Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy Second Week of NYC’s Single Use Foam Food Container Ban, UESiders!!

Once upon a time and not-so long ago, styrofoam kernels were second only to cigarettes  as waste most often found in tree beds in our hood…  But less and less once the bill passed and the July 1st End Date approached!!

For sure, let’s give our ever more green selves and representatives a major pat on the back for facing down the array of industry entities and making the ban happen and real!!

(For a rundown of the bill’s ins and outs and how to nudge any scofflaws you might encounter into line…) 

Meanwhile…

Happy July Manhattanhenge Evening II!!

MANHATTANHENGE-superJumbo

Have to say we were pretty ho-hum till yesterday’s Henge…  And now it’s totally WOW!!  May this hit your mailbox before the moment:  8:20PM!! 

Last but far from least…

Happy Invasive Species Awareness Week!! 

Not that we’re happy to be invaded, but we are happy to be aware and addressing!! 

Then there’re the next 7 days:

Saturday, July 13th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With us will be the great people of American Pride Seafood,  Bread Alone, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with Consider Bardwell items) and, Gayeski Farms!!

Happy to say Ballard Honey’ll be returning after their July 4th weekend holiday!! 

Add to the mix, it’ll be another Saturday with the Master Knife Sharpener present and ready to hone!!

Market Manager Ciana adds:  “Tis’ the season for BBQ so stop by Sun Fed Beef for quality beef, pork and chicken.  And don’t forget the cheese for your burgers, and omelets from Valley Sheppard, Ole Mother Hubbert AND Hawthorne Valley!  And, of course, new produce’s coming into season each and every week…  Last Saturday, we welcomed the first of summer corn from Gajeski Produce and Cherry Lane Farm!!  Stop by Saturday to see what new’s appeared on market tables!!” 

More good news from Market Manager Supremo Margaret:  “New this week! Hawthorne Valley will be selling mushrooms purchased from a neighboring farm!! 

Last week’s recycling totals:   74 lbs. batteries;  10 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   12 compost bins;  62 bags of clothes

Twelve bins on a holiday weekend??!!  GREAT!! 

Sunday, July 14th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

At their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures, Phillips and Sun Fed Beef Farms!!

Yes, and the Master Knife Sharpener will be back at her table, too!!

(Made the “Margaret Salad” with 3 kinds of Norwich Meadows’ baby squash and Phillips’ scapes, chives, new onions and tomatoes!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:   8 lbs. batteries; 7 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges     6//23  – 4 compost bins;  6/30 –  4 compost bins  7/7 – 4 1/2 bins

Only 3 weeks in and and 92nd’s up 1/2 bin!!

Saturday, July 13th & Sunday, July 14th:  Ridgewood Reservoir Weekend

Highland Park, Brooklyn, 10am

Saturday it’s a tour of the gorgeous 50-plus acre natural wonder  on the Brooklyn- Queens border…  Sunday’s a primo volunteer opportunity to clear invasive plants  and replace them with pollinator-friendly, native wildflowers!!  Both organizaed by the great NYC H2O!!  For more and to reserve a place at one or both… 

Sunday, July 14th:  Green-Wood Cemetary Tree Walk

Meet at the Sunset Park Entrance,  east side of 4th Avenue between 34th and 35th, Brooklyn, 11am

No better guides to trees than Joseph Charap, Green-Wood’s Director of Horticulture and Curator, and Sam Bishop, Trees New York’s Education Director!!  No finer or more interesting assemblage of trees – 7,000 of them!!  Free!!  Do dress for the weather and bring some water.  For more, directions and to reserve a place

Sunday, July 21st:  Kids Forest School

North Woods, Central Park, 9am-12pm

And we quote, “Experience a one-hour class in which instructors Sarita and Stephan of Upper Manhattan Forest Kids will lead you and your children – six and older –  through nature-themed activities (like rock collecting and chalk drawing), sing-alongs, and storytelling in one of Manhattan’s most scenic forests!!”   Made possible by the Natural Areas Conservancy.   Free!  For more and to register…  

Wednesday, July 26th:  Annual Hearst Fellows Symposium at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Join  this year’s great young history scholars as they present their original research on the New York City of the 1830’s!!  Funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.   Adults, $8.  Seniors & students, $7.  Free to members.  

Wednesday, July 31st:  “Willets Point”- Flushing Bay Walking Tour

Meeting place provided with reservation, 6-8pm

Walking tourmaster Jack Eichenbaum’s just come out with his summer line-up…  All interesting but this one of particular import given the many environmental issues involved…  For the the full schedule, meeting place and to purchase a ticket… 

How about some activism:

As in backers of the Williams Pipeline – the pipeline some would like to run across our harbor – are attempting to organize a write-in campaign in support…  So, should you oppose

Should there be doubt on the UGS opinion on landfill-to-energy, let there be none.  We oppose landfill in any and all forms and here’re some reasons why…   And more still…  (FYI, Scandinavian countries have emptied their landfills and are now importing waste to burn.) 

Yes, climate change deniers have their very own – and big time – gala

On to pure miscellany:

Let’s keep our eyes peeled for signs of oak wilt…   (Plenty of oak street trees on the UES!!)

Scroll down for Schurz Park’s summer schedule

More scrolling down (to page 9) for the new green Statue of Liberty Museum

The prettiest block in New York….

NYC’s oldest (and still operating) restaurants

Of course, our NYS would having fishing opportunities for the disabled

(Meanwhile, NYS’s having a bumper fishing year!!)

(Meanwhile, check out some of the lures removed from bodies of NYS anglers by one hospital’s staff!!)

As ever, NYS Conservation Officers have had their hands full…  Including the annual NYC jetski invasion…   And last week, a baby fawn rescue

Same for our Forest Rangers…  (Really, some folks go hiking without even compass?!)

The week in critterdom:

Commencing with the perilous state of Pacific Ocean whales

Moving on to the Miss Dog Mom USA contest

Fourteen interesting things about – yes!! – goats

Flying squirrels of NYS

An upstate NY shark trafficker

The biggest seizure of illegal reptiles in NYS history…

Should one encounter a bear

Or wisely wish to adopt best practices for avoiding ticks

No forgetting the Hudson River Almanac:

6/29 – Bronx, New York City:  While choosing sites for tree plantings in the South Bronx, I stopped on East Tremont to look at the Bronx River. Along with Bronx River is one of the last vestiges of nature on this avenue of urban blight. Today, a few feet away, I spotted a large black bird rooting around in the shadows under a shrub. My first impression was an American Crow, but it was too small. Then I considered a fish crow. However, as it emerged from the shade, I saw that it had a blueish-purple sheen to its head and a disproportionately large tail. It was too big and its tail too wide to be a common grackle. As it flew away, I realized it was a “first bird” for me, a boat-tailed grackle. – Robert Shapiro

boat-tailed grackle

A Boat-Tailed Grackle

[The boat-tailed grackle (Quiscalus major) is a bird of the coastal southeast U.S. that has been extending its range northward (there is a small breeding population in Connecticut). There have also been a few recent sightings in the Bronx and Queens. Tom Lake]

6/21 – Manhattan, HRM 1: In order to repair some of our worn research sampling gear, we went out to Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilacat Pier 25. We discovered that we had caught an impressive 245 millimeter (mm) adult tautog, a handsome adult white perch (250 mm), for the second time in two days, four young-of-year oyster toadfish (21-50 mm), and lastly, a young-of-the-season blue crab. We also began to see many oyster drills congregating in the crab pots to lay their eggs. – Siddhartha Hayes, Nina Hitchings,

[The Atlantic oyster drill (Urosalpinx cinerea) is a small sea snail, a marine gastropod. The oyster drill preys on oysters by drilling though their shells to get at the oyster inside. – Tom Lake]

6/22 – Brooklyn, New York City: We took our two 20-foot seines into the water off Pier 4 at the Brooklyn Bridge Park this evening where we caught an amazing diversity of aquatic life that reflected the ecology of the East River. Most numerous among the fishes were young-of-year Atlantic tomcod, bluefish, Atlantic menhaden, Atlantic silverside, and tautog. Complementing the fishes were sand shrimp, shore shrimp, long-wristed hermit crab, ribbed mussel, soft-shell clam (steamer clam), sandworms, eastern mudsnail (Ilyanassa obsolete), and common periwinkle. The East River was 70 degrees Fahrenheit (F), and the salinity was 13.8 parts-per-thousand (ppt) –  Christina Tobitsch, Peter Park

6/26 – Brooklyn, New York City: Each year, we invite the rest of the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy staff and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (gardeners, maintenance, operations personnel) to join us for a staff seine at the Pier 4 beach on the East River. Counting others who happened to be on the beach, we were about thirty, all eager to see what was home in the river today. Our catch reflected the season as we caught young-of-year bluefish and Atlantic silverside, as well as some slightly older striped bass. Invertebrates included moon jellyfish, mudsnails, and long-wristed, also called the long-clawed, hermit crabs (Pagurus longicarpus).

