Happy National Eat-an-Apple-a-Day Day, UESiders!!

So many delicious, health-laden apples on the tables at our great year ’round market:

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

Apples and so much more on the tables of 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!!

Most weeks, there’re great apples in those bulging Food Box bags, too:

Every Tuesday:  Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Weekly Fresh Food Box

First Avenue & 70th Street,  2:30-6:30pm

For how to EASILY reserve your big, affordable bag of healthy, seasonal fresh fruit and vegs selected by GrowNYC…

 
Yes, we shop, eat, drink…  Then transport the scraps for compost at our 2 UES  sites:

Every Friday:  East 96th Street Food Scrap Drop-Off
96th Street & Lexington, 7:30-11:30am

Bring on those fruit, veg and non-greasy food scraps, rice, pasta, bread, grains, cereal, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, nuts, cut flowers and soiled brown paper!!

Every Sunday:  Asphalt Green Food Scrap Drop-Off

91st Street & York, 7:30am-12:30pm

But dump those meat, fish, bones, dairy, fat, oil, greasy food scraps, animal waste, charcoal, coconuts, insect/disease infested plants, plastics, twist ties, rubber bands and paper receipts into the trash bin at home!!

Of course, there’s plenty more going on:

Sunday, December 4th: Annual Carl Schurz Park Holiday Tree Lighting

86th Street & East End Avenue, 5pm 

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Music by the great Cantori New York!!  Community caroling!!  Hot chocolate!!  Candy canes!!  Absolutely free, of course!!  In the best UESide tradition!! 

Tuesday, December 6th:  iDig2Learn 10th Anniversary Party

Good Shepherd Chapel, 543 Main Street,  Roosevelt Island, 6-7:30pm 

A celebration of iDig2Learn and its mission to provide programming for all ages – the young and young-at-heart – by offering teaching garden sessions, ecology talks, nature walks, stargazing and free public events that promote restorative practices!!   Tickets, $35…  Teachers/seniors/students, $25…  For more and to reserve your place

 

Saturday, December 10th:  East 88th Street Clean Team Community Street Clean

Meet in front of Shake Shack, 154 East 86th Street, 12-1:30pm

Join the Team as they set forth  to tidy East 86th Street and the surrounding area…  And the Team doesn’t fool around!! They provide the tools, graffiti remover and paint to cover graffiti on lampposts, mailboxes, traffic control boxes and even a tasty Shake Shack treat at the event’s end!!  You provide the labor!!  And everyone gets a spic-and-span neighborhood!!   To sign on:  Afine@bhsusa.com.  And for more about the East 86th Street Association

Saturday, December 10th:  Czech Christmas at Bohemian Hall
321 East 73rd Street, 3-6pm

The New York Consulate General of the Czech Republic invites us to a special event celebrating traditional Czech Christmas…   Bring family and friends to enjoy caroling, crafts and treats for kids and a small Christmas Market featuring classic Czech holiday goodies/products, chocolates and sweets, mulled wine and traditional Czech Christmas cookies!!  Free…  For more… For more

As ever, some great virtual events, too:

Tuesday, December 6th, 1-2pm:  Virtual Reading of “Stellaluna” via Zoom

Virtual Reading of Stellaluna with Author Janell Cannon

Author Jannell Cannon reads her heartwarming tale of young fruit bat Stellaluna’s adventures when she’s separated from her mother and adopted by a family of birds!!  Presented by NYC H2O.  Free.  For more and to register… 

Thursday, December 15th, 12pm:  “Spices 101 – Cinnamon” with Christine Pal via Smithsonian Associates and  Zoom

The history and uses of a spice treasured across a host of cultures since ancient times and used for culinary, medicinal, and spiritual purposes!!   Smithsonian Members, $25, Non-members, $30.  For more and to register

Thursday, December 15th, 1-2pm:  The New NYC Bureau of Sustainability presented by Urban Green via the web

Urban Green Live sits down with bureau’s equally new commissioner, Laura Popa, to discuss its/her work, its priorities for the coming months and what it all means for the building industry!!   Non-members, $20.   Members,  Free-$10.  For more and to sign up

On the activism front:

Should you support the NYS All-Electric Buildings Act, give our governor a call (877-235-6537)… 

Following consultation with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Seafood Watch and in light of the industry’s impact on right whales, Whole Foods will no longer carry lobster caught in the Bay of Maine

The dubious economics of fracking

Seems like some companies have increased plastics production

May be an image of road and sky

Last Weekend’s Rain on First Avenue Bus Window  (thanks to Andrea Jeramos)


Moving on to the realm of diverting diversions: 

NYC’s new Bureau of Sustainability…   The Shrinkflation expert/exposer...  NYC and the sad journey of its/our garbage…  An eco victory for our northern long-eared bats…   NYS cycling guides…  A “rumination” on proposed Penn Station architecture…  NYC has a new sister city…  New Year’s NYS hikes…  So, folks, there’s a Society of Municipal Arborists and they’ve got a newsletter…  And there’s a new book of NYC walks, “The Intimate City”…  The science behind our cheese…  What’s next for Zero Waste Recycling…  A mysterious Crown Heights rooster…  Hawk Mountain’s fall migration update…  Secrets of the Brooklyn Library…  Survivor frogs…  NYS DEC news from our 5 boroughs…   Coterra Energy pleads guilty to PA water poisoning…  While the Kentucky Corp. is convicted of NYS dumping of contaminated material…  Our busy NYS Forest Rangers  Construction of the CHP transmission line begins…  Eco-friendly holiday wrapping paper…  Best use for fall leaves...

May be an image of animal and outdoors

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac (with a lot of bird action) :

11/19 – Hook Mountain:  Among the 26 south-migrating raptors we counted today at the Hook Mountain Hawkwatch, red-shouldered hawk was high count with 15. An immature female (by plumage and hefty size) northern goshawk came straight through the summit’s trees, moving west by southwest with nary a glance over at the great horned owl decoy high on its pole. The raptor had all the markings making it a goshawk: darkly barred and streaked through all the underwings and body right into its undertail coverts. There was not a trace of red or cinnamon in the underparts. The eye line was evident as well but was less obvious in the fast view of a raptor.

Northern goshawk
A Goshawk!!

Two hikers did not quite know what to make of the big boreal bird less than two feet above their heads that could simply tear right through tangles of branches of our small oaks and other summit-top trees. The glow of the goshawk lingered long after it left.

Other non-raptor migrants included snow buntings. They came by and looked as if to land, and possibly did so on the southwest upper slope of the mountain where there were patches of appropriate habitat. This is a species that we have seen in prior late fall seasons although hardly one that can be called expected at the Hook.  – Tom Fiore, Felicia Napier

11/19 – Goshen: The first thing this morning I went to Goshen to follow up on a confirmed eBird report of a yellow-throated warbler (Setophaga dominica). After an hour with no sign of the bird, I left. A while later, Jeanne Cimorrelli reported on the Mearns Bird Club App that the bird was present. I joined a good number of birders as we waited for the bird to show itself. After an hour wait, it did. The bird flitted around for only a minute before it flew off. I was happy to have been lucky enough to see the bird, a life bird for me. – Matt Zeitler

Yellow-throated warbler
That Yellow-Throated Warbler!!

[Yellow-throated Warblers, casual visitants to our area, are a slender, long-billed wood warbler with distinctive pattern, including a yellow throat, black mask, and black streaks on its sides. They are southern warblers that have slowly expanded their range north to Pennsylvania and New Jersey in recent decades. They were first found nesting in New York State in 1984. They are seen annually, usually in the spring, on Long Island. Stan DeOrsey]

11/22 – Hook Mountain: We counted just five south-migrating raptors today at the Hook Mountain Hawkwatch. The first migrants of the day were two turkey vultures floating over Hemlock Ridge in mid-morning. A short while later a juvenile red-shouldered hawk flew southwest high over the summit and a tight formation of four black vultures flew straight southwest vanishing over the distant Hackensack drainage. Not long after, a high duck flew very fast east to west over Rockland Lake. My best guess was canvasback.

Canvasback
A Canvasback!!

Near noon, we spotted two adult red-tailed hawks over Croton Point; I believe they were a local nesting pair. The hawks circled up endlessly and vanished with height. After noon, while viewing a group of vultures over the west summit, I spied a very high adult bald eagle traveling east. Later a very high immature red-tailed hawk soared southwest. In the one o’clock hour, I counted five high back vultures streaming southwest. Ten minutes later, however, five came floating back so I deleted their entry as migrants.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a large bird flying through the west summit woods. It landed in a low tree next to the Blue Trail 100 feet below the summit, obscured by a thicket. I stalked to within 60 feet and was rewarded with a clear view of a large (female) immature Cooper’s hawk perched in the sun, peering out over the Nyack Gulf, long, rounded, white-tipped tail iconic as a field guide illustration. – John Phillips

11/23 – Bedford: We counted 23 south-migrating raptors today at the Bedford Audubon Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch; red-shouldered hawk was high count with 14. Turkey vulture (52) was the numerical high count among non-raptor migrants. It was just a modest movement today. We thought it was going to be a bit busier given the light northwest wind. The highlight of the day was six red crossbills heard and seen as they zipped over the platform. – Richard Aracil, Karen Troche, Pedro Troche

Red crossbill
A Red Crossbill!!

11/24 – Hook Mountain:  Among the 38 south-migrating raptors we counted today at the Hook Mountain Hawkwatch, red-shouldered hawk was high count with 28. Turkey vulture (22) was the numerical high count among non-raptor migrants. Northern harrier made a nice showing today (5), and the last of those seen was an adult male, a gray ghost.- Tom Fiore

Northern harrier
A Northern Harrier!!

With the Fish of the Week being:

11/19 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 197 will begin with a Family-of-Fishes, the North American catfishes (Ictaluridae), numbers 78-85 (of 237) on our Hudson River Watershed List of Fishes. 

Yellow bullhead
A Yellow Bullhead!!

Among indigenous Mohican people, whose ancestral homeland lies entirely within our watershed, the generic native catfish is known as Stãabaw. There are eight species of Ictaluridae (Ictalurids), documented for our watershed. With its ancestral origins, we can speculate as to which species were the original Stãabaw.

Of our eight Ictalurids, three are nonnative: stonecat, channel catfish, and brindled madtom. Two others are small species in small waters, tadpole and margined madtom, unlikely to economically inspire the Mohican people. The final three species, white catfish, and brown and yellow bullheads, all fit the conditions. Any, or all, could be Stãabaw.

Since the Almanac has previously featured white catfish and brown bullhead, we will choose yellow bullhead, Ameiurus natalis, number 80 on our Hudson River Watershed List of Fishes, a species that is known to have been, and still is, present in the Mohican ancestral homeland.

The yellow bullhead is native to the Atlantic and Gulf coast watersheds from New York to northern Mexico, including the Great Lakes and Mississippi River where they can reach 15 inches. They favor ponds and clear streams, and while silty water is not conducive to their presence, they are found in the turbid waters of the tidewater Hudson River.

All our Ictalurid species have four pairs of barbels (commonly referred to as “whiskers”) and their skin does not have any scales. In fish anatomy, a barbel is a slender, whisker-like sensory organ near the mouth. Barbels house the taste buds of fish and are used to search for food in turbid water. The word barbel comes from Middle Latin barbula, for “little beard,” and the Latin barbus, referencing carp.

J.R. Greeley, in his A Biological Survey of the Lower Hudson Watershed (1937), lists the yellow bullhead as “rare,” with most of the records collected coming from the Wallkill River watershed. The original description of the yellow bullhead (Lesueur 1819) was as Pimelodus natalis. The Type site is listed, simply, as “Upper Canada” with no specific locality. Lesueur’s holotype (the original fish described) has been lost.

The yellow bullhead is one of my favorite fishes, primarily because of how seldom we see one. In the field, it is often tricky to distinguish a yellow bullhead from the far more common brown bullhead. One of the best field marks are their chin barbels: mottled white-yellow for the yellow bullhead; dusky brown or black for the brown bullhead. In many instances, the “yellow” of the yellow bullhead is instantly recognizable as it was this summer during a seining program with fourth-graders when we caught a ten-inch yellow bullhead that was as yellow as a lemon drop. – Tom Lake

And This Week’s Very Adorable Bird:

Image of Piping Plover by Ray Hennessy, Shutterstock

The Piping Plover


Keeping yesterday, World AIDS Day, in mind,

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  On November 30, 1896, the Brooklyn Common Council passed a resolution to establish Brooklyn Public Library to nurture “the minds of the people and lay the foundation of a better civilization for the future.” A year later, the first branch opened in the former P. S. 3 on Bedford Avenue. The growth of the library system was bolstered by a $1.6 million donation from Andrew Carnegie in 1901. This money was used to open 21 new branches across the borough, 18 of which are still in use.

