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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday's Sequel: Khaki Campbell Ducks

In yesterday's blog post, I mentioned that in the 1800's, Mrs. Adele Campbell of Gloucestershire, England developed the breed of ducks known as by the name Khaki Campbell. This duck variety can be seen in the images atop this entry, where he/she is spending time in NYC's Hudson River.

According to a web-page for Moose Manor Farms,"In a later attempt to create a duck with buff colored feathers, as buff was a fad at the time, Mrs. Campbell mated her original Campbell’s back to Penciled Runner ducks. The resulting color, not quite buff, reminded her of British army uniforms, so she named these new ducks 'Khaki Campbell.'"

Friday, September 29, 2017

Today's Friday (September 29, 2017) Facts: Tashlikh ends. Yom Kippur begins at sundown.

Earlier today, I published a post re some interesting facts that I had learned about a Muscovy duck (who turns out is named Jewel) whom I initially met on Wednesday, September the twentieth, when I spent time on a pier which is on The Hudson River.

Last evening when I went down to that same pier to visit the birds, I saw Jewel on an adjacent pier in the company of Mallard ducks and pigeons, as evidenced in the image atop this entry. While I was there, someone pointed out to me that lots of bread varieties had been dumped in the river as evidenced in the next picture.

This included whole club rolls (indicated by light grey arrow), whole semolina loaves (indicated with white arrows), whole kaiser rolls (indicated with black arrows), whole bialys (indicated by yellow circles), as well as a whole bagel (indicated by an orange circle), as seen below.

The person who pointed this out to me was deeply disturbed, for she knows how dangerous it is for wild birds to eat most breads.

Friday Follow-Up: Mysterious Muscovy has a name! (As well as a number of friends!)

This past Friday, September 22, 2017, I went down by the riverside (Hudson River) to see if the Muscovy duck who I first met on Wednesday, September the 20th, was there. I was so pleased to have a chance to see the lovely creature again, also to find him/her amongst other avian creatures, including house sparrowspigeons, and molting Mallard ducks; all of whom can be seen in the photographs atop this entry. A woman was on the same pier where I stood. She told me that this Muscovy duck's name is Jewel. Then she informed me that Jewel has been coming here since 2015.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Throwback Thursday: 9-20-2017's Tandem Tale (The Seventh Ride of the 2017 Season)

The three photographs which are atop this entry feature various views (from my vantage point of being in the backseat of an automobile that was heading north up the FDR) of what was once known as The Queensboro Bridge. This bridge connects the neighborhood of Long Island City in the borough of Queens with Manhattan. Sometimes it is called The 59th Street Bridge because its Manhattan end is located between 59th and 60th Streets.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday's Wisdom: Cherish All Beings

The Mutts comic strip which is posted above was released one year go today, September 27, 2015. In honor of the anniversary of Patrick McDonnell's publishing this, I'm offering it as this week's WW (Wednesday's Wisdom).

And, as you may know, dear reader, especially if you follow this blog, where I've featured a number of Mutts strips within my entries, many of McDonnell's comic strips are full of insight and inspiration.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday's Truths WK 57: Molting & Mallards

It's the fifty-seventh week of my Tuesday's Truths series and I'd like to dedicate my entry to some facts re molting when it comes to Mallard ducks. I am prompted to point out a few truisms re this topic, because this past Wednesday, when I was at a pier on The Hudson River (in NYC) and met my first Muscovy duck; I also came upon a number of mallards going through their molting process; as evidenced in the photographs atop this entry.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday's Musings

In yesterday's blog post, I discussed how a certain physical trait ("red facial skin with odd warty growths") of the Muscovy duck, reminded me of a trait I have as a result of my own medical condition, which is know as NF-1 (Neurofibromatosis Type One).

The bird type I'm referring to can be seen in the photograph posted above, where he/she seems to be having a good laugh over something the pigeons (also picture here) may have said.

It was moving to see these bird types interacting with each other while not making an issue of their differences in physical appearance. Perhaps humans could learn something from these birds re the matter of folks shunning someone because of a "deformity" that another individual may have.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday's Statements: The "odd warty growths" (One Side-Effect of Being a Muscovy Duck)

The bird seen in the photographs atop this entry is known as a Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata). I encountered the creature last Wednesday (9-20-2017), when I took a walk along a Hudson River pier located in NYC's UWS.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Wild Bird Fund's Open House is Today (AND It's also being held tomorrow!)

