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Sunday, February 28, 2021

#ShowYourStripes but Show Your Spots Too! It's Rare Disease Day!

One of the things, worldwide, that people will be doing on February 28th, is "showing their stripes" in honor of it being Rare Disease Day. As a way of paying homage to it, I've posted a "promo" image atop this entry.

According to a number of sources, including NORD (The National Association for Rare Disorders), "In the U.S., any disease affecting fewer than 200,000 people is considered rare. This definition comes from the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 and is slightly different from the definition used in Europe. There are more than 7,000 rare diseases affecting 25-30 million Americans. In other words, one in ten Americans are suffering from rare diseases and more than half of them are children."

The striped animal known as the zebra is the official symbol of rare diseases because this creature's black and white stripes are part of what makes the animal to its unique.

NORD wants to remind the general public of these facts: "Everyone has his/her own stripes, those characteristics that make each individual distinct. While each of the more than 7,000 rare diseases are unique, there are many commonalities that unite the rare disease community. In the spirit of raising awareness regarding rare disease issues, people with a rare disease or have a loved one with a rare disease are being asked to SHOW THEIR STRIPES."

However, even zebras have a rarity within their own community. In 2019 Earth Touch News reported, "a plain's zebra in Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve dared to be different. A foal, sporting a unique brown coat accented with a smattering of white polka dots, was spotted by Maasai guide Antony Tira."

The creature can be seen in the next image.


This spotty zebra was evidently named Tira by the guide who first found him.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

It's Pokémon's Anniversary

The creation of Pokémon took place on this day of February 27th in 1996. I confess that I don't know anything about Pokémon or the character Pikachu, but I recognize the fact that there is a huge community out there who apppreciate this phenomenon, and so I'm sharing what I know about it, which is limited to my seeing Pikachu in a few Macy's Parades

I first saw the character in this venue when I attended the 2014 Macy's Parade and took note of how he could be considered a voyeurs. This is something as you might also surmise from the photo-op atop this entry, but Pikachu is certainly not the only one to be a Peeping Tom when participatingin the parade.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday's Fact: I often give into a Blue jay's wide-eyed look...



During last week's snowstorm, a young Blue jay visited the Smoke Bush which I have in  my garden. From the vantage point of that shrub's branches, this bird seemed to be giving a wide-eyed look, as seen in the images atop this entry.

This is something cats and dogs also do when they want something to eat).... 

It's a look I find hard to resist and I want to oblige so I was most thankful to still have seed (from the generous MFH and her husband RH) at my disposal.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Pretty Handsome In Pink


Nearly two weeks ago, here on Blogger, I posted something regarding the fact that the bird type known as Mourning doves (both genders) have blue eyelids, which can be seen in the image atop this entry.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Keeping up an outdoor Christmas tree is for the birds. Tuesday's Truths WK 206





We are still dealing with a lot of snow here  in NYC and as you can see in the set of four pictures atop this enty, House sparrows, visiting my snowy garden appear to have found solace within the branches of my Christmas tree which is still up outside.

I have taken off the lights as well as my tree topper (star) but I've left the tree up so my avian friends can find shelter and warmth during winter storms.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Little stars or little snowflakes?





We have been having wintery weather here  in NYC and as you can see in the set of four pictures atop this entry, European starling visited my snowy garden during a snowfall. In winter, starlings are duller overall, covered with white spots (which are sometimes called little stars, or “starlings”). However during our wintery mix, one could easily call  these white spots liitle snowflakes.

European starlings are one of many bird types featured in my three volume hard cover book series, 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


The books make a perfect gift for someone who may be in quarantine or lockdown due to consequences of the coronavirus because the stories in them can bring the outdoors into the homes of those who cannot go out and about.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

"Spring is just around the corner?"

This is a copy of a Mutts cartoon created by Patrick McDonnell and posted on 2-21-2021. It shows Earl (the dog) and Mooch (the cat) walking side by side through falling snow — when  Earl reassures Mooch, “Spring is just around the corner,” Then Mooch runs to the corner and is disappointed to discover spring was not around the corner.

