Happy International Cat Day, UESiders!!

Nicely book-ended with National Spoil Your Dog Day on Saturday!!

Best ever vamps to the week ahead:

Throughout August:  Movies on the Czech Center Rooftop

321 East 73rd Street, 8pm

A wonderful Czech cinema line-up, heavy on great animation…  A delightful setting…  A cash bar offering refreshment…  One of the UESide’s laid-back annual summer pleasures!!  $10.  For the schedule and more

Saturday, August 10th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood,  Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley and Gayeski Farms!!

Most happy to say, the Master Knife Sharpener will be with us, too!!  

Market Manager Ciana offers up this invitation/daunting challenge on offer at her table:   “Guess the number of kernels the ear of corn chosen at total random and win a special Greenmarket prize!!  Then check out our great new collection of corn recipes!!”

Last week’s recycling totals:   76 lbs. batteries;  21 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  4 pair eyeglasses;  14 compost bins;  50 bags of clothes

We’re talking a 14 bin record!!

Saturday, August 10th:  Great Hudson River Fish Count 

All Along the Hudson, Throughout the Day

And we quote, “Fresh upriver and salty at New York City, the Hudson estuary and its watershed are home to more than 200 fish species. During this family-friendly event, participants are invited to explore the amazing variety of slippery, wriggly, and fascinating creatures usually hidden below the river’s surface.”   Plus all the fish are released!!  For the complete rundown

Saturday, August 10th:  East Harlem Beautification Day

Meet in front of the East Harlem Tutorial Program, 2050 Second Avenue at 105th Street, 3-6pm

Join the Green and Blue Eco Care Club, Partnership for Parks staff and amazing volunteers in a fun-filled afternoon learning the basics of street tree care, creating some art and making new friends!!  Tools and supplies provided.  Yes, indeed, tree stewardship is sweeping our far East Side!!  See you there!!  For complete details

Saturday, August 10th:  Leather Arts and Making Books with Italian Artisans

The New York Public Library Shop, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, 10am

A trio of artisans from Italian leather company Natalzia describe and demonstrate old-world techniques for crafting various handmade leather products from journals to bags to pouches!!  Free.  Just show up…

Saturday, August 10th:  Town Hall’s Broadway Sings

Bryant Park, Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street, 7-8pm

Come hear the songs that Broadway made famous and sung than a host of Broadway veterans!!  Free.  For more… 

Sunday, August 11th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm 

At their tables and ready for another gangbuster Sunday market will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert (with truck repaired) and Phillips Farms!!

Look for the Master Knife Sharpener, too!!

(Norwich Meadows and Halal Pastures will taking the weekend off in observance of  Dhu al-Hijjah.)

Tomatoes…  Corn…  Over-size bunches of basil…  Cauliflower…  Chocolate milk…  Best oatmeal cookies…  Clams…  Peaches and apricots…  Can’t get enough!!  

Last week’s recycling totals:   18 lbs. batteries;  9 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   compost bins:  TBA

Given the fantastic number of shoppers last Sunday, who knows how many bins were filled??!!

And then:

Saturday, August 17th:  National Thrift Shop Day

Across the City

Join thrift shops and thrifty people across the nation in celebrating National Thrift Shop Day!!  Always great and useful finds lurking out there…  Plus when we purchase vintage and/or used wares this August, we can pat ourselves on the back for shopping sustainably!!

Saturday, August 24th:  “Captain Marvel” in John Jay Park

John Jay Park, Cherokee Place & 77th Street, 7:30pm

Can’t stop summer movies under UES stars!! 

Looking toward autumn:

Saturday, September 14th to Sunday, September 22nd:  National Drive Electric Week

To find a nearby NYC event

And to recommend where electric vehicle charging stations should be sited on the UES

Saturday, October 19th:  Global (Birding) Big Day

All Over NYC

Can last year’s identifying of a total of 6,331 feathered species on a single day be surpassed??!!  We’ll be trying and here’s how you and yours can join in

As ever, a bit of activism:

If you think threatened  – especially by plastic pollution – sea turtle habitat should be protected

Should you support Congress passing a bill encouraging use of bird-friendly building materials – like windows which kill a billion of our feathhered friends a year…

Or if you oppose development of a copper mine in Montana’s Cabinet Mountain Wilderness… 

Or if you believe pipelines should be prohibited in or near endangered habitats

For those few who’ve yet to express displeasure with proposed changes to the SNAP food program, City Harvest/Feeding America’ve just fielded a new petition… 

And miscellaneous miscellany:

During his 75th birthday week, Smoky the Bear’s spreading the word about campfire safety...

smoky the bear

Origins of the modern kitchen and the woman who pioneered its design

host of GrowNYC recycling volunteer opportunities

Latest innovation by our NYS DEC:  The DECinfo Locator with lowdown of every description on NYS’s many, impressive outdoor and recreational resources…

The Kosciuszco Bridge joins the Tappan Zee in the deep

Anerobic digesters likely headed our way

Portland, Oregon’s airport’s expanding its Green Plate Program…  Serving food on reusable plates and with reusable utensils…

Canada’s just established two sweeping Arctic ocean sanctuaries

Fossils (as in dinosaurs) of the Army Corps of Engineers

In an era of zillion-story sliver buildings with multi-floor voids…  Why not bone up on how to understand NYC’s municipal zoning code

The life journey of our recycled plastic, glass and steel

Not just robo call tips for seniors…  Robo call tips for one and all… 

bear cub…  Ospreys…  Shellfish…  Plenty of critter action by NYS Conservation Officers… 

That while our Forest Rangers have had many a rescue on their hands… 

Baking bread with 4,000-year old yeast

In the “eeek!” category:

Beware of squirrels inclined to nip visitors to Battery Park (and how to proceed on the off-chance)…

NYC’s most rat-infested hoods…  (Oh, yeah.  The UES could do better…)

Moving on to the greater world of friendly animals:

As in fun facts about pandas

One very real joy of being a birder

Orangutan Jungle School

The Times headline puts it just right: “The Mandarin Duck is AWOL.  Enter the Hudson River Beaver“!!

One observer said the beaver appeared disoriented. 

Who knew bats feed on and pollinate agave…  The same agave used to make tequila and mezcal!!  Our friends at the Bat Conservation International, that’s who!!  Thus, their preferred marguerita recipe

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

7/28 – Brooklyn: We held a Brooklyn Bridge Park public fishing clinic today sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy and the Nyack College Fishing Club. Using rods, reels, and bait donated by Jack’s Bait and Tackle on City Island in the Bronx, we fished from Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The fishing was extraordinary! Among the six species we caught, landed, and released were cunner (wrasse), scup (porgy), bluefish, and striped bass. High-hook was oyster toadfish with seven. The highlight of the day was four smooth dogfish (24-26-inches), a shellfish-favoring shark (Mustelus canis). The East River was 76 degrees Fahrenheit (F) and the salinity was 21 parts-per-thousand (ppt). – Peter J. Park, Isa Del Bello, Christina Tobitsch, Lhana Ormenyi, Haley McClanahan, Shad Hopson

scup

That Scup

[In an effort to reduce the presence of lead in our environment, participants used Swivits concrete sinkers, a Staten Island based company. Peter Park]

[Scup (Stenotomus chrysops) is one of three porgies (Sparidae) in our watershed (marine and brackish waters). They are a common species along inshore waters well up into New England where they are known colloquially as “sand porgies,” reflecting their preferred habitat, broad sandy substrate. Scup can reach 18-inches in length. Tom Lake]

7/20 – Manhattan: On a day when the air temperature was near 100 degrees F, with a heat index approaching 110 degrees (real feel), Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the New York City Parks Department teamed up for a public program we called “Underwater Neighbors at Riverside Park.” We attracted 15 participants to Fort Washington Park, and they all got in the river to help us seine. Once we entered the river, with a southwest breeze off the water, it was approaching pleasant. As it was the season, our featured catch was a combination of abundant Atlantic silverside and Atlantic blue crabs. In lesser numbers were 100 millimeter-long (mm) young-of-year bluefish, a northern pipefish, and a northern puffer (30 mm).  [Note: one inch = 25.4 millimeters (mm)]  When the puffer went in the bucket for show-and-tell, it inflated up to the size of a ping-pong ball. – Eli Schloss

northern puffer

That Northern Puffer

(Pretty darned puffy little aquatic ping-pong ball, yes?)

