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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Displaced "une citrouille" or "un potiron?" (Wednesday's Wisdom re Halloween in France)

Before this Halloween passes, I've another holiday related item to share, which I've just learned from the writings of an expat. She states: "Halloween is considered an American celebration – and that’s not a compliment. The idea of French Halloween is seen as yet another imposition of American culture on French customs and traditions – right after American fast-food chains and ketchup. This alone is enough to make many French people turn their patriotic nose up at the idea of celebrating or embracing Halloween in France." 

Because there is a french bistro proprietor in my hood on the UWS who sets out (every year around Halloween) an elaborately carved pumpkin (or "une citrouille" or "un potiron") atop one of his out door café's tables, I was surprised to learn this.

Perhaps the proprietor is not a Francophile (Gallophile) but rather a Francophobe (or Gallophobe)? 

Whatever the case may be re Halloween and the proprietor of this french restaurant, I'm glad he puts out his uniquely carved pumpkin as it always seems to cheer even the most disgruntled passers by!

HaPpY HaLlOwEeN!

Here's why one might "love a parade..." (Wednesday's Wisdom)

Upon my seeing this mini clip, it's easy for me to see one might "love a parade..." ! What a clever group of people participating in this Halloween parade.

I recognize the represented paintings of artists Edward Munch ("The Scream") Johannes Vermeer ("Girl with a Pearl Earring"), Leonardo da Vinci ("Mona Lisa"), Vincent van Gogh ("Self Portrait"), but I'm drawing a blank with the other two names. Can you help me?

ADDENDUM: I have heard back (from someone in my PY FB community) re one of the two artist's works that I did not recognize and here is the info: "One is known as 'Beast Jesus' after a botched restoration attempt. (Info @ found by clicking here)."

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Day To Celebrate the Beauty of Corn (Tuesday's Truths WK 100)

Today is National Candy Corn Day, a holiday which I've discussed in a few entries here on Blogger, but since this year it coincides with my Tuesday's Truths series (for which I've already published a post) the figurine featured in the image atop this entry has asked me to remind readers that this holiday (as I mentioned in my 2017 post) "is intended to celebrate the beauty of corn..."

As you can see, she is carrying a Jack-O-Lantern-style container to hold any treats she might get when trick or treating — which might include candy corn!

Chris Deatherage is THE BEST! EVER! (Tuesday's Truths WK 100)


For this one- hundredth segment of my Tuesday's Truths series, I want to give a heartfelt shout out to the multi-talented Chris Deatherage for creating the ad/campaign (seen in the image above) regarding volume three of my Words In Our Beak book series.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday's Second Memo re Observing Squirrels (It's from Bill Whitehead)

Twenty six days ago,  here on Blogger, I announced that October is Squirrel Awareness Month and ten days later on October 13th, I discussed the fact that a Squirrel Census was taking place in NYC's CentralPark. The census has now come and gone, but when I saw Bill Whitehead's 10-27-2018 cartoon (a copy of it is posted atop this entry), I thought about those involved in the squirrel counting event.

Monday's Memo: How to Make a Bird Feeder

I received this how to make a bird feeder (from a pumpkin) via an email from The National Audubon Society, but I confess I'm not very handy; so I won't do it, unless someone can help me! Et tu, dear reader? Would you make something like this?

For your information, the birds featured in this video are Evening Grosbeaks. Volume three of my book series, Words In Our Beak, features a male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak named Wilson. He can be seen in the next picture.



Hardcover versions of volume one, two and three can now be found wherever books are sold.


Please click here to go to my blog post that provides details as to where you can get these books. Additionally,  I have rendered some images from these books into other formats and they are available via Fine Art America (FAA). Some of my other photographs (Black & White Collection, Kaleidoscopic Images and the famous Mandarin duck who visited NYC) can also be found on my FAA pages.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

In Honor of Saint Jude

I cannot let the day of October 28th pass without "publicly" acknowledging my appreciation for the in intersection of Saint Jude. I have a small statue of him above my desk (second from left in the photo atop this entry).

Thank you Saint Jude for help in the past, present and future. Amen.

A 122nd Anniversary Takes Place today!

Besides this being Plush Animal Lover's Day, today marks the one hundred and twenty-second anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. According to a Wikipedia page, the statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.

