Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

WW is from Amanda R & Dr. Robert D


Consequences as a result of the disruption in my rooftop garden and the work space in my home that I mentioned in yesterday's post are something I will be contending with today. Therefore this entry for this week's WW (Wednesday's Wisdom) will be brief. The wise words offered here come from Amanda Remsberg and Robert Robert DeCandido PhD.

I contacted both of them yesterday to ask a question about a Common Grackle whom I encountered when I was in Central Park this past Sunday. He/she is featured in the image atop this entry. A few minutes after this lovely creature gave me the once over...


... he/she began to exhibit behavior (seen in the next series of pictures) that I thought was one of those fake an-injured-wing thing which is common in the avian community.


But I had never seen such a young one doing the fake-a-broken-wing thing and seeing this caused me to wonder if the creature was practicing this "technique" or learning it or imitating it. I did a fair amount of research in hopes of finding out if I could determine what might've been happening, but I could not find out ant information so I reached out to my cyber buddy Amanda Remsberg (bird rehabber extraordinaire) via Messenger stating:

I saw a Common Grackle in Central Park  on Sunday and he/she was "walking" around the lawn but when this bird seemed to realize I was there, he/she seemed to the fake-an-injured-wing thing. Do you think this young bird was practicing this skill? Do young birds learn to do this early on + practice it? I can't find any research on the topic!

Here's a copy of our exchange:

AR: And he wasn’t injured?  Lol. No never seen that behavior in grackles at all!  Possible he might have been anting?  They rub their wings on an ant pile to pick up the Formica acid that can repel mites.

ME: Hmmm. Maybe he was anting but he/she seemed to look at me (I included  a copy of the photo directly below) and then do the wing bit. Maybe this young bird saw an older bird do the wing bit  and is coping the behavior without knowing why? Then again maybe  anting was the activity. It was a very hot day and sparrows were dust bathing in another location.


AR: Maybe he was flirting, such a cutie! Lol. Birds do a lot of odd things we are hard pressed to explain sometimes.

After AR's suggested that the bird I saw might've been anting, I did some more research and I reached out (via email( to Robert DeCandido PhD, a bird expert whom I've mentioned in prior posts here on Blogger.

Here's a copy of our exchange:

ME: I saw this Common Grackle (I included the third and fourth images seen in this posting) in on Sunday + at first I thought he/she was doing a pretend-to-have-broken-wing thing but it didn’t seem there was any danger around. Do  you think the bird could have been anting?

DR. R: Hi Patricia - we see this behavior all the time: a bird sitting motionless in the sun on the ground usually with feathers spread ; the bird looks dazed but if approached rights itself and flys off just fine 

The birds have parasites deep in their feathers. By spreading feathers in the sun they allow the heat to penetrate; the parasites do not like the heat and start to move around looking for a better spot; the bird preens them out...basically in an abbreviated explanation ...

That's it for today, dear reader, except to remind you that Common Grackles are  featured in volume three of my book series, Words In Our Beak, and to once again thank both Amanda and Robert for sharing their knowedge with me!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Today is International Friendship Day Tuesday's Truths WK 136

In yesterdays's post here on Blogger, I discussed a problem (related to writer's block) I'm having getting back on track with my proposal for Steidl as well as with tweaking my follow up video for Imperfect Strangers.

I concluded my entry by stating, "Therefore in a few hours, I'm about to move on by following another piece of breaking writer's block advise from reedsy. They suggest when all else fails, pack up your computer and hard drives and take them to another location; I've made arrangements for me to work on my project within an office in my hood." 

However, since this is the day For Tuesday's Truths I must confess that arrangement was ultimately postponed (at the last minute) until Wednesday (July 31) or Saturday (August 3rd).

Before I realized my plan had to be rescheduled, I reached out (via Messenger) to someone (a writer who I had helped with a project). She lives in Australia and here's a copy of what I asked her:

"...I'm struggling at the moment + perhaps you might have some suggestions as to what I can do to overcome my block in finishing two important projects!"

She kindly took the time to reply to me with heartfelt words by saying: "I know you may be struggling and I don't have all the facts but it sounds like you're not doing too badly at all. I wanted to have my novel completed this year, ideally by July with three full edits and I'm yet to complete my first. You're working on multiple projects and as you said things have been getting in the way, plus writer's block is a massive pain when it comes to getting things written. I like the idea of packing up and writing somewhere else. I know two things work for me: either I leave it until I have a spark of inspiration (I've gone months without writing before I've found it again though). Sometimes it's nothing spectacular, I'll hear someone talking about a book they've read and I'll decide to go back to writing that night, etc. Or two: sit down and force yourself to write. You may not like what you're writing at first but once an idea comes to you that you  can get inspired/passionate about it SERIOUSLY helps overcome all the other doubts. I also know that when my motivation for writing lacks it can be because I don't feel like my novel will ever be good enough to publish and I get caught up in the idea that it's a waste of time (it sounds like you feel the same way now from the blog). Just remember why you started writing - you're love of it. If it's possible (I know it's easier said than done), at this stage think of your projects as something you have to do for yourself and worry less about having it done in time for others."

