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Urban Wild and Feral Life in Spring

March 21, 2014

Spring is officially here. Red-tails are nesting, peacocks are showing, and male mallards are acting downright crazy. Trees are still mostly bare, which means you can more easily spot wildlife. And feral life. The feral cat colony in Morningside Park seems out of control this spring. The cats are everywhere around the pond, stalking  ducks […]

A Dog in New York

November 10, 2013

Lately I’ve been feeling grateful to my walking companion. Just over five years ago, my family and I left the horizontal landscape of Dallas, Texas for the vertical world of Manhattan. Since then, like old-fashioned postal workers, the dog and I can fairly say that “neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night” […]

Walking with Mary in Central Park: What is That Duck?

November 8, 2013

On Monday, the dog and I took a long walk in Central Park with my friend Mary, who is in town performing with Taylor Mac in a wonderful production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan at the Public Theater. Go see it, if you can. The Pool, a lovely little body of water […]

Summer Saturday in Morningside Park

July 15, 2013

Morningside Park is lush and full of animal and human activity these days. On Saturday, a small brigade of dedicated kids and volunteers cleaned the park and the pond. A turtle bobbed persistently for an elusive bite of apple. Scores of turtles swam and basked near the pond’s mallard ducks. The mallards are molting, which […]

Morningside Park: Sunbathing Turtles, Molting Mallards, Feral Cats

June 21, 2013

All the rain we’ve had recently means the animals in Morningside Park are living the lush life. And the sunshine brings out sunbathers. Turtles are everywhere, on the rocks and in the water. Today, mallards and turtles are the dominant species in the little pond. Now that the excitement of breeding season is over, male […]

Dabblers On the Hudson

March 31, 2013

A week or so ago, Esau and I walked along the Manhattan shore of the Hudson River between 100th Street and 116th Street. Flotsam and jetsam littered the rocks. I expect to see a mallard pair or two when I walk by the river. And so I did. The female below nibbled away on the […]

Spring Celebration: Urban Birds Makin’ Whoopee

March 20, 2013

It’s spring, and the air is filled with romance. In honor of all the exciting animal activity going on in the city, here is a brief Urban Wildlife Valentine from Out Walking the Dog. Enjoy! This video was originally posted on Valentine’s Day, 2012. For more on the love life of urban birds: Sex and […]

Are There Two Dolphins in NYC’s East River?

March 18, 2013

The North Brooklyn Boat Club has posted a video and photos of the East River bottlenose dolphin, taken from the back of a canoe. Members of the Boat Club are “very sure” that they saw not one, but two dolphins. I was first alerted to this video and the possibility of multiple dolphins by Vladimir […]

Watching The Watchers of the East River Dolphin

March 16, 2013

On Wednesday afternoon, I watched the dolphin swim and dive in New York’s East River. That afternoon, I also enjoyed meeting and watching a wide range other watchers. But first … Friday’s Dolphin Update from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation: After 24 hours of no sightings, we received a report of the […]

Hurricane Sandy Report: Flying Point Road, Long Island Update

October 30, 2012

The YouTube video below was filmed yesterday, presumably in the early hours of Hurricane Sandy. It shows Flying Point Road in Water Mill, Long Island, from a vantage point very close to my family house, where my brother has weathered the storm. Our house sits just before the curve in the road where the filmmaker’s […]

Change in the Hamptons

September 12, 2012

Late last Thursday, as Esau and I walked toward the ocean, we spotted a herd of nine deer. Almost fifty years ago, my family first started coming to this house on Flying Point Road. The house backed onto a large potato field that stretched low towards the ocean dunes.  After harvesting, we’d glean potatoes from […]

Dallas: City of Egrets, City of Herons

August 8, 2012

Dallas is, for me, the City of Egrets. And herons. Let’s just say, City of Wading Birds. I realize this may surprise readers who don’t know Dallas. But during the month I recently spent there, I could almost count on seeing a heron or egret a day – and more, if I went looking for […]

Oh Dallas, My Dallas

June 19, 2012

With the return of the television show Dallas, the city that everyone loves to hate is back. But my Dallas, the city where I lived for 16 years, is a very different place. I’ll be spending the month of July 2012 in Dallas, where my new play, NYC Coyote Existential, is being produced by Echo […]

Yes, Virginia, There Really Are Baby Pigeons

June 2, 2012

In early May, a baby pigeon played peek-a-boo on my window ledge. This baby, not yet full-sized, huddled for hours on the window sill, peeping loudly in a tiny high voice. Note the black eyes and scruffy feathers that indicate this is a young bird. Every spring, I watch a brood or two of squabs […]

Herons, Swans and Coots on Long Island

March 29, 2012

Mecox Bay on the East End of Long Island is home to herons, osprey, kingfishers, mute swans, and an array of ducks and shore birds that change with the seasons. Here are a few photos from a quick trip earlier this week. A Great blue heron hunted in a regular spot, protected from the wind. […]