The photograph which is atop this posting is of The Wild Bird Fund's (WBF) storefront, which is located on the UWS of NYC; specifically at 565 Columbus Ave. This image is featured in an announcement that I received from them re an event that they are holding today as well as tomorrow.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Honoring Aaron Anderson (d 9-22-2011) ETC

I have only recently learned of Aaron Anderson's passing. According to his obituary, Aaron died six years ago on this day of September the 22nd in the year 2011, at the age of thirty. Aaron Anderson is the brother of actress, Gillian Anderson, who wrote me the handwritten note (long before her brother passed away) which is posted atop this entry.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Today is my nephew James's birthday. He can be seen in the photograph (which was taken in 2014) atop this entry. It features James checking out a garden hose that I had mailed to him. James's hose is a custom made one in the sense that it was made from my garden hose which can be seen in the picture directly below,

where it is indicated by an arrow I've superimposed over the image; which was also taken a number of years ago. It's an old story, but I'm featuring it today in honor of my nephew's birthday; and, also as a suggestion for what one can do with a garden hose that is too long or cumbersome.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Where are you, Wednesday's Wisdom?

For over one year, every Wednesday, here on Blogger, I've published a posting associated with what I call Wednesday's Wisdom. But today, I find myself feeling far from wise about anything.

Therefore, I find myself expressing similar thoughts that lyric lines in a Christmas song from How the Grinch Stole Christmas stateThe lines which I'm referring to ask, "Where are you Christmas? Christmas, Why Can't I Find You??; and, today, I'm asking, Where are you wisdom? Why Can't I Find You?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday's Truths WK 56: Anel's now Aēsop

Today marks the fifty-sixth week of my Tuesday's Truths series and I'd like to dedicate this entry as a follow-up to yesterday's post re Anel Cleaners, which has been a fixture on NYC's Upper Westside long before Lincoln Center opened in the 1960's. Anel shut down in April of 2016. Leo Saltzman's (the dearly departed sole proprietor of Anel) daughter, Robin, whom I've known for many years told me that the closing of Anel had nothing to do with rent increases as "her father bought the building years ago." 

Ms. Saltzman has now rented the space that was known as Anel to Aēsop (an Australian cosmetic brand). According to an article titled Tacklebox creates Aēsop Upper West Side in former dry cleaners, which is written by Dan Howarth, "Having made the choice to retire, she (Robin Saltzman) hand-picked Aēsop to reimagine their (Anel's) space." The result of the new storefront can be seen in the set of photograph posted directly atop this blog post.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday's Musings: Reflecting on Leo Saltzman

The building seen in the image atop this entry, is one I've passed by on countless occasions during my years of living in NYC. Nearly each time that I do so, passersby have stopped to marvel at the sign which belonged to the sole proprietor, Leo Saltzman. I have heard the back-story regarding this sign on a number of occasions from Leo Saltzman, who passed away a couple of years ago.

No one relays the "sign story" with the same flair that Mr. Saltzman did, and, I won't attempt to do so, rather, I'll share an article that James Barron wrote for The New York Times (the NY Region section).

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday's Sequel (Re 9/16's Costal Cleanup)

The Canadian geese since in the photographs atop this entry were ones I encountered yesterday, September the sixteenth, when I participated in an event sponsored by Audubon Society NYC, which involved costal clean-up.

In fact, costal clean-up was an event that took place across the entire globe on this day. According to a web-page, "Coastal Cleanup Day was established by the Ocean Conservancy, an organization that work to help protect the ocean from the challenges it faces every year. They serve as a voice for the ocean, speaking of the issues that aren’t often represented through social networking, publicized updates, and challenges like asking your waitress to skip the straw for your drink. Efforts like that work towards a trash free ocean.

Trash in the water impacts the world on many levels, including harming wildlife, humans, and impacting the livelihood of those who work on the ocean. It causes economic damage by affecting tourism and recreation and the money they bring into those communities that are the ocean shore. The Ocean Conservatory knows that solving these issues requires bold initiatives and eliminating the sources of the trash that damages the ocean.

