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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Reason One Might Stay "on the fence" (Tuesday's Truths WK 82)

There have been quite a number of occasions when I've been in Central Park where I've encountered various members of the wildlife community on one of the many fences.These creatures include a European starling, a white-throated sparrow, a female as well as a male cardinal, black squirrels and "ordinary" squirrels (as evidenced in the photo atop this entry).

Whenever I come upon this situation of seeing a creature on a given fence, the expression "on the fence," comes to mind. As you most likely know, dear reader, "on the fence," refers to one who is undecided about a position that  he/she is taking on a given issue.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

For Ellen Rachel McConnell Blakeman (Ellen)

It's hard to believe that it's only been six days since I received this notification on Facebook:

"SUN 3:14PM
Douglas McConnell
Patricia - give me a call when you get the chance. Hope all is well."

I phoned Douglas McConnell immediately, and he gave me the heart breaking news that his sister, Ellen had died. She can be seen in the image above in a photo that was taken many years ago.

I've known Ellen since childhood and I'm heart broken.

Doug also informed me of an event taking place in her honor (today) and extended an invitation, but I'm not in a position to travel to Illinois.

In any event, I initially met Ellen in the third grade and we went through elementary school, as well as high school, together.

We reconnected in the late 1980's or early 1990's and we stayed in touch touch via handwritten cards, as well as letters, and phone convos ever since.

The last time that I spoke with her was not so long ago and she was thrilled to be having a "date" with her son, Bennett.

She continued to be enthused about my book, Words In Our Beak Volume One, and was, as she's always been, convinced that it makes a great gift.

It's safe to say that Ellen was one of Cam's (the cardinal who is the protagonist and narrator of the story) biggest fans.

Therefore, Cam and I are dedicating volume two to Ellen Rachel McConnell Blakeman.

I already miss Ellen so much and feel blessed to have had her as a friend for so many years, for as it has been written, "a faithful friend is a sturdy shelter... whomever finds one, finds a treasure..."

Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy New Year — Chinese New Year that is.

The figurine, who is featured in the image directly above, joins me today in wishing you, dear reader, a very  Happy New Year — Chinese New Year that is. This date of 2-16-2018 marks the beginning of the Lunar Year, which happens to be The Year of the Dog.

This occasion has nothing to do with the calendar year being named The Year of the Bird in honor of the one hundred year anniversary of  The Migratory Bird Act.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

In Honor of Hippo Appreciation Day

Today marks a holiday known as National Hippo Day or Hippo Appreciation Day! One way that I am celebrating it by paying homage to Happy Hippo, whose likeness has been rendered into a ballon that has participated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as seen in the pictures directly above this entry.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday's Truths, the eightty-first week. Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's Day (ETC)

Cupid (the figurine seen in the image atop this entry) joins me today in welcoming you, dear reader, to the eighty-first week of my Tuesday's Truths series. He wants to make sure that we heed the certain words (posted directly below) uttered by Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day, 
All in the morning betime, 
And I maid at your window, 
To be your Valentine. 
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes, 
And dupped the chamber-door; 
Let in a maid, that out a maid 
Never departed more.

For indeed, tomorrow is Saint Valentines Day! This year it coincides with Ash Wednesday, which means today is Shrove Tuesday.

Therefore, because Valentines Day is on Ash Wednesday (marking the onset  of Lent), you may not want to give your special someone chocolates, or champagne, but, you probably want to give the person who is near and dear to you a special gift! May Cupid and I suggest giving him/her a version of the book, Words In Our Beak Volume One.

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

Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:
book culture Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC):



Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday's Musings: Remembering The Gates (Not Bill and Melinda)

The picture atop this entry, as well as the two that are directly below, are images of greeting cards featuring views of The Gates; a public art exhibition that opened in Central Park in 2005 and lasted through 2-28-2005.

According to a web-page, "The Gates tempted millions of people to visit Central Park. The 7,500 structures in this epic public artwork – 'gates' holding saffron-colored fabric – lined 23 winding miles through the iconic park."

I saw the exhibit on a number of occasions including times that weather conditions were full shine, bitter cold temperatures, rain, hail, sleet and snow. I even have a swatch (which was given to me by someone on one of the teams who were involved in setting up the installations) of the "saffron-colored  fabric" that was used.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday's Sequel (Re Thin Ice on the Lake ETC)

In yesterday's blog post I mentioned that there was nothing lame about NYC's ducks, especially those who are Mallards. Within that entry, I stated this was because these ducks didn't let a sign — warning that thin ice was a present danger — stop them from walking on a lake in Central Park.

Today I'm following up on that entry to let you know that Canadian Geese also walk on the lake in spite of the fact that signs are posted that the ice is thin; as evidenced in the images atop this entry.

When I came upon this pair of Canadian geese walking on the lake, I was moved by their apparent companionship for one another. This is not an uncommon trait re this bird type.

As I mentioned in a last Sunday's blog post, these creatures "mate for life, and will begin searching for a mate between 2-3 years of age. If a mate dies, the goose will try to find another mating partner."

For me, the love between these geese is apparent in the images featured above, but another fact is also apparent which I never gave much thought, and that is their tongues! I have now learned some cool facts re the tongues of geese, and will close my post with this link to an article that discusses the tongues of Canadian Geese; as well as the tongues of other avian creatures.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Nothing Lame about NYC Ducks!