Most interesting was the opportunity to watch a pair of horseshoe crabs mating (Limulus polyphemus).  We found baby horseshoe crabs at this beach last year and are hopeful there are more to come. Salinity in the East River continued to be very low for this time of year, only 13.0 ppt. – Christina Tobitsch

7/1 – New York Harbor, Upper Bay: A female Chinese mitten crab was caught today in a commercial fish trap near Governors Island. – Peter Park

mitten crab

That 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 Chinese 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,” similar to 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]

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

6/23 – Hudson River Watershed: For week 28-29, the Fish-of-the-Week is the guaguanche (Sphyraena guachancho), number 196 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Guaguanche

The guaguanche is closely related (shares the same genus) to last week’s barracuda, the northern sennet (S. borealis). Both are much smaller versions of the great barracuda (S. barracuda) that can get to be more than six-feet-long. The presence of our two smaller barracudas in the estuary has been tenuous at best, with fewer than five records of each, all immatures of index-finger size.  However, the phrase “we have barracuda in the Hudson River” is often a useful comment to recapture the attention of students.  Like the northern sennet, guaguanche are found in coastal waters from Cape Cod to Florida, and like all barracuda, are a toothy predator. Guaguanche are a bit larger than northern sennet, reaching two-feet in length. Both of our small barracudas are considered uncommon north of Chesapeake Bay. – Tom Lake

Greenness is goodness,

UGS

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Happy School’s-Over Week, UESiders!!

On the off-chance that any given UES teen has time on his/her hands, nothing more satisfying, enriching and great on the youthful resume than some volunteering with one of these primo organizations...

Or these

Or this

No question in our minds that even here on the UES and with our great tradition of volunteering, the number of folks involved in good works in the hood is very much on the rise!!

Moving on to the seven days ahead…  Pollinator Protection Week:

Saturday, June 29th:  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, Ballard Honey, Bread Alone, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with Consider Bardwell items) and, Gayeski Farms!!

Plus it’s another Saturday with the Master Knife Sharpener present and yearning to hone!!

Market Manager Ciana’s advises:  “Best shopping for all your July 4th/Pride Weekend menu needs?  Greenmarket, of course!!   Think more and more summer vegs!!  More and more luscious berries!!  And stop by the market Info Tent for some great new salad and BBQ side dish recipes just right for helping to beat this crazy heat!!”

Last week’s recycling totals:   67 lbs. batteries;  19 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   18 pairs eye glasses;  14 compost bins;  47 bags of clothes

Best year ever for eye glasses collection!! 

Sunday, June 30th:  92nd Street Market

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Sikking Flowers, Meredith’s Bakery and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures, Phillips and Sun Fed Beef Farms!!

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

(Made the best-ever summer soup with a pair of Halal’s beautiful, giant summer squashes!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  Batteries, cords, corks, cellphones, cartridges and compost bins  TBA    5,300 lbs. paper shredded!!

More than 2 1/2 tons, you amazing people!!

Saturday, June 29th:  Randall’s Island Fragrant Garden Walk

Meet at the Randall’s Island side of 103rd Street Footbridge, 11am

And we quote, “Tour the Water’s Edge Garden and learn fun facts about the variety of fragrant and medicinal plants. After the tour, make a lavender sachet with lavender from the garden and create a simple lotion with essential oil!!”  Free.  For more

Saturday, June 29th:  Free Bike Helmet Event

First Avenue Loop, Playground 9, between 16th and 18th Streets, 11am-2:30pm 

Stay safe when biking around town with a custom-fit, free bike helmet.  Helmets are required by New York State Law for cyclists who are 13 years old and younger, and they make for a safe trip.  Certified representatives will be available to make sure your fit is just right.  Sponsored by CM Keith Powers!!  For more, contact the CM’s office:  212-818-0580…

Saturday & Sunday, June 29th & 30th:  Harlem Meer Catch and Release Free Fishing Weekend

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Central Park, 10am-5pm

Yes, fish for free and with the instruction of experts!!  In addition to angling, participants learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, fishing ethics and aquatic ecology!!   For more, contact Sean Reynolds, Central Park Conservancy, 646-634-9776!! 

Saturday & Sunday, June 29th & 30th:   NY Classical Theatre in Carl Schurz Park –  Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”

East 86th Street & East End Avenue, 7pm

Prepare yourselves for the truly, timelessly and totally hilarious!!   Nobody with Wilde’s droll touch before or since and a well-chosen treat for the UES!!  Sponsored in part by CM Kallos.  Free, but do reserve a place:  nyclassical.org/earnest 

And then:

THURSDAY, JULY 4th:  HAPPY JULY 4th!!

North, South, East & West, Across the Nation

Enjoy family!!  Laze around!!  Barbecue up a storm!!  Head over to the Esplanade for prime fireworks viewing!! 

Monday, July 8th to Friday, July 12th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session One, Ages 9 – 12, 8:30am – 3PM  

&

Monday, July 15th to Friday, July 19th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session Two, Ages 6 – 8, 9am-12pm 

At the Museum, 421 East 61st Street

And we quote, “This summer, just for two weeks, your children, ages 6-12 can travel back in time and experience daily life in 19th Century New York City”!  Think gardening and discovering weird but relevant 19th-century science and technology, making and and eating food from the time,!!  Same for games and arts 19th Century style!!  Session One – $275.  Session Two – $200.    For more and to register

Thursday, July 13th:  Harlem Creek Walking Tour

Meet at Central Park West at 100th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

And we quote, “Join urban explorer Steve Duncan in finding Harlem Creek’s buried path through Central Park to the Harlem Muir as Steve explains how the waterway functions today!!”  Another great NYC H2O outing!  $30.  For details and to sign up

Wednesday, July 26th:  Annual Hearst Fellows Symposium at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Join  this year’s great young history scholars as they present their original research on the New York City of the 1830’s!!  Funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.   Adults, $8.  Seniors & students, $7.  Free to members.  

Some victories on the activist trail:

Looks like plans to not only build a pipeline through the Mojave Desert but extract water from it have been defeated in court!! 

Hammer naughty landfills to the max, we say,  be they in NYS or anywhere in the world

Then some just plain miscellany:

The newly renovated – as in $5M worth of improvements – John Jay Park Pool is open for the summer season!!  (Thanks for making it happen, CM Kallos!!)

Central Park’s renovated Belvedere Castle’s just re-opened, too…  A renovation complete with geo-thermal heating/cooling system!!   

Lost hikers…  Stranded kayakers… Another active week for our NYS Forest Rangers

NYS’s busily building 12 artificial reefs off the shores of Long Island, the largest expansion of artificial reefs in state history!!  The objective:  To improve New York’s diverse marine life and boost Long Island’s recreation, sport fishing, and diving industries!!

We’re also leading the charge on combating invasive species threatening the Great Lakes!!

The NYS Hike of the Month is…  The Jay Mountain Trail with some of the most beautiful scenery in all the Northeast!!   (At 2.5 miles, the trail reaches the ridge of Jay Mountain, where a short spur leads to an overlook with a spectacular 360-degree scenic view. The High Peaks, Whiteface Mountain, Ausable River Valley, Lake Champlain. and the Green Mountains of Vermont can all be seen from this vantage point.)

Eco car washing wisdom

Is that sunscreen of yours still effective…?

NYS’s taking on invasive giant hogweed

Especially fine critters:

Those mascara wands you’ve been bringing to Greenmarket?  Here’s one of the tiny furrinesses they’re helping to keep clean:

Baby Opposum

Pink, the Orphaned Baby Opossum

Thanks to reader Jack Donaghy for the photo of this amazing cat:

Amazing Cat

giant squid attacks

Yes, heat stresses fish, too, and here’s how those who fish can help!! 

Plenty of fish info in the current Hudson River Almanac, too:

6/15 – Queens, New York City: While seining Little Bay this afternoon, adjacent to the Throgs Neck Bridge, the Alley Pond Park Environmental Center teachers (Kaitlyn and Anna) caught, measured, and released a young-of-year white mullet (Mugil curema) (42 mm). Also found in their net were mummichogs, shore shrimp, and eastern mud snails. The water temperature was 67 degrees F and the salinity was 25.0 ppt. – Peter Park

mullet

That White Mullet

Then there’s The NYS Fish of the Week:

6/18– Hudson River Watershed: Week 27 for Fish-of-the-Week is the northern sennet (Sphyraena borealis), number 195 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. (If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.)