7/28 – Manhattan: Hudson River Park visitors caught three small black sea bass (100-125 mm) on rod and reel during our public catch and release fishing program, Big City Fishing, at Pier 25 in Tribeca. – Olivia Radick

black sea bass

That Black Sea Bass

7/29 – Manhattan, HRM 2: Hudson River Park visitors caught two more small black sea bass (both 152 mm) on rod and reel during our public catch and release fishing program, Big City Fishing, at Pier 51 in the West Village. – Olivia Radick

8/2 – Manhattan, HRM 1: We returned to check our research sampling gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 and found four more oyster toadfish, ranging from young-of-year (25 mm) to an adult (255 mm). Sharing the crab pot were two tautog (220, 230 mm) and a single nervous blue crab. – Toland Kister

smooth dog fish

Happy New Yorker With a Smooth Dogfish

Last but far from least…  The Fish of the Week:

7/30 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 33 is the gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus), number 224 (of 229) on our watershed list of fishes.  (If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail trlake7@aol.com.)

Our first gray triggerfish, captured in the Upper Bay of New York Harbor on 7/23, was added to our Hudson River Watershed fish list last week.

gray trigger fish

A Gray Trigger Fish

The gray triggerfish is a benthic (bottom) species; their body is laterally compressed(thin), and deep-bodied, not unlike a large dinner plate standing on its edge. They primarily feed on invertebrates, mollusks, and crustaceans. While the gray triggerfish ranges from Nova Scotia to Argentina, their center of abundance is coastal Maryland south to Florida and east to Bermuda. The gray triggerfish get its name from their spiny dorsal fin that can be used as predator-defense from being swallowed. They have a small mouth with a strong jaw and specialized teeth used to crush and chisel holes in their hard-shelled prey. Most gray triggerfish are less than 14-inches in length. – Tom Lake

See you in (the green UES) September,

UGS

 

 

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Dear UESiders,

Another “This Week at the Markets” Mini-Edition…

Commencing with the upshot of last week’s early arrival/departure of compost collection trucks at both 82nd and 92nd Streets.

Needless to say, news of widespread unhappiness with this violation of long-established hours for compost collection moved swiftly from powers-that-be at GrowNYC, on to the Office of Recycling Outreach & Education and finally landing at the Sanitation Department.  Nothing in life’s a sure thing, but let’s see what transpires…

The coming week:

Saturday, August 3rd:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be American Pride Seafood,  Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley and Gayeski Farms!! 

Most happy to say, the Master Knife Sharpener will be with us, too!!  

Just so you know, something pretty darned strange occurred at the market last week… 

Fantastic peaches, plums, blueberries…  Incredible tomatoes, corn, beans, beets, squash and more…   Yummm!!   

That being someone making off with 4 bags of dead batteries weighing in at some 70-80 pounds!!  Really!!  As usual, those batteries had been left for the hour or so of our time at the market just east of the Gayeski table.  And to this theft, we respond: “Good luck to the nincompoop who – whatever the treasure he/she thought he/she’d absconded with was…  It was, in actuality, 4 big bags of deader-than-a-doornail batteries!!” 

Last week’s recycling totals:   32 lbs. batteries;  14 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  1 pair eyeglasses;  12 compost bins;  43 bags of clothes

Yet another 12 bin week!!

Sunday, August 4th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm 

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures and Phillips Farms!!

The Master Knife Sharpener will be present and honing, too!!

More fantastic tomatoes in small, medium and large size…  Amazing yellow, orange and green from the tiny to near-baseball bat dimensions… The best milk, yoghurt and eggs…  Amazing blueberries…  The freshest, most delicious seafood…  Total lip-smacking goodness!!  

Last two weeks’ recycling totals:   24 lbs. batteries;  22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   1 make-up wand;  6 compost bins

6 compost bins being a new, all-time 92nd Street record!!

Always time for a bit of worthy activism:

As in if you think Americans’ existing food rights should be maintained

And miscellany:

The meat vs. vegan labeling war

Bovine therapy for humankind

With wishes for a happy 75th birthday to Smokey the Bear,

UGS

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Happy National Bagelfest Day, UESiders!!

So perfect for us New Yorkers!!  (We’re planning on at least one toasted poppyseed topped with a mass of vegetable cream cheese!!) 

And for you marguerita fanciers, it’s also National Tequila Week!!

Just starters for the coming week:

Saturday, July 27th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood,  Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley and Gayeski Farms!!

Look for the Master Knife Sharpener, too!!  

And Market Manager Ciana shares these critical words, ““Corn.  Tomatoes.  Squash.  Peppers.  Peaches.  Basil.  Broccoli rabe.  Garlic. ”    And then again reminds us, “Market hours are 9am-2pm!!”

Bring ’em, we say!!

Last week’s recycling totals:   22 lbs. batteries;  6 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   12 compost bins;  37 bags of clothes

Yes, even on a 90-plus-degree day, you still filled 12 bins!!

Sunday, July 28th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

With tables ever more laden with summer bounty will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures and Phillips Farms!!

No Master Knife Sharpener this Sunday, but fingers crosssed for next!!

Market Manager Supremo Margaret echoes MM Ciana’s wisdom:  “Corn.  Tomatoes.  Squash.  Peppers.  Peaches.  Basil.  Broccoli rabe.  Garlic. ”    

We hear you, Margaret!!

Last week’s recycling totals:   TBA

Saturday, July 27th:  “Honeyland” Screening

Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, 5:15pm

This year’s Sundance most-honored doc detailing the touching conflict between traditional and newly-minted beekeepers in the mountains of Macedonia.  Film followed by Q&A with the filmmakers and the president of the NYCBeekeepers Association!!  For the trailer… 

Sunday, July 28th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures, Phillips and Sun Fed Beef Farms!!

No Master Knife Sharpener, but fingers crossed for next Sunday!!

Market Manager Supremo Margaret shares this thought:  “When it’s too hot to cook, Greenmarket’s the perfect solution!!  Our markets are full of fruits and vegetables so fresh they need no cooking.    On Sunday stop by to the info tent at 92nd st to taste summer squash with a cool, raw, crushed tomato sauce.”

(Halal’s tomatoes and squashes are a must!!  Check out Phillips beautiful chives!!  Fingers crossed, Mother Hubbert has chocolate milk!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:   TBA

(We’re betting on at least 4 1/2 bins!!)

Wednesday, July 31st:  Rat Academy Pest Management Seminar

St. Francis de Sales, 135 East 96th Street, 6-8pm

Get up to speed on safe and effective methods for rat prevention!!  Win free rodent-resistant garbage bins in the R.A. raffle if you sign up to attend!!   Truly jam-packed with useful – if not vital – info!!  To register

On to August:

Throughout August:  Movies on the Czech Center Rooftop

321 East 73rd Street, 8pm

A wonderful Czech cinema line-up  (especially “Laika”)…  A delightful setting…  A cash bar offering refreshment…  One of the UESide’s annual summer pleasures!!  $10.  For the schedule and more

Sunday, August 4th:  Kids Forest School

North Woods, Central Park, 9am-12pm

Last week’s horrible heat wave caused cancellation of the School’s July date, but it’s back on for August!!  As per our original twig, “Experience a one-hour class in which instructors Sarita and Stephan of Upper Manhattan Forest Kids will lead you and your children – six and older –  through nature-themed activities (like rock collecting and chalk drawing), sing-alongs, and storytelling in one of Manhattan’s most scenic forests!!”   Made possible by the Natural Areas Conservancy.   Free and,  needless to say, previous reservations will be honored!  For more and to register

Tuesday, August 6th:  Night Out  with the 19th Precinct

Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street at East End Avenue, 5:30-8pm 

Live music!!  Giveaways!!  Food, refreshments and sweet treats!!  Arts & crafts!!  Activities for all ages and pets!!  But most of all, a chance to get to know the great people of Precinct 19 and build a stronger, safer community!! 

