Thursday, September 29, 2016

My experience on the other side of a camera.


Because I only have "counting fingers" vision in my left eye, and need glasses to enable me to see out of my right eye, folks seem to think it's interesting that I produce photographic images. I've been interviewed on two major radio stations (WINS and WBAI) re processes I've used to create the aforementioned types of photographs. Both my black and white pictures as well as my color images, which are kaleidoscopic, have been featured in a number of  galleries here in NYC

Most of the photographs that were represented in my exhibitions can be found on my web-site, Patricia Youngquist, The Last Leaf GardenerFor the past seven years, I've mostly used my abilities in photography to give voice to the flora growing in my rooftop garden as well as the array of birds and insects which visit it. Some pictures from this endeavor are included within the pages of my web-site, others have been used in my garden-themed movies which can be found on my Vimeo Channel. Additionally many of my pictures featuring flora as well  fauna can be found here on Blogger as well as Facebook, tumblr, hometalk, Instagram, Pinterest and twitter.

And as many of my readers know, my book, Words In Our Beak Volume One, which is written from a bird's perspective, contains hundreds of pictures featuring the flora which grows in my garden as well as photographs of the birds and insects that visit it.

All of this info is a long way of saying that I have spent a lot of time behind a camera! However, for the past two days I've had to be in front of a type of camera known as an Optos (seen below) to have pictures taken of the back of my eyes.


What the Optos saw and it is not good news for me. I now have a large floater in my right eye, which is the only one of my eyes that serves me. Floaters, as you may know, dear reader, are a normal event that occurs after certain birthdays. They mainly are an annoyance that one has to live through until his/her brain begins to ignore them. However, in instances like the one I have with my eye-sight, there can be cause for great concern.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday's Truths Week Eleven: The Morning Sun is Shining Like a RUBBER-BAND Ball?



Yesterday, here on Blogger, I reported on a butterfly that I had seen alighting on various flowers in Central Park near the 72nd Street entrance this Sunday. And on that day, as I walked in the park on the road alongside the body of water that is usually occupied by turtles, ducks, geese, as well as with folks in rented row boats, I came upon Zack Hample. He was demonstrating how he created his prized possession: a ball that he made of rubber bands. His ball has gained 10 pounds since 2014 when it weighed in at 250 pounds! The image posted above (which I took in Central Park) shows Hample's ball with its weight gain.

However, since this past Sunday when I saw Hample demonstrating how he created his ball, I'm sure the creation gained some weight, for Hample was letting passers by add rubber bands to his ball, which he started making as a toddler (he is now thirty-nine years old)! If you'd like to read more about Hample and see a video demonstration on how he created his rubber band ball, there is a great article in Dailymail.com.

The only warning I will give you regarding Hample's ball talk is that it may cause you to think of the golden oldie song, Red Rubber Ball, by Cyrkle, and in doing so, you may find yourself switching out Cyrkle's words, "The morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball," and replacing them with "the morning sun is shining like a rubber band ball." —  this could then lead to you to be afflicted with a case of ohrwurms!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Musings


The whimsical character seen in the first image may be familiar to those who have followed my cyber-venues. She has been visiting my succulent garden (as well as my armoire) clad in her butterfly Halloween costume for a few years during the season for this holiday. If you'd like to read what I said about her in bygone times, when I wrote for Hometalk, please click here

A real butterfly seen in the next five pictures is one that I happened to see when I was in Central Park yesterday. The lovey insect was alighting on flowers near the 72nd Stret entrance to Central Park. It was a lovely site to behold, especially since I have not seen a butterfly in my rooftop garden for quite sometime!





But I still recall how thrilled I was when I saw a butterfly alight on my Physocarpus opulifolius (Coppertina Tree) that was growing at my urban garden!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

an ADDENDUM to my 9-23-16 Blogger post: Autumn Clematis's Survival Challenged Twice!


If the photo atop this blog entry looks familiar to you, dear reader, your powers of observation are serving you well, for the image is very similar to the one I featured in yesterday's post here on Blogger. Like the aforementioned picture, it was taken by Juan V when he came to my rooftop garden to do some gardening on the first day of autumn (which was this past Thursday). The little white flowers seen in the lower righthand corner belong to my Autumn Clematis, a vine that I discussed in that entry. The gist of that post was to pay homage to Donna, the grower who sold me my clematis plants (a number of years ago); plants that I have always named Donna's Legacy, in her honor.

And perhaps it is because I named my clematis vines for their "diamond in the rough grower," they have accepted and faced the challenges of life. Weather conditions in NYC, where I live, and where I maintain my urban garden can be extreme, and these vines have proved to be tenacious in living with whatever Mother Nature brings their way. Also for many types of flora, living in a container is not easy, they really belong directly in the ground's soil, not a container filled with it!

