Do UESiders want compost their collection back?? Head for CM Menin’s/District 5’s Participatory Budgeting site and endorse the “Bring Back Compost Collection” proposal: https://www.participate.nyc.gov/processes/ccdistrict5/f/156/proposals/1046

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Happy 32 and Below, UESiders!!

Another wintry weather market shopping challenge… 

But we hardy Manhattan folks are up to it and more:

Saturday, January 22nd:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket
82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

With us will be frost-impervious friends of American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey,  Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

(But, yup, Walnut Ridge’s still on vacay and more minus 32 weather with attendant cheese damage will have Valley Shepherd absent another week…)

Maestra Altamonta Manageria Margaret adds:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

Indeed, another cold winter weekend lies ahead…

Warm yourself up by supporting your local farmers at the Greenmarket!!

Cup of delicious, hot cider in hand for strategic sipping, stock up with staples like milk, eggs and bread…  Then consider winter treats for the coming week…   Maybe an apple pie?   Or some apples to bake at home?  Or winter squash for soup? Or a nice roast (to follow up on last week’s delicious turkey)?? 

Or how about all of the above??!!


As always, please respect the no parking signs and leave space for farmers to park and set up…

And  do keep yourselves and your neighbors safe by masking up and keeping a safe distance apart!!

See you at the market,

Margaret

Further on the live-and-in-person score:

Saturday, February 19th:  Conference House Park Volunteer Clean-Up

298 Satterlee Boulevard, Staten Island, mont Place, Queens, 10am-12pm

A clean-up, yes, but also a chance to get to know one of our city’s unique landscapes…  Think clay bluffs and some of the terminal moraine formed when the Wisconsin Glacier receded some 10,000 year ago!!  Organized by the ever amazing NYC H20, CM Joe Borelli,  the National Resources Protective Association, Assistant Park Director David Church and local community gardeners!!  All equipment supplied…   Just be wearing your mask!!  For more, directions and to sign up… 

Add some great virtual events:

January through March:  Discover the Fun of Fungi with the NY Botanical Garden

A class covering our own Catskill varieties…  A class instructing us how to grow our own…  Another detailing those with medicinal qualities…  And yet another devoted to evolving industrial uses for mushrooms and beyond!!  From $45 to $59 for NYBG members to $49 to $69 for non-members…  For more and to register

Wednesday & Thursday, January 26th & 27th, 3-7:30pm:  White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council Virtual Meeting via Zoom 

And we quote, “The meeting is open to all members of the public who are encouraged to provide comments relevant to the specific issues being considered by WHEJAC that include potential solutions and recommendations.”  Can’t be anything but interesting…  Especially the public comments!!  For details…  And to register… 


Thursday, January 27th, 6pm:  “Horsing Around the Upper East Side with Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District” via Zoom 

Historian Lucie Levine takes us on a journey from gilded Fifth Avenue mansions to once-upon-a-time carriage houses (usually sited east of Lex) and their evolution to private garages or/and private homes…  Then onto the armories that once housed mounted regiments and the horse troughs that still serve the carriage trade on Central Park South!!   Yup, horsepower’s long shaped the architectural fabric of the Upper East Side!!  Organized by Friends of UES Historic Districts.  Free but donations welcome!!  To sign up

Saturday,  January 29th, 11am-12pm:  Teaching Dogs New Behaviors

Monday, January 31st, 7-8:30pm:  Leafless or Winter Tree Identification with Dendrologist Carey Russell via Zoom

Believe it or not, Tree identification without the assistance of leaves is far easier than you think!! That is, if you know what to look for…  Like buds, twigs, bark, leaf scars and more!!  Join dendrologist (an expert in identifying woody plants) Carey Russell online, develop your naturalist’s eye and hone your year round tree ID skills!!  Organized by RI’s great iDig2Learn!!  Free.  To sign on/up:  idig2learn@gmail.com (subject: “Trees”!!)… 

Trees 1/31/22 7pm

              
 Activism-of-the-Week being:

Should you believe Alaska’s Tongass National Forrest’s – home to an 800-year old tree – roadless status should be restored… 

Or if you object to cosmetic research testing on animals

Or if you think Proctor & Gamble should cease mining old growth forests to produce Charmin

Moving on to the realm of diverting diversions: 

Central Park as an official living climate lab…  Latest UES architectural depredation…  NYTimes on the so interesting sprint to a Covid vaccine…  Harper Lee’s UES apartment up for rent…  Canines in the Coast Guard…   An 800-year old penny…  A new tarantula species discovered  A great horned owl nesting in January (okay, in Georgia, but still!)…  OSinclair Lewis and “Main Street’s centenary…  NJ Governor Murphy signs a bill limiting neonicotinoid use!!  (NYS’s bill seems to hanging out in committee)…  Return of moose to NYState (with moose facts!) (scroll down to page 8)…   The MTA, recent incidents and platform doors…   Why we and birds migrating through NYC need further building glass upgrades (scroll to page 4)…  Where Oliver Twist once asked for gruel still stands (would it here?)…  The internet and rat poison…   For once, mosquitos to the rescue…  Sources for amazing seeds…  A Manhattan community garden’s fate…  IDing winter critter tracks

Followed by the latest Hudson River Almanac:

1/9 – Newburgh-Beacon:  It was dead low tide in late afternoon on May 16, 2020. We were striped bass fishing in the Hudson River just south of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. The river was calm and 56 degrees Fahrenheit (F). We spotted a fish that seemed lethargic swimming alongside our boat, and we scooped it up with our landing net. Laying it down next to a scale, it measured 21.5 inches long. We thought it was a brown trout, a delicate fish not fond of being handled, so we released it quickly back into the river.
                                                                               Atlantic salmon
                                                                            That Male Atlantic Salmon

Recently, John Vargo, a writer for Hudson Valley Boating magazine, contacted me to ask what the strangest thing is that I have encountered while fishing on the Hudson River. I told him about the fish we caught in May 2020, that may have been a trout or salmon, and sent him a photo.  – Chris Palmer, David Fenner

[Chris also sent us the photo and his story. It may have never generated more than casual interest until we recognized the fish as a male Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Our immediate question was, where did the salmon come from?

The presence of Atlantic salmon in the Hudson River estuary is a long and complex story beginning with initial prospects that they were a native, but then extirpated, species. There are questionable sightings from Henry Hudson’s 17th century voyage and then the failed 19th century attempts by the New York Fisheries, Game, and Forest Commission and the United State Fish Commission at establishing a lasting spawning population. Nelson Cheney asserts (The Hudson River as a Salmon Stream 1898), that Atlantic salmon were never native to the watershed due to a lack of suitable spawning habitat and summer water temperatures that would be too warm for immature salmon (smolts).

As for Chris Palmer and David Fenner’s fish, Tim Wildman (Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection) believes this Atlantic salmon was a hatchery-reared fish that passed downstream in the Naugatuck River past Kinneytown Dam, into Long Island Sound, and then made the rather short journey to the Hudson River. – Tom Lake]1/8 – Saratoga County: I came upon a large flock of several hundred horned larks that included at least one Lapland longspur and two snow buntings in a field in Northumberland. – Gregg Recer, Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club

Horned lark
A Horned Lark

1/12 – Manhattan: Our Hudson River Park’s River Project staff checked our sampling and collection gear that we deploy off Pier 40 in Hudson River Park. Winter hauls had shifted our expectations from quantity to quality, as it was today when we found a young-of-last-year black sea bass (65 millimeters (mm)) in our fish trap. – Toland Kister, Anna Todd

Black sea bass
That Black Sea Bass

1/13 – Yonkers, HRM 18: Robert Hothan recently came upon a different kind of seashell laying on the beach at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak. Taking a good photo, Beczak Naturalist and Educator Jason Muller, with assistance from Bob Walters, began an inquiry as to its identification and where it may have come from.

                                                                           Marine gastropod mollusk
                                                                                That Shell!!
On the face of it, the shell did not look “local” in any way; it resembled an out-of-place tropical mollusk. However, given the relatively recent appearance of tropical fishes in the estuary (Atlantic tarpon and lyre goby), dismissing such finds was not good science. 

Our go-to expert on such aquatic questions is Kathy Schmidt. Kathy’s best guess for the shell was Turritella sp. a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks, in the family Turritellidae. The most likely species was T. leucostoma, most often found in the Gulf of California. Our collective opinion was that someone’s shell collection was “released” on the beach.

[Coming upon out-of-place items on Hudson River beaches has a long and storied history. It has not been rare to find ocean sharks and other far-away marine fishes left on beaches either by anglers returning from off-shore charters, or even by pranksters.

Commercial vessels that use the river arrive from ports all over the World. It is not at all uncommon to find items on the beach such as coconuts and food packaging with origins in the tropics of Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, perhaps even the Gulf of California, having been jettisoned by the crew. That may be a bit of a stretch in this instance, but it is also good scientific policy to never say never. – Tom Lake]

1/14 – New York Bight: A recent article in the Chesapeake Bay Journal mentioned an unusually large intrusion into the New York Bight of brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus). While the presence of these commercial shrimp is not news, the numbers would appear to be without precedent. Thus began an investigation of the increased presence of this species in waters adjacent to the Hudson River.
                                                                             Brown shrimp
                                                                     A Bunch of Brown Shrimp!!

Brown shrimp can reach nearly nine inches long and are found along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Texas, as well as along the Atlantic coast of Mexico. According to the most recent stock assessments, there are two stocks of brown shrimp: South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Almost all of the brown shrimp harvested in the United States come from the Gulf of Mexico, mainly from Texas and Louisiana. In 2020, landings of brown shrimp totaled 67 million pounds (NOAA).
             Brown shrimp courtesy of NOAA
                                                                  A Brown Shrimp Up Close

John Waldman contacted the captain of the Stony Brook Marine Sciences vessel who said they were trawling loads of brown shrimp this summer, for the first time ever, in Shinnecock and Peconic bays. A regional survey reported the shrimp to be “thick” at Cape Cod in September, where they had caught just one in 40 years. Biologist Neils Hobbs (University of Rhode Island) reported that during this past summer-fall (2021), brown shrimp were found in huge numbers in the salt ponds of southern Rhode Island. Reflecting on the potential effects of climate change, Hobbs added, “One wonders if the “Ghost of New England Future,” in terms of our crustacean fisheries, might be brown shrimp and blue crabs, with lobsters being the “Ghost of Christmas Past!”