Thursday, August 8th:  Newtown Creek Walking Tour

Meet at 1164 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, 6:30-8:30pm

Commencing in Greenpoint, Brooklyn…  Former colonial center and 19th Century industrial powerhouse…  Crossing Newtown Creek and the Pulaski Bridge to once gritty Hunters Point, now awash in luxury housing construction…  See and learn what was and is before it’s gone!!  Organized by the great NYC H2O!!  $20.  For full detail and tickets

Thursday, August 8th:  Mappy Hour – The New NYC Nature Map

Arc’teryx Soho, 169 Spring Street, 7-9pm

Get the lowdown on the NYC Nature Map…  The Natural Areas Conservancy’s new  interactive web map of our city’s amazing 20,000-plus acres of natural spaces and how these marvelous green places can be enjoyed!!  Sponsored by Arc’teryx and the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.   Free.   For more and to register

Saturday, August 10th:  Great Hudson River Fish Count 

All Along the Hudson, Throughout the Day

And we quote, “Fresh upriver and salty at New York City, the Hudson estuary and its watershed are home to more than 200 fish species. During this family-friendly event, participants are invited to explore the amazing variety of slippery, wriggly, and fascinating creatures usually hidden below the river’s surface.”   Plus all the fish are released!!  For the complete rundown

Saturday, August 10th:  East Harlem Beautification Day

Meet in front of the East Harlem Tutorial Program, 2050 Second Avenue at 105th Street, 3-6pm

Join the Green and Blue Eco Care Club, Partnership for Parks staff and amazing volunteers in a fun-filled afternoon learning the basics of street tree care, creating some art and making new friends!!  Tools and supplies provided.  Yes, indeed, tree stewardship is sweeping our far East Side!!  See you there!!  For complete details

As ever, a bit of activism:

If you believe Congress should continue its support of our public libraries… 

Then a bit of miscellany:

How to best store that fabulous Greenmarket summer produce

How to quick-pickle those fabulous Greenmarket vegetables

Or a Greenmarket berry sorbet

Okay, not exactly green or green gossip, but Gloria Vanderbilt’s earliest (and brief) UES home on 72nd is for sale… 

The NYC DEC site that lets us check water quality where we’d like to be swimming

And NYS bodies of fresh water that may be afflicted with harmful algal blooms (HAG)

Yes, animals:

Should you wondering how a service animal is legally defined… 

Wonderful firefly info thanks to Carl Schurz Park’s July newsletter…

Many a bird cam view available on explore.org…   (One of our favorites being the puffinburrow.cam!!)  (FYI, puffins feed their young’uns some of our American Seafood faves:   haddock and hake!) 

If trees “speak” to each other through their roots, why wouldn’t baby birds be communicating even while still in their shells…?

Calling all Citizen Scientists!!  NYState’s soon to field its annual Wild Turkey Survey!! 

The Hudson River Almanac nevver fails:

7/16 – New York Harbor, Lower Bay: At least one humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), possibly two, were spotted swimming around Raritan Bay off the south side of Staten Island this morning. The whale came within 100 feet of a fishing boat where anglers watched it for at least 30 minutes. They estimated it to be the size of a large SUV.

humpback whale

A Humpback Whale

In late autumn 2016, a humpback whale cruised into the Upper Bay of New York Harbor from the Verrazano Narrows to the George Washington Bridge for six days feasting on Atlantic menhaden before returning to the open ocean. (Photo of humpback whale courtesy of Tom Collins)
– Tom Lake

[From 2007-2009, Cornell University did an experiment listening in on the underwater acoustics of New York Harbor, where, to the astonishment of many, they discovered at least six species of whales vocalizing from the Statue of Liberty to just past the Verrazano Narrows.   Biology-online.org]

7/13 – Brooklyn, New York City:  Our staff from Coastal Classrooms of the City Parks Foundation caught a northern sennet in our seine today at the mouth of tidal Coney Island Creek in Kasier Park, on the north side of Coney Island. – Luis Gonzalez

barracuda

A Barracuda

[The northern sennet is a barracuda, one of two members of the family (Sphyraenidae) in the estuary. Northern sennet max out at 18-inches-long, hardly the great barracuda (S. barracuda) that can get to more than six-feet-long. Northern sennet are found in coastal waters from Cape Cod to Florida and with tooth-studded jaws, are an apex predator in their own right.  – Tom Lake]

7/15 – Manhattan, New York City: Our Randall’s Island Park Alliance staff and interns conducted our first harbor-heron monitoring of the month this morning. The wind was nearly nil and the air temperatures eventual rose to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (F) by midday. Across our ten survey points on the coast of the island, we spotted a few great egrets flying overhead, one snowy egret flyover, multiple double-crested cormorants flying and sitting out on rocks, as well as various species of gulls and swallows. We also noted an osprey wheeling overhead at one of our northern points.

With a summer group from Teacher’s College, we went to the east side of the island (Water’s Edge Garden Beach) in the afternoon and did three seine hauls in the Harlem River. The group collected three northern pipefish, 24 Atlantic silverside, and one each winter flounder, Atlantic tomcod, and white perch. Invertebrates included shore shrimp, sand shrimp, and mud dog whelk snails. The water temperature was 77 degrees F, and the salinity was 25.0 parts-per-thousand (ppt), about 72-percent seawater. – Jacqueline Wu

7/17 – Manhattan: Today was Pollinator Monitoring Day at Randall’s Island Park Alliance. There was barely any wind (highest was 1.5 miles-per-hour) and the air temperature was more than 90 degrees F. We spotted flies, wasps, butterflies, bees, and beetles. Most of the butterflies were cabbage whites (Pieris sp.), although we also saw a monarch butterfly. Most bees were carpenter bees, but there were also honey bees and bumble bees. – Jacqueline Wu

As for the Fish of the Week:

7/18 – Hudson River Watershed:  The mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) is number 116 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes.  (If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail trlake7@aol.com.)

mummichog

A Mummichog

Mummichogs are one of five killifishes (Cyprinodontidae) on our watershed fish list. They are a small fish, rarely exceeding 100 (mm) in length, and are found in coastal waters and estuaries from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to Florida. Together with its close relative, the banded killifish (F. diaphanus), they are common in the lower Hudson River estuary. Part of their diet consists of insect larvae, especially mosquitos, and they have been used as a biological control in urban areas with high mosquito densities.

The name mummichog has a Native American origin, and is generally interpreted, at least with Algonquian speakers, as “going in crowds.” This describes the schooling predilection of most killifishes to travel in large numbers, particularly young-of-year. Native Americans did not have a written language, or at least of the type recognized by Europeans. Theirs was an oral tradition, featuring stories, storytellers, and elders who were the keepers of the stories. Therefore, mummichog is a phonetic representation of the native spoken word. – Tom Lake

Yours in evergreenness,

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Heat Wave, UESiders!!

No question you’re taking every care to make sure you and yours remain cool and comfy till this ridiculous heat/humidity pass and are just memories, yes?? 

With that in mind, the weekend:

Saturday, July 20th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

Cool at their tables will be our friends of American Pride Seafood,  Bread Alone, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley and Gayeski Farms!!

But Ballard Honey’ll be taking this Saturday off… 

As will the Master Knife Sharpener…  (Actually, she’s appearing at an animal charity in her alternate identity, pet paw reader Madrette!!)  

Market Manager Ciana underscores getting marketing done while it’s – relatively – cool:  “Since the weekend (particularly Saturday) is expected to be extremely hot, some of our producers may leave market early.   Normal market hours are 9am-2pm…  But again, due to the weather, this may be cut short…” 

Then she adds, “Crazy weather or no, I’ll be featuring summer squash!!  Inspiralizer in hand, I’ll be turning those squash into oodles-of-noodles like zucchini pasta…  Perfect when the temp’s too high cook…  And gluten free…  Low carb as well…  Not to mention delicious!!”

Last week’s recycling totals:   81 lbs. batteries;  14 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   3 thermometers; 4  eyeglasses;  12 compost bins;  33 bags of clothes

Yup, those old fashioned mercury thermometers are crying out to be recycled!!

Sunday, July 21st:  92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures, Phillips and Sun Fed Beef Farms!!

No Master Knife Sharpener, but fingers crossed for next Sunday!!

Market Manager Supremo Margaret shares this thought:  “When it’s too hot to cook, Greenmarket’s the perfect solution!!  Our markets are full of fruits and vegetables so fresh they need no cooking.    On Sunday stop by to the info tent at 92nd st to taste summer squash with a cool, raw, crushed tomato sauce.”

(Halal’s tomatoes and squashes are a must!!  Check out Phillips beautiful chives!!  Fingers crossed, Mother Hubbert has chocolate milk!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:   12 lbs. batteries; 10 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   Compost Bins – TBA

(We’re betting on at least 4 1/2 bins!!)

