Friday, November 23, 2007

Subject of a Picture Not Taken

From Tales and Tails of New York:

It was a peaceful, but questionable and in some ways, disquieting Thanksgiving.

The weather in NYC was unusually warm yesterday with temperatures in the 60's.

I headed out to Central Park with Tina and Baby around 11AM and was surprised by the seemingly thousands of people already taking advantage of the beautiful fall day in the park.

I had a goal to take some pictures of pigeons, as they have become a subject of discussion in recent days.

But, to my great surprise, there were few pigeons to actually be seen!

The dogs and I had already walked around the bridal path (which no longer contains horses) surrounding the Jackie Onassia Reservoir before we saw any pigeons at all!

The pigeons flew in a few small flocks near the Great Lawn. And though a few birds occasionally descented towards the grass to seek tidbits or take a sip of water, as soon as I tried to get a little close with my camera, they immediately took off.

I was not able to get any pictures of the few pigeons I saw.

I don't recall NYC pigeons ever appearing to be so fearful of people before!

What presumably should or would have been an easy task on any day or year of the past, yesterday, was impossible.

Have pigeons wised up to one City Councilman's (and the ASPCA's) plan to rid NYC of pigeons through proposed legislation?

Have those guys who have been "netting" pigeons around the city, (and who I reported to the ASPCA without results) succeeded in killing a good part of our natural, urban wildlife? Or, has NYC itself, already embarked on some kind of "extermination" of pigeons without telling its citizens?

I don't know.

Usually, I take the dogs to the park in the evenings when sightings of pigeons or squirrels would not be expected.

Occasionally, in the evenings, one sees a raccoon scurrying up a tree. It is easy and always lovely to see the ducks swimming peacefully in the waters of the Reservoir. This is actually my very favorite sight in all of NYC. -- the Central Park ducks.

But, yesterday, I couldn't help wondering about the pigeons?

I recalled how, in the early 70's my husband and I would take bags of bread and peanuts to Central Park and within minutes, have hundreds of pigeons flying close to us for treats and dozens of squirrels scurrying up for the nuts. The more courageous (or hungry) pigeons would even take bread from our hands!

It would have been so easy to get pigeon pictures, then.

Today, we would be arrested for doing the exact, same thing.

It all sadly reminds me of the old, Joni Mitchell hit, "Big, Yellow Taxi:"

"Don't it always go to show, that you don't know what you've got till its gone?"

Pigeons aren't gone from the park, but they are certainly in much lower numbers now than they used to be.

Most significantly though, pigeons are now, seemingly, very afraid of and avoiding of people -- unfortunately, for good reason.

Pigeons are thus, the subject of this entry, but a picture, never taken. -- PCA

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