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Saturday, April 30, 2016

April is the cruelest month?

Today is the last day of April for the year of 2016. As most folks know, it is a month associated with the adage, "April showers bring May flowers." Throughout my years as a gardener, I have made the observation that April showers TAKE AWAY May flowers, and I've written about this a number of times, including an entry I made here on Blogger in 2012.

I've also written about another fact regarding April, which is an observation made by T.S. Eliot: "April is the cruelest month . . . Winter kept us warm, Covering earth in forgetful snow, feeding a little life with dried tubers." 

I was initially reminded (in 2011) of Eliot's quote by a resident of a home where I was doing volunteer work. And indeed in this year of 2016, April has been a cruel month for me, for two persons that I've known since the 1980's have died. I referred to this fact in the post I made this past Tuesday here on Blogger.

By having an interest in people, birds and flora, which are all part of creation that passes away, I am bound to experience the pain of loss, when any living entity passes from this life.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pictures From My Latest Visit With Super

Due to the recent deaths of two individuals* that I've known for a long time, I've been pre-occupied. and unable to post anything on Blogger. I'm getting back to my routine and yesterday I was even able to go to The Wild Bird Fund and visit Super, the Northern Flicker pictured in the images above this entry. If you follow me on Blogger, you might recall that he is a bird I helped rescue earlier this month. I hope to receive more specific information on his progress in the coming days.

*If you'd like to read about this, I posted entries on TLLG's Fb Page and you can refer to them by clicking here as well as here and here.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Consequence of Getting Caught Up in #Twitter Trends

This past Friday, one of the things that was trending on Twitter was #WhoisthetrueNewYorker. I think one answer to that question can be found in the following video clip by Bill Cunningham.

I suppose Cunningham's "wisdom" came to my mind because the night before the #WhoisthetrueNewYorker Twitter trend, I had gone for my first tandem bike ride of 2016. Readers of this blog, may recall that in addition to my being a writer, a photo-artist, an advocate for birds, as well as an urban gardener; I am a stoker.

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Malus 'Prairfire' (Prairfire Crabapple)

Ever since I helped rescue Super, a migratory bird who is a Northern Flicker, all of my postings, except for one, have been about that injured bird. It is my intention to visit Super at least once a week until he is able to be released from the bird rehabilitation facility on NYC's Upper Westside to Central Park. I would gladly see him more often, but the facility where Super is recovering is very busy. I don't want to interfere with their efforts to help Super or the other injured birds they are treating.

Meanwhile, I am doing my best to maintain my urban rooftop garden and  keep it a haven for the urban birds who have visited it over the years. My garden can be seen in the photograph atop today's Blogger entry. I took the image from the vantage point of a nearby penthouse garden. The picture was taken in 2015 during the late summer or early fall; and Cam, a cardinal who visited me during that time, insisted we include it in the ePub (Kindle) version of our book Words In Our Beak Volume One.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Super's Status

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to visit Super, the Northern Flicker pictured atop this Blogger entry. He can be seen here in the cage where he needs to be kept during his recovery time for the healing of his broken wing and a concussion. These are the injuries he was diagnosed as having upon his being evaluated at the bird rehab center. It was my second time visiting Super since his being admitted to the wild bird rehabilitation center in New York City last Tuesday, April 5th. This photo may look familiar to you, dear reader, for I included one very similar to it it in an entry here on Blogger this past week, when I wrote about the diagnosis of this injured bird. In the aforementioned entry, I referred to another Blogger post where I introduced Super and described how a building superintendent and I were able to participate in rescuing him, and how we came to the idea of giving the name Super to this Northern Flicker.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Welcome, Ms. American Goldfinch!

Today I had a new visitor who braved the cold April showers. The bird I'm speaking about is an American Goldfinch and she can be seen in the photo atop this entry. I've never seen this bird type prior to today. And her visit was most welcome for it's has been a very cold and rainy day here in NYC.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Update on SUPER Bird

This past Wednesday, April 6th 2016, I posted information about Super, the name of the Northern Flicker featured in the pictures above.

I have since received word re Super’s prognosis via email and have posted a copy of it below:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Northern Flicker: A SUPER Bird

Dear reader, please allow me the honor of introducing you to a very special bird; a bird whose type is classified as a Northern Flicker. He/she is a bird I was introduced to yesterday, and can be seen in the first photo accompanying this Blogger entry. In the image you can see the Northern Flicker cowering behind some trash bags. The bags were in the alleyway of a building down the street from where I live (on the Upper Westside of New York City).

The photograph was taken by the superintendent (or super as we say in NYC) of that building. Evidently he happened to discover the bird while he was performing routine chores for the building where he works.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Octave of Easter in 2016

Today is the Octave of Easter and this marks the end of the Easter Tide for 2016. However, it is not the end of the Easter season, which continues until Pentecost Sunday, which will occur on May 15, 2016.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Holy Cow!

It has been said that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. I'm not sure if God — upon hearing my plans — laughs, but I am certain that my muse does!
For there are many times that I have an idea of what I want to write about, and then something happens that changes my intention.
This past Friday, April1st, was one of those days! I was about to sit down and write about a crabapple tree I bought in hopes of attracting Cam's (my dearly departed cardinal) children to my garden.

I edited my images, I had my text in mind, when suddenly I heard on the news that a cow/bull had escaped from a slaughter house in Queens (a borough of NYC).

A Visit From Sparrows

Nearly one week ago, I took these images of house sparrows alighting upon my kiwi vines, vines that were just starting to bloom after their winter nap. Seeing the sparrows enjoying the kiwi vines in my garden caused me to think of one of my favorite Henry David Thoreau quotes: “I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.”
Btw, one of my kiwi vines acted as a narrator for my first garden-themed movie: The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame...almost.

Friday, April 1, 2016


It’s truly #AprilFools in NYC. Gorgeous blooms today in #CentralPark BUT snow showers predicted in the forecast! Moreover, a high wind advisory is in place for this coming Sunday which could knock off those beautiful blooms!