Happy Thanksgiving, UESiders!!
Visions of turkey… The company of family and friends… Dressing/stufffing… The Thanksgiving Parade… Mashed potatoes with buckets of gravy… The looming allure of Black Friday… Cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes (maybe even with marshmallows)… Snoozing-out in front of the TV… Pumpkin pie…
And for those of us moved to add volunteering into the Turkey Day/Weekend mix, NYC abounds in wonderful ways to make the day great for folks without our good luck…
But first the week during which we prepare:
Now to Sunday, January 5th: Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights Return
2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx
And we quote, “For the first time since 200, the Bron Zoo is bringing back the celebrated holiday tradition with dazling lifht displays that cover and sparkle acres of zoo…” They’re talking wildlife-theme LED displays, custom Asian lanterns and animated light shows and more!! Adults, $29.95. Children, $22.95. Seniors, $28.95. For more and tickets…
Saturday, November 23rd: 82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket
82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm
Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm
At their tables heaped with Thanksgiving goodness will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef, Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley and Gayeski Farms!!
And, of course, our own Master Knife Sharpener will be present to get those knives turkey-ready!!
Market Manager Ciana adds: “Sorry to say this is the last 2019 Saturday for two of 82nd Street’s beloved producers – Cherry Lane Farm and Ale Wife Farm… Meaning this weekend couldn’t be more perfect for stocking up on Cherry Lane and Ale Wife’s fantastic produce!! And, at the Info Tent, I’ll have plenty of holiday recipes for one and all and be cooking up something delicious with seasonal squashes and root vegetables!!”
Last week’s recycling totals: 102 lbs. batteries; 24 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 5 pairs of eyeglasses; 1 make-up wand; 18 compost bins; 40 bags of clothes
Yes, people, ANOTHER 18 bins!! UES composters rule!!
Sunday, November 24th: 92nd Street Greenmarket
First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm
The last Sunday of 92nd Street’s 2019 season…
And with us for this last day will be the great people of American Pride Seafood, Meredith’s Bakery, Ole Mother Hubbert and Phillips Farms!!
And yes, folks, the Master Knife Sharpener will there with us, too!!
Composting totals for 10/20 – 8 bins, 192 composters, 1022 lbs.; 10/27 – 7 bins, 103 composters; 903 lbs. ; 11/2, 11//9 & 11/17 – TBA
Almost 200 composters!! Unreal, you bright green people!!
Sunday, November 24th: Shred-A-Thon – Thanksgiving 2019 Edition
92nd Street Greenmarket, First Avenue at 92nd Street 10am-2pm
At last!! And the last of the season!! Rain or shine!! So, bring on that paper, folks!!
NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.
REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings.
NO HARDCOVER BOOKS. (But paperbacks are fine.)
(We’re having some ideas for those hardcovers so hold on to them!!)
Yet again, thank you, AM Seawright, CM Kallos and Powers for making Shred-A-Thons possible!!
Tuesday, November 26th: Every Other Tuesday Knitting Group
AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1480 York Avenue between 78th & 79th, 2-4pm
Not that it ever wasn’t, but knitting’s having a moment!! Crocheting, too… All needlework, in fact!! So, come and share it along with your community enthusiasms and concerns!! All genders, ages and skill levels welcome… (That means you, gentlemen!!) Just RSVP…
Tuesday, December 3rd: Giving Tuesday
On a computer near you…
The annual opportunity for ever generous UESiders to underscore their concern for those in need!!
Sunday, December 8th: Schurz Park Holiday Tree Lighting
East End Avenue at 86th Street, 5pm
We quote and it’s so true, “A cherished, family tradition: carols, Cantori Choir, Orbital Brass, candlelight, candy canes, hot chocolate… And an evening your family will cherish for years to come. Held snow, rain or balmy weather!!”
Monday, December 9th: Handel’s “Messiah” at Hunter College
Hunter College Assembly Hall, North Building, 69th Street between Park Lexington Avenues, 7:30pm
The wonderful voices of the Hunter College Choir… Soloists Amy Justman, Raehann Bryce-Davis Nicholas Simpson and Kenneth Overton… Concert directed by maestro Michael Sheetz… All that and it’s totally free!!