Northern Sennet

A Northern Sennet

A sure-fire way to regain the attention of students, while seining in the river, is to calmly mention that “We have barracuda in the Hudson!” The northern sennet is, in fact, a barracuda, one of two members of that family (Sphyraenidae) in the estuary (we will cover the other attention-getting member next week). Unless they ask, we generally don’t tell that these barracudas max out at 18-inches-long, hardly the great barracuda (S. barracuda) that can grow to more than six-feet-long. Northern sennet are found in coastal waters from Cape Cod to Florida and are an apex predator in their own right. Those we catch in beach seines, however rarely, are usually young-of-year measuring just 3-5-inches.  –  Tom Lake

And another fascinating ancient artifact spotted along the river shoreline:

6/16 – Wallkill River, HRM 77: It was twenty years ago today, as I walked along the edge of a fallow cornfield listening to the “witchity-witchity-witchity” song of the common yellowthroat, that I spotted a piece of gray stone (chert) slightly protruding from a crack in the dry earth. It was the thin edge of a small projectile point, 47 x 25 (mm), staring up at me having partially eroded from the soil. I had found a very old Indian spear point that was later stylistically-dated to c. 12,500 years ago. The implications reconfirmed our sense of the incredible time-depth of our Hudson Valley. – Tom Lake

spear point

That Spear Point

[This stone artifact was a Barnes-type fluted spear point, a style that originated in southwestern Ontario about 12,500 calendar years ago. However, the lithic material came from a bedrock quarry in Sussex County, NJ, nearly 500 miles to the southeast. These fluted points predate “arrowheads” by eleven thousand years and are a diagnostic tool of what archaeologists believe were the first of us, called Paleoindian, to enter the Hudson Valley. The Wallkill River Valley was a seasonal passageway for these hunter-gatherers from Ontario, through the Mohawk River Valley, then south along the Hudson River, stopping at stone quarries along the way and following game herds into northern New Jersey.  – Tom Lake]

There’s green in that Pride flag,

UGS

 

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Happy National Squirrel Week, UESiders!!

Syncs really well with ongoing National Outdoors and National Pollinators Months!!

(It’s National Rose and Adopt-a-Cat Months, as well…  And World Sea Turtle Day!!)  

sea turtle

Hold those five thoughts as we launch into the last spring of 2019 week:

Saturday, June 15th:  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, Ballard Honey, Bread Alone, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with Consider Bardwell items) and, Gayeski Farms!!

Yes and lucky us… The master Knife Shaprner’s with us again!!

Yes, CM Kallos was MIA last Saturday with a sudden and bad bug, but he’ll be scheduling a new date for the next installment of Cooking with Kallos!!    In the meantime, we’re feeling doubly bad for him missing out on Cherry Lane’s first-of-the-season strawberries…  Gayeski’s tiny and delicious new beets and greens…  Sikking’s amazing flowers…  All that and more that sold out by noon!!  

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  64 lbs batteries;  12 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   2 pairs eye glasses;  14  1/2 compost bins;  51 bags of clothes

Not-so-slowly but surely heading for 15 bins!!  

Tuesday, June 18th:  Every Other Tuesday Knitting Social

AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1480 York Avenue between 78th & 79th, 2-4pm

Quote, “Join Neighborhood Knitters for Crafting and Conversation!!”  (As everyone who’s ever wielded a stitch holder knows, knitters do like to chat!!)  And we’re talking equal opportunity knitting/crocheting…  Come on, guys…  You’re welcome, too!!  (Plenty of fellows at Club Cummings knitting events!!)  As are folks of all skill levels.  Just RSVP

Friday, June 21st: Cephalopod Movie Night

Caveat, 21A Clinton Street, 9pm

And we quote with relish, “Join the Science Friday crew to celebrate Cephalopod week with libations and an immersion into the underwater world of these strange, tentacled creatures!”  Co-sponsored by the wild, wonderful and weird folks of Atlas Obscura.  $28.  For more (and there is more) and tickets

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Market Re-Opens!!

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

Returning with the market will be the great American Pride Seafoord, Sikking Flowers, Central Bakery, Consider Bardwell, Sun Fed Beef, Meredith’s Bakery, NS Wager’s Cider Mill and Ole Mother Hubbert’s, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures and Sun Fed Beef Farms!!

Let the countdown begin!!

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred–A-Thon – So-Glad-You’re-Back 92nd Street Edition

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

The last Shred-A-Thon till fall, folks!!

As always:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Hold on to your hardcovers for the time being!!)

Can’t say it enough…Thank you, CMs Kallos and Powers and AM Seawright, for your generous grants!!

Tuesday, June 25th:  NYC Audubon Bird Trivia Night 

The Gray Mare 61 Second Avenue, 6:30-8:30PM

Audubon’s email instructs “Bring your own team of four or flock with others as we test how much you really know about our feathered friends—in the field and in pop culture!!”   Yes, show “owl your bird knowledge and even win prizes!!”  $20.  To register (required)… 

Saturday, June 29th:  Free Bike Helmet Event

First Avenue Loop, Playground 9, between 16th and 18th Streets, 11am-2:30pm 

Stay safe when biking around town with a custom-fit, free bike helmet. Helmets are required by New York State Law for cyclists who are 13 years old and younger, and they make for a safe trip.  Certified representatives will be available to make sure your fit is just right.  Sponsored by CM Keith Powers!!  For more, contact the CM’s office:  212-818-0580…

Hello,  July:

Monday, July 8th to Friday, July 12th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session One, Ages 9 – 12, 8:30am – 3PM  

&

Monday, July 15th to Friday, July 19th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session Two, Ages 6 – 8, 9am-12pm 

At the Museum, 421 East 61st Street

And we quote, “This summer, just for two weeks, your children, ages 6-12 can travel back in time and experience daily life in 19th Century New York City”!  Think gardening and discovering weird but relevant 19th-century science and technology, making and and eating food from the time,!!  Same for games and arts 19th Century style!!  Session One – $275.  Session Two – $200.    For more and to register

Thursday, July 13th:  Harlem Creek Walking Tour

Meet at Central Park West at 100th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

And we quote, “Join urban explorer Steve Duncan in finding Harlem Creek’s buried path through Central Park to the Harlem Muir as Steve explains how the waterway functions today!!”  Another great NYC H2O outing!  $30.  For details and to sign up

This week’s activist opportunities:

Should you oppose the cuts/total defunding/elimination of the federal Land and Water Conservation fund

Happily, Wendy’s a few and far between in NYC,..  Still, if you support the chain serving up antibiotic-free burgers... 

And we’re totally Kroger-less, but we could be in favor of the chain eliminating food grown with presticides

Closer to home, if you think NYS should categorize fracking waste –  from PA – as hazardous so it can no longer be disposed of in our landfills or – whose crazy idea was this? –  used as a road de-icer… 

Then…  Should you think NYS ought to pass the Birds and Bees Protective Act (as in protection from climate change and pesticides)…

In the miscellany file:

Dealing with fracking waste shouldn’t be so hard in a state as committed to disposing of unwanted/obsolete chemicals and pesticides as ours…  Case and point!!

Really impressive that – among its myriad activities – NYS’s studying ocean acidification

Who knew NYS gives licenses in falconry…  Or wildlife rehabilitation…  Or leashed tracking dogs…

Per usual, NYS Conservation Officers have had a full dance card…  Including a person from Queens breaching a beaver dam

That while NYS Forest Rangers contended with lost hikers, tons of training, a prescribed burn to encourage wildflower growth and more

Sasquatch sighting in NYS…??!!

An impressive number of NYC’s remaining wooden houses are located on the UESide!! 

And now, les animaux:

Check out the birdlife spotted in Schurz Park

Not exactly warm and fuzzy, but how about a perfectly preserved 30,000-year-old wolf head

Returning to the subject of sea turtles:   These are air-breathing reptiles that have existed for over 100 million years, spend the majority of their lives in the ocean and can migrate up to thousands of miles a year!!

Baby sea turtle

Canada’s just banned all captive dolphins and whales

Results of the 2019 Great Fish Count are in and the Hudson River Almanac’s got ’em from all around NYC: 

6/1 – Hudson River Tidewater: Today’s 5th annual World Science Festival’s Great Fish Count was held at 18 different locations along the greater New York City waterways. Participation totaled 1,637 attendees, along with our scientists and educators.