Empowering people to take an active role in the preservation and cleaning up of the ocean are important parts of helping conservation of the ocean. By spreading tips and techniques to help reduce trash they help people everywhere aid the cleanup of our oceans."

My participation led me (via a bus) to The North Channel Bridge area in NYC, where along with a number of other volunteers (some of who can be seen in the image following picture,

which was taken by Danielle Sherman of Audubon Society NYC after we had completed three hours of attempting to clear the beach of items on a form-style check list (as well as items not listed on that form).

Saturday, September 16, 2017

They had me at American Oystercatcher!

This past August I received some information from Audubon Society NYC, and it included the image seen atop this blog entry. The correspondence included a narrative stating the following:

Join NYC Audubon, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, Wild Bird Fund and the Linnaean Society of New York at North Channel Bridge to take part in a multi-state effort to improve coastline habitat. The North Channel Bridge area, used by species like the American oystercatcher, is also a stone's throw away from the Harbor Heron Island and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Help us clear the beach and raise awareness of the importance of coastal areas to birdlife. Limited transportation from Manhattan available.

The North Channel Bridge Beach Cleanup is part of an annual international effort coordinated in NYS by the American Littoral Society ( It is a global volunteer effort to cleanup beaches for the marine life, shore birds, wildlife, and you- the beachgoer. Anyone can participate and it is a great way to give back and spend time outdoors. No other program in New York does more to improve the coastal environment than the International Coastal Cleanup.

Wear: comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes.

I was very excited to receive this news and grateful about the prospect of taking part in an activity to help shorebirds, however, the last sentence, Wear: comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes, has me somewhat unnerved. This is because I have been wearing a boot cast for five weeks, and as you may know, those "shoes" are not close-toed, as evidenced below.

The image you see features yours truly wearing a boot cast that had some bling. This bling was given to me as a belated birthday gift by a chaplain who also took the picture. It really made my cast look elegant and it made me feel I was far along in my recovery.

Friday, September 15, 2017

It's National Pow/Mia Recognition Day (Remembering Major Ernest Olds)

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.

I still have a POW bracelet that has the name MAJ. ERNEST OLDS 3-11-68 inscribed on it.

I bought the bracelet when I was working as a busgirl while in high school. The date 3-11-68 indicates the day Major Ernest Olds went missing.

I first wrote a blog entry about my having this bracelet in May of 2011; and I included the image atop this entry that shows where I store it, which is in a candy dish that belonged to my grandmother. It is now filled with mustard seeds (as seen in the image atop this post) that nearly bury my bracelet.

If this story sounds familiar to you, dear reader, it is because I spoke about it my 2016 blog posting for National Pow/Mia Recognition Day where I stated the following:

"Nearly one year after I made that post, I received a comment from an anonymous source which stated:

AnonymousSaturday, May 12, 2012 9:16:00 PM
How funny...nearly one year after this blog was posted, For no reason whatsoever, I am rummaging through my dresser and find the POW bracelet I had from the 1970's. I decide to 'google' the name on the bracelet and find that I am not the only one who holds on to the POW bracelet of Maj. Ernest Olds, 3-11-68. Thank you Maj. Olds for your service to our Country.

I replied to this comment in the following way:
 Sunday, May 13, 2012 4:28:00 PM
Wow, this brings tears to my eyes, Anonymous! The chances of us still having Major Ernest Olds' bracelet! The fact that we have POW bracelets bearing Major Ernest Olds name would probably mean something to any surviving family members. I wonder if they ever found out what happened to him. I too thank Major Olds for his service to our country, and I pray his family is at peace.

And, lo, and behold, a year and a few months later, I received an email from the great niece of Major Ernest Olds. In it she stated this:

'My family and I have just come across your blog post about Ernest A. Olds. We stumbled across it over a family dinner with my grandpa, Ernest's brother. While listening to his stories we decided to google my great uncle Ernest, and we were really touched by your writing. If you're interested, feel free to shoot me an email and I can get you in touch with my grandpa, who would welcome the opportunity to talk to you. Thanks again for your comments!'

I was able to reach the man who was Major Ernest Old's brother and here's what he had to say: 'I'm Ernie's younger brother, and I've been following your emails with my granddaughter, Lauren… You will find a lot of info about him if you Google Major Ernest A. Olds… (Info claiming) that he was seen on the 1967 German-made propaganda film 'Pilots in Pajamas' is not true.  I've seen the film and Ernie was shot  down in 1968, so the timing is wrong. I truly enjoyed your story about the mustard seed jar and your grandmother.'

