Rich Beyond Compare

Wood Duck (aix sponsa)“Where’d you see that,” my father texted me after I sent him this photo. “In the zoo?”

In true text-speak I replied: “Zoo! Haha! You’re just jealous.”

To which he replied, “yup.”

My father, in case you were wondering, is the man who introduced me to birds, among many other things. Our exchange was good natured, but it had a subtle point, one I think he’s been missing lately: if a person were to just get out and walk around they’d be amazed at what they found. It doesn’t matter, for the most part, where you live. There is an active birding community in New York City’s Central Park, for example. One afternoon while on a layover in Los Angeles on my way to Taiwan I saw this little guy, my first and only Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Before I started paying attention to the world around me I had no idea it was this rich. As my father replied after I admonished him to get out and just explore his neighborhood, “I hear you. I see people with headsets, paying no attention to the songs in the trees or the birds flittering about.” To which I would add: the crazy, insane beauty of bugs, the miniature dinosaurs rummaging around our grass and trees and the trees and flowers themselves. Better yet, try turning the television off for thirty minutes and watch the sunset (or wake up early and watch it rise), I promise you’ll not be disappointed.

Just yesterday while The Brunette and I were on our daily walk through the neighborhood we spotted the Wood Ducks, right in the middle of the city, paddling in Shoal Creek. Take a close look at the photo and think for a moment what it would be like to see such a beautiful animal. You’d pay to see it in a zoo, wouldn’t you?

So go walk around your neighborhood. It’s free.

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