But my Autumn Clematis faced that challange from the moment she was placed in a rectangular container, a container that she out grew quickly, which I replaced with a larger rectangular container, and the vines adapted to larger living quarters very nicely!

However, these were not the only obstacles my clematis plants have endured. Some of you might recall that on September 22nd in 2012 (which was the first day fall that year), my landlord had workers do a repair to my garden's floor. My prepping the area for his workers to accomplish this task warranted that I remove everything from the garden's surface, which I did, and the results can be seen in the photo below.


A few small containers were able to be placed on the inner portion of the ledge, but most of my containers of flowers, herbs, ornamental grasses, plants, succulents, shrubs and trees had to brought inside my small apartment, causing a great disruption to their growing conditions. My three main vines (which include an H.F. Young Clematis that trails up a pipe in the northwest corner of my garden; a pair of male and female kiwi vines that are in a container on the northeast side of my garden; and the Autumn Clematis which I've been referring to and is off camera in the image posted above) all had to be forced out of the containers that they call home and put into "body bags."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday's Truths Week Ten: FB Algorithms AND Being Able To See Content You Appreciate!



Welcome to the tenth posting of my blog series known as Tuesday's Truths. Today, I want to let my readers know this: if you want to also see my Facebook content for The Last Leaf Gardener you my have do a few tweaks to your settings. Facebook made some BIG changes to its algorithm for non-personal pages. This may have made it harder for you to access my FB posts. Some of TLLG's FB followers have let me know that they have not seen my posts; and, they thought that they were doing something wrong!

I recently learned that if you want to keep TLLG in your FB newsfeed, you must change the setting pictured here (first image as seen on a desktop) under "Liked" to "SEE FIRST" instead of default. And also you need to change the Notification in that menu to "ALL ON." 

Without making this change, you may not see TLLG in your newsfeed!

Monday, September 19, 2016



With Halloween coming up in the next month, one of the characters who has visited my armoire — as well as my indoor succulent garden — while dressed as a pirate in honor of Halloween (pictured above respectively and below in "solo" photo-ops), has reminded me that today, September the 19th, is a holiday! It is known as International Talk Like a Pirate Day!



According to Holiday Insights, the origin of International Talk Like a Pirate Day is this: A man named "John Baur and Mark Summers created the concept of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on June 6, 1995. While playing racquetball, they began to talk to each other in Pirate-speak. After leaving the court, they decided that there was a need to create this day. After much thought, Mark Summers selected September 19th as the date. This was his wife's birthday. So, he thought it would be an easy date to remember. And so, International Talk Like a Pirate Day was born."

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Grandparents Day 2016


The picture atop this blog entry is of my maternal grandparents, taken long before I was even a glimmer in their daughter's eye, in fact, it was taken long before she was a glimmer in their eye! But one might surmise from looking at this picture, someone was sure to more than a glimmer in an eye, and be born to this couple, as my mother ultimately was!

I'm including this image in this entry in honor of the holiday known as Grandparents Day. According to Holiday Insights, "National Grandparent's Day originated in 1978. Then President Jimmy Carter declared it to be the first Sunday after Labor Day." 

As you know, dear reader, in this year of 2016, the first Sunday after Labor Day fell on September the Eleventh, which also happened to be the fifteenth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorists attacks on our country. Therefore, I did not post anything re Grandparents Day on its actual date, as I wanted to be quiet about other matters on the solemn anniversary. However, I still want to give a shout out to my dearly departed grandparents and to grandparents everywhere.


I've read that "the impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with , a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide."

Friday, September 16, 2016

Honoring Major Ernest Olds on this year's National POW/MIA Recognition Day


Today is the third Friday in September, which is a special holiday in our country known as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. It is observed across the nation on the third Friday of September each year. Many Americans take the time to remember those who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who are missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday's Wisdom: Theories RE Uncle Sam


Yesterday, in addition to it being National Peanut Day, it was Uncle Sam Day. This is useful to know in the event that you are selected to be a contestant on “Jeopardy,” where a situation could arise, that by knowing this info you could win $$$$$$!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday's Truths Week Nine: It's National Peanut Day, a day that's for the birds!


Welcome to the ninth posting of my fairly new blog series known as Tuesday's Truths. Today, September the thirteenth, ] happens to be a holiday known as National Peanut Day! And according to Holiday Insights (HI) this is is the "peanuttiest of days."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Deltiology is the term for the study of postcards. Who knew? AND Why post info re this now?


