The Wilderness in Your Backyard

ducks parks running trail runs wilderness

Small Forests are Just as Important

This got me to thinking how there is still real wilderness around us. I get pretty worked up sometimes about how the natural world has either been destroyed or trivialized and tamed for the enjoyment of human beings. It seems that there is nowhere truly wild anymore, nowhere in its natural state.

But here was a duck, who seemed distinctly unconcerned with the fact that she lived in a park in the middle of an upscale Connecticut neighborhood. She was truly natural, truly wild.

It is inspiring to see that there are places we can still go to get in touch with the natural world. Granted, we are communing with ducks, sparrows, and squirrels rather than cougars, wolves, and bears, but those small animals are just as wild, if less ferocious.

Back to Reality

As I jogged out of the park, I felt pretty good about the possibility for a society with a healthy respect for nature and a good balance between human activity and the wilderness. My good mood was ruined when I saw a bulliten board and a trail sign that some vandals had thrown into the river.

I guess it's always going to be a strained relationship.

I trudged down to the riverbank, took off my socks (but kept my shoes on. There could be broken glass after all), and waded into the frigid stream, current swollen from snowmelt, to fish out the board and the sign.

A local resident caught me in the act and thanked me. While not a park official, he felt an ownership of the land too, just like any of the other residents, furred or feathered.

I didn't see the duck, but I'm sure she would have appreciated it as well.

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Fight on brave warriors,

- (**