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Monday, November 11, 2019

Monday's Memo: It's Veterans Day 2019


Today is Veterans Day, an event to be revered, and one I've discussed here on Blogger in bygone years, please click this if you'd like to refer to those entries.

On another note — unfortunately, it seems society is not as reverent about this day as the cartoon posted below, so clearly illustrates.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday's Sequel to Friday's Post

This past Friday I published an entry (here on Blogger) which discusses how Juan V (AKA JV) and I used pumpkins and gourds from the greenmarket to provide some color to my rooftop garden as it can get a little dull looking in November.

A lone mourning dove  seemsbto appreciate our efforts and he/she can be seen making him/herself at home in my place in the photograph directly above and in the one directly below.

These pictures were taken by the lovely Catia Fonseca who paid a visit to my garden yesterday before our morning weekly walk.

As you may know, dear reader, my urban garden is where the stories in my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak, are set...

...and volume two includes a story about pumpkins, while all three books feature stories about mourning doves!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Gourds & Pumpkins Put a YES in November!

No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--

No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!

No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

The first week of November comes to a close tonight and before that happens, it's high time for me to share Thomas Hood's poem (which is posted directly above) about this month, which has been something I've done in bygone years when writing about November.

Because it's usually true that there are no flowers in November or if there are they can be few and far between, at least in my rooftop garden where a lone flower is blooming on my anemone (as seen in the image below)...

... where she is posing with two of my pumpkins (a Fairytale as well as a "standard" variety).

Therefore, to add color to my garden, Juan V helped me place gourds and pumpkins which are mostly from Pam Torres's farm (Prospect Hill Orchards) in different locations throughout my outdoor space. 

Some of the results can be seen in the next series of photographs.

Juan  V and I are not the only ones to put a yes in our November by adding pumpkins and gourds.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Pillsbury Doughboy's Anniversary

Today is not part of my blog posting schedule for this week, but in honor of the November 7, 1965 fifty-fourth anniversary of the The Pillsbury Doughboy's first appearance.

He was created "in 1965 by Chicago’s storied Leo Burnett Advertising Agency. Rudy Perz, a Burnett copy writer who had a vision: A little dough guy popping out of a Pillsbury can. Known for his giggle, the Doughboy was first voiced in commercials by Paul Frees, also the voice of Boris Badenov, cartoon villain on the 1960s’ Rocky & Bullwinkle show."

According to wiki, "Poppin' Fresh, more widely known as the Pillsbury Doughboy, is an advertising mascot for the Pillsbury Company, appearing in many of their commercials. Many commercials from 1965 until 2005 (returned in 2009 to 2011 and 2013 in a GEICO Commercial, and once again in 2017) concluded with a human finger poking the Doughboy's stomach. The Doughboy responds when his stomach is poked by giggling (Hoo-Hoo!, or earlier on, a slight giggle 'tee hee')."

This charming character is not only on my mind because today is anniversary, he is also on my mind because as of now, he is scheduled to take place in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, which is set to take place three weeks from today!

The event is no dough off his back for he has participated in the event in bygone years  as seen in the next two photographs (which have been featured in prior entries here on Blogger).

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wednesday's Wisdom is from

Almost every time, I see different bird types spending time with each other, I find myself thinking of the proverb, "Birds of a feather, flock together."

According to a number of sources, including Grammarist, "Birds of a feather flock together means people of similar interests, background, ideas or characteristics will often congregate or hang out with each other, people who have similar ideas or values tend to stick together. In nature, many species of birds travel in flocks for safety and companionship. Like many proverbs, only the first part of the idea is often quoted, birds of a feather, with the expectation that the reader or listener can supply the rest of the phrase for himself. The expression birds of a feather flock together can be traced to a 1545 work called The Rescuing of Romish Fox, written by William Turner: 'Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.' Whether the proverb was in common use before this time is unknown."

This pithy saying certainly seems to be true when it come to people, but when it comes to avian  creatures, they seem much more willing to spend time with their fauna comrades who may not be their same bird type; as evidenced by the photographs directly above this posting as well as the ones immediately below.

