No events to attend, of course, but, as promised, some change-of-pace/UES/green stuff that’ll hopefully add pleasure/info to days within the four walls of home…
Commencing with some pretty darned miscellaneous miscellany:
Good on AM Seawright for her weekly – every Tuesday – Tele-Town Halls…
Lost in the virus crisis: Our City Council’s expanded recycling proposal…
Of course, 99% of the greens we consume are grown and harvested by our market farmers but, perchance, you have to make a grocery store purchase… There’re things to know no matter how well-packaged or even if triple washed…
As we patiently wait for Greenmarket compost collection to be restored, NYC residential pick-up’s been getting waste industry media coverage…
That $21M in VW settlement funds coming to NYS?? Think acquisition of electric public transporation buses…
A couple endure, but how did we ever let so many of these beauties to be torn down…
Three cheers for national parks and their growing number of park guides designed for visually impaired visitors…
Wildfires, injured hikers and more… NYS Forest Rangers have been busy…
Brief pause for a clump of grey but worthy items:
It’s 50-years old and banned but chemical carbofuran is still killing wildlife…
Argh, these darned invasive insects, this one threatening gorgeous Native American basket making…
Don’t know quite how to react to this approach to U.S. housing on flood plains…
Time for some animals:
Calling all bird watchers!! Contribute your observations to this year’s NYS’s Breeding Bird Atlas…
Who’d have thought bees are so photogenic…
How to ID NYS animal tracks… (Scroll to page 2!)
More tracks still (and scat) to ID… (Scroll to page 6!)
Marine mammals documented in the Hudson Valley over the last 26 years:
* Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)
* Hooded seal (Cystophora cristata)
* Gray seal (Halichoerus grypus)
* Harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus)
* Common (harbor) porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
* Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus)
* Bottlenose (common) dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
* Florida manatee-2006 (Trichechus manatus latirostris)
* Minke whale-2007 (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
* Humpback whale-2016 (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Then there’s the Hudson River Alamanc:
3/9 – Northern Dutchess County: Low tide is the best time for beach combing. As I was walking along the river today, I came upon a small stone that looked as though it may have been “worked” (modified by human hands), thus an artifact. It was the base of a Brewerton eared-notched projectile point, likely a dart point for an atlatl (spear thrower). At 20 millimeters (mm) long, this re-sharpened point had, after much use, been reduced to twenty percent of its original length and had been re-purposed as a small scraper or a graver. – Tom Hall
[Brewerton eared-notched points have been radiocarbon dated from organic contexts in the Northeast to 4,500 years old. Their type site is Brewerton, along Oneida Lake in Onondaga County. This tool had been fashioned from a brownish Kalkberg chert, from the Helderbergs, by ancestral Algonquian people. They were pre-ceramic, hunters and gatherers, fishers and foragers. Given the range of their homeland, and where this artifact was found, they may have been ancestral Mohicans.
There are few things more magical than holding a moment of the deep past in your hand, sensing the imagination of the artist and envisioning the time of its creation. To apply some context to the great time depth of our Hudson Valley, as the artisan was creating this tool, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was being constructed during the Fourth Dynasty of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu. – Tom Lake]
3/18 – Queens, New York City: Taking an afternoon walk along the East River toward Socrates Sculpture Park was a help in coping with the COVID-19 coronavirus. A whole group of shorebirds was hanging out at a small sandy beach on the river next to the park. Among them were six wintering brant and several Canada geese. – Jen Adams
And the Fishes of the Couple of Weeks:
3/8 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 62 is the dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) number 4 (of 230) on our watershed list of fishes.
The dusky shark is a member of the requiem shark family (Carcharhinidae), the largest family of living sharks. The dusky shark is on our list of fishes for less-than-reliable evidence. The original report of a dusky shark found on the shore in Peekskill was by Edgar Mearns (1989). Mearns gave no distinguishing characteristics and, on the face of it, a dusky shark might have been the least likely of requiem sharks to be found upriver in the estuary. Another, more inshore, less pelagic species like the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) would have been much more likely. To the untrained eye, these two closely related requiem sharks look very similar and may have been easily confused. (In recent times, additions to our watershed list of fishes have required irrefutable evidence such as photos, videos, or specimens.)
Murdy, Birdsong, and Musick’s The Fishes of Chesapeake Bay (1997: 31-32), assesses the behavior of these two sharks: ‘It [dusky shark] does not normally enter estuaries.” For bull sharks, “[they] are known to frequent brackish waters and low salinity rivers.” “They are known from … 1,000 miles upriver in the Amazon and Mississippi rivers.
