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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 @

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


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 @

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.


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:


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.


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.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

"Leaving New York is Never Easy [for the one who leaves and the one he/she leaves behind]" Tuesday's Truths WK 215

For my 215th episode of Tuesday's Truths, I'm referring you to an article of mine that was published (yesterday) by "I love The Upper Westside." 

In it I discuss the truth that leaving New York is never easy [for the one who leaves and the one he/she leaves behind].

Monday, May 10, 2021

A Recent Visit By Cardinals

Last Monday, shortly after Juan V left from working with me in my garden, I had a visitor who happened to be a male Northern cardinal. He is featured in the imagr atop this entry which is very aimilar to the ones included in this past Tuesday's (5-4-2021) blog post.

As I stated in thse entry, "This incident was most welcome after having made my place more beautiful with yesterday's plantings. In any event the handsome creature is featured in the sequence of images atop this entry which serve as a play-by play to his discovering peanuts I had placed in a small petri-dish-style bird feeder, that hangs in close proximity to my lush pair of kiwi vines."

In any event this male cardinal's visit was followed by a visit from an array of other avian creatures including a very young female cardinal.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother's Day 2021

My mother, when she was pregnant with me, can be seen in the color snapshot featured atop this post. She can also be seen (pregnant with me) in the picture directly below.

My mother looks radiant and dad seems happy too, but even after having two more daughters, their marriage fell apart when I was in grade school. He moved out of the house and she was inconsolable.

Perhaps because I'm the eldest child, she turned to me with her heavy heart and everything that was on her mind. For much of the time I felt like I was her mother on many levels.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Remembering Peggy Wood: “Progress is being made.”

Today, May the 8th, I might have been getting together with the celebrate the birthday of  my dearly departed editor, Peggy Wood, had she not passed away on the last day of December of 2014. Peggy was the editor of the very first version of Words In Our Beak Volume One, which was an iBook digital version (photo of the cover is featured in the image atop this entry). It was released after she died.

Friday, May 7, 2021

This Friday's Facts are about COSMOS!

The lyric lines, "what a differnce a day makes," often come to my mind, especially in terms of my roof extension garden, which is featured in the photo atop this entry. I took the photograph this morning. As you can surmise the sun is shining brightly and the flora which I grow here is thriving. I am always grateful for this, especially when weather conditions have threatened the growing process, for a couple of days ago we had such heavy rains (as seen in the image directly below), I had reason to believe (based on what has happened in bygone years with severe showers) that a number of just-now-coming-up flowers as well as buds might drop.

Naturally I was concerned about all the flora who are in their early 2021 blooming phase but I was especially concerned about my Cosmos.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

National Nurses Day 2021

On this day in 1974, "New Mexico nurses initiated a resolution in 1981 to have May 6th declared National Recognition Day for Nurses. The American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors took up the banner and promoted the proposal. In 1982, the United States Congress designated May 6th to be National Recognition Day for Nurses and President Ronald Reagan signed the proposal."

My maternal grandmother, Clara Fitchie Melahn, seen in the photo (atop this entry) taken when she was a young woman, was 74 years of age at the time Regan signed the proposal. She had been long retired from nursing as she had left her career when she had children.

My grandmother had quite an influence on me, but the only experience I had being a nurse is when I played one (in the 1980's) on a soap opera, "One Life to Live. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

My H.F. Clematis Vines are in bloom again...

This Sunday is Mother's Day and like any new mother joyful over moments of her new child's life (such as the first time she sees a smile or hears her child's first utterance), so am I with my H.F. Young Clematis, that I have in my garden

I've had them in my garden since the early 2000's and each spring when they are born again after a winter's long nap, my spirits are lifted. 

It's been quite a number of years now that they have come back in the spring, and a few days ago they made their first appearnce for this year of 2021.

Some pictures featuring details of this year's buds and flowers are atop this entry. 

As you can tell, their blooms and buds tend to be nearly as large as the light bulbs on the string lights which hang over my garden.

I've mentioned them prior posts here on Blogger, they are another great find from the greenmarket at Union Square.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Bird Day 2021 (Tuesday's Truths WK 214)

Yesterday shortly after Juan V (JV) left from working with me in my garden, I had a visitor who happened to be a male Northern cardinal.

This incident was most welcome after having made my place more beautiful with yesterday's plantings. In any event the handsome creature is featured in the sequence of images atop this entry which serve as a play-by play to his discovering peanuts I had placed in a small petri-dish-style bird feeder, that hangs in close proximity to my lush pair of kiwi vines.

One of these vines is the narrator of my garden-themed movie, The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame...almost, which can be viewed on my You Tube channel and/or my Vimeo channel. 

In this mini movie, the vine talks about what it is like to live within my rooftop garden which is located on the Upper Westside of Manhattan.

A few years after this kiwi vine experienced nearly fifteen minutes of fame by talking about my place, a wildbird, known as a female cardinal named Cam, also expirenced fame by narrating a three volume book series about my place.

Monday, May 3, 2021

National Garden Meditation Day 2021

According to a web-page for National Calender Day, today, May 3rd is National Garden Meditation Day. Here is part of what they have to say re this hoiday: 

"National Garden Meditation Day, annually on May 3rd, encourages everyone to take time for one’s self and relax. Working in the garden, tending to the plants and flowers, or resting quietly on a bench on a beautiful day in the garden are forms of meditation. Both can be restorative to the soul and a refreshing way to be out in nature. Meditation and gardening offer many benefits. When you couple it with the outdoor peace of a garden, you also get to enjoy the benefits nature has to offer."

Part of my National Garden Meditation Day was spent working with Juan V (JV) in my garden and the photo atop this entry shows how it looked when we finished in the early afternoon. At the northend of my garden I have a newcomer.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

2021's First Sunday in May

Under "normal" circumstances, The TD Five Boro Bike Tour would be occurring today, as it always takes place on the first Sunday in May. 

This annual event began on June 12, 1977 (an image of the event from Bike New York's web-page) and it was known as the Five Boro Challenge with 250 participants. 

Going forward it took place every year on the first Sunday in May hosting up up to 32,000 riders from every state in the nation and 65 countries around the world with the exception of last year when it was cancelled as NYC was in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic related lockdowns.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

"It's May! It's May!"

"It's May! It's May," are a couple of lyric lines from "The Lusty Month of May," a song featured in Camelot. May is also known as National Bike Month.  Moreover it is the month associated with raising awareness re a number of serious health conditions including Osteoporosis, Lupus and ALS.

Both my dear childhood friend, Ellen McConnell Blakeman, for volume two of my Words In Our Beak book series is dedicated (seen in the next picture) and her father died from ALS.

Book cover photo by Chris Deatherage. Press release (also by Chris) for this book can be read in another posting on this blog @

Her younger brother Douglas McConnell is very active in raising awareness re this disease through a foundation named A Long Swim, which is referenced in my aforementioned book.

Even though I've self-published my three volume book series about birds, I don't want to go the self-publishing route again as it proved to not be a good means to getting much recognition in book stores or in securing interviews. 

On another note, the month of May is also dedicated to raising awareness to the nerve disorder known as NF or Neurofibromatosis.