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Bring the Wild Beauty In!

While many of us can’t embark on our own aviary adventures right now, luckily, the birds still can. They bring their hard-earned secrets from hundreds of miles of migratory pathways to our very parks and backyards here in the District, where birder and photographer David Cohen waits, camera-ready. Cohen has followed birds all over the world, camera in hand, snapping photos of rare, quick, feathered friends from Australia to the Cayman Islands to his home in Forest Hills, D.C. He’ll discuss the art—and sometimes sport—of bird photography in his talk titled Bring the Wild Beauty In!, where he’ll offer tips for photographing flighty fowl and discuss how his work, which has been featured in publications from the Washington Post to Harvard Magazine, has sent him journeying across the globe. This summer, he frequented Rock Creek Park, where he spotted birds like eastern wood-pewees, Carolina wrens, and barred owl babies nestled safely in a tree trunk. He even saw and snapshotted a rare wood thrush, D.C.’s official bird, chilling on a tree branch despite the summer heat. Cohen, as he’ll show you, captures the birds in their full life’s joys and tribulations, from mid-flight to mid-bite, and even mid-molt, like the molting northern cardinal he photographed in Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and captioned “the dinosaur beneath the feathers.” The talk begins at 2 p.m. on Aug. 18. Register at nwnv.helpfulvillage.com. Free. —Emma Francois

The Joan of Arc statue

McPherson, Logan, McClellan, Joan: One of these is not like the others. The circles and parks of D.C. are sprinkled with bronze men of stature looking valiantly ahead on horseback, traditionally a sign of military prowess, but there is only one place to pay respects to an equestrian woman. It’s fitting that she was presented by the Society of French Women to honor all the women of the United States. Today, Joan of Arc presides over Malcolm X Park with her sword raised above her head—but that’s not always been the case, as sword thieves have made off with it several times since she arrived in 1921. (She went nearly two years without it recently, from 2016 to 2018.) Joan of Arc was not exactly the oversized white man with bad politics you usually see looking down over the city. She was a teenaged farmer who, through her fierce commitment to the French cause and her claims of divine revelation, captured the attention of the son of the king, who deferred to her; she then led a 15th century battle against the English. Stroll the shaded gravel lanes of the park and as you approach the center, enjoy the presence of Jeanne D’Arc, libératrice. The statue is located in Malcolm X Park near 15th and Belmont Streets NW. Free. —Ellie Zimmerman