Wednesday, March 28, 2007

March 28, 2007

This blog previously has bemoaned the disappearance of the tricycle. Kids nowadays are introduced immediately to tiny bicycles with training wheels. I spent the first six to seven years of my life riding a tricycle. The two- and three-year-olds of 2007 would bike circles around me as I struggled with a tricycle, Big Wheel or some such contraption right through Kindergarten. I recently came across some promising news for tricyclists. First, in Cleveland I saw at least two toddlers riding tricycles. One was a true trike: red and metal with lots of sharp edges. The other was the kind where an adult can maintain control by holding onto an extended handle on the rear of the tricycle. Then I saw this Chicago Tribune picture of Sen. Barack Obama, presidential candidate and all-around good guy.

In other news, I am enjoying "A Natural History of the Chicago Region," by Joel Greenberg. I've always heard that Chicago has an incredible range of biodiversity. I kind of always thought this was a bit of propaganda by local conservationists. Perhaps a way to kid ourselves into thinking these flatlands are really spectacular places. Even the most boring Illinois state parks claim to have some kind of amazing natural feature. This book, though, has convinced me otherwise. There is some amazing stuff around Chicago. There is an island in the Kankakee River, for example, that harbors the entire population of a species of mallow. Its closest relative is only found in the mountains of western Virginia.

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