Monthly Archives: January 2019

Happy UES iNaturalist Entry, UESiders!!

So, last fall and inspired by Island Gardener/Tree Steward Rosie Rodriguez, a bunch of great UESiders spent a Sunday afternoon cleaning, cultivating and mulching First Avenue street trees and the one unadopted island 79th-86th… 

And what did this great green gang discover under the thick layer of leaves on the island at 85N?  Three tiny clumps of really tiny mushrooms, 2 mushrooms per clump…!! 

tiny mushrooms at 85n

Those Tiny Mushrooms

Okay, so they look pretty ginormous here, but envision the caps as large thumbtack-sized.

Then the thought occurred…  Why not forward to Susan Hewitt, not only an UESider but an Island Gardener and individual with the greatest number of entries on inaturalist??!!

Suddenly those little First Ave mushrooms were online:

And Susan comments:  “As long as they (the mushrooms) got to drop their spores, the mycelium (underground white threads) will survive, and probably will create more mushrooms (fruiting bodies) next year at about the same time, depending on how much rain we get and when we get it.”

We’ll be watching…

In the meantime, there’s this week’s action:

Saturday, January 26th:  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, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, SunFed Beef, Alewife, Hawthorne Valley, Walnut Hill, Consider Bardwell, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

(You’re right, you sharp-eyed Market shoppers… Ballard Honey’s taking the weekend off, but should be returning next Saturday!!)

Meanwhile, Market Manager G’s also off on vacation with the wonderful Tutu filling in and cooking up a Lunar New Year menu treat in celebration of the upcoming Year of the Pig!! 

As Uber Market Manager Margaret so rightly observes, “Even though it’s winter, you can get pretty much everything on your weekly shopping list from local farms and fresh at the 82nd Street Greenmarket!” 

Saturdays,  January 26th, February 9th & 23rd & March 9th:  Beekeeping 101

NY Institute of Technology, 16 West 61st Street, 10am-1pm

The basics of urban beekeeping, including honeybee science, hive construction, inspection, disease prevention, harvesting, and winterization from those who know how:  The New York City Beekeepers Association!! (This classroom course is required for those interested in the 2019 Urban Beekeeping Apprenticeship.)  $250.  For more and to sign up

Saturday, January 26th:  Thrift & Treasure Sale

Church of Heavenly Rest, 1085 Fifth Avenue at 90th, 10am-4pm

Think a designer boutique…  Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, jewelry, china, glassware, housewares, linens, books, DVDs, CDs, toys and treasures…  All to benefit Heavenly Rest’s many good works!!

Thursday, January 31st:  Community Dog Forum

New York Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street, 6:30pm

And we quote, “Join your neighbors in a discussion about park rules related to dogs, resources for pet owners and ways to ensure our parks and open spaces can be enjoyed by all!”  For more and/or to RSVP:  212-758-4340 or

February already:

Saturday, February 2nd:  Electrifying Mapmaking Embroidery

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Home to some of the most fun workshops going, this time the MVHM’s offering a “hands-on mash-up of 19th Century sewing and early science…”  As in embroidering a map of New York and then sewing on circuits to light it up at points of special interest!!  All materials provided and no experience necessary.   Best for adults ($15; members and students, $10) and kids 10-plus ($10).  For more and tickets

Sunday, February 3rd:  DOROT’s Winter Visit & Package Delivery Program Training

DOROT Main Office, 11 West 85th Street or Sutton Place Synogogue, 225 East 51st Street, 10am 

Again we quote, “Bring warmth and companionship to an older neighbor with a Sunday visit.  Sign up for orientation, package pick-up and a home visit assignment” at either of two Manhattan locations!!  A beautiful thing!!  But registering is required, as is an email to Lauren at to let her know you’ll be volunteering!!

Friday, February 15th to Monday, February 18th:  The Great Backyard Bird Count 

Across America and Greenspaces all over NYC

In 2018, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life joined in the four-day count that creates an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of American birds!! This year, you could be 160,001!!  For the lowdown

Weighty miscellany up first:

Should you be opposed to hunting in Yellowstone Park

If you disagree with the governor’s plan to power government buildings in Albany with fracked gas give him a quick toll free call:  877-235–6537 and press 1…

Humm…  Appears some of the biggest investors in plastics plants are behind a newly founded alliance to reduce plastic production…  

Do check out PBS’s “Coal’s Deadly Dust” and “Sinking Cities”.  

On the sunnier side:

Seems the US DOE is funding research on how best to recycle lithium ion batteries

Natural?? Muldtigrain?? Free-range??  A handy guide to what these and many more green food label terms mean

For those totally unfamiliar with the wonderful Story Corps…  Or those who’ve seen their booths around town at Grand Central or adjacent to City Hall and wondered what they’re up to…  You don’t have to be missing out anymore!! 

What’s been occupying our NYS Forest Rangers of late (heavy on ice rescue training and winter storm prep)… 

Going local:

rundown of the 23 individuals running for Public Advocate

 If only the city’d built the Staten Island subway way back when

Meanwhile, bit by bit, some subway stations constructed in bygone days are looking pretty darned spectacular… 

The First Hungarian Reformed Church on 69th is now on Landmark Preservation’s calendar!!

And Brooklyn’s Ridgewood Reservoir now a Class I Freshwater Wetland!!

And ranging wide:

How to fall without injury

Been missing those animals:

No surprise, open waste dumps affect behavior of animals living nearby…  

High flying mountain goats return home to the Cascade Mountains

Then there’s counting ants

Crocheted crustaceans 

Where to see eagles in the Hudson River Valley

And one of the many reasons why UESiders are ever more committed to native plants in our parks, gardens, tree beds, planters…  You name it!!  

What would a newsletter be without the Hudson River Almanac and its new, winter “Fish of the Week” feature:

1/12 – Hudson Valley Estuary: This week’s selection is the inshore lizardfish (Synodus foetens), species number 99 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. (If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail me: 

lizard fish

A Lizard Fish

[The terete-shaped body of the inshore lizardfish looks like a brightly striped and mottled cigar. They grow to 18-inches and favor the temperate and tropical marine waters of the Atlantic. Inshore lizardfish, with tooth-studded jaws, are voracious predators. They lurk in sandy shallows, burrowing in the bottom sediments, to ambush passing prey. Larval lizardfish are carried into the Hudson Estuary on summer flood tide currents; juvenile lizardfish are found in late summer and fall in brackish water as far upriver as Croton Point (HRM 35). Tom Lake]

(Last week’s was the  brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), species number 97 (out of 228) on our watershed list of fishes.)

brook trout

A Brook Trout

Brook trout, a native species, is the official New York State fish. They are quite easily recognized by their incredibly beautiful colors. Brook trout are considered to be a periglacial species in that they were among the first fishes to re-enter the watershed following the last Ice Age, an adaptation they retain preferring clear, cold, well-aerated water.

While the New York State angling record is 6.0 pounds, from Silver Lake Wilderness Area, Hamilton County, those in the watershed are far smaller on average. In headwater streams of the Catskills and Adirondacks, confined by their micro-habitats, adult brook trout may be no more than five-inches-long. (Photo of brook trout courtesy of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation) – Tom Lake

Yours in 2019 greenness,


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