Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saturday's Sequel re The Great Blue Heron


This past Tuesday, here on Blogger, I published a post describing my encounter with a bird type whom I'd never seen before, a Great Blue Heron. I mentioned that I came upon this lovely creature while walking in Central Park. I also stated that I only had a small pocket camera with me at the time, and that I normally use my DSLR to photograph birds. Therefore, I wasn't totally pleased with the images that I had taken of the Great Blue Heron. Because of this, I returned to the park yesterday (taking my DSLR this time) with the hopes of seeing the heron again.

But, alas, I did not see a heron. However, I did see Red-Belllied Woodpecker, who is also a bird type that I'd never seen before (which I discussed  in yesterday's blog post); and this creature is featured in the image directly above, where she is being pestered by sparrows.

Seeing the Red-Bellied Woodpecker was a wonderful experience, but I still wanted another glimpse of the Great Blue Heron!

Today I checked the EXIF info re the images that I did manage to get of that awesome bird type the other day, with the hope that knowing the hour in which they were taken, would give me a clue as to when I might anticipate seeing the Great Blue Heron in the place where I'd seen him/her before.

I'm thankful to say that my "detective" work paid off, for when I returned to the park, near to the time I'd seen the Great Blue Heron before, he/she showed up soon after I was there! The creature seemed in good spirits, nearly jumping for joy; as evidenced in the next picture.


It was very cold outside and my hands were freezing from being exposed as I took photos of this bird, but, as you will see in the next set of photographs (featuring the Great Blue Heron spending time with  Mallard ducks), my efforts were truly rewarded.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Follow-Up




The three photographs atop this entry feature an encounter between a female Red-Bellied Woodpecker and a sparrow that I witnessed when I was walking in Central Park yesterday. I had come to the park with my DSLR to try and find the Great Blue Heron bird type that I had stumbled upon yesterday when I was in the park, with only a pocket camera.

But alas, I did not see any Great Blue Herons, but, I did come upon this female Red-Bellied Woodpecker, a bird type that I'd never seen before. I confirmed the bird's ID with Amanda Remsberg, a bird rehabber.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday's Tale: Yet another walk in the park. (A View From OAK Bridge)


This past Monday, even though temperatures were only in the twenty-degree range, with "real feel" temperatures much colder, I took a walk in Central Park; to see how our wildlife was faring in the bitter cold.

After all, beyond-frigid temperatures haven't stopped me from going to the park before. As you may recall, from a previous post here on Blogger, I took a walk in Central Park earlier in the month when temperatures were far below what they were this past Monday.

The first photograph atop this entry was featured in the aforementioned blog entry, and I'm including it in this posting as I have a correction to make, for I stated that the view being featured in the image was a view from Bow Bridge, but I had a senior moment in stating this, the view is actually from the Oak Bridge, which I returned to Monday afternoon and took the following picture of the same subject from that vantage point.

The only difference is I zoomed in quite a bit (so a view of one of NYC's sky-lines is not included here as it was in the image I took earlier in January). I zoomed so that I could capture a bird type whom I've never seen in Central Park, or anywhere else for that matter.

I've indicated this bird by affixing an orange square to the second photo below (which is a duplicate of the first one that's there).



A passerby indicated that the bird who was new to me was a type of Egret. However, I did not take her at her word before writing this post, as I don't want to be accused of reporting fake news, which I inadvertently did when I referred to the view from this bridge as being from the Bow Bridge; and not the Oak Bridge, as I've just stated.

Upon my realizing that I'd confused the Bow Bridge with the Oak Bridge, I thought of a passage from Joan Didion's, Goodbye to All That, an essay on Didion's decision to leave NYC (which she ultimately moved back to years later):

".... All I could do during those years was talk long-distance to the boy I already knew I would never marry in the spring. I would stay in New York, I told him, just six months, and I could see the Brooklyn Bridge from my window. As it turned out the bridge was the Triborough, and I stayed eight years.
—-
     In retrospect it seems to me that those days before I knew the names of all the bridges were happier than the ones that came later..."

Meanwhile, in terms of the bird who was new to me, I thought that I was ultimately able to find out his/her correct type from someone in my Twitter feed. Susan M. Thom, Esq solved my mystery, after I tweeted images of this bird and asked for an identification (since I could not find it in my own research).

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

WW: Look or Ask For "Words In Our Beak" (*Wednesday's Wisdom)


Last Friday, January 12, 2018, I posted information within my entry here on Blogger, that included a copy of an email (which can be seen in the next paragraph) from Cody, the events coordinator of an Upper Westside book store in NYCbook culture On Columbus. (Views of the store can be seen in the collaged-image atop this entry.)

