I’ve been working for the paper on a piece about Aldo Leopold’s years in Albuquerque. It’s a setup for a conference next month, and an excuse to explore some of the issues Leopold’s legacy raises for use living in the desert Southwest today. Here’s a snapshot, from a walk around the University of New Mexico last week, where Leopold spent some of his early years:
But while Leopold might have a hard time recognizing the place, he would still recognize the birds. One of the central messages of Leopold’s work was that nature is not something that happens in far off places, but rather that it is all around us, and we are an integral part of it. For a story I’m working on, I had UNM ornithologist Chris Witt take me on a walk around campus Thursday morning. We saw Bushtits, Pine Siskins, a lovely little Ruby-Crowned Kinglet and the usual mass of American Wigeons and Mallards at the duck pond. He heard and saw an Audubon’s Warbler, though my eyes are not as quick, nor my ears as sharply tuned, as Chris’s.