Monthly Archives: May 2018

Happy World Turtle Day, UESiders!!

Strange and wonderful critters deserving of our respect and caring…  Especially in spring when they’re doing crazy stuff – like crossing roads –  in search of other, eligible turtles and/or nest/lay eggs!!   ( Therefore, turtle crossings!!)  (And check out what NYC DEC’s doing – including tech – to help our threatened terrapins!!) 

This’s also National Tire Safety Week…  With summer driving that commences with Memorial Day…  UESiders with cars?  Get those tires checked!! 

Meanwhile…  How about this for a verge of summer thought:  A 12-month study of 2,600 children shows regular exposure to natural vegetation and the outdoors  improves a child’s cognitive development.  

We are not surprised, are we?

thymus-serpyllum

thymus-serpyllum

So much happening this holiday weekend and beyond:

Saturday, May 26th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey,  Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert,  Gajeski,  Ale Wife, Hawthorne and Nolasco Farms!!

Happy to say, the Master Knife Sharpener will be there and honing like crazy, too!! 

Then there’s this from Market Manager G:  “It may be a long weekend and the last one in May, but don’t forget to pickup your favorite spring things from our great 82nd Street Market!!  Weather permitting, we will be grilling up something green and extra scrumptious…  (Let your imagination run as to just what the scrumptiousness might be!)  And come say farewell to Nolasco until the winter and get prepared for the long-awaited return of our favorite South Jersey farmer, Lou from Cherry Lane. He’ll be back next weekend!”

Recycling totals 5/19:   71 lbs batteries;  14 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  11 1/4 compost bins; 40 bags of clothes      

Way to go, people!!  And on a ridiculously soggy day!!

Sunday, May 27th:  Green Park GardenersNYC Spring Volunteer Day!!

Andrew Haswell Green Park, East River Esplanade at 60th Street, bottom of the ramp, 2-5pm

So much for the rain that never came and last week’s cancellation.  The GPG’s will be out and bringing beauty to our Esplanade.  So come along…  Dig holes, plant, braid daffodils, mark and mulch paths and plenty more, plus learning from those who know!!   BYO gloves and trowels…  Clippers and shovels, too, if you have ’em…  And let the GPG know you’re coming so they can plan:  greenparkgardenersnyc@gmail.com!

Sunday, May 27th:  Victorian Gardens Opening

Wollman Rink, Central Park

Eighteen rides, games and attractions, all totally family friendly!!   For attractions, ticket prices, hours, directions and more

Tuesday, May 29th to Monday, June 4th:  11th Annual World Science Festival 

Venues throughout NYC 

An amazing array of talks/lectures and hand-on experiences for folks of all ages and science proficiency ranging from robotics to a fish count in NYC’s waters!!  Really, not to be missed!!  For details (and are there plenty) and tickets…  (And then there’re the programs designed just for kids…)

Wednesday, May 30th:  Proving the Market for Energy Retrofits Live Stream

Under Your Own Roof, 7pm

So how’re we New Yorkers going to achieve our ambitious – but achievable- 80% energy reduction by 2050…?   Just click here next Wednesday at 7

Thursday, May 31st to Friday, June 22nd  Alfons Mucha – Shaping the Czech Identity Exhibition

Czech Center, 321 East 73rd Street

Even if the name’s not familiar, you ‘ll likely be familiar with the brilliant images created by this art nouveau greats.  But the Czech patriot also produced gorgeous banknotes, stamps, posters and a series of epic paintings celebrating the land of birth.    On physical display at Center or via slide show presentation.  Free  For more… 

Holy crow!  It’s June:

Saturday, June 2nd:  Celebrate at the Alice Aycock Pavilion

East River Esplanade at 60th Street, 1-4pm

Primo long weekend fun with great music (and totally dance-able music), kid activities, ice cream treats and the company of plenty of our great New York neighbors from the UES and beyond!!  Then there’s that wonderful, soothing river view…  Free!!  Organized by Esplanade Friends!!  Spread the word!!