The image atop this post features a driftwood sculpture of her that can be found near to Long Beach's Boardwalk (on Long Island in NY).

Plush Animal Lovers Day 2018


Today a number of folks are celebrating the fact that it is #PlushAnimalLoversDay!

As I've said before in an entry here on Blogger,  "According to, 'Plush Animal Lovers Day is a day of celebration that is held every year to show your favorite stuffed toy some extra special love and appreciation. There’s an urban legend that says that the Teddy Bear, one of the worlds most popular plush animal pets, was invented when American President Theodore Roosevelt saw a baby bear on a hunting trip, and refused to shoot it...

"'...The original origins of the day’s creation are vague but there is an unconfirmed Urban Legend that the day first came about after a collectibles dealer named Royal Selangor came up with the idea of a Teddy Bears Picnic Day in the late eighties. Other stuffed toys became jealous that Teddy Bears were being singled out for their own celebration and demanded a special day all of their own! Not long after, Plush Animal Lovers Day quickly replaced Teddy Bears Picnic Day in popularity!"'

Another resource ( explains that when it comes to plush animals, "Textiles commonly used include plain cloth and pile bodys like oranges plush or terrycloth. Common stuffing materials are synthetic fiber batting, cotton, straw, wood wool, plastic pellets or beans. The first commercial concern to create stuffed toys was the German Steiff company in 1880. Steiff used new technology developed for upholstery to make their stuffed toys."

A plush animal who is rendered in the likeness of a male cardinal (seen below) is featured in the first volume of my Words In Our Beak book series, where Cam (the female cardinal who is the story teller states:  "... Folks often dismiss me and focus on the males in my 'breed;' even choosing their likeness to create figurines and stuffed animals.."

The one rendered in the likeness of a polar bear (seen in the next picture) represents a polar bear who lived at the Central Park Zoo.

Moreover, with Halloween just around the corner (this coming Wednesday, October thirty-first), I'm including another picture of a plush animal within this entry.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


I would be remiss to not mention that October the 27th (today) is known as National Black Cat Day, a "holiday" (according to a web-page) that "is all about celebrating the beauty of these sleek creatures... these felines deserve the love and attention just as much as their tabby counterparts.  Old notions have given these furry critters a bad reputation.  National Black Cat Day is about turning that reputation around..."

One of my figurines who is visiting my place to attended a vow renewal ceremony came dressed as a black cat as his way of paying homage to these creatures, he can be seen in the picture atop this entry, bearing candy corn. 

In honor of Sylvia Plath (and Frieda Hughes)

Had Sylvia Plath not died from suicide in February 1963, she might be celebrating her birthday with her daughter (Frieda Hughes) for she was born on this day of October the twenty-seventh in the year 1932. Frieda Hughes was not quite three years old at the time her mother died.

I've discussed Sylvia Plath in a few entries here on Blogger, including one post where I wrote about the quotation featured in the web-image that is atop this entry.

As of today, I don't have much else to say re Ms. Plath but I came upon a video) of Freida Hughes reciting her own poem, Bird.

I've posted it below in honor of the late Sylvia and as a way of paying homage to Hughes.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday Follow-Up (to last week's post)

Last Friday, here on Blogger, I announced that I would be making a presentation re birds in NYC at The International Academy of New York on this day. And now I've done it!

Frankenstein Must Share His 2018 Holiday! (National Pumpkin is also today.)

Today is the last Friday in the month of October, which means it's Frankenstein Friday, and if you'd like to see what I said about this holiday in last year's post here on Blogger, please click this link.

This year, as a way of honoring of this occasion, I'm posting a picture of a figurine rendered in the likeness of Frankenstein.

This picture was taken in bygone years when he spent time in my indoor succulent garden.

In subsequent years after that Frankenstein and his bride (seen in solo photo-ops below) went to a vow renewal ceremony that took place in my armoire!

Because this year's Frankenstein Friday falls on October 26th, it coincides with another holiday, which is National Pumpkin Day, a favorite of the characters from the PEANUTS comic strip, as evidenced below in an image from a webpage known for BIOLOGICAL.


According to the aforementioned webpage, "The pumpkin is a cultivar of a squash plant native to North America. As one of the most popular crops in the United States, 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced each year...  Illinois is one of the top pumpkin producing states with 95% of the U.S. crop intended for processing is grown in Illinois. Nestlé, operating under the brand name Libby’s, produces 85% of the processed pumpkin in the United States, at their plant in Morton, Illinois."

