Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Pinecones and Cardinals Spend Time With my Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi)


 I have a couple of newcomers to my garden: Pinecones!

They are on my Larix Kaempferi

A partial view of this evergreen tree can be seen in the image atop this entry.

Close-ups of the pinecones who have made their home in her branches can be seen in the next two images. 



I was so intrigued by the presence of these pinecones that I researched on pinecones and found lots of interesting content.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

A stool finds another purpose in life.


A little over one month ago here on Blogger I published a post discussing how Juan V was able to help me turn a broken wooden top of a stool into a plant stand, which ultimately held a container that housed one of my Heuchera plants. In this aforementioned blog post, I included a copy of the photo which is atop this entry.

Unfortunately soon after this a woman who was visiting my garden knocked over the  stand and my Heuchera's pot shattered into several pieces.

Subsequently this plant was able  to be repotted  — but not into a container which fit the stool turned plant stand's constraints. 

In the interium I placed an empty claypot into the stand but have not been able to plant anything in that spot. Therfore during our recent tremendous heat wave, I placed a shallow bowl of water atop the empty claypot. 

My intention in doing this was to provide yet another place for visiting birds to take a drink and/or to bathe in my garden which is something they need to do more than ever during tremendous heat.

Friday, July 2, 2021

E.B., A Visitor Who Has a Bird's Eye View of my Roof Extension Garden

This past Friday E.B (seen in the photograph directly above) is a man who lives acrooss the courtyard came to visit my garden

I guess he was so relaxed he forgot his phone which I took over to his building and he met me in the lobby. I initially came in contact with E.B. during #clapbecausewecare sessions which were something many New Yorkers participated in during the lockdowns that took place throughout the darkest evenings of the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the last sessions took place on 6-25-2021 and E.B. can be seen participating in that particular session in the next photo.

In any case, during the time of lockdowns and clap/cheeer sessions, E.B. purchased all three volumes of my Words In Our Beak hardcover book series.

It was wonderful to hear him say whenever he has had guests visit his NYC apartment he shows them my books, and then from his window he points to my garden to let his vistors know that it is the spot where my stories take place.

On another note, we have been trying to work out a time to meet  together ever since E.B. took me to lunch (in November of 2020)....

... and at that time we promised each other he’d visit my garden.

I’m very thankful he could come by last night especially since he is leaving NYC for the summer but we hope to get together in the fall when he returns, and fyi, when I say E.B. has a bird's eye view of my garden, I mean it literally for his surname is Bird!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Laughing gulls spending time in Long Branch


The Laughing gull featured in photograph atop this entry appears to be doing ballet. I enclountered this creature on a recent trip to a beach in Long Branch New Jersey.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday's Memo: Facts re Daylilies

"Don't fence me in," certain daylilies growing within Theodore Roosevelt Park seemed to be saying (as evidenced in the photograph atop this entry) when I passed by them on my way home from the greenmarket.

I've seen this flora variety on countless occasions but I must confess I may not have noticed their expressive details (featured in the following sequence of pictures).




I was so intriged by my sighting that upon my return home I did some research to see what I could find out about them.

One of the things I learned (from a web-page named Florgeous where an article by someone who identifies herself as Rebekah P) and "shoulda" known is this: "each daylily flower remains open for just one day."

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Grow NYC's compost is in the bag!


Every Sunday, under all types of weather conditions, I take any food scraps I have as well as pieces of foliage from pruned plants and trees (that grow in my roof extension garden) to a Greenmarket that is sponsored by Grow NYC and is located alongside The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and I put them in their compost bin.

From there the folks who work at their Compost Station transport everything to Governor’s Island where it is ultimately turned into soil that’s suitable for house plants and/or a great “product” to use as fertilizer if one has an outdoor garden.

Today individual bags (an example is featured in the image atop this posting) of their “concoction” were given to those who bought any food scraps (as well as pieces of foliage from pruned plants and trees) to their compost bin.

So glad to have been a recipient of a bag of it.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Trying to keep cool!


Lyrics from a golden oldie say, "Hot time summer in the city...." but the official start of summer isn't until 6-21, which is still a couple of weeks away, and at this time I'm (along with many peoplwe) are really quite ill from this heat.

Birds also need to beat the heat as it's been hard for them to cool down too one of te ways they do thid is to "pant" (which is something I discussed in my 5-23-2021 post here on Blogger). 

Another ways birds can cool down is by sitting in a shallow bath of cold water.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

D-Day Occurred 77 Years Ago Today


As I was going through articles related to D-Day which occurred 77 years ago today, I came across one titled."5 PEOPLE AND A PIGEON WHO REPORTED ON THE D-DAY LANDINGS," the picture atop this posting is a screenshot from that article which can be read by clicking here.

