While walking through Washington Square Park, I looked up and saw an enormous Red-tailed Hawk swoop into a flock of pigeons and snatch one mid-air. The hawk then landed in a nearby tree and proceeded to eviscerate the pigeon. Blood and feathers were everywhere.
It was early afternoon on a warm spring day; the park was full of people. Students lolled around the fountain, musicians played guitars, people paused for photos under the arch. No one noticed the gigantic hawk and the bloody pigeon.
I then caught the eye of a man who appeared to be living on a park bench. “Wow,” the man said to me, shaking his head and pointing toward the hawk. “Wow,” I replied.
We shared a momentary camaraderie. We were the only witnesses.
You can observe a lot just by watching. – Yogi Berra
Train Your Gaze Higher This Week
This week I invite you to look up more. If you are new to noticing nature in an urban setting, you might feel a little awkward looking skyward while everyone else is rushing with their heads down. Be brave. Who cares if you look like a tourist in Times Square?
You may spot overhead this week, even in Midtown :
- The Moon
You can complete this self-assignment on your lunch hour or during your commute. Try taking your own “sky notes” each day. Do you see patterns? Do some locations have more sky activity than others? Are you surprised by your observations?
It’s fine if you don’t know how to identify the birds or insects or astral bodies you see. By just taking 5 or 10 minutes every day to notice the sky, you will begin to really see what is overhead. You don’t need to know the accurate name of something to notice it.
Please let me know if you complete this experiment. What did you see?