This year in my research re National Pumpkin Day, I studied the relationship of Jack-O-Lanterns and pumpkins and I learned some interesting facts!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Which witch?

With Halloween being only seven days away (if you include today), "Which witch's costume do you like the best?," asked the one seen in the image atop this entry.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Remembering Donna DeSolis (b 10-24-1947)

In honor of my dearly departed friend, Donna DeSolis's (DD), who might've been celebrating her birthday today with me had she not passed from this life, I'm posting a video (from my Vimeo Library) that I created in her honor (in 2015) at the request of her son.

The video description on Vimeo reads: "Remembering Donna (The Wonder of DD), pays a small tribute to Donna De Solis who was born on this day of October 24th in 1947, and died on June 25th 2015. This video was shown to her son privately, before being "aired" at a reception after her memorial service, which was held at The Church of The Blessed Sacrament on July 15th, 2015. Donna had worked for this church for nearly forty years. It is located on Manhattan's Upper Westside, which is an area where Donna lived most of her life."

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Halloween Decor Can Be Hazardous To birds (Another Tuesday's Truth for Segment 99)

In one of the entries on the Facebook Page for Mutts, a comic strip that I saw prompted me to add another segment to today's Tuesday's Truths series (I published one re ducks earlier this morning).

A copy of the Mutts strip which I am referring to can be seen atop this entry. With the strip this "commentary" is stated on the FB Page for Mutts: "As Halloween approaches, please keep your animal pal's safety in mind. Keep chocolate, candy, and other "people treats" out of reach. Remember that masks, wigs, and costumes can be frightening to animals. Use caution with holiday decor, as some items can be toxic or pose choking hazards. Be extra careful when lighting candles, especially when there are active pups or 'batty' kitties around. Any other tips you'd like to share?"

Bread is NOT for the birds (especially ducks) Tuesday's Truths Week 99

I came across this video when poking around the Internet and am letting it suffice as my truth for this ninety-ninth episode of my Tuesday's Truth series as it is a perfect "illustration" on the importance of not feeding ducks bread.

If you are interested on further info re the negative impact feeding birds bread (even if this food is from a Tashlikh ritual) can have, please refer to my 9/29/2017 blog post.

Monday, October 22, 2018

One Sheet Book Series Info


Words In Our Beak’s goal is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in a rooftop urban garden in New York City, my story is told in the voice of Cam, a female cardinal, who visits it. Words In Our Beak is directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. The book includes hundreds of images of flora and fauna, links to movies, as well as to informative narratives that have been created by the author.

Volume One: ISBN: 9780996378529
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:
book culture On Columbus (a bookstore on the UWS in NYC):

Volume Two: ISBN: 9780996378536
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:

Volume Three: ISBN: 978099637853
Book Seller Info:
Barnes & Noble On-Line:


Monday's Memo: Volume 3 is Finally Available!

Chris Deatherage, who is the designer of my web-site,, and the formatter of my Words In Our Beak book series posted a copy of the cartoon atop today's blog entry on one of his  social media venues. In his posting, he stated, "These people (in the cartoon) should read WORDS IN OUR BEAK, VOLUME THREE wherein Cam, our female cardinal narrator, teaches readers several ways to winterize an outdoor garden."

I am happy to announce that Chris and I have now received our copies of volume three! The book (pictured below) looks great and with the winter season upon us, I encourage gardeners to heed Chris's opinion, "... read WORDS IN OUR BEAK, VOLUME THREE wherein Cam, our female cardinal narrator, teaches readers several ways to winterize an outdoor garden."


Winterizing an urban garden is a only one portion the story within this volume of the series. As the front flap of this book (seen in the image below) states...


... this particular book" brings to a close the stories told by Cam, a feisty and beautiful female cardinal living year — round in a New York City garden.

"In this volume, Cam describes two methods for winterizing an urban garden as well as her interactions with some new diners at TLLG"s bird feeders. She also clues the reader into why birds seem to 'hide' in their surroundings.

"Visit one last time with Cam as she chronicles the habits of her avian community, what it is like to spend time in this special urban garden, and why — for all the hazards of bird life and garden greenery — New York City is still the place to live."

