By Olivier Maene
Editor’s Note: new photo added.
It was a hot and humid day, one of those days in Savannah that tells you summer is right around the corner even though spring has only just begun. I was aimlessly strolling through town, walking along Broughton St. and stopping by Starbucks to get a latte and say hi to my friend who was working there that afternoon.
I continued my walk, passing Jen Library and entering the residential neighborhood on the east side of town.
Right before I reached E. Broad Street, I took a left and walked onto Washington Square.
It was a typical square with live oak trees, brick pathways, neatly mowed lawns, wooden benches and flowers beds. Nothing out of the ordinary. As my routine demanded, I tested one of the benches in the square and looked around to see if there was anything interesting going on.
A man reading a book, some tourists walking by, a couple canoodling under the canopy of foliage and … a little green creature of some sort that popped up beside me to say hello.
I am not an expert on amphibious animals, but I do appreciate these little beings. Curious in their nature, but vigilant as well, they have always intrigued me with their unembarrassed gaze. I took a picture, and as quickly as the shutter snapped, the little fellow was gone.
Next, another animal popped up. A bird—a robin. The little red-breasted bird was hopping around, barely paying attention to its surroundings, just looking for some insects to feed itself or its little chicks (maybe).
I thought to myself: “what a joyous afternoon,” up until yet another creature presented itself … lurking on the periphery of my vision, a brown caterpillar crawled over my shoulder. If there is one kind of animal I don’t appreciate, it’s an insect. I whipped the thing off my shoulder, got up and left.
There I was, scared away by a little caterpillar. But on a beautiful day like this, I couldn’t just walk away. I continued my journey through the city’s wilderness in search of a less insect ridden square.
Still checking my body for any other bugs I may have attracted during my visit to Washington Square, I walked south along Houston Street towards Greene Square.
This was a much more open square, and it had fewer bushes and low-hanging branches that could contain insects. I sat down again and peered across the lawn. A fourth species was visible on the other side of the square. The human being.
Far less intriguing than the amphibian, the bird, or even the insect, the human being is pretty entertaining to look at, though. Especially when inebriated.
The couple was lying on the grass and drinking some alcoholic beverages. The gal seemed to be staring into the distance and the guy asked her something, where upon which she did not reply. He shouted at her and turned on his other side, his back aimed at the girl.
Right before I got up, a large branch plummeted from the sky. I looked up and I saw a crow hopping from branch to branch. It was looking for twigs and other materials to build its nest, which was right above where I was sitting. I finished my coffee, got up and walked back to the dorms.
Be it a curious salamander, a careless bird, a horrifying caterpillar, or an intoxicated human, animal watching is one of my favorite activities. There are so many different beings out there to look at, and this boring day turned into a lot of fun by just hanging out at one of these squares.Contact Olivier Maene.