Sunday, January 20, 2019

Penguin Awareness Day 2019



In honor of today's holiday, Penguin Awareness Day, I'm including images of my penguin figurine ("modeling" his vest) atop this entry and a link to a post within Discovery Blog that lists five fun facts re this amazing bird type.

I would love to travel to the areas where they are found, in the meantime, I saw them in the Central Park Zoo many years ago. There something a little sad about seeing them in that situation, in my opinion.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

It's (supposedly) N'tl Popcorn Day

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In my poking around the Internet, I discovered that "National Popcorn Day is a day that celebrates one of America’s favorite snack foods, popcorn. While there is some debate on the origins of this day and on which day it should be celebrated, most popcorn aficionados agree that the day is usually celebrated on January 19th."

I also found a lot of discrepancies as to rather or not wild birds should be fed popcorn. The consensus seems to be that it is ok to do do, if it has been popped (preferably air popped) and without any salt.

Additionally I came across a recipe for popcorn balls that are for the birds and an image of what they evidently look like is posted atop this entry. This photograph is accompanied by a recipe but since I am highly unlikely to prepare this avian treat, even in honor of it being National Popcorn Day, I'm providing you with the "how to link," in the event you are so inclined to make these and I'm also wishing you a happy Popcorn Day.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Remembering Kipling + Rodet


Remembering January the eighteenth as being a day in which a writer died as well as being the birthday (albeit long ago in the 1700's) of someone, who has died but whose book still provides great value to writers.

The writer who died on this day (in 1936) is Rudyard Kipling. As you undoubtedly realize dear reader, Kipling is known for many literary works, including children's books (such as The Jungle Book and Just So stories) and also for poems, (such as IF and The Land).

When I see my lime-themed Christmas ornament (featured in the image atop this entry), I think of a few lines from The Land.

"..... Well could Ogier work his war-boat—well could Ogier wield his brand— 
Much he knew of foaming waters—not so much of farming land. 
So he called to him a Hobden of the old unaltered blood, 
Saying: “What about that River-piece, she doesn’t look no good?”

And that aged Hobden answered: ’Tain’t for me to interfere, 
But I’ve known that bit o’ meadow now for five and fifty year. 
Have it jest as you’ve a mind to, but I’ve proved it time on time, 
If you want to change her nature you have got to give her lime!..'"

I've recently learned that Kipling is known to have said, "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Throwback Thurs.: January 17th 1863 + 1706


PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING POST WAS WRITTEN AND SCHEDULED FOR THIS PUBLICATION TIME BEFORE I LEARNED MARY OLIVER HAD DIED TODAY.  OUT OF RESPECT TO HER, I ALMOST CANCELED THIS ENTRY BUT THAT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT EITHER. SO HERE IT IS:

I don't want this day to pass without giving a shout out to Konstantin (sometimes spelled Constantin) Stanislavski who was born on January 17th in 1863. I became "acquainted" with him during the 1980's when I was studying acting. Many quotes are attributed to him, but the one featured in the web-image directly above is a favorite of mine.

And I also want to give a shout out to Benjamin Franklin who I have written about in prior entries here on Blogger.

Franklin was born on this day in 1706 and like my appreciation for Konstantin's re a quote;  I have an appreciation for a quotation which is associated with Franklin: “Love thy neighbor — but don't pull down your hedge." 

Mary Oliver has just died!

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The post I published here in the wee hours of this day is one I actually wrote the other week but I had scheduled it for publication this morning as it mostly discusses a silly holiday that takes place today.

My morning and afternoon have been spent reading over some of Mary Oliver's  poetry to prepare for an upcoming opportunity. Most of her poems that I've read have dealt with birds and other animals which I've referenced here within my blog. It is only today that I discovered her poem, Flare, and here is a passage (from stanza 12):

When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,

like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.

A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.

Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

Live with the beetle, and the wind.

This is the dark bread of the poem.
This is the dark and nourishing bread of the poem.