Meanwhile, Julia Richmond’s pool locker room will soon be renovated to the tune of $3M!! 

Eco Tip of the Week:   Check out Radius, a pure silk, totally compostable dental floss!!  (Sorry to say Glide is totally uncompostable and tangles in water treatment mechanics…  Don’t flush!!  Toss!!)

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Happy Beginning of the Holiday Season, UESiders!!

Post Turkey Day, we’re going to try to be brief…

Let’s see how that works out!!

Commencing with our wonderful year ’round market:

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

At their tables with all kinds of wintertime edibles will be  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!!

(No way we can fill our plates/glasses with too many Brussels sprouts, winter squashes (baked or soup), apple cider and/or toasted and well-buttered whole grain bread!!)

Add our other great 52-weeks-a-year GrowNYC local/regional food source:

Every Tuesday:  Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Fresh Food Box
First Avenue & 70th Street,  2:30-6:30pm

Pay one week in advance for an equitably-priced,  pre-assembled box of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables grown primarily by regional farmers and sourced through GrowNYC Wholesale!!   (Yes, equitably-priced – just $7 for SNAP card holders – and with generous enough portions some folks share a weekly box!!)   For more

Then there’re our composting sites:

Every Friday: 
East 96th Street Food Scrap Drop-Off

96th Street & Lexington, 7:30-11:30am

Bring on your fruit and veg scraps, non-greasy food scraps, rice, pasta, bread, grains, cereal, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, nuts, cut flowers and soiled brown paper!!

&

Every Sunday:  Asphalt Green Food Scrap Drop-Off
91st Street & York, 7:30am-12:30pm

But dump those meat,, fish, bones, dairy, fat, oil, greasy food scraps, animal waste, charcoal, coconuts, insect/disease infested plants, plastics, twist ties, rubber bands and paper receipts into the trash bin!!

Then there’re these events coming up:

Sunday, December 4th:   Annual Carl Schurz Park Holiday Tree Lighting
86th Street & East End Avenue, 5pm 

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Music by the great Cantori New York!!  Community caroling!!  Hot chocolate!!  Candy canes!!  Absolutely free, of course!!  In the best UESide tradition!! 

Tuesday, December 6th:  iDig2Learn 10th Anniversary Party
Good Shepherd Chapel, 543 Main Street,  Roosevelt Island, 6-7:30pm 

A celebration of iDig2Learn and its mission to provide programming for all ages, the young and young-at-heart, by offering teaching garden sessions, ecology talks, nature walks, stargazing and free public events that promote restorative practices…  Tickets, $35…  Teachers/seniors/students, $25…  For more and to reserve your place

As ever, some activism:

If you think merchants – think Walmart, Target and more – should not be making their gift cards from PVCs…  (Yeah, they actually do!!)

Scroll down to expenses and check out where and how much of our NYC tax monies are spent (especially on housing, parks and libraries!!)…

Moving on to the realm of diverting diversions: 

NYS’s great new Neonicotinoid Pesticide Product legislation…  Storing our new, green power…    Fun wild turkey facts…  Secrets of the Macy’s T”giving Parade…  Wyoming’s Fossil Lake…  Great holiday subscription rate for the even greater NYS “Conservationist” Magazine…   day in the life of a Wildlife Transporter Volunteer…  The latest (!) on King Arthur and his Round Table…  Smithsonian’s ten best stem gifts for kids…   The mystery of the weeping eagle…  More fun turkey facts…  NYS Conservation Police on their busy beat…  Latest raptor migration stats…  The Hudson River and climate change…  A master tree climber…   Part III of “The Other End of the Pipeline” fracked gas saga…  Could be recycling of plastic film…    Recyclable classic Japanese architecture…  A “ray of hope”…  Rhode Island’s almost single use bag ban and its reusable bag standards…  A native-to-New York cactus…  An American lion…  Not cheap, but streaming Carnegie Hall classics

On this Spring evening I decided to head out for a short hike. With limited time and exploring a new area, I didn’t expect to see much, and was thrilled to run into a bobcat and her kitten. Mom took the lead as they moved at a steady pace for a while, but the kitten couldn’t resist showing her affection to mom. Whenever they stopped, she would rub her head against her mother’s head, creating touching moments such as this one.

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac:

11/12 – Norrie Point: A  bunch of us gathered at the mouth of the Enderkill at Norrie Point State Park to take out an eel fyke. We set the nest yesterday in hopes of catching mature silver eels. Unfortunately, only one small eel was captured, and it was not sexually mature.

We did capture one unusual creature, however, a small (26 millimeter) Chinese mitten crab. This was the first mitten crab recorded from the Hudson River in two years. A mitten crab of that size was probably spawned in saltwater last January, moved into the freshwater part of the estuary in spring, and spent the summer and early fall growing. We kept the crab for reasons outlined below. – Bob Schmidt
 

Chinese mitten crab
That  Chinese Mitten Crab!!

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

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

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

11/15 – Yonkers: Our staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak made our five seine hauls to discover what aquatic life was home in the river today. There had been a significant drop in river temperature (59 to 54 degrees) in four days. The colder water seemed to limit our catch a bit, though we still got our typical late-season helping of silverside and comb jellies.

Soft-shelled clam
Soft Shell Crabs 

High count among fishes was Atlantic silverside (4), the largest being 115 mm. Invertebrates included comb jellies (7), sand shrimp, a soft-shelled clam, and one blue crab (50 mm). The salinity was 7.8 parts-per-thousand (ppt) and the dissolved oxygen (DO) was a healthy 9.5 parts-per-million (ppm) – Jason Muller, Rachel Lynch

[The standard research measurement for blue crabs (mm) is point-to-point, laterally, across their carapace.]

11/17 – Manhattan: Hudson River Park staff checked our research gear (pots and traps) that we deploy at Piers 26 and 40 as part of our fish ecology survey.

At Pier 40, a lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) was spotted clinging to the side of a crab pot, but the fish fell back into the river before it could be collected and measured. Our minnow traps held amphipods and mud dog snails. It was a quiet day at Pier 26—no fish were caught here. However, we took the opportunity to redeploy eight traps that been damaged or lost this season. (

Lined seahorse
A Lined Seahorse


On to the Fish of the Week:

11/17 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 195 is the black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), number 160 (of 237), on our Hudson River Watershed List of Fishes.

Black crappie
A Black Crappie

Black crappie is one of thirteen members of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) documented for the watershed. Among others are smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and the closely related white crappie (P. annularis).

Black crappie is highly compressed (laterally), diamond or rhombic-shaped, with dense patches of dark scales giving it the “calico” look. C.L Smith suggests that the best protocols for separating the two species in the field is to measure the length of their dorsal fin base (black crappie has a noticeably longer dorsal fin base). For white crappie, their dorsal fin base averages 30.1-percent of their total standard length. Black crappie averages 36.3-percent. [Standard length is measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the caudal fin.]

The native range of black crappie is difficult to determine due to its widespread introduction throughout North America but is presumably the Atlantic Slope from Virginia to Florida, Saint Lawrence River and Southern Quebec, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi River watershed. Their Type Site (location where the holotype was first described to science) is the Wabash River in Ohio. They are predominantly a freshwater species but can be found in moderately brackish water where they can reach 19-inches in length. Black crappie favors clear water in vegetated areas over mud or sand (FishBase).

J.R. Greeley, in his A Biological Survey of the Lower Hudson Watershed (1937), notes that the black crappie comes with colloquial names including strawberry bass and calico bass. His survey found black crappie moderately common in lakes, ponds, the Hudson River and its tributaries, but probably not native to this region. Smith designates them as likely a canal immigrant from points west. There is a suggestion (Journals of Dr. Caleb Rea, regimental surgeon for the English garrison at Fort William Henry (1755-1757) that black crappie may be native to Lake George (via the Late Pleistocene Champlain Sea).

[In his survey, Greeley lists the black crappie right after the rare chubby sunfish (Enneacanthus obesus), a species since renamed as the banded sunfish, a native species number 151 on our watershed list.]

Among the Mohican people, whose ancestral homeland lies entirely within the Hudson River watershed, both species of crappie are known as Waathnoosaw. Although Greeley found no white crappie in his survey, they are known, albeit uncommon, from Hudson tidewater. Black crappie is highly prized by open-water anglers and ice-fishers for their culinary quality and have an ardent following of springtime recreational anglers in the watershed. – Tom LakeNot forgetting This Week’s Mighty Fine Bird:

Image of Montezuma Quail by Peter LaTourretteThe Montezuma Quail


Happy Small Business Saturday Shopping,

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  An estimated 5 billion tons of carpet waste goes into landfill landfills, roughly 17 pounds per American with between 94% and 100 made from plastic.  NYS Assembly Bill A.9279-A would reqire manufacturers to be responsible for the costs of collection of waste as is the case with other products such as electronic waste.  In addition, the bill would prohibit the use of PFAS on carpets!!

Eco Tip of the Week:  Ever wonder about those glassine windows on envelopes…  If those little windows’re a form of plastic or something bad else that’d make envelopes with them unrecyclable unless they’re removed!!  THEY DON”T!!  Glassine’s pure wood pulp and as recyclable as paper!!

 

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Happy Turkey Day 2022, UESiders!!

Yes, turkey…   And gravy…   Stuffing…   And gravy…  Mashed potatoes…  And gravy…  Cranberry sauce swimming in a bit of gravy..   Pumpkin pie–

Yes, we do draw the line at gravy and pumpkin pie…  And after dinner coffee!!

(But pretty much only there…)


And where better to be acquiring the necessities for the great annual American meal??

Our great Greenmarkets, of course:  

Saturday, November 19th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket
82 Street between First & York Avenues, 9am-2pm

As ever, with us will be 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!!

Sunday, November 20th:  The Final Sunday of 94th Street Greenmarket’s 2022 Season
First Avenue at 92nd Street , 9am-3pm

Hard to believe another great 94th Street summer/fall Greenmarket is at an end!! 

BUT…

That leaves one last, pre-Thanksgiving Sunday to fill our reusable bags with the great seafood, meat, vegs and fruit, baked goods and kimchee from American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Ole Mother Hubbert, Kimchee Harvest, Grandpa’s Farm, Halal Pastures,  Meredith’s Country Bakery,  Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!! 

And let’s wish everyone at those tables all the best till we see them again, next June 2023!!

Maestra Manager Margaret’s adds:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

Yes, our forecast is for very cold temps this weekend but, I’m betting, that’s won’t stop UESiders from heading out this weekend’s Saturday/Sunday mornings to your Greenmarkets to get wonderful, fresh produce for your holiday meals!!


And PLEASE 

AT BOTH 82nd AND 92ND STREETS

IF YOU LIVE WITHIN 2 BLOCKS OF THE MARKETS

STOP BY THE MANAGER’S INFO TENT AND SIGN
THE MARKET RENEWAL PETITION!!

(Needed for us to continue having our UESide markets in 2023!!)


With warm Thanksgiving wishes…

And thanks for your continued support,

Margaret

And let us not forget:

Every Friday:  East 96th Street Food Scrap Drop-Off
96th Street & Lexington, 7:30-11:30am

Closed Friday, November 25th!!   (Open next Friday, December 2nd!!)

Every Sunday:  Asphalt Green Compost Collection

91st Street & York Avenue, 7:30am-12:30pm

Open Sunday, November 27th!!   Bring on those scraps!!

