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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

366 New Opportunities Begin Tomorrow (Tuesday's Truths WK 157)

IMAGE CREDIT

In honor of the upcoming new year, which starts tomorrow, I am sharing this sweet illustration (above) which I saw on the FB Page of bird rehabber extraordinaire, Amanda Remsberg.

I appreciate the illustration as well as the sentiment, but someone should inform the feline featured here that the number of new opportunities this time around will be 366!

2020 is a Leap Year so we get an extra chance, I don't know about you, dear reader, but any chance  for a new opportunity is welcomed by me and that is my personal truism for this segment of my Tuesday's Truths series.

Meanwhile, tonight marks my tenth anniversary of  this blog and I have big changes in mind for it going forward which I'll discuss in the coming days.

Please stay tuned and do have a happy, healthy and safe NYE!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Fourth Day of Christmas 2019

IMAGE CREDIT

Today marks The Fourth Day of Christmas, a day when someone's true love gave them four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

I'm honoring the holiday with the illustration posted above, which is one I featured in last year's Fourth Day of Christmas entry.

Within this entry I'm also honoring the holiday with four pictures of a calling bird known as a Taveta Golden Weaver (Ploceus Castaneiceps) one of the image is directly below.


I saw this bird type during my November visit to the Central Park Zoo, a visit which I discussed two weeks (December 14, 2019) here on Blogger.

The aforementioned entry features some of the other bird varieties (Black Swans, Pied Avocets, Scarlet Ibises, as well as a Victoria Crowned Pigeon and green parrots) whom I observed when I was at the zoo on that day.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Red-crested Cardinals vs. Northern Cardinals (Friday's Follow-Up)


Nearly two weeks (December 14, 2019), I published a post here on Blogger featuring some of the bird varieties (Black Swans, Pied Avocets, Scarlet Ibises, as well as a Victoria Crowned Pigeon and green parrots) who can be found at the Central Park Zoo.

I concluded that entry with a promise to feature (within subsequent posts) facts about other bird varieties as well as other animal types who reside there.

Today I will tell you about one of those birds, the Red-crested cardinal who can be seen in the picture atop this entry as well as in the ones directly below.



According to whatabird.com., Red-crested cardinals "are native to South America, but introduced to the Hawaiian Islands around 1930. In Hawaii, these birds prefer parks, lawns and dry thickets... within their South American range, they can be found in subtropical or tropical dry shrubland and degraded forests... They were  first released on the Island of Oahu in 1928. The Red-crested Cardinal is also known as the Brazilian Cardinal...Despite its name it is not closely related to birds in the Cardinal family."

A webpage for the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute states, "The red-crested cardinal is a medium-sized bird that resembles North America's northern cardinal in shape, but is mainly gray with only a brilliant red head, crest and breast. It is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and is also a common sight in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, where it has been introduced...

Unlike Northern cardinals, males and females have similar plumage, with dark gray above on the back of their necks and their stomachs. The head, crest and upper breast are bright red. The red-crested cardinal has a silver-gray bill and dark legs...(they) live 3 to 6 years in the wild and about 13 years in human care."

It's good to learn that the Red-crested cardinal avian variety has a chance at a longer life under human care but is it a happier one?

In the blog entry that I'm following up on, I admitted that upon my seeing certain bird varieties  when I was at the zoo, I did think anyone having an opportunity to see them there would find the experience educational.

I conceded — after watching Jane Goodall's insightful remarks about zoos (which can be found in a video clip included in that post — the experience of visiting a zoo could potentially raise awareness re needs of wildlife, the Rain Forest, and our environment.

However, in spite of hearing Goodall's wisdom about these facilities, I felt divided (and still do) re how animals might feel when confined to a zoo.

For me, this is especially true when it comes to the Red-crested cardinal variety because (according to a number of sources including Cornell) "it is estimated to be stable from lack of evidence of decline or substantial threat."

If they are a stable type, then why confine them to a zoo, unless the goal is to raise awareness about the importance of our rain forest or  give them a few more years of life.

On that note, I'll conclude by pointing you to my book series, Words In Our Beak, (pictured below) that feature stories told from the perspective of Cam, a female Northern cardinal — even though her variety is not closely related to the Red-crested cardinal and at some point I will tell you about other birds and animals living in Central Park's zoo.

MY BOOK SERIES

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Boxing Day 2019


Unlike the characters in The Mutts comic strip (posted above), on this day after Christmas,  I am stirring, but like them I'm exhausted, so I'll keep it short.

Today is Boxing Day "which is only celebrated in a few countries; mainly ones historically connected to the UK (such as Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) and in some European countries. In Germany it is known as "Zweite Feiertag” (which means 'second celebration')."

