It's April Fools Day, which of course is when the "flame-ously" bright flamingos return to Le Roy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility each year.
It's a goofy tradition, quite unlike, say, the swallows returning to Mission San Juan Capistrano, Calif., annually on March 19. They set out from Goya, Argentina, on their 6,000-mile journey and visitors the world over have, um, flocked to see the miracle at least since the early 1930s.
In his book "Capistrano Nights," Father St. John O’Sullivan, pastor of the Mission from 1910 to 1933, tells how this came to be. A shopkeeper, tired of the messy avians, took a broomstick and began knocking down their cone-shaped mud nests from the eaves of his shop, when who should happen to show up? Father O'Sullivan, who told the swallows: “Come on swallows, I’ll give you shelter. Come to the Mission. There’s room enough there for all.” And the rest is folklore history. (Now why would he go and make up a thing like that?)
In Le Roy, there were never real flamingos -- just the plastic kind with spindly metal legs that stick in the ground -- but they do add that certain je ne sais quois? N'est pas?
But, hey, it's the fulgent and cheery spirit that counts, especially on the first of this month, when opportunists take advantage of a general inclination to eschew taking some things too seriously.
Take, for example, Activities Director Kate Flint (left) and Director Sam Vagg of Le Roy Village Green, in the top photo. Veritable poster children for this sort of stuff, and they have at least one ally, prolly more.
Like Lynne Belluscio, who not only aided and abetted them, she took the photos and sent them to "the media" -- The Batavian!
Belluscio, with an eagle eye for the obvious, pointed out dryly that Flint and Vagg "are dressed to welcome the flamingos back to LeRoy." (Let's hope that's the case and they did not don their standard workday wear.)
They, too, unmistakably add, we know not what, to the photo, as evidenced by the other picture below with them not in it -- before and after.
The yard sign -- in the shape of a cautionary yield sign -- is also a nice touch. It lets people know to watch out for flamingos, for which the collective noun is a “flamboyance.” No kiddin'. Can't make this stuff up.
That's an appropriate term for these colorfully feathered creatures who descend by the thousands on salt flats, lagoons, lakes and swamps around the world, where they filter-feed for shrimp, algae and insects.
The food supply delivers beta carotene, a red-orange pigment that results in the birds' unique vivid hue, which has made them a tropical icon, and for us in Genesee County, a happy harbinger of warm weather ahead.
Nice thought on an afternoon that has had some snow flurries.