Sunday, December 15th: Volunteer Landscaping at Ridgewood Reservoir
Meet at the parking lot, Vermont Place, Brooklyn, 10am
And we quote, “Join NYC H2O and the NYC Parks Department as we remove invasive plants from the path around the reservoir. The reservoir is a beautiful home to 175 species of plants but many are invasive. For this project we will focus on removing mugwort on the causeway between basins 2 and 3.” (Mugwort!!) For more and to sign up…
On the activism score:
No, the Gov hasn’t yet signed the pesticide bill… If you’d like to remind him…
Miscellany with a growing holiday tinge:
Consumer Reports’ all-over-the-map holiday tips…
Photograph or draw your favorite tree in its fall glory and enter the Arbor Day Contest…
Then your favorite 5th graders’ masterpiece in the Arbor Day Poster Contest…
Precinct 19 plus a pair of DNA tests equals…
How about NYS DEC holiday Camping Gift Cards…
3D print out homes…
A bit of lowdown on NYS mosses and non-mosses…
Recycling as a lifestyle… If you’re a Trash Pirate, yes!!
NYS Conservation Officers had hands full with a deer rescue this week…
And the original purpose of bubble was… Wallpaper!!
Commencing with some not-so great news about Peconic scallops…
Federal Court’s just ruled our Federal Fisheries are inadequately protecting endangered right whales… (Shape up guys!!)
Eeek!! Australian fires are yet another threat to ever adorable koalas…
The Hawaiian Duck’s remarkable comeback from looming extinction…
As our cities become pollinator havens…
Underscoring that point, there’s Bee City USA…
Yup, you’re reading this right… Scientists need your dog’s help…
This week’s migratory numbers are::
The latest from the Hudson River Almanac and our part of the Hudson River where jellyfish seem to abound:
10/25 – Brooklyn: Today was another “new jelly” spotting on the East River at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Middle school students from Manhattan came to learn about the intertidal zone as we went out to Pebble Beach at low tide for beach combing. Students found Asian shore crabs, periwinkle snails, scuds (Gammarus), and algae, but the highlight was a large stranded lion’s mane jellyfish. Once we ensured that it was safe to touch, we allowed students to feel and investigate. – Christina Tobitsch, Shad Hopson
That Lion’s Mane Jellyfish
[The lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) is the largest known species of jellyfish in the world. They use their stinging tentacles to capture prey such as fish and smaller jellyfish. The tentacles of larger lion’s mane jellyfish can reach 100-feet in length and they can attain a bell diameter of over six-feet, although most are far smaller. In July 2008, swarms of lion’s mane jellyfish were reported in the Hudson River off Manhattan’s west side. – Tom Lake]
10/22 – Brooklyn, New York City: Eighty eighth-grade students from Brooklyn Heights joined Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy educators on the East River at the Pier 4 beach for seining and water quality testing as a part of the annual Day-in-the-Life of the River. Among the fishes, high count was Atlantic silverside (584); others included bay anchovy, winter flounder, northern pipefish, and Atlantic menhaden. In addition, hermit crab, ribbed mussel, moon jellyfish, and several Beroe’s and Leidy’s comb jellies were collected. Though Beroe’s comb jellies have been previously caught in our 12-year seining history, this marks the first time we have specifically recorded both Beroe’s and Leidy’s comb jellies at the same time. – Christina Tobitsch
A Beroe’s Comb Jelly
10/23 – Brooklyn, New York City: Volunteers performed a coastal clean-up this morning on the East River at Pebble Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park. As they were collecting trash that had been left by the tide, volunteers noticed large transparent plastic-looking shapes. There were 5-6 of them and they varied in size from 3-5-inches in diameter. They appeared to have been washed up on the rocks and left behind as the tide went out. After some research, we discovered that they too belonged to the genus Aequorea, probably the many-ribbed hydromedusa (Aequorea aequorea). – Elizabeth Harnett, Christina Tobitsch
A Many-Ribbed Aequorea
11/6 – Manhattan, HRM 1: Once again, we checked our research sampling gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 and were delighted to find a young-of-year striped bass (80 mm). A double treat was a feather blenny (60 mm), a fish we see only a few times a year. – Siddhartha Hayes, Meagan Fontanez, Chelsea Quaies
A Feather Blenny
