.