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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April's Last Day Tuesday's Truths WK 124


It's the last day of April, the month T.S. Eliot deemed (in The Wasteland) as "the cruelest" and the month Mary Oliver described (in her poem Blossom which is posted atop this entry) as one where "...the ponds open like black blossoms..."

As for me, I've often referred to April as the month where April Showers take away May flowers as they have been doing this month; evidenced in the following pictures(respectively) of the Spring Green, Red Riding Hood and Day Dream tulip varieties).




Many tulip types (other than the ones featured in this entry) are featured in volume one of my book series, Words In Our Beak, where the stories are set in my rooftop garden and told from the perspective of Cam; a female cardinal.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Exits and Entrances Reprised from 2011 (Tuesday's Truths WK 124)

A copy of the Mutts comic strip that's posted atop this entry was in my In Box this morning causing me to recall a joke that I heard a few years ago:

Q: If an April shower brought a May flower; what did the May Flower bring? 
A: Pilgrims!

But if truth be told, imho, April showers take away May flowers and I've mentioned my observation re this occurrence in prior posts here on Blogger. Welcome to the 124th segment of my Tuesday's Truths series...

NYC has been receiving heavy rains for several days now and many of the tulips in my garden that I wrote about in this past Tuesday's blog post (where I included photographs of them) have lost their petals.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Today's the Octave of Easter for 2019 (Coinciding with a photographer holiday)

Image credit:

Today is the Octave of Easter for 2019. This year it coincides with Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPP Day) which is an unofficial holiday that has always been observed the last Sunday in April. A holiday-themed web-page explains that WPP Day aims "to encourage people to pick up pinhole photography as a hobby and profession, and to share their techniques and pictures with the pinhole photography community."

I must confess that while I'm very familiar with the celebrations surrounding the Octave of Easter, I had not heard of WPP Day. It is somewhat odd that I had no idea about this event. The main reason that any lack of knowedge re this occasion is odd is because for a few years I worked with various pin-hole cameras — and created a number of black and white photographs from them — which I developed and printed myself.

My entire Black and White Collection has been included in gallery exhibitions in Manhattan. One of those images is titled, Thanksgiving In Riverdale (a copy of it can be seen in the image below).


This photograph won an award (placement in a book, Photo-Glaz) in a competition juried by the late photographer, Roy De Carava.

Other ones, Cocktails and Engaging Conversation as well as Portrait of Contemplation (copies seen in the next set of images)...



...are featured in a literary magazine known as, Returning Woman. Moreover, my photograph, Sophia, (which can be seen in the next picture) and my process used in creating it was discussed (at length) in an interview given by Karen Lewis, on a WBAI radio program called The Al Lewis Show.


It be heard via my web-site where you will also find more of my black and white images, pin-hole and non pinhole.

The site is called and was created by Chris Deatherage. He also formatted and edited my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.

Moreover, my three volume book series Words In Our Beak includes hundreds of images of flora and fauna.
This image features the front cover of my three volume book series, “WORDS IN OUR BEAK." Info re these books is in a blog post @

The goal of these books is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in a rooftop urban garden (mine) in New York City, my story is told in the voice of Cam, a female cardinal, who visits it. These books are directed to children and adults who are curious about birds (as well as gardening) want to learn about these topics from a unique perspective.

But getting back to a topic related to WWPD, in addition to my creating black and white photos with pin-hole cameras; I also have created ones which are kaleidoscopic in nature...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Today is National Go Birding Day... and it's Saturday in the Octave of Easter


Today is Saturday in the Octave of Easter and has come to my attention that it is also National Go Birding Day. According to a number of sources on the web, this unofficial holiday has always been observed the last Saturday in April.

Perhaps the pigeon featured in my photo atop this entry, where he/she seems to be looking at me from the vantage point of a tabletop in my rooftop garden, thinks of this as a time to go people-ing.

"People-ing," refers to the activity of birds watching humans and it is a term coined by Cam (the cardinal pictured below)...