 

As ever, there’re virtual events, too:

At your convenience:  “The Other End of the Pipeline” –  Part I (“The Pennsylvania Woods”) & Part II (“Fracked Gas in Brooklyn”)

A pair of 4-minute films detailing fracking’s impact where it begins and where the fracked “product” winds up!!   To watch

At your convenience:  “The Small But Mighty” from the Nature Conservancy

 From bats to bees and beyond and their vital roles in the natural world!!  Free.  To watch

Friday, November 18th-22nd:  
Native Cinema Showcase presented by the National Museum of the American Indian

The museum’s annual celebration of the best of indigenous film!!  On demand and free!!  For the films and more

Tuesday, November 29th, 6:30-7:30pm: The Fulton Fish Market – A History with Jonathan Rees via Zoom

Yet another winner from the great folks at NYC H2O!!  Free!!    For more and to sign up

Image

An activism trifecta this time out:

Should you oppose pipelines bringing fracked gas into a struggling NYC neighborhoods… 

And if you think Costco – among many a merchandizer –  should move beyond plastic packaging… 

And should you believe antibiotics should be banned from use in agriculture, lawns and “landscapes” (i.e. parks)

Moving on to the realm of diverting diversions: 

Six tips to make our Thanksgivings plastic free…  What our NYS FOrest Rangers have been up  to of late…  Our newest National Marine Sanctuary…  Perennial food production…   A once-extinct fish returns to its habitat…  And a rediscovered clam…  Free RI winter tennis lessons for kids 5-18…  Birds singing to their eggs…  NYS gas station enforcement…  Secrets of Kips Bay

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac:

11/3 – Yonkers: Students from the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation joined our staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak to investigate the river’s life with our beach seine. Across five hauls we caught two young-of-year striped bass and two smallmouth flounder (Etropus microstomus, the first we have ever caught here.

Smallmouth flounder
One of those Smallmouth Flounders!!

Invertebrates dominated the catch with 15 blue crabs, 10 Atlantic silverside, as well as comb jellies, grass shrimp, and sand shrimp. The river temperature was 60 degrees Fahrenheit (F), salinity was 11.6 pars-per-thousand (ppt), and the dissolved oxygen (DO) was 8.2 parts-per-million (ppm). – Jason Muller, Ishika Joshi

[With three smallmouth flounder this week, Jason Muller, and his staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak had, once again, struck ichthyological gold (see Lyre goby, October 25, 2021). Tom Lake]

10/30 – Piermont Pier:  I took a late morning walk today on Piermont Pier. As the tide was low, I left the road and walked on the sandy north shore where I came across a small (14-inch) dead Atlantic sturgeon. A bit further on, I came upon two Atlantic brant, almost certainly in migration, at the water’s edge. Near the end of my walk, I found a woolly bear caterpillar, the larval form of the Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella), on the path. I thought of the old, but perhaps not entirely discredited, folklorist belief that the wider the middle rusty-brown section, as a percentage of their total length, the milder the coming winter will be. Conversely, the wider the combined black sections, fore and aft, the more severe the winter will be.

Woolly bear caterpillar
That Wooly Bear Caterpillar!!

This woolly bear was dominated by its middle brown band (60 percent) flanked by two lesser black bands (30 percent and10 percent). Although the caterpillar moved surprisingly fast across the path, I helped it to the grass to keep it from automobile wheels and inattentive feet. – Linda Pistolesi

[Is there science involved in reading the woolly bear’s bands? Beginning in 1948, Dr. C. H. Curran, curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History, conducted wooly bear caterpillar research each autumn at New York’s Bear Mountain State Park. Dr. Curran’s data suggests that the combination of wide and narrow bands, as a percentage of their total length, can predict the severity of the winter to come. If we were inclined to believe, we would expect a somewhat milder winter this year. Tom Lake]

[Hudson River Sturgeon – Reports of dead sturgeon of either species are tracked by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and reported to the National Marine Fisheries (NMFS)

Report sightings of dead sturgeon to DEC’s Marine Life Incident Report online survey:  https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/c4a0ad629d9d464495f81802f2e4b768?   Also, visit
https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/37121.html to report a fish or to get more information.

Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) was added to the federal Endangered Species List in February 2012. Shortnose sturgeon (A. brevirostrum) was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) as an endangered species on March 11, 1967, under the Endangered Species Preservation Act, the precursor to the Endangered Species Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) assumed jurisdiction for shortnose sturgeon from the USF&WS in 1974. Both species are fully protected in New York waters.]

10/31 – Saint Andrew-on-Hudson, HRM 80: 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 year 14 of our annual pilgrimage to the grave site of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit theologian, geologist, anthropologist, paleontologist, and renowned naturalist who died in 1955 and was buried on the grounds of the Culinary Institute of America (a former Jesuit novitiate1833-1968).

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 both anthropology and geology — Teilhard de Chardin had a Ph.D. in geology — today’s contribution was a palm-sized piece of English flint (chert) collected at low tide along the River Thames in London (UK). After examining its attributes, it was likely an expended “core,” remnants or lithic debitage from Stone Age tool production. Flakes had been removed either by percussion or pressure flaking and then fashioned into small tools (micro-liths) such as stone knives, points, and scrapers by Neolithic artisans. – Tom Lake, Phyllis Lake

11/4 – Ulster County: I finally got a decent photo of a fisher in my backyard in Rosendale. Their population seems rather healthy despite roadkill sightings. However, there are very few porcupines, among their favorites, in the immediate area, but racoons have rebounded as of late. I did lose my cat a few years back and found him up a downed tree a hundred yards into the woods. – Jay Snow

Fisher
That Fisher!!

[Fishers (Martes pennanti) are one of our largest weasels (river otters are similar-sized) reaching over forty-inches in length. Their stature is relatively low to the ground, with short legs, small ears, and a well-furred tail. The color of their fur varies from dark brown to nearly black. They are seen periodically in the Catskills and Adirondacks are not rare in the Mid-Hudson Valley. While the name of this fur bearer suggests an aquatic habitat and diet, they much prefer dense forests and porcupines. One of the colloquial names for fisher is “fisher-cat.” Fisher is native to New York State and a member of the Mustelidae family (mustela, Latin for weasel) along with other New York State mammals such as mink, American marten, and various other smaller weasels. Ellen Rathbone]And the actual Fish of the Week is:

10/30 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 194 is the summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), number 223 (of 237), on our Hudson River Watershed List of Fishes.

Summer flounder
A Summer Flounder

The summer flounder is taxonomically categorized as a left-eyed flounder (Bothidae), one of five such species in the estuary. They should not be confused with similar-looking righteyed flounders (Pleuronectidae). Summer flounder, most often known colloquially as “fluke,” are found in coastal waters from Maine to Florida. In the estuary, they are considered permanent-seasonally resident marine species.

As flatfish, flounders lie flat on the bottom and the two families are easy to distinguish in the field by referencing how the flounder’s mouth opens relative to its eyes. Both eyes of a left-eyed flounder will be on the left side of its head; both eyes of a right-eyed flounder will be on the right side of its head. This odd arrangement of eyes is a wonderful and ancient example of adaptation through natural selection and favored traits.

Flounders are born with one eye on each side of their head, as with most fishes. As flounders grow from the larval to juvenile stage, through a process called metamorphosis, one eye migrates to the opposite side of their head with a bit of a skull shift. As a result, both eyes are then on the side that faces up. It is like their unique DNA is executing program code. The topside of most flounders can very intricately mimic the substrate providing excellent camouflage from predators.

The literature claims that summer flounder will eat anything it can fit into its large, tooth-studded mouth, including all manner of fish and crustacean. Large summer flounder –  often referred to as “doormats” – can reach 37-inches and weigh 30 lb. – Tom LakeOn to This Week’s Mighty Fine Bird:

Image of Yellow Rail by Agami Photo Agency, Alamy Stock Photo

The Yellow Rail


NYS now has an official New York Recycles Day, 

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  The NYC Billion Oyster Project has introduced 100 million oysters to clean our New York Harbor since 2014 and now has the tools and know-how to add another 100 million oysters every year!!  

Eco Tip of the Week:  The where, when and how of those bags lining our home compost bins…

 

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Hey, UESiders!!

Mega Imperiala Manager Margaret has this last minute weekend shopping news:

Dear Greenmarketeers,

This Saturday at 82nd Street, we’ll be adding a special guest producer to our usual primo line-up of  farmers/fishers/bakers/beekeepers…  Walnut Hill!!

Yes, Walnut Hill with their array of delicious salamis in various styles!! 

And

For you shoppers who’ve been missing market flowers, they’ll also be bringing a small but choice selection of dried floral bouquets!!

Then on Sunday at 94th Street

It’s the Thanksgiving Instapot Giveaway…  A completely free, for-one-and-all raffle!! 
 
Just stop by the 94th Market Manager’s Info Tent..  Vote for your favorite holiday meal dish…  And you’ll be entered for a chance to win an Instapot to help with preparing that great holiday meal!!

Happy shopping,

Margaret
 

You go, Instapot!!

UGS

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Happy Idea Collection Round of Participatory Budgeting, UESiders!!

And UGS’s big idea??

You guessed it!!


Another stab at restoring our 3 astonishingly successful/defunct-for-near-2-years-now compost collection sites…  (1) Adjacent to our 82nd Street Greenmarket…  (2)  Adjacent to our seasonal 94th Street Greenmarket… and (3) at the 70th Street/Robbins Plaza Food Box Site!! 

And how for us UES Compost Champs to express our support for this PB candidate??


Just – in the next 24 hours – head to
 http://ideas.pbnyc.org/place/650975…  Hit the heart emoji and then leave even a one-word, positive comment!!

Pretty minimal effort for tons of greenness, yes??


Moving on to a more relaxed weekend and week than last:

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

At tables loaded with pre-Thanksgiving goodness 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, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

(Stocking up on butter!!  Could Cherry Lane possibly still be having tomatoes??) 

Saturday, November 12th:  Roosevelt Island Stop ‘n Swap

Older Adult Center, 546 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, 11am-3pm

Drop off good quality items you no longer need 11am to 2pm…  Take home something new (to you) 12-3pm!!  And you don’t have to bring anything to take home that something new!!  All entirely free!!  Organized by idig2learn, GrowNYC, THe Carter Burden Network and RIOC!!  And if you’d like to volunteer: idig2learn@gmail with the “SWAP” in the subject line!! 

11/12 StopNSwap

Every Sunday:  Asphalt Green Compost Collection
91st Street & York Avenue, 7:30am-12:30pm

Collection’s back!!  Bring on those 2 weeks of foodscraps!!

Every Sunday:  94th Street Greenmarket Reopens!!
First Avenue at 92nd Street , 9am-3pm

Post-Marathon and back with us will be our friends at American Pride Seafood, Ole Mother Hubbert, Kimchee Harvest, Grandpa’s Farm, Halal Pastures,  Meredith’s Country Bakery,  Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!!

(We love salads of Norwich Meadow’s small, sweet, colorful peppers!!) 

Moving down the week:

Thursday, November 17th & Saturday, November 19th:  Bridging the Seasons Walk in Central Park
Meeting place details with reservation, 2pm

And we quote, “A walk that highlights one of CP’s most celebrated architectural elements…  Its ornamental bridges, each unique in design!!  $25 with a 20% discount for members.  For more and to sign up…  

As ever, there’re some great virtual events:

Wednesday, November 16th, 2-3pm:  Winter Bird Feeding Q&A with the Cornell Lab, Live via Zoom

Here’s to the best nutrition for our feathered friends!!  Free…  To register...

Tuesday, November 29th, 6:30-7:30pm:  The Fulton Fish Market –  A History with Jonathan Rees via Zoom

Yet another winner from the great NYC H2O!!  Free!!  For more and to sign up:

Image

Tuesday, December 6th, 1pm: A Virtual Reading of Stellaluna with Author Janell Cannon

Virtual Reading of Stellaluna with Author Janell Cannon

When young fruit bat Stellaluna is separated from her mother, she’s adopted by a family of birds with very different habits in this award-winning and bestselling picture book classic.  Organized in NYC by NYC H2O!!  Free…  To reserve a spot

Always some worthy activism:

Iyou support giving NYC rats less chow-down time and putting our residential trash out for collection after 8pm… 

Just a few diverting diversions this time out: 

spring bulb planting video from TreesNY…  A fall gardening for wildlife checklist...  What our NYS Forest Rangers have been up to of late…  Same for the NYS Environmental Conservation Police…  How birds are good for us…  New regs for 1,4 Dioxane in things we could have around the house…  Our Esplanade on TV...   Jimmy Carter and solar panels in Georgia…  And, yeah, panels are back on the White House roof

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac:

10/23 – Brooklyn:  Our New York City H2O staff went seining today (20-foot net) with third-graders on Plumb Beach at the western edge of Jamaica Bay.  Jamaica Bay is an adjunct estuary to our Hudson River watershed. Among the fish we caught were spearing (Atlantic silverside), killifish (mummichog), and a lovely lookdown (100 mm).  (See Fish-of-the-Week!!)

