Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday's Truths WK 31: February's Last Day (For 2017)


Welcome to Week Thirty-One of my Tuesday's Truths series. Today, February 28th, is the last day of this month for 2017 (since its not a Leap Year); and this year, the twenty-eighth coincides with the eve of Ash Wednesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday. I've written about both of these events in prior posts here on Blogger in by gone years, and if you'd like to refer to them (respectively) please click here and here.

In any event, according to one Holiday Insights Page, another truism re February the 28th, is that its flower of the day is Helichrysum Bracteatum (AKA strawflowers). An image of this flower variety is posted atop this entry, and it is a photo that you might recognize as I included it in this past Sunday's blog post, where I mentioned the fact that some of the strawflowers which I've grown in my urban garden were featured in one of my garden-themed movies,  A Week in the Lives of my Helichrysum bracteatum (Strawflowers). This movie can be viewed in my Vimeo library, or if you prefer, you may also access it via a prior entry here on Blogger.

Strawflowers come in many colors. A number of photographs of this interesting flower in various colors, along with fun facts regarding it, are included in Cam's book, Words In Our Beak Volume One.



As it happens, the strawflower, was picked by certain people in my high school's graduating class to be "our" class flower. Those school days were very painful times for me, therefore, I'm most grateful to be able to associate this awesome flower with good times in my garden (which is on a rooftop in NYC); and not as flora from The Class of XXXX.

Monday, February 27, 2017

In Honor of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Today, February 27th, 2017, would be Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 210th birthday; and although I have been very familiar with many of Longfellow's works, the wild birds who visit my urban garden, as well as the flora I grow have reinforced his quotation, "The best thing one can do when it's raining is let it rain," Cam, the cardinal pictured above. Moreover, Cam and I have referenced this quotation in the book, Words In Our Beak, Volume One;



when we explain how birds withstand rain, as she is doing in the first photograph above; and, as a pair of blue jays and a lone mourning dove are doing in the images below.



The book also references Longfellow's wisdom re rain in terms of flora, especially when it comes to the flowers of a Paeonia suffruiticosa (Tree Peony), as seen in the photos directly below.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

....and the winner IS...?


Cam, "my" cardinal whose familiar to many because of the success of her book, Words In Our Beak Volume One


can be seen in the image atop this entry, where she is in my urban garden, the setting for her book.

A copy of this  particular picture is included in her book, where she confesses facts about what truly makes her flap her wings! One of the confessions that Cam did not admit to is something I will share here — if you promise not to tell her — is this: she gets very excited about award ceremonies such as The Academy Awards, which will take place this evening.

Cam was featured (exclusively) in my first bird-themed mini movie, Words in my Beak, which can be viewed on Vimeo. Cam liked the title very much and modified it for her book, which is something that she did admit to doing in her note to the reader.

In any event, because The Oscars are tonight, I though I should give some recognition to those who have been featured in my movies; starting with the ones which are bird-themed. These include, in alphabetical order: Cam’s Wisdom: Time Flies, Enjoy Those Near and Dear to You While You Can;



Emily's Antics;



Harper’s Bizzarre Antics During GBBC 2015;



“Hollywood Finches” Honoring Bragging Rights;



Meet the Finches;



Preview for Words In Our Beak Volume One;


and, as mentioned earlier in this post; Words in my Beak. By the way you can read more about the birds included in the aforementioned movies, here on blogger, by clicking on the following links:

Baltimore oriole, Cardinals, House Finches and Northern mockingbird. Note that one of the images of house finches seen above (the seventh image) is included in my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcard collection.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Silly Goose! (A True New Yorker)


This goose in Central Park is a true New Yorker! Read this essay (below) by E.B. White and you'll see why I have come to my conclusion re this silly goose!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday's Wisdom: A tip for keeping our former president's identities straight!