... in volume one of the book series, Words In Our Beak ... in which all the stories are told from her perspective.


Each of these books provide a great way to go birding, for they feature twenty varieties of  avian creatures who spend time in the garden and a few bird varieties from Central Park, the Hudson River and Long Beach are also included.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday in the Octave of Easter & Arbor Day

Today is Friday in The Octave of Easter; and because it is the last Friday in April, it is also Arbor Day. I've always appreciated Patrick McDonnell's (creator of the Mutts comic strip) "take" re this event and have posted a copy of it atop this entry. As you can see, McDonnell's characters Earl and Mooch seem to know how much birds appreciate trees as evidenced in their planting one, which is appreciated by an avian creature.

I have also planted trees in containers that are in my rooftop garden and have not only been blessed by the beauty they bring to my place; as well as by their often unspoken help to our environment; many birds have come to visit because of them...

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wednesday in the 2019 Octave of Easter

Today is Wednesday in the Octave of Easter. And it is also Wednesday of Earth Week (since Earth Day was celebrated this past Monday. I've written about the event in prior entries here on Blogger.

This year, I'm honoring the official holiday a couple of days later with this poignant Peanuts Comic Strip featuring Woodstock doing the right thing. There is nothing I can add to Schulz's strip except refer you to bit of history re it, which may be found by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tuesday in the 2019 Octave of Easter


It is Tuesday in the Octave of Easter for 2019 and my first day back on Blogger since last Thursday when I notified you, dear reader, that I would be returning to blogging at this time; so, welcome to my 123rd segment of Tuesday's Truths.

I'm not the only one returning to activity: Bees have begun to visit my garden! I have not seen them at my place for years and I'm very grateful for whatever has brought them back! I suspect they like my Muscari which are the purple flowers seen in both images atop this entry.

Thursday, April 18, 2019



Significance of a Robin's Red Breast


The robin-themed song, Rockin' Robin, is on my mind because I recently encountered a "rockin' robin" when I was in The Ramble portion of Central Park and came upon a lone American Robin who was not rockin' in the treetops but rather was rockin' on the ground as seen in the picture atop this entry....

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

National Haiku Poetry Day 2019

Today, April 17th, is National Haiku Poetry Day. According National Day Calendar (NDC) to this holiday was registered by Sari Grandstaff in 2007 and implemented as a project of The Haiku Foundation in 2012.

The aforementioned reference explains that "Haiku poetry is a form of Japanese poetry that is non-rhyming and normally consists of 3 lines with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5." 

In honor of this occasion, I'm posting a haiku about the flower type known as Muscari, which I have growing in a container (that is also a home home to my Sweet Autumn Clematis*) in the southeast corner of my garden.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Certain Squirrels in NYC's Central Park (Tuesday's Truths WK 122)

There is a special looking squirrel (at least to me) who seems to be a loner spending time on the grassy area on the northwest side of Oak Bridge in Central Park; as seen in the photo atop this entry and in the pictures directly below.

As of this entry, I have not learned the exact ID for him/her but here is what the Squirrel Census Commander has to say about it:

"Most likely this specimen is an eastern gray who's color phase is between a cinnamon and black. While I've never seen one exactly like this I'm sure it's possible."

If I find out more re this creature, I will put an addendum in this entry. Meanwhile, a few yards north of this area, near The Shakespeare Gardens (which are in the vicinity of the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre)...

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Red-Winged Blackbird

Yesterday (here on Blogger) I mentioned that it was Look Up In The Sky Day (LUITSD) and discussed the importance of noticing nature's details which is part for the basis for LUITSD.

However, as you undoubtedly know, dear reader, one doesn't have to look up at the sky to observe aspects of nature. The other day when I was in Central Park, I saw a male Red-Winged Blackbird (in breeding plumage these birds are solid black, with red wing-patches). 

He was among leaves that were on the ground, munching on a peanut, and can be seen in the photograph atop this entry...

Sunday, April 14, 2019

It's Look Up In The Sky Day!

