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Monday, December 30, 2013

The Sixth Day of Christmas

Patricia Youngquist (The Last Leaf Gardener) also gives voice to figurines rendered by artists.

The last time I posted here on Blogger was 12-5-13, twenty days before Christmas, and, now it is already the sixth day of Christmas, a day when someone's true love gave to them among other things) six geese a laying . . ."

While I do have a true love, he did not give me six geese a laying, but my visiting crocodile (pictured above with six Christmas trees atop his back) reminded me that on this sixth day of Christmas, I do not need six geese a laying because in the main room of my studio apartment, I have six Christmas trees a standing . . .  

My crocodile is correct, for in the main room of my apartment, I do have six trees a standing. Three of them are in my armoire as seen in the image below.

Patricia Youngquist (The Last Leaf Gardener) also gives voice to figurines rendered by artists.

And you may recall, dear reader, (from previous posts here on Blogger), members of casts of characters "hung" out for the Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons in my armoire for it has become a place where whimsical characters have designated as a place to meet 'n greet, to network with one another, and to save me from taking myself too seriously.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Lesson from Reindeer!

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @

The three reindeer seen in the image atop today's blog entry are enjoying a good laugh about the antics of yours truly (as well as the antics of my visiting candy corn fraternal twins). For as you may recall, dear reader, in my last post here on Blogger (which was this past Wednesday, November the twenty-seventh), I was in full agreement with the candy corn twins' "not-so-fast-advice" when it came to the preparation for the Christmas holidays; and rightly so, for at that time, it was the eve of Thanksgiving and the corn twins had every right to tell the Peppermint People to hide their faces until at least December (which they ultimately did as seen in the image below which was featured in an entry on hometalk).

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @

But now it has been a week since Thanksgiving and the Christmas season is in full swing in New York City. The famous annual ritual of the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree took place last night, less than one week after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; another annual event, one which I covered here on Blogger in 2012 (in posts that you may refer to by clicking here as well as here)  because it was the first time I had ever seen the entire parade.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @

Not SOOOOOO Fast! The fraternal candy corn twins who are the "stars"of Halloween and Thanksgiving in my indoor succulent garden reprimand the Peppermint People telling them we need to enjoy Thanksgiving BEFORE we deck our halls with boughs of Holly for Christmas! INFO may be found by clicking here

Monday, November 25, 2013

Antics in my Indoor Succulent Garden (MOSTLY) #2

This is my second post re my effort to distribute my blog content across the board as I discussed in a prior post here on Blogger. My focus in my other blogging venues (tumblr and hometalk) — with a slightly different take in each one — continues (for the most part) to be on the comings and goings of visitors to my succulent garden as they pertain to Thanksgiving; which is in four days time including today (November 25th 2013).

Because of this fact re the holiday, a few more guests have begun to arrive in my succulent garden and their photo-ops can be seen within this entry, for as you may recall, in a recent entry here on Blogger, I featured photo-ops (and stories) of some characters who had arrived to visit my succulent garden for the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday. Since that time, a number of characters have come to join us and their photo-ops are as follows:

As for my roof extension garden, I am thrilled to report that Emily (my visiting Baltimore oriole) is still here. She can be seen below in photo-ops that were included in a recent entry on TLLG's FB Page.

Other birds continue to visit my garden and I appreciate the antics of most all of them, but for now my cyber-postings have focused on Emily because it is most unusual for her "breed" to be in the northeastern portion of the United States at this time of year. In fact, "Baltimore Orioles are mostly in the tropics, though a few individuals linger, even in the northern states and provinces. No one knows why some individuals are stragglers every year--most of these are seen in November and December, so ornithologists believe most of them end up dying as winter gets more severe." (More info can be found by clicking here.)

Therefore I've been posting photo-ops and stories re her stay here in an atempt to procure info on how I might help her survive.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stop and Smell the Cranberries (AT LEAST EAT 'EM)

Yesterday, November the 23rd, was Eat a Cranberry Day. This is not a major holiday in the scheme of things, but as an urban gardener, I had every inclination to write about it here on Blogger, and to illustrate my post with photo-ops of a cranberry vine which grows in my urban (NYC) garden.  

However, I became distracted, and did not utter one word about this unusual holiday, and, so without further ado, dear reader, with the photo-ops posted above this entry (taken in my garden), I wish you a happy belated Eat a Cranberry Day.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NOW Fifty (50) Years Later: November 23, 2013

Because, yesterday, November 22nd 2013, was the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of the USA 35th president John F. Kennedy, I am pausing from my "regular" topics as it feels somewhat disrespectful to veer from that subject.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Antics in my Indoor Succulent Garden (MOSTLY) #1

Today is Post One re my effort to distribute my blog content across the board as I discussed in yesterday's post here on Blogger. My focus in my other blogging venues (tumblr and hometalk) — with a slightly different take in each one —  was on the comings and goings in my succulent garden as they pertain to Thanksgiving; which is in ten days time including today (November 19th 2013). Because of this fact re the holiday, a few guests have begun to arrive in my succulent garden and their photo-ops can be seen within this entry.

