Naturalist Gerry Hans stood in the middle of a lonely road in Griffith Park on Saturday, inhaled deeply though his face mask and admired the natural sights and sounds of an oddly serene landscape that typically draws thousands of visitors each weekend.
“It’s sheer heaven not hearing the deafening clatter of tourist helicopters hovering over the Hollywood sign,” he said, with an appreciative sweep of his eyes.
As California’s coronavirus lockdown enters its second month, some residents on the edges of Griffith Park andother urban ecosystems swear that Mother Nature is reclaiming territories that once echoed with humanity’s tumult.
On message boards, shut-ins trade emotional “coyote talk,” recounting the movements of stealthycanids as they search for prey along quiet streets. Others share snapshots of hawks and owls nesting in the trees of city parks and center dividers, and of raccoons and rats raiding trash cans, suggesting that — by bits and pieces — wildlife is restaking old claims.
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