May the temp now be in the 80’s:

Tuesday, July 23rd:  Lenox Hill Hospital Blood Drive

Lenox Hill Hospital, Einhorn Auditorium, 131 East 76th Street, 7am-7pm 

Considering that one in seven persons admitted to a hospital needs blood, it’s never not a good time to donate!!  Just keep in mind…

To donate you must:

  • Be in good health
  • Be between the ages of 16 and 75 (16 year olds require a completed NYBC consent form)
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs
  • Bring a form of ID

On the day of the drive:

  • Please allow one hour (10 minutes will be donating blood)
  • Eat a nutritious meal before you donate
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and after

For medical eligibility, please call 1-800-688-0900.

Friday, July 26th:  Annual Hearst Fellows Symposium at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Join  this year’s great young history scholars as they present their original research on the New York City of the 1830’s!!  Funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.   Adults, $8.  Seniors & students, $7.  Free to members.  

Wednesday, July 31st:  Rat Academy Pest Management Seminar

St. Francis de Sales, 135 East 96th Street, 6-8pm

Get up to speed on safe and effective methods for rat prevention!!  Win free rodent-resistant garbage bins in the R.A. raffle if you sign up to attend!!   Truly jam-packed with useful – if not vital – info!!  To register

Wednesday, July 31st:  “Willets Point”- Flushing Bay Walking Tour

Meeting place provided with reservation, 6-8pm

Walking tourmaster Jack Eichenbaum’s just come out with his summer line-up…  All interesting but this one of particular import given the many environmental issues involved…  For the the full schedule, meeting place and to purchase a ticket

Really…  August already:

Throughout August:  Movies on the Czech Center Rooftop

321 East 73rd Street, 8pm 

A wonderful Czech cinema line-up  (especially “Laika”)…  A delightful setting…  A cash bar offering refreshment…  One of the UESide’s annual summer pleasures!!  $10.  For the schedule and more

Tuesday, August 6th:  Night Out  with the 19th Precinct

Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street at East End Avenue, 5:30-8pm  

Live music!!  Giveaways!!  Food, refreshments and sweet treats!!  Arts & crafts!!  Activities for all ages and pets!!  But most of all, a chance to get to know the great people of Precinct 19 and build a stronger, safer community!!  

Thursday, August 8th:  Mappy Hour – The New NYC Nature Map

Arc’teryx Soho, 169 Spring Street, 7-9pm

Get the lowdown on the NYC Nature Map…  The Natural Areas Conservancy’s new  interactive web map of our city’s amazing 20,000-plus acres of natural spaces and how these marvelous green places can be enjoyed!!  Sponsored by Arc’teryx and the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.   Free.   For more and to register

Saturday, August 10th:  Great Hudson River Fish Count 

All Along the Hudson, Throughout the Day

And we quote, “Fresh upriver and salty at New York City, the Hudson estuary and its watershed are home to more than 200 fish species. During this family-friendly event, participants are invited to explore the amazing variety of slippery, wriggly, and fascinating creatures usually hidden below the river’s surface.”   Plus all the fish are released!!  For the complete rundown

Saturday, August 10th:  East Harlem Beautification Day

Meet in front of the East Harlem Tutorial Program, 2050 Second Avenue at 105th Street, 3-6pm

Join the Green and Blue Eco Care Club, Partnership for Parks staff and amazing volunteers in a fun-filled afternoon learning the basics of street tree care, creating some art and making new friends!!  Tools and supplies provided.  Yes, indeed, tree stewardship is sweeping our far East Side!!  See you there!!  For complete details

Nothing like a little activism:

Should you believe that our bird habitat should be protected… 

If you think Congress should fully fund the Land & Water Conservation Fund (as has been the case the last 50 years, with oil and gas drilling fees)…

Then there’s the week’s miscellany:

Ten cool,  beautiful, free indoor  public spaces

The mind that gave us Cool Whip

Ever wonder how our plastic/glass/metal recycling gets itself sorted…?  Here’s one impressively high tech way...  

Keurig continues to bob and weave round its non-recyclable issues…  But maybe not for much longer…

Eight American spots to take in petroglyphs

The Smithsonian’s 3-D scan of the Apollo 11 Command Module

“Ghost”orchids and their – until now –  mysterious pollinators

2019 rules for the shark fisherpersons among us…

Drunken boating…  Illegal possession of a rattlesnake and more…  Our NYS Conservation Officers have had hands full… 

Bring on the animals:

dinosaur and it’s last meal

A 139-pound NYS sturgeon’s life journey

Snakes who cross roads…  (scroll down)

A  disconcerting article on the fate of classroom ducks…  That’ll hopefully be addressed by an Assembly bill…

Back to the upbeat and the Hudson River Almanac:

7/1 – Manhattan, HRM 1: When we checked our research sampling gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25, we found familiar faces of fishes, including four oyster toadfish, ranging from young-of-year to adults (40-220 millimeters (mm)) and two feisty blue crabs. For the first time since June 2016 at Pier 25, we caught two young-of-year Atlantic tomcod (80-90 mm). – Siddhartha Hayes

7/2 – Bronx, New York City: Electro-fishing under a bridge, in a dark pool, with colleagues, we recorded a new species for the Hutchinson River: a pair of adult gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum). The pool was just below the first dam, and it is possible there is a small spawning run of gizzard shad to this point. Earlier in the season, Gareth Hougham documented river herring in the same pool. – Gareth Hougham, Jake LaBelle, Erika Lafranchi, John Waldman

7/3 – Manhattan, HRM 2: When the Hudson River Park’s Estuary Lab staff hauled up our oyster cage, as part of our Billion Oyster Project monitoring program, they found an adult (50 mm) lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus).  – Olivia Radick

lined seahorse

A Lined Seahorse

7/6 – Queens, New York City: There is something special about sampling salty water (27 parts-per-thousand (ppt)), open to the sea, and the prospects of what we might catch. This afternoon’s Alley Pond Park Environmental Center’s “Science in the Bay” program was a good example. Seining in Little Bay Park under the Throgs Neck Bridge, we caught too many Atlantic silverside to count, as well as mummichogs, seven spot, a darling young-of-year white mullet (30 mm), and a male striped killifish (27 mm). Our surprise catch was an Atlantic Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus). The bay was 72 degrees F.   – Erica Chow, Androniki, Peter Park

striped killfish

A Striped Killfish

Being a banner year for discovery of things prehistoric along the Hudson shoreline: 

7/7 – Hudson Valley: I was camping overnight right on the bank of the river. Near midnight, I took my flashlight and went exploring. As my light crossed the upper end of the beach, a small stone gave out a dark shiny reflection that stood out. It looked like a small prehistoric spear point.  – Thomas Hall

Otter Creek Projectile

That Otter Creek Projectile

[Thomas Hall had come upon a prehistoric Indian artifact, an Otter Creek projectile point (42 mm) with a broken tip that had eroded out of the high beach sediments. Holding an ancient artifact, especially a serendipitous find, can transport our sense of time and place into the deep past as though in a time machine. It is this experience that lures people to a pursuit of archaeology.

The point had been fashioned from black and apple-green Deepkill chert (a fine-grained sedimentary rock composed of very small, crypto-crystalline, quartz crystals favored by flint knappers because it holds an edge). Otter Creek was named by New York Archaeologist William Ritchie from its type site in the Valley of Otter Creek, Vermont.  Organics associated with Otter Creek artifacts at the Sylvan Lake site in Dutchess County (1963) radiocarbon dated to 5,700 years ago. This was likely a  spear point used by ancestral Algonquian people since it predates the bow-and-arrow by 4,000 years.  – Tom Lake]

7/11 – Manhattan, HRM 2: When the Hudson River Park’s Estuary Lab staff and interns hauled up our oyster cage, as part of our Billion Oyster Project monitoring program, they found two oyster toadfish (105-209 mm). This was, in no way, a good sign for our oysters! – Olivia Radick

oyster toadfish

An Oyster Toadfish

[Oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau), known colloquially as “oyster crackers,” are common in New York Harbor. They set up shop on the bottom of the river, and with strong, sharp teeth, they crush and feed on shellfish such as crabs, oysters, and other bivalves. Tom Lake]

As for the Fish of the Week:

7/12 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 30 is the Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia), number 123 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes:

Atlantic Silverside

An Atlantic Silverside

The Atlantic silverside is one of four silverside species (Atherinidae) in our watershed. They are a marine species that is found along the coast in bays and estuaries from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to Florida. While Atlantic silverside is by far the most common, on occasion the inland silverside (M. beryllina) will show up. Most recently, B.J. Jackson caught one (68 mm) in a seine at Kowawese (December 2017), a catch that not only was surprisingly far upriver, but also far outside of its usual warm-water season.