The character at the top of this post calls herself Madam Falling Leaf, and she is especially close to my heart since I call myself TLLG, an abbreviation for The Last Leaf Gardener, a name based on the O'Henry story, The Last Leaf.

Monday, November 18, 2013

"That was the week that was, it's over . . ."

According to Wiki, once upon a time (in the 1960's), there was a popular television show called "That Was The Week That Was" which opened with a song, whose lyrics included, "That was the week that was, it's over, let it go . . ."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013

Today, 11-11-13 — in honor of Veterans Day — there are a number of parades in the USA, including NYC where I live. Moreover, a few of my characters are having a parade in my succulent garden to honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

hAlLoWeEn 2013 (ETC)

Today is October the thirty-first and it has been one month since I've posted an entry here on Blogger. I'm obviously not adhering to a schedule I had hoped to keep in this particular cyber venue when I announced my plans for my posting on Blogger in October of 2011.

However, if you follow TLLG's web activity you most likely know that I've been diligent in keeping up with content on TLLG's Facebook Page as well as on my Pinterest Boards, and to some extent tumblrwhich are good places to find me if you don't see a posting on Blogger.

Moreover, since June of 2013, I've been posting entries on hometalk, which is a place that reached out to me upon reading an entry I published re bird feeders here on Blogger. And in addition to this, as of August 2013, I am a regular contributor to Cornell's FB Page.

Having said all this, I'd like to get back to posting more frequently here on Blogger and am rethinking a viable schedule for doing so. I hope to come up with an itinerary before the distraction of November and December holidays set in.

For now, let me confess that juggling these venues has been a challenge, and unlike the character pictured at the top of today's entry (who has come to visit my succulent garden for Halloween) I am not a master at juggling activities nor am I good at most types of multi-tasking. The biggest reason for this is I put all my energy into the task at hand and if I can't be as thorough as I want to be with a particular task I put it off until I can.

Be that as it may, I am back here on Blogger today, October 31st 2013, which also happens to be Halloween, a holiday I've written about a number of times on this venue in bygone years.

Often when I've written about Halloween I've included info on how I've decorated my indoor succulent garden for Halloween. This year's decor was enhanced by four groups of visitors who came to visit me for the festivities, including the juggler whose image is at the top of today's entry. The juggler is one of the visitors from GROUP D and he can be seen with his comrades in the image below.

Details about these characters are in a post on hometalk.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Another month over . . .

Thirty days hath September, and by the end of this day, the month of September will have ended for 2013. It has passed slowly for me on a certain level for I have spent the month recovering from an accident I had one month and one day ago on August 29th 2013. 

Additionally, I was knocked out of commission by a nasty virus/cold for nearly twelve days beginning on September 15th 2013 (two days after my last posting here on Blogger) until this past Tuesday, September 24th when Juan V came to work in my garden and ultimately took the image atop today's entry.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Honoring & Remembering the Service of Others Heartfelt Thanks to Ms. Susan Grimstead of WBU-NJ (as well as Sarah, D. William, Robert and Chris)

This past Wednesday was the twelfth anniversary of the 9-11-11 attacks and in bygone years I have dedicated blog posts (including ones here on Blogger) to those who lost lives in the attacks as well as to those who mourn losses as a result of that tragedy.

This year I acknowledged the anniversary on TLLG's FB Page as well as in an entry on hometalk. Both of the aforementioned posts included the photograph atop today's blogger entry. The image is of One World Trade Center (formerly known as The Freedom Tower), and it was taken by yours truly from a vantage point on the greenway along Manhattan's westside, slightly north of the Christopher Street entrance.

It is hard for me to believe that so much time has passed since that horrific day, but indeed time has passed and the construction taking place at the WTC site (including the building of One World Trade Center) is a physical indication of this fact.

During this year's 9-11-01 coverage, I heard the tail-end of a radio interview where the guests on the program were two brothers, who had lost someone in the attacks, and who were focusing their energy on efforts to promote the idea of September Eleventh being dedicated as a day to SERVE OTHERS, in memory of those both living and deceased, who served (by giving of their time and talents) to others on that fateful day and in the aftermath.