This year, we added four new species to our event’s four-year total that now stands at 42: golden shiner from Fort Washington Park, bluegill sunfish at Yonkers, naked goby at Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, and northern puffer from Kaiser Beach, Brooklyn. Altogether, our field teams caught 803 fishes from 26 species. Noteworthy were 58 young-of-year winter flounder, 20 spot, and 109 young-of-year Atlantic tomcod. Across the 18 sites, salinity ranged from 30.0 parts-per-thousand (ppt) at Kaiser Beach in Coney Island to lightly brackish 6.0 ppt at Englewood (NJ). Water temperature ranged from a low of 63 degrees Fahrenheit (F) at both Englewood and Pier 5 on the East River, to a high of 75 degrees F in a tidal pond off Lemon Creek in Staten Island. – Margie Turrin, Laurel Zaima (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

[Young-of-year (YOY) is a label we frequently use to describe the multitude of recently hatched fauna found in the Hudson River each spring-through-fall. The progeny of shad, river herring, striped bass, white perch, blue crabs, shrimp, jellyfish, and many others, are present by the many millions. We note young-of-year fishes as a way of creating a historic record of length-at-age, often measuring their dimensions as millimeters (mm). Collectively, these data are a good measure of recruitment success and the health of fish populations. – Tom Lake]

6/1 – Manhattan, HRM 11: Our seining at Fort Washington Park for the Great Fish Count was very productive. We netted an assortment of YOY winter flounder, summer flounder, an Atlantic silverside, many bay anchovies, YOY bluefish, and small striped bass. We found a dead adult Atlantic menhaden on the beach showing claw marks, indicating a likely osprey drop. Salinity was 10.0 ppt. – Margie Turrin

6/1 – Manhattan: For the Great Fish Count, we invited the public to help us check our research sampling gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25. While the catch lacked diversity, it did not lack quality. We had collected four large tautog (blackfish), measuring 235, 250, 315, and 320 mm in length. – Siddhartha Hayes, Toland Kister

Lilac

The Lilac

6/1 – Brooklyn, New York City: For the Great Fish Count, my students and I used a tried-and-true approach: rod and reel fishing off Pier 5 in the East River at the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy Park. In 90 minutes of hook-and-line angling with sandworms, we caught and released three remarkable fish, a foot-long bluefish and two striped bass (16.5-17.5-inches). All were released. The water was 63 degrees F, and the salinity was 17.0 ppt. – Peter Park

6/1 – Brooklyn, New York City: Our seining effort in the East River at the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy Park for the Great Fish Count resulted in our first northern pipefish and bluefish of the season. Other highlights included tautog, Atlantic tomcod, and a surprise alewife. It was also unexpected that we caught no bay anchovies or Atlantic silverside. We did catch six YOY herring that we decided were Atlantic menhaden. Invertebrates included YOY blue crab, ribbed mussels, soft shell clam, periwinkle, mud snail, shore shrimp, and sand shrimp. Salinity was 17.51 ppt. –  Peter Park, Haley McClanahan, Isa Del Bello, Christina Tobitsch

6/1 – Staten Island, New York City: We seined at two different habitats at Lemon Creek Park today for the Great Fish Count. We made three hauls off a beach, and among our catch were YOY herring (80), possibly a mix of Atlantic menhaden and river herring, bay anchovies, Atlantic silverside, small blue crabs, sand shrimp (Crangon septemspinosa), and hermit crabs. The water was 70 degrees F, and the salinity was 18.0 ppt.

We also made three hauls in a tidal pond adjacent to the beach. There, the water was 75 degrees F, and the salinity was 19.0 ppt. Our catch included four-spine sticklebacks (Apeltes quadracus), mummichogs, striped killifish, Atlantic silverside, blue crabs, shore shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.), and two very interesting American eels. Both were small (50 mm), very dark, and relatively plump. They had been eating well. – Chris Bowser, Carl Alderson, Lisa Rosman

6/1 – Queens, New York City: Our seining contribution to the Great Fish Count was held at Fort Totten, at Little Bay, just east of the Throgs Neck Bridge. We netted six species of fish, including 48 YOY Atlantic Tomcod (60-82 mm), 45 Atlantic silverside (80-100 mm), two northern pipefish, a tautog, and a mummichog. However, the sixth species was the most exciting: two YOY (22-30 mm) Atlantic croakers (Micropogonias undulates). Croakers are one of seven members of the drum family (Sciaenidae) found in our watershed. Others included northern kingfish, spot, black drum, freshwater drum, silver perch, and weakfish. The water temperature was 65 degrees F, and the salinity was 25.0 ppt.

Atlatnic Croaker

An Atlantic Croaker

Invertebrates collected included blue crab (some were soft-shelled), shore shrimp, sand shrimp, long-wristed hermit crab, and eastern mud snail. – Peter Park

6/7 – Manhattan: To close out our sampling week, we returned to check our research gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25. The traps and pots were brimming with fish! Among the highlights were four oyster toadfish (47.5 – 260 mm), two tautog (180 and 310 mm), two white perch (225 and 255 mm), and one feisty, little, black sea bass (55 mm).  – Siddhartha Hayes, Melissa Rex, Toland Kister

sea bass

That Feisty, Little Black Sea Bass

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

That fish being the black drum:

black drum

A Black Drum and Fisherman

The black drum is found in coastal waters and estuaries from Massachusetts to Argentina but are considered uncommon north of Delaware Bay. While black drum was not unknown from the lower river and New York Harbor, their presence had diminished significantly in the last century.

Black drum feed largely on mollusks and crustaceans using their many, long, chin barbels to navigate and find prospective food items. They favor shellfish beds; perhaps their resurrection in the estuary is a subtle indication of the return and vitality of oysters in the lower river and New York Harbor. Hildebrand and Schroder (Fishes of Chesapeake Bay) comment that schools of black drum have been known to cause great damage to oyster beds.

A black drum presence was confirmed and added to our watershed fish list in August 2010 when an adult, weighing nearly 30 pounds, was found on a beach at Piermont, river mile 25 (black drum can reach 111 pounds). Since then, we have collected several juvenile black drum in the estuary, from Piermont to Staten Island, for the first time in at least the last half-century. – Tom Lake

No, we’re not forgetting that today’s Flag Day…

American Flag

UGS

 

 

 

 

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Happy World Oceans Day, UESiders!!

Add to that it’s National & NYS Outdoors Day, too!!

Best combination of all three?  A riverside stroll to our Esplanade’s Aycock Pavillion while taking in sights and sounds of the river/ocean estuary, Rockefeller U’s lovely newly landscaped  5-block swath, the GreenParkGardeners’ beautiful native plant garden where at least one bird’s nesting and raising young and where you might catch sight of a butterfly or two, the garden being an official stop on the monarch butterfly migration route…

Add to that spending an hour or two of music, free ice cream treats and kid fun at the Pavillion with other wonderful UES neighbors and your Esplanade Friends!!

Oh, and lest we forget, it’s also National Boating & Fishing Week!!

All great ways to launch into the week ahead:

Saturday, June 8th:  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, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with  Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski 

Ballard Honey’s taking the week off, but they’ll be returning next Saturday!!

But, absolutely, the Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table!!

Then this news flash from Market Manager Ciana:  “It’s Cooking with Kallos Saturday at 82nd, 10:30am-12pm!!  Yes, Council Member Ben Kallos returns in his chef’s whites spatula hoised and ready to cook up something as yet to be revealed but totally delicious with freshest Greenmarket ingredients!!”

 

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  80 lbs batteries;  7 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   4 pairs eye glasses;  14 compost bins;  45 bags of clothes

Another 14 bins…  On our way to 15!!

Saturday, June 8th:  Shred-A-Thon – Roosevelt Island Edition I

Motorgate Turnaround, 688 Main Street (next to Gristede’s), 10am-1pm 

No longer do our great RI neighbors have to journey via Tram or across bridges to have pesky personal docs pulverized (and then properly recycled)!!  Thanks to sponsorship by AM Seawright and SS Serrano, it’s now a brave new world of shredding and right on the Island!!  (Needless to say, UES folks unable to wait till shredding at 92nd Street on the 23rd should avail  themselves, too!!) 

Saturday, June 8th:  Spring Celebration at the Aycock Pavillion

60th Street  & the East River Esplanade, 1-4pm 

Good Saturday times continue to roll on our wonderful Esplanade thanks to Esplanade Friends!!  More live music from John Putnam…  More free ice cream treats…  More special activities for kids from The Craft Studio…  Come one!!  Come all!!  For more

Saturday, June 8th:  Jazz at Ruppert Park

91st Street & Second Avenue, 1-2:30pm

Featuring the jazz/French chanson melodies of Blue Dahlia!!   What better way to savor summer than an afternoon of music in a great UES park!!  Totally free!!  Sponsored by CM Kallos, the Moslem Volunteers for New York and  Friends of James Cagney Place!! 

Saturday, June 8th:  NYS Outdoors Day/National Outdoors Day

Across N.Y.S. and the U.S. 

Can’t say it enough…  Time to get out into nature and even discover new skills from fishing to paddling to hiking and biking to bird watching, archery, camping and more and offered at an array of parks statewide!!  For more… 

On the verge:

Saturday, June 15th:  Neversink Reservoir Paddle

Neversink Reservoir, Neversink, New York, 11am-2pm

How about June afternoon canoeing/kayaking on the pristine reservoir that’s not only highest in elevation in NYC’s water system but supplies a good half of what we drink??  Organized by the great NYC H2O!!  Van transportation from Greenwich Village available.  $25-$100.   For full details and to reserve a place…  

Friday, June 21st:  Central Park Squirrel Census Report & Map Presentation

The Explorers Club, 46 East 70th Street, 7-9:30pm

Squirrel Event

(You bet, we’ll be there!!)

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Market Re-Opens!!

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

Returning with the market will be the great American Pride Seafood,  Back to the Future Farm/Ole Mother Hubbert Milk, Central Bakery, Sikking Flowers, Consider Bardwell, Meredith’s Bakery, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures, Phillips Sun Fed Beef/Maple Avenue Farms  and NS Wager’s Cider Mill!!

Can’t wait!!