UNFORTUNATELY, pigeons get a lot of bad press in the United States so it was good to see them get some positive press in a UK publication.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

A Broken Stool Becomes A Plant Stand (Wednesday's Wisdom)



Many years ago, sometime in the early 1990's, I got a stool from the shopkeeper Maya Schaper (a woman I ultimately worked for and subsequently wrote an article about her.

The stool held up so well all these years but a few months ago its cracked in half and could not be repaired with wood glue or anything else for that matter.

My the first photo atop this entry shows how the top of the stool had cracked and it was when JuanV unscrewed it from the base, that we discovered writing on the bottom (as seen in the second image) now I'm curious if was once part of a whiskey barrel.

The end result can be seen in the next picture which features my former stool now serving as a stand for my Coral Bells Heuchea plant.


This is not the first time Juan had turned a rundown piece of furniture into a plant stand.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

It's National Aquarium and Zoo Month! (Tuesday's Truth WK 218)


Sharing a copy of a 1970's Peanuts strip (atop this entry) because the month of June, which begins today is known for many things, among them is bringing attention to aquariums.

In 1982, President Ronald Regan declared the month of June to be a time to learn more about them (as well as zoos) and this fact about the month of June, dear reader, is the essence of my 218th Tuesday's Truths segement.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day 2021


I've featured copies of the Bramhall cartoon (atop this entry) in a number of my prior Memorial Day blog posts and because I really think it says all there is to say about this solemn day, I'm featuring it again today in honor of  2021's somber holiday. 

If you are interested in facts re this holiday's orgin and practices, please allow me to refer you to a page within This Day in History.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

What a differnce a week makes!


One week ago on May 23rd 2021, the “real feel” temperatures climbed into the 90's and in my last Tuesday's Truths segment, I mentioned how these conditions are very hard on our avian community. 

Today — one week later — the temperature is no where near those which occurred in that mini heat wave. They have been hovering at 52 degrees with real feel temps around 44 degrees, accompanied by a third day of steady, heavy rainfalls (which can be seen in the photograph atop this entry featuring a partial view of my rain-soaked garden.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

John F. Kennedy was born on this day in 1917.


My posting this copy (directly above) of a November 1963 E.B. White essay (published in The New Yorker) is a small way of paying homage to the assassinated John F. Kennedy's day of birth.

He was born on the day of May 29th in 1917.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Meaning Associated with the "Flower Moon" (Wednesday's Wisdom)



Last night when I was speaking by phone with my friend CF (who has been "temporarily" living out of the city for a little over one year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the need for her and her husband to move into the house where his mother lives, which is in a  NJ town); she remarked on how beautiful the moon looked —  something that would've been harder to view in NYC than in the rural area where she is staying.

It was only my hearing her remark which prompted me to remember that I had heard about how the moon would appear when listening to the morning news and I had made a mental note to myself to go out to see it.

However, after dealing with my computer pick up, and issues related to reinstalling my machine, I forgot all about it.

After she told me about what she had seen, I immediately went to the end of my street to see if I could catch a glimpse of it as I could not see it (even through a long lens) when standing in my garden.

When I got to the corner, I could catch a glimpse of it but in my excitement re the possibility of seeing it, I only had my pocket  camera with me, not my long-lensed DSLR.

With city lights it is difficult to observe the brightness of the moon without going deeper into Central Park.

However doing that at night is not safe or wise, so I took a few snaps from the stret corner and just reflected on the phenomenon of this special moon, known as the Flower Moon. 

Many sources re last night's moon offer wise words and concur on how it came to be called the flower moon, aand in honor of this recnt event, I wil share them in this segement of Wednesday's Wisdom:

"The Full Moon of May is known as Flower Moon to signify the flowers that bloom during this month. ... Other names for May’s brightest Moon phase are Corn Planting Moon, Mother's Moon, and Milk Moon, from the Old English Rimilcemona which means Month of Three Milkings, when cows were milked three times a day."

Be that as it may, re this May moon, upon seeing it, I found myself singing the Cat Steven's lyrics, "....I'm being followed by a moon shadow, moon shadow...."

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A Bird's Form of Panting (to cool down) Tuesday's Truths WK 217


The “real feel” temperatures climbed into the 90's this past weekend and weather conditions like this are very hard on our avian community. I am very mindful of having fresh water for them but it is still very difficult for them to cool down in situations like this. One thing birds do to cool off is to open their beaks ever so slightly as the young European starling is doing in the picture atop this entry.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday's Sequel (to my garden's flora and me being violated).


Yesterday Juan V came by my rooftop garden to assess the damage my landlord (FA) did to my flora this past Saturday evening (which I discussed in my 5-18-2021 post here on Blogger. It turns out he has really damaged my Beech tree. I’ve had her since the mid 2000’s and she can be seen within the rectangle affixed to the image of directly above posting. FA hacked at her so badly that he split her top in two. 