Brown shrimp seems to have been a semi-regular visitor in the New York Bight and southern New England waters for a long time, as are many other southern species that wander up in small numbers, but inevitably fail to negotiate the historically cold New England winters. Questions abound: Is it a permanent climate-driven expansion or the result of an extraordinary recruitment?  And what are the food web implications? What does this 2021 “surge” of Penaeus aztecus represent?

Finally, we investigated records of brown shrimp in the Hudson River, in part, by searching the archives of the Hudson River Almanac. Volume VII (2000) reported a single Penaeus aztecus (80 mm) caught on September 18, 2000, at Nyack Beach State Park (river mile 31). The next day, seventeen miles downriver at Englewood, NJ, we caught one more. The two shrimp were identified by New York State Museum ichthyologist Bob Daniels.

More recently, from Hudson River Almanac Volume XIV (2007), we found, “While seining though wild celery beds at Nyack Beach State Park on September 21, we caught a single Penaeus aztecus (>100 mm, antennae-to-telson).”

Additionally, Boyce Thompson Institute’s, An Atlas of the Biologic Resources of the Hudson Estuary (1977), notes encountering Penaeus sp., in the estuary with no further details.

Collectively, these records indicate their presence in the estuary, but as an extremely rare occurrence. – Tom LakeNot forgetting the Fish of the Week:

1/11 –  Fish-of-the-Week for Week 155 is the whitefin sharksucker (Echeneis neucratoides), number 174 (of 236) on our watershed list of fishes.
                                                                     Whitefin sharksucker                                                                                                                             A Whitefin Sharksucker (!)

The whitefin sharksucker is one of two Remoras (Echeneidae) documented for the Hudson River estuary. The other is the live sharksucker (E. naucrates). They are both categorized as temperate marine strays. The whitefin sharksucker is an ocean species that is found from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico and through the Caribbean. They can reach three feet in length. They can be a free-swimming fish but will frequently attach themselves with an adhesive disc on their heads to large fish such as sharks and sturgeon. By hitching a ride, they can often feed on scraps of food (leftovers) discarded by their hosts or feed on ectoparasites that attach to the skin of their hosts.

The story of the whitefin sharksucker in the Hudson River is filled with drama, intrigue, and mystery. The species was originally recorded from New York Harbor by Samuel Latham Mitchill (1817) and James Ellsworth DeKay (1842). One record noted as occurring a “considerable distance up the Hudson River.” Since the taxonomy (classification) of the remoras at that time was unsettled, doubts about the identification of Mitchill’s and DeKay’s fish did not make our species list.

The story of its addition to our fish list begins in the autumn of 1864. Abraham Lincoln was the president of the United State and Horatio Seymour was governor of New York State. Lincoln had granted Yosemite Valley to California for “public use,” and Congress passed the Coinage Act, mandating the inscription “In God We Trust” to be placed on all coins (currency) minted as United States. America had just endured the Civil War Battle of Atlanta and Union general William Tecumseh Sherman would soon begin his infamous 285 mile scorched-earth march to Savannah and the sea. Typhoid fever was claiming thousands of Americans.

In September 1864, a fisherman at Sing Sing, a village in Westchester County that would have its name changed to Ossining in 1901, captured a fish in the Hudson River that seemed different to him. We have speculated that this sharksucker was attached to, or had recently dropped off of, an Atlantic sturgeon. The fish finally ended up in the New York State Museum collection as catalog number 11429, where it stayed for 151 years.

In 2015, New York State Museum Curator Dr. Jeremy Wright came upon catalog number 11429 (specimen) while going through the museum’s fish collection. Jeremy and Dr. Bob Schmidt identified it as a whitefin sharksucker (Echeneis neucratoides). Thus, after 151 years, the whitefin sharksucker became species number 225 on our list of Hudson River Watershed Fishes. – Tom Lake And this week’s great and amazingly non-nocturnal bird:

image of Northern Night Hawk by B. N.  Singh, flickr

The Northern Hawk Owl!!

As of today, sunset’s after 5pm,

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  Beekeeping’s going urban and corporate!!

Eco Tip of the Week:  Recycle your empty ink cartridges at either Best Buy, 86th & Lex  or Staples, Lex between 86th & 87th!!

 

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Happy Another Brisk Market Saturday, UESiders!!

Not that we’ll let a little thing like totally frigid weather deter a journey to 82nd Street!!

To wit:

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

82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

With us will be the hale and hearty fishermen/bakers/farmers of American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

(You recall, Walnut Ridge’s on vacay till mid-February, right?  And, yet again, freezing temps and its harm to cheese will be keeping Valley Shepherd home on the farm.)

But let’s let Granda Manageria Margaret bring us totally up to date:

Dear Greenmarketeers, 

Indeed, the forecast is for very cold temps on Saturday, but we’re expecting most of our hardy farmers to be at their market tables so, please, be a true Winter Warrior and come out and shop/support them!!

My strategy: Stop #1…The info tent for a well deserved punch on that Winter Warrior card.  Stop #2… Then get a hot cider to stay warm while cruising market tables for local specialties…  Like the plentiful storage crops and hardy greens…   The fabulous apples and baked goods… New York’s freshest seafood…  And those great center-of- the-plate options…  Beef, pork and duck!!

In fact, why not try roasting a whole duck??  A great project to keep you busy and warm and with a delicious result, i.e.:


        (For the recipe: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7961-easy-roast-duck)

Of course, I’d be masked and respecting other shoppers’ personal space while I’m shopping and between cider sips!! 

Speaking of space…  Our farmers – who travel such a long way – really do need places to park and set while they’re with us on 82nd Street…  So, please, note the no parking areas and keep them clear!!

Be warm and healthy,

Margaret

Meanwhile…

As we cross fingers for the day when composting returns to 82nd Street and more, feast your eyes on late 2021 totals for the UESide’s one and only collection point at 96th and Lex: 

DateDrop-offsBinsWeight (lbs)
9/317061,233
9/1022071,557
9/1721571,529
9/2422371,574
10/121171,528
10/820071,449
10/1520571,478
10/2221071,484
10/2925071,759
11/526071,862
11/1218061,342
11/1923581,660
11/26CLOSED DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
12/322871,529

(Can’t wait to lay eyes on year-end grand totals!!) 

Moving on to another actual/live-in-person happenings:

Saturday, February 5th: Volunteer Landscaping at Lemon Creek Park

Meet at the Lemon Creek Tidal Wetlands Area, Direnzo Ct, Staten Island, 10am-12:30pm

Lend a hand as NYC H2O and NYS DEC clear invasive wisteria from the banks of one of NYC’s last remaining ground-level creeks…  A refuge for migrating birds and wetlands flora and fauna!!  All equipment provided.  Just bring yourself and your mask!!   For more and to sign up

 Then there’re events virtual:

Tuesday, January 18th, 6-8pm:  New Year’s Resolution Virtual Compost Workshop – Compost More.  Waste Less via Zoom

Learn composting art from the best…  That being the folks of Lower East Side Ecology Center!!  Free.  For more and to sign up...

Wednesday & Thursday, January 26th & 27th, 3-7:30pm:   White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council Virtual Meeting via Zoom

And we quote, “The meeting is open to all members of the public who are encouraged to provide comments relevant to the specific issues being considered by WHEJAC that include potential solutions and recommendations.”  Can’t be anything but interesting…  Especially the public comments!!  For details…  And to register

Saturday, January 29th, 11am-12pm:  Teaching Dogs New Behaviors 
                    
Monday, January 31st, 7-8:30pm:  Leafless or Winter Tree Identification with Dendrologist Carey Russell via Zoom

Believe it or not, Tree identification without the assistance of leaves is far easier than you think!! That is, if you know what to look for…  Like buds, twigs, bark, leaf scars and more!!  Join dendrologist (an expert in identifying woody plants) Carey Russell online, develop your naturalist’s eye and hone your year round tree ID skills!!  Organized by RI’s great iDig2Learn!!  Free.  To sign on… Trees 1/31/22 7pm

Moving on to the diverting diversion file (heavy on the “hows”):

How to reuse your KN95s (especially good)…   How the NYState budget’s drawn up (whoa!!)…  How did we miss Save the Eagles Day, January 10th…  How trees thrive in winter cold…   What our NYS Forest Rangers have been up to of late…  And our NYS Environmental Conservation Officers…  Learn to recreate ancient recipes…  30 sustainability podcasts…  How to clean your flat screen TV...  How to select the right cat tree (!)…  Cats and satellilte dishes…  New Jersey and Campbell’s Tomato Soup…  Blue jay feathers…  Our year of extreme weather mapped

Add a tidbit of activism:

Should you think it’s wise to ban single-use plastics from our National Parks

And if you believe Penn Station can be restored without destroying the surrounding neighborhood...

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac:

12/18 – Hudson River Watershed: The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the nation’s longest running citizen-science effort and is held throughout the Americas at year’s end. This season’s suite of CBC’s is the 122nd.

The Christmas Bird Count replaced the Victorian era “side-shoot,” an event in which guests went out to shoot as many different bird and mammal species as one could on Christmas Day.  In 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman organized a group of friends to observe, count and share information about bird species without shooting them. That first year, 27 observers took part in the count in 25 places in the United States and Canada. The count totaled 18,500 individual birds belonging to 90 species. The National Audubon Society, which Chapman helped organize, now sponsors this annual tradition. – Rich Guthrie

12/18 – Brooklyn, New York City: Our Christmas Bird Count is always a great deal of fun; this one was drizzly, but rather warm along the north shore of Jamaica Bay. Highlights were a pair of distant snowy owls, a peregrine falcon, several northern harriers, and a tutorial on sparrow identification from some genuine experts. – Dave Taft

12/21 – Manhattan: The Randall’s Island Park Alliance began a successful Christmas Bird Count with a peregrine falcon soaring overhead. Jacob Drucker led our count and got an early head start quickly spotting a ruddy turnstone and an Iceland gull. Our core group of seven birders counted 2,509 birds from 38 species (up from 25 in 2020) across Randall’s Island. Thanks to our expert birders, we did see a few that we might not have been able to identify. We saw no owls on our count, but there was photographic evidence of a snowy owl on Randall’s Island in early December. – Jackie Wu

image.png
A Ruddy Turnstone!!

