Saturday, July 17, 2010 Stamford's Best Kept Secret
If I'm as brilliant a writer as I sometimes think I am I have managed to paint a picture of my hometown as a desert of manners, riddled with rudeness and plagued with assholes.
If I haven't done so feel free to use your imagination.
But the one place in town where I am always sure to get a smile and a hello is the Bird Preserve, located behind the girl's softball fields at Cove Island Park.
As you pass the metal gate with seagull silhouettes the screaming parents slowly fade as the sound of nature fills your ears. Swallows swooping by, paired up by color (go figure) - these birds take this mating ritual seriously. Meadow grass almost as tall as me covers what used to be known as Stamford's "stump dump". Now it has been carefully landscaped into a natural setting including ponds, rock formations and bird feeders and houses for every feather.
It's a beautiful place - wild flowers, a butterfly garden, deer, birds, bunnies, beavers, foxes, turkeys and nice people. You heard me. Nice people.
Teenagers, old fogeys, couples, lone men, people who don't even speak English - everyone gives a smile and a hello at the Bird Preserve.
"It's BE-YOOO-TEE-FUHL!" one Eastern European man yelled to me once from deep in the meadow. For all I know he could have been naked from the waist down and commenting on my rack. But let's pretend he was actually enjoying the beauty of nature in good old Stamford, CT.
How fucking cool is that?
Now, I've seen paths in the grass. People trampling their way into the thick meadow to do who-knows-what. And I know they shouldn't be doing it. But I also know they have some big and possibly deadly spiders crawling around there at night. I know this because I poked one with a stick like a genius one night. It was a black widow in shape, but it was too dark to see the markings.
And I had to run and catch up with my husband.