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Thursday, October 31, 2019


Happy Halloween!

Wishing you and yours a Happy Halloween, dear reader. In honor of this holiday, I'm sharing a video that I recently discovered in my Facebook newsfeed. It is evidently from the 1970's and features celebrities, Paul Lynde, Billie Hayes, Betty White and Margaret Hamilton.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Ta Da! I have a new article in "i Love the UWS"

Today is not part of my blog posting schedule for this week, but this entry is being published in honor of the fact that another article (see screenshot above) of mine has been published (by Mike Miskin) in his on-line newsletter which focuses mainly on the UWS, and rightly so, after all, his daily publication is titled iLovetheUpperWestside. Please click here to read my article.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Facts About Bergamasco Sheep Dogs ETC (Tuesday's Truths WK 149)

This past Saturday was a perfect "Autumn in New York" kind of day and when I was doing my weekly early morning walk with my friend CF, we were quick to discover many forms of wild life in Central Park, including a fledgling female cardinal taking advantage of this lovely time. She can be seen in the two images atop this entry.

As you may know, dear reader, I have written many blog entries re this bird type, and additionally, I have published a three volume book series, Words In Our Beak, in which the stories are told from an adult female cardinal's perspective.


Because I have published a lot of content re cardinals (and some of you have probably read a good deal of it), I'll use this one-hundred forty-ninth episode of Tuesday's Truths to tell you some facts about a dog variety known as the Bergamasco Sheep Dog.

I saw one this past Saturday who was taking his/her time as he/she strolled up a sidewalk in Central Park, as evidenced in the next series of photographs and I urge you to keep in mind when you view them the way in which he/she is moving his/her back feet.

If you'd like to learn more about this dog variety the following links will lead you to information:

1. Bergamasco Shepherd featured within an article for Wikipedia.

2. Bergamasco Shepherd featured within an article published by

3.  Bergamasco Shepherd featured in an article for AKC (American Kennel Club).

Monday, October 28, 2019

Monday's Musings_2 Saint Jude

I can't let this day end without paying homage to Saint Jude on his feast day (which is always observed on October 28th). I have a small statue rendered in the likeness of him above my desk.

The figurine of him can be seen in the photo atop this entry and in the picture, he is the second one from the left, standing between Saint Francis (to his right) and Saint Joseph (to  his left).

In bygone years I've written about each one of them on Blogger, if you'd like to refer to any of my entries, please click on their names.

Fyi, the other three statues (to the left of Saint Joseph respectively) that are included in this picture, are renditions of Our Lady of GuadalupeSaint Anthony, and Saint Lucy.

If you'd like to refer to any of my entries, please click on their names. Each of them have separate feast days, but this Friday, November the first, they will be honored together with all the saints in the annual, world wide celebration of All Saints Day.

Park's Sprinklers Create a Painterly Effect (Monday's Musings)

It seems to me the sprinkler which was watering a grassy area in front of The Delacorte Theatre (in Central Park) created a painterly effect on the photographs featured atop this entry, or is that just because I have the re-opening of NYC's #MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) on my mind?

By the way, American robins (the bird type seen here "bathing/showering" in the sprinkler are featured in volume three of my book series, Words In Our Beak.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday's Sentiment: National Black Cat Day (An Excuse to Celebrate Black Squirrels Too?)

Today is National Black Cat Day. According to many sources, including, this occasion is "celebrated on October 27th, just four days before Halloween... National Black Cat Day is a holiday which celebrates an animal (who) has an image problem. Black cats are not only considered bad luck in the United States but they are also one of the cats that is the least likely to be adopted...

While no one is exactly sure when National Black Cat Day was founded, what is known is that the attitudes about these particular felines are different during different parts of history and in different parts of the world. For example, in Great Britain and Japan, a black cat is considered good luck. However, in the United States, it has come to symbolize bad luck or evil forces. In some parts of the world, if a black cat crosses your path, then it’s considered to be a bad omen. In folklore, black cats are often depicted as agents of evil or even evil itself. In some parts of Europe, they were considered so evil that they were burned alive by superstitious villagers in giant midsummer bonfires..."

I don't have a black cat (or any cat for that matter), but I do have a figurine of someone dressed as a black cat for Halloween.