Atop this entry is a copy of a Mutts comic strip created by Patrick McDonnell. It was initially emailed to me this morning, February 21, 2021. We are still dealing with a lot of snow here  in NYC and as you can see in the next set of three pictures, Mourning doves, visiting my snowy garden appear unphased to know that spring does not seem to be around the corner.

This picture is one of three atop this entry that features a Mourning dove sitting atop of snow.  Many snowflakes have landed on his back. This bird type is featured in my three volume book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re the books can be found in another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html

This picture is the second of three atop this entry that features a Mourning dove sitting atop of snow.  Many snowflakes have landed on his back. This bird type is featured in my three volume book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re the books can be found in another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html

This picture is the third of three atop this entry that features a Mourning dove sitting atop of snow.  Many snowflakes have landed on his back. This bird type is featured in my three volume book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re the books can be found in another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html

They are a bird type featured in my book series, 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


The books make a perfect gift for someone who may be in quarantine or lockdown due to consequences of the coronavirus because the stories in them can bring the outdoors into the homes of those who cannot go out and about.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

"His eye is on the sparrow...."

 


During yet another snowstorm which occurred in my area this past Thursday, it was very discncerting for me to notice a pigeon's (seen in the three images atop this entry where he is in my garden) injury through the long lens of my camera.

Friday, February 19, 2021

The 5th Anniversary of Harper Lee's Passing

View one of three images atop this entry. This picture shows two birds standing on a garden shelf during a snowfall. A Northern mockingbird is on the left and a Mourning dove is on the right.  These bird types are featured in my book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re my books is included within another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html

View two of three images atop this entry. This picture shows two birds standing on a garden shelf during a snowfall. A Northern mockingbird is on the left and a Mourning dove is on the right.  These bird types are featured in my book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re my books is included within another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html

View three of three images atop this entry. This picture shows two birds standing on a garden shelf during a snowfall. A Northern mockingbird is on the left and a Mourning dove is on the right.  These bird types are featured in my book series, "Words In Our Beak." Info re my books is included within another post on this blog @ https://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2018/10/one-sheet-book-series-info.html

The author, Harper Lee, known mostly for her novel, "To Kill A Mockingbird," died five years ago today (2-19-2016). In honor of her memory I'm sharing three photo-ops (atop this posting) of a Northern mockingbird who hung out with a Mourning dove in my garden during yesterday's snowstorm.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Ellen McConnell Blakeman Passed Away 3 Yrs + 1 Wk Ago


The text-based image atop this entry may look familar to you dear reader, as it is a copy of the dedication page for volume two of my 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

As you may have noted, volume two is dedicated to the memory of the dearly departed Ellen McConnell Blakemann, who died three years and one week ago on 2-11-2018. 

My book's dedication page indicates she was one of Cam's first fans and biggest suporters. Cam, a female Northern cardinal, is the narrator of these books in which she recounts her experiences of spending time in my rooftop garden, where the stories are set.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

I Need Help (Tuesday's Truths WK 205)


These are times of struggle for many as I truly know. In terms of me, I have had a series of unfortunate circumstances, including ones related to my oral health.

The latter has resulted in my inability to chew food properly which has interfered with my being able to swallow and I’ve come close to choking on a number of occasions.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Monday's Memo: Honoring the Bearded Barista, William "Bill" King

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ MY ARTICLE

I spent yesterday's Valentine's Day holiday on an assignment regarding an article for the on-line publication, "I love The Upper Westside" and it was published last night. 

My article covers the passing of an UWS-er known as William "Bill" King, the bearded barista who worked at a couple of different Starbucks. Both locations are in my 'hood so I was familar with the dearly departed man anf my heart goes out to those he leaves behind.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

It's Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is here and I've been publishing a number of posts in the month leading up to the "holiday." I do realize it can be a rough day for some. If that "some" includes you, dear reader, know you are not alone, so find love and joy where you can (there's a lot of it out there).