The position of these brothers is that while we still mourn the dead, and while we still feel for those who now have illnesses related to 9-11, a road to true healing is to also focus on how folks came together to help others in their time of need. 

One of the examples they cited was that of a man who came to NYC from Michigan — on a bus — to honor this year's 9-11 by helping folks (who were strangers to him) rebuild their homes (in Staten Island) which had been damaged as a result of a hurricane named Super Storm Sandy.

During the interview it was also brought up how service to others should not be limited to a one day dedication, nor does "service" need to always be in the form of a large gesture. Small gestures of service are essential too; and it is important to offer them as well as to honor them.

In my lifetime, I have been blessed by my interactions with a number of folks, and in today's entry, I'd like to acknowledge how my recent encounters with others have helped me to resolve (hopefully) an issue I am having feeding birds in my urban (NYC) garden; hence, my title for today's post: Heartfelt Thanks to Ms. Susan Grimstead of WBU-NJ (as well as Sarah, D. William, Robert and Chris).

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Following Up (On a 8-2-13 Blogger Post)

The last time that I posted here on Blogger I mentioned that it was my fascination with the array of wild birds which visit my rooftop garden, that prompted me to be more observant than I had been in bygone years of the seagulls that I saw when I visited a couple of beaches last week with my sister. (A few photo-ops of these seagulls can be seen atop this entry.)

I am home now, and at the moment my "fascination with the array of wild birds which visit my garden," has turned into a mission: a mission as to what I can do to deter mourning doves and pigeons from interfering with my bird-feeders!

I understand these birds need to eat too, and I am happy to provide nourishment for them, but no matter what I do, the mourning doves as well as pigeons gravitate towards the feeders which are not intended for them!

Friday, August 2, 2013


I have been away from Blogger to focus on my sister's annual visit, and now I'm focusing on a behavior of the mourning doves that visit my garden, a behavior in which they alight on one of my bird feeders in such a manner (as indicated in the image posted above) that it causes seeds to fall to the ground, "inviting" mice and pigeons into my garden, a problem I am continuing to have, and a problem that I will now be aggressive about finding a solution to resolve it now that my sister has left.

Prior to her arrival, I did procure a mini vacuum cleaner (the hand-held variety) to collect the fallen seeds, which will help to some extent, but some of the creatures that are ground feeders are ones that I want to have around, such as Cam and Mac, my visiting cardinal couple, seen in the image below.

My cardinal couple does not like to perch on any of the feeders that I have, so I am thinking of installing a pole system to secure my feeders, which may encourage Cam — as well as Mac — to perch on feeders that will have trays to collect falling seeds. By eliminating falling seeds I hope to deter the pigeons and mice who now visit far too often!

Meanwhile it is the behaviors and antics of the array of wild birds which visit my garden, that caused me to observe the seagulls I saw at two different beaches on the Atlantic Ocean (during my sister's visit) from another perspective than I had when I'd seen them in bygone years. 

Friday, July 19, 2013


Because I now have two pigeons visiting my garden (pictured above) and more than an occasional mouse (pictured below),

I have been trying to figure out another way to feed my wild song birds (eg a few blue jays; my cardinal couple; a lone chickadee as well as a lone downy wood pecker;  a number of dark-eyed juncoes, house finches, mourning doves, tuft titmouses, and white breasted sparrows) while deterring pigeons and mice who have been showing up to nosh on the crumbs my song birds spill on the "floor" when they eat from my feeders!

It would probably be prudent for me to simply stop putting bird seed in my feeders and changing the water in the bird bath for a few weeks to discourage the pigeons and mice.

However, in New York City where I live, we have been under a siege of oppressively hot temperatures since last Friday July 12th (with real feel temperatures reaching past "the century mark," according to Acu-Weather and the thermometer in my garden), and, therefore removing food and water sources during this stressful weather conditions for people as well as wild birds seems cruel.

Hence, I only removed my larger feeders and when putting seed in the smaller feeders (such as the one pictured below), 

was conservative with any amount I used in an effort to reduce spillage of seeds, and the smaller feeders which I have are designed for such purposes. But as you can see (in the images above and below), a lone (and very smart) mourning dove surveyed the situation by staring — shamelessly — at a lone house finch who was trying to nosh in peace!

And after making his/her observations of how the finch ate from the feeder, he/she switched his/her gaze to me, and then moved in to the finch's space taking over the feeder!

Moreover, as he/she moved around the feeder (as seen in the images below),

Much of the seed fell to my garden's floor, where, — you guessed it — was swooped up by my salivating pigeon couple!

Don't get me wrong, I know pigeons must eat too, but it is illegal to feed them in NYC;  and I don't want to see a mourning dove arrested!