He/she can be modeling his/her costume in the pictures atop this entry as well as in the photo below (left), where he/she can be reading what I have to say about Halloween and birds in volume two...

of my book series, Words In Our Beak.


Since I don't have a black feline or know of anyone who does, I will be honoring the holiday with a different animal who has black-colored fur.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Honoring the (5) Great "new brand" Pumpkins (National Pumpkin Day 2019)


Today is not part of my blog posting schedule for this week, but this entry is being published in honor of National Pumpkin Day!

One can hardly think of pumpkins without thinking of The Great Pumpkin made famous by Charles Schultz's Peanuts character, Linus, who can be seen with Sally (directly above) taking delight in a pumpkin patch, where they are awaiting the arrival of him/her.

This year I have five great "new brand variety" pumpkins and a few "standard" pumpkins, all of which I got from various farmers in the tri-state area who come to the Greenmarkets on the UWS.

I'll start with the "standard looking" pumpkin, which can be seen in the image below and was taken in my rooftop garden, when she was posing with one of my anemone flowers.

Many sources (including an agricultural magazine for kids) concur, "Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These plants are native to Central America and Mexi- co, but now grow on all continents except Antarctica. Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are native to the western hemisphere."

The aforementioned page goes on to explain, "The bright orange color of pumpkins is your first clue that it is full of one important antioxidant, beta-carotene... Sometimes pollen comes from a flower on
a different pumpkin plant. This is called CROSS-POLLINATION. Cross-pollination
can be harmful to some plants, but it is good for pumpkins. It can make them healthier and tastier.
Sometimes farmers cross-pollinate pumpkins on purpose to create a brand..."

It's been my good fortunate to see some new "brands" this season. I now have five of them in  my rooftop garden and I will tell you interesting facts re each type within this entry.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Friday Follow-Up: "Saturday in the Parks"

Hello dear reader, and welcome to my third and final follow-up to my 10-19-2019 blog entry, Saturday in the PARKSAs some of you may recall, in the aforementioned entry, I discussed the fact that that I would be spending part of my morning in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and then part of the afternoon in Manhattan's Central Park; and I promised to follow-up on October 25th 2019, with the hope that a few of my observations are inspiring to you.

However, as I said in this past Wednesday's blog entry, I've decided to split that content into a few (three) entries, rather then make one lengthy posting. The aforementioned posting discusses an aspect (an encounter with a bird whose ID determination caused a "controversy") of my October 19th walk in Central Park.

Then in yesterday's entry, I discussed my walk in Prospect Park and included a promise that I would talk about other aspects of my 10-19-2019 Central Park walk on Friday, October 25th 2019... so here I am to do just that, beginning with my sighting of a fast moving red dragonfly (seen in the pictures atop this entry) who was spending time within The Hallett Nature Sanctuary.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Thursday's Testimony: The Legacy of Friends (Remembering DD and Claudia Ferrer)

Today is not part of my blog posting schedule for this week, but it is being published in honor of what would be the seventy second birthday of my dearly departed friend, Donna De Solis, who passed away on June 25th, 2015. The video posted atop this entry is one I created to honor her memory (at the request of her son) and it is included within my Vimeo as well as my You Tube library.

We first met in the mid 1980's. Donna (or DD as many called her) lived in my hood was a frequent visitor to my rooftop garden and I attended her annual Christmas parties held in her home.

I have created other "mini movies" in her honor, including the little slide show, posted below, which was produced a few years ago. This mini-movie's background music features the traditional holiday song, Christmas Auld Lang Syne, being sung by Bobby Darin.

The song and Darin's rendition of it is something I heard on an annual basis when I attended DD's Christmas parties, including the Christmas party she held in December of 2014; which would be her last. Christmas Auld Lang Syne, when sung by him, was one of her favorites. If you want to sing along, while watching the video below, these are the lyrics:

"When mistletoe and tinsel glow
Paint a yuletide valentine
Back home I go to those I know
For a Christmas auld lang syne.
And as we gather 'round the tree
Our voices all combine
In sweet accord to thank the Lord
For a Christmas auld lang syne.
When sleigh bells ring and choirs sing
And the children's faces shine
With each new toy we share their joy
With a Christmas auld lang syne.
We sing His praise this day of days
And pray next year this time
We'll all be near to share the cheer
Of a Christmas auld lang syne.
'Merry Christmas everybody and a Happy New Year!'
In sweet accord we thank the Lord
For a Christmas auld lang syne."

As you have seen this video features an array of birds who are spending time together. In the first slide you see Cam, my visiting female cardinal with her son, Vincenzo.

Each photograph in the presentation has been included in Cam's the first of my three volumes book series,  Words In Our Beak.


In her volume one story, Cam states that "though it’s true that we cardinals feed our young, sometimes I try to give my children a bit of tough love because I want them to have the confidence to be on their own. But I confess that I’m known to give into their begging tactics. While I want my children to be independent, occasionally I do give in when they beg, because time spent with a child is fleeting. I once overheard a conversation between two folks when people-ing, and it is this overheard line which expresses my beliefs: 'I gave into my toddler’s wishes, as I figured it wouldn’t be long before he’d be asking for the car keys . . . time flies,' a woman stated. And as one who flies, I couldn’t agree more. I value my time with Vincenzo, but I still force myself to push him to fend for his own seeds, even though I know that once he’s successful at his endeavor, as he seems to be here, he will leave Mac and I to pursue a life of his own." 

Cam is correct that time spent with a child is fleeting, but I'll go one step further and say time sent with anyone is fleeting!

Little did I know that at Donna's Christmas party on December 20, 2014, when her guests and I sang the words, "We sing His praise this day of days, And pray next year this time, We'll all be near to share the cheer, Of a Christmas auld lang syne," that Donna would be dead the following June.

Her passing is a reminder of Cam's views on the importance of spending time with one's children, and in my view, also on the importance of spending time with anyone near and dear to you.

My dear friend, and Saturday morning walking partner, CF, (who was acquainted with DD) is more than well aware of the importance of spending time with friends, having lost her dear friend, Claudia Ferrer, on February 1, 2018.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Is he/she or isn't he/she an American Crow? ("Controversy" over this one's ID!)

The photos posted atop this entry were taken in The Hallett Center. It is an area (within Central Park) that I visited this past Saturday afternoon when I was walking in the company of a couple who lives on the Eastside of NYC.

Last week, in my October 19th 2019 blog entry, Saturday in the PARKS, I mentioned that I would be spending my morning in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and the afternoon in Central Park; and promised to follow-up on October 25th 2019, re my park sightings for that day with the hope that a few of my observations will inspire you. Now I've decided to split that content into a few entries, rather then make one lengthy posting. How's that for Wednesday's Wisdom?

I'm not so sure my observations and/or experiences have much meaning these days, but without further ado, please allow me to tell you something re the ID of the bird featured here. He/she seems to be an American crow... but I only learned this after hearing the opinions of a number of bird experts who weighed in my question which I initially posted on Facebook (this past Sunday) using these pictures and stating the following:

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Craneflies pay a high price for their often mistaken identity. (Tuesday's Truths WK 148)

The Cranefly (seen in the photograph directly above where he/she is on the baseboard of a door in my apartment) is often mistaken for a mosquito, and unfortunately for the insect because "he/she resembles one of humanity's most annoying insects pays the price..."  

Please click here to read info about this creature, which I'm offering for my one hundred and forty eighth segment of Tuesday's Truths.

Monday, October 21, 2019

It's Reptile Awareness Day! (Monday's Memo)

Every October 21 is National Reptile Awareness Day and this year I'm honoring the event by sharing a few facts that I recently learned about turtles regulating their body temperatures.

Though turtles live in or around water bodies, they are not amphibians but reptiles.

A reptile is a terrestrial vertebrate covered by a scaly hard shell and the creature (a Red-eared slider) seen in the photograph directly above is catching some rays from a top a rock near Hernshead's Cove, one of six boat landings along the shoreline of the Lake within Central Park.

According to a blog posting within Hints Of Life, "Heat absorption is more effective when their limbs are stretched outwards. Red-eared sliders are almost entirely aquatic, but as they are cold-blooded, they leave the water to sunbathe to regulate their temperature."

The aforementioned entry goes on to explain, "turtles are poikilotherms, meaning they are unable to regulate their body temperatures independently; they are completely dependent on the temperature of their environment. For this reason, they need to sunbathe frequently to warm themselves and maintain their body temperatures."

I've mentioned before, every time I see a turtle in the park, I am introduced to a habit of theirs, and am in awe. This should not come as a surprise to you, dear reader, for as many of you know, their shells are the inspiration for my kaleidoscopic photographic print titled Turtle Pond, which is pictured below...

... and is available in many sizes through Fine Art America (or FAA) who have the ability to print wall art on an array of surfaces (wood, canvas acrylic, metal and more) as well as on items for the home and/or personal use.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saturday in the PARKS


On a number of occasions when I've spent part of my Saturday in the park, be it Central Park or Riverside Park, the song, Saturday in the Park, by the band, Chicago comes to my mind, and I referenced this fact in prior posts here on Blogger.

Today, October 19, 2019, I will be spending part of my morning in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and part of my afternoon in Manhattan's Central Park; hence my title for this entry, Saturday in the PARKS.

My plan is to publish an entry re any findings in both places within the coming days, most likely on this coming Friday, October 25th.

Meanwhile in terms of reading material that might peak your interest, dear reader, please allow me  leave for today with a referral (see info directly below) to two of my articles that have recently been published by author and editor, Mike Miskin, for his on-line newsletter/magazine,



Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thursday's Testimony: "The New York Look"

Indeed, the photograph atop this entry of THE NEW YORK LOOK, is sadly the New York look throughout all five boroughs of NYC — not just this once posh shop on the UWS. Stores closing due to being unable to pay the high rent is the norm.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Mini Update

Today's entry is not part of the regular posting schedule, a schedule that I announced in a recent entry here on Blogger, rather it is an extra posting which I mentioned might be something I will do from time to time.

Happy to say that The Moth (NPR radio program) just received my submission and has let me know the audio I included (at their request) has been accepted.

NOW, it's a question of time (three-six months) before I will know if they will air my story.

MEANWHILE, still waiting on the decision re a potential book publisher of Imperfect Strangers, a few more weeks to go!

Thanks for your support, dear reader, and please stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Today is Saint Teresa of Ávila's Feast Day!


I don't want the day to pass without mentioning today's is the Feast Day of Saint Teresa of Ávila. In bygone years I've written about her in entries that you may reference by clicking here. I especially appreciate her comparing gardening and the process of prayer which I discussed in a 2011 post on here on Blogger.

The image atop this entry has been included in my entries re Saint Teresa of Ávila and it from a page that features many of her quotes, including this one: "I am amazed by how much can be accomplished on this path by being bold and striving for great things. Even if a soul is not quite strong enough yet, she can still lift off and take flight. She can soar to great heights. But like a fledgling bird, she may tire herself out and need to perch for a while."


If I didn't know better, I might've thought the lone cormorant (seen in the photograph directly above as well as in the next series of images) was providing some shade for a sunbathing turtle when they were both atop a large rock within Turtle Pond, near The Delacorte Theatre in Central Park.

But this cormorants actions had nothing to do with giving a turtle some shade, rather he/she was drying his wings after taking a few dips in the pond's algae-laden waters.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


Yesterday during my walk in Central Park, I paid a visit to The Conservatory Gardens, a place I have not been to since this past summer (July 20th). My first time visiting them was May 25th, 2019.

In my posting re my May visit to this place, I discussed the garden sculpture and fountain (seen in the image directly above) which honors the children’s book author Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett.

During that visit I encountered a Polygonia interrogationis (AKA Questionmark Butterfly), but I did not see any butterflies there yesterday, however, I did see what appeared to be tropical fish swimming in the base of the sculpture/fountain.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Friday's Fun Fact: A Cardinal's Beak is Designed to be a Nutcracker!

While walking in Central Park, I came upon this male Northern cardinal (above) attempting to open a peanut. I probably enjoyed seeing this "event" more than the cardinal ultimately enjoyed eating the legume. A nearby female cardinal poking at a peanut (as seen below) was also captured my attention.

According to many sources including, BIRDWATCHING HQ, cardinals are "classified as a granivorous animals because they live on a diet consisting of mostly seeds. Their short, stout, cone-shaped beaks are specially designed to crack open the hulls on seeds and shells on nuts."

In volume one of my book series, Words In Our Beak, (pictured below) Cam, the narrator of the series out that cracking shells is good for their beaks.