Book touring #1

The model boat pond in Central Park was frozen the morning of Sunday, 2/20/11.  We were the only people around except for two men with enormous camera lenses on tripods.  The pond's official name, The Conservatory Water, doesn't pop quickly to my mind.  We had just made a mapless journey through the icy Ramble after visiting Strawberry Fields.

Looking up at the buildings of Fifth Avenue, it didn't click that the photographers were watching for Pale Male, the famous red-tailed hawk.  I was just thinking about Stuart Little sailing across the model boat pond in E. B. White's children's book.  The pond was much bigger than I had imagined as a child.

I was loving everything about Central Park, and sharing it with my son and daughter-in-law.  We were headed to an art museum, but hadn't decided which one.

I just reread the chapters when Stuart Little, dressed in his sailor suit, steers the Wasp across the pond and back racing the Lillian B. Womrath. Perilous weather and a paper bag test all Stuart's skill.

By the time we were finished at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and walking on Fifth Avenue, I remembered the Central Park hawks.  I kept trying to spot a nest on one of the apartment buildings, but was frequently distracted by the amazing assortment of people and shoeware on the sidewalk.

Jumping around Pale Male blogs and websites this noon, I learned hawk copulation was in progress the very day of our visit!

The picture books about Pale Male are too long and advanced for most of my students so I haven't checked them out lately.  Wikipedia lists these three:

  • The Tale of Pale Male: a True Story, by Jeanette Winter (Harcourt, 2007)
  • City Hawk: the Story of Pale Male, by Meghan McCarthy (Simon & Schuster, 2007)
  • Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City, by Janet Schulman (Knopf, 2008)

Now that I can visualize the setting better, I'll look for Marie Winn's book, Red-Tails in Love.

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder

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