According to a number of sources, today is Look Up In The Sky Day. One web-page (and other references concur) suggests that "Maybe this unofficial holiday, with unknown origins, aims to encourage people to go outdoors and enjoy the various bounties of nature..."

Fortunately I don't need a holiday —  be it official or unofficial — to look up in the sky or enjoy nature. I feel very blessed that I am able to appreciate the little aspects of life, such as my sighting of a Black-crowned night heron, although he/she is hardly little; as evidenced in my photograph atop this entry.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Saturday's Story The Bird Feeding Area (Within Central Park & My Rooftop Garden)

There is a portion of The Ramble in Central Park called The Bird Feeder Area and the name does not refer to people who feed birds, rather it refers to an area which has numerous bird feeders hanging from trees. A partial view of it can be seen in the picture (which I took yesterday) atop entry.

During the time I was there numerous American Goldfinches were congregating (and noshing from) a feeder which can be seen is at the extreme right of this photograph. The following set of  images feature both male and female varieties engaging in activities at or near to the aforementioned feeder.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Remembering Tiny Tim Again

The performer known as Tiny Tim was born eighty-five years ago on this day of April 12, and ultimately died on November 30th in 1996. This is a fact that I've referenced in prior posts here on Blogger (including one I published last year) where I've featured a copy of the mini video (from the collection in my Vimeo Library) which is featured a top this entry.

Now, in honor of his birth anniversary, I've posted it again and am accompanying the mini movie with an update on how the tulip bulbs Juan V (JV) and I planted this past December are doing. My last reference to them was nine days ago (April 2) and they have made a lot of progress since them, as evidenced by the aerial photo of my garden which I took the other day.


Many thanks to Martha B for opening the hatch leading to the rooftop of the building where I live. It is much too heavy for yours truly to manage and I wanted to take an aerial shot of how my garden is looking in these early days of spring 2019. As you can see, the tulip bulbs that were planted this past December, as well as in bygone years, are "waking up" from their winter's nap and nearly ready to show their flowers.

I have a wide variety of them and the ones in this PARTIAL VIEW of my place are members of these families: Spring Green, Day Dream, Red Riding Hood and Elegant Lady; these four types are late spring bloomers.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Turtle Pond Trivia & Sighting Turtle Trees

This past Saturday, I published a post re the numerous turtles I had encountered while at Turtle Pond (which is in Central Park) on that day. The aforementioned entry includes an array of photos of this creature basking in the sun on one of the "walls" surrounding this body of water.

Monday was unseasonably warm and when I returned to this place, a large array of this creature type was there and one of them allowed me to take pictures of the inside of his/her shell; as evidenced in the images atop this entry.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

National Siblings Day 2019

It's National Siblings Day, a holiday which I've referenced here on Blogger an in one of my entries re the event, I pointed out how Holiday Insights defines this occasion. They state, "National Sibling Day is a day to appreciate and cherish your brothers and sisters. Siblings are truly a special blessing that we probably all too often take for granted..."

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Pair of Ruddys and A Lone Cormorant (Tuesday's Truths WK 121)

A male and female Ruddy duck who were swimming along in Central Park's lake this past Saturday, appear to have become camera shy by "hiding" under water; as evidenced by the series of pictures atop this entry. But the camera probably had little to do with this behavior, for this bird type forages by diving under water and straining mud through their bills to find food. In any event, it has been a long time since I've seen Rudy ducks (whom I initially spotted during the month of April 2018 ), so I felt blessed to witness their antics and I hope to see these creatures again.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Draw A Bird Day 2019

A picture of a hand used in a drawing of a bird.

Today is Draw A Bird Day, a longstanding holiday which was created in honor of the dearly departed, Dorie Cooper, who died when she was a child. In bygone years, I have written about little girl and her "role" in the  creation of the holiday. 

Within some of the aforementioned entries, I've included a a copy the photograph atop this post that features one of the ways I was taught to draw a bird by using my hand as a model. In any event, it seems birds learn to draw humans in a similar manner, as evidenced in the cartoon directly below.