12/24 – Brooklyn:  It was Christmas Eve Day at Floyd Bennett Field, and the hollies were bursting with berries. Earlier, I got to watch several harriers and a kestrel working the grasslands management area. Looking out the window just now, I spotted a harrier wafting by buoyantly just yards away. I had a nice view of the white rump-patch on this immature bird. It must have been its way of wishing me a happy holiday season. – Dave Taft

image.png
A Northern Harrier

12/25 – Manhattan: Autumn had turned to winter. The aquatic creatures in the Hudson River Park’s River Project sampling and collection gear that they deploy off Pier 40 was diminishing in both numbers and diversity. However, two aquatic invertebrates, a mix of colonial hydroids and bushy/branching colonies of bryozoans, were growing and collecting like weeds on their gear. To many of us, these are extremely complex and nearly unknowable life forms. Our expert on them is Toland Kister, who will present each group beginning with the colonial hydroids. – Tom Lake

Colonial hydroids are aquatic animals belonging to the taxonomic class Hydrozoa within the subphylum Cnidaria (alongside jellyfish and corals). Individually, they are very small, predatory animals. Like coral, colonial hydroid colonies are made up of polyps. In solitary hydra, the original polyp produces buds that eventually separate and grow as new individuals. In colonial hydroids, these buds remain attached to the original polyp. As subsequent polyps continue to bud, a branching structure occurs. Individual hydroid polyps, also called zooids, take on specialized roles within the colony.

Gastrozooids, which tend to be the most common, are feeding polyps. They possess tentacles bearing nematocysts (stinging cells) that help to stun prey surrounding a mouth that they use to ingest food. Because individual zooids in a colony are all connected by a tube called a stolon, they are able to exchange food between individuals to support the colony.

Gonozooids are reproductive structures, lacking the tentacles of their gastrozooid neighbors. While these are the two primary zooids, many colonial hydroid species possess zooids that are even more specialized for colony defense and other purposes. Colonial hydroids feed on a wide variety of items from plankton to fish and other animals drifting in the water. – Toland Kister

12/26 – Little Stony Point: We walked the beach on the south side in the lee of the point sheltered from a frigid northwest wind. Much of the beach contained evidence of ice and tidal erosion and was dominated by light-colored granitic gravel, remnants of the early 20th century mining of Mount Taurus. Lying in the tide line, looking out of place, was a dark gray stone that had eroded from the river bank. A close inspection revealed that it was an artifact, a stone that had been altered by human hands. – Christopher T. Lake

Indian artifact
 That Artifact

(Christopher had walked into the world of archaeology coming upon a water-worn but still identifiable artifact (79 x 28 mm) that appeared to be a prehistoric utilitarian stone tool fashioned from dark gray chert, a hard sedimentary rock. Applying a principle of design—form follows function—we concluded that it was a hide scraper or a knife. One side had been ground to a sharp edge, the other was “backed” or dulled to fit a hand comfortably. Stone tools used for long-term, repetitive tasks, were fashioned for comfort. With the tool in hand, its contours suggested “handedness,” fitting much better in a right, rather than a left hand.

While such stone artifacts cannot be precisely dated outside of their original context, we could envision an indigenous Mohican filleting a white perch on this beach more than a thousand years ago. I thought of William Faulkner’s words, “The past is not dead. It even isn’t past.” The past is always with us. Tom Lake]

Time for the Fish of the Week:

12/27 – Fish-of-the-Week for Weeks 152-154 is the scrawled cowfish (Acanthostracion quadricornis), number 233 (of 236) on our watershed list of fishes.

Scrawled cowfish
    A Scrawled Cowfish

The scrawled cowfish is the sole member of its family, the boxfishes (Ostraciidae), in our watershed and are considered a temperate marine stray. They range along the eastern Atlantic from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico but are far more common in the warmer, southerly waters of their range. The boxfishes are a slow-moving bottom dweller easily recognizable by their bony armor of closely-fitted plates that cover most of their body. Adults can reach 19-inches in length.

The scrawled cowfish is on our watershed list of fishes from a single occurrence on August 1, 2001. This was a juvenile (19 mm) captured by Cathy Drew in a small mesh minnow trap at Pier 26 in Manhattan. The tiny fish was the size and shape of a small pea.

Bob Schmidt identified the scrawled cowfish as a new species for the Hudson River watershed. After some further analysis, it became obvious to us that this was also an undescribed life stage and was later published. –  Robert E. Schmidt and Thomas R. Lake

And This Week’s So Appropriate Bird:

image of Snow Geese by KQW, Shutterstock
The Snow Goose

As Restaurant Week (actually, more like month!!) looms, 

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  Over a million animals die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic. And they aren’t the only ones being affected by the plastics crisis. The average person eats a credit card’s worth of plastic every week!!  (Eeeek!!)

Eco Tip of the Week:  Recycle dead batteries of all kinds and placed in previously used ziplock bags at any Best Buy!!

 

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Happy 2022 Return of the 82nd Street Greenmarket, UESiders!!

No kidding…   Holidays or no, we’ve been longing for best beets and beet greens going and chocolate milk!!

To wit:

Saturday, January 8th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket
82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

At their tables will be our friends American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

To which Suprema Manageria Margaret adds:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

We’re back!!

Yes, Cherry Lane’s season’s over, Valley Shepherd is temporarily MIA due to present frigid temps and Walnut RIdge’s taking a break till February 19th… 

BUT…

You’ll recall, the great Nolasco Farm and their wonderful produce is returning and will be with us from this Saturday till late spring!! 

PLUS…

The rest of our great farmer/fisherman/baker line-up’s ready, willing and so happy to be back with us on 82nd!!   

THERE’S ANOTHER PLUS…

Winter Warrior – GrowNYC’s great frequent shopper program – officially begins this Saturday!!  Make sure you stop by the Info Tent to pick up your punch card and get started!!

AND AS ALWAYS…

Our thanks to UES neighbors for respecting the no parking signs and leaving space for farmers to park and set up!!


LAST BUT HARDLY LEAST…  

Given the current Covid surge, we’re once again asking all shoppers to wear masks while in the market area!!

Wishing one and all a great and healthy 2022,

Margaret

Add this to the live-and-in-person agenda:

Saturday & Sunday, January 8th & 9th:  MULCHFEST AT CARL SCHURZ PARK!!

86th Street and East End Avenue, 10am-2pm

Want to get hands on your very own free bag of mulch?? Then get that Christmas tree to Schurz Park this Saturday or Sunday!!  

FYI, we now separate garland from whatever’s holding it together and wreaths from their wire frames and bring the mini evergreen pieces up to Mulchfest, too!!  

On the virtual event front: 

At your convenience:  The Future of Cosmology

Cosmologist and Nobel Laureate Saul Perlmutter joins Brian Greene to discuss recently launched and upcoming space telescopes that have the capacity to revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos!!  Brought to us by the World Science Festival.  Free.  To view

Friday, January 8th, 2:30pm:  The Health Effects of Trees, Biodiversity & Global Climate Benefits via WBAI-99.5FMWBAI.org or www.ecoradio.org 

Paul Mankiewicz, PhD of Leafisland.org and The Gaia Institute and Tim Keating of Earthbilt.com and Rainforest Relief shed further light on the amazing environmental benefits our world enjoys thanks to trees.  Free.  

Wednesday, January 12th, 5:30-7:30pm:  Rat Academy Training for Community Gardeners

Wish it wasn’t so, of course, but the problem’s a NYC and UES reality (check the map)   Knowledge is power, folks!!  And the ladies of Rat Academy are great with info and support!!   Presented in partnership with the NY Botanical Garden.   Free.   To sign up…  (If you’ve spotted a problem and haven’t yet made a formal complaint…) 

Wednesday, January 12th, 7:30-8:30pm:  Offshore Wind Webinar via Zoom

Get the lowdown on NYState’s two current wind power projects, South Fork Wind and Sunrise Wind!!  Organized by the New York League of Conservation Voters and the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.  Free.  To register… 

Tuesday, January 18th, 6-8pm:  New Year’s Resolution Virtual Compost Workshop – Compost More.  Waste Less via Zoom

Learn composting art from the best…  That being the folks of Lower East Side Ecology Center!!  Free.  For more and to sign up

Get ready for the first activism of the new year:

If you believe Home Depot and Lowe’s should no longer carry Roundup

Should you think National Grid shouldn’t be building fracked gas facilities in Brooklyn… 

And/or remain opposed to the dumping of fracking waste water in NYState’s Delaware River… 

Moving on to this week’s diverting diversions:

As of January 1, 2022, polystyrene – AKA foam – containers are now totally banned in NYS!!…  If you’re not familiar with the Central Park Conservancy’s newsletter…   Or the great (quarterly) UWS (Upper West Side) Eco Letter…  NYTimes exhibit recommends…  Mushroom building bricks…  Ten UES “secrets”…  Perils of burning wood for heat…  Consumer Reports on home Covid tests…  More UES buildings coming down…  Yaks in NYState

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac :

12/7 – Town of Poughkeepsie: Both adults showed up for the first time this season today at bald eagle nest NY372. One was in the nest and the other was in the air. Later, they were perched side-by-side in a nearby hardwood. It appeared to be a promising start to their sixth nesting season.
                                                                     Bald eagles
                                                                                Those Eagles

[Among more than fifty Hudson River tidewater nests, bald eagle nest NY372 (nicknamed Tombstone) is a story of both persistence and heartache. The nest was first discovered by Dana Layton in 2015. However, it was not until the next year (2016) that the pair made their first attempt at nesting. That year was their first of three consecutive failed seasons (2016-2018). At the end of 2018, the original pair abandoned the nest.

With a vacant nest, another pair of adult eagles took over for 2019. The female of that pair had not quite reached maturity while the male was fully adult. The new pair did everything right their first year, laying and incubating eggs, conducting changeovers every few hours, but to no avail – there were no hatches for 2019. Then, in 2020, with the female now fully adult, they successfully fledged two young.