Words In Our Beak, Volume Three is currently available on Amazon, but it can also be ordered by any bookstore if you give the title and/or ISBN which is 978099637853.


Hardcover versions of Volume One, Two and Three can now be found wherever books are sold.


Please click here to go to my blog post that provides details as to where you can get these books. Additionally, I have rendered some images from these books into other formats and they are available via Fine Art America (FAA). Some of my other photographs (Black & White CollectionKaleidoscopic Images and the famous Mandarin duck who visited NYC) can also be found on my FAA pages.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Continuing the Halloween 2018 Countdown ... It's in 10 days!

One of my visitors (seen in the image above) is so amused by the faces of Jack-O-Lanterns that he's decided to wear one over his face during this pre-Halloween time! Now, that's dedication (or madness).

Seems like a wise plan...

I saw this "message" written on a sidewalk in my hood on the UWS. Seems like a good thing for me, and perhaps for you too, dear reader to keep in mind.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Halloween's in 11 Days! Prepare now!

My visitor (seen in the photo above) is having a her "trial run" of what she plans to do with her makeup for a pre-Halloween event that she will be attending.

Saturday's Sequel: I've met my 14th bird!

This past Saturday while walking in Central Park and being memorized by the antics of a cinnamon colored squirrel (which I wrote about in Monday's post here in Blogger) I also encountered a bird type unfamiliar to me, making this my fourteenth new acquaintance in this Year of the Bird. I have since learned the creature who I noticed is a Song Sparrow and the little one can be seen in the image atop this entry where he/she is ignoring the fact that a fence had a padlock (although there seemed to be no reason for the lock — it wasn't securing anything).

Friday, October 19, 2018

News Re: International Academy of NY

I don't want this Friday to pass without announcing that NEXT Friday, October 26, 2018, I will be making a presentation (re some birds who spend time in NYC and what we can learn from their behavior) to some students who attend The International Academy of New York (the school featured in the video atop this entry).

I'm most grateful for this assignment and hope it is as successful as my presentation was at Iona Prepatory School (which I made this past June).

"A Walk in the Park"

Cambridge Press defines the idiom, "a walk in the park," as "something that is very easy to do, and usually pleasant." And indeed, my walk in Central Park yesterday was pleasant. I went there to check out the squirrels since this is Squirrel Awareness Month (as I initially mentioned in my October third entry here on Blogger) and I did not come across the "cinnamon variant" which was the type I encountered last week, but I did meet up with a Black Squirrel who can be seen in the photo atop this entry. In by gone years I've only seen this type in the winter so it was a nice surprise to see this creature frolicking amongst the pigeons...



.... and having some quality time alone.

According to Wiki, "The black squirrel occurs as a melanistic subgroup of both the eastern gray squirrel and the fox squirrel. Their habitat extends throughout the Midwestern United States, in some areas of the Northeastern United States, eastern Canada, and also in the United Kingdom. The overall population of black squirrels is small when compared to that of the gray squirrel. The black fur color can occur naturally as a mutation in populations of gray squirrels, but it is rare. The rarity of the black squirrel has caused many people to admire them, and the black squirrels enjoy great affection in some places as mascots."

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Official NYSEC's Event Announcement! (Throwback Thursday)

One month ago (September 18 2018) I announced here on Blogger that I would be making a presentation at The New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) re certain birds who spend time in NYC and I just realized (this morning) that my event is posted on their web-site!

A copy of their site's announcement can be seen below:

Speaking of Science - Patricia Youngquist: Words in Our Beak

Date: Monday, November 26, 2018 -
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Location: Adler Study, Room 514
Admission: Members $5, Guests $10
Studying the wild birds in NYC and surrounding areas has important implications for understanding the similarities of human behavior and the behaviors of members within the avian community. The topics I will cover in my presentation include how birds teach us about the human race in such matters (to name a few) as finding our voice, ways in which we compensate our behaviors to meet our needs, accepting our physical appearances, and how bullying impacts our lives.