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred–A-Thon – So-Glad-You’re-Back 92nd Street Edition

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

The last Shred-A-Thon till fall, folks!!

And keep in mind:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Hold on to your hardcovers for the time being!!)

Thank you, CMs Kallos and Powers and AM Seawright, for making Shred-A-Thons possible!!

Tuesday, June 25th:  NYC Audubon Bird Trivia Night 

The Gray Mare, 61 Second Avenue, 6:30-8:30PM

As Audubon’s email instructs “Bring your own team of four or flock with others as we test how much you really know about our feathered friends—in the field and in pop culture!!”   Yes, show “owl your bird knowledge and even win prizes!!  $20.  To register (required)… 

Saturday, June 29th:  Free Bike Helmet Event

First Avenue Loop, Playground 9, between 16th and 18th Streets, 11am-2:30pm 

Stay safe when biking around town with a custom-fit, free bike helmet. Helmets are required by New York State Law for cyclists who are 13 years old and younger, and they make for a safe trip.  Certified representatives will be available to make sure your fit is just right.  Sponsored by CM Keith Powers!!  For more, contact the CM’s office:  212-818-0580…

Then it’s July:

Monday, July 8th to Friday, July 12th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session One, Ages 9 – 12, 8:30am – 3PM  

&

Monday, July 15th to Friday, July 19th:  History Week at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum – Session Two, Ages 6 – 8, 9am-12pm 

At the Museum, 421 East 61st Street

And we quote, “This summer, just for two weeks, your children, ages 6-12 can travel back in time and experience daily life in 19th Century New York City”!  Think gardening and discovering weird but relevant 19th-century science and technology, making and and eating food from the time,!!  Same for games and arts 19th Century style!!  Session One – $275.  Session Two – $200.    For more and to register

On to the week’s activism opportunities:
As in if you support ending use of pollinator-deadly pesticides in NYS by way of bills S.5816 (Hoylman)/A.7639 (Englebright), you can let our AM Seawright and SS Krueger know… 
Pretty much hate the name, but a group operating under the name Cut the Crap has taken up the cause of NYC’s unconscienably polluting waste water system…  So should you be for cutting the 20 billion – yes, 20 billion – gallons of raw sewage flowing into local waterways – like our East River – each year
Up front in the miscellany file:

The fabulous couple who not only composted on their wedding day but in their wedding clothes…

wedding day composting

Those Great Green Newly Weds

Then there’s how to pay subway fares with your phone

Scotland’s the first country to declare a climate emergency

Yes, it’s suffered pretty dramatic deforestation, but how weird is it that the Phillippines now requires students to plant 10 trees in order to graduate elementary and high school…?

Many a great outdoor experience on offer from the NYS’s BOW – as in Becoming an Outdoor Woman — program…  (How great to be searching for ferns!!)  (They need to site more down our way!!)

The re-sanding of the Rockaways

Talk about a great, uber-unique gardening opportunity

NYC’s best sandwich

Could be the First Hungarian Reformed Church on 69th will be the UES’s 130th NYC Landmark

Shellfish thieves…  Bear relocation…  NYS Conservation Officers had plenty on their plates the last 7 days

Animal time and a bit heavy on the canines:

Lest anyone doubt that dogs are great judges of human character

dog-friendly National Parks… 

Impossible to be any cuter than tiny, threatened fennec foxes

Whales, whales and more whales are being drawn to – realatively clean – NY waters… 

Have a country place with “visiting” deer?  Bring on the Citizen Science and help NYS track Bambi & Friends’ effect on local vegetation!!  (There’re workshops, too!)

And the weekly Hudson River Almanac installment:

5/25 – Manhattan:  We returned in beautiful early summer weather to check our research sampling gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 and considered the wonderful diversity of our catch over the last few days: seven oyster toadfish (55-280 millimeters (mm.)), four tautog (80-300 mm), two skilletfish (45, 60 mm), and a naked goby (40 mm).  [One inch = 25.4 millimeters (mm)] – Siddhartha Hayes, Toland Kister

5/25 – Westchester County:  This evening we had our first glimpse of such a beautiful creature striding across the front yard of our home in the Hamlet of Valhalla:  An adult bobcat. The bobcat was moving in the direction of Clove Brook, the headwaters of the Bronx River Watershed. –  Mary Hegarty

Bobcat
That Bobcat!

5/27 – Hudson Valley – And another archeological glimpse into our past!!  Until recently, archaeologists have been unable to distinguish Atlantic sturgeon from shortnose sturgeon remains (Acipenser spp.) found in a prehistoric context where intact fish were not available.

Archaeologist are story-tellers. They collect various forms of evidence, including organic remains, and combine them to create a narrative. Missing critical data makes the stories incomplete. In the instance of the Hudson River and our two sturgeons, evidence for identifying them to species is important, not only for their own sake, but for assumptions of past seasonality between the two sturgeons.

Sturgeons can trace their ancestry back to the Triassic period some 245 million years ago. They have largely cartilaginous exoskeleton, parts of which preserve reasonably well in buried sediments.

In 2017, David Halliwell and Arthur Spiess published the results of their research into the problem of differentiation and found a remedy: The morphology of the outer surface of sturgeon scutes (they have five rows of modified scales or bony plates) are markedly different. The pores, or “ornamentation,” on Atlantic sturgeon scutes are honeycombed while those of shortnose sturgeon have raised protrusions or a “bumpy” appearance.

sturgeon

Atlantic Sturgeon and their “honeycombed” scutes

We can apply this research to the Hudson River at a prehistoric site near Tivoli North Bay in Dutchess County.  Radiocarbon dating of associated organics, including sturgeon scutes, plus the temporally-stylistic attributes of stone tools we recovered at the site, suggests a human occupation of c. AD 750. Using Halliwell and Spiess’ protocol, the sturgeon scutes can be identified as Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus). If we assume that the seasonality of the two sturgeon species was similar 1,270 years ago as they are today, we can theorize that this was a springtime fishing camp at Tivoli North Bay for these sea-run spawning sturgeon, probably occupied by ancestral Mohican people.

Why is this important? It reinforces our understanding of the deep-time of the Hudson River Valley, makes the connection between species common to both eras, gives the sturgeon remains a “pedigree,” dimensionality, and adds to our societal understanding of the economy of our first Hudson Valley residents. – Tom Lake

Yes, its gobys/gobies here, there and everywhere:

5/28 – Queens: I was scouting a site today where I might host a few fishing clinics for my Flushing-Bayside neighborhood later this summer. The World’s Fair Marina off the East River seemed like a good fit. Sampling with a fish trap, I caught a seaboard goby (36.0 mm). The water was 66 degrees F, and the salinity was 26.0 parts-per-thousand (ppt).  – Peter Park

goby

A Seaboard Goby

[The seaboard goby (Gobiosoma ginsburgi) is a small bottom-dwelling temperate marine stray that frequents shellfish beds. Along with the naked goby (G. bosc) and the highfin goby (G.oceanicus), they comprise the three species of gobies (Gobiidae) found in the watershed. The seaboard goby is documented for the East River and the Upper Bay of New York Harbor, but they do not seem to be particularly common in sampling gear.  – Tom Lake]

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

Fish-of-the-Week for Week 24 is the smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), number 154 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. (If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.)

small-mouthed bass

OA Small-Mouthed Bass

Smallmouth bass are a gorgeous greenish-bronze-and-tawny-brown member of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) often with bold, dark vertical bars. They are native, in part, to the Saint Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi Valley. They were introduced as sportfish into New York State in the 19th century, and some may have found their way into the Mohawk River from the Great Lakes via the Erie Canal.

Their common name, “smallmouth,” refers to the size of their mouth relative to the largemouth bass, both of which are the result of where the hinge on their jaw is located, i.e., farther back in the largemouth. The New York State angling record for smallmouth bass, a prized gamefish, is 8 pounds 4 ounces, from a fish caught in Lake Erie. –  Tom Lake

 

Greenness is goodness, 

UGS

 

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Happy World Environment Day, UESiders!!

It’s National Trails Day, too!!  (For NYS trails…) 

World Oceans Day and National Outdoors Day – both on June 8th – aren’t far behind!! 

So much to celebrate and a great week ahead:

Saturday, June 1st:  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, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Ballard Honey, Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with  Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski 

And, you bet, our Master Knife Sharpener will be present and honing, as well!!

Market Manager Ciana adds:  As the weather warms we have new seasonal items popping up…  Strawberries, green garlic, and soon sugar snap peas!! This Saturday we’ll be featuring a recipe with rhubarb for the cooking demonstration.   And be extra sure not to miss next Saturday’s market when Council Member Kallos dons his chef’s gear for another chapter of “Cooking with Kallos”, 10:30am-12pm, Saturday, June 8th!! 

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  57 lbs batteries;  9 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   2 pairs eye glasses;  14 compost bins;  38 bags of clothes

Love those 14 bins!!