Atlantic silverside has long been a local folkloric fish that can be “fried to a crisp and eaten whole” (Mervin Roberts). Spearing, their colloquial name, were “fried in cooking oil and sold in restaurants as whitebait” (Robert Boyle). – Tom Lake

Heat waves don’t dim our greenness,

UGS 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Second Week of NYC’s Single Use Foam Food Container Ban, UESiders!!

Once upon a time and not-so long ago, styrofoam kernels were second only to cigarettes  as waste most often found in tree beds in our hood…  But less and less once the bill passed and the July 1st End Date approached!!

For sure, let’s give our ever more green selves and representatives a major pat on the back for facing down the array of industry entities and making the ban happen and real!!

(For a rundown of the bill’s ins and outs and how to nudge any scofflaws you might encounter into line…) 

Meanwhile…

Happy July Manhattanhenge Evening II!!

MANHATTANHENGE-superJumbo

Have to say we were pretty ho-hum till yesterday’s Henge…  And now it’s totally WOW!!  May this hit your mailbox before the moment:  8:20PM!! 

Last but far from least…

Happy Invasive Species Awareness Week!! 

Not that we’re happy to be invaded, but we are happy to be aware and addressing!! 

Then there’re the next 7 days:

Saturday, July 13th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With us will be the great people of American Pride Seafood,  Bread Alone, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with Consider Bardwell items) and, Gayeski Farms!!

Happy to say Ballard Honey’ll be returning after their July 4th weekend holiday!! 

Add to the mix, it’ll be another Saturday with the Master Knife Sharpener present and ready to hone!!

Market Manager Ciana adds:  “Tis’ the season for BBQ so stop by Sun Fed Beef for quality beef, pork and chicken.  And don’t forget the cheese for your burgers, and omelets from Valley Sheppard, Ole Mother Hubbert AND Hawthorne Valley!  And, of course, new produce’s coming into season each and every week…  Last Saturday, we welcomed the first of summer corn from Gajeski Produce and Cherry Lane Farm!!  Stop by Saturday to see what new’s appeared on market tables!!” 

More good news from Market Manager Supremo Margaret:  “New this week! Hawthorne Valley will be selling mushrooms purchased from a neighboring farm!! 

Last week’s recycling totals:   74 lbs. batteries;  10 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   12 compost bins;  62 bags of clothes

Twelve bins on a holiday weekend??!!  GREAT!! 

Sunday, July 14th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

At their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures, Phillips and Sun Fed Beef Farms!!

Yes, and the Master Knife Sharpener will be back at her table, too!!

(Made the “Margaret Salad” with 3 kinds of Norwich Meadows’ baby squash and Phillips’ scapes, chives, new onions and tomatoes!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:   8 lbs. batteries; 7 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges     6//23  – 4 compost bins;  6/30 –  4 compost bins  7/7 – 4 1/2 bins

Only 3 weeks in and and 92nd’s up 1/2 bin!!

Saturday, July 13th & Sunday, July 14th:  Ridgewood Reservoir Weekend

Highland Park, Brooklyn, 10am

Saturday it’s a tour of the gorgeous 50-plus acre natural wonder  on the Brooklyn- Queens border…  Sunday’s a primo volunteer opportunity to clear invasive plants  and replace them with pollinator-friendly, native wildflowers!!  Both organizaed by the great NYC H2O!!  For more and to reserve a place at one or both… 

Sunday, July 14th:  Green-Wood Cemetary Tree Walk

Meet at the Sunset Park Entrance,  east side of 4th Avenue between 34th and 35th, Brooklyn, 11am

No better guides to trees than Joseph Charap, Green-Wood’s Director of Horticulture and Curator, and Sam Bishop, Trees New York’s Education Director!!  No finer or more interesting assemblage of trees – 7,000 of them!!  Free!!  Do dress for the weather and bring some water.  For more, directions and to reserve a place

Sunday, July 21st:  Kids Forest School

North Woods, Central Park, 9am-12pm

And we quote, “Experience a one-hour class in which instructors Sarita and Stephan of Upper Manhattan Forest Kids will lead you and your children – six and older –  through nature-themed activities (like rock collecting and chalk drawing), sing-alongs, and storytelling in one of Manhattan’s most scenic forests!!”   Made possible by the Natural Areas Conservancy.   Free!  For more and to register…  

Wednesday, July 26th:  Annual Hearst Fellows Symposium at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Join  this year’s great young history scholars as they present their original research on the New York City of the 1830’s!!  Funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.   Adults, $8.  Seniors & students, $7.  Free to members.  

Wednesday, July 31st:  “Willets Point”- Flushing Bay Walking Tour

Meeting place provided with reservation, 6-8pm

Walking tourmaster Jack Eichenbaum’s just come out with his summer line-up…  All interesting but this one of particular import given the many environmental issues involved…  For the the full schedule, meeting place and to purchase a ticket… 

How about some activism:

As in backers of the Williams Pipeline – the pipeline some would like to run across our harbor – are attempting to organize a write-in campaign in support…  So, should you oppose

Should there be doubt on the UGS opinion on landfill-to-energy, let there be none.  We oppose landfill in any and all forms and here’re some reasons why…   And more still…  (FYI, Scandinavian countries have emptied their landfills and are now importing waste to burn.) 

Yes, climate change deniers have their very own – and big time – gala

On to pure miscellany:

Let’s keep our eyes peeled for signs of oak wilt…   (Plenty of oak street trees on the UES!!)

Scroll down for Schurz Park’s summer schedule

More scrolling down (to page 9) for the new green Statue of Liberty Museum

The prettiest block in New York….

NYC’s oldest (and still operating) restaurants

Of course, our NYS would having fishing opportunities for the disabled

(Meanwhile, NYS’s having a bumper fishing year!!)

(Meanwhile, check out some of the lures removed from bodies of NYS anglers by one hospital’s staff!!)

As ever, NYS Conservation Officers have had their hands full…  Including the annual NYC jetski invasion…   And last week, a baby fawn rescue

Same for our Forest Rangers…  (Really, some folks go hiking without even compass?!)

The week in critterdom:

Commencing with the perilous state of Pacific Ocean whales

Moving on to the Miss Dog Mom USA contest

Fourteen interesting things about – yes!! – goats

Flying squirrels of NYS

An upstate NY shark trafficker

The biggest seizure of illegal reptiles in NYS history…

Should one encounter a bear

Or wisely wish to adopt best practices for avoiding ticks

No forgetting the Hudson River Almanac:

6/29 – Bronx, New York City:  While choosing sites for tree plantings in the South Bronx, I stopped on East Tremont to look at the Bronx River. Along with Bronx River is one of the last vestiges of nature on this avenue of urban blight. Today, a few feet away, I spotted a large black bird rooting around in the shadows under a shrub. My first impression was an American Crow, but it was too small. Then I considered a fish crow. However, as it emerged from the shade, I saw that it had a blueish-purple sheen to its head and a disproportionately large tail. It was too big and its tail too wide to be a common grackle. As it flew away, I realized it was a “first bird” for me, a boat-tailed grackle. – Robert Shapiro

boat-tailed grackle

A Boat-Tailed Grackle

[The boat-tailed grackle (Quiscalus major) is a bird of the coastal southeast U.S. that has been extending its range northward (there is a small breeding population in Connecticut). There have also been a few recent sightings in the Bronx and Queens. Tom Lake]

6/21 – Manhattan, HRM 1: In order to repair some of our worn research sampling gear, we went out to Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilacat Pier 25. We discovered that we had caught an impressive 245 millimeter (mm) adult tautog, a handsome adult white perch (250 mm), for the second time in two days, four young-of-year oyster toadfish (21-50 mm), and lastly, a young-of-the-season blue crab. We also began to see many oyster drills congregating in the crab pots to lay their eggs. – Siddhartha Hayes, Nina Hitchings,

[The Atlantic oyster drill (Urosalpinx cinerea) is a small sea snail, a marine gastropod. The oyster drill preys on oysters by drilling though their shells to get at the oyster inside. – Tom Lake]

6/22 – Brooklyn, New York City: We took our two 20-foot seines into the water off Pier 4 at the Brooklyn Bridge Park this evening where we caught an amazing diversity of aquatic life that reflected the ecology of the East River. Most numerous among the fishes were young-of-year Atlantic tomcod, bluefish, Atlantic menhaden, Atlantic silverside, and tautog. Complementing the fishes were sand shrimp, shore shrimp, long-wristed hermit crab, ribbed mussel, soft-shell clam (steamer clam), sandworms, eastern mudsnail (Ilyanassa obsolete), and common periwinkle. The East River was 70 degrees Fahrenheit (F), and the salinity was 13.8 parts-per-thousand (ppt) –  Christina Tobitsch, Peter Park

6/26 – Brooklyn, New York City: Each year, we invite the rest of the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy staff and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (gardeners, maintenance, operations personnel) to join us for a staff seine at the Pier 4 beach on the East River. Counting others who happened to be on the beach, we were about thirty, all eager to see what was home in the river today. Our catch reflected the season as we caught young-of-year bluefish and Atlantic silverside, as well as some slightly older striped bass. Invertebrates included moon jellyfish, mudsnails, and long-wristed, also called the long-clawed, hermit crabs (Pagurus longicarpus).