Her thoughtful comment meant a lot to me and I let her know and I'm sharing it here in honor of the fact that it is International Friendship Day. I've never met the woman I'm speaking of and if I ever get the opportunity to travel to her country, I hope to meet her and if she comes to New York, I hope she will contact me!

I also have another international friends from Canada, England, Italy, and Wales, whom I've only communicated with through cyberspace and perhaps one day we will meet.

As for my completing my projects, my work was truly disrupted by an unexpected major upheaval in my rooftop garden and at this time, I cannot even write about it, but I will do so in a few days, dear reader, after I've had time to deal with today's unfortunate situation. Meanwhile I'll keep my spirits up by remembering how blessed I am to have local as well as international friends.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Sunday in the Park with Cardinals


In my early morning blog post for today, I featured Marquis quote, "Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday."

That quotation seems to be the story of my life these past couple of months because I have been unable to finish my proposal for a photo book project I am hoping to do with Steidl.

I had intended to submit my work to him this past April or May at the latest. However, this past May I took a U turn from the work I had been doing on the proposal and focused on my other book and or movie project, Imperfect Strangers.

Remembering Donald Robert Perry Marquis

This week's Monday Musing is from a quote associated Donald Robert Perry Marquis (which is featured in the Mutts comic strip atop this entry). Marquis was born on this day of July 29th in the year 1878.

According to a Wiki Page, he was "a humorist, journalist, and author. He was variously a novelist, poet, newspaper columnist, and playwright. He is remembered best for creating the characters Archy and Mehitabel, supposed authors of humorous verse. During his lifetime he was equally famous for creating another fictitious character, 'the Old Soak,' who was the subject of two books, a hit Broadway play (1922–23), a silent movie (1926) and a talkie (1937)."

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Parents Day is for the birds!


This is the fourth Sunday for the month of July 2019 which means it is Parents Day. A number of web-sources (including National Day AKA ND) ) concur, "National Parents’ Day honors all parents on the fourth Sunday in July. No matter where our parents may be, this day serves to celebrate their important role in our lives. 

ND (and other web-pages) also claim "President Bill Clinton established National Parents’ Day in 1994 when he signed Congressional Resolution (36 U.S.C. § 135) into law. The recognized the '…uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.' Republican Senator Trent Lott introduced the bill. "

I am honoring the holiday by posting a copy (atop this entry) of a Peanuts Comic Strip which was published long before (8-1-1978) Clinton created a holiday for parents. The strip paints a picture of how a relationship between a parent and child can be.

But Parents Day is also for the birds, for when it comes to the avian community, both parents play a significant role in rearing their young.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Saturday's Sequel (to my 5-20-2019 post)


This past May I posted some news re a new beach coming to NYC and in my entry I mentioned a tweeter was hopeful that when this happens, Manhattan will be blessed with visits from a shorebird variety known as the American Oystercatcher.

I've been blessed to have encountered several American Oystercatchers when visiting Long Beach on New York's Long Island.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Raptor with a Capture

I was at the southern tip of Central Park when I noticed a large shape in one of the treetops. I had heard night herons were in the area and thought that is who the creature might be.

I did not have the camera I normally use to help me see well enough to ID and/or photograph birds, but I did have my pocket camera with me; and even though I knew I'd get very little clarity because it was mid evening, I snapped a picture with the intent of ID-ing the bird from my camera's memory card on my large computer screen.

It appears the bird I saw is a Red-Tailed Hawk and he/she had captured a rat!

There was even an eye witness to the event, for if you look to the left of the photo you might notice a small bird watching the action.

By the way, a Red-Tailed Hawk is featured in volume three of my book series, Words In Our Beak.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

WW is from Albert C. Barnes

This week's Wednesday's Wisdom (WW) is from a quote associated with Albert C. Barnes: "We can always find something to be thankful for, no matter what may be the burden of our wants or the special subject of our petitions."

His quotation is featured in the Mutts comic strip atop this entry) Barnes was born on January 2, 1872 and he died on this day of July 24th in 1951. 

According to a Wiki Page, he was "an American chemist, businessman, art collector, writer, and educator, and the founder of the Barnes Foundation in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania."

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 23rd is Gorgeous Grandma Day! (Tuesday's Truths WK 135)

Today, July 23rd 2019, would be my maternal grandmothers's (Clara Fitchie Melahn) one hundred and nineteenth birthday had she not died (in 1987) at the age of eighty-six, four days before what would have been her eighty-seventh birthday.