Seining lookdown
Seining at Plumb Beach!!

NYC H2O’s mission is to inspire and educate New Yorkers of all ages to learn about, enjoy and protect their city’s local water ecology. Through providing public and school programs at historic reservoirs, parklands, watersheds, bays, rivers, and wetlands, we encourage diverse citizens to advocate for responsible public policy. – Matt Malina

(Yes, this is the one and same great NYC H2O!!)10/19 – Randall’s Island: Our Randall’s Island Park Alliance staff did some midday seining today at the Water’s Edge Garden Beach on the Harlem River. As has been the case just about everywhere this summer and fall, Atlantic silverside (312) was the high count. Most were young-of-year (60 mm), but a few may have been older (135 mm). Among others were striped bass, bluefish, northern pipefish, Atlantic menhaden, and one gorgeous alewife (80 mm).

Alewife
That Alewife!!

Our invertebrates were grass and sand shrimp, and one blue crab the size of a sunflower seed. The water was 63 degrees Fahrenheit (F), the salinity was 22.0 parts-per-thousand (ppt), and the dissolved oxygen (DO) was 7.97 parts-per-million (ppm). – Jackie Wu

10/20 – Randall’s Island:  Our Randall’s Island Park Natural Areas crew conducted our second water bird count for October. Beginning in mid-afternoon, we visited nine sites that covered all but the eastern side of the Island looking for water birds. Our most bio-diverse site was at our kayak launch on the north-west corner of Randall’s Island, that offers a view across the Bronx Kill at the dilapidated piling field. It was there that we saw 2 immature black-crowned night herons, 3 adult black-crowned night herons, 2 spotted sandpipers, 2 double-crested cormorants, and one each of great blue heron and belted kingfisher. – Jackie Wu

With the Fish of the Week being:

10/22 –  Fish-of-the-Week for Week 193 is the lookdown (Selene vomer), number 178 (of 237) on our watershed list of fishes.

Lookdown
A Lookdown!?!

Lookdown is one of six members of the jack family (Carangidae) documented for our estuary. Others include crevalle jack, round scad, Atlantic moonfish, banded rudderfish, and permit. All are considered temperate marine strays from more southerly waters although the crevalle jack seems to have become a bit more established in the coastal waters of the New York Bight and may be considered a seasonally resident marine species.

They are found in shallow coastal waters, usually over hard or sandy bottoms, Maine to Florida, along the coasts of Central and South America to Uruguay, including Bermuda and Gulf of Mexico. In Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine (1953), where they are considered rare strays, lookdown is called horsehead. They have that look. Juveniles may be encountered in estuarine areas and off sandy beaches. Adults feed on small crabs, shrimp, fishes, and worms, and they can get to nineteen inches.

Lookdown give the undeniable appearance of a tropical fish, one that is designed to escape predators by escape and evasion rather than concealment. With a very narrow caudal peduncle, forked tail, a lean and streamlined body, they are structured for speed. Holding one carefully in your wet hand, they will work their tail back-and forth like a high-speed rudder. That “rudder” is their motor for speed.

The steep and deeply slanted profile of the lookdown’s head gives the impression that it is looking down its nose, thus the common name. C. Lavett Smith calls them “one of the most improbable fishes.” Their silvery body is reflected in their genus, Selene, from Greek selas (flashy or shining). Their trivial name, vomer, is from the Latin vomer, meaning plow. Together, Selene vomer, describes them as having a “flashy plow-head.” Very apt.

In the Hudson River estuary, like other seldom-seen jacks such as Atlantic moonfish and permit, lookdown is caught on occasion in research and education nets. – Tom Lake10/28 – Dutchess County: This was my first-of-season snow goose sighting, a single, starkly white snow goose amidst scores of Canada geese on Pugsley Hill in the Town of Amenia. – Deborah Trace Kral

Canada geese-snow goose
That Snow Goose!!

Snow geese travel with the same habitats and flyways as Canada Geese. A single snow goose, like this one, likely misplaced its flock, lost its way for a variety reasons, and adopted another. Misplaced geese of other species do this as well, including the white-fronted goose, abundant in the West and, even rarer, the pink-footed goose that breeds in Greenland and Iceland. Rich Guthrie adds the barnacle goose to this mix as well.  – Anne Swaim, Saw Mill River Audubon

Then there’s our actual Bird of Week:

Image of Lesser Prairie Chicken. Photo by Eleanor Briccetti.

The Lesser Prairie-Chicken


Bring on Compost/Participatory Budgeting Combo!!

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  NYS voters approved the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act!! 

Eco Tip of the Week:  Recycle unwanted/used sneakers at New Balance, 1172 Third Avenue between 68th & 69th!!

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Happy National Sandwich Day, UESiders!!

Pretty much pales in comparison to NYC’s Marathon Sunday, but hey…

The whole weekend’s going to be great…  Even with just one market open:

Every Saturday: 
 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, Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!! 

With Manageria Magica Margaret’s wisdom of the week being:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

Fall spinach is here and delicious cooked or raw in salad (as in last Saturday’s market demo and a recipe the newsletter writer thinks everyone should have):

1 lb bacon cut into bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lbs spinach, washed and coarsely chopped 
2 scallions, chopped
3 beet pickled eggs, chopped ( from Walnut Ridge Farm)
1 large apple, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 Tblsp vinegar
Salt & pepper

Cook bacon until crisp.  Add chopped garlic to the pan with the bacon right before bacon is done.  Remove bacon & garlic from the pan leaving bacon fat behind.  Combine all the remaining ingredients with the bacon and toss to combine.  Adjust seasoning and enjoy!! 

Returning to this Saturday’s market…  Cherry Lane will likely have at least some tomatoes and maybe even a few ears of corn!!  Otherwise think apples, winter squash and a great selection of greens!!

Happy shopping, eating and Marathon watching,

Margaret

Then:

Saturday, November 5th:  Aqueduct Park Walk and Clean-Up
Aqueduct Walk, West Kingsbridge Road and Aqueduct Avenue, The Bronx, 10am-12pm

Join NYC H2O and City Council District 14 for a clean-up along beautiful Aqueduct Walk Park…  A park built atop a key link in NYC’s first reliable source of drinking water!!  All equipment provided!!  Plus great insights into the aqueduct’s history!!  Free!1  To reserve your place

Saturday, November 5th:  Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Bash!!
Upper Lawn, Roosevelt Island, 11am-2pm (rain or shine)

Yes, pumpkin bashing/smashing is sweeping NYC!!   And who would have ever thought compost-making would be so much fun!! 

Image

Saturday, November 5th:  Funky Soul Band on the East River!! 
The Aycock Pavilion, East River Esplanade at 60th Street, 1-4pm

It’ll be an afternoon of great music, Craft Studio fun for the young set and A La Made ice cream in 7 flavors for one and all!!   Another  Esplanade Friends event and its last of 2022!!  

CLOSED FOR MARATHON SUNDAY, November 6th:  94th Street Greenmarket
First Avenue & 94th Street, 9am-3pm

BUT RETURNING NEXT SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12th!!

CLOSED FOR MARATHON SUNDAY, November 6th:  Asphalt Green Compost Collection
91st Street & York Avenue, 7:30am-12:30pm

BUT RETURNING NEXT SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12th!!

Sunday, November 6th:  
Green Park Gardeners’ 7th Annual Pumpkin Smash!!

East River Esplanade Pedestrian Bridge at 63rd Street, 1-4pm

Hey, kids (of all ages)!! Don’t throw away that Jack O’ Lantern!!  Bring those Halloween pumpkins to 63rd Street on the East River  Esplanade!!  We’ll help you smash them and then turn them into compost to enrich UESide parks, gardens and treebedsl!!   (There’ll be fun treats, too!!)   Spread the word!!

There’ll be treats, too!!


And November’s just getting started:

Thursday, November 17th & Saturday, November 19th:  Bridging the Seasons Walk in Central Park
Meeting place details with reservation, 2pm

And we quote, “A walk that highlights one of CP’s most celebrated architectural elements…  Its ornamental bridges, each unique in design!!  $25 with a 20% discount for members.  For more and to sign up

Add this virtual happenings:

Tuesday, November 29th, 6:30-7:30pm:  
The Fulton Fish Market –  A History with Jonathan Re
es via Zoom

Yet another winner from the great NYC H2O!!  Free!!  For more and to register:

Image

On the informed activism front:

If you think our Council Members should support Local Law 97… 

Could be some action on the First Ave sidewalk newsrack infestation

Moving on to the realm of diverting diversions: 

Getting squirrelly in Central Park…     One of the many reasons landfills are living on borrowed time…  Squirrel-proofing 1.0 (the opening ad’s short!!)…   Another week in NYS Forest Rangers’ adventurous lives…  Great GrowNYC volunteer opportunities…  The tiny UESide zip code…  Tips for successful bald eagle watching…  New UES flowerbeds for a school…  Best Central Park spots to view autumn leaf viewing…  Halloween pizzas for next year…   Crows vs. ravens…  What goes on in a nature preserve…  An albino porcupine…  A seed-saving workshop

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac (Yup, it’s back!!):

10/16 – Manhattan: We were fishing in the Hudson River from Inwood Park’s Dyckman Pier this afternoon when we were surrounded by a swarm of comb jellies.  For an hour and a half thousands of them swarmed past heading downstream on the falling tide. There were so many that they filled the bottom of my large drop net. It was an amazing sight. – Nicola Lagonigro, Anthony Logonigro

Comb jellies
Comb Jellies!!

[Comb jellies (Phylum Ctenophora) are marine invertebrate that swim by beating rows of cilia that resemble combs. The name Ctenophora comes from Greek, meaning “comb carrying.” They are often mistaken for jellyfish but differ in that they have no tentacles and do not sting. Like true jellyfish, comb jellies are translucent, gelatinous, fragile, essentially planktonic, drifting at the whim of the wind and current. They are peanut to walnut-sized, often occur in swarms, and are common in warm, brackish estuarine shallows. Nicola’s comb jellies were either Beroe’s comb jelly (Beroe cucumis) or Leidy’s comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi). – Tom Lake]

10/16 – Greene County: If you hear an insect “sawing away” in the tree tops, likely it’s a male katydid (Scudderia spp.). In October as the nights get cooler the speed of the repetitious three bars of katydid’s “stridulating” chirps gets slower and slower, relative to the air temperature.

Katydid
That Katydid!!

My wife and I walked the trail up to Paradise Point today and then on to Huckleberry Point on the east shoulder of the Catskill Mountain range. The fall vista was absolutely stunning with “the Clove” far below us. The views stretched south toward Overlook Mountain, Ashokan and in the distance Mohonk and the Shawangunk’s.

We were happy to see many people, including families, teens, and younger children, all out to breathe in the beauty. Overhead a variety of migrating raptors whistled as they circled on the updrafts and then soared out of sight down the ridge without a flap of the wing. On an oak leaf along the trail a katydid crouched with its emerald-green leaf-like wings and long hind legs. Up in the treetops the last of its kin were buzzing their fall finale. – Mario Meier

10/18 – Hudson River Watershed: Late October and early November is the busiest time of the year for beavers. Their entire winter’s food supply must be cut, gathered, transported, and piled next to their lodge so that they will have access to it. Mud, sticks, wads of grass and stones are collected to reinforce the lodge’s thick walls against the cold as well as coyotes and other predators. Dams, the structures that create their ponds, must be patched, and strengthened to withstand the rigors of winter.

Beaver
That Beaver!!

The importance of maintaining a dam in good condition cannot be overstated, for without it, the pond would cease to exist, and no pond means no beavers. A beaver pond is a highway, canal, escape route, hiding place, vegetable garden, food storage facility, refrigerator/freezer, water storage tank, bathtub, swimming pool and water toilet (they defecate only in water). – Mary Holland

10/19 – Yonkers, HRM 18: A third-grade class from Fieldston Ethical Culture School (Bronx) joined our staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak for ten hauls of our beach seine. There is always the hope (and some expectations) that setting and working our net through the inshore shallows will result in a catch that is a good representation of the river life.

Today’s effort produced some decent diversity with three invertebrate and two fish species. High count went to blue crabs (16). Among the fishes were young-of-year striped bass and Atlantic silverside. However, the smallest animals, grass shrimp, may have generated the most interest. The river temperature had dropped a bit to 60 degrees F, salinity had dropped to 8.7 ppt, and the dissolved oxygen (DO) was 8.7 ppm. – Jason Muller, Katie Lamboy, Christina Edsall

Grass shrimp
A Grass Shrimp!!

