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Wildlife is where you find it
by -- May 11th, 2016

Recently, I was in New York City on a warm spring day, hustling with the multitudes down Park Avenue in Midtown along the concrete walks that pass by J.P. Morgan-Chase, Deutsch Bank, and other giants of the financial world.  Waiting for the crossing light at 48th street, I noted an attractive young woman on the opposite corner who was staring intently at a sign post.  Not the sign, but the sign post.  

Now, I always seem to see strange things in New York, but fascination with a sign post was not yet on my list.

When the light indicated that we could cross without obvious danger to life and limb, I reached her side of the street.  I needed to examine the sign post myself to see what was so interesting.  And, there amidst the concrete jungle was a new emerged dragonfly flexing its wings in the morning sun. 

Knowing that pupae of dragonflies spend the winter in shallow swampy waters waiting for spring, I wondered just how far this specimen had travelled to get to 48th and Park.  Was it the product of a concrete-lined lily pond in front of a nearby office building or a long-distance traveler from Central Park or some of the wetlands in New Jersey?  Only this dragonfly will know for sure.

But, what intrigued me most was this small appearance of nature in the midst of the urban jungle.  We don’t think of big cities as harboring a large slice of nature;  the birds are usually only rock pigeons, house sparrows and starlings—all exotics from Europe.  And, we seem to relish exotic plantings in our gardens.  But, here on Park Avenue was a denizen of an unknown wetland, still clean enough to support dragonflies and close enough to the City to rouse the curiosity and wonder of an observant pedestrian on her lunch break.

We may live in an urban jungle, but look around, lest we forget our connection to nature.

2 Comments

  1. tess
    May 11, 2016

    Amazing what the eye reveals once we turn our gaze. Watching the natural world brings so many gifts. Thanks for sharing.

  2. John Manuel
    May 13, 2016

    Most amazing to me are the Green Parrots who have struck up residence in the New Jersey towns just across the GW Bridge from Manhattan. In my brother’s home town of Leonia, they have build huge nests in a railroad crossing flashing light, which presumably gives them some warmth in winter and a little excitement whenever a trail passes by.

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