in which witness is borne: birds, politics, fiction and critical art theory

engine trouble

Friday, November 12, 2004
evidently, birds have been getting sucked into aircraft engines at an alarmingly high rate this year, resulting in engine fires and near-disastrous falling airplane parts in the suburbs around O'Hare.
Offhand, the news anchors said that this was due to suburban sprawl--the birds are searching for open land and not finding it.
and yet there remain city birds, birds who don't seem to require the open land, birds like pigeons who can adapt and circle the updrafts between buildings in huge shimmering flocks.
why is that? why do some of us as sentient beings find it possible to thrive in crowded urban centers despite having been raised on a farm, or a distant suburb, or small town--while others, even though we were city children, feel nostalgic for the open land of American myth even though we never experienced it? Is ruralness in our DNA? Are some of us hard-wired to live in certain places? What landscape do we call home, and how do we know when we've arrived there? the birds are risking death by turbine to find their open land. what do we risk by seeking our home landscape? Better yet, what do we risk by not seeking it?
3:06 PM :: ::
  • Saw you listed as a referring site on my blog, and thought the name was interesting. It turns out you're a birdwatcher! Same here...the wife and I spend a lot of time BWing out here on the West Coast. Marsh birds, mostly.

    Nice site, and very nice to see the connection made between politics and birding issues...that can't be overemphasized. Keep up the good work!

    By Blogger Phila, at 5:05 PM  
  • Wow, thanks! i really didn't expect any comments at all, ever. What sorts of birds are you all getting out West these days? I've read a couple of exciting accounts of Ancient Murrelets and, in Oregon, migrating Sandhill cranes.

    By Blogger mar-mar, at 10:32 AM  
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