The latter of the aforementioned correspondence was also in 2013. In 2014, I reached out to Ernest Old's brother again, this time to honor the birthdate of Ernest Olds which is July 14, 1934, but I have not done so since that time. People have busy lives and I don't want them to be sorry that they contacted me. 

It has been over two years since the great niece of Ernest Olds reached out to me, and this past Saturday, September 10th 2016 — the eve of the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorists attacks, I got a message on my Facebook Page from someone who had come across my first blog post re Major Ernest Olds! She didn't know him, but she also happens to have a bracelet that has his name inscribed on it. I was able to fill her in (via Facebook messaging).

Now, on this POW/MIA Recognition Day, I'd like to ask you, dear reader, to take a moment to honor those who are or were POWS; those missing in action; and of course those who are near and dear to them."

As I've just stated, the passage I've just referenced is from my 2016 blog posting that paid homage to National Pow/Mia Recognition Day.

I really don't have more to add at this juncture, except to reiterate my 2016 request: "Now, on this POW/MIA Recognition Day, I'd like to ask you, dear reader, to take a moment to honor those who are or were POWS; those missing in action; and of course those who are near and dear to them."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Throwback Thursday: N'tl Peanut Day 2017 has come and gone.

Yesterday was National Peanut Day 2017; and because the holiday shared the spotlight with the celebration of Uncle Sam Day, I didn't cover it in my blog post at that time. I focused on reporting facts re Sam's day of honor; and if you'd like to refer to this particular entry, please click here.

Today's post is dedicated to the 2017 National Peanut Holiday, which means I'm not throwing too far back on this Throwback Thursday. Besides Uncle Sam's Day always coincides with the celebration of National Peanut Day.

Last year, on September 13th 2017, I published an entry on National Peanut Day; and on the following day, September 14th 2016, I published a post which discussed Uncle Sam's Day.

Therefore, this year I'm doing the reverse in terms of publishing entries re these two holidays. As I said, Uncle Sam's posting was on his official day which was yesterday, and today, a belated offering to National Peanut Day is being made.

The young cardinal pictured atop this entry can be seen enjoying peanuts from a wreath-style whole peanut bird feeder which hangs in my urban garden.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"Uncle Sam's a reminder of the great risks & personal sacrifices endured by generations of Americans in the quest for liberty." (Wednesday's Wisdom)

An exhibit at The New York Historical Society which paid homage to the history of iconic Uncle Sam ended ten days ago on September 3rd 2017. Banners announcing the exhibit, such as the one seen in the image atop this entry, are still flying from street lamps on NYC's Upper Westside.

A web-page for The New York Historical Society states that "since the 19th century, the familiar figure of “Uncle Sam,” with his beard and stovepipe hat, has represented the U.S. in recruitment posters, political cartoons, and advertisements. But long before he first appeared, artists drew upon a visual tradition stretching back centuries to depict America as an evocative woman."

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Here's Tuesday's Truth For Week Fifty-Five: The Tribute In Light Endangers Birds Migrating

It's the fifty-fifth week of my Tuesday's Truths series!

Today is also the somber day after the sixteenth anniversary of the September Eleventh Terrorists attacks, which occurred on September 11, 2001. Therefore I am dedicating this entry to a harsh fact regarding The Tribute In Light, which shines all night long on the anniversary of the September Eleventh Terrorists attacks. A photograph of The Tribute In Light (from a web-page associated with NPR), can be seen atop this entry.

This installation is the work of "artists Paul Myoda and Julian LaVerdiere (who on the night of the attacks) watched from Brooklyn as an ashy and gaseous cloud formed over the remnants of the World Trade Center. The lights that illuminated Ground Zero during rescue efforts set this plume of smoke aglow, and through it, both men felt they could still see the buildings. This mirage gave them an idea, which they eventually turned into 'Tribute in Light,' an ephemeral memorial that has served as a vigil for victims on the anniversary of the attacks every year since."

