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Remember: The Hidden Threat in our Parks

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Hidden Threat in our Parks

At a city council meeting this summer, Dr. Abigail Pattishall addressed the assembled body and spoke about the benefits of Riparian Buffer restoration. She gave a thoughtful and well executed presentation but even her sage words of science could not snuff the flames of worry that some on the council had. I particularly remember Councilman Guridy being concerned about snakes. Everyone seemed to be worried about a coming plague of angry snakes bent on warfare against us in the parks.

However, knowing now that the snakes are a non issue and the battle over the plans still goes on although slightly muted, there is a growing threat in our parks that everyone needs to be made aware of.

I first caught sight of the fearsome species in Trexler Park last spring. I managed to take a quick picture before fleeing from the fearsome sight. The creature is called The Feral Bucky.

The Feral Bucky appears randomly throughout our park system and without warning. If you see deer, in their midst, you may see a Feral Bucky using the deer for cover. He goes unseen, unnoticed, silent, waiting. Here, as I journeyed through the thick vegetation of summer at Trexler Park, I was trapped as The Feral Bucky approached through the cattails.

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the Feral Bucky’s behavior is the seeming fearlessness the species has of us. In what was a traumatizing moment for her and now after months of solitary confinement and therapy, local blogger Katie Bee has survived her encounter. You can see in this picture the ability of The Feral Bucky to mimic human behavior and blend in as if it were a human chameleon at the Lehigh Valley Zoo.

Alone on the waters of Muhlenberg Lake, The Feral Bucky landed in my paddle boat and startled, I quickly snapped a picture before The Bucky disappeared. His look of seriousness is that of a ruthless creature bent on my destruction. I was lucky to have survived.

During a disc golf game at The Parkway, the appearance of The Feral Bucky on the tenth hole quickly ended our game and sent us running to the tree line for protection.

I was lucky to have snuck up on a Feral Bucky once while I walked in Cedar Creek. I quickly dove out of the water and The Bucky never noticed me.

Perhaps the most terrifying encounter with The Feral Bucky occurred nearly 1500 feet above ground on the bare rock peak of Bake Oven Knob. In typical Bucky fashion, it appeared from nowhere and alighted itself on the rocks below me. I managed to frighten him off by throwing vegetables; and after tossing a Strunk and White off the cliff, the Bucky was lured away.

I warn you fair citizens of Allentown to fear The Feral Bucky. Do not attempt to hunt the creature for his mane of hair provides him with an impervious shield to all weapons but a steady job.


(Dedicated to my brother with love, for taking many a journey with me)

And don't worry readers, I'll be back with the serious stuff tomorrow with a look at conditions in Canal Park. I'll be posting about a trip to the trail of much dispute later in the week and I'll be taking another look at Jordan Park. There may even be time for another piece on Cedar Beach. Those paved pathways... ugh.


Anonymous Capri said...

I laughed.

November 23, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AWESOME Sometimes you just need to laugh

November 23, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous says: I too have encountered the Feral Bucky and have plied it with pizza and certain snacks. If you salt its tail it will remain frozen in place until you dislodge it with an offering from a cat litter box. Fear this Feral Bucky as it may turn on you by suddenly announcing it is getting a part-time job AND attending school. Must warn the University...

November 23, 2009 at 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, those pathways,ug. And ug again. Why do you guys think the people leading the trails project let this happen? Katie Bee, your all happy about the trails project. Is this what we have to look forward to? In the words of Andrew, "ug". Ug,ug,ug,ug,ug.

November 23, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Sara said...


November 24, 2009 at 11:01 PM  
Anonymous paved paradise and put up paved park roads said...

I'll say. Those "trails". THE HORROR! Looks like the cities parks are really in for it. Could be bad news for the Bucky, not to mention all those other animals trying to survive the current " parks improvements". Good bye habitat,hello blacktop,hello tupperware playgrounds. At least we got the riparian buffers. Or do we? Do we?

November 30, 2009 at 10:26 PM  

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