Saturday, June 1st:  Spring Celebration at the Aycock Pavillion

60th Street  & the East River Esplanade, 1-4pm 

Good Saturday times continue to roll on our wonderful Esplanade thanks to Esplanade Friends!!  More live music…  More free ice cream treats…  More special activities for kids from The Craft Studio…  Come one!!  Come all!!  For more and upcoming Saturday fun

Saturday, June 1st:  World Science Festival’s Great Fish Count

Harlem River shoreline, north of 103rd Street Footbridge, 1-3:30pm

And again, we quote, “Join our experienced RIPA staff for the World Science Festival’s Great Fish Count! Educators and biologists will be on hand as participants strap on waders and go out into the Harlem River to cast nets in search of the underwater life right here in NYC!”  Free!!  Ages 6 and up.  For more…

Saturday, June lst:  Roosevelt Island Eco Meetup

Meet at the Rivercross Lawn near Meditation Steps, 1pm

An invitation from great RI green force Christina del Fico, “Love nature?
Love plants?  Love clean land, water and air?  Please stop by the Rivercross lawn to join a green meet up during FigmentNYC!!  See ya there!!”   Free, of course.

Sunday, June 2nd:  Urban Mining for Kids & Adults

Good Stuff, 205 Front Street, Manhattan, 2-3pm

And we quote, “This seriously cool workshop is an eye-opening experience for kids and grownups! Tear apart an old phone, learn about how the parts work, where the materials come from and reclaim the parts that can be used again. It’s fun to close the loop!”  Sure sounds like it!!  $5-$10.  (Each ticket admits 1 adult and 1 child!)  For tickets and more… 

Sunday, June 2nd:  How to Care for Your Gear with Patagonia

Good Stuff, 205 Front Street, 4-5pm

Patagonia’s Liz Noonan hosts a workshop focusing on how repair outdoor garments and more!!   Think patching with a repair iron…  Zipper repair and replacement…  Best use of field sewing kits and more!!  Free.  For the total lowdown and to reserve a place

Thursday, June 6th & Every Thursday:  Composting 101 & Beyond 

Andrew Haswell Green Park, East River Esplanade via the ramp at 60th & York,  1pm

Who knew the most primo of all compost is produced on the UES by folks who live right here??  It is and has been for the last 6 years by the Certified Master Composters of the Green Park Gardeners!!  Not only that, they’re only too willing to share their expertise with one and all over the age 18…  Compost-making expertise that’s made gardens from the 67th Street Library to Julie Richmond High to Bike Island Gardens to Robbins Plaza to the GPG’s own native plant garden and beyond  that much more healthy, lush and beautiful.  For more…  Or just show up!! 

Tuesday, June 4th:  Every Other Tuesday Knitting Social

AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1480 York Avenue between 78th & 79th, 2-4pm

Quote, “Join Neighborhood Knitters for Crafting and Conversation!!”  (As everyone who’s ever wielded a stitch holder knows, knitters do like to chat!!)  And we’re talking equal opportunity knitting/crocheting…  Come on, guys…  You’re welcome, too!!  And folks of all skill levels.  Just RSVP

Tuesday, June 4th:  Annual Manhattan Public Water Board Hearing

255 Greenwich Street, Eighth Floor, Room 8-S1S2, 2pm

Water rates, yes, but NYC water-centric organizations like SWIM are also focusing on our stormwater infrastructure – or lack thereof – situation. 

Friday, June 7th:  Fix It Friday – Lamps

Good Stuff, 205 Front Street, 4-7pm

And we quote, “Join the Fixup team along with Remade in Brooklyn to learn basic lamp repair: rewiring, sockets, and switches. We’ll also talk about sustainable lighting options…”  Fantastic, huh?!!  Plus it’s free!!  To register

Saturday, June 8th:  NYS Outdoors Day/National Outdoors Day

Across N.Y.S. and the U.S. 

Can’t say it enough…  Time to get out into nature and discover new skills from fishing to paddling to hiking and biking to bird watching, archery, camping and more and offered at an array of parks statewide!!  For more… 

Saturday, June 8th:  Jazz at Ruppert Park

91st Street & Second Avenue, 1-2:30pm

Featuring the jazz/French chanson melodies of Blue Dahlia!!   What better way to savor summer than an afternoon of music in a great UES park!!  Totally free!!  Sponsored by CM Kallos, the Moslem Volunteers for New York and  Friends of James Cagney Place!! 

Coming up soon:

Saturday, June 15th:  Neversink Reservoir Paddle

Neversink Reservoir, Neversink, New York, 11am-2pm

How about June afternoon canoeing/kayaking on the pristine reservoir that’s not only highest in elevation in NYC’s water system but supplies a good half of what we drink??  Organized by the great NYC H2O!!  Van transportation from Greenwich Village available.  $25-$100.   For full details and to reserve a place…  

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Market Re-Opens!!

First Avenue at 92nd Street, 9am-3pm

Compost Collection, 9am-1pm

Returning with the market will be the great American Pride Seafood,  Back to the Future Farm/Ole Mother Hubbert Milk, Central Bakery, Sikking Flowers, Consider Bardwell, Meredith’s Bakery, Norwich Meadows, Halal Pastures, Phillips Sun Fed Beef/Maple Avenue Farms  and NS Wager’s Cider Mill!!

Can’t wait!!

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred–A-Thon – So-Glad-You’re-Back 92nd Street Edition

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

The last Shred-A-Thon till fall, folks!!

And keep in mind:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Hold on to your hardcovers for the time being!!)

Thank you, CMs Kallos and Powers and AM Seawright, for making Shred-A-Thons possible!!

Tuesday, June 25th:  NYC Audubon Bird Trivia Night 

The Gray Mare, 61 Second Avenue, 6:30-8:30pm

As Audubon’s email instructs “Bring your own team of four or flock with others as we test how much you really know about our feathered friends—in the field and in pop culture!!”   Yes, show “owl your bird knowledge and even win prizes!!  $20.  To register (required)…  

On to some worthy activism:

As predicted, the Williams Pipeline people have filed an appeal and for those who oppose it there’s another petition to sign

Should you believe that NYS should reject construction of any further oil/gas infrastructure… 

And miscellany:

beached shark…  Orphaned fox cubs…    Malnourished loons…  NYS Conservation Officers are up to their ears!!

Same for our Forest Rangers… 

The greenest way to boil water

NYC’s finest sandwich

Legume pastas and what to do with them

The cost of a NYC Park bathroom

Whew!!  Time for the Hudson River Almanac and discovery of yet another artifact:

5/24 – Dutchess County: Tom Hall has the eyes of an archaeologist. Walking along the river, he noticed a small piece of “worked” stone or chert, evidence of a human artisan, in the sand. It was a scraper, a side-scraper (25 x 22 mm), used to clean a fish, a gray squirrel, or process a pelt. Since the artifact was found out of context (not on a recognizable habitation site), it is impossible to date, except to say that it is likely very old. Scrapers have been a part of our tool kit in the Hudson Valley for 12,000 years.

lithic stone

That Litihic Tool

This dark, black, lithic stone is probably one of the Helderberg Escarpment cherts (possibly Glenerie). Being left-handed, the first thing I noticed was that this scraper may have been created for use by a right-handed person.

There is a thesis for determining “handedness” in prehistoric artifacts, a fundamental assumption that If someone is working at a repetitive, long-term task, it seems reasonable to assume that the utilitarian tool (knife, scraper, chopper…) should feel comfortable in the person’s hand (not cause abrasions or blisters.) This thesis evolved from examining more than 900 prehistoric artifacts.

When I come across such tools, the first thing I do is heft it in each hand and make an evaluation as to which hand it feels most comfortable in.  On average, about half of such tools suggest “handedness.” Of those examined, tools held in the left hand seemed to be present at about a 1:3 ratio. This does not necessarily mean that the user was left-handed, but it suggests at least some ambidexterity. Very often, close analyses reveal burnishing on the “business” side and some backing or dulling of the reverse side. These percentages seem to suggest a greater use of left-hands in prehistory (left-handedness in contemporary society is about 1:10). Dean Falk (1980) and Briana Pobiner (1999) are excellent sources for further investigation.  – Tom Lake

Then there’s the Fish of the Week:

That fish being the bowfin (Amia calva) and number 16 (of 228) on the Almanac’s watershed list of fishes. (If you would like a copy of the list, e-mail:  trlake7@aol.com.)

Bowfin (Amia calva) are an ancient and rugged predator species in the taxonomic realm of sharks and sturgeon. Their order (Amiiformes) arose in the Triassic Period 250 million years ago, and their family (Amiidae) is known from the Cretaceous 100 million years ago. The bowfin lineage has endured many global cataclysms. From those times, it carries an adaptation to be able to assimilate atmospheric oxygen by using the swim bladder to survive in waters with very low dissolved oxygen.

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A Bowfin

Their native range extends from the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa rivers and Lake Champlain west through the Great Lakes. In New York, bowfin can be found in the Great Lakes, Saint Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, and the Hudson River watershed where it has been introduced. They are well established in the upper Hudson River having possibly migrated down the Hudson-Champlain Canal from Lake Champlain and have extended their range downriver to at least Norrie Point (river mile 85).