After coming upon this poem, I did even more research and came across an interview she had with Maria Shriver.

It's Ditch New Years Resolutions Day + MORE!



According to a web- page on Holiday Insights (HI) "If there's a day to celebrate New Years and to make resolutions for the upcoming year, then there should be a day to ditch those resolutions. That's the reason for today [January 17th]."

HI goes on to proclaim "If you haven't broken or given up all of those New Year's resolutions, you're doing better than most of us. Maybe, you're well along the way to accomplishing them. Maybe, a few are already checked off on your list. Good for you! For many of us, New Years resolutions are hanging heavily over our heads. They have become a burden, and perhaps were not such a good idea after all. Then...... of course, there's the New Years resolutions that have already been broken. If you haven't accomplished, broken, or given up your New Year's resolutions, today is your chance to get out from under them."

So in honor of this holiday, I've posted a comic strip of Dilbert as well as a cartoon by Bill Whitehead atop this entry as they "address" the making of New Years resolutions.

I guess ditching New Years resolutions won't be on my to-do list today because I didn't make any, which has been my standard for a number of years now. I confessed this in a 2011 blog post, where I stated, "It's not that I don't have resolutions to make: I have bills to pay, a temper to monitor, faith that feels watered down and it needs building up, and the habit of swearing that needs to be stopped immediately.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wednesday's Wisdom is from Geese




The three pictures atop this entry as well as the three that are directly below...




.... are ones I took of a Canadian goose who I happened upon while walking in Central Park a few weeks ago. I was intrigued by how he/she seemed to be engaging with his/her reflection in The Pond and had hoped to find out (via Internet research) if Canadian geese recognize their own reflection.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Did Cam kiss a frog?



To anyone who read my previous posting here on Blogger re the snafu with one of Cam's books...

...  I may have solved the mystery of why a book about frogs seemed to have taken over the entire story: Cam may have kissed a frog!

You LITERALLY can't judge a book by its cover! (Tuesday's Second Truth for WK 110)


Earlier today I published a post for my 110th episode of my Tuesday's Truths series, but here's another: You literally can't judge a book by its cover.

I recently was informed by someone who bought volume three of my book series, Words In Our Beak that the one she received from Amazon had my cover, but story inside was not mine, for it seems a book titled A Knot of Frogs was in its place.

Northern Cardinals do like their peanuts! (Tuesday's Truths WK 110)


From the look on this male Northern cardinal's face, you might surmise that he was reacting to the news (announced in a recent posting here on Blogger) that an avian researcher at Cornell used commercial hair dying products (designed for women) to dye the feathers of his bird type.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday's Memo: It's the Festum Asinorum (AKA asinariafesta) AKA Fête de l'âne AKA "The Feast of the Ass"




The donkey figurine seen in the pictures here is all dressed up in honor of today's holiday: The Feast of The Ass, known as Festum Asinorum (or asinariafesta) in Latin and Fête de l'âne in French.

This event is always celebrated on January the fourteenth!

According to checkiday.com"The Feast of the Ass was a Christian feast during medieval times, which was mainly celebrated in France. It celebrated all of the donkeys of the Bible, especially the one that was believed to have brought Jesus and his family into Egypt after Jesus' birth, during what is known as the Flight into Egypt. At that time, the family was fleeing the killing of young boys by Herod the Great. Another example of a donkey in the Bible is the one that Jesus rode on into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It is also believed that a donkey was in the stable in which Jesus was born. First celebrated during the eleventh century, the holiday is connected to the Feast of Fools, and was inspired by the pagan Roman festival Cervulus..." 