Continuing a roller-coaster series of seasons, all looked fine early last year (2021). Nesting started, incubation began, but then it stopped. By April, there were no adults in the nest – they were gone. Our guess is that something happened to the egg(s): broken, unfertilized, predation? There are always unanswered questions with abandoned bald eagle nests. – Tom Lake]

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

12/19 – Fish-of-the-Week for Week 150 is the speckled worm eel (Myrophis punctatus), number 22 (of 236) on our watershed list of fishes.
                                                                              Speckled worm eel
                                                                          Speckled Worm Eels!
The speckled worm eel is the sole member of the snake eel family (Ophichthidae) in our watershed. They are pale brown with a fine peppering of black spots on its back and sides.

The speckled worm eel is a benthic, secretive, shallow-water, often brackish estuarine species, frequenting tidal creeks, often over mud and sandy bottoms. They can reach fifteen inches in length and are found along the Atlantic Coast through the Gulf of Mexico and south to Brazil. They are an oceanic spawner south of the Carolinas and are the only member of its genus (Myrophis) distributed outside the tropics in the Western Atlantic. Their larvae are common in the lower Chesapeake Bay in late summer and fall. However, adults are rare. 

Their presence on our list of fishes for the Hudson River watershed, where they are designated as a tropical marine stray, is based on two New York State Museum preserved specimens: A 226 mm juvenile caught by bottom trawl in New York Harbor in February 1984, and a 176 mm juvenile captured in the Arthur Kill in December 1991. Bob Schmidt advises that, “The paucity of specimens available for study from New York waters does not necessarily indicate that this species is rare. Speckled worm eel is difficult to catch in conventional sampling gear because it spends much of its time burrowed in bottom sediments and its small size makes it difficult to retain in netting.”

For information on the speckled worm eel, see Schmidt and Wright (2018), Documentation of Myrophis punctatus (Speckled Worm Eel) from Marine Water of New York Northeastern Naturalist, Issue 25/1.  –  Tom Lake

And the Bird of the Week:

image of Ring-billed Gull by Rusty Dodson, Shutterstock.

A Ring-billed Gull

The newly minted UES Trader Joe’s raked in $1,000,000 in its first three days…

Fits well with our Greenmarkets and Food Box Program, we say!!
 
UGS

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, UESiders!!

Can we believe it’s soon actually going to be 2022??  That we have but one Greenmarket remaining to shop in 2021??  That our next market at 82nd won’t be until January 8th in the brand new year??

Long, deep breath.

Refocusing on the present: 

Saturday, December 18th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket
82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

At their tables will be our friends American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey,  Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

Maestra Manageria Margaret adds:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

Been great to have Cherry Lane with us till mid-December, but this Saturday will be Lou and crew’s last till next summer!!  So let’s send them off with lots of good wishes till next June!!

And not to worry!!  As in years past, our friends at Nolasco Farm will be back and  covering those back tables with their great produce on January 8th!!

So, how best to plan for 2 whole weekends without a market??


My strategy’s to cook up a storm for the holidays so that I’ll have a fridge full of delicious leftovers to serve up!!

Oh and one last thing…  Do stop by the GrowNYC tent today and sign up for (1) the Winter Warrior Program…  And (2) a special reminder that the 82nd Street Greenmarket is open all year round!!

Joy of the season to all,

Margaret

Then there’s this POSTPONEMENT ALERT:

Monday, December 20th:  Holiday Cheer with AM Seawright
The Seawright Community Office, 1485 York Avenue, 2-4pm

Of course, we’ll let you know when the get-together’s rescheduled.

In the meantime, we all could consider: 

And, for sure, this is a must:

Sunday, December 26th to Sunday, January 9th: MULCHFEST AT CARL SCHURZ PARK!!

86th Street and East End Avenue

Drop off your tree anytime… Or if you’d like to leave with your very own free bag of mulch, bring that tree to Schurz over Chipping Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, January 8th and 9th, 10am-2pm!! (More than 29,000 trees were chipped in 2020… How about we leave that number in 2021 dust??!!)

In the meantime, let’s all revel in this mighty fine end-of-year news:

Quoting the NYTimes, New York will become the nation’s largest city to enact a ban on gas heat and stoves in new buildings.  It’s a major step away from fossil fuels that is expected to influence wider market
s.”

Years late and, of course, costing even more arm and leg, but the MTA’s 68th Street/Hunter College station will one day soon become accessible!!

Smaller than it once was, yes, but the Clara Coffey Park’s not only reopened but is now accessible!!

Lastly… 

We’ll be giving ourselves a holiday break, too!!

But, of course, not without…

Wishing health and happiness for one and all this coming year, 

UGS

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Happy National Pastry Day, UESiders!!

And guess what??!!  We’ll be aptly celebrating with a dinner designed around a Walnut Ridge chicken pot pie!!  (Yumm!!)  

So let’s talk Market:

Saturday, December 11th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Sikking Flowers, Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd,  Walnut Ridge, Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

Most happy to say the one and only Master Knife Sharpener will be in place at her table as well!!

Mega Ultra Manager Margaret adds:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

Despite cold temps, there’s still plenty of produce available in the 82nd Street!!

PLUS, it’s surely looking like Lou and the Cherry Lane gang will be with us right up to the holidays!!


Speaking of holidays…  How about adding some color to your table with purple, orange or green cauliflower??  Especially given that every color – including white –  tastes delicious!!

And speaking of cold temps,  time to start thinking about turning on the oven and roasting a chicken (Walnut Ridge)…??  Or some beef or pork (Haywoods Fresh)…??  Or try a whole duck (Hudson Valley Duck)…??

Oh and please keep in mind that we’ll be closed for 2 consecutive Saturdays – Christmas and New Year’s Days!!


BUT…

82nd’ll be back the second Saturday of the brand new year:  Saturday, January 8, 2022…
And every Saturday thereafter!!

In the meantime, keep an eye out for this season’s Winter Warrior promotion which will be starting very soon…


And, of course, please don’t be parking on the western half of 82nd Street if you don’t absolutely have to!!  (Our farmers will be so thankful!!)

Happy shopping,

Margaret

Then there’re these other live weekend/following week happenings:

Saturday, December 11th:   Euclid & Atlantic Avenue Clean-Ups

Meet at the corner of Euclid & Atlantic Avenues, Brooklyn, 10am-1pm

And we quote, “There’s a lot to accomplish, so the cleanup will run from 10am to 1:00pm in (2) 90-minute shifts. Please make sure to register for time slot you would like to join, as we will ask all volunteers to arrive at the time on their ticket.”  Organized by the great NYC H2O!!  All equipment supplied.  And, of course, all volunteers will be masked!!  For more and to sign up… 

Sunday, December 12th:  Ridgewood Reservoir Volunteer Landscaping

Meet at the parking lot on Vermont Place, Queens, 10am-12pm

Time to give some attention to a reservoir built in 1859 to supply Brooklyn water and now a classic case study of ecological succession!!  Ridgewood’s now a lush and dense forest surrounding freshwater pond/basins that are home to water fowl and a critical fresh water source for migrating birds on the Atlantic Flyway!!  We want to stay that way…  Free of invasives!!  Another great NYC H2O event!!  Gloves, garbage bags and pickers provided and masks required, of course.  For further info and to rsvp

Sunday, December 12th:
  Free Plant Exchange Part 3 
By the boar in Sutton Place Park, entrance at Sutton Place and 57th Street, 11am-12:30pm

The last 2021 chance to share extra potted plants, clippings and plant supplies…  And, of course, go home with UESide neighbors’ extra green stuff!!  100% free.  Organized by the great Non-Elitist, Non-Entitled, Free Plant Exchange Group!!  
.See you there…

Monday, December 20th:  Holiday Cheer with AM Seawright!!
The Seawright Community Office, 1485 York Avenue, 2-4pm

Grab your mask and proof of vaccination and join the AM and staff for some holiday celebration!!   To RSVP or 212-288-4607…

On the virtual event score:

Thursdays in December, 2-4pm:  AM Seawright’s Weekly Virtual Knitting Social on Zoom 

Meet a lovely bunch of neighbors who share your local interests and – of course – your knitting thing…  Join the gathering with password code “knit”!!

Monday, December 13th, 10am:  Lead Pipes – What You Should Know Forum via Zoom

If only lead in drinking water crisis was not unique to Flint, Michigan or Newark, New Jersey. In New York, there are at least 360,000 lead pipes that may pose contamination risks to our communities’ drinking water.  Organized by Environmental Advocates NY.  Free.  For more and to register

Monday, December 13th, 12pm:  The Power of Access Webinar

Join the Natural Areas Conservancy and local NYC leaders to learn more about their efforts to connect diverse communities to local city nature. Moderated by Josh Otero, the NAC’s Trails Community Engagement Coordinator.  Free.  For further info and to sign up… 

Just over the horizon:

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, 5:30-7:30pm:  Rat Academy training for Community Gardeners

Wish it wasn’t so, of course, but the problem’s a NYC and UES reality (check the map)   (or you’ve spotted a problem and haven’t yet made a formal complaint…)  Knowledge is power, folks!!  And the ladies of Rat Academy are great with info and support!!   Presented in partnership with the NY Botanical Garden.   Free.   To sign up

Just a tidbit – but meaningful – activism:

Should you remain opposed to National Grid’s plan to build fracked gas vaporizors in Brooklyn, the community group leading the fight could use signatures on yet another (admirably persistent) petition

If you think fracking waste water shouldn’t be disposed of in NYState’s waterways

And in the Who Knew Department:

Really??!!  In 2021/2022, Con Ed’s actually wanting to construct a huge, traditional power plant adjacent to Stuy Town??