Bowfin are voracious predators; their mouths contain rows of sharp teeth, and for some, they are a prize gamefish. They will hit artificial lures and seem particularly fond of the color purple.  The current state record is a 12-pound 14-ounce fish caught in Lake Champlain.  – Tom Lake

Yours in greenness,

UGS

 

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Happy EMS Week, UESiders!!

Thank goodness for those great people, yes??

Happy Fleet Week, too!!  (Welcome, you great service people!!) 

It’s also World Turtle Day!!   (So “shellibrate”!!)

But most of all…

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend to the max!!

Commencing with:

Saturday, May 25th:  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, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, SunFed Beef,  Ballard Honey, Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with  Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

The Master Knife Sharpener with be present and honing like crazy, too!!

Market Manager Ciana adds:  “Yes, you read that lineup right!!  This Saturday we’ll be welcoming back Cherry Lane back!!  Could be they’ll have first strawberries of the season, too!!   Plus, your 82nd Street Market’s got all your Memorial Day BBQ needs covered…Local meats and seafood for grilling?  Yes!!  The freshest produce for salads and slaws??  Absolutely!!  And do stop by the Market Info Tent for some holiday weekend brunch inspiration… We’ll be featuring all your favorite spring greens and then some!!

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  71 lbs batteries;  14 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   2 pairs eye glasses; 1 make-up wand;  14 compost bins;  42 bags of clothes

Bingo!!  14 bins again!!

Saturday, May 26th: Volunteer Day at Stuyvesant Cove Park

Meet at the Solar One Building, East River & 23rd Street,, 9am-12pm

Work in the Park’s marvelous native plant garden, then chow down on a pizza treat lunch!!   Just bring your water bottle!!

Saturday, May 26th:  Marble Hill Walking Tour

Meet at Broadway & 225th Street, 11am-1pm

Engineer Bryan Diffley, Project Manager of the High Bridge restoration leads a walk exploring construction of the NYC’s 19th Century Harlem Ship Canal!!  Organized by the great NYC H2O.  $30.  For more and to reserve your place

Wednesday, May 30th:  Manhattanhenge!!

Best viewed at wide cross-streets 14th to 79th,  8:20pm 

Get in place a good half hour before the big moment!!

And then it’s June:

Saturday & Sunday, June 1st & 2nd:  Outdoor Fest 2019 – Campout on Staten Island

Henry Kaufman Campgrounds, Staten Island

Think camping out under the stars, a 5K night trail race, an ultra trail run, survival skills training, yoga, slacklining, stargazing with real telescopes and astronomers, live entertainment, available transportation and beer by Sierra Nevada!!  No kidding, the best campout!!  $40-$155.  For details and to sign up

Tuesday, June 4th:  Annual Manhattan Public Water Board Hearing

255 Greenwich Street, Eighth Floor, Room 8-S1S2, 2pm

Water rates, yes, but NYC water-centric organizations like SWIM are also focusing on our stormwater infrastructure – or lack thereof – situation. 

Saturday, June 8th:  NYS Outdoors Day/National Outdoors Day

Across N.Y.S. and the U.S. 

Time to get out into nature and discover new skills from fishing  to paddling to hiking and biking to bird watching, archery, camping and more and offered at an array of parks statewide!!  For more… 

Saturday, June 15th:  Neversink Reservoir Paddle

Neversink Reservoir, Neversink, New York, 11am-2pm

How about June afternoon canoeing/kayaking on the pristine reservoir that’s not only highest in elevation in NYC’s water system but supplies a good half of what we drink??  Organized by the great NYC H2O!!  Van transportation from Greenwich Village available.  $25-$100.   For full details and to reserve a place…  

Now for the weekly dose of activism:

If you think the U.S. should be investing more actively in off-shore wind

If you oppose hunting in Yellowstone Park

Or disagree with permitting mining in Alaska’s presently pristine Bristol Bay… 

And plain old miscellany:

Planning on returning that moth-balled gas grill back into summer action?  The NYFD has important safety tips…  

Then there’s Memorial Day campfire safety

The first solar-powered cruise boat operating on the Hudson

Sustainable NYS camping tips

Summer courses at the UES New York School of the Arts

Yet another busy week for our NYS Conservation Officers… 

Critter time:

It’s that time of the year again when not only is it World Turtle Day but when our NYS turtles are on the move looking for best egg-laying locations and crossing roads to find them…  So we motorists need to be taking extra care and giving our turtle friends a brake!! 

Equal care when on our beaches where shorebird chicks are presently hatching and venturing out of nests…  So be a good egg!!  

Piping Plover

A Baby Piping Plover

 

In case word of a contingent of visiting goats escaped notice…

Then there’re these amazing migratory bird facts

And these items from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/15 – Manhattan: We checked our research sampling gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 and found in our crab pot a hefty oyster toadfish (220 mm) and a beautiful white perch (210 mm). – Siddhartha Hayes

5/15 – Western Long Island: I was walking uphill through a wooded area following a wide gully that had created a natural funnel. Heavy rainfall had drained into the gully etching the earth and causing a sliver of white quartz to be exposed (a heavy rainstorm can “excavate” several millimeters of soil). Right away, I knew it was a projectile point embedded in the dirt. – George Jackman

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A Neville

[This location, like Jamaica Bay and Sandy Hook, NJ, is tangential to the watershed and is close enough as a contiguous extension to qualify for the Almanac. The cultural circumstances of the find connect us as well.)

George Jackman’s find was an ancient Neville-stemmed spear or dart point (32 x 23 mm). Neville is not the name of a particular Indian group but rather a name given by archaeologists to represent a culture identifiable by its artifacts. For several centuries, about 7,000 years ago, Native Americans living in the northeast made stone tools designed for hunting and food processing that archaeologists have stylistically-labeled as “Neville,” after its original type site along the Merrimack River in New Hampshire (Dincauze 1968). They were mobile hunters and gatherers, fishers and foragers. However, other than analyzing their stone tools and the various components of their campsites, we know very little of the people who made them.

There are several Neville sites in the Hudson Valley. Notable among them are the Sylvan Lake Rockshelter (Funk 1966), Mohonk Rockshelter (Eisenberg 1977), and the North Bowdoin Park Rockshelter (Funk 1985). All three sites date their Neville occupation to c. 6,800 to 7,200 years ago.

And The Fish of the Week is…  Another member of muskellunge clan:

5/10 – This week’s entry is the tiger muskellunge (Esox lucius x E. masquinongy). Tiger muskellunge is a hybrid, a cross between a male northern pike and a female muskellunge. As such, the tiger muskellunge, also known as “norlunge,” does not have its own number on our checklist of Hudson River Watershed Fishes, but rather resides directly after the northern pike (number 84). Both the northern pike and the muskellunge are native species. However, the latter has not been documented for the watershed. If you would like a copy of our list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.

Tiger muskellunge

A Man and His Tiger Muskellunge

Tiger muskellunge have been introduced as a sportfish into many of New York’s large lakes and rivers by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation since the 1970s. Tiger muskellunge are hatched and raised at the DEC South Otselic hatchery in Chenango County, and roughly 10,000 are stocked in the Hudson River watershed each year. About 6,000 are stocked in the Mohawk River between Rome and Saint Johnsville. DEC used to stock the lower Mohawk River (1981-2011) but stopped due to lower than expected returns in subsequent sampling. Most Hudson River estuary records, in particular those near the Federal Dam at Troy, were likely from those stocked in the lower Mohawk. – Jeff Loukmas, Scott Wells

Tiger muskellunge are the “boss” of any water where they are found. They are large, fast, toothy, and relentless predators whose menu includes other fish, reptiles and amphibians, small mammals, and baby ducks. The New York State record size for tiger muskellunge is 35 pounds 8 ounces. –  Tom Lake

Yours in evergreenness,

UGS

 

 

 

 

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A Not-So Happy Endangered Species Day, UESiders…

If anyone missed last week’s UN report on the subject…  Read at least the first 4 (short paragraphs), the third of which says, “…it’s not too late to make a difference…”  

And, this weekend, here on our great city, many a New Yorker will be making some of that difference on this Saturday’s/Sunday’s It’s My Park Days!!

AND why not speak out in support of continuing the U.S. Endangered Species Act!!

As for the rest of the coming week:

Throughout the Month:  Movies in UES Parks

St. Catherine’s Park…   John Jay Park…  

Throughout the Month:  Free Mammograms 

Carter Burden Center…  

Saturday, May 18th:  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, Sikking Flowers, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, SunFed Beef,  Ballard Honey, Alewife, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley (with  Consider Bardwell items), Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

Then there’s there’re these updates from Market Manager Ciana:  “Spring’s in full swing at the market this week!!  Think rhubarb, asparagus, green garlic, and tender greens like lettuces, spinach and swiss chard, plus so much more!!  Keeping with the theme, look for Saturday’s cooking demo to be featuring – you guessed it – spring greens!! 
Last week we welcomed back Valley Shepard Creamery and their lovely selection of cheeses and yogurt…   This week we’ll be saying goodby to the wonderful Nolasco Farm (until their return in 2020)…  So come out and stock up on Nolasco’s delicious organic produce, lovely potted herbs and annual plants!!”

