Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eagles and Wildlife Art at the Mayo Clinic

My husband has had some health challenges recently, so we've been driving back and forth to the Mayo Clinic.  While he doesn't look forward to "going to the doctor," the hour-long ride to Rochester has a tranquilizing effect.  We watch for waterfowl and raptors as we drive across the Mississippi River, and as we drive up the bluffs and through the farmland.

Today it was "raptor alley" all the way.  Bald Eagles were everywhere, including a surprising number hanging out along the road between Kellogg, Plainview and Rochester.  Not just one or two, but groups of three and four - soaring and perched in trees at the edges of recently harvested cornfields.

We counted two dozen Bald Eagles, a half dozen Red-tailed Hawks and a lone American Kestrel.

If I had a choice about when to go to the Clinic - it would be spring and summer, when the Peregrine Falcons are nesting.   You can watch them on the falcon-cam at the subway level near the pharmacy.  It's like Discovery Channel meets "Brothers and Sisters."

Today I discovered there are more birds to watch at the Mayo Clinic - if you know where to look.

I had to park in the Graham Ramp because of construction across the street from the Gonda Building.  That took us on a new route through the Clinic's subway level.

That's when I saw the Orangutan, rhino and Bighorn Sheep.

Across the hallway, I spotted the Bald Eagle.

Who's the artist?

To find out, I had to read the text to the right of the bird.  "I never met an animal I didn't like," was the quote attributed to the artist.

The famous artist was born in Pittsburgh, son of Czech immigrants.   In these 10 screen prints depicting endangered species, he used his signature brilliant colors, photographic blow-ups and dramatic lines to create almost human-like expressions. 

Recognize him?

The Pop art icon:  Andy Warhol.

If you're interested in art, be sure to stop at the information desk in the Gonda Building (Lobby Level) and ask for a self-guided art tour map.

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