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71K, 500 x 650. 18 x 24", acrylic, by Chris Wayan, 1999.

Black feral cat in Golden Gate Park stares at a bird above

Painted in Golden Gate Park's arboretum, in San Francisco. It's full of creatures camping out in the heart of a big city: feral cats, skunks, raccoons... and, of course, people. Feline predation on songbirds is a problem, though the birds themselves seem to take it good-naturedly enough, dive-bombing them with enthusiasm. Still, it's not all tough weedy species, like ravens and cats and us. Hawks and eagles are back, and I've seen blue herons in the ponds--in the heart of one of the world's great cities!

Am I preaching? Sure. The early Darwinian dog-eat-dog thing, still the economic model in the rest of the States, is not only bullshit, it's provable bullshit. In SF, not only do races and cultures coexist, species coexist with us that aren't supposed to handle cities at all. All we have to do is make a little room, welcome them. And they'll come back.

Are you listening, Texas?

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