Please join me, dear reader, in wishing my sweet figurine well on her holiday!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

International Skeptics Day 2019 ETC


I am featuring this October 2018 image of a turtle in Central Park as it seems to me that the turtle featured in it (where he/she is lounging upon a rock alongside the lake in Central Park) may have been feeling a little skeptical, which would have been apropos for this day of January 13th, as this is one of two days that a holiday known as International Skeptics Day is celebrated. I guess there are so many creatures as well as humans are skeptical that it requires two separate holidays!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

"Whistler of the North"


I took the photo of a White-throated Sparrow atop that is atop this entry when I was giving a "tour" of the Hallett Nature Sanctuary (in Central Park) to JS, the woman who allowed me to exchange copies of my book series (Words In Our Beak)...


for a  Douglas Fir Christmas Tree from Canada, where she lives.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thursday's Tirade Re Interfering with Feathers


The photograph of a Northern cardinal that is atop this entry is one I took when I was in Central Park this past February and the image came to my mind when I read some disturbing news re a study done on male Northern cardinals by a researcher (L. LaReesa Wolfenbarger) associated with Cornell University.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wednesday's Wisdom is from Cormorants


The bird seen atop this image, as you may know dear reader is a Cormorant. In it he/she is swimming in either the lake or in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.

I confess that I'm not sure of the exact location that I encountered this bird as I took this photo of him/her in May of 2018.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The End of the First Week in 2019


Since this evening marks the end of the first week in this new year of 2019, I'd like to tell you that someone from the FB Chat Team re fundraising has made me aware (this afternoon) of how I could post an update to my personal fundraiser.

A Fear of Ducks Phobia = Anatidaephobia (Tuesday's Truths WK 109)


I recently came across some information re Anatidaephobia that I found interesting so I'm drawing your attention to it in this 109th episode of my Tuesday's Truths series.

Evidently (according to many sources including the web-page quoted here), "a person suffering from this condition feels that somewhere in the world, a duck or a goose is watching him/her (not attacking or touching, simply watching the individual)."

This page explains with apparent empathy that "There are many kinds of seemingly irrational fears and phobias prevalent in the world. What might be laughing matter to people, is not so to a phobic."

As you can see, dear reader, the photograph atop this posting is of a female and male Mallard. I took it when I was in Central Park a few weeks ago. Anyone coming upon this pair of ducks would notice that the male is preening, but if the person who happened to come upon these ducks was suffering from Anatidaephobia, he/she might have cause for alarm; for it does seem as if the male is watching as he preens.

Btw, the aforementioned page explains that the word "Anatidaephobia is derived from a Greek word ‘Anatidae’ which means ducks, geese or other water fowls, and phobos is Greek for dread/fear."

Monday, January 7, 2019

#MondayMotivation?


It's Monday; and so, anyone who follows Twitter, knows this means the topic #MondayMotivation is trending, but this is not just any Monday, it's the first Monday of a New Year and motivation might be a bit higher.

The image atop this entry is from a Peanuts' tweet on the subject of #MondayMotivation that I saw quite some time ago. When I saw it, my initial thought was what does this particular cartoon have to do with motivation?

This cartoon appears to be more about perseverance (which Charlie Brown seems to do on a number of occasions) than motivation.

Perhaps I see CB's drive to "kick it clear to the moon," as perseverance since I'm one who perseveres, as evidenced by the information re my fundraiser on Facebook.

Btw, for those who don't do FB but would like to contribute, please refer to the lefthand side bar of this blog. The information is posted below the Donate Button (which is the eighth item in that sidebar's list) and thanks.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Feast of the Epiphany and Related Matters


Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, (also known as Three Kings Day), a celebration that I've blogged about in bygone years. I don't have anything to add to my musings re that subject, so please click here to read my former entries and have yourself a blessed Epiphany!

Meanwhile, because there were three kings it's a good time to once again DISPEL (I first attempted to do this here on Blogger in 2011) the adage, "bad things happen in three."