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Non-Social Distancing House Sparrows's Scenario Needs a Caption!

The picture seen directly above was taken in my garden during the 2-1-2021 nor-easter, the House sparrow at the right is one I'm asking you to ponder as you contemplate a caption for this photo-op.

Here are some ideas:

1. "Sorry I'm late!"

2. "Save some for me!"

3. "There is always room for one more."

Or perhaps you can think of a different caption? On another note: Sparrows are one of many bird types who are featured within my three volume 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

The goal of these books is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in a rooftop urban garden (mine) in New York City, my story is told in the voice of Cam, a female cardinal, who visits it. 

Words In Our Beak is directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective. 

These books are nice to give to someone who may be in quarantine or lockdown due to #COVID19 (cornavirus) as the stories in them can bring the outdoors into the homes of those who cannot go out and about. Moreover, they would make a great gift to give to love birds who love birds on Valentine's Day (which is tomorow).

Friday, February 12, 2021

Friday's Fact: Birdie's got blue eyelids!


The entertainer Elton John sang a song in which the lyrics included, "Blue eyes. Blue eyes. Baby's got blue eyes" and — as I've mentioned over the years on social media including prior posts within this blog— I often think of those lyrics when Mourning doves visit my garden, as was the case yesterday.

Upon seeing a couple of them (who are featured in the photo-ops atop this entry),  I found myself once again putting a spin on Elton John as I sang softly to this creature, "Blue eye lids. Blue eye lids. Birdie's got blue eye lids." 

Mourning doves are so inspiring on many levels.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Did juncoes inspire the article of clothing known as a cape?


It is very cold today The sweet-looking Dark-eyed junco (who visited my garden today and can be seen in the photo atop this entry) is a bird type that loves cold temps. Hence this creature's nickname of "snowbird" seemed to be using his feathers in a way that resembles the way humans wear a cape!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

"...Bully bird species are naturally more aggressive and territorial about their feeding areas." (Tuesday's Truths WK 204)



Today I'm offering my 204th segement of my Tuesday's Truths series where I am pointing out this fact: No bird is intentionally cruel." 

But did you know, "bully bird species are naturally more aggressive and territorial about their feeding areas, protecting food sources exclusively for their own use." For instance, "House sparrows, often feed in flocks and can crowd out other birds so more species cannot access the seed. Some bully birds will even guard a feeder they perceive as theirs and will attack or chase away any other birds that try to feed." 

In the picture seen directly above (which was taken in my garden during the 2-1-2021 nor-easter), the sparrow at the left seems to be the one guarding the feeder. The quotes are from an article in The Spruce (which you can read by clickin here). As for sparrows, they are one of many bird types featured within my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.

By the way, sparrows are featured in my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Monday's Memo: Catch a Falling Snowflake

Sally, a character in the PEANUTS comic strip is trying to catch falling snowflakes on her tongue.

Sally (seen in the image atop this entry) knows how to find happiness during a snow-day, and so did my visiting starling! When he stopped by during yesterday's snowfall it appeared he was trying to catch snowflakes with his beak (as evidenced in the photograph directly below).


By the way, starlings are featured in my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Sunday Brunch in my Garden




This past Monday, here in NYC, we had a nor'easter (which I wrote about in a recent post here on Blogger). Now, six days later wet, heavy snow has been falling since early morning but this did not deter avian creatures from visiting my place, as evidenced in the photos atop this entry.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Saturday's Snippet: "emilia" Is A New Place To Get Food On The UWS!


The other day I received an email saying, “a new delivery-only Italian restaurant called 'emila', has opened on the Upper West Side snd offered to send me some food, so I thought I'd pay it forward as a token of my appreciation for your work.”

I was delighted that someone appreciated my work and that they thought of me. I took him up on his offer and contacted the lovely Anastasiia Kozlovska, who with her husband, Sergio Serafin Spera, collabrated with Luca Di Pietro, owner of Taralluci e Vino, a restaurant that is located at the same location as emilia (475 Columbus Avenue, on the corner of 83rd Street located in the UWS of NYC).

