About Out Walking the Dog

strider contemplated new jersey

Esau contemplates New Jersey.

Four years ago, my family and I, along with two cats and a dog, moved back to New York City after 19 years away.

Since then, every day, and sometimes twice a day, I walk the dog in the neighborhood parks. Much of the time we walk on Riverside Park’s lower promenade and the upper woodsy paths, including the Forever Wild bird sanctuary. Sometimes we walk along the river or visit Morningside Park’s tiny pond, teeming with bullfrogs, turtles and birds. We stroll the gardens at Saint John the Divine and traipse through the woods and meadows of Central Park.

These city parks turn out to be home to strange and wonderful creatures and objects. Red-tailed hawks. Raccoons. Feral cats. An enormous dead fish stretched out on a rock. Miniature tepees that appear one day and disappear the next. The smell of skunk. Boxes and baskets woven from downed twigs and small branches. Intricate driftwood sculptures. An old boot on a stick. A dinosaur in a meadow. A coyote in Central Park.

The initial pleasures of these random discoveries gradually led me to research urban nature. This, in turn, led me to see the city and its inhabitants, both human and animal, not as antithetical to nature, but as a complex part of nature. This blog is, in part, a place to explore human-wildlife encounters, and this crowded island city turns out to be a fascinating laboratory for such explorations.

I hope you’ll join me, and add your own observations in the comments section of any post.


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