[“Grass shrimp” is a collective common name for three species of native caridean or true shrimp found in the salty and brackish waters of the estuary. These include sand shrimp (Crangon septemspinosa), as well as two species of shore shrimp (Palaemon pugio) and (P. vulgaris). Another, much less common native shrimp in the Hudson River is the brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus). We also have an invasive species, the Oriental shrimp (Palaemon macrodactylus), native to estuaries and coastal Pacific Ocean waters of Russia, Japan, and South Korea. The “grass” in their common name comes from one of their preferred habitats, submerged aquatic vegetation in the estuarine shallows, such as wild celery, colloquially referred to as “grass.” – Tom Lake]Then there’s the Fish of the Week: 

10/20 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 192 is the hickory shad (Alosa mediocris) number 25 (of 237) on our watershed list of fishes.

Hickory shad
A Hickory Shad

Hickory shad is one of nine herrings (Clupeidae) documented for the watershed. Other better-known Clupeids include American shad, blueback herring, alewife, and Atlantic menhaden. Their life histories vary from anadromy (lives in the sea, spawns in natal inland waters), which includes the hickory shad, to temperate marine strays (lives in the sea but visits inland waters, especially as young-of-year), to predominantly freshwater, such as the gizzard shad. The four genus Alosa herrings, alewife, blueback herring, American shad and hickory shad are further assigned, taxonomically, to the sub-family, Alosinae.

Hickory shad range along the Atlantic Coast from the Bay of Funday (Canadian waters) to the Saint John’s River in Florida. However, Bigelow and Schroeder in their Fishes of the Gulf of Maine (1953) admit that they rarely see hickory shad in their region of the North Atlantic. Like most other migratory marine fishes, their population fluctuates, and their range expands and contracts due to a myriad of ecological factors. Most often, their center of abundance is along the coastal Carolinas. Wherever they are found, they are a superior gamefish.

Like many herring, hickory shad are silvery with a contrasting dark greenish back. They are thin, fusiform in shape, built to escape-and-evade predators rather blend in or hide. With fish in hand, it is easy to see how their lower jaw extends upward and beyond their upper jaw when closed. They always appear to me, with their jutting jaw, as a “fish with an attitude,” just begging anyone to argue.

The hickory shad’s trivial (species) name mediocris, comes from Latin meaning “middling or ordinary.” This refers to the opinion of Samuel Mitchill (1814), the ichthyologist who named the hickory shad, and speaks to their supposed poor culinary quality. Most connoisseurs of fish will tell you that matched against American shad, they come in a very poor second. I have smoked hickory shad and would rate them well below American shad for taste, but considerably above Atlantic menhaden, a fish that is revered only by humpback whales. Until the fishery was closed in 2010, the “American Shad Bake” was a centuries-long spring tradition along the tidewater Hudson River. There has also been a similar long-time shad bake tradition in the Carolinas for hickory shad. Sometimes traditions transcend good taste.

The presence of hickory shad in the Hudson River is a very sporadic. Our first encounter with hickory shad occurred while commercial American shad fishing in the 1980s. Hickory shad very closely resemble the American shad and with a net full of the former, it is easy to overlook the latter. But after a while we did notice, and we took a few of them to C. Lavett Smith, Curator of Fishes at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. He confirmed our guess that these were adult hickory shad that had been migrating up the river mixed in small numbers with American shad

In the 1980s and 1990s, in addition to the weak spring “run” of adults, it was a common autumn occurrence to find juvenile hickory shad mixed in with young-of-year bluefish and striped bass from the Tappan Zee 40 miles upriver to Diamond Reef at New Hamburg. Such a presence does not seem to have occurred since. – Tom LakeAs for This Week’s Amazing Bird:

image of Great Gray Owl. Photo by Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.

The Great Grey Owl

Ever more important that we all VOTE,

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  The Billion Oyster Project maintains 21 oyster cages for research at the 90th Street Ferry Station on our Esplanade!! 

Eco Tip of the Week:  Recycle dead LED light bulbs at Home Depot!!

 

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Happy Halloween, UESiders!!

Made all the more fun and green by the proliferation of UES/RI post-Halloween Pumpkin Crush events!!

But markets first:

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

At their harvest time tables 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, Valley Shepherd,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

(Sigh and yes, Sikking Flowers’ season with us is over…) 

Every Sunday (Except Marathon Sunday): 94th Greenmarket
First Avenue at 94th Street , 9am-3pm

With us be our friends at American Pride Seafood, Ole Mother Hubbert, Kimchee Harvest, Grandpa’s Farm, Halal Pastures,  Meredith’s Country Bakery,  Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!!

Uberia Maestra Manager Margaret’s adds:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

Indeed, fall is in full swing with pumpkins, squash and gourds aplenty!!

Not to mention the apples, hot cider and those verging-on-addictive apple cider doughnuts!!


PLUS…

Given good weather, there’ll be another round of great, live jazz music for you 82nd Street shoppers to enjoy!!

THEN, ON SUNDAY…


Check out the VERY large pumpkin that’ll be sitting on the 94th Street Market’s Info Tent table!!   Yes, stop by and make a guess at that hefty gourd’s weight…  With, of course, the shopper making the closest guess winning a great, un-spooky prize!!

(Remember 94th will be closed next Sunday, November 6th, 2022’s NYC Marathon Day!! 

Happy Halloween, folks!!

Margaret

And there’s plenty more going on:

Friday, October 28th:  
Spooky Skate Night at Isaacs Park

Stanley Isaacs Playground, First Avenue & 96th Street, 3-4:30pm – Family Session, 5-6pm –  Adult Session

Put on that great costume and get over to the Isaacs Park rink for a late pre-Halloween afternoon of skating, music, jumbo games and plenty more!!   Free!!  Skates provided but, of course, you can bring your own (and you must have your own socks!!)  Organized by CM Julie Menin and NYC Parks!!   To RSVP

Skate Night Tickets, Fri, Oct 28, 2022 at 3:00 PM | Eventbrite

Saturday, October 29th:  Roosevelt Island Annual Halloween Harvest Extravaganza
Southpoint Park, Roosevelt Island, 11am-3pm

Saturday, October 29th:  Pre-Halloween with Esplanade Friends & Gene Casey and The Lone Sharks Band!!
Aycock Pavilion, East River Esplanade at 60th Street, 1-4pm

A  great, spook-tastic, live music event!!  Craft Studio Halloween activities for kids!!  We’re talking fun for the whole family…  With costumes welcome, of course!!  Free!!  Another great Esplanade Friends happening!!  

Saturday, October 29th:  Sutton Spooktacular Celebration

Sutton Place Parks at East 55th, 56th and 57th Streets, 3-5:45pm


 

Sunday, October 30th:  Randall’s Island Annual Boo! Bash
103rd Street Footbridge,  Randall’s Island, 12-3pm

Face painting by Sheila Jordan Art & Entertainment, Halloween-themed mixes by Deejay Khalil, hula hoop lessons from instructor Leyla, games, crafts, tasty treats and even a bike tour!!  Costumes are optional but having fun is mandatory!!    Free.  Organized by the Randall’s Island Park Alliance…  It’ll be a  fangtastic time!!

Then…


Saturday, November 5th:  Aqueduct Park Walk and Clean-Up
Aqueduct Walk, West Kingsbridge Road and Aqueduct Avenue, T  Allhe Bronx, 10am-12pm

Join NYC H2O and City Council District 14 for a clean-up along beautiful Aqueduct Walk Park…  A park built atop a key link in NYC’s first reliable source of drinking water!!  All equipment provided!!  Plus great insights into the aqueduct’s history!!  To reserve your place… 

Saturday, November 5th:  Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Bash!!
Upper Lawn, Roosevelt Island, 11am-2pm (rain or shine)

Yes, pumpkin bashing/smashing is sweeping NYC!!   And who would have ever thought compost-making would be so much fun!!  Hosted by the great iDig2Learn, CM Menin, the NYC Compost Project and Big Reuse!!  For more



Image


Saturday, November 5th: Funky Soul Band on the East River!!
The Aycock Pavilion, East River Esplanade at 60th Street, 1-4pm

It’ll be an afternoon of great music, Craft Studio fun for the young set and A La Made ice cream for one and all!!   Another great Esplanade Friends event!!  

Sunday, November 6th:  Green Park Gardeners’ 7th Annual Pumpkin Smash!!
East River Esplanade Pedestrian Bridge at 63rd Street, 1-4pm

Hey, kids (of all ages)!! Don’t throw away that Jack O’ Lantern!!  Bring those Halloween pumpkins to 63rd Street on the East River  Esplanade!!  We’ll help you smash them and then turn them into compost to enrich UESide parks, gardens and treebeds!!   (There’ll be fun treats, too!!)  Spread the word!!

Always something good virtual:

Friday, October 28th, 2:30-3pm:  “Superstorm Sandy – 10 Years Later & How To Keep It From Happening Again” via WBAI, 99.5FM &  https://wbai.org/listen-live

Survivors share what was learned about coping with government recovery programs and working to repair America’s national disaster-recovery system.

Wednesday, November 16th, 6-7:15pm:  “Operation Underworld” Book Talk via Zoom

A bit off the beaten green path, but it seems the Mafia helped win World War II…  And Book Talk –  in collaboration with Village Preservation –  is going to shed light on how!!  Free but pre-registration required and a donation of any size would be nice…

On the activism front:

If you think General Mills should use less plastic in its packaging,,,

Meanwhile, FYI, as of December 20, 2022, the manufacture and import for sale in Canada of plastic checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, stir sticks and straws (i.e., straight straws), as defined in the Regulations, will be prohibited!!

Moving on to the realm of diverting diversions: 

Spooky season tips to calm pets…   Fall walks/hikes in the Adirondacks…  Governor’s Island climate hub proposals…  NYC construction in flood zones…  Proper care for cast iron pans…  Imperiled Olmstead Parks… Consumer Reports’ best smoke detectors… Cats and babytalk…  Greener chemicals…  Renewed and improved UES tree beds…  NYC moves from #3 to #2 on the Rat-Infested City List…  Talk about big pumpkins…  NYC’s urban water cycle (courtesy of NYC H2O)…  Pumpkin stencils for you ocean lovers…  Another UES low-rise to be replaced…  Our NYS Environmental Police on patrol…  Project Feeder Watch’s 2022 count commences November 1st

Best 2022 magazine cover to date:

Hudson River Almanac Editor Tom Lake’s taking a well-deserved break…  The Almanac’ll be back soon…  Along with the ever-lovin’ Fish of the Week!! 

Meanwhile, there’s the week’s Most Gorgeous Bird:

Araripe Manakin. Photo by Ciro Albano

The Araripe Manakin


EARLY VOTING COMMENCES TOMORROW!!

As
 our NYC schools go electric, 

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week NYC construction spending reaches an all-time high of $86B (and we have a housing shortage crisis??)!!

Eco Tip of the Week:  Paper coffee cups (think Starbucks) have a leak-prevention coating that makes them unrecyclable!!  Toss!!  (But recycle the plastic top!!)

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Happy National Reptile Awareness and National Frog Day, UESiders!!

Better and more meaningful still, today’s also National Mammography Day…  A reminder to us all, ladies…  Make that appointment if you haven’t over the past year!!

But how ’bout the coming week Greenmarket-wise:

Every Saturday:  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, Sikking Flowers, Hudson Valley Duck and Haywood’s Fresh, Samascott,  Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd,  Hawthorne Valley and Gajeski Farms!!

Just two – this and next – weeks of Sikking’s lovely flowers!!   Had one of Walnut Ridge’s chicken pot pies?!

Every Sunday:  94th Street Greenmarket 
First Avenue at 94th Street , 9am-3pm

With us be our friends at American Pride Seafood, Ole Mother Hubbert, Kimchee Harvest, Grandpa’s Farm, Halal Pastures,  Meredith’s Country Bakery,  Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!!

(Check out Halal’s delicious and truly giant squash!!  Fingers crossed Grandpa’s Farm still has basil…  But, sorry to say, Green Life Farm’s season and flowers are over !!)

Don’t think there’ve ever been so many great UES fall events:

Saturday, October 22nd:  Madison Avenue Fall Gallery Walk
Madison Avenue from 57th to 86th Street, 11am-6pm

Savor the art on display in 50-plus galleries…  The insights offered by artists and curators…  Outdoor sketching and more…  Every bit of it free!!  Organized by the Madison Avenue B.I.D. and “Art News”…  For the total lowdown...