Anastasiia referred me to the menu on restaurant's website, where I read, “At emilia, we're all about satisfying food. Everything we do pivots around the essence of Italian cuisine – simplicity and freshness. We believe every dish should be served with casual warmth and care. Just as Nonna would have done it.”

I chose their Fusilli Cacio De Pepe for an entrée and she suggested I order a scoop of Burrata to place on top. When I received an email of what would be delivered to me (which in addition to the main dish included Butternut Squash Soup and Tiramisu), Anastasiia wrote, “I can send you a bottle of white wine!?”

My “goodies” arrived in a bag that included a bouquet of roses (which cam be seen in the photo atop this entry) and a couple of heart-shaped shortbread cookies, causing me to think if this was far beyond “casual” warmth and care! Their Nonna would be most proud.

I have not been able to eat much of anything due to my tremendous pain and difficult in digesting food (as a result of needing to complete my dental procedure). This meal was a true blessing. It has been a long time since I’ve enjoyed eating any food.

My visiting figurines who posed (seen in a the photo-ops posted below) with some of what emilia sent me...


...concurred with me that if my NYC peeps are wondering what to do for this coming Valentine’s Day (which is a week from tomorrow), get thee to emilia’s web-site and order a meal for your true love. Fyi, they are open (delivery only) from Monday through Sunday between the hours of  9am to 9pm. Their phone number is 315.544.3788. and their email is hello@orderemilia.com

Friday, February 5, 2021

Friday's Follow-Up Re A Visiting Jay

This is a copy of a Mutts cartoon created by Patrick McDonnell. It was initially posted in celebration of the 2018 Winter Solstice, and shows Earl (the dog) and Mooch (the cat) walking side by side through falling snow — while Mooch (who is on the left)  asks, "Is it too late for us to fly south?"

Atop this entry is a copy of a Mutts cartoon created by Patrick McDonnell. It was initially posted in celebration of the 2018 Winter Solstice and I thought of the sentiment expressed by Mooch during the nor'easter which occured in NYC this past Monday (2-1-2021).

As I said in my blog post about the event (which I published the next day) an array of bird types (including a lone American robin, several Dark-eyed juncoes, a number of House sparrows, an entourage of Mourning doves, and a lone Northern mockingbird) spent a lot of time in my garden during this storm. 

The day following the storm, which happened to be Groundhog Day, a Blue jay stopped by my place.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

A Bernie Sander's Meme Featuring Cam and Mac! (Thursday's Testimony)


Does anyone happen to remember when a House sparrow alighted on Bernie Sander's campaign podium in 2016? It was adoreable. Here's the link to a recording of the incident in case you missed it and/or want to refresh your memory). My recalling that sparrow plus seeing all the Bernie Sanders mitten-memes inspired my idea to create a meme with him wearing my cardinal-themed face-mask.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Patrick McDonnell has got this! "A little bird seed or a source of water goes a long way for wildlife!" (Wednesday's Wisdom)


I completely agree with this bird featured the Mutts's drawing atop this entry (as anyone who reads this blog I'm a huge fan of Patrick McDonnell (the creator of the Mutts strip and related cartoons). Be that as it may,  it has been beyond bitter cold the past few days (and continues to be). I spent much of this last Saturday pouring hot water over the frozen water in my bird baths (that are in my garden) in order for the ice to melt and allow my visiting wildlife to take a drink or two.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

2021's Ground Hog Day + NYC's 1st Nor'easter for this Year (Tuesday's Truths WK 203)


Results are in! A couple of hours prior to this seemingly pensive Blue jay (seen in the picture directly above) alighting on the branches of the smoke bush that I have in my garden, NYC's spokes-groundhog predicted an early spring. However, Phil, the spokes-groundhog for nearby Pennsylvania predicts six more weeks of winter.