I've referenced the holiday in prior entries within this blog.

Today is also Saint Stephen's Day, "the day when the Carol 'Good King Wenceslas' is set. That carol is about a rich King helping the poor. It was written in 1853 and reflects the Victorian view of being charitable at Christmas."

In honor of the occasion, as I've done in the past, I've included a You Tube video of a choir performing the carol.



While I am stirring it is with exhaustion, so, I'll leave it at that for today, dear reader.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas 2019


I know the feeling, CB.

I still have Christmas cards to write because I did not finish them due to of difficult personal circumstances that required my full attention; but I did get a few cards out and the ones I still need to send are addressed as well as stamped —  I just have to write notes on them.

Thankfully Christmas is a season — not just one day and with that thought, I best publish this post  and get on to finishing my cards.

Meanwhile, dear peeps, hope you and yours have a chance to celebrate the holiday of your choice or celebrate no holiday if that’s your choice.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve 2019 (Tuesday's Truths WK 156)

CHRISTMAS PAST

CHRISTMAS PRESENT


CHRISTMAS FUTURE


Welcome to my one-hundred and fifty-sixth episode of Tuesday's Truths which coincides with Christmas Eve.

In terms of truisms behind the holiday, please refer to entries that I've published in bygone years.

Meanwhile, dear peeps, hope you and yours have a chance to celebrate the holiday of your choice or celebrate no holiday if that’s your choice.

Friday, December 20, 2019

In Memory of Monsignor Robert O'Connor


Thinking of the beloved Monsignor Robert O'Connor on what would've been his 89th birthday had he not died on 4-20-2016. I know I'm hardly alone in saying, how blessed I am for having the opportunity to know him.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Christmas is one week from today!



In one week's time, it will be Christmas Day and thanks to my gardening partner in crime (Juan V), unlike Snoopy, I didn't have to unplug anything to get my Christmas tree to be lit!

AND also thanks to David Denny (DD) for taking aerial shots of my garden!



It was very late at night (Saturday 12/14) or very early Sunday morning (12/15) when DD, his entourage and I did "The Drifters" thing and went "up on the roof..."

Btw, if you look closely at these images you will see that I was able to winterize my garden by wrapping every container.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Soon it will be 2019's New Year's Eve! Tuesday's Truths WK 155


Welcome to my one-hundred and fifty-fifth episode of Tuesday's Truths where I'm using the opportunity to remind you that in exactly two weeks time it will be New Year's Eve! I'd also like to  let you know that in my latest iLovetheUpperWestside article (published by Mike Miskin), I discuss how the Midnight Run in Central Park became an annual tradition for ringing in a new year. Please click here to read it.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday's Memo Book (+ "Week-Ender") Bags Featuring "Words In Our Beak" are Available!


It was suggested to me (by a banker) that I create a book bag for my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak. The banker's feeling is if people purchase a bag and carry it around, attention might be drawn to my book series...

THE WORDS IN OUR BEAK BOOK SERIES

Unfortunately, uploading images to be printed on various surfaces is not part of my skill set! Therefore, I am beyond grateful that my talented book series formatter and web-designer, CD (Chris Deatherage), has done this for and the items are now available via Fine Art America (an example can be seen in the image atop this entry. With the upcoming holidays of Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, the timing is perfect! However, you don't need a holiday to enjoy the book series or the bags to be able to schlep them around, any time is a good!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

A New Perspective re Animals Who Are Living in Zoos (the sequel to my 12-10-2019 post)





The photographs atop this entry feature a Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus Ruber) hanging out with a Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra Avosetta. In my recent episode (12-10-2019) of my Tuesday's Truths series, I mentioned that I'd seen the bird type known as Scarlet Ibis when I visited the zoo in Central Park.

Within the aforementioned entry, I state,"I must confess, in this one hundred and fifty-fourth "episode" of Tuesday's Truths, that while I was awestruck by the Scarlet Ibis's beauty (as you might surmise from the many photos included within this entry), I do not like to see birds or any animals within the confines of a zoo."

I also mention that I subsequently "received some wisdom  (from a Jane Goodall interview) about my feelings re animals and zoos, which I will discuss in my Saturday's Sequel post (12-14-2019)...," so here I am with my follow-up and a copy (posted directly below) of the interview where Jane Goodall discusses this somewhat controversial issue.



I admit that upon my seeing the Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus Ruber) and Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra Avosetta) bird varieties (exactly two weeks ago when I was at the zoo), I did think anyone having an opportunity to see them there would find the expirence educational and it could potentially raise awareness re needs of wildlife, the Rain Forest, and our environment, yet I felt divided on how animals might feel when confined to a zoo.