Saturday, June 9th:  The Great Randall’s Island Treasure Hunt  

Location to be announced, 10am-2pm

Join Alliance guides for an adventure unlocking Island secrets, searching for treasure and exploring the Park!  Plus…  Learn how to use map and compass while navigating a fun course…  Check out the Alliance’s Gallery of Maps…  The larger-than-life musical puppet show…  The ton of prizes, too!!  Free.  Just right for ages 5 and above.  For more (and there’s plenty)

Tuesday, June 19th:  New York Solar & Storage Summit

Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street, 8am-6pm

Be a part of planting solar’s flag (and our ability to store that energy) ever further!!  There’ll be a host of energy, utility and government people there and they need our eyes on them and our prodding!!   $25-$50.   For more and to register

Saturday, June 23rd:  Paddle the Never Sink Reservoir

Meeting place and time provided with ticket purchase… 

And we quote, “Come paddle on the Neversink Reservoir with NYC H2O! The Neversink Reservoir is the highest in elevation in NYC’s water system with it’s spillway at 1,440 feet in elevation…!”  Organized by the great NYC H2O.   Van transportation from the Village.  Both kayaks and canoes available.   $25-$100. And you must register (it’s free) with the NYS DEP for watershed access  For tickets and more…

triantha-glutinosa-1

triantha-glutinosa

Bring on the miscellany:

For the first time in a decade, NYC’s not America’s fastest growing city…  What?!! But there’re still more of us in the 5 boroughs than anywhere in the US!!  (Check out the stats…) 

Last winter’s weather cost NYC what…??

That giant building planned for First and 79th?  Maybe it’ll be even bigger

A brief detour into the activist zone:

Eeek!!  No glory for McDonald’s shareholders who just voted down a plastic straw ban!!

Think Amazon should steer clear of selling GMO apples?

Or that the mayor should appoint an actual preservationist to head up Landmarks Preservation?   (Same for the Council!!)

Tech Proficients:  A solar bill working its way through the NY Assembly could use your help with a phone call and a tweet

If you think Kroger – America’s biggest supermarket chain – should stop selling food grown with bee-killing pesticides

BPA’s still coating so many of our receipts

The headline calls out Verizon for energy inefficiency, but none of the bigtime carriers is exactly stellar… 

On the upswing:

How about this for a lovely take on gardening, patience and buttterflies…  (Thanks to  reader Shwetha Shetty for the tip!)

Good on The Times for covering the Oakland, CA program that puts prison/post-prison people into gardens where very many heal…  A program pioneered by the great James Jiler (then of the Horticultural Society of New York) on Rikers Island…  Where some of the vegetable gardens are edged with extra Belgian blocks from UES tree beds !!  (Check out James’ TedX Talk…) 

Our city’s offering a ton of FREE summer sports programs for young ‘uns ages 6-17

Harry and Meghan’s  green, emissionless honeymoon car

Boat safety compliance inspections…  A record setting crappie catch…  Illegal turkey hunters…  Lots on NYState Conservation Officers’ hands of late…

NYS  likes its firewood (and firewood regulations) local, too… (aimed at keeping invasive tree-killers like long-horned beetles contained)…

Free tickets to NYC summer concerts… 

As for the feathered, finned, scaled and furry:

The kestrel nest cam

The osprey nest cam (recently visited by an owl!)…

Vocalizing fish

Our deer and moose are threatened by a chronic wasting disease

The virtues of bees

Five facts about wolves

Any number of great Nature docs on PBS this week, but “The World’s Most Wanted Animal” (i.e. the pangolin) is a total standout…

As ever, from the great Hudson River Alamanac:

5/7 – Staten Island: We took a quick walk on the beach this evening, overlooking the Lower Bay of New York Harbor, and came across a nesting killdeer. The female picked a tough spot for the nest right next to the trail that leads to the beach. She was so close to the trail that she immediately went into her “injured” display to distract us. Hopefully, her eggs will hatch soon and she and her brood will be on their way.   – Sean Gannon

Kildeer

A Killdeer

5/10 – Bronx, New York City: The lilacs at the Bronx Botanical Garden were starting to bloom. The Cherry Esplanade was glorious, as were the crabapples in the Osborne Garden.  In the Native Flora garden, some oaks and pitch pines were flowering. The moss pink (Phlox subulata) was stunning and the wild geranium and columbine were suddenly wonderful. In the woodlands, thanks to heart-leaved groundsel (Packera aurea), the beds were paved with gold.   – Thomas Shoesmith

groundselGroundsel

[Lilacs (Syringa sp.) are a part of Hudson River lore. When commercial shad fishermen plied their gill nets on the Hudson, they noticed that the shad migration upriver from the sea came in a measured progression. Beginning in early April, the ratio of male or buck shad, to female or roe shad, was 2:1. By late April into early May, the ratio shifted to 1:1. By mid-May, the lilacs were in bloom and it again changed to 2:1 roe shad. This would be the last of the run, the season was ending, and the big roe shad were dubbed “lilac shad.” – Tom Lake]

With every greenness,

UGS

 

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Happy Infrastructure Week, UESiders!!