"Hello Patricia,
Thank you for your interest in Book Culture! Unfortunately, our calendar is already at capacity for events for the upcoming season. We are not able to host you. It looks like we've sold some copies, though, so I'll make sure it's back in stock soon. I wish you luck with your tour!
Sincerely,
Cody"

In the aforementioned entry, I also stated "I'm thrilled to have received this news (Cory's email) for as anyone who has been to book culture On Columbus knows, the store is AMAZING! I hope that peeps living in #NYC as well as the surrounding area can pop over to #bookcultureOnColumbus and have a look at it."

Yesterday, after taking a walk in Central Park, I took the eighty-first street exit in order to pass by book culture On Columbus, to see if my book, Words In Our Beak Volume One,


was now included in their stock.

I'm so excited to let you know, dear reader, that you will find Words in Our Beak in their "outdoors & nature section," but, if you don’t see it, ask! It’s shortish size and white spine cover have a way of hiding....especially if there is only one or two copies left.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Here's Tuesday's Truths for the 77th Week: This is The Year of the Bird


In honor of the sixteenth day, of the one-hundredth anniversary of The Migratory Bird Act, I am posting a reminder: This calendar year of 2018 has been designated as The Year of the Bird.

The collage atop this entry depicts the fact that The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is partnering with organizations that include National Geographic, National Audubon Society, Bird Life International, and, is "asking people to pledge to do one thing per month to help birds."

 A web-page for National Geographic, includes a quote attributed to Thomas E. Lovejoy, which states,“If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the big environmental problems in the world.”

Readers of this blog surely know, I enjoy any opportunity to take care of birds, which I mostly do for the array of types who have visited my urban garden.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday's Memorandum: It's MLK Day (Assassinated nearly 50 years ago)



In just a few months time, it will be April. Fifty years ago (1968) on the fourth day of that month, the civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated. He was thirty-nine years old.

Today, Monday, January 15th, would've been King's eighty-eighth birthday. His memory is being revered, as it always is on the third Monday in January, when folks celebrate his life on the holiday known as Martin Luther King Junior Day.

According to Wikipedia, "Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act."

I'm honoring Martin Luther King Junior Day by posting a You Tube video atop today's blog entry, it is the same You Tube clip that I included within an entry here on Blogger for King's holiday in 2017.

I find the song featured in the video haunting and worthy of posting again. Meanwhile, The Seattle Times, created a web-page tribute to him, and in it they state the following:

"Martin Luther King Jr. lived an extraordinary life. At 33, he was pressing the case of civil rights with President John Kennedy. At 34, he galvanized the nation with his 'I Have a Dream' speech. At 35, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. At 39, he was assassinated, but he left a legacy of hope and inspiration that continues today."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Soon it will be Valentines Day!

A reminder to lovebirds,


who love birds,


soon it will be Valentines Day!

In one month's time, it will be Valentines Day, and if you know of bird lovers who love birds, the perfect gift for this "holiday" (or any other day for that matter) is the gift of Cam's (the cardinal seen in the picture below) wisdom and wit.


As some of you know, Cam is a spokes-bird for the avian community (including mourning doves, the bird type seen in the image atop this entry) has written a book, and a photo of the hardcover version of her book, Words In Our Beak Volume One can be seen in the next image.


Words In Our Beak Volume One (WIOB V1) has received rave reviews, including the following (which is posted on Amazon and written by the writer/musician/teacher, Joan Budilovsky).

"If you are not yet a bird-lover, you will be after reading this book. Words in our Beak is so enchanting as it follows a little cardinal named, Cam, through the rooftops of NYC and beyond. Cam has so much to share from a bird's eye perspective, it was hard to put the book down. I became enveloped in Cam's world by imagining what it is like to live on a rooftop, choose the right flowers to eat, and listen to the world around in the most intimate, gentle and fascinating ways. Thank you, Cam! I hope to read ever more of your travels in the new year!"

Because Valentines Day is one month from today, it's not to early to get Cam's book for "that special someone" in your life.

Here's the info on how to buy all the versions of  WIOB V1:

HARDCOVER:
Book Seller Info: http://bit.ly/2AFZDCz
Barnes & Noble On-Line: http://bit.ly/2AAnB26
book culture Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC): http://bit.ly/2FsC1Uf

SOFTCOVER:
Magcloud: http://bit.ly/2nrBJDj

DIGITAL (TWO OPTIONS):
ePub: http://amzn.to/2kzWGw0
iBook: http://apple.co/2nHZMBq

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday's Sentiments



The photographs atop this entry featuring a male and female Northern cardinal (respectively) in my urban garden, where they are alighting on the branches of my kiwi vines. They are two of many pictures that I took during the "bomb cyclone" (which occurred on 1-4-2018 here in NYC).

