When I was living in Portland, OR and thinking about coming back to my childhood home of New York City to go to graduate school, I thought it would kill me to be back in the city after so many years living in places where my life revolved around being in nature. Now, would you believe it that when I think of New York, one of the things that comes to mind is all the cool, relaxing natural areas there are to explore.
Last weekend I went up there to see my parents, as my Dad has had a small stroke. He's doing really well, and has moved to rehabilitation from the hospital, but both he and my Mom could use some some love if you wouldn't mind sending some their way.
I brought Lamar with me, which ended up being a great choice since it meant that I had to go out to Morningside Park.
This is the park I grew up walking the dog in, and I made sure to go by the pathways I used to take when I was a teen.
The stunning layout of the park is a function of its natural geography, which consists of a cliff of Manhattan Schist.
The city put a park there instead of undertaking the impossible task of turning such steep topography into city streets. Good thinking!
One thing that was not there when I was a kid was the pond and waterfall.
How cool that I can walk right out of my parents' apartment and find scads of ducks,
some very threatening geese, and loads and loads of turtles.
Not to mention doggie friends like our buddy Captain,
whose mom Dottie we used to talk to a lot back in my grad school days.
There is a statue that makes me very happy, of a bear and a little faun with his Pan flute.
Some Pagan made that statue, and the park put it right there down the hill from the dog run and in the shadow of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
I love it.
I always have fun adventures when I walk along Morningside Park. One evening, I met a guy out for a walk with his huge white parrot Cocoa, who climbed on my arm and fluffed his feathers and screamed in delight. According to his human, he loves the ladies.
There were more mellow pleasures, like walking along the park with my Mom and learning from her all the plants in the planters.
And letting Lamar roll around in the grass.
I like thinking about the nature that lies hidden beneath the city, like the natural spring that must have been there all along, but that I didn't know about until they funneled it into a waterfall.
Or the smaller spring that Lamar loves to stop at for a bevvie and a paw cooldown.
Then there's the wildlife viewing. I loved watching this one duckie and a turtle sharing a rock, and seeing the turtle's expression.
OK, I guess you can't really say that a turtle has much of an expression.
But doesn't he look like he's gazing at this duck with love?
All fun and games until the male duck comes back.
And the lady duck tucks her head demurely as if to say, What turtle?
Whoa-ho, Madame Duck! You don't fool me. But your secret is safe.
The turtle didn't seem too worried. Or maybe he just wasn't about to leave because all the other rocks were taken. On this afternoon, I counted 22 turtles. Twenty-two! I kid you not.
Back home this week, and I am in a Tellington TTouch® training, learning more about this great healing modality with both Fozzie and Lamar. So it may be a few days before I have time to post. In the meantime, we are the featured blogger on Pet Blogs United this week! Go on over and check us out there, and support this neat pet blogger network.