Watch & Wait

City folk commune with nature


When Charles Darwin sailed to the Galapagos, he found seals so tame they would nibble on his pant leg. Dian Fossey pretended to munch bamboo in order to bond with African mountain gorillas. Farley Mowatt ran naked among caribou in the Canadian tundra (or so he claimed). Me? My last interaction with nature was moving a gecko out of my apartment. This is why the Connemara Conservancy Watchable Wildlife Seminars exist--to help urban dwellers reconnect with the great outdoors. Now the group is not suggesting you start burrowing in the dirt to become acquainted with the North Texas prairie dog. Instead, master naturalists will guide you during workshops (from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday) on subjects such as bird identification and watching. Take part in a wine and cheese reception at 5 p.m. Friday before an evening owl prowl, then Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to noon, join an observation at Spring Creek Preserve and see what you can spot. It might not be sign language with chimpanzees, but it's a start. Seminars are at the Hilton Garden Inn, 705 S. Central Expressway in Allen. Total cost for the workshop is $40; Friday only is $25. Call 214-902-7129 to register. --Leah Shafer

Runnin' for Rover


It's a dog-market-dog world these days. Dog clothes, dog treat "barkeries," doggie day care...It seems the whole world has gone to them. That's great news for pet parents who are always looking for the newest way to take their dogs on the town. The SPCA of Texas' Strut Your Mutt is the next big thing in pup patrolling. Dogs and their owners can participate in a 5K walk/fun run, win prizes, see music and dance performances and more Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Strut your Mutt takes place at Reverchon Park, 3505 Maple Ave. Registration is $25. Proceeds benefit the SPCA. Call 1-888-ANIMALS or visit --S. Anne Durham

All For Run


Typically, charity runs can be a hassle. Show up at an exact time, run an exact distance and deal with throngs of people running with you? No thanks. So what's a picky jogger to do? Well, you can stay home and watch TV, or you can participate in Sunday's World Run Day. The WRD organization encourages people to run for charity for whatever time and length they please and then donate to charity afterward. That would be nice and noble if the group didn't hawk a misleading $16 registration fee through its Web site--of which zero dollars goes to charity. Rather, that fee pays for a World Running Day T-shirt and membership to's running Web site, which offers "local running route" information. Lame. Our advice? Go jog on Sunday and send that $16 to the Red Cross instead. Visit --Sam Machkovech

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