Moving on to the realm of diverting diversions: 

NYC’s soon-to-be Office of Urban Agriculture (in which CM Kallos played a big role establishing!)…  Ikea and its plastic packaging…  What our NYS Conservation Officers have been occupied with of late (like a car chase!!)…    Covid and bird song…  How come our U.S. infrastructure costs a lot…  A feline master potter… (thank you, York Battey!!)  Saving America’s smallest bunny…  

a small rabbit sits in a wood and wire care where a metal door has just been lifted. The cage sits on the ground at night surrounded by grass
An Idaho Pygmy Rabbit

One strange buying incentive from Best Buy… New bird-friendly building regs from and for Fed structures…  Fingers crossed the UES gets a new small park…  More great volunteer opportunities from GrowNYC…  A long-absent bird returns to its Ozarks home…  A sneaker origin story…  If Paris can make the Seine swimmable

A Molting Arctic Fox  

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac:

12/9 – Yonkers, HRM 18: Our staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak found a school of young-of-year striped bass with our seine today. They averaged 115 mm. Across five hauls of our net, we also caught Atlantic silverside, white perch, blue crabs (90 mm), and four moon jellyfish. – Jason Muller, Rachel Lynch, Kiki Quiros, Bella Biane, Ishika Joshi, Rebecca Willson

Striped bass
Those Young Striped Bass

12/10 – Hastings-on-Hudson to Manhattan: On a perfect sunny day for seining the lower Hudson River, we began at Hastings-on-Hudson’s ’s MacEachron Park. Four hauls of our seine through very thick mud yielded many laughs as well as 23 young-of-year striped bass, two mummichogs, and four dime-sized blue crabs. 

Seining at Inwood Park
 Seining on the Hudson at Inwood Park

Our next stop heading downriver was the Harlem River tidal basin at Inwood Park at the northern tip of Manhattan, beneath the profile of the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge. A half dozen hauls along a thin strip of Phragmites vegetation gave us four Atlantic silverside, a dozen smaller blue crabs, one white perch, two young-of-year striped bass, and many hundreds of mummichogs (Fundulus heteroclitus) squirming in the mud and submerged autumn leaves. Here, the salinity was 8.0 ppt.

Most interesting was the correlation of habitat type and fish abundance. Hastings, with a more typical “beach” of sand and mud, had many more striped bass than mummichogs; the vegetated fringe of the Inwood Basin dramatically flipped that ratio. – Chris Bowser, McKenna Koons, Derek McGee, Ranger Blaisley

With the (weird) Fish of the Week being:

12/10 – Fish-of-the-Week for Week 146 is the cutlip minnow (Exoglossum maxillingua) number 44 (of 236) on our watershed list of fishes.

Cutlip minnow
A Cutlip Minnow

The cutlip minnow is one of 32 carps and minnows (Cyprinidae) in the watershed, representing nearly fourteen percent of the 236 species. They are small, rarely more the 120 mm long. The cutlip minnow is native to the Northeast United States and is found in small clear-water streams ranging from the Saint Lawrence River watershed south to the Carolinas.

C. Lavett Smith describes them as “drab, with subdued colors, heavy-bodied, nearly terete in cross-section, an all-together ‘somber fish.’” Perhaps their most notable behavior is their predilection for plucking out the eyes of other fishes. The center lobe of the cutlip minnow’s lower jaw is sharply hardened. They use it, not unlike a scalpel, to core out fish eyes. When you come across a one-eyed white sucker, yellow perch, or goldfish, you can be quite certain that there are cutlip minnows in the area. This is a life history that could have been devised by Stephen King. -Tom Lake

[The eye-plucking behavior is largely aggression and seems to only appear during high densities of cutlip minnow. Predators often aim for the head to disable a prey fish and the eye is a good indicator of where the head is. Fish have developed tail spots in correlation with eye stripes to deflect predators toward the tail. The eye stripe camouflages the real eye, and the tail spot is often highly contrasted to make it a more appealing target. A predator going for the tail is less likely to succeed. I once took a class out collecting in Stony Creek. The creek had mostly dried up, but we found a pool where fish were trapped in high densities including cutlip minnows. Sure enough, several bluegills were missing an eye. – Bob Schmidt]

Closing out with the week’s very exotic Great Bird:

Yours in December evergreen happiness, 

UGS

Eco Facts of the Week:  One in four American mothers return to work 10 days after giving birth!!

Currently, only about 30 percent of subway stations are ADA compliant!!.

Thousands of New Yorkers planted 1 million 9/11 daffodil bulbs this 20th 9/11 anniversary fall!!

Eco Tip of the Week:  Till collection resumes at Greenmarkets, here’re the convenient UES sites where you can recycle those lifeless batteries

 

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Happy The Holiday Season Is Now and Truly Upon Us, UESiders!!

More pressure than usual this year, too…  Given that – you recall – Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on Greenmarket Saturdays…  Meaning there’re just 3 Market Saturdays till…

But the good news is all our great farmers/fishermen/bakers – including Cherry Lane – will be with is at 82nd Street till December 18th!!   

So be thinking what you want on that holiday table…

Speaking of Greenmarkets:

Saturday, December 4th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket
82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

At their tables will be our friends American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Sikking Flowers, Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

PLUS…

Our one and only Master Knife Sharpener will be present and honing like crazy, too!!

Then now and soon happening around our hood:

Saturday, December 4th:  GPG Free Plant Exchange Part 2
By the boar in Sutton Place Park, entrance at Sutton Place and 57th Street, 11am-12:30pm.

Can’t get enough of a good thing…  Like GreenParkGardeners plant exchanges!!  Share those extra potted plants, clippings and plant supplies of yours…  And/or go home with UESide neighbors’ great green stuff!!  100% free.  See you there…

Saturday, December 4th:  The Great December 86th Street Clean-Up 
Meet front of Shake Shack, 154 East 86th Street, 12pm

Yes, the great the great 86th Street Block Association and the Street Clean Team are at it again!!  And does keeping our 86th Street tidy ever need its/your/our help!!  All equipment supplied…  Just RSVP… 

Saturday, December 11th:  Spring Bulb Planting With TreesNY 
119th Street and Third Avenue (by the Silberman School of Social Work), 10am-12pm

You’ll be giving another gift to NYC when you join the great folks at TreesNY in planting spring flower bulbs in East Harlem tree beds!!  Bulbs and tools supplied.  Just bring yourself and your mask!!  For more and to sign up.

Plenty in the virtual realm:

Wednesday, December 8th, 7pm:  Seeing vs. Believing – The Public Perception of Climate via Zoom

Organized by the NYC Sierra Club with guests Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Dr. Jennifer Marion of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and Dr. Genevieve Guenther of End Climate Silence.  Free.  To register

Wednesday, December 8th, 7-8:15pm:  Look Out and Stand Up for Each Other –  Non-violent Bystander Intervention Training via Facebook 

Geared toward high school students who care about creating a safer school environment for themselves and their peers, but parents and caregivers are also invited to join.  Organized by SS Liz Krueger.  For details and to sign up

Thursday, December 10th, 7:30pm:  “Understory”:  The Tongass National Forest via Zoom

Alaskan native Elsa Sebastian’s filmic argument as to why Tongass, the largest remaining temperate rainforest on the planet, should remain pristine and roadless.  Organized by Environment America.  Free.  For viewing options and to register...

Wednesday, January 12th (2022!), 5:30-7:30pm:  Rat Academy Training for Community Gardeners

Wish it wasn’t so, of course, but the problem’s a NYC and UES reality (check the map!!)  (or you’ve spotted a problem and haven’t yet made a formal complaint…)  Knowledge is power, folks!!  And the ladies of Rat Academy are great with info and support!!   Presented in partnership with the NY Botanical Garden.   Free.  To sign up

Then a NYC-centric activism duo:

Should you support continuing existence of and access to NYC Recreation Programs, you can:

Deliver live testimony via video
: Register at council.nyc.gov/testify no later than Monday, 12/6 at 1 PM
Submit written testimony online: submit via the form at council.nyc.gov/testify or email in to testimony@council.nyc.gov up to 72 hours after the close of the hearing
Watch the hearing council.nyc.gov/livestream

Or should you support the 3 bird safety bills presently being considered by the NYC Council...

Moving on to the realm of diverting diversions: 

All hail the great folks behind the greening of RI’s PS/IS 217’s roof… Turkeys we’re glad we didn’t have to eat…  Trader Joe’s opens…  Those big, mysterious letters posted at building entrances (often without explanatory text)…  Modern noise pollution control (get on it, NYC!!)…  Scroll down for some of the great stuff on Big Reuse’s shelves…  Met wing re-do…  Okay, so we’re beating a dead rat, but then there’re UES Rat Sightings 2021

The latest and greatest from the Hudson River Almanac:

11/26 – Wappingers Falls – In an extraordinary find, we came upon a pink-footed goose on Wappingers Lake within a flock of no fewer than 50 Canada geese. Our quick reporting allowed many others to see this special visitor. For many, it was a “life bird.” – Anne Swaim (Saw Mill River Audubon), Debbie Van Zyl (R.T. Waterman Bird Club)
                                                                     Pink-footed goose
                                                                  That Pink-Footed Goose 

[The pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) breeds in Eastern Greenland, from where North American sightings are presumed to originate, as well as Iceland and Svalbard . They winter in northwest Europe and are a rare visitor to the northeast. However, in recent years, pink-footed goose sightings have been increasing in northeastern North America with reports from Quebec, Newfoundland, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. Since 2007, one has been seen almost every year in New York State usually on Long Island. Their presence mirrors a similar increase of other Eurasian goose species in our area such as barnacle goose and greater white-fronted goose. – Stan DeOrsey,  Deborah Tracy Kral (R.T. Waterman Bird Club)]

[A “life bird” or a “life list” is a common activity for many naturalists. Typically, these are compilations of related species, like postcards from one’s travels through life. Some people keep bird lists; for others, it is fish, flowers, butterflies, mushrooms, seashells … Anyone can keep a list of almost anything that ultimately gives them a context and appreciation for the natural world. Tom Lake] 

11/12 – Hudson River Estuary/New York Bight: With freezing weather and the cold-water season upon us (water temperatures falling below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (F)), please keep an eye out for stranded sea turtles. Those that have not yet migrated south can become victims of paralyzing “cold stunning,” which is similar to hypothermia. It gives them the appearance of death, but they are actually in dire need of recovery and resuscitation. Do not put them back in the water.