Some of you may recognize the first image atop this blog entry. It shows the front of a postcard that features a picture of Cam, a cardinal who was a frequent visitor to my rooftop garden in NYC. The picture has also been featured on Brian Lehrer's NY Values Board for WNYC, as well as in my cyber-venues (Blogger, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr and Twitter). Moreover, this particular photograph is included in the book, Words In Our Beak Volume One, that I wrote with Cam.


Our book is set in my urban garden and it is currently available in Apple's iBooks Store and in the ePub or Kindle book department of Amazon. Words In Our Beak Volume One has been reviewed in both of those venues and also by members of Goodreads. At this time, I am assisting Cam by converting our book into a format that will be reproduced into a limited run of soft snd hardcover versions.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11th 2016


The image posted above is of an ID card I received when I had a job interview on August 10th 2001 at One World Trade Center, thirty one days before the September 11th terror attacks.  I did not get the position I applied for, and this ID card is a stark reminder of how close I came to being there.

The woman who interviewed me was killed in the attacks on that day, as were many others that I knew. I've written about this and other situations related to the tragedy in bygone years here on Blogger; and if you'd like to refer to my posts, please click here.  I don't have anything new to add on the subject, except to reiterate my heartfelt sympathies for those who lost loves ones; for those who are haunted from witnessing the horror; and for those who continue to have health issues related to the event.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The iPhone7's "Lightning Jack" isn't a "happy compromise" for Cam, my favorite cardinal.


As many folks know, this past Wednesday, September 7th, 2016, Apple held an event where they introduced the iPhone7.

According to The Week, "the new iPhone model doing away with the traditional headphone jack, forcing users to either use headphones with a Lightning-friendly cable, or go totally wireless."

The Week goes on to say, "It's exactly those wireless ear buds, however, that (Steve) Jobs might have taken issue with. '"Steve Jobs once argued with me about doing wireless earbuds,'''The Verge's Walt Mossber recalled."

And, evidently, Mossberg also stated, "Apple's new wireless headphones, or "'AirPods,'" which run $159, will indeed be annoying to charge."'Five hours of battery life between charges on the new AirPods won't likely get you through a cross country flight.'''

The Week concludes it's report by stating, "Apple's other co-founder, Steve Wozniak, has also frowned upon the company's decision to make such a change to the new iPhone. “‘If it's missing the 3.5mm earphone jack, that's going to tick off a lot of people,”’ Wozniak told the Australian Financial Review in August.The new iPhone will reportedly come with an adapter that will allow traditional earphones to plug into the  new Lightning jack — hopefully a happy compromise for everyone."

The "happy compromise" would not have impressed Cam, who is the cardinal featured in the photograph atop this blog entry. The image was taken by yours truly in my urban (NYC) rooftop garden after I first discovered her ears. The picture is one you may recognize, as I featured it here on Blogger (March 2016), in an entry titled Hearing & Listening. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

First Steps


Whenever I see an adult bird teaching his/her young bird a skill, I think of Vincent van Gough's painting, "First Steps." A picture of the aforementioned painting can be seen in the first image accompanying this post. I got it from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's web-page, which includes details about the painting.


Meanwhile as for an adult bird teaching his/her young one, I observed a pigeon doing this in May of 2015. Photos two-four (below) taken in my urban (NYC) rooftop garden, show what was happening. As you can see in the second and fourth picture, the adult bird is looking on as his/her little one makes use of his/her wings; and the little one is turning is head — ever so slightly — as if to make sure mom or dad are still watching.








Wednesday, September 7, 2016

One Pigeon's Plight



The pigeon pictured at the top of this blog entry is being held by a bird rehabber at The Wild Bird Fund (WBF) in NYC. She was evaluating the pigeons physical state. I had brought the pigeon The WBF (yesterday) after I noticed that he had an accident in my urban rooftop garden.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday's Truths Week Eight: "One-legged bird not one-of-a-kind"


Welcome to the eighth posting of my fairly new blog series known as Tuesday's Truths. Today I'd like to share a cool fact re birds that have only one leg, such as the mourning dove seen in the image above, where he is making his way toward some seeds that fell from a bird feeder on to the ledge that surrounds my urban (NYC) rooftop garden.

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Pigeon and CoCo Chanel are in agreement on Post Labor Day Fashion "Rules!"







A lone pigeon clad in nearly all white feathers, listened intently as I told her that last week someone treated me to dinner as a belated birthday gift. I had worn white sandals with my dress and she proceeded to tell me me, "You won't be able to wear those shoes after Monday." (which is today and happens to be a Labor Day Monday).


Upon hearing my accounting of the incident, the pigeon reminded me that I had once written about the wisdom of CoCo Chanel, who said, "Vous pouvez porter blanc toute l' année!"


Then the pigeon made a pivot on her pinkish red feet and strutted her mostly white feathers as she made her way around the railing that surrounds my rooftop urban (NYC) terrace garden.