Monday, June 7, 2010

nature in the city

I home schooled my daughter when she was young. Although we live in a city, we are fortunate to have a small park with a lake close to our home. And since we are also surrounded by gulf and bay waters, we see a good assortment of water birds on a daily basis.

Some of them are really odd looking, like the Wood Stork, with it's almost prehistoric beak and head. My daughter and I tended to anthropomorphize them. I realize this is quite un-scientific, but I can't help it. Snowy Egrets look just like distinguished aging professors, their long white head feathers blowing gently in the afternoon breeze. Moorhens are the model families of the lake, with responsible teenage brothers and sisters carefully tending the babies while mom and dad forage for food. We gave birds names according to what we were reading at the moment. I seem to remember that the flocks of Ibis were once christened Achilles and the Myrmidons during a reading of D'Aulaires' Greek Myths.

I still look for and enjoy those birds on my walks.

(Ibis photo courtesy of The Essential Emily.)

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