Adding to the confusion is a bizarre “tradition” among some anglers of dumping fish from faraway places along the river giving the appearance that they were found in situ, or with valid provenience (in their original place). There have been several instances where anglers have brought home dead sharks from ocean adventures and left them along the river, including a blue shark at Yonkers (1979), a sand tiger shark (Carcharhinus taurus) at Peekskill (1952), and another dusky shark at Newburgh (1966).
Despite all of the reservations on the occurrence of these large sharks in the estuary, the river is open to the sea, and that demands that we never say never. However, even 122 years later, we still exercise our skepticism of Edgar Mearns’ 1898 report. – Tom Lake
3/15 – Hudson River Watershed’s Fish-of-the-Week for Week 63 is the (pretty disagreeable) northern snakehead (Channa argus) number 214 (of 230) on the watershed list of fishes!!
The northern snakehead is an aggressive, invasive, predatory fish native to areas of Asia. Adult northern snakehead can grow to 18.0 pounds and to more than three feet in length. They are voracious predators, eating almost anything they can fit in their mouths, including other fishes, crustaceans, frogs, and small reptiles.
In late May 2008, it was discovered that the northern snakehead had been introduced into Orange County – possible aquarium release – in the upper Catlin Creek watershed near Ridgebury Lake in the Town of Waywayanda (first record from the watershed). This created concerns about the effect that this large predator could have on native species. The northern snakehead is a very resilient fish; it has an accessory breathing apparatus that allows it to survive in poor water quality, even out of water for several days at moderate air temperatures and can move short distances over wet ground. They would also be able to survive the cold water of New York winters.
NYSDEC Region 3 Inland Fisheries took immediate action to eradicate this species to protect native fish populations and prevent any possible expansion of the northern snakehead beyond the headwaters of Catlin Creek. It was evident from the evidence gathered that the northern snakehead were, or soon would be spawning, lending urgency to immediate eradication measures.
Temporary fish barriers were erected in Catlin Creek delineating the area followed by capture and removal of those that were found. Monitoring included the use of a variety of fish capturing techniques, as well as many water samples taken and analyzed for snakehead environmental DNA. In 2008 and 2009, DEC collected a total of 341 northern snakeheads ranging in size to 32-inches long.
Since 2009, there has been no further evidence of northern snakeheads in the Catlin Creek watershed. (Our thanks to Fisheries Biologist Michael Flaherty for much of this information.) – Tom Lake
How about some items for the When-We’re-Back Out-and-About File:
The New British Galleries
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue
As per The Times: ”…700 objects dating from 1500 to 1900, almost a third of which are new acquisitions…” Among them, 3 grand 18th-century rooms and “a dazzling array of 1th Century teapots”!! For more and even more…
Arthur Avenue: Welcome to Little (Albanian-Mexican) Italy
Never been to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx? Dubbed the most authentic of NYC’s remaining Little Italys with an amazing array of mighty fine Italian groceries, bakeries and restaurants… Home to early rock ‘n roll sensation Dion and the Belmonts… Now threaded with Albanian and Mexican influences… Which is to say, go!!
Nothing greener than good health,
March 20, 2020
Unfortunately, we open with some bad news from GrowNYC Mega Manager of Markets Margaret Hoffman:
AND, AS OF NOW,
ALL PRODUCERS ARE PLANNNING TO ATTEND.
Those great producers being American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, SunFed Beef, Ballard’s Honey, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!
But GrowNYC is taking some steps to attempt to make our markets safer for all:
First, we are asking shoppers to be more aware of your personal space and keep a safe distance from each other as much as possible. Second, we’re implementing a “no touching of product” policy and ask – if not insist – that shoppers refrain from touching produce and instead ask farm staff to help you.
We very much appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation during these difficult times. And, please… Stay safe!! Margaret”
Also most sorry to say:
COMPOST COLLECTION IS CANCELLED
Then there’s this one last unhappy news flash:
SET FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 28th
BATTERIES, , MAKE-UP WANDS, EYE GLASSES, CORDS, PHONES
Valuable sources/assets compiled by our electeds… A sampling of the many wonderful ways folks worldwide are turning this down–time into good… Miscellany even more miscellaneous than the usual… Tidbits of activism… Adorable animals…
Look for that uplift/amusement to pop up over the weeks ahead: https://thisweekatthemarket.wordpress.com
Rest assured we’ll be searching for composting alternatives…
Be hale and hearty, people!!