Sunday, October 23rd:  
Schurz Park’s Halloween Howl
By the Park’s dog run,  1-3pm

Saturday, October 29th:  Roosevelt Island Annual Halloween Harvest Extravaganza
Southpoint Park, Roosevelt Island, 11am-3pm

Saturday, October 29th:  Pre-Halloween with Esplanade Friends & Gene Casey and The Lone Sharks Band!!
Aycock Pavilion, East River Esplanade at 60th Street, 1-4pm

A  great, spook-tastic, live music event!!  Craft Studio Halloween activities for kids!!  We’re talking fun for the whole family…  With costumes welcome, of course!!  Free!!  Another great Esplanade Friends happening!!  

Saturday, November 5th:  Roosevelt Island Pumpkin Bash!!
Upper Lawn, Roosevelt Island, 11am-2pm (rain or shine)

Yes, pumpkin bashing/smashing is sweeping NYC!!   And who would have ever thought compost-making would be so much fun!!  Hosted by the great iDig2Learn, the NYC Compost Project and Big Reuse!! 
 

Sunday, November 6th:  The UESide Smashing Pumpkins Returns!! 
East River Esplanade at 63rd Street, 1-4pm

Climb the ladder and SMASH that not-so-slowly disintegrating Halloween Pumpkin into enriching compost for our UESide gardens and tree beds!!  There’ll be treats and fun trinkets, too!!  Free!!  All ages welcome!!  Organized by the Green Park Gardeners!!

Add this virtual event:

Tuesday, October 25th, 6:30pm:  “Nineteen Reservoirs” with Nancy Sante via Zoom

Join author Lucy Sante for a discussion about “Nineteen Reservoirs”, an account of the creation of New York City’s reservoir system, with emphasis on the Catskill and Delaware Reservoirs!!  Organized by the great NYC H2O!!  Free.  To register...

Always some worthy activism:

Hard to imagine what’s moved the NYS Climate Action Council to think rolling back the NYS renewableheat/all-electric new building timeline from 2024 to…  Who- knows-when!!  So should you support the new building electrification timeline remaining in place

And if you support continuation of the 120-year UESide youth program, the Knickerbocker Grays, and renewal of its lease at the Park Avenue Armory, you’d likely want Governor Hochul to know

Thought we’d be light on diversions this time out: 

Gracie Square and the 5G Tower… Origins of famous NYC building names… Forever chemicals and NYS air quality…  The fate of Wagner Park…  And an historic NYC school…   Lots of action at the NYS Salmon Hatchery…  Drilling 12 miles down for thermal…  The NYC Trivia League…  Naughty Canada…  NYS Forest Rangers sure stay busy…  A NYS triumph over an invasive species…  lot interesting about owls…  A Mullet King?…  Bigger NYC buildings, fewer apartments…  Global efforts to not waste food…  As if we didn’t know the East Side Access Project was and is— 

And now for the Hudson River Almanac:

10/8 – Westchester County, HRM 23: On September 12, 2022, the blackcheek tonguefish (Symphurus plagiusa) was added to our Hudson River Watershed List of Fishes as number 237. The fish (53 millimeters) was caught in a seine by the DEC Region 3 Fisheries Unit near the Dobbs Ferry train station. – ElizaBeth Streifeneder

Blackcheeck tonguefish
That Blackcheek Tonguefish!!

[As Bob Schmidt checked the fish collection of the New York State Museum in Albany for prior records, he discovered that there were two for the blackcheek tonguefish: NYSM 75317 from the Arthur Kill in 1991, and NYSM 51415 from the East River in 2000. Either of these would have qualified the species for inclusion on our list. At the time, however, there was some skepticism that the Arthur Kill and the East River, now accepted as Hudson River tributaries, were not a part of the watershed.

(While the blackcheek tonguefish has been eligible for inclusion since 2000, in the 21 years since, until this September, there had been no documented records. However, during September 2022, no fewer than five were captured in seines by the DEC Region 3 Fisheries Unit and river educators from Yonkers to Croton Point (river miles 18-35). An additional tonguefish was caught at Coney Island Creek in Brooklyn in early October. It is unclear why we saw none for 21 years, and then six in about one month. – Tom Lake]

10/9 – Hudson River Watershed: Among indigenous peoples, full moons have long been labeled with fanciful names that are rooted in oral traditions, indigenous memories, and ethnographic accounts.

Among Mohican people, whose ancestral homeland lies wholly within the Hudson River watershed, the October full moon is known as the Hunting Moon, Paʔpeepmãat Neepãʔuk, in the Mohican dialect.

Tribal translations of full moons pre-date colonization and generally reflect the seasonality of the lunar phase. Moon phases, in fact, were used by indigenous people as measurements of time. –  Larry Madden, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians

10/13 – Albany County, HRM 145: Amphibian migration is not just a spring phenomenon. I usually check a few roads on warm rainy nights in the fall as well. At 9:00 p.m. this evening it was 54 degrees and raining, so I checked my local roads in the Town of New Scotland below Thatcher Park for road-crossing amphibians. Sadly, I found more dead than live. With so many fallen leaves on the road, spotting them was not easy even when walking.

Northern slimy salamander
A Northern Slimy Salamander

The tally included:
Spotted salamander (3 dead on road, 1 alive on road).
Wood Frog (4 dead on road; 3 alive on road).
Gray treefrog (5 dead on road.
Spring peeper (2 alive on road).
Northern slimy salamander (1 alive on road).
Bullfrog (1 alive on road).
Common garter snake (1 dead on road).

The most surprising find was the northern slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus), an upland species that does not move far from its normal habitat. In 40 years of surveying this stretch of road, I cannot recall ever finding a slimy salamander on the road although I do find them within a couple hundred feet in the area up-slope from the road. – Alvin Breisch

10/13 – Yonkers, HRM 18: Our staff at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak, with assistance from a class of fourth-graders from St. Hilda’s School in Manhattan, made our contribution to the 20th annual Day-in-the-Life of the River and Harbor. We made sixteen hauls of our seine partially for the day, but mostly to the excitement of the students. The daily “high count” cooperated, moving from invertebrates to fish with Atlantic silverside (59). Other fishes included young-of-year striped bass and bay anchovies, as well as white perch and resident mummichogs. Blue crabs and comb jellies also showed well.

Summer flounder
That Summer Flounder!!

However, the show-stopper, an eleven-inch-long summer flounder, was caught as we made a haul in the Beczak tidemarsh. It was a gorgeous lefteyed flatfish with tooth studded jaws — a serious predator among bottom-dwelling aquatic life. The river temperature was 64 degrees F, salinity had dropped a bit to 12.2 ppt, and the dissolved oxygen (DO) was 7.9 ppm. – Jason Muller, Ishika Joshi, Ryan Palmer, Christina Edsall

[Flounder are born with one eye on each side of their head, as with most fishes. As they grow from their larval to juvenile stage, through a process called metamorphosis, they lie flat on the bottom and one eye migrates to the opposite side of their head. As a result, both eyes are then on the side that faces up. If the eyes end up on the left side, they are a lefteyed flounder, such as summer flounder; if on the right side, a righteyed flounder, such as winter flounder. Which way the eyes go is predetermined by their DNA.

This odd arrangement of eyes is a wonderful example of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection and favored traits. As a further adaptation for concealment, the topside of most flounders can almost precisely mimic the substrate providing excellent camouflage from predators. Tom Lake]

10/13 – Manhattan: Michelle Madera and 72 of her fifth-grade students from Dos Puentes Elementary School joined us at Swindler Cove for our contribution to the 20th annual Day-in-the-Life of the Hudson and Harbor.

We investigated the Harlem River documenting water quality data during the midday flood tide. The infusion of new water from downriver resulted in the water temperature rising from 62 to 65 degrees F., the salinity rising from 16 to 18 ppt., and the dissolved oxygen lowering from 8.0 to 7.0 ppm.

With the students’ assistance and charged by their enthusiasm, we made four seine hauls. Mummichogs (killifish, up to 60 mm) were the high count (21). Other fishes included young-of-year Atlantic silverside (60 mm) and Atlantic menhaden (40 mm). Two blue crabs (80 mm) were the major invertebrates. In the last 20 minutes of the program, despite some rain coming down, we managed to hand-catch a medium-size (250 mm carapace length) snapping turtle. Thank you Harlem River! – Chris Bowser

Mummichog
A  Mummichog

[We were also joined by Assistant Principal Alcira Jaar and her teaching staff of Kristen Minno, Karen Mondol, Yesenia Moreno, and Irvin Mota, DEC’s Jesenia Laureano and Adanna Roberts, NYRP’s Maxwell Tetrault, and SCA educators Olivia Castaneda, Natalie Schults, and Nick Ventre. Chris Bowser]

And now for the first Fish of the Week to be profiled twice in 7 days:

10/11 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 191 is the blackcheek tonguefish (Symphurus plagiusa) number 229 (of 237) on our watershed list of fishes.

Blackcheeck tonguefish
A Blackcheek Tonguefish Close-Up

The blackcheek tonguefish is a flatfish, somewhat related to flounders and soles. Along with the northern tonguefish (S. pusillus), they are the only members of the tonguefish family (Cynoglossidae) in the watershed where they are designated as temperate marine strays. Tonguefishes are a lefteyed flatfish with both eyes on the left side of their head. [See 10/13–Yonkers for more on lefteyed flatfish.]

The blackcheek tonguefish is very abundant in shallow coastal waters and estuaries from the New York Bight south through the Florida Keys, the Gulf of Mexico to Cuba. They favor soft, muddy bottoms feeding mainly on small benthic invertebrates, principally small crabs, polychaetes, copepods, amphipods, and ostracods. Their maximum total length is 210 mm. – Tom Lake

And This Week’s Adorable Bird:

image of Buff-breasted Sandpiper by Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock
The Buff-Breasted Sandpiper

Tuesday, October 25th is the first day of Bat Week 2022,

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week: Solar and wind power-related job positions have more than tripled since 2010, and they pay 21% more than the average 

Eco Tip of the Week:  Recycle those dead – and they do finally die –  LED light bulbs at Home Depot.

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Happy NYS Forests, UESiders!!

Yes, our forests could be considerably happier given the new NYS programs aimed at
 
protecting forested lands from development and generating tree growth on private lands!! 

Speaking of trees:

How about some buckets of happiness for our own NYC trees…  i.e. regularly watering the trees on your block.  We’ve had a long, hot, dry summer and so many are in need of a generous, cool drink!! 
 
You could also even ask other buildings and businesses on your block to do the same!!

Check out the dry street tree beds you pass en route to tomorrow’s and Sunday’s markets:

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

It’ll be a full fall market house with 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!!

Every Sunday:  94th Street Greenmarket
First Avenue at 94th Street , 9am-3pm

With us be our friends at American Pride Seafood, Ole Mother Hubbert, Kimchee Harvest, Grandpa’s Farm, Halal Pastures, Meredith’s Country Bakery,  Norwich Meadows, Phillips Farms and Green Life Farm!!

Maestra Manager Imperialisma Margaret’s wisdom of the week is:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

No question, fall’s creeping up on us!!

And how do we know?

Because there’ll be just 2 more weeks of Sikking Flowers at 82nd Street and Green Life Farm’s season ended last Sunday at 94th!!

BUT…


I’m betting some Saturday live jazz music at 82nd will be tamping down some of our change of seasons angst…  With the hot cider, beautiful pumpkins and delicious winter squash at both markets cheering all of us up big time!!

Oh, and this reminder for 94th Street marketeers!!  94th Street will be closed on Marathon Day, Sunday, November 6th…  But back and open the last two Sundays of its 2022 season… November 13th and November 20th!!


Happy cool, crisp shopping, 

Margaret

Then there’re the weekend’s other, great events… 

First and foremost – we say – being: 

Come…  Weed…  Cultivate…  Plant…  Meet neighbors…  NIbble on snacks…  Leave happy and with mulch!! 

And there’s even more:

Saturday, October 15th:  Free Shredding at Ridgewood Bank
Southeast Corner of 86th & FIrst Avenue, 9am-1pm 

So great to see our electeds and folks like Ridgewood Bank getting on the free community shredding bandwagon!! 

