July 6, 2007

Frick Park acc. to Annie Dillard

Meadow project (formerly a lawn), Nine Mile Run Watershed Assn, Frick Park As I have written before, I love books. Each post has a link to my (incomplete) library catalogue. I am still searching for a neighborhood and/or nature and books blog...what a great idea! Anyway, recently I spent time in Frick Park, Pittsburgh and was reminded of Annie Dillard's 1987 book, An American Childhood, in which she wrote about the park. Here's the excerpt: Across the street from Walter Milligan's football field was Frick Park. Frick Park was 380 acres of woods in residential Pittsburgh. Only one trail crossed it; gravelly walk gave way to dirt and led down a forested ravine to a damp streambed. If you followed the streambed all day you would find yourself in a distant part of town reached ordinarily by a long streetcar ride. Near Frick Park's restful entrance, old men and women from other neighborhoods were lawn bowling on the bowling green. The rest of the park was wild woods.... I roamed Frick Park for many years. Our family moved from house to house, but we never moved so far I couldn't walk to Frick Park. I watched the men and women lawn bowling-so careful the players, so dull the game. After I got a bird book I found, in the deep woods, a downy woodpecker working a tree trunk; the woodpecker looked like a jackhammer man banging on Edgerton Avenue to bits. I saw sparrows, robins, cardinals, juncos, chipmunks, squirrels, and-always disappointingly, emerging from their magnificent ruckus in the leaves-pedigreed dachshunds, which a woman across the street bred.... The deepest ravine, over which loomed the Forbes Avenue bridge, was called Fern Hollow. There in winter I searched for panther tracks in the snow. In summer and fall I imagined the woods extending infinitely. I was the first human being to see these shadowed trees, this land; I would make my pioneer clearing here, near the water. Mine would be one of those famously steep farms....In spring I pried flat ricks from the damp streambed and captured red and black salamanders.... (42 - 44). Annie Dillard's childhood house, Pittsburgh, PA

1 comment:

  1. Hank HeintzbergerApril 30, 2014

    enjoyed reading your blog. I am familiar with most places east coast and west coast. Plesant memories

    ReplyDelete

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