Like a cat, Spokane pounced on a glorious Sunday afternoon and frolicked in the sun.
But it was people and dogs having most of the fun.
The cloudless day that marked Memorial Day weekend’s midway point found parks across the city overflowing with young lovers, new mothers, middle-aged fishermen and scantily clad sun worshipers.
Bikes filled sidewalks and trails. Frisbees sailed through the air. Picnic baskets overflowed with potato salad, baked beans and fried chicken.
Sunday’s temperature topped out at 84 degrees - 15 degrees higher than normal.
And today? Another beautiful, sunny day with the temperature expected to reach 85.
On the South Hill, Robby the golden retriever drew a crowd of at least 50 when he swam a little too close to a swan at Manito Park’s pond.
The swan’s mate didn’t take kindly to Robby’s exercise routine and came out swinging - more like flapping and dunking - at the beleaguered dog.
People along the pond’s edge cheered alternately for Robby and the bird.
The story ended happily with the swans returning to their island and Robby to his owner, Jim Ellison.
Robby wouldn’t hurt a flea, Ellison said, adding that he wouldn’t say as much about the swan.
At the pond’s east end, Matthew Irwin, 10, used his homemade fishing net - a kitchen strainer attached to a long wooden pole with electrical tape - to catch and release turtles.
Racing into the water, the turtles disproved an age-old theory, Irwin said. “They say turtles are slow.”
Patrick and Karen Krych celebrated their first few moments of wedded bliss at Manito while a photographer snapped their picture.
“We got married about a half hour ago,” the newest Krych said. “And we’re thrilled with this weather.”
At Riverfront Park, Ramona Smith lay on a blanket and made silly faces at her baby, 4-month-old Brandon.
“He’s my first baby, and he’s such a good baby,” said the proud mother.
Just a few feet away from Smith, Mark and Mary Perrier enjoyed a picnic of sandwiches and fruit with their four children, ranging in age from 6 months to 7 years.
“We’ve been doing yardwork and gardening all weekend,” Mark Perrier said. “We came down here to round out the day.”
At People’s Park, a midday barbecue attracted at least 150 clothed - and unclothed - guests.
Larry - no last name, please - filled his cooler with Coors and double-checked his backpack before heading down the quarter-mile trail to the park favored by Spokane’s nudists.
“Something to drink. Something to smoke. Something to throw on in case the police come,” he said. “Guess I’m ready.”
Toddlers splashed in the swimming hole. Sunbathers evened out their tan lines. A group of men played volleyball in the sand. And a few gawkers stood off on the sidelines, fully clothed and focused on the scene.
“Look around you. You see families here. Friends here,” said Christian Dawson, who said he has frequented the park nearly 20 years.
With another beautiful day in the forecast, many said they’d be back for more sun today.
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