Then, nearby:

Saturday, October 15th:  City of Forest Day
Lighthouse Park, Roosevelt Island, 11am-3pm

Mulch 70 newly-planted baby trees under the ultra tree-wise guidance of Sam Bishop (AKA Mr. Trees) of TreesNY!!  You’ll get to visit RI’s Monarch Pollinator Flower Beds, too!! To join in the fun just email idig2learn@gmail.com (with the word FOREST in the subject line)…

(FYI  the Sam Bishop – AKA “Mr. Trees” – experience is always great!!) 

Time for some art and relaxation:

Saturday, October 15th:  Art on the Esplanade Debut!!
East River Esplanade at 101st Street, 11am

A waterfront mural in crochet created by East Harlem artist phenom Carmen and commissioned by Esplanade Friends…  No questions, but we’re talking unique and wonderful art…  And exemplifying our Esplanade’s unique beauty and the rich culture of the neighborhoods surrounding it!!  Be there!!


Saturday, October 15th:  Fall Foliage Walking Tour 
Woodland Garden, Randall’s Island, 2:30pm

And we quote, ” Join The Randall’s Island Park Alliance in celebrating City of Forest Day as they explore scenic, tree-lined paths, learn about the gifts of these multifaceted plants and re-center ourselves in the tranquil atmosphere of the Woodland Garden.”  Free.  For more and directions

There’s fun on Sunday, too:

Sunday, October 16th:  Schurz Park Harvest Festival
The Gracie Oval, East End Avenue & 88th Street, 1-3pm

Autumn Event

Head for the pumpkin patch on the Gracie Oval…  Pick out your favorite pumpkin and decorate it!!  Get a Halloween tattoo!!  Make Halloween slime!!  Take a stroll through the Spooky Trail!!  Gonna be crazy fun!!  See you there!!Then the new week begins:

Tuesday, October 18th:  
Precinct 19 Senior Safety Seminar 

19th Precinct, 153 East 67th Street, 6pm

And then…

Sunday, October 23rd:  
Schurz Park’s Halloween Howl
By the Park’s dog run,  1-3pm

And then…

Saturday, October 29th:  Roosevelt Island Annual Halloween Harvest Extravaganza
Southpoint Park, Roosevelt Island, 11am-3pm

And these virtual events:

Saturdays, October 15th & 22nd, 2pm and Saturday, November 5th, 12-4pm: The Wild Edible Banquet via Live Stream

Tuesday, October 18th, 11am-12pm: “CLEAN WATER ACT – 50 YEARS!!  Fishable, Swimmable, Drinkable!” via WBAI, 99.5FM and http://wbai.org/listen-live

Guests Manna Jo Greene (Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s Environmental Action Director) and Dan Shapley (Riverkeeper’s Science & Patrol Program Co-Director & Water Quality Program Leader) fill listeners in on the creation of the Act, what its goals were, how it met those goals, what still needs to be done and what you can do!!

Friday, October 21st, 2:30pm:   “The Environmental Bond Act of 2022” via WBAI, 99.5FM and http://wbai.org/listen-live

The NYS legislation dissected by Ken Gale, Donna Stein, Sally Gellert & Charlie Olson of TheEnvironmentTV.

What would a week be without some activism:

Just in case you support updating NYS’s 40-years old bottle bill but haven’t yet made your voice heard…

Time for some diversions:

A court win for birds…  Firewood and invasive pests…  A new Third Avenue traffic plan…  A Day in the Life of the Hudson River student event…  This week’s NYS Fall Foliage Report…  What feathered friends’ve been flying over Schurz Park of late…  Our NYS Forest Rangers’ week…   Same for our Environmental Conservation Police…   Locating NYS’s orphaned oil and gas wells…  California, landfills and compost…  How to deal with those decrepit iphones…  NYC’s rooftop statuary…  Crochet toys for cats…  NYC psychotherapists analyze  local rats…  The Universal Newsreel Collection in our National Archives…

Moving on to the Hudson River Almanac:

9/22 – Hyde Park:  On this date in 1999 (23 years ago), our SUNY Dutchess Community College Behavioral Sciences department received a phone call from a homeowner asking for help in identifying two huge bones that were discovered in his yard in Hyde Park along Fallkill Creek, a Hudson River tributary (somehow, our department was the closest he could find to paleontology).

Mastodon
   A Mastodon!!  

This was a serendipitous discovery by the landowner. He was deepening a former glacial kettle pond, now a backyard pond, the size of a hockey rink, with an excavator when the bones came up in the shovel. Bob Schmidt identified them as a humerus, and an ulna. What followed was a 13-month adventure wrapped around a mystery. Were these the bones of a large extinct mammal from the Hudson River Valley’s deep past? Or had an elephant run away from the circus and drown in the pond?

The answer took thirteen months to uncover and the journey we took touched many hundreds of students and professionals creating a lifetime of memories. Dave Strayer analyzed an assemblage of mollusks found at the bottom of the pond and dated them to 12,000 year ago, the Late Pleistocene. This community of mollusks exists today in Hudson Bay, 1,200 miles north.

Using ground-penetrating radar, Cornell University paleontologists found the “bone bed.” The nearly complete skeleton of a mastodon, in life ten-feet-high and ten-thousand pounds, was excavated out of an ancient oxbow of the ancestral Fallkill Creek. One of the tusks was radiocarbon dated to 11,480 years ago, and the skeleton, 98% complete, now resides at the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca, the site’s principal investigator.

On September 30, 2000, we closed the Hyde Park mastodon site after 392 days. Our last act was to toss a shiny 2000 Lincoln penny into the excavation as a marker for any future scientists. – Tom Lake, John Chiment

[The Hyde Park mastodont is an extinct form of “elephant” (taxonomic order Proboscidea) that roamed the Hudson Valley in the Late Pleistocene about the time that the first people arrived, and the Hudson River was becoming an estuary. The American mastodont (Mammut americanum) was part of a faunal community, many of which are now extirpated or extinct, that included American elk, ground sloth, woodland caribou, giant beaver, horse, flat-headed peccary, and stag-moose. The Discovery Channel produced a television documentary of this excavation called Mastodon in Your Backyard: The Ultimate Guide which first aired on October 7, 2001. – Tom Lake]

[To be or not to be…  “Extant” means populations that are still found in a specific area, such as black bears and bobcats. Extirpated means a species that is no longer found in a specific area but does exist elsewhere, for example the gray wolf and mountain lion. Extinct means they no longer exist, gone forever, like the American mastodon, woolly mammoth, and the passenger pigeon. – Tom Lake]

10/1 – Little Stony Point Preserve:  Dawn came with heavy overcast; it was not much more just a slight brightening of the air. A stiff north wind quartered the deserted beach as a steady rain fell (the fringe of former hurricane Ian). The river was 69 degrees Fahrenheit (F), 20 degrees higher than the air. It felt like a warm blanket on our legs.

We hauled our seine into the current and caught only young-of-year striped bass (50-79 millimeters); we hauled against the current and caught only Atlantic silverside (74-76 mm) — the mysterious vagaries of tidewater. The only other life in the net were two male softshell blue crabs (40 mm). The salinity had dropped to 2.5 parts-per-thousand (ppt).- Tom Lake, A. Danforth
 

Blue crab
A Blue Softshell Crab

As a crustacean, blue crabs have an exoskeleton (their skeleton is on the outside) and they must moult their hard shell periodically as they grow to accommodate their increasing internal body size. Their new soft shell is somewhat larger and has the elasticity of a balloon. They take in water to stretch the new shell, and once the shell hardens –  a process that can take up to twenty-four-hours depending on water temperature – they expel the water creating roomier accommodations. While they are in a softshell stage, they are completely vulnerable to predation as they are unable to use their tearing and crushing claws.

took one softshell to the lab to see how long “hardening” would take. Since it was already softshell when caught, the elapsed time would be approximate. In the end, it took him an additional eleven hours to regain the use of his claws and prepare to rip off my fingernails. – Tom Lake]

[The standard research measurement for blue crabs (mm) is point-to-point, laterally, across their carapace.]

10/2 – Croton River:  A favorite part of autumn bird migration for me is the annual showing of great blue herons in the marshes and on the tide flats. If memory serves, my previous high count was 22 birds, a spectacular assemblage.
                                                     Great blue heron
                                                      One of Those Herons!!

Today, I counted 42 at low tide — counted them twice more just to be sure the count was good — in the marsh, on the flats, and down into Inbuckie. I reported the sighting to John Phillips, curator at the Croton Point Nature Center and had my balloon partially deflated: the day before, several observers had counted 52 great blue herons. – Christopher Letts

[Inbuckie and Crawbuckie are colloquial names used to describe the mile of tidemarsh and shoreline between the mouth of the Croton River and Ossining (river miles 34-33). The origin of the names is hazy, but they have been commonly used by local Rivermen for well over a century. Crawbuckie is the low-tide beach on Croton Bay made equally famous in the 1960s and 70s by striped bass anglers, when catching one of any size was big news. Inbuckie is the adjacent tidemarsh inside, east of the railroad tracks. Prior to the early nineteenth century when the railroad bisected them, they were one. – Tom Lake]

10/6 – Town of Wappinger:  On a nice Indian Summer Day we found two banded woolly bear caterpillar inching-along through the last green grass of the season. The woolly bear is the larval form of the Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella).
                                                      Wooly bear
                                                  Those Two Woolly Bears

Our two woolly bears were dominated by their middle brown bands, 22 mm for the first, flanked by two lesser black bands (9, 10), and 19 mm for second caterpillar, flanked, by two lesser black bands (9, 4). Individually, the brown sections were 54 and 59 percent of their total lengths.

We thought of the old, but perhaps not entirely discredited, folklorist belief that the wider the middle rusty-brown section, as a percentage of their total length, the milder the coming winter will be. Conversely, the wider the combined black sections the more severe the winter will be. – Tom Lake, Phyllis Lake

[Is there science involved in reading the woolly bear’s bands? Beginning in 1948, Dr. C. H. Curran, curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History, conducted wooly bear caterpillar research each autumn at New York’s Bear Mountain State Park. Dr. Park’s data suggests that the combination of wide and narrow bands, as a percentage of their total length, can predict the severity of the winter to come. If we were inclined to believe, we would expect a somewhat milder winter this year. Tom Lake]

10/7 – Hook Mountain: Among 45 south-migrating raptors today at the Hook Mountain Hawkwatch, sharp-shinned hawk was high count with 20. There were a lot of spotted lanternflies and even more brown marmorated stink bugs. – Raimund Miller

Brown marmorated stink bug
A Brown Mamorated Stink Bug!!

Time to talk Fish of the Week:

10/2 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 190 is the inshore lizardfish (Synodus foetens) number 102 (of 236) on our watershed list of fishes. 

Inshore lizardfish
An Inshore Lizardfish!!  (EEEK!!)

The inshore lizardfish is the only member of its family (Synodontidae) in the watershed. They favor inshore marine waters of the Atlantic from Cape Cod to Brazil. Inshore lizardfish lurk in sandy shallows, burrowing in the bottom sediments to ambush passing prey. The common name of their close relative, the sand diver (S. intermedius), found from the Carolinas to points south, describes the behavior of the genus.

Inshore lizardfish are terete (cylindrical) in cross-section and have been likened to a colorful cigar. While only reaching 18 inches, they have the countenance of an apex predator with tooth-studded jaws and a reptilian look. At various times in the long ichthyological past, because of their tiny adipose fin and impressive teeth, taxonomists have placed lizardfish in with the trouts (Salmo sp.) and pikes (Esox sp.).

Years ago, as I was snorkeling along the sandy beach at Croton Point, I drifted over a foot-long inshore lizardfish, stock-still, propped on its pelvic fins, mouth slightly agape, and looking like a dragon in wait.

The inshore lizardfish is a temperate marine stray in the estuary. Young-of-year are carried into the brackish waters of the Hudson River on summer flood tides and are found as far upriver as Croton Point (river mile 35). – Tom LakeAnd This Week’s Wonderful Bird:

Black Rail. Photo by Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock.

The Black Rail 

In perpetual greenness,

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  To date, a record 32% of land around the world experienced drought in 2022!!

Eco Tip of the Week:  Plastic straws are not recyclable!!  (That’s why we want them changed out for 100% paper straws!!)

 

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Happy Fat Bear Week 2022, UESiders!!

How to celebrate??  With the Alaskan Fat Bear Match (AKA Contest) and casting your 
vote for the bear – based on before and after pix – you think has packed on the most weight in preparation for winter hibernation!!   (Do scroll down to properly evaluate both male and female contestants!!)

