Pershing Park Revisited

There was an owl today in Pershing Park. Majestically perched on a ranger’s arm, as large as a man’s torso, with eyes as big as Sacagaweas, its head swivelling around Exorcist-style…

As part of a joint effort between the Willard, the National Park Service, and Earth Conservation Corp., tables were set up with info on the Anacostia River conservation effort, packets of wildflowers were distributed, and volunteers were gardening in an Earth Day Celebration. A jazz band even played through lunch. It was wonderfully relaxing, and even though the fountain isn’t running yet, a sweet way to get a nature fix in my favorite green space in the middle of the city.

But really, the star was the owl. Seeing a raptor that close defies similes. It truly seemed alien, unreal. The beak, the talons, the amber eyes focusing on you and yet through you… I was enraptured. My camera phone, however, was rendered impotent, unable to capture any decent shots. It seems some moments you just have to “settle” for memory, and sigh at the beauty you cannot control.

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