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Twelfth Day of Christmas and other Stuff

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Happy Twelfth Day of Christmas. According to a song, it's the day when someones's true love gave to them twelve Lords a leaping, eleven ladies dancing, ten pipers piping, nine drummers drumming; as well as eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

In honor of the day, I've posted a picture of an illustration (by Roberta Baird) of the bird known as a cuckoo atop this entry. According to a web-page (12 Birds of Christmas), "The lords a-leaping are cuckoos. The cuckoo hen notoriously lays her eggs in another bird's nest. Because of this the cuckoo became a symbol for immorality and disorder. Not just this day, but the whole season of twelve days was a time of misrule and sexual license. The world was turned upside down, and the lowliest laborers might become the highest lords. The twelve lords a-leaping bring the song to an end, since twelve is the number of completion. As we return to normal life again, we remember that spring will be coming, life will be renewed, order will form out of disorder, and the cycle will continue."

And FYI, today is not only The Twelfth Day of Christmas, it is also National Bird Day...

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... which I've written about in bygone years; please click here to reference those entries.

Now have yourself a merry little Twelfth Day of Christmas and remember tonight is Twelfth Night!

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Eleventh Day of Christmas and other Stuff



It's The Eleventh Day of Christmas, the day when someones's true love gave to them (according to a song) eleven ladies dancing, ten pipers piping, nine drummers drumming, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. In honor of Christmas's Eleventh Day, I've posted my photos of ornaments that were created in honor of today's occasion of ladies dancing.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Tenth Day of Christmas and other Stuff

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Happy Tenth Day of Christmas, the day when someones's true love gave to them (according to a song) ten pipers piping, nine drummers drumming; as well as eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

The web-page, 12 Birds Of Christmas, has this to say re The Tenth Day of Christmas: "We sing the song with the ten lords a-leaping, but originally it was ten pipers piping, at least in England. In earliest known variant found in North America, on the Tenth Day of Christmas, the true love sent ten Cocks A-Crowing. It's all the same, however. Cocks and sandpipers were both legendary for being noisy, excitable, vain and arrogant, feisty, and sexually aggressive  It was shortly after the broadside was published that the word 'rooster' replaced 'cock' in polite company in North America. That may help explain why we don't hear that version today..." 

In honor of the gift of pipers piping on this Tenth Day of Christmas, I've posted an illustration by  Roberta Baird, whose whose other bird illustration I included in yesterday's post here on Blogger.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Ninth Day of Christmas and other Stuff

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Happy Ninth Day of Christmas, dear reader! This is the day when someones's true love gave to them (according to a song) nine drummers drumming; as well as eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. In honor of the day, I've posted a picture (by the illustrator Roberta Baird) of a bird known as a drummer atop this entry.

According to a web-page (12 Birds of Christmas), "with this verse, the order of the gifts we sing is changed from the original. Instead of ladies dancing, in the earliest known version, on this day drummers were drumming. In England and mainland Europe, the most common drumming bird was the Snipe. Where and when snipes do their drumming is important. Snipes drum in the spring soon after fields have been plowed and are most fertile, and until the mid-18th Century when the new year began. The number nine represents harmony and eternity. Fertility coupled with both harmony and eternity creates the most powerful force we can know."

By the way since this Ninth Day of Christmas is falling on a Wednesday, the day designated in social media as Wednesday's Wisdom I have a bit to offer but it has nothing to do with drummers drumming or any other bird for that matter.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

It's now 2019 + also the 8th Day of Christmas! (Tuesday's Truths WK 108)


Happy New Year, dear reader. Hope you had a joy-filled New Year's Eve! As for me, I spent part of mine watching the fireworks in Central Park. It was quite a rainy Eve but that did not deter people from enjoying the display, and at least we could have umbrellas! 

I'm told umbrellas aren't allowed in the areas where people go to view the ball drop in Time Square, but as I said in an FB post, that event has never interested me. 

Bringing in a New Year by being in nearby Central Park with mostly hood people who are viewing the display of fireworks (some pictures of this year's"show" can be seen directly below) has been my standard for many years; and in fact, I wrote about this event a number of times here on Blogger, including a 2011 entry.







Btw, not only is today the first day of 2019, it's also The Eighth Day of Christmas, the day when someones's true love (according to a song) gave to them eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.