Monday, April 21, 2008

Juxtaposition

We country folk tend to think that there is no wildlife in the city (except, of course, for pigeons, squirrels and rabbits and they don’t count because people feed them processed, greasy food in the park—they’re just mooching off the urban system). But as I write this, an immense bird is soaring between skyscrapers, diving then recovering altitude and swooshing past the office windows, barely missing the cold, hard steel of our building with its daring wings. As I look out again, I see that there are now several hawks (at least, I think they are hawks) soaring through this part of downtown.

Just this morning a fellow bus rider, who lives in the neighborhood of Morningside, informed me he had deer in his backyard this morning, and last fall Mr. Incredible and Lewis caught a long glimpse of a beautiful buck in our neighborhood. (In fact, deer present quite a problem for the City of Pittsburgh from time to time, when they leave the safety of the city’s expansive parks and venture out onto busy streets and highways. Every Pittsburgher has one of these stories to tell, of the day they were driving down __________ Blvd. and had to slam on their brakes because deer were crossing.)

Driving through the Strip District at rush hour one morning, I spotted an even weirder sight: two wild turkeys waddling and gobbling along the Amtrak rails, looking very much at home.

So perhaps we country folk are a little naïve when it comes to how easily nature can be crowded out of a space. From what I can see—turkeys amongst railroad tracks, deer prancing in the median strip, and osprey skydiving downtown—these wild animals will make do with any space we give them, no matter how humble. They are built for survival.

2 comments:

brannabee said...

i need a kleenex. i feel sad about it. i just do. :/

Laurie said...

I saw a deer on Murry Ave!!! Also - there is a family of turkeys that live on Chatham's campus.