She was born on July 23rd in 1900 and always hated being born in that year because it was easy for folks to do the math to determine her age. She can be seen in the photo (back row on the right) atop this entry with her siblings.

Her day of birth now coincides with a holiday known as Gorgeous Grandma Day which was evidently established by Alice Solomon in 1984.

I am her first grandchild and have written about her within a number of entries on this blog, where in some of them, I have explained that Cam, the story teller of my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak is named for her and my maternal grandfather, Albert Melahn.  She is standing next to him in the last snapshot included here.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Yellow Coloration in Nature

I came upon the Silver-Spotted Skipper (seen in the image atop this entry) when I took a walk in Central Park twith CF his past Saturday and I included facts re him/her in my blog post for that day. This creature is on my mind today because I've been thinking about his/her yellow markings as well as elements of nature who have yellow in their coloring.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Pink Coloration in Nature

Yesterday when I was at the Samuel Untermyer Fountain (which is located within The Conservatory Gardens) in Central Park, the pink flower seen in the picture atop this entry caught my attention. This isn't surprising because ever since this past National Pink Day, I've noticed how often the color pink can be found in many types of flora as well as fauna.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

"... Another Day (Saturday) in the Park..."

As I have mentioned a number of times here on Blogger any time it is a Saturday and I'm in either Riverside Park or Central Park, I find myself thinking of the hit song Saturday in the Park by the rock band Chicago, and today was no exception.

Even though NYC (as well as much of the United States) is undergoing a dangerous heat wave, I took my weekly early morning walk with a friend (CF) and when we walked through Central Park and spent time in The Conservatory Gardens near the area where the Untermyer Fountain (seen in the images atop this entry) is located.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Dragonfly Details: Friday Follow-Up


Last Friday I took a walk to Central Park with the mission to observe dragonflies and I was blessed to spend a lot of time with one which I wrote about in this past Sunday's blog post; where I included many pictures of the creature I encountered. The aforementioned insect allowed me to take many photos of him/her. I'm still going through the many pictures he/she allowed me to take; including the one that can be seen atop this entry; where, as you can see, the image focus on the insect's facial characteristics.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

World Listening Day 2019


Today is World Listening  Day (WLD) It is (according to National Today) an event which "is put on every year by the World Listening Project, a nonprofit organization that is 'devoted to understanding the world and its natural environment, societies and cultures through the practice of listening and field recording.' They explore acoustic ecology, a discipline that studies the relationship between humans and the natural world as mediated through sound. It falls on July 18 to honor the birthday of Raymond Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer and environmentalist who is seen as the founder of acoustic ecology. World Listening Day was established in 2010, and each year the holiday has a specific theme tied to it... 

This year’s theme is 'Listening to the Ground,' which asks us to consider the sounds of the literal ground in all its surfaces, from soil to asphalt, whether we’re losing metaphorical ground, and whether we can find new ground by listening for it..."

It is also Thursday, the day of the week which is often called Throwback Thursday (TT). Therefore in the honor of WLD and TT, I thought you would appreciate this passage (short) that was included in my 2-5-2019 post here on Blogger re Wilbur, the pig from Charolette's Web, a book by E.B. White:

"I worry about Fern. Did you hear the way she rambled on about the animals, pretending that they talked?' (Mrs. Arable the wife of Wilbur's owner speaking about her daughter to her husband.)

''Mr Arable chuckled. '''Maybe they do talk,''' he said. "I've sometimes wondered.

'''I don't think it's normal. You know perfectly well animals don't talk.''' (Mrs. Arable replied).

'''Maybe our ears aren't as sharp as Fern's," "Mr. Avery said."

I also featured this passage within a 2016 blog posting when I explained that Cam, the Northern cardinal who used to visit my (featured in the photo atop this entry, where she is in my rooftop garden) always believed that it is important for everyone of us to have sharp ears and she spent time taking care of hers!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bees & Butterflies have similar behaviors. (Tuesday's Truths WK 134)

Welcome to my one hundred and thirty fourth segment of Tuesday's Truths which is inspired by my observing a bee and a Red Admiral Butterfly. I came upon both of these insects dining together atop an echinacea flower which grows near Shakespeare Gardens in Central Park (as seen in the image atop this entry).

I've often seen bees alighting on flowers and I've often seen butterflies engaging in this activity but up until this past Friday, I'd never seen them engaging in this behavior at the same time, which prompted me to do some research.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Two WKS Ago Today

Anyone who has worked on a waitstaff, eaten in a restaurant, owned a cat, or owned a dog will surely appreciate this strip by the talented Patrick McDonnell. It appeared in my in-box two weeks ago and I'm overdue in sharing!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday's Sentiments: Catching a Dragonfly (and other beings) On Camera


"Yesterday a child came out to wonder Caught a dragonfly inside a jar..." are a couple of lines from Circle Game, a song by Joni Mitchell. These words are on my mind as I write this, because Friday, when I went out to wonder, specifically in Central Park, where I had gone for a morning walk with a mission of observing dragonflies through the long lens of my camera, I caught a dragonfly.