There are a number of warnings signs (such as the one featured in the image directly above) posted near bodies of water in Central Park, including the lake, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, as well as Turtle Pond. In spite of these signs, there are those who do not heed the warning and walk on the "thin ice."

Friday, February 9, 2018

Honoring Saint Apollonia

It's Toothache Day (according to Holiday Insights). And I most certainly wish a toothache only lasted one day, as I've had many, and have had to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to dental fees! However, I should not despair, for today is also the Feast Day of Saint Apollonia.

According to a number of sources, including an article published in The Catholic Herald UK, she is hailed as the patron saint of dentistry.

The aforementioned article includes the image that is posted atop this blog entry and author of the takes issue with the image and states, "my difficulty with such art is that Apollonia has a vacant, wan and almost insipid facial expression. I don’t think this captures her feisty spirit: she was a deaconess in a time of great persecution and a defiant rebel."

I confess that I've only recently learned of this saint (who I've now called upon to intercede on my behalf re the horrendous (painful and costly) dental procedures which I've been enduring for months), so I can't comment on the author's remark that Saint Apollonia is portrayed with an "almost insipid facial expression which the author feels doesn't do justice to Apollonia's "feisty spirit."

Perhaps my figurine rendered in the likeness of a tooth fairy (as seen in the picture directly below) is one who more accurately represents Apollonia's personality?

However Apollonia may or may not be represented in a painting is not of much importance to me, what matters is her powerful intercession, which I hope she continues to do on my behalf, as I have more dental procedures to endure in the coming days.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday's Testimony: Gulls Just Wanna Have Fun... (when all is said and done)

This past Monday, I saw the seagulls (featured in the images atop this entry) when I was at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park (where I met a Bufflehead Duck for the first time, which I discussed in this past Tuesday's blog post). In any event, seeing these playful gulls reminded me that gulls just wanna have fun, right Cyndi Lauper? That's all gulls really want....

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

In case you missed this breaking news... (MONDAY's MEMO)

Every year, World Read Aloud Day, "calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories." 

This year the event was held on February 1, 2018, and I gave a shout out to the occasion with an entry on my personal Facebook Page, where I included the image of Cam (my  visiting cardinal who authored Words In Our Beak Volume One) that is atop this posting.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday's Sequel Regarding Canadian Geese (The bird type featured in Friday's post.)

The photograph atop this entry features a prominent (and feisty) member of the Canadian Geese family. He/she is spending time in the lake within Central Park while a lone female Mallard duck (at the left) observes (with amusement) the silly goose.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Feed the Birds Day 2018

I've posted a You Tube video atop this entry in honor of one of today's (February 3rd) holidays, which  is known as Feed the Birds Day (according to Holiday Insights who states the following):

"Date When Celebrated: Always February 3: Help the wild birds in your backyard to survive the long, cold winter by feeding them. That's exactly why this special day was created. Mid and late winter are especially hard on all outdoor animals. By mid winter, food sources become scarcer and scarcer for the wild birds that over-winter in your backyard..."

I featured this quote from Holiday Insights along with the Mary Poppins film clip that's included here in my 2017 blog entry for Feed the Birds Day,

In terms of the many photographs of wild birds eating that I used in the aforementioned entry, most of them are different than the ones I am using today.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Prominent Member of the Canadian Geese Community says "Six MORE WKS OF WINTER!" (What a SILLY GOOSE!)

It's a little after nine o'clock in the morning on Friday, February 2, 2018, which among other things, happens to be Ground Hog Day. This is always the case (at least in the United States) on the second day of the second month of the year.

At this hour, in my time zone (E.S.T.), two well known ground hogs (who "serve" under the names of Punxatawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck) have made their predictions regarding the onset of 2018's spring season.

In Pennsylvania, Phil saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter, while on Staten Island, the rodent did not see a shadow and predicted an early spring would be coming to the NYC area.

The predictions are in for 2018 from the creatures representing NYC and Pennsylvania, however, they are not the only groundhogs who serve as meteorologists, please refer to an article written by Jason Bittel which was published by The Washington Post (2017) to learn more.

Meanwhile, since I have published a number of blog posts on subjects related to Groundhog Day (in bygone years), I'm letting another creature weigh in on the matter re 2018's Groundhog Day.

This particular one is a prominent member of the Canadian Geese Community who spend much of their time within the lake in Central Park. I came upon this silly goose while walking in Central Park yesterday and he/she brought to my attention the fact that his/her reflection could be seen in the lake; as evidenced in the photographs atop this entry.

Moreover, the goose wondered if seeing one's reflection qualified as a prediction that there will be six more weeks of winter. I realize that seeing a reflection of one's self is different than seeing his/her shadow; but I do concede that this goose makes a good point! What say you, dear reader?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

This Thursday's Tale is FROM the birds! (Sparrows Speak out about Spring Training)

While walking in Central Park, this past Tuesday, January the thirtieth, I came upon a lone blue jay who was leaning a sympathetic ear to a couple of house house sparrows (as evidenced in the photograph atop this entry).

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Valentines Day is Two Weeks From Today!

Yet another reminder to lovebirds,

who love birds,

soon it will be Valentines Day!

Valentines Day is now only two weeks away! 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, and she has written a book!

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 just two weeks from today, it's not too early to get Cam's book for "that special someone" in your life.

Cam's story is accompanied by over one hundred pictures that feature flora, insects, points of interest in NYC; and of course, members of the avian community; including male and female cardinals, the birds featured in the photograph atop this entry.

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

Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:
book culture Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC):