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Thursday, October 31, 2019

THROW BACK (WAY BACK) THURSDAY

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"

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ MY BOAT BASIN ARTICLE

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. You may also 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.

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 photograph featured atop this entry.

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 holidayscalendar.com, 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.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

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

IMAGE CREDIT

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.

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 picture atop this entry).

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.

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.

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.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saturday in the PARKS

IMAGE CREDIT

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, IlovetheUpperWestside.com

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 18 2019


PUBLISHED OCOBER 11 2019

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!

IMAGE CREDIT

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."

A CHARACTERISTIC OF CORMORANT'S WINGS Tuesday's Truths WK 147

CORMORANTS ARE FEATURED IN VOL 3

If I didn't know better, I might've thought the lone cormorant (seen in the photograph directly above) 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.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

YET ANOTHER VISIT TO CP's CONSERVATORY GARDENS! (Sunday's Sequel)


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

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

WW* HALLOWEEN DECOR (SHOULD) BE FOR THE BIRDS! (*Wednesday's Wisdom)


In three weeks and one day's time from now, it will be Halloween, and this week's Wednesday's Wisdom is this: If you or anyone you know, puts up decor outside your home, please bear in mind, many decorations designed for this holiday can be detrimental to members of the avian community.

This is something I discussed in a 2018 blog post which you may reference by clicking here.

It is also a topic that is covered in volume two of my book series, Words In Our Beak and the photo atop this entry features my Halloween figurines memorized by this aspect of the book.

THE WORDS IN OUR BEAK BOOK SERIES

Additionally, I have a great selection of Halloween cards that are created from my photographs.

The one seen in the image directly below is available via Fine Art America (FAA) and I'm very impressed with their print quality.



It is sized 5" by 7" and FAA produces them on digital offset printers using 100 lb paper that has a UV protectant. The image is semi-gloss and the inside of the card is matte and blank so one can write a message, but if you prefer, FAA can customize any text or message that you want to include.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Yom Kippur 2019


I don't want this Tuesday to pass without my mentioning that I'm thinking of the Jewish community with this evening's onset of Yom Kippur which will began at sunset this evening.

A Few Interesting Facts About Cormorants (Tuesday's Truths WK 146)

CORMORANTS ARE FEATURED IN VOLUME 3

Nine days ago on September 29th 2019, I published an entry about a lone cormorant who was spending time atop a that's rock within Turtle Pond. The other day when I was in Central Park, I stopped by that same area only to find area he/she was still atop the rock (at least I think the creature was the same one, and nearby birders seemed to think so too). The bird had company this time, as you can see from the image atop this entry, a lone turtle joined him/her on the rock. I found myself intrigued by the cormorant's beak that has a sharp hook at the end (check it out in the image above).

Monday, October 7, 2019

In addition to a theatrical play, LBJ is featured in "Imperfect Strangers..."

IMAGE CREDIT

Last night a friend took me to see The Great Society, the Broadway play now being featured at The Vivian Beaumont Theatre in NYC. Playbill describes it  as a production "Capturing Johnson’s passionate and aggressive attempts to build a great society for all, The Great Society follows his epic triumph in a landslide election to the agonizing decision not to run for re-election just three years later. It was an era that would define history forever: the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the destruction of Vietnam, and the creation of some of the greatest social programs America has ever known—and one man was at the center of it all: LBJ."

I also reference President Lyndon B. Johnson in my book, Imperfect Strangers, a story which begins from a child's perspective.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

"A Bird's Eye View"

This photograph features a male cardinal perched on the branch of a tree and looking down. This bird type is featured in my book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re these books is in another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html
CARDINALS ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOK SERIES

This photograph features a female cardinal perched on the branch of a tree and looking down. This bird type is featured in my book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re these books is in another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html
CARDINALS ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOK SERIES

This photograph features a male cardinal perched on the branch of a tree and looking down. This bird type is featured in my book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re these books is in another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html
CARDINALS ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOK SERIES

This photograph features a female cardinal perched on the branch of a tree and looking straight ahead. This bird type is featured in my book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re these books is in another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html
CARDINALS ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOK SERIES

This photograph features a male cardinal perched on the branch of a tree and looking straight ahead. This bird type is featured in my book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re these books is in another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html
CARDINALS ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOK SERIES

This "bonus" entry (unscheduled, "A Bird's Eye View," is in honor of this day being the first Sunday after 2019's Feast Day of Saint Francis, patron saint of animals (especially birds) and patron saint of those who love animals (especially birds). 

Churches (of all denominations) throughout the world hosted The Blessing of the Animals on his actual feast day but many (including The church of Saint John the Divine in NYC) will be holding that ceremony today.

The male and female Northern cardinals seen in the photographs directly above have a bird's eye view from within the tree tops of Central Park.

This bird type is featured in my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.

This is a photo of my three volume book series, "Words In Our Beak." Information re the books is another one of my blog  posts @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html
MY BOOK SERIES


Additionally this avian variety is the inspiration for a collection of greeting cards which can be found within my pages on Fine Art America's web-site.

AVAILABLE ON FINE ART AMERICA

Saturday, October 5, 2019

My Brief Encounter with a lone Winter Wren (and nearby Mallards)


Last Saturday when I took my weekly walk with CF, I spotted the tiny creature (thanks to my long camera lens) seen in the one and only photograph that I was able to get and it is atop this entry. I have now learned his/her identity through the NYC bird expert, Robert DeCandido PhD.

The little one I saw is a Winter Wren, a type of fauna whom I've never seen before.

After learning the ID, my research led me to many interesting facts re Winter Wrens, including a  web-page for Bird Watcher's Digest, explaining, "The winter wren is one of North America’s smallest birds, kinglet-sized and rounded in shape like a small teapot, with a short stubby tail for a spout. Its bill is short and thin. Dark brown feathers suit its skulking habits, for this is a bird that likes to hide among the leaf litter or crawl into dark crevices in rocks or the cavities created by fallen logs. (Its scientific name, Troglodytes, means 'cave dweller.') Often found along stream banks or thick roadside tangles, this wren may pass unnoticed much of the time unless you are attuned to its double-click chip note. In the breeding season, however, males will often establish a perch on top of a snag and remain there for long periods as they sing their glorious, bubbly song."

Friday, October 4, 2019

It's Saint Francis's Feast Day!


Today's entry is not part of the regular posting schedule I announced this past Monday, rather it is an extra posting which I mentioned might be something I will do from time to time.

My reason for today's entry is honor Saint Francis of Assisi. Today is his feast day! One of the ways I'm honoring the day is by sharing the cartoon by Patrick McDonnell that is posted atop this entry.

Among many things, Saint Francis is often remembered as the patron saint of animals; especially birds. I have a small statue of Saint Francis above my desk (seen in the image directly below).


His statue the one standing at the far left and serves as an inspiration for me to persevere in my work to help others learn about the needs avian community through my book series, Words In Our Beak.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Sparrows at The Delacorte

HOUSE SPARROWS ARE IN MY BOOK SERIES
HOUSE SPARROWS ARE IN MY BOOK SERIES

House sparrows often find and/or build a home in a number of places at The Delacorte Theatre in Central Park (which is in close proximity to The Swedish Cottage that is home to the Marionette Theatre). The one seen in the photographs atop this entry is "sitting" within one of the theatre's outdoor wall lights.

Unfortunately many horrific things happen to birds who visit this theatre. Some are documented in this article/report (by an unidentified writer) which you may read by clicking here.

On another note, regarding House sparrows, I'd like to let you know, dear reader, they are featured in my book series, Words In Our Beak.

THE WORDS IN OUR BEAK BOOK SERIES

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Wednesday's Wisdom: One Cure for Rejection, Keep your eye on the birdie!

TUFTED TITMOUSES ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOKS
TUFTED TITMOUSES ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOKS
TUFTED TITMOUSES ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOKS
TUFTED TITMOUSES ARE FEATURED IN MY BOOKS

Today's entry is not part of the regular posting schedule I announced this past Monday, rather it is an extra posting which I mentioned might be something I will do from time to time.

My reason for today's entry is to let you know that the photography book project that I have spent much time preparing and is one I referenced when I altered my blog schedule this past August has rejected my proposal stating, "...and thanks for formatting the files to meet our request. G.S. thanks you for your submission 'It’s the Little Things,' which he personally reviewed. Unfortunately our program is set for years to come, and adding new books to our program is the absolute exception. I wish you all the best for the publication of your interesting project...") is to keep looking for another publisher, which I am doing."

Hence here is my Wednesday Wisdom: Probably one of the best cures for a rejected proposal is to look for other places to submit work and I found one based in the northwest portion of the United States who said it would be a long shot as their content focused on the wildlife in that area of our country.

STILL, when I told her my angle, she told me to send a PDF to her, which I did this past Monday after receiving the rejection.

THE OTHER CURE for rejection is to cull photos; so I went through some pictures I took of titmouses whom I encountered in Central Park in February 2019 and some of the images I came across are featured atop this entry.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

It's the Feast day of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux Tuesday's Truths WK 145



Welcome to the 145th segment of my Tuesday's Truths series which is coinciding with the feast day of  Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. I confess that I barely have even a fraction of the faith that she was known to possess.

This confession prompted me to think of one of St. Thérèse de Lisieux's quotes which is this: "I had wondered for a long time why God had preferences and why all souls did not receive an equal amount of grace […] Jesus saw fit to enlighten me about this mystery. He set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers He has created are lovely. The splendour of the rose and whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realised that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gay."

I moved into my apartment on her Feast Day in 1992 and her picture (seen below) hangs above my desk as a reminder of "the little way" which is associated with her.

This picture is of a framed photo of  St. Thérèse de Lisieux.
St. Thérèse de Lisieux