This Wednesdays Wisdom: A tip for keeping our former president's identities straight! While today February 22nd,  is the anniversary of George Washington's Birthday (b 1732); Abraham Lincoln was the one with the beard!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday's Truths WK 30: Important Reminder After 2017's Presidents Day (AND BEYOND)

On thirtieth week of my Tuesday's Truths series, which coincides with the day after Presidents Day, I'd like to direct you, dear reader, to a prolific article (published in The Guardian), which is written by Chitra Nagarajan. Nagarajan writes, "Despite what we see on TV, Donald Trump isn’t the only news event on Earth." Read her full article by clicking here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

In Honor of the Eve of Card Reading Day


When it was brought to my attention (by a newcomer to my home who is the Queen of Hearts figurine, seen in the image atop this posting) that today was the eve of card reading day, I thought she was talking about Tarot card readings! For as soon as she announced today's holiday, she went on to exercise her bragging rights in her role of being a representative for the Queen of Hearts!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Is some one going to be buying me a diamond ring?


During the month of January in the year 2015, a bird type that I'd never seen before, visited my urban garden which is on a rooftop in NYC. He/she can be seen within the picture atop this entry (in an image taken at that time). And as you can see, he/she has a morsel of food in his/her beak. This happens to be suet which he/she availed him/herself from one of a dozen "basket-style" suet feeders that I had hung on a Christmas tree in my garden. The bird type that I am speaking of is a Northern mockingbird; and, as I just stated, he/she began to visit my garden in January of 2015 (or at least that is when I first noticed him/her). I immediately named him/her Harper, in honor of the dearly departed author, Harper Lee, who was alive at the time, but has since died (one year ago today).

In any event, from January the 15th of 2015 through the present, Harper has been visiting my garden on a fairly regular basis. I've written about him/her in posts within my cyber venues of Blogger, Facebook, hometalk, as well as tumblr. Additionally, I have a vast number of photographs of him/her on Pinterest (and there are a few images of him/her on Instagram). 

Moreover, I "covered" his/her antics when I participated in The GBBC (Great Backyard Bird Count) in 2015, I "documented" my findings by putting together a mini video which can be viewed within my Vimeo Library.

I never tire of seeing this lovely bird in my midst! And I was particularly grateful that he/she was able to survive the recent snowstorm here in NYC, as evidenced by my entries re the subject here on Blogger (that you may refer to by clicking here and here). The following are additional images (not included in the aforementioned snowstorm posts) of "my" Northern mockingbird spending time in my garden's winter wonderland during that time.








 And he/she continues to dine here, as evidenced in the following image!



But, during all of my encounters with this awesome bird type, I've yet to hear him/her sing! So, I ask you, dear reader, does this mean, that since I have not heard him/her sing, is some one going to be buying me a diamond ring? (As the song in the You Tube video posted below suggests.....)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

FAKE NEWS is FOR THE BIRDS!


"Fake News is  FOR THE BIRDS!," claimed this American Robin, when he/she paid a visit to my urban garden (that is on a rooftop in NYC) yesterday. For as you can see, he/she is very puffed up! This what birds do to keep warm. It seems this particular guy/gal, took NYC's groundhog's prediction of an early spring literally (the prediction was real; but the reality could prove to be fake news); and this robin traveled here in anticipation of warmer temps! However, it was quite chilly yesterday!

He/she is fortunate to be a bird in that he/she can puff up; and does not have to pack winter wear when flying!

Imagine the cost he/she saves by not taking an airline that would charge extra fees for him/her to bring an extra coat on board!




Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Come again?"


"Come again?," asked a male duck, as he put his foot up near to his ear, while swimming in one of Central Park's lakes. He is well aware that this expression takes the literal meaning of the phrase-return-to ask someone to repeat a statement, either because it wasn't heard clearly or because its truth is being questioned.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday's Wisdom: MEMO To all creatures! There's life after Valentines Day!



It's the day after Valentines Day; and this morning I noticed that the expression on the face of one of my figurines was less than happy. He'd been fishing for love and did not "catch" anyone to share the day with him.

Someone who really could identify with this little fisherman, is the lone American Robin who has been visiting my urban garden. I have never seen him/her with a mate; and yesterday, he/she seemed a bit wistful (as evidenced in the following pictures) re the prospect of being alone on Valentines Day.



