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James Martin

Roman Rorschach

By October 31, 2012

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rome starlings picture
We're spending a few days at an apartment in the Testaccio neighborhood of Rome, just south of the Aventine. On our first night we trudged up the Aventine hill to check out the views and see the sunset. We ended up as part of the crowd that gathers for the phenomenon you see in the picture. What do you see? A lion in the sky? A panther wearing a hat? What makes up that inkblot?

What you're seeing are swarms of Rome's infamous starlings, which come out at sunset to eat and to amaze the tourists as they gaze at the dome of St. Peters from afar.

And today it is pouring rain, a good day to stay inside and write, stepping out in the drizzle only for a typical Roman pasta called pasta alla gricia, made with pancetta and pecorino romano.

October 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm
(1) Nancy says:

What I saw first was a reverse Rorschach…the glorious Roman sunset sky, one of the things I love best about Rome. Then it hit me. You wanted me to notice those dark blobs!

I’m not a fan of starlings, but it is indeed fun to watch the birds in bait ball formations, swooping and soaring.

October 31, 2012 at 8:21 pm
(2) Susan says:

Starlings in a small group are okay. In a large group, they do tend to be very messy. But from a distance like this — pretty cool!

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