We know…  We know…  But let’s look forward to the time we have some worthy of the name and our city…  And may it come soon…  And at that happy time, may the subway part of that great new infrastructre be as beautiful and CLEAN as (all but one of) these!!

Meanwhile, who knew that Dell’s manufacturing its tech with ocean-bound, recycled plastic?!  (“Ocean bound” defined as plastic collected from beaches, waterways and coastal areas!!)  (Other companies are getting onboard, too!!)

Wonderful, too, that rubble from the old Tappan Zee Bridge will be deployed to revive NYState’s Artificial Reef Program in the Long Island Sound, Great South Bay and  Atlantic Ocean!! 

Meanwhile, no question but we (as in UGS) gave International Compost Week short shrift…  Especially since reader Ellen Diamond  had sent along this lovely essay by her cousin Judy Eron on –  and don’t we know it! – the joys of compost/ composting!!  (Scroll down to page 24!) 

National Wildflower Week (the first full week in May) slipped by us, too… 

But today’s NYS Green Commute and Fishing Heritage Day!!

Then there’s the jam-packed week ahead:

Saturday, May 19th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey,  Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert,  Gajeski,  Ale Wife, Hawthorne and Nolasco Farms!!

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

Recycling totals 5/5:   65 lbs batteries;  21 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 6 pairs of eye glasses; 12 compost bins; 35 bags of clothes       5/12:   77 lbs batteries; 17 lbs cords, corks cellphones and cartridges;  11 compost bins; 41 bags of clothes.

Brilliant, folks!!

Saturday, May 19th:  Plumb Beach Cleanup!

Plumb Beach, Gateway National Recreation Area, Brooklyn, 10am-2pm

The annual spring cleaning of this extraordinarily rich and unique marine environment.  Naturalists Clay and Seth Wollney’ll  also – once the cleanup’s done – lead volunteers in a seining experience!!  Bus transportation from Union Square and lunch provided!  Co-sponsored by the great NYC H2O, the National Park Service and the NY City Council!  For more and to rsvp… 

Saturday & Sunday, May 19th & 20th:  Annual Children’s Festival Celebrating imagiNations

National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, 11am-5pm

Learn how to kayak Eskimo-style…  Rope-weaving that made those incredible Inca bridges possible…   Pow-wow sweat dancing…  Mayan math…  Native North and South American culture at their most interesting and fun and for the young!!  Free.  

 

Saturday, May 19th:  Georgia O’Keeffe – Visions of Hawai’i Show Opens

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

O’Keeffe’s gorgeous paintings…  The beautiful landscapes and plants that provided the her inspiration…  An opening weekend complete with hula, lei making, ukelele playing and plenty more!!   Adults, $15.  Seniors and students, $7.  Children 2-12, $4.  Members and children under 2, free!  For more and tickets… 

Sunday, May 20th:  DSNY Spring Safe Disposal Event

120th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenues, 10am-4pm

Bring on those mouldering cans of transmission fluid and shellac, unwanted medicines and cosmetics, pesticides, electronics and more.  For the complete list, how recyclables should be safely packaged and how to get to the event

Sunday, May 20th:  High Bridge Walking Tour

Meet at the High Bridge, 2301 Amsterdam Avenue at 172nd Street, 12pm

Our city’s oldest bridge (think 1848) has been through plenty in its 180 years, including signature NYC neglect and vandalism.  But thanks to the 2012-2015 renovation, its once again a public pleasure, engineering marvel and NYC icon!!  Renovation project manager Bryan Diffley leads yet another great NYC H2O outing!!  $30.  For tickets and more

Sunday, May 20th:  Green Park GardenersNYC Spring Volunteer Day!

POSTPONED DUE TO RAIN!!  RESET FOR MAY 27th!!

Andrew Haswell Green Park, East River Esplanade at 60th Street, bottom of the ramp, 2-5pm

Dig holes, plant, braid daffodils, mark and mulch paths and plenty more, plus  learning from those who know!! Yes, come help prepare the UESide’s beautiful native plant garden for its summer glory!!   BYO gloves and trowels…  Clippers and shovels, too, if you have ’em…  And do let the GPG know you’re coming so they can plan:  greenparkgardenersnyc@gmail.com!