Fat Bear Week 2022 Round 2

Moving onto UES turf: 

Every Saturday:  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!!

(Yes, indeedy, Hudson Valley Duck is back!!)

Every Sunday:  94th Street Greenmarket
First Avenue at 94th Street , 9am-3pm

With us be our friends at American Pride Seafood, Ole Mother Hubbert, Kimchee Harvest, Grandpa’s Farm, Halal Pastures, Meredith’s Country Bakery,  Norwich Meadows, Phillips Farms and Green Life Farm!!

(So great to have flowers again at 94th!!)

Font-of-Knowledge-of-All-Things-Market Margaret weighs in:

Dear Greenmarketeers:

Hoping for better weather this week!!  (Really can’t be worse than last Saturday!!)

Definitely feeling fall-ish at both markets!!  (Think lots of apples, winter squash and hardy greens!)!  But there’re still some summer treats available…  (The last of the peppers, tomatoes and corn for you early shoppers!!)


And for you later arrivals at 82nd, commencing around 10:30, we’ll be hosting a great jazz trio to further liven up your shopping experience!!

Sunday at 92nd, we’re expecting a full house with tables creaking with  produce, fish, flowers, eggs, milk and baked goods!!

Of special note:  Check out Norwich Meadows’ fresh ginger and fresh turmeric…  Both extremely fragrant and loaded with health benefits!! You can add a bit of either or both to almost anything…  As in adding  few gratings of ginger in your tomato sauce!!  Adds a great, new dimension!!

Oh!!  Don’t forget cooking demos are back at both our/your markets!! Be sure you stop by the Manager’s table/tent and see what’s cooking!!

Happy shopping,

Margaret


Then there’s the rest of this busy weekend:

Saturday, October 8th:  Free/No-Cost Shredding

York Avenue between 78th & 79th, 10am-2pm


Saturday, October 8th:  Roosevelt Island Fall Festival  for the Arts – Celebrating Diversity
Meditation Lawn (across from Blackwell House), 500 Main Street, 10am-5pm

Saturday, October 8th:  FDNY UESide Open Houses 
Up and down the UES at various times

Your chance to meet and chat with the firefighters, EMTs and paramedics who serve us so courageously and get a good, close look at those fire engines, ladder trucks and ambulances!!

Engine 13/Ladder 39
159 East 67th Street
11am-1pm

Engine 44
221 East 75th Street
11am-1pm

Engine 22/Ladder 13/Battalion 10
159 East 85th Street
1-3pm


Just as jampacked 5 days later:

Saturday, October 15th:  Art on the Esplanade Debut!!
East River Esplanade at 101st Street, 11am

A waterfront mural in crochet created by East Harlem artist phenom Carmen and commissioned by Esplanade Friends…  No questions, but we’re talking unique and wonderful art… And exemplifying our Esplanade’s unique beauty and the rich culture of the neighborhoods surrounding it!!  Be there!!

Saturday, October 15th:  City of Forest Day
Lighthouse Park, Roosevelt Island, 11am-3pm

Mulch 70 newly-planted baby trees under the ultra tree-wise guidance of Sam Bishop (AKA Mr. Trees) of TreesNY!!  You’ll get to visit RI’s Monarch Pollinator Flower Beds, too!! To join in the fun just email idig2learn@gmail.com (with the word FOREST in the subject line)…  


Saturday, October 15th:  Celebrating Arts & Crafts on the East Side

James Cagney Place, 91st Street between Second and Third, 11am-4pm
(Rain Date: October 16th)





Sunday, October 16th:  It’s My Park Day UESide Edition

Stanley Isaacs Park, 96th Street & First Avenue, 11am-1pm

And guess what’s coming back:

Sunday, October 23rd:  Schurz Park’s Halloween Howl
By the Park’s dog run,  1-3pm

Add these three virtual events:

Thursday, October 13th,  6-7pm:  Mr. Green and the Making of Central Park presented by Landmark West via Zoom

UESiders know his name from our Esplanade…  But who exactly was Andrew Haswell Green??  Ron Korcak, Central Park’s “guide-of-guides”, will fill us in!!  Free for members of Landmark West.  Non-members, $6.00.   For more and to register

Tuesday, October 18th, 7-8:15pm:  “Make an informed Choice: The Four Proposals On Your General Election Ballot” via Zoom and Facebook

Sponsored by State Senator Liz Kruger.  Free, of course.  To sign up

Tuesday, October 25th, 6:30pm:  “Nineteen Reservoirs – On Their Creation and Promise of Water for New York CIty” with Lucy Sante via  Zoom

The bright and dark sides of the creation of NYC’s amazing reservoir system!!  Presented by the great NYC H2O!!  Free!!  For more and to register... 

How ’bout some activism:

It’s a month away and plenty time to research the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Bond Act that’ll be on the ballot… 

Should you wish to donate clothing to asylum seekers in NYC, the El Museo del Barrio’s collecting new and gently used wearables…  For details… 

The latest on the EPA, birds and pesticide coated seeds

And diverting diversions… 

Latest Cornell Lab’s eBird News…  The new proposed NYC redistricting plan map…  If you’re having heat problems… GrowNYC volunteer opportunities (UES has a great record!!)…  Free NYC Parks events (including puppet shows!!)…  Hidden history of NYC street names…  A NYC community garden saved…  Your fall foliage tracker…  Central Park’s named gates…   Detecting bobcats in NYS… Hawk Mountain’s latest migration update…  Our NYS Forest Rangers’ week…  Yet another UES medical structure…  Manhattan’s oldest restaurants…  Central Park’s Fall Guide…  The rise of grandmates

Time for the Hudson River Almanac:

9/26 – Manhattan: Our Hudson River Park staff checked our research gear (pots and traps) that we deploy off Piers 40 and 26 in the Hudson River as part of our ongoing fish ecology survey.  Pier 40 was busy. In our pots and traps we found five young-of-year oyster toadfish (45-85 mm) and one large adult (280 mm). We also found four large blackfish (240-390 mm), the largest of which was just short of the NYS DEC minimum size for creeling (16-inches), if we had been looking for dinner. – Zoe Kim

Oyster toadfish
Those Young Toadfish 

[We have seen oyster toadfish in droves this summer, especially during Oyster Monitoring events. Juvenile oyster toadfish, skilletfish, and wrasse (cunner and blackfish) are commonly found in oyster habitat structures alongside mud crabs, mud dog whelks, and oyster drills. Zoe Kim]

9/30 – Manhattan: I had a pleasant afternoon rod and reel fishing in the Harlem River off Inwood Park’s Dyckman Pier. Fishing the ebb tide with raw shrimp (my favorite bait) and a top-and-bottom rig, I caught seven species of fish, what anglers refer to as a “mixed bag.”

Smooth dogfish
Mr. Lagonigro and that Smooth Dogfish

Among them was the omnipresent oyster toadfish, American eel, northern kingfish, white perch, bluefish, a smooth dogfish (a shark), and a spot, my first caught here. The smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis) was 24-inches-long. – Nicola Lagonigro

9/30 – Manhattan:  On the inlet of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, at Inwood Hill Park, a dozen mallards dozed along the shore. The tide was high; saltmarsh grasses (Spartina alterniflora and S. cynosuroides) and chairmaker’s rush (Schoenoplectus americanus) stood in several inches of water, along with rose-mallow and seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens), that don’t usually “get their feet wet.” A few feet up the bank, out of the water, a few late bloomers had flowers including a small-flowered evening primrose, a white wood aster, another Hibiscus, and a few more seaside goldenrods. It was altogether a rather disappointing season after a hot, dry summer. But a little farther from the water, pokeweed had abundant berries, several big groundsel bushes (Baccharis halimifolia) were full of buds, and a good number of flowers remained on the yam-leaved clematis (C. terniflora) to the delight of yellow jacket, wasps, and other pollinators. – Thomas Shoesmith

Yam-leaved clematis
That Yam-Leaved Clematis

As for our Fish of the Week:

9/27 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 189 is the weakfish (Cynoscion regalis), number 190 (of 236) on our watershed list of fishes.

Weakfish is one of seven members of the drum family (Sciaenidae) in our watershed. Others include freshwater drum, spot, silver perch, northern kingfish, Atlantic croaker, and black drum. Except for the freshwater drum, an introduced freshwater fish, they are all saltwater species found seasonally in the brackish reach of the estuary. Some of the drums have a highly specialized swim bladder that serves as a sound-producing organ. This has led to their common (colloquial) name of “drum.”

Weakfish
A Weakish

They occur along the Atlantic coast of North America from Nova Scotia to southeastern Florida but are more common from the New York Bight to North Carolina. Their common name is a colloquial reference to its lightly structured mouth and its perchance for tossing fish hooks. In our watershed, weakfish are designated as a seasonally resident marine species.

Weakfish have long been an elite sportfish along the Mid-Atlantic coast south to the Carolinas for reason of scarcity and appearance (akin to a freshwater trout). Their slender form and colorful spotted appearance accounts for another colloquial name of “sea trout.” In times when they were plentiful, they gained the honorable nickname “tiderunner,” from anglers, for their size and strength in the surf. New York State regulations for weakfish are 16 inches minimum, one per day, no closed season. The documented maximum size is 38 inches, but they average half that size. Legal size for weakfish in New York State is 16 inches total length. The rod and reel record (1984) is 19.3 lb.

It is possible that adult weakfish may have been one of the species that confused Henry Hudson’s crew, in September 1609, when they reported seeing “great stores of salmon” in the Hudson River.

Weakfish History:  
The weakfish has been known as squeteague to the Algonquian-speaking people of the Atlantic Coast for millennia. They have been one of the most important components of a mixed-stock commercial fishery on the Atlantic coast since the 1800s.

We checked our Hudson River Almanac’s historical records (1994-2002) and found that the presence of weakfish in the estuary has been one of abundance and scarcity. There was a significant presence of both adult and juvenile weakfish in the lower estuary 1994-2001, with many 22-30-inch-long fish caught by both rod-and-reel and commercial gear. C.L. Smith, in his Inland Fishes of New York State (1985), described the weakfish as a “common summer resident in the lower Hudson.”

During this decade, Christopher Letts and I conducted dark-of-night seining programs in the fall to audiences of hundreds at Croton Point (river mile 35). We were replicating, as well as paying homage to, the commercial haul-seiners of the early-to-mid 20th century. Those operations used 1,000-foot-long nets and employed many strong arms to haul. Our seine was a bit more modest, a 220-footer hand-built by Henry Gourdine of Ossining, who participated in the earlier efforts. During every night-seining program we would find young-of-year weakfish glistening in the lantern light as we beached the net.

The 2000’s began with many fewer weakfish, just a few each summer. By 2004, there were almost none, and that level persisted through summer 2022, with12 of those 18 years finding none. The closure of commercial fishing for American shad nets in Hudson tidewater in 2010 removed one of the most dependable indicators of the presence of ephemeral fishes such as weakfish in the estuary.

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) on Weakfish
In 1985, because of the decline of coastal weakfish populations, the ASMFC acted. The ASMFC manages 27 different fish species. Of those 27, nearly half are currently overfished. The ASMFC created an Interstate Fishery Management Plan for weakfish. The plan required states to implement a recreational creel limit, as well as limits on commercial landings.

Despite the measures, weakfish biomass continued to decline into the late 1990s, and then reached an all-time low in 2013. The 2019 Weakfish Stock Assessment Update indicated that weakfish were continuing to be depleted. For more information, go www.asmfc.org.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Weakfish
Weakfish is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species. Established in 1964, the Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal and plant species.

 AND This Week’s Most Excellent Bird:

image of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker by Glass and Nature, Shutterstock.

The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker!!  (AKA “Woodpecker”!!)

Today’s World Migratory Bird Day and Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day.  

UGS

Eco Fact of the Week:  Estimates from McKinsey and the World Economic Forum suggest the number of garments produced each year has at least doubled since 2000.

Eco Tip of the Week:  Recycle those dead batteries at Best Buy (now downstairs at 86th Street)!!

And our August Compost Totals are:

 96th St & Lexington Ave 
DateDrop-offsBinsWeight
(lbs)
8/518551,120
8/1218051,160
8/191605985
8/261404898
    
    
Asphalt Green 
DateDrop-offsBinsWeight (lbs)
8/718041,109
8/1422561,401
8/2120051,256
8/2821561,358

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