Most interesting was the opportunity to watch a pair of horseshoe crabs mating (Limulus polyphemus).  We found baby horseshoe crabs at this beach last year and are hopeful there are more to come. Salinity in the East River continued to be very low for this time of year, only 13.0 ppt. – Christina Tobitsch

7/1 – New York Harbor, Upper Bay: A female Chinese mitten crab was caught today in a commercial fish trap near Governors Island. – Peter Park

mitten crab

That Mitten Crab

[The Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) has been an invasive species in Europe for decades and there is genetic evidence that our east coast mitten crabs arrived here from Europe via commercial traffic in 1988. The Chinese mitten crab is native to the estuaries of China where it is highly regarded in the market. Mitten crabs are catadromous, meaning that they spend much of their life in freshwater, then return to higher salinities in the lower estuary (15-20 parts-per-thousand) to reproduce. The salinity gradients of east coast estuarine systems like the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, and the Hudson River are nearly ideal for them.

Adult mitten crabs have a carapace width of about three-inches, but six of its eight legs are almost twice as long, giving them an almost “spider crab” look. Unlike the native blue crab, a swimming crab, mitten crabs are “burrowing crabs,” similar to our mud crabs only many times larger. They have a generalist diet, varied in prey, and their potential ecological impact on east coast estuaries is still unknown.

If you encounter a mitten crab in New York State, please notify Cathy McGlynn, NYSDEC Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator (518-408-0436, catherine.mcglynn@dec.ny.gov). Do not release them live! If you take photos, make certain that you take both dorsal and ventral views so we can determine its sex. Sarah Fernald]

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

6/23 – Hudson River Watershed: For week 28-29, the Fish-of-the-Week is the guaguanche (Sphyraena guachancho), number 196 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Guaguanche

The guaguanche is closely related (shares the same genus) to last week’s barracuda, the northern sennet (S. borealis). Both are much smaller versions of the great barracuda (S. barracuda) that can get to be more than six-feet-long. The presence of our two smaller barracudas in the estuary has been tenuous at best, with fewer than five records of each, all immatures of index-finger size.  However, the phrase “we have barracuda in the Hudson River” is often a useful comment to recapture the attention of students.  Like the northern sennet, guaguanche are found in coastal waters from Cape Cod to Florida, and like all barracuda, are a toothy predator. Guaguanche are a bit larger than northern sennet, reaching two-feet in length. Both of our small barracudas are considered uncommon north of Chesapeake Bay. – Tom Lake

Greenness is goodness,

UGS

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Happy School’s-Over Week, UESiders!!

On the off-chance that any given UES teen has time on his/her hands, nothing more satisfying, enriching and great on the youthful resume than some volunteering with one of these primo organizations...

Or these

Or this

No question in our minds that even here on the UES and with our great tradition of volunteering, the number of folks involved in good works in the hood is very much on the rise!!

Moving on to the seven days ahead…  Pollinator Protection Week:

Saturday, June 29th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Ballard Honey, Bread Alone, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with Consider Bardwell items) and, Gayeski Farms!!

Plus it’s another Saturday with the Master Knife Sharpener present and yearning to hone!!

Market Manager Ciana’s advises:  “Best shopping for all your July 4th/Pride Weekend menu needs?  Greenmarket, of course!!   Think more and more summer vegs!!  More and more luscious berries!!  And stop by the market Info Tent for some great new salad and BBQ side dish recipes just right for helping to beat this crazy heat!!”

Last week’s recycling totals:   67 lbs. batteries;  19 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   18 pairs eye glasses;  14 compost bins;  47 bags of clothes

Best year ever for eye glasses collection!! 

Sunday, June 30th:  92nd Street Market

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures, Phillips and Sun Fed Beef Farms!!

Lucky us!!  The Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table, too!!

(Made the best-ever summer soup with a pair of Halal’s beautiful, giant summer squashes!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  Batteries, cords, corks, cellphones, cartridges and compost bins  TBA    5,300 lbs. paper shredded!!

More than 2 1/2 tons, you amazing people!!

Saturday, June 29th:  Randall’s Island Fragrant Garden Walk

Meet at the Randall’s Island side of 103rd Street Footbridge, 11am

And we quote, “Tour the Water’s Edge Garden and learn fun facts about the variety of fragrant and medicinal plants. After the tour, make a lavender sachet with lavender from the garden and create a simple lotion with essential oil!!”  Free.  For more

Saturday, June 29th:  Free Bike Helmet Event

First Avenue Loop, Playground 9, between 16th and 18th Streets, 11am-2:30pm 

Stay safe when biking around town with a custom-fit, free bike helmet.  Helmets are required by New York State Law for cyclists who are 13 years old and younger, and they make for a safe trip.  Certified representatives will be available to make sure your fit is just right.  Sponsored by CM Keith Powers!!  For more, contact the CM’s office:  212-818-0580…

Saturday & Sunday, June 29th & 30th:  Harlem Meer Catch and Release Free Fishing Weekend

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Central Park, 10am-5pm

Yes, fish for free and with the instruction of experts!!  In addition to angling, participants learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, fishing ethics and aquatic ecology!!   For more, contact Sean Reynolds, Central Park Conservancy, 646-634-9776!! 

Saturday & Sunday, June 29th & 30th:   NY Classical Theatre in Carl Schurz Park –  Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”

East 86th Street & East End Avenue, 7pm

Prepare yourselves for the truly, timelessly and totally hilarious!!   Nobody with Wilde’s droll touch before or since and a well-chosen treat for the UES!!  Sponsored in part by CM Kallos.  Free, but do reserve a place:  nyclassical.org/earnest 

And then:

THURSDAY, JULY 4th:  HAPPY JULY 4th!!

North, South, East & West, Across the Nation

Enjoy family!!  Laze around!!  Barbecue up a storm!!  Head over to the Esplanade for prime fireworks viewing!! 

Monday, July 8th to Friday, July 12th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session One, Ages 9 – 12, 8:30am – 3PM  

&

Monday, July 15th to Friday, July 19th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session Two, Ages 6 – 8, 9am-12pm 

At the Museum, 421 East 61st Street

And we quote, “This summer, just for two weeks, your children, ages 6-12 can travel back in time and experience daily life in 19th Century New York City”!  Think gardening and discovering weird but relevant 19th-century science and technology, making and and eating food from the time,!!  Same for games and arts 19th Century style!!  Session One – $275.  Session Two – $200.    For more and to register

Thursday, July 13th:  Harlem Creek Walking Tour

Meet at Central Park West at 100th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

And we quote, “Join urban explorer Steve Duncan in finding Harlem Creek’s buried path through Central Park to the Harlem Muir as Steve explains how the waterway functions today!!”  Another great NYC H2O outing!  $30.  For details and to sign up

Wednesday, July 26th:  Annual Hearst Fellows Symposium at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Join  this year’s great young history scholars as they present their original research on the New York City of the 1830’s!!  Funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.   Adults, $8.  Seniors & students, $7.  Free to members.  

Some victories on the activist trail:

Looks like plans to not only build a pipeline through the Mojave Desert but extract water from it have been defeated in court!! 

Hammer naughty landfills to the max, we say,  be they in NYS or anywhere in the world

Then some just plain miscellany:

The newly renovated – as in $5M worth of improvements – John Jay Park Pool is open for the summer season!!  (Thanks for making it happen, CM Kallos!!)