Tuesday, May 22nd;  Thursday, May 24th, Tuesday, May 29th, Thursday, May 31st:  Panorama Europe 2018 Film Festival

Rooftop, Czech Center New York, 321 East 73rd, 7pm 

With an exceedingly fine line-up of dramas and docs!!  And watching films way up high and under the stars, all the while sipping cocktails (yup, there’s a bar!) on balmy late spring evenings…  Yes!!   Films are free but you should RSVP

 

Tuesday, May 29th to Monday, June 4th:  11th Annual World Science Festival 

Venues throughout NYC 

An amazing array of talks/lectures and hand-on experiences for folks of all ages and science proficiency ranging from robotics to a fish count in NYC’s waters!!  Really, not to be missed!!  For details (and are there plenty) and tickets…  (And then there’re the programs designed just for kids…)

Another month begins:

Saturday, June 2nd:  Celebrate at the Alice Aycock Pavilion

The East River Esplanade at 60th Street 1-4pm 

A second fabulous afternoon under Alice Aycock’s marvelous sculpture, alongside our own East River!!  Live music, fun activities for the kids, delicious Meltbakery ice cream sandwiches and plenty more…  Yet another great Esplanade Friends event!!  (But rain cancels as it did last Saturday…) 

Sunday, June 3rd:  Grand Acquisitors – A Walking Tour

Meeting location provided with registration/ticket purchase, 10:30am

Walk the blocks and know the gorgeous UES buildings where many of America’s – and the world’s – foremost art collectors resided and enjoyed their masterpieces!!  Organized by Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and led by architectural historian Matt Postal!  Members, $10.  Non-members, $20.    

Saturday, June 9th:  Big Apple Knitting Guild’s Share the Talent Meeting

NY Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th, 1-4pm

Learn the techniques that distinguish the okay knitter from one who’s great from the amazingly skilled women – yes, women – of the BAKG!!  There’re a ton of workshops to choose from…   But you do need to sign up!  Free.

The week’s miscellany, with a life-saving opportunity up first:

As in the FDNY’ll be offering free CPR training the rest of 2018!! 

Then for a few issues of note:

As in, should you believe that clean water and air ought to be basic NYState resident rights… 

Or that you oppose offshore drilling along our East Coast

Or think America’s groundwater protections should remain strong

Or that regulations prohibiting use of lead bullets in National Wildlife Refuges should be reinstated

NYC’s far from alone in its housing shortage and expense and up-tick in homelessness…  We’ve got a host of likely (San Francisco) and unlikely (Boise, ID!) places for company…  (For The Times’ perspective on the subject…)

Seems that yet another – and far from “affordable” – highrise’ll be going up on the UES...  

(But NYC’s cheapest apartment was…)

The latest on Arctic ice

U. S. export of scrap (plastic, paper and more) to China continues down a rocky road… 

Lighter and brighter:

Meanwhile, Chinese scientists have devised a fire-detecting wallpaper that sets off alarms!!

Don’t we all love rich, nutrient-laden, chemical-free soil?  But how great that it might be on the front lines of reducing the world’s CO2 problem… 

(Meanwhile, of course, Elon Musk’ll be doing something great with dirt excavated from tunnels for his subterranean railroad…)

Three cheers for California’s legislating solar for all new homes by 2020!!  

Why are American barns red…?

What did NYS’s Conservation Officers deal with this week…?

How to pack for that camping trip sustainably!!

America’s best food trucks…  (Five of NYC’s made the cut!)

So why does the DEC want us walking through mud and water when we’re on Adirondack trails…?

Driving north in NYState?  Here’re Edible NY’s eaterie recommendations

Thirteen NYC sidewalk art (or art-ish) installations

An arrest for making moonshine in NYC…?

Let’s have some animals:

beautiful and once near-extinct Kirtland’s Warbler was spotted in Central Park last week!!

