Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Installing Bird TV

In December, while visiting my family, a pileated woodpecker showed up in my sister's backyard. Mary, Tony and I were all thrilled and sat watching it the entire time it spent there, drilling away at the magnolia tree for insects. (Bill watched too, and seemed interested, if not quite as excited as the rest of us.) At some point during this experience I thought, hm, I never get this excited about celebrity sightings in New York. 

Okay, I realize there is an apples-and-oranges aspect to this. I adore Julianne Moore, for example, and have seen her out and about on three different occasions, but even when she sat across from me on the subway eating an ice cream cone, I didn't feel like staring fixedly at her. Nor was I holding off for fear of seeming creepy or rude; I love her, but observing her in her natural habitat doesn't do anything for me. I mean, no matter how much I love a person, watching her eat ice cream isn't a big thrill, and not just because I don't really care for ice cream. I admire her beauty, sure, but mostly I admire her work; staring at her until she alerted the authorities might give me some insight into how she handles a crisis, but probably wasn't going to teach me much about acting. Watching that giant bird (the literature says they're 'crow-sized' but I swear this one was the size of a buzzard, and its crest made it look like a pterodactyl) go about its day, even just for a few minutes, was thrilling.