Moreover he took such a huge hunk off of her that the container she lives in now seems oversized. 

Additionally he ripped a good portion of my Autumn clematis’s (featured within the circle affixed to the aforementioned image) buds, flowers and foliage right off the vine and threw everything to the floor of my garden. I’ve had these vines for a bit longer than I’ve had the Beech tree and I included them in my garden-themed movie, The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame… almost.

[This movie can be viewed within my Vimeo and/or You Tube Channels.]

I am truly grieving re the loss of these flora varieties whom never hurt anyone. Plus I’m shaken up by the violence and invasion that I’ve experienced.

Just as one might do when they lose a pet or a loved one, I’ve been going through my photos of the Beech tree. It looks like that even though I’ve had her since the mid 2000’s, I did not take a picture of her until 2010 (a copy of it can be viewed directly below and I've affixed a rectangle to the picture to indicate her location.


I got her at a nursery in Brooklyn and carried her home on the subway. She thrived in my place and her container had to be replaced a few times as she out grew it. I’ve had her in various places of my garden and had she been in another spot during the attack, FA would not have been able to reach her.

I’m truly frightened by the fervor of FA’s hate-filled mission as it is very dangerous on our building’s rooftop and easy to fall off — especially if you use a cane which he does.

On another note, I’ve spent my grieving time going through photos of her, which I guess is what one does upon losing a living “thing.”

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Mourning Dove Beating the Heat


Yesterday was an extremely hot day, especially for May, and especially if you have a lot of feathers on your body. A lone Mourning dove spent the day in my garden, while making moves to beat the heat, as evidenced in the photo atop this entry.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Wise Words Re the "Globe Master" (Wednesday's Wisdom)



The text in today's segment of Wednesday's Wisdom comes from a web-page (for American Meadows) that offers wise words re Allium flowers (the Globe Master variety).

They are the purple flora featured in the images atop this entry (which I took this past Sunday when I walked through Theodore Roosevelt Park and came upon the Irises I wrote about in a recent blog post

American Meadows page re Globe Masters states: 

".... The colossal round flower heads are up to a foot across... this Allium holds the petals on the flowers after blooming, so it makes a spectacular addition to dried arrangements. Some crafters even paint them--with various colors or with gold paint for the holidays....The word, Allium, means 'onion' in Latin. Many Allium species are native to Iran, where many tulips also originate, and the edible Alliums have been cultivated and a staple of diets for over 10,000 years.

The beauty of the small lavender flowerheads of chives have always been a decorative highlight in herb gardens. But in recent years, gardeners have become fascinated with the larger Alliums, particular the giants. As always, the Dutch hybridizers took them into their stocks... Most bloom in late spring so they bridge the gap nicely between the tulip season and early summer bloom of peonies and poppies.

Experienced gardeners plant these giant Alliums in groups of several bulbs, set very close together. The foliage is not attractive for long, so it's important to plant them next to other perennials whose foliage will more or less cover the Allium's base. This way, the wonderful flower stalks rise up and tower over the other flowers for a wonderful period of bloom."

American Meadows words,"This way, the wonderful flower stalks rise up and tower over the other flowers for a wonderful period of bloom," are proven in the next image which I also took this past Sunday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

My Garden and Visiting Birds Were Violated! Tuesday's Truths WK 216


The photo atop this entry features a very compassionate Mourning dove (visiting my garden today) seemed to be "feeling the pain" of a lone American robin, also visiting my garden and who was staring forlornly at the area where my landlord violently ripped off my Autumn clematis vines this past Saturday. I'm now thinking there may have been a nest there. 

My garden as well as the insects and avian community who come here mean so much to me that it broke my heart to know such violence was done to them.

This is not the first time the landlord has hacked my flora, in 2019 he destroyed a large portion of my kiwi vines which I've had for over ten years. I'm doing my best to recover from the assault and to think of any recourse I might have.

On another note, and as some of you know, my garden is the setting for my three volume series hard-cover 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

They are directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. Over twenty-five bird types are featured in various books of the series, including Mourning doves and American robins.

Monday, May 17, 2021

MONDAY'S MEMO: MAKE NF VISIBLE


The month of May is set aside for many things, among them are raising awareness re certain medical conditions such as Osteoporius and ALS.

My chilhood friend, Ellen McConnell Blakeman died as a result of the latter and I dedicated volume two...


... of my three volume hardcover 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

They are directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. 


On another note, May is also the month for raising awareness re NF, the acronym for Neurofibromatosis, a condition I was born with, and a condition which at this juncture, I seem to be struggling with more than ever and am having a very difficult time in my life.