And there’re baby hawks in a nest in the West Village with a baby hawk cam

Still our state’s  two most endangered critters are

Meanwhile, the DEC’s asking  us to keep eyes peeled for the beautiful but invasive/destructive spotted lanternfly (they eat tree leaves) and report sightings

lantern fly

A Spotted Lanternfly

(Non-radioative) Chernobyl puppies are headed our way for adoption

So, what’s the speed of a peregrine falcon when it’s diving for prey?  (Click for your answer and plenty more fun critter lore…)

What would a week be without a few words from the great Hudson River Almanac:

4/28 – Manhattan: Eighteen enthusiastic high school students from across NYC’s five boroughs gathered at Randall’s Island for training for the World Science Festival’s 4th annual Great Fish Count on June 2. We sampled the Harlem River with our seine and had to make do with a meager but interesting catch, including two Atlantic silversides, a small striped bass, and several handfuls of shrimp. But the highlight was a dozen palm-sized and larger lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata). We measured the Harlem River at 10.0 parts-per-thousand (ppt) salinity, a little less than 10% seawater. –  Margie Turrin, Laurel Zaima, Chris Bowser, Rebecca Houser, Chris Girgenti

lions mane jellyfish

A Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

Here’s to a happy and green royal wedding,

UGS

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Happy Conpost Awareness Week, UESiders!!

As the dwindling poundage of UES waste attests, are we ever aware!!

It’s Teachers Appreciation Week, as well!! 

And this is Art in the Garden Month!!

Diving right into a very dense May:

Saturday, May 5th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey,  Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert,  Gajeski, Hawthorne and Nolasco Farms!!

But and so sorry to say, Hudson Valley Duck has departed  our market…  Hopefully not forever if Market Manager Supremo Margaret has her way…

The great good news is that, yes, our own Master Knife Sharpener and Ale Wife Farm will be returning to the 82nd Street fold!! 

And Market Manager G adds:  “Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style with a farmers market fiesta!! We’ll be celebrating not just the return of our great knife sharpener, but  Ale Wife Farm , too!!  Come for the tacos, but stay for your weekly dose of delicious seasonal Food!!” 

Last week’s recycling totals:   77 lbs batteries;  16 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs of eye glasses; 12 compost bins; 40 bags of clothes. 

And the shredding total was/is…  An all-time record-setting 10480 lbs!!!

Friday, May 4th to Sunday, May 6th:  Frieze Art Fair

Randall’s Island Park

The annual uber fair with some of the world’s most exciting new talents combined with iconic names in modern and contemporary art on view!!   Yes, it’s eat, drink, make take in world class art and right in our own backyard!!  Tickets, $18-$108.  Kids under 12, free.   For more

Monday, May 7th:  5th Annual Friends of the Esplanade Spring Benefit!!

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue, 6:30-8:30pm

Such a great community endeavor!!  Such great food!!  Such good company!!   The best raffle prizes ever!!   Be a part of our Esplanade’s rebirth!!  For details

Thursday, May 10th & Monday, May 14th:  Macbeth at the Beekman Theater

1271 Second Avenue, 7:30pm

Love that the Beekman’s taken to bringing such special stuff as this on UES screens:   London National Theater Live’s  production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”!!   $20.  For more and tickets

Saturday, May 12th:  Schurz Park’s 2018 Plant Sale!

East End Avenue at 86th Street, 9:30am-4:30pm

So many gorgeous, healthy plants just begging to beautify our streets, parks, gardens and homes…  Every penny benefiting that UES jewel… Carl Schurz Park!!  For full details… 

Saturday, May 19th: Fun with Fungi

Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, 10:30am-12:30pm

Next step/further refinement to our superior compost collection…  Cultivating beneficial fungi (AKA mushrooms)!  $6.   For more and tickets

Sunday, May 20th:  High Bridge Walking Tour

Meet at the High Bridge, 2301 Amsterdam Avenue at 172nd Street, 12pm

Our city’s oldest bridge (think 1848) has been through plenty in its 180 years, including signature NYC neglect and vandalism.  But thanks to the 2012-2015 renovation, its once again a public pleasure, engineering marvel and NYC icon!!  Renovation project manager Bryan Diffley leads yet another great NYC H2O outing!!  $30.  For tickets and more

Tuesday, May 29th to Monday, June 4th:  11th Annual World Science Festival

Venues throughout NYC 

An amazing array of talks/lectures and hand-on experiences for folks of all ages and science proficiency ranging from robotics to a fish count in NYC’s waters!!  Really, not to be missed!!  For details (and are there plenty) and tickets…  (And then there’re the programs designed for kids…)

Hello, June:

