In the heat of a desert day here in Vegas, it’s rare to see your neighbors spending much time outdoors. Everyone pretty much retreats indoors during daylight hours unless they have somewhere to go. The only sound in the park? Air conditioners.
In the evenings I usually go to the pool when I’m not at the casinos. But that’s usually for less than an hour. And because I’m in such a closed-off area from any real views (aside from the Stratosphere casino in the distance), it’s easy to forget just how amazing the desert nights are!
It’s hard to beat. I’ve spent a lot of time in tropical climates like Florida. It can be nice for awhile, but you do have to contend with humidity and bugs. Eventually you experience some form of discomfort.
But the desert is different. Very few insects. No humidity. At times, particularly when you’re at a minor league baseball game under the lights and enjoying the palm trees and mountain vistas — it’s almost surreal.
Incredibly, when I was staying in North Vegas a few weeks ago, I’d ridden by the ballpark a dozen times having no idea it was the home of the triple-A farm club of the Toronto Blue Jays. But last night, just a few minutes after the ball game began, I decided to GPS it just to see if it was nearby — 10 minutes away, in fact. I quickly put my shoes on and within a few minutes I was in my seat in time for the second inning.
I love baseball. Year after year, I become more and more interested in my St. Louis Cardinals again (after taking somewhat of a hiatus back in the 90s after the baseball strike left a bad taste in my mouth). I subscribe to MLB.com on my Iphone to keep up with the latest and listen to radio broadcasts and am having a great time with it. I also look forward to many-a-trip to ballparks around the country and can think of very few better ways to spend time outdoors.
But interestingly enough I took very little interest in the game itself, despite the fact the “51’s” were playing my Cardinal farm club, the Memphis Redbirds. I was more interested in just breathing it all in. I was unwinding, big time. The mountains, the palm trees, the lights, the children, the PA announcer, the grass. I just absorbed it all.
And despite a good, close game that was won on a late-inning homerun, I can tell you that was not the highlight of the game. That wasn’t the memory everyone would take home with them. Let me set the stage…
It’s the 7th inning with 7000 people in attendance. I’m still in my dream-state sort-of-way when I catch movement in the corner of my eye. It’s a bird or a bat chasing a moth perhaps 100 feet above home plate. It’s an entertaining display of unbelievable maneuvers by both bird and insect. This goes on for several seconds, and it was then that I realized my neighbors were observing the show, as well. This goes on for another minute, during which I realize a few other folks in my section were pointing to the aerial battle in the sky too. Finally, the bird (or bat) catches the moth. And I swear to you…
Nearly the entire stadium erupted in whoops, hollers, and uproarious applause!
And then, simultaneously, we all laughed at the absurdity that we all witnessed it. A very strange, funny moment.
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