Central Park’s renovated Belvedere Castle’s just re-opened, too…  A renovation complete with geo-thermal heating/cooling system!!   

Lost hikers…  Stranded kayakers… Another active week for our NYS Forest Rangers

NYS’s busily building 12 artificial reefs off the shores of Long Island, the largest expansion of artificial reefs in state history!!  The objective:  To improve New York’s diverse marine life and boost Long Island’s recreation, sport fishing, and diving industries!!

We’re also leading the charge on combating invasive species threatening the Great Lakes!!

The NYS Hike of the Month is…  The Jay Mountain Trail with some of the most beautiful scenery in all the Northeast!!   (At 2.5 miles, the trail reaches the ridge of Jay Mountain, where a short spur leads to an overlook with a spectacular 360-degree scenic view. The High Peaks, Whiteface Mountain, Ausable River Valley, Lake Champlain. and the Green Mountains of Vermont can all be seen from this vantage point.)

Eco car washing wisdom

Is that sunscreen of yours still effective…?

NYS’s taking on invasive giant hogweed

Especially fine critters:

Those mascara wands you’ve been bringing to Greenmarket?  Here’s one of the tiny furrinesses they’re helping to keep clean:

Baby Opposum

Pink, the Orphaned Baby Opossum

Thanks to reader Jack Donaghy for the photo of this amazing cat:

Amazing Cat

giant squid attacks

Yes, heat stresses fish, too, and here’s how those who fish can help!! 

Plenty of fish info in the current Hudson River Almanac, too:

6/15 – Queens, New York City: While seining Little Bay this afternoon, adjacent to the Throgs Neck Bridge, the Alley Pond Park Environmental Center teachers (Kaitlyn and Anna) caught, measured, and released a young-of-year white mullet (Mugil curema) (42 mm). Also found in their net were mummichogs, shore shrimp, and eastern mud snails. The water temperature was 67 degrees F and the salinity was 25.0 ppt. – Peter Park

mullet

That White Mullet

Then there’s The NYS Fish of the Week:

6/18– Hudson River Watershed: Week 27 for Fish-of-the-Week is the northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis), number 195 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. (If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.)

Northern Sennet

A Northern Sennet

A sure-fire way to regain the attention of students, while seining in the river, is to calmly mention that “We have barracuda in the Hudson!” The northern sennet is, in fact, a barracuda, one of two members of that family (Sphyraenidae) in the estuary (we will cover the other attention-getting member next week). Unless they ask, we generally don’t tell that these barracudas max out at 18-inches-long, hardly the great barracuda (S. barracuda) that can grow to more than six-feet-long. Northern sennet are found in coastal waters from Cape Cod to Florida and are an apex predator in their own right. Those we catch in beach seines, however rarely, are usually young-of-year measuring just 3-5-inches.  –  Tom Lake

And another fascinating ancient artifact spotted along the river shoreline:

6/16 – Wallkill River, HRM 77: It was twenty years ago today, as I walked along the edge of a fallow cornfield listening to the “witchity-witchity-witchity” song of the common yellowthroat, that I spotted a piece of gray stone (chert) slightly protruding from a crack in the dry earth. It was the thin edge of a small projectile point, 47 x 25 (mm), staring up at me having partially eroded from the soil. I had found a very old Indian spear point that was later stylistically-dated to c. 12,500 years ago. The implications reconfirmed our sense of the incredible time-depth of our Hudson Valley. – Tom Lake

spear point

That Spear Point

[This stone artifact was a Barnes-type fluted spear point, a style that originated in southwestern Ontario about 12,500 calendar years ago. However, the lithic material came from a bedrock quarry in Sussex County, NJ, nearly 500 miles to the southeast. These fluted points predate “arrowheads” by eleven thousand years and are a diagnostic tool of what archaeologists believe were the first of us, called Paleoindian, to enter the Hudson Valley. The Wallkill River Valley was a seasonal passageway for these hunter-gatherers from Ontario, through the Mohawk River Valley, then south along the Hudson River, stopping at stone quarries along the way and following game herds into northern New Jersey.  – Tom Lake]

There’s green in that Pride flag,

UGS

 

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Happy National Squirrel Week, UESiders!!

Syncs really well with ongoing National Outdoors and National Pollinators Months!!

(It’s National Rose and Adopt-a-Cat Months, as well…  And World Sea Turtle Day!!)  

sea turtle

Hold those five thoughts as we launch into the last spring of 2019 week:

Saturday, June 15th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Ballard Honey, Bread Alone, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with Consider Bardwell items) and, Gayeski Farms!!

Yes and lucky us… The master Knife Shaprner’s with us again!!

Yes, CM Kallos was MIA last Saturday with a sudden and bad bug, but he’ll be scheduling a new date for the next installment of Cooking with Kallos!!    In the meantime, we’re feeling doubly bad for him missing out on Cherry Lane’s first-of-the-season strawberries…  Gayeski’s tiny and delicious new beets and greens…  Sikking’s amazing flowers…  All that and more that sold out by noon!!  

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  64 lbs batteries;  12 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   2 pairs eye glasses;  14  1/2 compost bins;  51 bags of clothes

Not-so-slowly but surely heading for 15 bins!!  

Tuesday, June 18th:  Every Other Tuesday Knitting Social

AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1480 York Avenue between 78th & 79th, 2-4pm

Quote, “Join Neighborhood Knitters for Crafting and Conversation!!”  (As everyone who’s ever wielded a stitch holder knows, knitters do like to chat!!)  And we’re talking equal opportunity knitting/crocheting…  Come on, guys…  You’re welcome, too!!  (Plenty of fellows at Club Cummings knitting events!!)  As are folks of all skill levels.  Just RSVP

Friday, June 21st: Cephalopod Movie Night

Caveat, 21A Clinton Street, 9pm

And we quote with relish, “Join the Science Friday crew to celebrate Cephalopod week with libations and an immersion into the underwater world of these strange, tentacled creatures!”  Co-sponsored by the wild, wonderful and weird folks of Atlas Obscura.  $28.  For more (and there is more) and tickets

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Market Re-Opens!!

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

Returning with the market will be the great American Pride Seafoord, Sikking Flowers, Central Bakery, Consider Bardwell, Sun Fed Beef, Meredith’s Bakery, NS Wager’s Cider Mill and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures and Sun Fed Beef Farms!!

Let the countdown begin!!

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred–A-Thon – So-Glad-You’re-Back 92nd Street Edition

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

The last Shred-A-Thon till fall, folks!!

As always:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Hold on to your hardcovers for the time being!!)

Can’t say it enough…Thank you, CMs Kallos and Powers and AM Seawright, for your generous grants!!

Tuesday, June 25th:  NYC Audubon Bird Trivia Night 

The Gray Mare 61 Second Avenue, 6:30-8:30PM

Audubon’s email instructs “Bring your own team of four or flock with others as we test how much you really know about our feathered friends—in the field and in pop culture!!”   Yes, show “owl your bird knowledge and even win prizes!!”  $20.  To register (required)… 

Saturday, June 29th:  Free Bike Helmet Event

First Avenue Loop, Playground 9, between 16th and 18th Streets, 11am-2:30pm 

Stay safe when biking around town with a custom-fit, free bike helmet. Helmets are required by New York State Law for cyclists who are 13 years old and younger, and they make for a safe trip.  Certified representatives will be available to make sure your fit is just right.  Sponsored by CM Keith Powers!!  For more, contact the CM’s office:  212-818-0580…

Hello,  July:

Monday, July 8th to Friday, July 12th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session One, Ages 9 – 12, 8:30am – 3PM  

&

Monday, July 15th to Friday, July 19th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session Two, Ages 6 – 8, 9am-12pm 

At the Museum, 421 East 61st Street

And we quote, “This summer, just for two weeks, your children, ages 6-12 can travel back in time and experience daily life in 19th Century New York City”!  Think gardening and discovering weird but relevant 19th-century science and technology, making and and eating food from the time,!!  Same for games and arts 19th Century style!!  Session One – $275.  Session Two – $200.    For more and to register

Thursday, July 13th:  Harlem Creek Walking Tour

Meet at Central Park West at 100th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

And we quote, “Join urban explorer Steve Duncan in finding Harlem Creek’s buried path through Central Park to the Harlem Muir as Steve explains how the waterway functions today!!”  Another great NYC H2O outing!  $30.  For details and to sign up

This week’s activist opportunities:

Should you oppose the cuts/total defunding/elimination of the federal Land and Water Conservation fund

Happily, Wendy’s a few and far between in NYC,..  Still, if you support the chain serving up antibiotic-free burgers... 