[The feather blenny (Hypsoblennius hentz) is a small, scaleless, seasonally resident marine fish with fleshy cirri (“feathers”) on their head. Their lower jaw has a row of small, close-set teeth like those of a comb, thus their family name, combtooth blennies (Blenniidae). Blennies are benthic dwellers where they often burrow in the soft bottom or find refuge in old mollusk shells. It was added to our watershed fish list in August 1994 from a feather blenny caught at The River Project (Pier 41) in Manhattan. Tom Lake]
11/8 – Manhattan, HRM 1: We finished our sampling week by checking our research gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25. To our surprise, we caught our second feather blenny in two days, this one slightly larger (80 mm). Young-of-year striped bass were high count (7) in the killifish pot (65-80 mm). Rounding out a fabulous catch was a beautiful black sea bass (90 mm). – Siddhartha Hayes, Nina Hitchings
11/9 – New York Harbor: We were on the Capitol Princess fishing boat out of the East River with Captains Richard and Eric Collins. On board were the awesome environmental educators from Randall’s Island Park’s Alliance, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, City Parks Foundation, Battery Park City Parks, and the Lower East Side Ecology Center, who work tirelessly for the East River. After passing through the Upper Bay of New York Harbor, we began fishing along the inshore waters outside the Verrazano Narrows. The action was slow, but we did manage to catch a few tautog. On our way back into the Upper Bay, we came upon a striped bass feeding frenzy – they were blitzing Atlantic menhaden. We caught several of them, one of which was 20 pounds. – Peter Park, Chris Girgenti, Luis Gonzalez, Marieke Bender, Isa Del Bello, Kellan Stanner
With That 20 Pound Bass
But none of the above are Fish of the Last Two Weeks:
11/2 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 47 is the brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus), number 78 (of 230) on our watershed list of fishes.
The brown bullhead is one of eight species of catfish (Ictaluridae) found in the watershed and is considered a native species. Within the eight catfishes, three are bullheads, the others being the yellow bullhead (A. natalis) and the white catfish (A. catus). Four other catfishes are much smaller, including tadpole, margined, and brindled madtoms, as well as the stonecat. The eighth species, channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), was introduced from the Midwest and Mississippi watershed.
The brown bullhead, like most catfish, favors the bottom of ponds, lakes, and rivers feeding on benthic orgasms from crustaceans to small fishes. Their brown chin barbels serve as sense organs providing both touch and taste helping them to navigate in low-light conditions. While brown bullheads can get to be a foot-long, most of those we see are smaller. – Tom Lake
11/13 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 48 is the white perch (Morone americana), number 141 (of 230) on our watershed list of fishes.
A White Perch
White perch are one of three River Basses (Moronidae) found in the watershed and are very closely related to both striped bass and white bass. Physiologically, they do well in an estuary if given time to acclimate to water ranging from salt to brackish to fresh. They are native to the Atlantic slope from Canada to South Carolina with a center of abundance between the Hudson River and Chesapeake Bay. While they can reach 18-inches, those we see in the Hudson River are a foot-long or less.
Several years ago, as I was sampling Hudson River tidewater tributaries in the spring documenting fish populations, my net seemed to be catching an inordinately high number of “fat-bellied” white perch. I wrote off the first dozen or two as gravid females until it seemed like there were no males at all. Finally, with a Roy C. Ketcham high school class assisting, we did some invasive surgery and discovered that the stomachs of every “gravid” white perch was filed with glass eels (juvenile American eels). Glass eels, in from the sea each spring, surge into many tributaries from March through May creating robust forage for many predators. – Tom Lake
11/15 – Manhattan: We found 42 species of birds today in Central Park. Highlights included a late-date summer tanager, an orange-crowned warbler, a hairy woodpecker, a pied-billed grebe (first-of-season), American kestrel, 165 northern shovelers, and a female eastern bluebird. The eastern bluebird was found by Sol Shamilzade and was one of two bluebirds in the area. – Robert DeCandido, Deborah Allen
A Summer Tanager
May all our turkeys be green,