Treasure your photographs. One day they may be all you have."
I saw the above quote on a Facebook post yesterday. I imagine it was meant to convey the importance of family and friends.
But it could also apply to park wildlife.
I realize that so many photographs I have are of animals that no longer exist in Central Park.
The last swan (whom I had named, "Hector") was harassed out of Harlem Meer in Central Park in the spring of 2014. None have been seen in CP since.
At one time, several swan families lived on the Boat Lake in Central Park. I have photos of my daughter feeding them in early 1990's.
" Treasure your photographs. "
I also have many photographs of Central Park raccoons. Entire families of raccoons from Harlem Meer to the south Pond. I even have a photo of a mama raccoon nursing her juvenile baby from only a few years ago.
Now mama and baby are both dead along with all the other raccoon families of Central Park.
Perhaps this 2017 article from the New York Post helps explain why:
New York City has in fact, "waged war" against many park animals in recent years. Swans, raccoons and certainly, Canada geese of which six thousand have been killed over the past decade.
But where do all these "wars" lead? What is the end goal?
Parks entirely devoid of birds and other wildlife?
One of my friends was at the Boat Lake in Central Park yesterday.
She noted "two ducks" and "two geese" on a lake that would normally this time of year contain dozens of waterfowl.
She also noted few birds at all around the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park - a spot normally teaming with all kinds of small birds this time of year. And she also saw only one wary squirrel.
Mayor deBlasio said in a recent interview, that the city is doing "all it can to eradicate rats in city parks." But what else is the city "eradicating" in the process?
A Manhattan friend lamented on FB yesterday, all the animals who perished in the Notre Dame cathedral fire in Paris -- and all the animals dying around the world.
But what about the animals vanishing under our noses and being pushed out of New York City parks? As the saying goes, "Think globally, act locally."
If everyone did that, it would be a far different world.
It would be a world in which we didn't have to look at old photographs to remember what was, but is no more.