A cartoon featuring a bird teaching a bird how to draw a person.

That being said, in terms of humans drawing birds, Charles Schultz often comes to my mind.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Saturday night's alright for posting?

Today I got delayed  due to preparing for upcoming meetings so this entry will be short. First let me say, I have been posting on this blog for nearly nine years and I've never published an entry on a Saturday night! Since that is what I'm doing now, I hope Saturday night's alright for posting which makes me think of Elton John's song, Saturday Night, and in honor of the fact, I've posted a You Tube Video featuring it atop this entry.

In any event, earlier today while in Central Park, I came upon numerous (probably hundreds) of turtles in Turtle Pond.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Yesterday wasn't a good one for a fish in CP!

As I was crossing Oak Bridge in Central Park in the early evening yesterday, it was especially peaceful because the guy who normally disrupts the sound of birds singing by playing show tunes on his loud instrument (while sitting on this bridge) was not there. I was blessed to spot a lone Great Egret (who can be seen in the image directly above) making his/her way in a seemingly methodical manner as he/she walked across the lake.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

#ThursdayThoughts for 4-4-2019

Hoping this (the "narrative" included in the Mutts comic strip which is posted atop this entry) is not FAKE NEWS; for in the past, as far as my garden goes, Aprils showers have often taken way any possibility of May flowers;

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Interesting Facts re The "Keep Calm" Poster (Wednesday's Wisdom)


On a few occasions when I've observed waterfowl who are in The Pond in Central Park or in the Hudson River, they look as if they are conducting music, as evidenced by my photographs that are directly above this narrative. These pictures feature a Canadian goose and a female Mallard respectively.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Not everyone appreciates tulips (unlike me). Tuesday's Truths WK 120

The figurine (picture above) who was intent on planting some bulbs (within my indoor succulent garden) and I were comparing notes re our experiences with flowers that are produced by them including; Muscari, crocuses and tulips. Over the years (more than ten) of maintaining my rooftop garden with the help of JV, bulbs for many varieties of the aforementioned flowers have been planted in my place.

Monday, April 1, 2019

April 2019 is here...

... and in NYC it arrived with temperatures in the low thirties, prompting folks on the street to make reference to the weather being an April Fool's Day prank.

April is a month that T.S. Eliot proclaimed was the cruelest, that is part of a quotation (posted above) from The Wasteland, which is one I've referenced in prior entries here on Blogger; but today I came upon an interpretation of these words that really spoke to me and I hope they do the same for you, dear reader.

In an article for Node in the Global Mind, Chris Day responds to the question, What did T.S. Eliot mean when he said that April is the cruelest month (in his poem, The Waste Land)? Day states the following:

"Let's look at the first seven lines of the first stanza:

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

In the northern hemisphere, April is clasically associated with spring. This is classic Eliot topsy-turviness. April is cruel? How can April be cruel? It's spring; with flowers and mild weather and sex and love in the air. 

He's giving us an insight into a mind that doesn't revel in these things as might be expected. 'breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land' is a very heavy, depressed way to describe the blooming of flowers. He sees the same things as everyone else, but there is no joy there. 'mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain;' a sense of loss and longing, of being rooted in the past, and spring re-awakening memories of things that have passed. 

By comparison; 'Winter kept us warm' 'forgetful snow;' these things suggest a state of comfortable emotional hibernation.

An old literature teacher once put it thus; when your arm is numb, you don't feel it. But when the blood flows again, and the pins and needles come, suddenly you know about it. It's not (emotional) numbness that hurts; it's the return of feeling.

Anyone who has dealt with long-term depression can probably feel the connection to what Eliot is describing here, and it does a fantastic job of leading in to the rest of the poem, which deals excrutiatingly with depression and memory. 

In summary; April is the cruelest month because the life and color of spring throws one's depression into stark relief and forces painful memories to surface."

Day's interpretation of the first seven lines of Eliot's stanza rings true for me on a very personal level they remind me of  a poem by Emily Dickinson, which is about her first encounter with a robin in any given new year.