                                                                      Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
                                                                    A Sea Turtle Needing Help
From November through March, we respond to dozens of sea turtles that are found cold-stunned onshore and in our waters at the mercy of the tides and currents. If you come upon a sea turtle, whether you think it’s alive or dead, immediately call the New York State Stranding Hotline at (631) 369-9829. If you have photos or videos, please send them to sightings@amseas.org. Learn more information at: https://go.usa.gov/xeWTs – Kim Durham, Co-New York State Sea Turtle Coordinator for the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society

11/16 – Beacon:  An early-morning visit to the Beacon waterfront immediately delivered two excellent gull species: Iceland gull and lesser black-backed gull. We then moved a short distance to Long Dock to look for migrant birds heading down the valley. It was not long  before Debbie Van Zyl spotted a large sea bird flying down the river. We recognized the bird as a booby-gannet (Sulide family). It was moving quickly and at a distance, so certain identification was not possible. We took photos and later reviewed them to discover that it was an immature northern gannet (Morus bassanus). Debbie posted the sighting in one of the local rare-bird group chats, which encouraged two Manhattan birders to head to the river, fifty miles south, at the George Washington Bridge. – Kyle Bardwell. Debbie van Zyl

[Northern gannets are rare in Duchess County. We had one in 1968 and another in 1986, both in October. The latter sighting was from Long Dock in Beacon. –  Barbara Butler]

11/16 – Manhattan: We were able to find the Kyle Bardwell-Debbie van Zyl northern gannet at 9:38 AM as it flew past the George Washington Bridge, two hours after it was first seen at Beacon.
                                                                       Northern gannet
                                                                   That Gannet In Flight

It all began as we spotted a bald eagle and another bird in flight across the river above the Palisades. The accompanying bird was very large and lanky, somewhat recalling a loon, especially in wing shape, but with a longer tail, no feet projecting, and a different bill shape. It was clearly a Sulid and instantly recognized as an immature northern gannet. The bird’s flight was steady with fairly deep but deliberate and powerful wing beats. – Adrian Burke and Dmitriy Aronov

[The northern gannet is a goose-sized albatross-like seabird nearly always seen over the ocean, rarely venturing inland except to breed. They are birds of the cold North Atlantic, with breeding colonies in the far northeastern Canadian Maritimes. They dive like pelicans or osprey when feeding; author David Sibley describes their entry as “piercing the water,” with a minimum splash, like an Olympic swimmer executing the perfect dive. – Tom Lake]11/23 – Town of Poughkeepsie: Recently, Scott Davis was hiking along the tidewater Wappinger Creek when he noticed a small, round metal button in the talus of an eroding bank. We cleaned it up and did some preliminary research on the button before seeking a professional opinion. Dr. Michael Lucas, a historical archaeologist at the New York State Museum, in confirming our thoughts said, “This was a Revolutionary War [rife in our area] Army shank button (1775-1783). There were several varieties that were produced, some in pewter, and I would imagine this would have been an ordinary soldier rather than an officer.” – Tom Lake

Colonial uniform button
That Button

11/23 – Bronx-Queens, New York City: An angler reported spotting and photographing a North Atlantic Right Whale in the East River today near the Throgs Neck Bridge, where the East River meets Long Island Sound. – Tom Lake
                                                               North Atlantic right whale
                                                            That North Atlantic Right Whale

[The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a baleen whale. Because of their docile nature, their slow surface-skimming feeding behaviors, their tendencies to stay close to the coast, and their high blubber content (which makes them float when they are killed, and which produces high yields of whale oil), right whales were once a preferred target for whalers. At present, they are among the most endangered whales in the world and are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (1973), Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Canada’s Species at Risk Act. There are fewer than 366 individuals in existence, the lowest number in twenty years (there were an estimated 481 whales in 2011).

In the western North Atlantic Ocean, they migrate between feeding grounds in the Labrador Sea and their winter calving areas off Georgia and Florida, an ocean area with heavy shipping traffic. Vessel strikes and entanglement in fixed fishing gear, which together account for nearly half of all North Atlantic right whale mortality since 1970, are their two greatest threats to recovery. 

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

11/25 – Fish-of-the-Week for Weeks 147-148 is the oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau), number 113 (of 236) on our watershed list of fishes. 
                                                                        Oytster toadfish
                                                                   An Oyster Toadfish (Yikes!)

Oyster toadfish, known colloquially as “oyster cracker,” can get to 17 inches long, range from Cape Cod to Florida, and are common along the Atlantic Coast and in New York Harbor. They are quite a handsome fish and are so admired by anglers that they have been lovingly dubbed the “mother-in-law” fish.

They set up shop on the bottom of the river and, with strong jaws and sharp teeth, they crush and feed on shellfish such as crabs, oysters, and other bivalves. While they are most often found in salt or brackish water, they can tolerate low salinity and even freshwater for a short time. Archaeological evidence (toadfish bones) found in hearths and middens on Dogan Point (river mile 40) suggests that indigenous peoples enjoyed eating oyster toadfish as well. – Tom Lake

Never forgetting our Bird of the Week:

image of American Crow by Randy Bjorklund, Shutterstock

The American Crow

Happy NYS Forest Friday,

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:   Coal remains by far the largest single source of power generation, with more than 8,900 terawatt-hours a year generated in 2020, about 45% more than gas and double what hydropower generates. None of those major sources, however, have a significant growth rate over the decade. Coal grows only 1.6% a year; gas, 2.5%, and hydro, 2.9%.

Two technologies, however, do have much more robust growth rates: wind and solar. Wind’s compound growth rate for the past decade, 16.6%, is sufficient for annual global wind generation to double in less than five years.  Then there is solar. Its compound growth rate is just shy of 39%, which means that annual solar power generation doubles in less than two years.


Eco Tip of the Week: To recycle over-the-hill/unwanted Christmas tree lights just mail to:  Christmas Light Source, Recycling Program, 4313 Elmwood Drive, Benbrook, Texas 76116.

 

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Happy Aprez-the-Thanksgiving-Meal/Black Friday, UESiders!!

No surprise, this edition will be on the brief side, commencing with a partial Shred-A-Thon report!!

Don’t have the exact poundage or headcount yet, but as you doubtless observed, sides of the shredding truck were bulging well before 2pm!!

Stay tuned…

Meanwhile, you great Shreddees also donated 36 pairs of eyeglasses that’re now in Mt. Sinai Eye & Ears’ hands!!

As for coming week:

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

82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

At their tables will be our friends American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

But, of course, Maestra Manager Margaret has the total lowdown:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

We’ll have a mostly full house this Saturday and with lots of freshest products for your post-Thanksgiving re-stocking!!

Yes, Ballard’s Honey and Hudson Valley Duck will be taking the day off, but we’re expecting everyone else!!


And, yes, Cherry Lane’s extended their 82nd Street tabling by another 1-2 weeks and making us all really happy!!  (But not to worry!!  Whenever Cherry Lane brings its 2021 season to an end, the great Nolasco Farms is waiting and ready to bring their wonderful produce to 82nd Street!!) 

Returning to the subject of post-Turkey Day/pre-Christmas re-stocking:  Do keep in mind that both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Saturdays this holiday season…  So, even though, yes, 82nd Street’s an all-year-round market, it’ll be closed for those 2 consecutive Saturdays, December 25, 2021 and January 1, 2022!!

Oh…  Thanks to one and all for reminding friends and neighbors not to park in the market’s reserved space on Saturdays!!  It’s just one day out of the week and our farmers are extremely appreciative!!

And this one last thought for those – like me – feeling the need for a break from the heavy  prep of this past week…  But craving a tasty, seasonal dessert…  Think baked (Samascott) apples.  Easy, delicious and warming!!

Happy long holiday weekend,

Margaret

And then:

Thursday, December 2nd:   The UES Trader Joe’s Opens At Last!!
Under the Bridge,  First Avenue at 59th, 8am
We’ve totally earned this one, UESiders!!  Wouldn’t be surprised if numerous, spontaneous happy dances occurred on the plazas flanking the store…

In the virtual realm:

Tuesday, December 7th, 6pm:  “Invasion of the Crazy Worms” Webinar via Zoom.
Yet another invasive species…  One that especially loves to munch on what most enriches our soil!!  But experts have knowledge to share!!  Free.  For more and to register (required)
 

And some activism:

Another (and hopefully last) step in the Community Board’s Greenmarket renewal process is individual community members sending the Board an email asking that it, “Please approve both the 82nd and 92nd Greenmarkets for 2022.”  And you can click to CB8’s email right here…  

Just a few diverting diversions: 

A soon-to-be new UES school play roof…  What’s working in American recycling programs (including NYCHA!!)…   How the week went for our NYS Conservation Officers…  And NYS Forest Rangers…   

Wish we were also being grateful for a Blood Center defeat,

UGS 

Eco Fact of the Week:  In 2020,NYS DEC Forest Rangers conducted 492 search and rescue missions, extinguished 192 wildfires that burned a total of more than 1,122 acres, participated in eight prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate more than 203 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 3,131 tickets or arrests.

Eco Tip of the Week:    Recycle clean but unwanted/worn linens and towels at the ASPCA Adoption Center,  424 E 92nd Street.

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Happy Soon-To-Be-Upon-Us Turkey Day, UESiders!!

The crowning event of one totally busy UES week commencing with…

Saturday, November 20th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket
82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Sikking Flowers, Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

You read it right!! Cherry Lane’s still in the line-up and guess what?  Given that there’re still vegs happily growing in their fields (like baby cauliflower sprigs), Lou and the gang’ll be extending their 82nd Street tabling for a few more weeks!!  Stay tuned… 

Then…

Sunday, November 21st:  92nd Street Greenmarket Season Finale
First Avenue at 92nd Street , 9am-3pm

Yes, it’ll be the last day of 92nd Street’s 2021 season with our friends at American Pride Seafood, Nature’s Way Honey, Ole Mother Hubbert, Kimchee Harvest, Grandpa’s Farm, Halal Pastures, Meredith’s Bakery,  Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!! 

PLUS…

Our o’ so brilliant great Master Knife Sharpener will be present and honing like crazy, too!!  Lucky us!!  Lucky deftly sliced Thanksgiving turkey presentation!!   Meanwhile, folks with queries or needing to make special arrangement can call the MKS at 917-841-9692!!

Yes, it’ll be a day to load up on Thanksgiving essentials/treats, get our cutlery up to speed and also to say good-bye to our great 92nd Street friends till June 2022!! 

Uber Marketta Mangeria Margaret adds:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

Giant congratulations!!  Not only did you meet…  But you exceeded the signatures needed to make our case for 82nd and 92nd’s permit renewal by Community Board 8!! 

