Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival 2

One of the neat things about birding is that you never know when it'll become a connecting point between strangers.

On the plane from Orange County to Houston, I pulled out a birding magazine, and the fellow across the aisle noticed the cover. He asked if I'm a birder and generously pointed out that the Outdoor section in Tuesday's Los Angeles Time included an article by Simon Barnes, author of How to Be a Bad Birdwatcher (one of my favorite lunchtime books).

In the Times' article, titled "A very natural reaction: Lost in the evolutionary debate is Darwin's most basic lesson: the value of observing nature," Barnes wrote about the similarities between Charles Darwin and Edward O. Wilson, among other things. He used a line from Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) as a thread throughout the long article: "Endless forms most beautiful."

No doubt anyone who appreciates nature can appreciate the simple appeal and all-encompassing power of that phrase. That's what I'll be thinking of while in south Texas this week--the endless variety of bird species that pass before my eyes.

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