Search This Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Reminder to all love birds who love birds...soon it will be Valentine's Day!

A reminder to all love birds who love birds...soon it will be Valentine's Day! As I stated in this past Friday's post, Valentine's Day will be here before we know it (two week a from today) and I have a new line of bird-themed cards for the event.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"take a gander" (Wednesday's Wisdom)

The photographs atop this entry feature a Canadian goose, a Canadian gander and their goslings enjoying time together as a family while in Central Park.

These birds are featured in volume two of my book series, Words In Our Beak...


... and is evidenced in the picture below of Chris Deatherage's selfie where he is holding a part of the book that includes these avian creatures.

Chris, as you may know, is the designer of my web-site, and the editor as well as the formatter of this book series.

My appreciation for them is no secret given the number of blog posts which discuss these birds. In any event, the other day I stumbled upon information related to an idiom ("take a gander') which is associated with the male goose.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Some Facts re Male Downy Woodpeckers (Tuesday's Truths WK 112)

Last Wednesday, I saw (in my garden) my first visiting Downy woodpecker (a male) for the year of 2019. He can be seen in the photo atop this entry as well as in the ones that are directly below.

It was wonderful to hear his sound on that cold winter's day."You can distinguish males from females because the adult male has a small red patch on its head (juvenile birds exhibit a larger red patch that later disappears). But in spring their presence is usually betrayed by the sound of their drumming. Although many people assume that they’re hearing the sound of a nest being drilled, that may not be the case, at least early in the season. In February, before the onset of the breeding season, the male woodpecker drums to signal for a mate. Selecting a hollow tree or dead branch with promising resonant qualities, he taps rapidly on the bark with his bill, making a rattle-like drum roll that is startlingly loud and carries for a considerable distance through woodland. Males not only drum in order to attract a mate – throughout the year they will continue to drum to proclaim their territory. Each male has his own drumming sequence and stops to listen to the replies of males nearby..." Read more @

I'm now wondering since the onset of February near (six days) and since that is the time Downy woodpeckers will do their drumming to attract a mate, if my visitor was grabbing nourishment in order to be up to this "task," for he did go from Ailanthus tree to Ailanthus tree within the courtyard and I could hear his drumming.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day! (Monday's Memo)

Today is the fourth Monday in January and therefore is also an unofficial holiday which is known as Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. In honor of the occasion, as I've done for a number of years now, I've posted a copy of a video (that is created by me and is part of my Vimeo Library) atop this entry.

The video shows how the use of bubble wrap is instrumental in the winterizing of my rooftop garden.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Salinger Died 9 Years Ago on This Day of 1-27

The author, J.D. Salinger, died nine years ago (2010) on this day of 1-27. He was ninety-one years of age as he had recently celebrated his birthday (he was born on 1-1-1919).

My photos atop this entry are of a male and female Mallard duck (respectively) enjoying either the pond or the lake in Central Park and they are (along with the other Mallard images included within this posting) intended to be a tribute to him.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Saturday's Sequel re The Death of Mary Oliver

It has been eight days since I published an entry re the death of Mary Oliver, the poet I've written about here on Blogger and in social media venues. She is on my mind today as I go through my photos of squirrels, three of which can be seen at the top of this entry.

Here's a powerful poem of hers where this creature is referenced.

Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you. Under the sink, for example, is an
uproar of mice it is the season of their
many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves
and through the walls the squirrels
have gnawed their ragged entrances but it is the season
when they need shelter, so what shall I do? And
the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;
what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow falling
in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will
come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, Come in.

None of my pictures were taken when a squirrel gnawed his or her way "through ragged building entrances," they were taken in NYC's Central and Riverside parks; but I like to think that I have Oliver's mindset re communicating with creatures and communicating with the Lord.

I'm not the best at formal prayers — using words written by others — as they feel false but I do find myself hoping that my care and appreciation for nature and the creatures who dwell in it are my prayer.

So far, it has been a very cold and bleak winter. With no snow to brighten up my surroundings, it looks a bit grim in my garden. But the many reason my garden seems grim is very few birds have been visiting it because there is a Red-tailed hawk in the vicinity.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Soon it will be Valentine's Day!

In less than three weeks time, it will be Valentine's Day and what a great excuse to send someone a card through snail mail; but since it truly does tend to be snail, it's not too early to start getting cards for the special people in your life.

Valentine's Day isn't just for couples. It's also an occasion to show friends, family, and other special people how much they're loved.

As of yesterday, Chris Deatherage uploaded eight of my bird-themed photographs (that include house finches, Mourning doves, blue jays and Northern cardinals) to my collections on Fine Art America (FAA).

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Remembering My Grandpa Melahn

The photo atop today's entry features my paternal grandfather, Albert Elmer Herman Louis Melahn (Albert) and it is one you might recognize, dear reader, for I've included the image within a number of entries here on Blogger, starting with my fourth post which I published on 1/8/2010.

One of the topics discussed in that entry is his probable influence on my rooftop garden.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

It's usually not about me (or Earl) .... Wednesday's Wisdom

Earl,* I know the feeling! But it's probably not something you said! I felt the same way when birds stopped coming to my garden for a prolonged time, but then I realized a Red-Tailed hawk was close at hand!

THAT was most likely reason I hadn't seen birds in my garden OR in the Ailanthus Trees which are in my courtyard. *

As for the reason Earl (the dog featured in the comic strip atop this entry), not seeing birds, you'll have to ask Patrick McDonnell, his creator.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Interesting Historical Facts re Carousels (Tuesday's Truths WK 111)

In my Wednesdays' Wisdom segment here on Blogger for 1/9/2019 (which was two weeks ago), I discussed some facts re the bird type known as Cormorants.

One of the members of this variety is featured in the photo atop this entry where he/she is swimming in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir within Central Park.

Part of that post I includes interesting facts about these avian beauties and I mentioned that these birds are included in volume three of my Words In Our Beak book series.*


One of the matters the story re Cormorants within that volume is an aside to facts re this avian creature. It explains this bird type type is part of a carousel in the Chelsea section of NYC.

The animals a person rides upon in that particular merry-go-round are made up of animals rendered in the likeness of creatures who frequent the Hudson Valley, which includes cormorants.

The following photographs show what the cormorant (the black bird to the right in the first one and at the far left in the second one) within that carousel looks like...

... and am using today's segment of my Tuesday's Truths series as an opportunity to tell you a little bit more about it as well as other carousels and to give you a few fun facts re merry-go-rounds (the common name for this fun ride).

Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King Day 2019


As yet another Martin Luther King Day comes to a close, I'm sure that I'm not alone in hoping that we will, in our life times be walking the Earth as brothers and sisters.

A Post for Novelist Eric Arthur Blair AKA George Orwell B:6/25/1903 D:1/21/1950

I don't want this day to pass without paying homage to Eric Arthur Blair, "better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic, whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism."  

Orwell died on this day in 1950! He was only forty six years old. As you may know, dear reader, I've referenced George Orwell in prior postings on Blogger, including one you may reference by clicking here. Btw, the screen shot seen in the first image atop this entry was given to me by a cyber friend so I don't know the source, but if I come upon it, I'll update this entry with the info.

Monday's Memo: Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day, which is a holiday I've written about here on Blogger and I've also stated that any day is a day to appreciate these creatures.

They never cease to amuse me and pull me out of a bad mood. The ones featured in the images within this post are creatures I encountered two weeks ago while walking in Central Park.

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


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


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!


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, ("Words In Our Beak") ...


... 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"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!