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Bees and the Wildflowers in Central Park (Friday Follow-up to last Friday's Post)

Last Friday, here on Blogger, I posted an entry stating, "My seeing a bee taking nourishment on an Echinacea flower in Central Park... caused me to think of these lines from HUM, a poem by Mary Oliver:

"'... The little
worker bee lives, I have read, about three weeks.
Is that long? Long enough, I suppose, to understand
that life is a blessing...'''

And I mentioned that "Bees are featured in my movie, Here's The Buzz (which can be viewed on my Vimeo Channel)... Bees discussed in my book series, Words In Our Beak."


Soon after that entry was published (the following day) I encountered bees again when I took a walk in Central Park. Only this time they were nibbling on wildflowers as seen in the first picture included with this entry as well as in the ones directly below.


As I stated in the first paragraph here, in the aforementioned post, I referenced a stanza from Mary Oliver's poem, HUM. In this followup post, I have referenced (below) stanzas from another one of her poems HUM, HUM; a poem which also speaks of bees:

"One summer afternoon I heard
   a looming, mysterious hum
 high in the air; then came something

like a small planet flying past –

not at all interested in me but on its own
way somewhere, all anointed with excitement:
bees, swarming,

not to be held back.

Nothing could hold them back."

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Theatrics by Mother Nature

The photo atop this entry is a view of The Delacorte Theatre (located in Central Park) and is a copy of an image on one of the Public Theater's  web-pages. The Public Theatre is the company who oversees productions at the Delacorte. "Since 1962, over 5 million people have gathered inside the Delacorte to experience world class Shakespeare and other productions at no-cost. The mission of The Public and Free Shakespeare in the Park has remained constant."

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Appreciate cows everyday!

Yesterday was officially Cow Appreciation Day! But in my humble opinion, I think they need to be appreciated every day which I'm offering as Wednesdays Wisdom. Love these animals and have created an image (the black and white photographic collage pictured above) featuring one of them. It has been included in NYC art exhibitions + is now available via Fine Art America.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Swinging is also "the pleasantest thing" ever an adult can do! (Tuesday's Truths Wk 133)

In my blog entry this Saturday I posted an image of a friend's (TT) great nieces running hand in hand with a another chid who they had met in Central Park

The little girl featured in the photo atop this entry is one of TT's grand nieces and she is included in the aforementioned image. In the picture accompanying this posting, she can be seeing enjoying a swing located in the west eighties area of the park.

Monday, July 8, 2019

A Fact re Juvenile American Robins

I took the photograph (of a juvenile American Robin) that is posted atop this entry when I was in Central Park. As you can see in the image above, as well as in the ones that are directly below, the juvenile's under parts are tinged with cinnamon and heavily spotted with brown.

By the way, American Robins are featured in my book series, Words In Our Beak.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

A Bird in the Hand


Yesterday when I was on what has become my weekly Saturday walk with CF in Central Park, we paused on a grassy area to take in the beauty of the day, both of us had seeds in in our hand which we were intending to feed birds. From out of no where a fledging Downy Woodpecker flew toward us and landed on CF's fingers where he/she perched and began nibbling from the morsels in C's hand.

My camera was sling across my shoulder and I also had seeds in my palm so I could not get to it easily. After eating from CF's hand, the little bird alighted on my fingers and began eating from my hand. CF's cell-camera was not in easy reach for her so neither of us have a physical photo-op of the day; but we have a permanent image of the blessed event in out hearts and minds.

Moreover, the "undocumented" event gives us the opportunity to heed the wisdom of E.B. White's beloved aunt who evidently once told him, "Remembrance is sufficent for the beauty we have seen."

Such wise words and ones that may be familiar to those who read my blog as I've discussed them in a few of my past entries, including one I published a litle over three years ago.

By the way, Downy Woodpeckers are featured in my book series, Words In Our Beak.


Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Three Dog Night Moment

On the fourth of July I had a "Three Dog Night" moment in Central Park (which can be seen in the photograph atop this entry).

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Bee & The Echincea


My seeing a bee taking nourishment on an Echinacea flower in Central Park (seen in the photographs posted above as well as the ones below)...


... caused me to think of these lines from HUM, a poem by Mary Oliver:

"... The little
worker bee lives, I have read, about three weeks.
Is that long? Long enough, I suppose, to understand
that life is a blessing..."

Bees are featured in my movie, Here's The Buzz (which can be viewed on my Vimeo Channel). And the Echinacea flower is featured in another one of my movies, The Echinacea Elaborates (which can also on Vimeo). Moreover, Bees and this plant variety are discussed in my book series, Words In Our Beak.