Many thanks to all who put pen to petition!!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving to the max,

Margaret

But first, before diving into the market, head across the street with those giant bags of paper…

Sunday, June 20th, 10am-2pm:  Shred-A-Thon – Bring on the Turkey Edition
Opposite the 92nd Street Greenmarket, West Side of First between 92nd & 93rd, 10am-2pm

Indeed, bring on that paper, UESiders!!  

And bring it on wearing your mask and socially distancing!!

That while also keeping in mind:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings.

NO hardcover books.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

Really happy to say, we’ll also be collecting unused/out-of-date/unwanted eye glasses for donation to Mt. Sinai Eye & Ear, so bring ’em on, too!!

As ever, we thank Shred-A-Thon sponsors AM Seawright and CMs Powers and Kallos for their generous support!!

Looking further forward:

Tuesday, November 30th:  Street Tree Planting Demonstration
Meet at 35-27 92nd Street, Jackson Heights, 9:30-11am 
Want to learn more about the size and scope of a typical street tree planting in New York City?  Well, the great TreesNY’s just announced a new, expanded component to its planting project… That being engaging volunteers and community members in the street tree planting process with expert instruction by equally great arborist Sam Bishop!!  Free, of course.  For more and to sign on

Saturday, December 11th:  Atlantic & Euclid Avenues Clean-Up
Meet at Atlantic and Euclid Avenues, Brooklyn, 10am-1pm

A lot to accomplish so the event’ll ll be organized as a in 2-shift operation…  #1 from 10-11:30am, #2 from 11:30am-1pm.  Organized by wonderful NYC H2O with gloves, garbage bags and pickers provided!!  For more details and to choose your shift…  

And in the virtual realm:

Thursday, December 2nd, 2-4pm:  AM Seawright’s Weekly Virtual Knitting Social on Zoom 
A bonfide UESide tradition now…  An enduring virtual space for neighbors to meet, engage, share and knit…  To RSVP and join in

Monday, December 6th, 7-8pm:  “Birdpedia – A Brief Compendium of Avian Lore” Lecture.  Author Christopher Leahy elaborates on his new book…  A so-amusing/interesting collection of bird facts/trivia!! Presented by NYC Audubon.  Free.  For more and to register...  

Tuesday, December 7th, 5pm:  Towards Comprehensive Planning – Preserving Historic and Cultural Resources.  Looming Challenges as residents struggle to retain NYC’s remaining character and beauty.  Presented by the Municipal Art Society.  Free but donations appreciated.   For details and to sign up… (Two preceding events on the subject now available free on YouTube!!)

As ever, some activism:

Should you object to regs that still allow – in 2021!! – toxic chemicals to be used in cosmetics

Othink drilling should be banned on public lands

Ooppose P&G’s role in deforestation and devastation of wildlife

And this news re an ongoing activist concern: 

The Blood Center mess makes “The Times”...  

More community disregard in the form of the endangered The Hotel Pennsylvania

As for diverting diversions: 

Great recipes deploying Turkey Day leftovers…   The new UES Starbucks/Amazon outpost…    And still more recipes…  Then there’re Thanksgiving-specific recycling tips…  An Adirondack National Park??…   How to help a bird in trouble…   Newly protected species:  The brachted twist flower

Bracted twistflower

  A Brachted Twist Flower

And Atlantic pigtoe mussels

RSAtlantic Pigtoe Sarah McRae USFWS.JPG

                                                              Pigtoe Mussels

A tree-greener UES!!…  The fate of Local Law 97 and our soon-to-be mayor…  Consumer Reports advice on our bottled spices... Virtual tours from the Municipal Art Society…  A brand new mineral…  Fish teeth??!!…  Shakespeare facts…  How to research your building’s history…  Oyster habitat- boosting concrete balls… 

A round ball-shaped structure with thousands of oysters clinging to its surface. Photo: Hudson River Foundation
An Oyster Ball

The NYS DEC invasive species doc (“Uninvited”) is now online…  Three centuries of NYC ice skating…  A NYS dinosaur survivor…  River Thames in eco recovery mode…  Climate change and birds…  Con Ed and its clean energy plans (really?)…  National Parks and green transportation… A plastic shortage (please!)…  Of brussel sprouts and garden gnomes

Latest from the Hudson River Almanac:

10/31 – Saugerties: Those of us who have been following the male harbor seal (flipper-tagged 246), a long-time aquatic resident in the vicinity of Esopus Creek and the Saugerties Lighthouse, received a very special Halloween treat.
                                                             Harbor seal
                                                                        That Harbor Seal

This story began in early morning, ten days ago (10/21), when the seal was seen by Dale O’Bryon near channel marker #93 at the Saugerties Lighthouse. The seal was swimming and jumping around just fine. This was the last seal sighting.

Four days later (10/25) and eleven miles upriver, an observer spotted what appeared to be a dead “seal” floating face down in Catskill Creek. The fact that the carcass could not be verified as a seal heightened our anxiety. Then a nor’easter hit. Sustained torrential rain had Catskill Creek rushing into the river and the floating carcass was not seen again. There was still no sign of 246 at Esopus Creek.

Our worried wait lingered five more days until Halloween when harbor seal 246 made an appearance in the hour before sunset in the vicinity of the south dike and channel marker #93, at the mouth of Esopus Creek. All of us had a collective sigh of relief. The seal was now at 818 days. – Patrick Landewe

[Why seal 246? With wildlife, we try to resist giving them anthropomorphic (human-type) names that bring with them behavioral expectations. Wildlife is largely ambivalent; trust is the extent of most relationships. For example, naming a seal “Flipper” lessens the wild in wildlife. – Tom Lake] 

10/31 – Saint Andrew-on-Hudson: All Hallows Eve. For many fans of the season, Halloween is a time to dress up scary and go in search of tricks-or-treats. We have our own tradition. Today was our 13th annual pilgrimage to the grave of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit theologian, anthropologist, paleontologist, and renowned naturalist who died in 1955 and    was buried on the grounds of the Culinary Institute.
                                                                 Teilhard de Chardin

Teilhard de Chardin spent much of his life searching for common ground between religious dogma and natural history, reconciling his faith with modern science. That made him a truly unique individual in his time. Amidst a hundred or more identical gravestones, de Chardin’s is easy to find. There are frequently flowers and always a collection of items–tokens of natural history– left by those paying homage.

In the spirit of geologic evolution, which de Chardin loved to contemplate, today’s contribution was two pieces of metamorphic rock, one each from Algonquin Peak and Mount Marcy, the two highest mountains in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Geologists estimate that these rocks may be as old as 1.5 billion years.  Teilhard de Chardin had a Ph.D. in geology]. – Tom Lake, Phyllis LakeThen there’s the Fish-of-the-Week:

10/30 –  Fish-of-the-Week for Week 145 is the lyre goby (Evorthodus lyricus), number 211 (of 236) on our watershed list of fishes.

                                                                 Lyre goby
                                                                              A Lyre Goby
The lyre goby is a small (100 mm), benthic-dwelling fish defined by its large bluntly pointed caudal fin with a dark lyre-shaped mark at its base consisting of two dark spots, one over the other. Their snout is very short with a small mouth.

They range from Chesapeake Bay south into the Gulf of Mexico, to northern South America, and in the Greater Antilles. It is this tropical range that makes their inclusion on the list of fishes for the Hudson River watershed all the more mysterious.

The literature is filled with comments on the lyre goby’s unique range and preferred habitat. For example, “The lyre goby is rare in Chesapeake Bay, which is the specie’s northern limit; they are not common anywhere along the Atlantic Coast.” (Murdy, Birdsong, and Musick 1987)

Knowledge of their biology ranges from semi-consistent to wholly unknown. In Development of Fishes of the Mid-Atlantic Bight, “No information” is cited nine times with regard to their various life stages.

Where they are found (when they are found), however, seems very specific: The lyre goby inhabits brackish water in shallow muddy areas of estuarine environments, as well as tide marshes, often found in foul water, venturing even into freshwater. C. Lavett Smith (1987) sums up the lyre goby’s life history very concisely as “an attractive fish that lives in less attractive, muddy habitats.”

To say the lyra goby is ephemeral would be an understatement. Their sudden presence in the estuary is a true enigma. – Tom Lake

And The Week’s Fabulous Bird (No, not the turkey):

image of American Crow by Randy Bjorklund, Shutterstock

The Greater Sage-Grouse

Furthering holiday cheer,  Animal Care Centers of NYC’s Manhattan location. 326 East 110th Street is now open daily from 12-5pm for kitten, cat, dog, rabbit and guinea pig adoption. ACC is also waiving all adoption fees for senior cats and dogs through the end of November!!

Happy Thanksgiving Parade, Meal and Day,

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  It’s estimated the Clean Air Act’s saved 1.5 billion birds!!

Eco Tip of the Week:  Recycle unwanted thermometers – carefully packed in bubble wrap  – by mailing them to  to Coastal Plumbing Supply, 38-16 Stillman Avenue, Long Island City, New York 11101.

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Happy National Pizza-With-The-Works Day, UESiders!!

To be followed by Saturday,  National Kindness Day…  Meaning that, of course, UESiders will be even kinder to one and all than they habitually are!!


Meanwhile…

Be really kind of the 
Blood Center – with which a ho-hum compromise deal seems to have been struck – to opt for space in the skyscraper/medical facility soon to break ground at 79th & First…

Also be totally nice if the rapacious Stahl Real Estate – the bunch that’s been endeavoring to demolish the eastern third of First Avenue Estates for a decade plus – to restore Goldberger Pharmacy’s neon signage (recently, summarily ripped off)…


Goldberger's Pharmacy

(For sure. vintage neons treated kindly elsewhere in NYC…)

Moving into the ever-so-kind and healthy Greenmarket Zone: 

Saturday, November 13th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket
82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

With us will be the great American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert, Walnut Ridge, Valley Shepherd,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

Our great Master Knife Sharpener will be joining us, too…  But she wants us all to know she’ll definitely be away next Saturday, November 20th!!  So, a pre-Thanksgiving Alert!!  Better get that dull cutlery to her this Saturday!! 