And when he/she wasn't indulging in wistful thinking, he/she flapped his/her wings,



in apparent frustration. When birds exhibit this behavior, I'm reminded what Cam explained about it in her book, Words In Our Beak Volume One,


which is this: "... the male house finch bird type and I, share a behavior which I’ve observed in humans. They might throw their arms up as a gesture to indicate they are frustrated, or giving up, and our bird types both flap our wings in a similar manner, when we want to indicate these emotions or feelings!"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday's Truths WK 29: It's Valentines Day!


On this twenty-ninth week of my Tuesday's Truths series, I'd like to remind you, dear reader, that today is Valentines Day!

According to Wikipedia"this holiday first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline [an example of this can be seen in the picture of one of my figurines — wearing a heart-shaped halo — that is atop this entry]doves, [an example of this can be seen in the picture below, which is of the real ones, albeit mourning doves, who are spending time in the Ailanthus Trees in the courtyard adjacent to the building where I live],


and the figure of the winged Cupid. [an example of this can be seen in the picture of another one of my figurines which is posted directly below].


Wiki also states that "Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards."

Monday, February 13, 2017

"To-morrow is Saint Valentine's Day!" (REPRISED)


Tomorrow is Valentine's Day; and the text-image posted above features what Shakespeare's Ophelia had to say re the eve of this holiday. I discussed her speech in a prior post here on Blogger, back in 2010! And, now, with the soon to be 2017 Valentine holiday, I am thinking of Charles Schultz and his cast of characters re this event.

Perhaps this is on my mind because, yesterday, here on Blogger, I posted an entry as a way of paying homage to Charles Schultz, who died seventeen years ago on February 12, 2000. After all, this is a holiday that he embraced in many a poignant manner! One of the ways can be seen in the following picture;


and another way can be seen in the following image of Schultz's comic strip,


which is from the Facebook Page for The Charles M. Schultz Museum. Moreover, Schultz's Valentine's Day scenarios have been depicted in video format, and a number of them, including the one posted below,



can be seen on You Tube. This particular one makes me think of my figurine (pictured below),


that is rendered in the likeness of a mailman delivering valentines. Knowing how saddened and disappointed Charlie Brown was at his not receiving Valentines Day wishes, causes me to want to stress the importance of folks reaching out to the one, or the ones, that they love, by sending a gift or a card.

In terms of Valentines Day cards, I have designed three (postcard style) that would be very appropriate to give to love birds who love birds. My cards can be seen in the following pictures.




All of the images on the cards are from Cam's book, Words In Our Beak, Volume One.


This book makes a great Valentines Day gift! And, because it is available in iBook and ePub format, the book can be given to one you love immediately; which is a good thing, since, to quote Ophelia,  "To-morrow is Saint Valentine's Day!"

Sunday, February 12, 2017

GOOD GRIEF! It's February 12th Again!



Last year, on February 12th 2016, my post here on Blogger featured the very same photograph seen here (above), atop that particular entry. The image is of a Macy's Ballon rendered in the likeness of Charlie Brown for one of The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades. On last year's blog post, this image was followed by pictures of other balloons featured in Macy's Parades. The ones I am referring to were designed in the likeness of Snoopy and Woodstock. And in that entry I stated: "The pictures posted atop today's entry, February the 12th of 2016 are in honor of Charles Schultz who lived on this earth between the years 11/26/1922—2/12/2000, but, to this day, lives on in the hearts and minds of countless people."

A year has passed since the aforementioned blog post; and the legacy of Schultz, as well as the cast of characters he created, continue to inspire and delight innumerable people! Moreover, the ballon rendered to look like Charlie Brown recently got a make-over; and, it was the leader in this past Macy's Thanksgiving Parade! The following pictures feature Charlie Brown's new "balloon look."



As you can see, he now carries his beloved kite. Charlie Brown's efforts to fly a kite were so heart wrenching! This is a topic, I covered in a post on Go Fly a Kite Day, which was February the eighth. 

Be that as it may, in terms of Charlie Brown's latest role in The Macy's Parade, he came close to side-swiping a lamp post (as seen below).



Now that's what I call a Good Grief moment! However, Charlie Brown did not give into his usual rhetoric of putting himself down! Instead he joked about giving those whom he was leading down the parade's route, a green light!


It was great to see him persevering in his role of parade leader. Often Snoopy and Woodstock bring up the rear when participating in the parade, but at this past November's event, they were no where in sight!