I have written a book length piece ("Imperfect Strangers") about it, but efforts to find an agent have been futile. As some of you may know, I've posted a video re my endeavor which can be viewed within my Vimeo channel as well as my You Tube channel.


VIEW ON VIMEO
VIEW ON YOU TUBE

At the moment times have been more challenging than ever what with a dental procedure that I've been mentioning here on Blogger; on going issues with my eye-sight, new pain from NF and dealing with consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

I do not want to go the self publishing route with this book (as I did that with my three volume hard cover book series, Words In Our Beak), as I  have had very little success getting the word out re the existence of these books.

NOW, every day seems heartbreaking as my struggles mount.

In any event, today, May 17th, as explained in the video posted atop this entry is the day NF based organizations set aside to make aspects of this condition visible.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Iris Day 2021





While cutting through The American Museum of Natural History's Theodore Roosevelt Park (on my way home from the greenmarket and compost drop off) I saw patches of Irises, the flower variety featured in the images atop this entry. 

My seeing them reminded me that Iris Day (celebrated one week and one day ago) was an event I've written about in bygone years here on Blogger. In case you didn't catch my 5-8-2017 post about this holiday, you may reference it by clicking here

Whenever I see Irsies I think of Vincent van Gough and today was no exception. 

However, in addition to recalling this artist's paintings of irises, I also thought of what Mary Oliver (the poet) had to say in relation to them:

"Praying

It doesn’t have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try

to make them elaborate, this isn’t

a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.”

These words are something I constantly need to be reminded of when I sit down to write most anything.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

It's May 15th! Time to honor Horton (again)!


Today is May 15th, a date that evidently has significant implications to Dr. Seuss, for he mentions it at the beginning of Horton Hears a Who (featured in the image atop this entry) The Seven Lady Godivas and in If I Ran the Zoo

This past March, the latter of the aforementioned books along with five others (featured in an uncredited web-image below) were pulled from any re-publication in the future, due to accusations that they contain racist's  undertones.


But getting back to the date of May 15th, acccording to multiple sources, it was also the day that Seuss was elected as editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth school newspaper, The Jack-O'-Lantern.

As for me and May 15th, I have referenced it's connection with Horton hearing a who while being in the Jungle of Nool in a number of posts within this blog.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Survial Instincts of H.F. Inspire me


My H.F. Young clematis vines who live tn the Norhwest corner of my garden (as featured in the image atop this entry) are such an inspiration in perseverance through adversity and I'm also certain they provide pleasure for those whose windows face them.

These vines have been with me for nearly seventeen years and have flourished in spite of many rough weather-related circumstances such as summer heat waves, winter nor'easters, hurricane-related winds, unusually heavy rains as well as drought.

Moreover on two separate occasions, they had to be taken out of their home (container) then dropped into a contractor bag which was tie to the railing surrounding my garden, in order for the surface to be clear for the building owner to do renovations.

The story of these vines surviving these circumstances is somewhat typical for flora who live on a rooftop and it is included in volume two of my hardcover three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.

THE WORDS IN OUR BEAK BOOK SERIES


They were introduced in volume one and as I said, in volume two, their story of surviving upheavals in my garden are inspiring.

My H.F. Young's ability to survive many circumstances is an inspiration for me to deal with my dental matter, certain eye conditions, income disruption, and hopefully the vines's tenacity will help me with yet another hurdle: a malfunctioning time machine external drive and a swollen battery in my computer which could be a fire hazard.

The repair is estimated at a little under $500.00 before taxes and    will involve me being without access for my computer during the repair time.

I'm hoping that IF I'm able to have the repair made that I will be able to use an old computer, but that might not be possible re filing for weekly UNE (they will not recognize another device which could cause problems) and working on my articles (compatibility issues).

Little over whelmed here but most grateful (understatement) for the generous phone time out of state RH gave me (last night) in my attempt to work out a solution.

Plus this computer malfunction has affected my ability to use my monitor properly and I have a raging headache from the eye strain.

AND on another note, the fixture to my tub has broken, so I can't turn on the water, hopefully the super will repair it today.

Meanwhile, I'll do my best to get inspiration (re continuing to flourish and grow) from my H.F. Young vines.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Remembering Albert Loth Youngquist (born on this day in the 1920's)


Thinking of my father who was born on this day of May 13th in the 1920's and died in 1995. If truth be told, a big part of him died the year after I broke my wrist (as seen in the copy of a anapshot which is posted atop this entry) during the summer of one of my elementary school years, for he moved out of our house after the following summer.

Brittle bones are a consequence of having Neurofibromatosis (NF) and I mention this because I was born with this condition and the month of May is designated as Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month.

As some of you may know, I've written a book length piece titled Imperfect Strangers, re living with this condition and I've been querying agents for representation.