I'm well aware of the "hierarchy" within the animal kingdom and of the fact that species within species do not always get along; still when I witness unlike birds spending time together, it is comforting as well as a teaching moment for humans to do the same.

Fyi, Northern cardinals and house sparrows, the bird types featured in the first image accompanying this entry are featured in my book series, Words In our Beak.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

No Posting Today: Tuesday's Truths WK 149

It's the one hundred and forty-ninth "episode" for my Tuesday's Truths series, and the truth for this one, is there will be no post. I have a big commitment at a NYC Day School which will conflict with composing and publishing episode However, I will see you tomorrow here on Blogger and next week, Tuesday's Truths for week one fifty will be published!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Monday's Memo: Read my new Article!


Last evening Mike Mishkin published another one of my articles (A New York State of Mind on Riverside Drive) 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 piece. Thanks!

ADDENDUM (November 6th 2019): Received an email from Mike Mishkin, the publisher of, saying, "check this out ... :)"

He's referring to the fact that Riverside Park Conservatory tweeted praise for my recent article about Riverside Drive. Here's the link to their tweet (seen in the screenshot below):

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Evening Of 2019's Marathon Fireworks

Yesterdays news....  the 2019 pre-New York City Marathon fireworks lit up the sky last evening and I wanted to post my photographs of them soon after but was unable to do so, for, as you can see from my screenshot, FB had other ideas... and so did Blogger!

Hence I'm posting what is now "old news" by today's standards within this entry and just like FB and Blogger having other ideas, I confess that I had other ideas re the fireworks too and almost did not even attend because of my strong feelings about the negative impact they have on birds and other wildlife, but as you will see, I did see the display.

My vantage point at a spot known as Hernshead.

It is a promontory that juts out into The Lake and named after what is considered to what once was in the shape of a “hern” or heron’s head, and a bird I’ve often sighted (the Great Blue Heron variety) hanging out with male and female Mallard ducks nearby or very close proximity to that area of Central Park.

My knowing that avian creatures, like many animals, are frightened by the sound of explosions is disturbing to me (understatement). At the first sign of incendiary celebration, they’ll fly away.

Sadly, their escape isn’t always successful.

During the evening of this pre-Marathon extravaganza, passers by are not likely to see a Great Blue Heron even though he/she is a bird variety who is known to show up in this area of the park (see the sequence of photos  below which were taken in bygone years) at around the hour the fireworks will take place.

Under “normal” conditions he/she usually stays for an hour or more but probably not on a night like this which will be fortunate for the Great Blue Heron or any bird for that matter.

Even though wildbirds’ responses to fireworks are difficult to study at night and little is known about the negative effects that fireworks may have on them, studies show that when a fireworks display occurs near a wild bird area, the birds simultaneously explode into the night skies in utter panic which can lead to huge numbers of deaths, usually because these birds either smash their skulls or break their necks as the result of flying into trees, apartment buildings and other solid objects that they cannot see in the gloom and ensuing chaos.

Wild birds aren’t the only ones who “freak out" as the result of fireworks displays. Domesticated animals and pets also are terrified by fireworks, and have been reported to break leashes, jump fences, and even jump through glass windows in their panic.

In many parts of the world, it has been suggested using laser shows in lieu of fireworks. These shows are more affordable than fireworks, less polluting, and are kinder to birds, wildlife and pets.

Given that so many runners who participate in the NYC Marathon donate monies to an array of charities it seems reasonable to believe they would support pre-Marathon activities that are kinder to our wildlife and our environment.

Be that (unfortunately) as it may, the fireworks were pre-Marathon business as usual last evening and I chose to post the following photos in a sequence in hopes of illustrating the fact that fireworks don't just light up the sky...for as you can see, everything is so peaceful before they begin, and I don't know what happens to the ducks or turtles who frequent the lake.

Hopefully they had a "heads-up" somehow and were able to go to a quieter area of the park before the display began, for as you will see from the first few shots they truly are way to close to the treetops and the water.