Patricia Youngquist is the author of the three volume “Words In Our Beak” book series, published by Ingram Spark, in which stories are told from the bird’s-eye perspective of Cam, a female cardinal that regularly visited her rooftop garden located near NYSEC and is illustrated with her own photographs. Prior to publishing this series, Youngquist published an article on Google Mapping for Contribute Magazine as well as over a thousand posts on her blog ( It has been listed (by feed_spot) in the top one hundred urban blogs. Her earlier impressionist and kaleidoscopic photography has been exhibited in NYC which led to radio interviews with John Montone’s New York for 1010 WINS and The AL Lewis Show with Karen Lewis for WBAI. All of her work, including these radio interviews, can be found on her website,

I am truly honored to have this opportunity and I thank Maggie Determann (Membership Coordinator) and Jesús Torres Vazquez for their efforts in making it happen.

Also many thanks also to John Gasdaska for rehearsing my presentation with me over the past several weeks! Now, I'm hoping it is a success!

Birds Preening


This past Saturday after my encounter with a cinnamon-colored squirrel (a variant of the Common Gray variety) in Central Park, I came upon a Mallard duck preening and he can be seen in the first image atop this entry.

I am fascinating with the preening process, which I've witnessed many birds doing, including a mourning dove when he/she alighted upon the branches of an Ailanthus tree in my courtyard (as evidenced in the second photo above). Details re mourning doves and their preening process are included in volume one of my book series, Words In Our Beak. And information about Ailanthus trees is included in volume three.


Hardcover versions of Volume One, Two and Three can now be found wherever books are sold.


Please click here to go to my blog post that provides details as to where you can get these books. 

Additionally, I have rendered some images from these books into other formats and they are available via Fine Art America (FAA). Some of my other photographs (Black & White CollectionKaleidoscopic Images and the famous Mandarin duck who visited NYC) can also be found on my FAA pages.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Halloween will be here in 2 weeks! Wednesday's Wisdom: Get your cards, invitations + gifts NOW!

They're baacccccck! A number of my annual Halloween "guests" (figurines)* have returned to my armoire for the upcoming 2018 holiday. You can see some them on the top shelf, where a bride and groom are in the midst of rehearsing for a vow renewal ceremony as the wedding-renewal party (surrounding them) oversees the event which is scheduled to take place on Halloween night.

The "folks" on the bottom shelf plan to attend the ceremony in their Halloween costumes and are currently comparing notes as to who is wearing the most ingenious costume.

And this is how my visitors are preparing for Halloween! What about you, dear reader? Do you have plans to send greetings to those near and dear to you or to host a soirée?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Color Purple in the Cauliflower Family (Tuesday's Truths WK 98)

The picture atop today's entry is a screenshot of something I saw in my FB newsfeed from Grow NYC, an organization which sponsors the greenmarkets that I've written about here on Blogger.

When I was at their UWS market this past Sunday, which is now alongside the main entrance (Seventy-Seventh Street) of The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), I saw the a number of farmers who carried this vegetable (and photographed it as evidenced in the next picture) that Grow NYC has "missed" and color wise, I can certainly see why.

Now having been introduced to this vegetable, I've done some research to learn more about it, and the facts that I've come upon are the subject of this ninety-eight segment of my Tuesday's Truths series.

According to a number of sources, including,, "Purple cauliflower gets its beautiful hue, which can vary from pale to jewel-toned, from the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is also found in red cabbage and red wine... is mild and slightly sweet with nutty nuances...."

They go on to explain that one can "cook with colored cauliflower just as you would with white cauliflower! You can roast it, steam it, mash it, rice it or make it into a soup. And, of course, you can also eat it raw."

Cooking is not my strength, but the recipes included in the article sound delish, so don't read the aforementioned web-page when you are hungry.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Monday Musings: Emerson and Squirrels ETC

Twelve days ago, on Wednesday, October 3rd, I published an entry here on Blogger in honor of Squirrel Awareness Month, which always occurs in October. 

The photograph of a lone Eastern Gray squirrel that is atop this entry is one I took when I went for a walk in Central Park  this past Friday and the following images of a "cinnamon" squirrel are ones I took last Saturday.

I was awestruck by this creature's coloring as it was the first time I'd ever seen a squirrel who appeared to be a "red head." I thought I was seeing a Fox Squirrel, but not wanting to report '"fake news" here on Blogger, I posted my ID question, which is something I mentioned in my blog post for that evening.

As I stated in the aforementioned entry, I'm grateful to have heard back (via a tweet) from the man in charge of the Squirrel Census currently taking place in Central Park, for he informed me that the squirrel I'd seen was "probably a cinnamon highlighted eastern gray squirrel that is molting."