And we’re totally Kroger-less, but we could be in favor of the chain eliminating food grown with presticides

Closer to home, if you think NYS should categorize fracking waste –  from PA – as hazardous so it can no longer be disposed of in our landfills or – whose crazy idea was this? –  used as a road de-icer… 

Then…  Should you think NYS ought to pass the Birds and Bees Protective Act (as in protection from climate change and pesticides)…

In the miscellany file:

Dealing with fracking waste shouldn’t be so hard in a state as committed to disposing of unwanted/obsolete chemicals and pesticides as ours…  Case and point!!

Really impressive that – among its myriad activities – NYS’s studying ocean acidification

Who knew NYS gives licenses in falconry…  Or wildlife rehabilitation…  Or leashed tracking dogs…

Per usual, NYS Conservation Officers have had a full dance card…  Including a person from Queens breaching a beaver dam

That while NYS Forest Rangers contended with lost hikers, tons of training, a prescribed burn to encourage wildflower growth and more

Sasquatch sighting in NYS…??!!

An impressive number of NYC’s remaining wooden houses are located on the UESide!! 

And now, les animaux:

Check out the birdlife spotted in Schurz Park

Not exactly warm and fuzzy, but how about a perfectly preserved 30,000-year-old wolf head

Returning to the subject of sea turtles:   These are air-breathing reptiles that have existed for over 100 million years, spend the majority of their lives in the ocean and can migrate up to thousands of miles a year!!

Baby sea turtle

Canada’s just banned all captive dolphins and whales

Results of the 2019 Great Fish Count are in and the Hudson River Almanac’s got ’em from all around NYC: 

6/1 – Hudson River Tidewater: Today’s 5th annual World Science Festival’s Great Fish Count was held at 18 different locations along the greater New York City waterways. Participation totaled 1,637 attendees, along with our scientists and educators.

This year, we added four new species to our event’s four-year total that now stands at 42: golden shiner from Fort Washington Park, bluegill sunfish at Yonkers, naked goby at Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, and northern puffer from Kaiser Beach, Brooklyn. Altogether, our field teams caught 803 fishes from 26 species. Noteworthy were 58 young-of-year winter flounder, 20 spot, and 109 young-of-year Atlantic tomcod. Across the 18 sites, salinity ranged from 30.0 parts-per-thousand (ppt) at Kaiser Beach in Coney Island to lightly brackish 6.0 ppt at Englewood (NJ). Water temperature ranged from a low of 63 degrees Fahrenheit (F) at both Englewood and Pier 5 on the East River, to a high of 75 degrees F in a tidal pond off Lemon Creek in Staten Island. – Margie Turrin, Laurel Zaima (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

[Young-of-year (YOY) is a label we frequently use to describe the multitude of recently hatched fauna found in the Hudson River each spring-through-fall. The progeny of shad, river herring, striped bass, white perch, blue crabs, shrimp, jellyfish, and many others, are present by the many millions. We note young-of-year fishes as a way of creating a historic record of length-at-age, often measuring their dimensions as millimeters (mm). Collectively, these data are a good measure of recruitment success and the health of fish populations. – Tom Lake]

6/1 – Manhattan, HRM 11: Our seining at Fort Washington Park for the Great Fish Count was very productive. We netted an assortment of YOY winter flounder, summer flounder, an Atlantic silverside, many bay anchovies, YOY bluefish, and small striped bass. We found a dead adult Atlantic menhaden on the beach showing claw marks, indicating a likely osprey drop. Salinity was 10.0 ppt. – Margie Turrin

6/1 – Manhattan: For the Great Fish Count, we invited the public to help us check our research sampling gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25. While the catch lacked diversity, it did not lack quality. We had collected four large tautog (blackfish), measuring 235, 250, 315, and 320 mm in length. – Siddhartha Hayes, Toland Kister

Lilac

The Lilac

6/1 – Brooklyn, New York City: For the Great Fish Count, my students and I used a tried-and-true approach: rod and reel fishing off Pier 5 in the East River at the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy Park. In 90 minutes of hook-and-line angling with sandworms, we caught and released three remarkable fish, a foot-long bluefish and two striped bass (16.5-17.5-inches). All were released. The water was 63 degrees F, and the salinity was 17.0 ppt. – Peter Park

6/1 – Brooklyn, New York City: Our seining effort in the East River at the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy Park for the Great Fish Count resulted in our first northern pipefish and bluefish of the season. Other highlights included tautog, Atlantic tomcod, and a surprise alewife. It was also unexpected that we caught no bay anchovies or Atlantic silverside. We did catch six YOY herring that we decided were Atlantic menhaden. Invertebrates included YOY blue crab, ribbed mussels, soft shell clam, periwinkle, mud snail, shore shrimp, and sand shrimp. Salinity was 17.51 ppt. –  Peter Park, Haley McClanahan, Isa Del Bello, Christina Tobitsch

6/1 – Staten Island, New York City: We seined at two different habitats at Lemon Creek Park today for the Great Fish Count. We made three hauls off a beach, and among our catch were YOY herring (80), possibly a mix of Atlantic menhaden and river herring, bay anchovies, Atlantic silverside, small blue crabs, sand shrimp (Crangon septemspinosa), and hermit crabs. The water was 70 degrees F, and the salinity was 18.0 ppt.

We also made three hauls in a tidal pond adjacent to the beach. There, the water was 75 degrees F, and the salinity was 19.0 ppt. Our catch included four-spine sticklebacks (Apeltes quadracus), mummichogs, striped killifish, Atlantic silverside, blue crabs, shore shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.), and two very interesting American eels. Both were small (50 mm), very dark, and relatively plump. They had been eating well. – Chris Bowser, Carl Alderson, Lisa Rosman

6/1 – Queens, New York City: Our seining contribution to the Great Fish Count was held at Fort Totten, at Little Bay, just east of the Throgs Neck Bridge. We netted six species of fish, including 48 YOY Atlantic Tomcod (60-82 mm), 45 Atlantic silverside (80-100 mm), two northern pipefish, a tautog, and a mummichog. However, the sixth species was the most exciting: two YOY (22-30 mm) Atlantic croakers (Micropogonias undulates). Croakers are one of seven members of the drum family (Sciaenidae) found in our watershed. Others included northern kingfish, spot, black drum, freshwater drum, silver perch, and weakfish. The water temperature was 65 degrees F, and the salinity was 25.0 ppt.

Atlatnic Croaker

An Atlantic Croaker

Invertebrates collected included blue crab (some were soft-shelled), shore shrimp, sand shrimp, long-wristed hermit crab, and eastern mud snail. – Peter Park

6/7 – Manhattan: To close out our sampling week, we returned to check our research gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25. The traps and pots were brimming with fish! Among the highlights were four oyster toadfish (47.5 – 260 mm), two tautog (180 and 310 mm), two white perch (225 and 255 mm), and one feisty, little, black sea bass (55 mm).  – Siddhartha Hayes, Melissa Rex, Toland Kister

sea bass

That Feisty, Little Black Sea Bass

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

That fish being the black drum:

black drum

A Black Drum and Fisherman

The black drum is found in coastal waters and estuaries from Massachusetts to Argentina but are considered uncommon north of Delaware Bay. While black drum was not unknown from the lower river and New York Harbor, their presence had diminished significantly in the last century.

Black drum feed largely on mollusks and crustaceans using their many, long, chin barbels to navigate and find prospective food items. They favor shellfish beds; perhaps their resurrection in the estuary is a subtle indication of the return and vitality of oysters in the lower river and New York Harbor. Hildebrand and Schroder (Fishes of Chesapeake Bay) comment that schools of black drum have been known to cause great damage to oyster beds.

A black drum presence was confirmed and added to our watershed fish list in August 2010 when an adult, weighing nearly 30 pounds, was found on a beach at Piermont, river mile 25 (black drum can reach 111 pounds). Since then, we have collected several juvenile black drum in the estuary, from Piermont to Staten Island, for the first time in at least the last half-century. – Tom Lake

No, we’re not forgetting that today’s Flag Day…

American Flag

UGS

 

 

 

 

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