This year, according to an article published by People (where the quotation above is also from), "The installation’s collection of 88 beams will illuminate the night sky above Lower Manhattan on Monday night, creating two pillars of light that will stretch four-miles-high. The display has become one of the most recognized and unique public art installations in the world since its unveiling on March 11, 2002...

... 'When the lights appeared for the first time, it was one of the most peaceful and silent events I had ever witnessed,' Myoda says. 'Until that night, I don’t recall ever being in New York and hearing so little. When the lights were on, everything seemed to stop. It was incredibly quiet.'

As one construction worker told the artists, after six months of looking into a pit, 'people could start looking up again. '

'That night was the first time that it seemed like everybody could gaze into the infinite, and not into an abyss,' LaVerdiere says.

Since then, the installation has been put into operation every evening of September 11, and turned off just before dawn the following morning."

I've seen the Tribute In Light, and it is a sight to behold, but, unfortunately, this installation has been traumatic for migratory birds. In 2015, Quartz reported that "New York’s Tribute in Light to 9/11 is stunning to both people and birds."

The aforementioned article states the "beautiful 9/11 memorial, the Tribute in Light, had to be turned off and on multiple times last night to make sure migratory birds in the area didn’t lose their way, Gothamist reports."

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11th, 2017

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, Lashawana Johnson, was killed in the attacks on that day, as was Johnson's colleague, Margaret Mattic. I've written about this and other situations related to the tragedy in bygone years here on Blogger.

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.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

It's National Grandparents Day!

It's National Grandparents Day! The holiday falls each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. It was initiated at the grassroots level by West Virginian Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade (seen in the image atop this entry) with the behind-the-scenes support of her husband Joseph L. McQuade.

This photograph is from a web-page, which discusses a number of interesting facts regarding  National Grandparents Day; including the truism that "it's not a holiday invented to sell cards and flowers."

Saturday, September 9, 2017

September evening still can make me feel this way! (Sixth Cycling Trip for 2017)

It is very rare that I let anyone take my picture, let alone pose for one. But this past Thursday, when I was at my foot doctor's (Dr Q) office, I asked his admin person to take a photo (which can be seen atop this entry) of me wearing my boot cast, as it's my fifth week of having to do this. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday's Thoughts: Trust Mary Oliver's "Rx"

Once upon a time, on the date of April the twenty-fourth, in the year of 1969, United Artists released  the movie,  If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium. The story-line chronicled the humorous adventures of a group of American tourists taking an eighteen-day guided bus tour of nine European countries.

According to Wiki, the film's title was "also used by a 1965 documentary on CBS television that filmed one such tour, was taken from a New Yorker cartoon by Leonard Dove. Published in the June 22, 1957, issue of the magazine, the cartoon depicts a young woman near a tour bus and a campanile, frustratedly exclaiming 'But if it's Tuesday, it has to be Siena,' thereby humorously illustrating the whirlwind nature of European tour schedules."

The movie's title, If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium, over the years, has subsequently been used to describe a number of situations. In fact, for a number of weeks, here on Blogger, yours truly ran a series of blog posts called If It's Tuesday, It Must Be tumblr, and, readers were invited to read what I had posted on tumblr.

However, I no longer post on tumblr regularly, my last entry there was in April of 2017. Moreover, on Tuesday, July 19th of 2016, here on Blogger, I announced a new Tuesday series, which is known as Tuesdays Truths. This past Tuesday, September 5th 2017, Tuesday, I posted my fifty-eighth entry for this series. 

Be that as it may, the If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium reference is on my mind once again today, because as I was doing some research on molting, which is what a blue jay visiting my rooftop garden (seen in the image atop this entry) is experiencing, I came across an article titled, If the Blue Jays are Bald, It Must Be August.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday's Wisdom: The crest display in cardinals, is an indicator of the bird's emotions.

The size, shape, color, length and thickness of crests in birds can vary greatly. Some birds have just a very small and subtle crest, such as the ruby-crowned kinglet, while others have longer, thicker, more prominent crests like the northern cardinal or blue jay, who are the bird types featured (respectively) in the images posted directly above, which were taken from the vantage point of my rooftop garden.

According to The Spruce, "birds are often able to control their crests, and crest position can be an indication of a bird's emotions or stress... Birds may raise or lower a crest for a courtship display or to show aggression, dominance or submission. The stronger the movements of the crest, the stronger the emotions that cause the action."