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October 27-31, 2005

Unlike their world, our world is filled with language, art and music. Unlike our world, their world is devoid of lies, deception and monotony.

There may not be any such thing as love in their world, but there sure is something mushy and warm and fuzzy that must come very close to it.

They shall never boast of developing any hi-tech form of communication, but they will always be able to transmit a clear message.

They will never be entertained by watching something die, but they will forever be delighted in watching something grow.

They may never go to school, but they’ll always make a habit of learning.

They would never learn to sing and dance, but they every movement is filled with rhythm and song.

They may never know the pleasure of spontaneously laughing out loud, but likewise they will never allow themselves to slip into depression.

I am trapped in my world with dreams that may never come true...

...but on occasion I can escape into their world and celebrate...

...what it’s like to be truly free.

Red Tailed Bug

Turtle Pond - 1:53PM Sunday October 30, 05

The Great Lawn - 12:52PM Sunday October 30, 05

The Beresford - Sunday October 30, 05

Delacorte Theater - Sunday October 30, 05

The Great Lawn - Sunday October 30, 05

Pale Male
Belvedere Castle flagpole - Sunday October 30, 05

Evodia Field - Sunday October 30, 05

Evodia Field - Sunday October 30, 05

Evodia Field - Sunday October 30, 05

Pale Male

Belvedere Castle flagpole - 6:01PM Sunday October 30, 05

A letter I received today from Switzerland

Pale Male ate half his food and called out to her to have the remainder. She left her Beresford perch in the oval window and came in to collect it shortly after. Very unlike that day last week when he refused to share.
Turtle Pond - 4:15PM Saturday October 29, 05

Pale Male
Turtle Pond Tree - PM Saturday October 29, 05

Pale Male
When you get a direct look like this it gives a very special feeling.
Turtle Pond Tree - 3:26PM Saturday October 29, 05

Pale Male
Turtle Pond Tree - 3:27PM Saturday October 29, 05

Winter Wren with bug
Turtle Pond path - 5:40PM Saturday October 29, 05

Winter Wren
Turtle Pond path - 5:42PM Saturday October 29, 05

This tree which is right across from Pale Male's favorite is paying a very high honor to him
The Great Lawn - 5:10PM Saturday October 29, 05

Pale Male & The Wind
Turtle Pond - 5:36PM Friday October 28, 05

I was told that Lola brought twigs to the nest today.
Looking at him as he settled for a minute in this tree, I took a moment myself to try to sum up a few of the things I learned from him. One of the qualities I admire the most from him, which I’m trying desperately to learn, is his silence, but I have quite a long way to go.
I estimate he spends about 95 percent of his life above the ground we walk upon. That may be the secret to his wisdom—staying above the ground where we tread where our unhealthy vibrations cannot reach him. I know wooden tripods are well known for their resistance to vibrations so it follows that trees must insulate him from the ground.
November is so close and the new nesting season is not very far away. The preceding months were far enough away to hide my fear and anxiety into, but now the time is coming again and the uncertainty is maddening. One of my comforts is that I’m not ‘driving’-just hitching a ride. Pale Male & Lola are the only drivers and they alone should be. I want only to fill up the potholes ahead of their path, and to stone the highway robbers lurking behind hills and corners. I’ll accept whatever the outcome next year and try to put up with what all animals put up daily from their dreaded neighbor. I’ll also try to avoid the most lethal poison that man has invented and that is his language.
Pale Male & Lola are sleeping sound right now (just after midnight). Man is not celebrating at this particular moment so there is no noise where they sleep. I also don’t believe that any movies are being filmed near their perches. So I can safely say they are sleeping sound and they have neither care nor worry that some charlatan society will secretly send an agent to probe and prod at their nest. I should not worry either if I am to truly accept the fate that they and all wild animals helplessly accept each day.

After leaving Pale Male when he retired for the evening I came upon this wren. I estimate her to be the size of one of Pale Male’s eyeballs. Her tiny size was carried with dignity and spirit as she plucked through piles of loose leaves.

As I ended my evening in the Park I watched the hundred or so gold fishes that swam about in the Pond and I tried to imagine the looks of the thoughtless human being that placed them there—whether a few were put there which multiplied to this sad number, or whether they were all put in there, I do not know.
What I do know is that in a matter of a few weeks or even days the pond will be drained and all ‘the pretty fish’ will die. Each one, from the tiniest minnow to the largest goldfish, has a life pulsing inside them that weighs the same as any life pulsing in any other living creature on Earth, yet they are thought of very little. As hard as their fate is for me to bear, they are living through their last days without care or worry and for that I do envy them.

As much as I do my best to only focus on the beautiful, happy images of NYC, I cannot in all decency turn my back on this horrible practice that has now been so accepted that hardly a soul gives it a second thought.
Later this evening after the Sun goes down, fancy cars will deposit well dressed ladies at the door to this favorite restaurant. Some of the best educated men and women of good fortune will come here to savor the flesh of dead animals while this poor creature will by then be locked in his cramped stall to stand in his waste all night and bear his soreness of the day until day breaks when he’ll be dragged out on the streets once more to fulfill the whims of my brother man. If this heartless trade can still happen in this city, who knows what goes on in the less affluent places beyond.

Pale Male & The Sun

Turtle Pond - 5:33PM Wednesday October 26, 05

Today I found him in his special tree around 5:15PM. He had already attracted a group of happy admirers for several minutes I was told. Not very long after I arrived, he flew over my head and halfway across the Great Lawn. Then taking a sharp right he disappeared into the upper branches of those tall Lindens. I had followed his distinguished outline against the darkening sky in the small viewfinder of my camera. I shot only digital video today (picture above shot yesterday). Traveling relatively light, I was able to quickly follow him. I tried to find where he landed and found instead Lola sitting in a tall leafless tree about half a block north of Cleopatra's Needle. I kept her framed and stepped around the tree and began to walk backward to get a more head on shot. I began to step on a mass of small round objects which when I noticed they were apples I instantly thought that some one brought a few bushels of the fruit (pseudo) and dumped them on the ground. I guess the ‘tropical island’ thinking that’s still alive in me prevented the reasonable deduction that I was walking under an apple tree. With this distraction I looked back up into the tree and Lola was gone.

There was a very small and quiet gathering at the Screech Owl's perch this evening. We watched the little guy look very alert as he glanced swiftly on this side and just as swiftly on that side. First he looked up then he looked down, moving his face and reaching his small body to get the best look at perhaps two restless squirrels making a racket in a bush over to his right. With no tripod today I felt the soreness of trying to hold the camera steady as I braced myself against a sturdy tree a few yards from ole Screech’s tree. The light dwindled but I was still able to slow down my shutter to below the minimum speed necessary to create the illusion of fluid movement. Even so I enjoyed watching him leave an ash gray trail in my viewfinder as he jumped from his cozy tree hole and flew silently through the thick branches deeper into The Ramble. As everyone went each their own way, I strolled toward Evodia Field and picked through the branches on my right trying to see if I could make out his outline. When every cluster of leaves and every sharp bend in the branches began to look just like him, I gave up my search and left him alone in the peaceful care of the bountiful little bit of woods that was now bathed in darkness. As I descended the steep paved hill which led to The Boathouse I fancied that a faint sound that reached my ear may have been his call, but it may have very well been just the wind rushing through the crisp fall foliage. Regardless, I made believe it was him telling me ‘see you same time tomorrow Mr. Clicker!’