Lafayette Park Blog

The Lafayette Park Conservancy (LPC) sees a lot when it looks at the park. We like to share those observations with you from time to time. They may deal with nature or people, events or history – a random assortment that you’re free to browse anytime.

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History of the Lafayette Park Fence

History of the Lafayette Park Fence

An LPC Presentation; November 14, 3:00 pm The Lafayette Park Conservancy presents A History of the Lafayette Park Fence in it's autumn speaker series; Sunday, November 14, 2021 at the Kern Pavilion in Lafayette Park. Robert Frost wrote that "good fences make good...

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SOCIAL NETWORK

SOCIAL NETWORK

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Mark Zuckerberg would not be one of 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world without the help of wasps. I mean the six-legged kind (whether or not two-legged WASPs should get any of the credit is something for attorneys to...

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DAMSELS AND DRAGONS (BUT NO PRINCE)

DAMSELS AND DRAGONS (BUT NO PRINCE)

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Once upon a time there was a damsel(fly). [Imagine, if you will, a bucolic Disneyesque soundtrack of flutes and piccolos in the background.] She (or maybe he -- this is a modern fairly tale) explored the lovely little pond from which s/he had...

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BULL SESSION

BULL SESSION

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD I say potato, you like potahtos. You wear pajamas, I wear PJs. And a rose by any other name, we’re told, would smell equally sweet. So does it really matter that we all agree on what to call an American bullfrog? “HELL, YEAH!”  That’s the...

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URBAN DEVELOPMENT

URBAN DEVELOPMENT

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD World War II had barely ended when researchers began to notice a major migration under way in North America, from undeveloped and agricultural areas to cities and suburbs.  Now, in the early 21st Century, the urban population is over 20 times...

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SPARKS

SPARKS

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Walking through the park at dusk the other night, I saw a single spark. Then another. Soon there were too many to count, hovering in the airspace between my chin and my ankles, lighting my way past the lake, the band stand, and the Park House....

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BLUE PERIOD

BLUE PERIOD

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Picasso was feeling low. Following the suicide of his friend and occasional roommate, the painter Carles Casagemas, Pablo plunged into a rock-bottom depression that lasted more than 3 years. During this time (1901 to 1904), the vividly...

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SPINELESS SAMURAI

SPINELESS SAMURAI

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD When the annual cicadas emerge each summer their tymbals vibrate at arboreal drumming circles all over town.  The beats bounce and reverberate against hard city surfaces; during a crescendo, I swear I can feel the buildings and sidewalks pulsing...

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TANGLED UP IN BLUE

TANGLED UP IN BLUE

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Happiness is a shy little bird. Hiding from sight in life’s nooks and crannies, impossible to find if you look but then it darts out and lands on your shoulder just when you least expect it. It sidles up beside you like a pickpocket on a crowded...

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TREEHUGGERS

TREEHUGGERS

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD I’ve been called a treehugger more than once in my life, and while I know the comments weren’t intended as such, I always take them as compliments. As a sobriquet it’s both true and false: true, because I do spontaneously hug exceptionally...

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SHELL GAME

SHELL GAME

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Sometimes you just need to shut out the world for a while, you know? If you can’t relate, I know the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) certainly can. Whether the threat is carnivores or a demanding career or even an infinite to-do...

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WINGSUIT

WINGSUIT

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Is there any non-human skill people covet more passionately than the ability to fly? Understandably, early aviation experiments centered around mimicry of birds, complete with flapping arms that were usually covered in feathers. The Greek legend...

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FLAT AS A PANCAKE

FLAT AS A PANCAKE

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Ever notice how many of the colloquialisms we use for comparisons aren’t all that apropos, or even true?  Like…      –  graceful as a swan (have you ever seen one on land?)      –  dull as ditchwater (believe me, that liquid is lively at the...

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TRACK & FIELD

TRACK & FIELD

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD On your mark…. Get set… HOP! This morning, just in time for Easter, I saw my first Eastern Cottontail of the year. An article I read while eating breakfast had me thinking about track meets, and I’m sure that’s why I noticed, for the first time,...

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SLENDER IN THE GRASS

SLENDER IN THE GRASS

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD “But never met this Fellow, Attended or alone, Without a tighter Breathing, and Zero at the Bone.” Unlike Emily Dickinson, ophiophobia (fear of snakes) isn’t an issue for me. I like snakes and know them to be upstanding ecosystem citizens… um,...

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IDENTITY THIEF

IDENTITY THIEF

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we’re twenty years into the Information Age so I’m pretty sure everyone in this courtroom knows that, to quote a famous New Yorker cartoon, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The anonymity baked into...

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD The snow we've been getting lately provides visible clues to who’s been out and about in the park. Bird feet don’t usually offer much insight into genus and species, fox and coyote paws are hard to distinguish from those of domesticated canines,...

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STICK IN THE MUD

STICK IN THE MUD

Next time the Weather Channel predicts a cold front, with or without a “wintery mix,” ask yourself if the people peeking out from fleece hoodies, swaths of scarves, turned up coat collars, and balaclavas as they hunch toward the warmth of home look more like bears… or turtles.

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OASIS

OASIS

The heat of summer can make any body feel dry as dust. But wild animals, especially those species who can tolerate living near people, usually have an easier time finding some moisture when the mercury rises than when it falls.

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SILENT FLIGHT

SILENT FLIGHT

BY KIERAN LINDSEY, PhD The natural world outside my Midwestern door is preparing for a long winter nap. Cozy quilts made of homespun leaves keep tree feet from getting too cold. Seeds and insect eggs, the harvest of the previous growing season, have slipped into...

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