Btw, do you notice a little house sparrow at the bottom of the second image? Under any "normal" weather conditions, these bird types do not tend to get along as evidenced by the You Tube video posted below.



I discovered the video (which is featured on a web-page for The Cornell Lab of Ornithology) when I was researching a different topic about wildbirds on the Internet.

As you can see, this clip features a "battle" of the Northern cardinal and the White-throated sparrow, but I have witnessed "battles" between an array of one type of avian species against another type, when they are spending time at my place.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Follow-Up: News Re Words In Our Beak



Ever since the hardcover version of Words In Our Beak Volume One, (seen in the first image atop this  entry) was published (this past November) by Ingram Spark, I've been sending out press releases to bookstores, nature centers, and speciality shops. I've also queried some stores in hopes of getting them to let me host an event re this book.

One of the places that I reached out to is book culture On Columbus (a bookstore that has a location on the UWS in NYC), near to The American Museum of Natural History. A partial view of this store can be seen in the second image atop this entry (that I found on the Internet).

I contacted them by email (with my a "copy" of press release) on 12-5-2017 and a request discuss the possibility of my doing event at their store. The other day, I heard back from the event coordinator.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Throw Back Thursday: The "bomb cyclone"




Throwback Thursday: It has been one week since the "bomb cyclone" hit NYC with a vengeance and photographs atop this entry feature cardinals, as well as a lone sparrow, riding out the storm in my urban garden.

I've written a couple of blog entries about this which feature an array of wildbirds spending time here during the event. These posts include pictures of  a number of wild bird types, as well as cool facts re how they survived the "bomb cyclone." You can reference them by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesday's Wisdom: Let them eat suet!





An article by Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff, states "suet was once something we stocked our backyard feeders with only in the winter months. Present day suet use is much broader - and more beneficial to birds. In spring, it meets the increased energy demands of nesting birds. In the summer months, it provides a good substitute for insect-eating birds, especially in years when insects are not very plentiful. In fall, suet helps wild birds store fat to prepare for migration or the coming winter. And of course, in winter, suet replenishes depleted stores of energy and nutrients, to help birds survive the long, cold months."

Over the past few years, a number of wild birds have come to my urban garden for suet, including members of the Northern mockingbird community, as evidenced in the photographs atop this entry.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tuesday's Truths (WK 76) are from The Spruce: "Fun Facts About Woodpeckers — Bird Trivia"





As I write this blog post for Tuesday, it's Sunday, and the temperature outside is six degrees, but it's going up to nineteen degrees, which will be up seven degrees from Saturday. The bitter cold temperatures that we've had for a quite a number of days in a row, here in NYC, has caused the snow on the surface of my rooftop garden to freeze, which will make it difficult for me to gain access to my wreath-style bird feeder in order to replenish it with peanuts. And, as you can see from the images atop this entry, where a lone downy woodpecker is dining from it, I need to refill the wreath because my supply of peanuts has dwindled.

Monday, January 8, 2018

MONDAY'S MEMO: BRING THE SHOVEL INSIDE!

In answer to the question your posing in the comic strip (atop this entry), Snoopy, it helps that you have a shovel! I forgot to bring mine in the night before the snow from the "bomb cyclone" fell on to the surface of my urban garden.

My shovel was almost completely buried in snow, as evidenced in the photos directly below.



I'll be making a memo to bring it inside the next time a snowstorm is predicted.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

"A View From The Bridge" (Bow Bridge)





Yesterday, when I took a walk in Central Park, my walking companion, M Cohen, pointed out to me (from the vantage point of Bow Bridge), that there was an area in the lake, which was not frozen, even though the rest of the lake was covered with ice.

This is evidenced in the photographs atop this entry, where I've affixed an orange circle to every other image to indicate this. In any event, M Cohen thought that the Parks Department might have put something in that area of the lake in order to accommodate the Canadian geese and Mallard ducks, who spend time there.

I have never heard of the Central Park's staff doing such a thing, and if they did, wouldn't Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in J.D. Salinger's novel, Catcher in the Rye, have given this answer to Horowitz, when the question came up about what the ducks (who spend their days in Central Park) do during the winter?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

"Saturday in Park ..."


