Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nature in your neighborhood

Eastern Cottontail
Photo credit: William R. James, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Today, when I was walking the dog, I realized something: Nature is all around us.

Now, I know this isn't an overly profound thought, but I tend to overlook nature in my own backyard. I don't usually think of my home turf as an oasis or refuge. My neighborhood is noisy and crowded, a typical example of man-made American suburbia. But if you look closely, you can see nature creeping back in around the edges.

Notice that rabbit, hiding still in the grass as we pass by, with only a slight twitch of the nose to register our presence. See the tiny chipmunk, boldly sitting on top of the tree stump? I wonder if it sees us, if it cares that we are near. And do you hear the birdsong? I can distinguish at least three different refrains if I listen closely.

Life is richer when we stop to pay attention. Look for nature in your neighborhood today and let me know what you find!

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