Saturday, June 2nd:   New World of the Number 7 Train Walking Tour

Meeting place TBA with reservation, 10am-5:30am

NYC walking tour pioneer Dr. Jack Eichenbaum revives and updates one of his classics ranging over Number 7 terrain from Hudson Yards,  Long Island City, Woodside Queen and beyond!!  $49 with space limited to 25!  For more and reservations…   

Miscellany, commencing with some carping:

No surprise given past performance of NYC’s (so-called) Landmarks Preservation, that they’ve okayed construction of a 9-story hotel threatening the stability of  that NYC treasure, the 1832 Merchant’s House Museum at 24 East 4th.  The moderately good news is opposition being led by the great Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.  To read up on the situation and send a letter of support…  

So, how come we get affordable/senior housing with the look of bunkers, located in the coils of a bridge ramps, when folks in Brooklyn get…   The work of world class architects…?

When the editor of “Waste Today”  (yup, we read it!) weighs in on the U.S.A.’s food waste problem, no qeustion, it’s ultra real…

An then the NYC Waste Characterization Study…  ((We’re doing great but can do better!!)

What’s involved when a scrap yard undertakes a renovation

Calculate your personal  plastic footprint

The Times” chronicle of the whirlwind of grant that took down many, including the chief of Precinct 19…!! 

The NYC connection to fabulous  Kentucky Derby headwear

Of course, you can have that violin repaired here in NYC

shelving system made from recycled fabric

Light on animals this time out, BUT these item pretty much take up the slack:

NYC’s first Cat Camp…!!

America’s only marsupial is…??

And our weekly treats from the Hudson River Almanac:

4/27 – Troy: We were on the Poestenkill today to remove a trial glass eel fyke net we had installed. After nine days, our total was five elvers and one glass eel (we were so excited to see that one glass eel!). While removing the net, we noticed glittery flashes of herring scales in the water. Bending down to look at them closer, I realized that the bottom of the stream wasn’t covered in granular sand, but in billions of herring eggs. There were herring eggs everywhere, from the damp rocks we were standing on, to the rip-rap up the bank where high tide has reached. Sinking our fingers into a quiet pool, we found several inches of eggs. The source of the eggs became apparent when the stream would break into a flurry of action, and the herring tails, probably alewives, would surface, flitting back and forth in the current. Two weeks ago, these herring were just arriving from the sea. Despite the drizzly spring day, we were reminded of how rich this estuary is, in terms of life and beauty.– Gracie Ballou, Aiden Mabey

Some of those herring                  eggs

4/21 – Manhattan: A scrubby slope, along Payson Avenue at Inwood Hill Park, was covered with leaves of Star-of-Bethlehem; it seemed to have spread tenfold in a couple of years, but no flowers yet. A Yoshino cherry was full of white blossoms, but the nearby crabapples, that have blossomed at about the same time in past years, were not yet budding. A red maple and a pink weeping cherry were full-blown and lovely.

On the path, up through the Clove, mats of lesser celandine had a few flowers, and little blossoms of spicebush were all through the woods. There were a few cotyledons of jewelweed and several big patches of Dutchman’s-breeches, with a few flowers beginning to open. I think this is the only place they grow on Manhattan. Up on the ridge, forsythia was blooming, and periwinkles were glowing in all the sunny places. The leaves of day-lily were now about a foot high; it had spread explosively since last year. Leaves of true celandine and herb-robert were plentiful. On my way down from the ridge, I passed a single budding hawthorne; the contrast between the pink buds and fierce thorns was striking. – Thomas Shoesmith

Star of Bethlehem

(Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) grows from little bulbs that look like cocktail onions. On this slope, winter rains have washed much of the soil away, especially near the bottom, leaving many bulbs exposed on the surface. Since it began putting out leaves a couple of weeks ago, contractile roots have pulled the bulbs into the soil, so now none are to be seen! – Thomas Shoesmith]

4/24 – Staten Island, New York City: While letting out my chickens for the day, I heard the call of a common loon. I looked up and there it was, flying overhead, standing out beautifully, against the clear blue sky. This was an adult in full breeding colors, calling all the way, as it headed southeast toward the Lower Bay of New York Harbor. I was immediately transferred back to my youth and vacations spent at lakes in the Adirondacks. – Sean Gannon

A Common Loon

[Sean heard the tremolo call of the common loon. The call sounds like a quavering laugh, and it is the only one of their four distinct calls that it gives while flying. – Tom Lake]

In ultra green happiness,

UGS

 

 

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