I've just returned home from taking a walk in Central Park, where it is currently twelve degrees, and the real feel is less than that. However, these cold temperatures did not deter a number of folks, who like yours truly, often heed the wisdom found in the lyric lines of the song, Saturday in the Park, by the band called Chicago.

The lines I'm thinking of go like this:

"...Funny days in the park
Every day's the Fourth of July
Funny days in the park
Every day's the Fourth of July..."

For indeed it was a very funny day in the park! Even a lone squirrel was attempting to make a snow angel, as evidenced in the image below.


And a couple of other squirrels proved they were New Yorkers because they were "wearing" black as seen in the next set of pictures.




A web-page for hercampus.com has this to say as to why us folks who live in NYC wear black: "Wearing black is our way of letting the world know that we are not guests of New York making our way through the city like any other transient visitor. We are the inhabitants of the infamously uninhabitable– survivalists in the place that reveals who has what it takes. New Yorkers wear black as a symbol of pride, a badge of honor, an indication that this is the city to which we belong."

Even though I mostly wear black, I'm not sure about this observation, I think it's a little precious sounding, but one thing that I am pretty sure about is this: If today were February second, (which is Ground Hog Day), NYC dwellers would probably be looking at six more weeks of winter, for as you can see (in the middle photo above), this little creature saw his/her shadow!

The Feast of the Epiphany 2018


Today is The Feast of the Epiphany. According to a web-page on Holiday Insights, "Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar were the three kings (also known as the Three Wise Men) who saw the star over Bethlehem when Christ was born. They followed it to find the Christ child on January 6th. They brought the Christ child gold, frankincense and myrrh." —  And they did it without mobile phones, contrary to what the cartoon atop this entry suggests.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Yesterday's "bomb cyclone."


At one point it was so windy during yesterday's "bomb cyclone" (that hit NYC with a vengeance), that the "mohawk" of a male cardinal who was visiting my rooftop garden was blowing back and forth. Not even the stiffest hairspray could've helped his situation, as evidenced by the image atop this entry, where he is alighting upon the branches of my kiwi vines, while a lone male sparrow tries to hold his own in the background.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thursday's Trivia


I have just read a piece of trivia which stated that "a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top," however, my cynical champage-filled-flute figurine (featured in the image atop this entry), says that is probably fake news.

She claims that depending on how much champagne one has had, it may LOOK like a raisin is bouncing up and down continuously, however,...

Whether a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top, is of little concern to a feisty Northern mockingbird, who visits my urban garden, all he/she cares about is that I provide raisins for him/her to eat; as evidenced in the photograph  below.


We will be having snow storm in NYC today that'd being called a “bomb cyclone." Therefore the only food I will be able to offer my visiting birds are suet cakes, peanuts in their shells and black-oil sunflower seeds which can go into my hanging bird feeders.

The media always warns folks to have "milk and bread" on hand during storms like the one which is predicted, but I also make sure that my bird feeders have been filled.

I'll report on how my avian visitors fare in the “bomb cyclone" in tomorrow's blog entry. I'm sure that I will be very preoccupied tending to their needs as well as taking pictures of them.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Maybe FB was trying to tell me something? (Wednesday's Wisdom)


The image atop this entry features the statue of Henry Ward Beecher that is located in Brooklyn. I have passed the monument on countless occasions, without giving it much thought, and without my taking a picture of Beecher's statue.

However, the statue came to my mind today as I was thinking about a quotation that is attributed to Henry Ward Beecher, which is this: "Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first day of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past."

In my pondering Beecher's quote, on this third day of the new year, I found myself thinking about the fact that Facebook (FB) has my birthday listed as the first of January, which it is not. I've tried to set this straight with them for years to no avail. It seems once FB has one's birthday recorded a certain way, the date cannot be changed. Moreover, two days ago, on January first, the powers that be at FB notified my FB followers (as I discussed in yesterday's blog post) to tell them to wish me a happy birthday.

Because of this I received a number of birthday wishes, which prompted me to publish a FB post alerting my followers that this was fake news.

Now, after my reflecting on Beecher's quotation, I'm taking FB's error re my day of birth, as a sign to heed the wisdom of the quote: see myself born again on the first day of January, by girding myself once more, with my face to the front, "taking no (negative) interest in the things that were and are past."

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Disputing Fake News! I wasn't born yesterday. (Tuesday's Truths WK 75)


Hello, and welcome to my seventy-fifth posting for my Tuesday's Truths series. It's the first one in this series for the year 2018. In this entry, I want to alert anyone who might follow me on either one of my Facebook (FB) Pages (personal and author) that FB reported some fake news yesterday, which was New Years Day.