Sunday, November 14th:  92nd Street Greenmarket Reopens!!
First Avenue at 92nd Street , 9am-3pm

Post-Marathon and back at their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Nature’s Way Honey, Ole Mother Hubbert, Kimchee Harvest, Grandpa’s Farm, Halal Pastures, Meredith’s Bakery,  Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!! 


Manager de Managers Margaret adds this ALL-IMPORTANT ALERT:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

This weekend and at BOTH 82nd and 92nd Streets, we’ll be collecting petition signatures requesting that Community Board 8 renew Greenmarket permits-to-operate for 2022!!

(You remember this annual ritual, yes?!)  

Of course a big headcount is important BUT, as always, particularly meaningful to CB8 are signatures of you great shoppers who live within 2 blocks of either the 82nd or 92nd location…   Reason why:  The Board especially wants to know those nearest-by consider the Greenmarket a neighborhood asset/plus!!

More than likely, she’ll be at her table, but if not, look for Manager Arlene…  She’ll be nearby with petition ready for you to sign!!  

Happy autumn shopping and thanks,


Margaret


Live and also on our UES agenda:

Saturday, November 13th:   Yorkville Block Association Bulb Planting
Meet at 424 East 81st Street, 11am

And we quote, “Hello, Neighbors!  The Yorkville Block Association is planting spring bulbs this Saturday!!  We have tools or you can bring.  Helping Hands welcomed.  Birdhouses will be winterized and refurbished for next spring.  To sign up or for questions:  YORKVILLE81BLOCKASSN@GMAIL.COM.

Saturday, November 13th:  Roosevelt Island Stop ‘n Swap
PS/IS 217 Roosevelt Island Schoolyard, 645 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, 12-3pm

Drop off and/or pick up clean clothing, housewares, electronics, books, toys…  You name it and it’s free!!  Hosted by the wonderful iDig2Learn, GrowNYC and RIOC.

Saturday, November 20th:  Lemon Creek Pier Beach Clean-Up

Dorothy Fitzpatrick Fishing Pier, 301 Sharrott Avenue, Staten Island, 10am-12:30pm

Join the Natural Resources Protective Association, National Resources Protective Association and the American Association of Zookeepers at the Staten Island Zoo and lend a hand cleaning one of NYC’s last remaining ground-level creeks…  A beauty located on Staten Island’s South Shore with a salt marsh and beach area providing a refuge for migrating birds and wetlands’ flora and fauna!!  Organized by the great NYC H2O…   All supplies provided…   For more and to sign up


Sunday, November 21st, 10am-2pm:  Shred-A-Thon – Bring on the Turkey Edition
Opposite the 92nd Street Greenmarket, West Side of First between 92nd & 93rd, 10am-2pm


Our mission on 11/21:  Make sides of that shredding truck bulge and strain with a stupendous amount UES shredded paper!!  

Yes and, as always, keep in mind:


NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings.

NO hardcover books.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

As ever, we thank Shred-A-Thon sponsors AM Seawright and CMs Kallos and Powers for their generous support!!


Plenty of virtual happenings, too:

Tuesday, November 16th, 1pm:  A Visual Journey Around 1940’s NYC Webinar

Join a virtual journey of 1940s NYC through photos taken of every block and lot in the city during a virtual “lunch and learn” hosted by the NYC Department of Records & Information Services. Free.  To register

Thursday, November 18th, 6:30pm:  History of Hart Island Webinar

Who knew Hart Island was part of the Pelham Island archipelago??  That a Nike missle made its home there during the Cold War??  Another virtual gem hosted by Melinda Hunt – interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and founding director of The Hart Island Project and the NYC DRIS!!  Free, of course.  To register… 
 
 
Pause for some activism…  First live: 

Saturday, November 13th:  Rally to Save East River Park Historic Buildings 
East River Park, in front of (north side) of the Brian Watkins Tennis Center Comfort Station, 2pm

As if there wasn’t enough contentiousness (for starters, think 100-plus trees to be felled) surrounding the cement-fest that is the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, now demolition of a pair of pretty classic Deco structures in surprisingly good repair’s proposed!!  Rally organized by Historic Districts Council.  (Rain date: Sunday the 14th at 2pm!)

Then virtual:

If you’ve decided plastic forks, knives and spoons should be included in takeaway/ takeout orders only if requested… 

Should you think kitten and puppy therapy would benefit folks in retirement homes

If you believe endangered wolves in western states are in need greater protection…  (No wolf hunting in Minnesota or Wisconsin this year!!  It remains totally illegal in Michigan!!)


High time for some diverting diversions: 

John Jay Park’s soon-to-be new seating area…  The Esplanade Photoville Exhibition moves south to 96th…   A new NYC landmark…  The GVHP weighs in on NYC City Planning’s zoning record…  Highlights of our NYS Conservation Officers’ week…  NYS Forest  Rangers, too…  Great GrowNYC volunteer opportunities…  The Financial District (AKA FiDi) and Seaport’s resilience plan…  Existing resilience in Rockaway Beach…   Growth in plastic bottle recycling…  Wild animals enjoying life in NYC…  A new addition to the Shinnecock Reef…  Our NYS DEC Commissioner Segos reports from Glasgow…  The fuzzy-wuzzy woolly bears’ winter forecast...

. .Banded wooly bear caterpillar; Pyrrharctia Isabella larva Whitney Cranshaw; Colorado State University; Bugwood org
A Fuzzy-Wuzzy Wooly Bear

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac:

10/25 – Yonkers, HRM 18: Our staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak began our daily regimen of five seine hauls unaware that we would be making history…

Hauls one and two were in the river proper; hauls three-to-five were in the Beczak Tidemarsh. Collectively, we netted, identified, and released four fish species, naked goby, Atlantic silverside, mummichogs, and an unidentified goby.  Among the crustaceans we collected were comb jellies, moon jellyfish, and grass shrimp (Palaemon sp.).


 Lyre goby
That Lyre Goby!

A photo of that unidentified goby caught in the Beczak Tidemarsh was sent to Bob Schmidt and Jeremy Wright at the New York State Museum.  Jeremy thought it was a lyre goby (Evorthodus lyricus).  And under the microscope, Bob confirmed it as a lyre goby (it was familiar to him as he had seen the fish in the Caribbean).

After a brief investigation, Bob confirmed that the Beczak education staff had caught not only a new fish species for the Hudson River, but quite possibly the first record of this fish north of Chesapeake Bay. – Jason Muller, Gabriella Marchesani, Michael Castro, Sukaina Rashid

[The Beczak Tidemarsh is not a natural tidal wetland. It was constructed by Beczak in 2004. Tom Lake]


10/14 – Manhattan, New York City: Fifty fifth graders from Dos Puentes ES in Manhattan celebrated the 19th annual A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor at Sherman Creek Park on the Harlem River. The students had a great time in this beautiful urban enclave, seining for fish and collecting water samples. 

 Sherman Creek Park

Low tide presented some muddy seining, but we still caught 76 mummichogs, four Atlantic silverside, a tiny blue crab, and an assortment of shrimp and other invertebrates. At the end of the day, we all sang “Somos El Barco” and some retro Rick Astley for fun. – Chris Bowser, Jesenia Laureano, Maggie Flanagan, Zarria Brown, and Queila Cordero

10/24 – Yonkers, HRM 18: Our staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak hosted a Mercy College Oceanography class today. Students assisted us in our five daily seine hauls in the Beczak tidemarsh. The sheltered water (63 F) was replete with invertebrates, including 31 comb jellies, moon jellyfish, blue crabs, and a ribbed mussel. Fish included Atlantic silverside and white perch.  – Eli Caref, Gabriella Marchesani

 Ribbed  mussel
That Ribbed Mussel

10/27 – Yonkers: Our staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak conducted our five seine hauls today in the Beczak tidemarsh resulting in an impressive catch. Atlantic silverside was high count among fishes with 64; young-of-year herring (blueback 17, Atlantic 14) were next. Invertebrates included blue crabs, moon jellyfish (79), and Leidy’s comb jellies.  – Jason Muller, Ariel Pennington-Reyes, Raven Vance

 Moon jellyfish
A Moon Jellyfish

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

10/24 – Fish-of-the-Week for Week 144 is the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), number 7 (of 235) on our watershed list of fishes.


 Spiny dogfish
A Spiny Dogfish

The spiny dogfish is the only member of the Dogfish shark family (Squalidae) in the watershed. They are found in Atlantic coastal waters from New England south to North Carolina and are classified as a temperate marine stray in the Hudson River. Spiny dogfish can get to 48-inches but are more commonly seen at 24-36-inches. Their name derives from the sharp spine at the front margin of each of their two dorsal fins. Like many sharks, spiny dogfish give live birth to their young (pups).

Spiny dogfish are quite uncommon in the Hudson River. A notable exception was a 35-inch spiny dogfish we picked out of Ron Ingold’s shad net in the Upper Bay of New York Harbor at Edgewater (NJ) on April 16, 1988.

In Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine (1953), spiny dogfish are described as “voracious almost beyond belief, causing considerable damage to commercial fishing gear by cutting nets to get at caught fish.”

Being a shark, they are a handy answer to a common student question, “Do we have sharks in the Hudson River?” As with the barracudas, the image of sharks gives pause to even the bravest students. Spiny dogfish, however, are primarily piscivores. Their teeth are modified for catching and eating live fish and shellfish, including mackerel, herring, crabs, and squid.

In Great Britain and elsewhere, dogfish are considered a culinary delight. For recipes, see The Dogfish Cookbook, Russ Mohney (1976). – Tom Lake


And the Bird of the Week is:

 
The Eastern Golden Eagle

Happy November 15th/America Recycles Day!!

And clean air and water are now a NYS human right,

UGS




Eco Fact of the Week:  Effective Jan. 1, 2022, no covered food service provider or store (retail or wholesale) will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute disposable food service containers that contain expanded polystyrene foam in New York state. In addition, no manufacturer or store will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute polystyrene loose fill packaging (commonly referred to as packing peanuts) in the state!!

Eco Tip of the Week:  Guess what?!  All paper isn’t recyclable!!  Receipts are one of those paper items that do not belong in your recycling bin!! This is because most receipts are printed on thermal paper containing chemical compounds that affect the ability to be made into new products.  Best way to dispose of receipts?  TRASH!!  (And next time, ask for a digital receipt!!). 



 

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