Just Watching

Since my previous post, Marylee and I have shared a few interesting experiences. At the Burnaby Public Library I saw her talk about "Life from the Land". Then came Balcony Tales by Helle Windeløv-Lidzélius. Marylee saw it in DOXA. Anat and I watched it at home. Birders: The Central Park Effect by Jeffrey Kimball made me take the DVD from the library and have a home screening for the lot of us, Marylee, Anat, Inbal and I.
Our day in North Vancouver. Monday, May 18th 2015
Monday, May 18th was a bright, partly cloudy day. Inbal was handed a spare pair of binoculars and we headed towards a small pond where the ducks were doing their job caring for a bunch of ducklings that were past the chick stage. It is truly magical to watch the view magnified several times through the binoculars. It's not a bad idea to remind a ten year old about some safety issues such as removing the binoculars from the eye while walking and such.
Heron waiting patiently for its catch.
Between the four locations marked on the map there was much walking and watching. We didn't return home as fanatic birders but the fun of watching birds and hearing stories about them will stay with us. One of the highlights was the reminder that birds are everywhere in the city. Marylee wanted to show us a hanging nest she's seen the other day on 5th. When we got there she realized that the tree must be a block or two away. But then Inbal noticed another hanging nest on a tree beside us. We got there just as the parents were feeding their chicks, which were probably just a little more excited to be fed than us observing the excitement.
Robin pecking the grounds at Harbourside.

Still, the presence of humans in the environment and their influence on it always raise the awareness of the challenges wildlife face in their survival. Our own passive form of watching movies about nature and wildlife is just one step in caring for a balance in ecosystems. Some of the Central Park birders of New York express an awareness to how bizarre they might look to "outsiders". I think we should keep in mind that there would always be someone watching us and considering to join. This is the audience that should interest me. The engagement with uninterested people can come in other ways.
Pigeon Gillemot on its way from one side of the pier to the other.

Urban wildlife flock to the city because of the opportunities to feed, breed and have shelter. Our ways of building and maintaining the city are not geared towards the well being of wildlife. And yet there are many who find the benefits of our systems. Observation, one of humans' core skills responsible for the achievements of our society allows us to notice the effect of our environment on the one we grew out of.
Bushtit rushing away to find more food.

It always intrigues me to find connections. From the walks with Marylee I am reconnected to the discussion of wildlife in urban settings. Our discussion waves through endless other topics that allow me to weave another set of thoughts into the quilt of a larger story. And it doesn't end there. What remains is a fleeting moment of beauty.


Marylee Stephenson said...

fantastic-- wonderful pictures, great commentary, good combo of "facts" and "feelings" -- a lovely family/friends day! I'll be blogging some about it soon, myself -- and LOVE those maps!

Carlos Silva said...

The bird above the water is incredible !!!