Those of you in the North American TV viewing range may have seen the recent History Channel series called Life After People. It showed how the earth and nature would rebound in stages after some unspecified disaster or event caused all the humans to disappear. The cause of the human departure was not important, and served only as the device to show how the planet would change. In later segments, the show dealt with the crumbling of buildings and other structures in the decades and centuries to that followed the departure of humans, but one of the first big changes to occur would be that any surviving domestic animals would quickly turn feral, and the wild animals would move into cities to occupy niches not available to them for many generations. The show painted quite an intriguing picture of how quickly things can alter without us. Then, a few days ago, an article on a Detroit news website caught my eye. The title said: Red Foxes Moving to Downtown Detroit.
Apparently, sightings of the shy and elusive red fox in the downtown core, as well as the urban residential areas, is becoming fairly common. And it’s not just the foxes. There’s also an increase of raccoons, opossums, deer, skunks, and some raptors, all of them moving in to take advantage of the increased habitat. And that habitat is the abandoned lots and homes in Detroit, a city hit harder than most by the economic downturn. Uncut lawns quickly turn to prime real estate for small rodents and birds that attract many of these small-prey predators. In some neighborhoods, several empty lots in a row are creating whole new segments of woodland or open grassland. And that means more food for the larger vegetarian browsers. It wouldn’t surprise me if this kind of thing were happening in other large older cities that suffer from the same urban decline. These local parts of the planet are changing, just like in the History Channel series. The people may not have completely gone, but nature never lets anything go to waste, so the animals are moving back in.
Photos from Google images: Fox from www.rivernen.ca/anim_fox.htm Deer and cat from boldt.us/humor/deer_cat_window.jpg.html
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.