My suspicion is that Ms. Goodall is correct for she knows far more about the needs of wildlife than almost anyone and with that thought here are a few pictures of other birds I saw at the zoo.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

NYC will NOT be a NO horse town!


The history as well as the ultimate fate of Claremont Riding Academy and Claremont Stables are discussed in my latest iLovetheUpperWestside article (published by Mike Miskin). Please click here to read it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

My Encounter with a Scarlet Ibis (AKA Eudocimus ruber) Tuesday's Truths WK 154


The photo atop this entry features a Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) who is a bird type I met in Central Park Zoo nearly a week and a half ago. This variety is found in the wild Tropical rainforests and mangroves of Central America and northern South America.

The zoo's web-page describes them as having  being "solid scarlet except for black wing tips (and having ) a bill that is long, thin and curved downward; (with a) neck (that) is long and slender; (their) legs are also long and thin with partially webbed feet; juveniles are dull, grayish brown and they grow up to twenty-four inches."

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) eat "shrimp, crabs, various crustaceans, mollusks, and insects" and have a "life span of up to 20 years."

Additionally "the scarlet Ibis is the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago. It belongs to the same order as herons, spoonbills, and storks. Scarlet ibises forage for food by probing their long curved bills into soft mud. They also are known to sway their bills back and forth in shallow water to capture prey."

Sunday, December 8, 2019

John Lennon was shot 39 years ago today!



Today marks the thirty-ninth anniversary of John Lennon's assassination. Please click here to read my recently published iLovetheUpperWestside article where you will learn about the day it took place and the legacy left by Lennon.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Eve of the Second Sunday of Advent 2019


Tonight marks the Eve of the Second Sunday of Advent, a season that I've written about in a number of entries throughout my years of having this blog. Wikipedia defines this time period as a "season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning 'coming."

I'm most thankful to have been given a wreath, which can be seen in the photo that is atop this entry (you can read about the significance of the wreath on another Wikipedia page by clicking here).

This wreath was made especially (as a gift) for me by the same women who gave me one last year.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Tuesday's Truths WK 153: The Mandarin Duck May NOT have turned his back on NYC!


Welcome to my one hundred and fifty-third segment of Tuesday's Truths. Today, I feel obliged to share some disturbing news that I found in my feed: "New York, NY — Mandarin Patinkin, a duck best known for making New Yorkers happy, at least for the six months he resided in Manhattan, is missing and feared dead."

Monday, December 2, 2019

Snow Day


Hope NYC peeps are enjoying this snowfall!

It has come before I’ve had a chance to winterize my garden (which I’ll be doing next Wednesday) and it has come on the date that Winter’s Eve (the tree lighting at Dante Park) is scheduled to take place. I feel sorry for the Chinese dancers who are scheduled to perform there.

Be that as it may, garden winterizing is a topic which is covered in the second volume of my book series, Words In Our Beak.

THE WORDS IN OUR BEAK BOOK SERIES

Btw, with the Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza seasons approaching, please consider giving these books to those near and dear to you!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Sunday's Sequel: Answering the Question, "How low can you go?"




In my Thanksgiving Eve entry here on  Blogger, I mentioned warnings that unusually high winds could prevail on Thanksgiving, causing the grounding of balloons who were set to "march" (fly) in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

And as I said in my subsequent entry which I published on the day after the official holiday (where I featured the Macy's balloon who is rendered in the likeness of Chase from Paw Print), "Indeed, there were VERY high winds, but the balloons were allowed to participate..."

I concluded my aforementioned entry by stating, "THE QUESTION OF THE DAY WAS: 'How low can you go?' Stay tuned for photo-ops (in subsequent entries) re the answer to this question!"

Now, two days after I published that entry, I'm still not sure how low a Macy's ballon can go, but I am able to give you a pictorial accounting of what happened in the case of several of them.

In the first picture atop this entry, Sinclair's Dinosaur, can be seen heading south down CPW during this year's parade.

In the second as well as the third photo approaching that same street lamp in 2017.

As for Jett, another 2019 parade participant, he nearly collided with that same street lamp in 2017, as evidenced in the photograph below...


... but in the Parade that took place the other day, he could hardly go above CPW!


The same is true for Pikachu: He nearly collided with that same street lamp in 2017, as shown in the picture below...


... but in the Parade that took place the other day, like Jett, Pikachu could hardly go above CPW!


Wiggle Worm also had a hard time getting off the "ground" this year...


... but who can blame her?

After all, worms are ground travelers!