Friday, March 9, 2007

03.09.07 GET OUTSIDE

Richard Louv's recent book, Last Child in the Woods, has become a manifesto of the growing "No Child Left Inside" movement. This month he writes in Orion magazine, "As one suburban fifth grader put it to me, in what has become the signature epigram of the children-and-nature movement: 'I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.'"

On my short walk to work this morning through downtown I made the acquaintance of this beautiful resident, a cedar waxwing. A very gregarious bird in dapper gray and brown plumage with a distinctive cap and a bright yellow tip on his tail bounces across the sidewalk in front of me, twists his head up at me and gives me a wink. According to Cornell University large flocks of waxwings live in our southern cities during the winter thriving on the berries on the many ornamental plants which have appeared in the improved landscaping of built up areas. The birds are thriving, according to one study, from 1965 to 1979 the waxwing population doubled.

A neighbor we see but never notice, a friend many children would love to make.


Laura said...

Exciting! I admit I'm not sure I've ever seen a waxwing... but evidently they've been my neighbors, unnoticed. Will keep an eye out for them.

Ray said...

My walk yesterday morning near the Potomac was lightened by birds ... notably a bluebird and noisy woodpeckers.