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  64 lbs batteries;  11 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   1 pair eye glasses; 14 compost bins;  37 bags of clothes

Another 14 bin week!!

Saturday, May 18th & Sunday, May 19th:  The 9th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival

Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 West 18th Street, 11am-6pm

And we quote, “More than 100 plant- based food and lifestyle vendors will be on hand with a plethora of produce and products. You’ll also hear some incredible speakers, including plant-based doctors, authors, chefs, fitness professionals and more!! $15.   For info and tickets

Saturday, May 18th:  Spring Celebration at the Aycock Pavillion

60th Street  & the East River Esplanade, 1-4pm 

Spring season on our wonderful Esplanade begins with live music from Home Cookin’, ice cream treats, a ton of fun for kids and more!!  An Esplanade Friends’ event!!  For more and upcoming Saturday fun

Saturday, May 18th:  Stargazing on Roosevelt Island

Riverwalt Commons (grassy area between Duane Reade & Fuji East, behind the F Train station), 7-11pm

View and learn about the our NYC skies, guided by experts equipped with high-powered telescopes!!  Free but weather-dependent of course.  Just stroll by… 

Saturday, May 18th: University Harp Ensemble Concert

Trinity Baptist Church, 250 East 61st Street, 7pm

Six gifted young harpists and a world-class repetoire equals an evening of soothing spring evening sound!!  Free.  For full details

Sunday, May 19th:  It’s My Park Day at Isaacs Park 

Stanley Isaacs Park, First Avenue & 96th Street, 11:30am-3:30pm

Ready this much-loved and heavily-used playground/roller hockey rink/quiet seating public space to shine for the summer season!!  Think weeding, cultivation, applying compost/mulch and planting!!  Tools, gloves, kneepads, great refreshments and best company supplied!!   To sign on…   

Sunday, May 19th:  Greek Jewish Festival

280 Broome Street between Allen & Eldridge Streets, 12-6pm

For all our great city can sometimes seem to be losing character (especially where street fairs are concerned), it remains home to events like this one:  A celebration of the Romaniote and Sephardic heritage of Jewish immigrants from Greece!!  Think kosher Greek food,  homemade Greek pastries, traditional Greek dancing,  live Greek and Sephardic music and more!!  Be there!!  For more

Monday, May 20th:  World War I –  Its Impact, Its Aftermath, and Lasting Lessons for Today 

Roosevelt House, 47-49 East 65th Street, 6-8:30pm

A mini-symposium on the after effects of The Great War combined with a mini-symposium and lit reception.  Co-sponsored by AM Rebecca Seawright.  Free!  itothe For more and tickets (you need one)… 

Tuesday, May 21st:  Every Other Tuesday Knitting Social

AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1480 York Avenue between 78th & 79th, 2-4pm

Quote, “Join Neighborhood Knitters for Crafting and Conversation!!”  (As everyone who’s ever wielded a stitch holder knows, knitters do like to chat!!)  And we’re talking equal opportunity knitting/crocheting…  Come on, guys…  You’re welcome, too!!  And folks of all skill levels.  Just RSVP

Wednesday, May 22nd – Sunday, June 2nd:  2019 World Science Fair

Throughout the City

Science, yes, but totally accessible, mind-expanding and amazing fun…  Much in celebration of the Moon Landing’s 50th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of General Relativity!!   For this year’s extraordinary program line-up and to purchase advance tickets

Thursday, May 23rd:  2019 NYC Food Waste Fair

Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Avenue,  Building 77

And we quote:  “An interactive experience connecting food, beverage and hospitality professionals and home cooks alike with workshops forums, lectures and film on achieving zero food waste, sustainable waste management, on-site compostineg, anerobic digestion and very much more!!   (Encourage your favorite restauranteurs to attend!!)  Tickets, $20-$60  (Use “ILOVECOMPOST” for a 10% discount!!)  For complete details

Friday, May 24th:  Skate Night at Isaacs Park

Stanley Isaacs Park, First Avenue  96th Street, Family Session 4-5pm, Adult Session 5:30-7pm 

A great afternoon/evening outdoors and on roller skates AND complete with live DJ, jumbo games, some available skates for the skate-less and plenty more…  Just be sure to bring socks!!   Sponsored by CM Kallos.   Free!!   To reserve a place and skates

On the approach:

Saturday, May 26th:  Marble Hill Walking Tour

Meet at Broadway & 225th Street, 11am-1pm

Engineer Bryan Diffley, Project Manager of the High Bridge restoration leads a walk exploring construction of the NYC’s 19th Century Harlem Ship Canal!!  Organized by the great NYC H2O.  $30.  For more and to reserve your place

Saturday & Sunday, June 1st & 2nd:  Outdoor Fest 2019 – Campout on Staten Island

Henry Kaufman Campgrounds, Staten Island

Think camping out under the stars, a 5K night trail race, an ultra trail run, survival skills training, yoga, slacklining, stargazing with real telescopes and astronomers, live entertainment, available transportation and beer by Sierra Nevada!!  No kidding, the best campout!!  $40-$155.  For details and to sign up

Tuesday, June 4th:  Annual Manhattan Public Water Board Hearing

255 Greenwich Street, Eighth Floor, Room 8-S1S2, 2pm

Water rates, yes, but NYC water-centric organizations like SWIM are also focusing on our stormwater infrastructure – or lack thereof – situation. 

mamma duck

Always some worthy activism:

The EPA’s looking for public comment, so should you be opposed to the use of Roundup on crops let the agency know

And should you oppose the use of chainsaws in wilderness areas

And if you’re wanting NYS to address/put an end to buildings planned with giant mechanical voids…   

On to miscellaneous miscellany

Could it be that word – or they’ve been wearing blindfolds- of the abundance of sadly empty NYC store space hasn’t reached some developers…??

Consumer Reports on grocery stores with freshest produce…  (And another reason we shop Greenmarkets!!)

Ten secrets of the 42nd Street Library

And then there’s the secret of the Seattle landfill

How they fixed potholes in Pompeii

Less fuzzy than the norm, but…

Grumpy Cat’s moved on to feline heaven

Bird-friendly building legislation has recently been introduced at the FederalState, and City levels…  Bills aiming to address bird/window collisions, which NYC Audubon scientists estimate kills between 90,000-230,000 birds in New York City each year!! 

But then there’s the Hudson River Almanac:

Not only is there a Fish of the Week (below), but a runner-up… The near record-breaking size tiger muskie was reeled in last week:

5/7 – Town of Wappinger, HRM 67: Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), a native species, was in full bloom acting as a brilliantly colorful segue to the last of the shadbush in the forest. A cursory check showed that the new oak leaves were now “the size of a squirrel’s ear.” – Tom Lake

Squirrel

Corn-Planting Harbinger Squirrel

[In the time before the arrival of Europeans to the Hudson Valley, the cultivation of maize, or corn, was important for Native People – in our watershed, Algonquian and Iroquoian-speakers. There is much lore regarding the time to plant corn. Ethnographic (oral) tradition among many Northeast Indian tribes suggested planting corn when the new oak leaves were the size of a squirrel’s ear. But, what is the size of a squirrel’s ear? One spring, I decided to find out. I spent the month of April driving around the Hudson Valley measuring the ears of road-killed gray squirrels. I measured 116 x 2 ears each. It turned out that the average “ear size” was 20.6 millimeters (mm), or 0.82 inches-long. This might apply to different oaks in different areas, but for the Hudson Valley, it may have been the white oak (Quercus alba). In most years, the prime date arrives in early May and is probably related to soil temperature, rainfall, and perhaps other factors. – Tom Lake]

5/4 – Dutchess County:  Flood tide had just begun this evening, and I was fishing with ten-pound test line for striped bass with a live river herring. Before long, I received a strong hit on my line that was like no striped bass I had ever encountered. Once landed, I realized that it was a tiger muskellunge. With no scale to weigh it, the best I could do was measure the fish: 48-inches-long. The tiger musky was released in good condition. – William Doyle

tiger muskie

William Doyle and His Tiger Muskie

[Our best guess is that William’s tiger musky weighed about 32 pounds. The New York State angling record is 35 pounds 8 ounces, and 50-inches-long. – Tom Lake]

5/7 – Manhattan, HRM 1: With the river getting warmer, our expectations were rising as we checked our research sampling gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25. While our catch lacked numbers, it excelled in quality fishes. Our crab pot had three tautog (blackfish) measuring 200, 210, and a whopping 365 mm-long male (nearly 15-inches!). – Siddhartha Hayes

And the Fish of the Week is (only one this time out):

5/5 – Hudson River Watershed:  This week’s entry is the lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus). Lumpfish are classified as a temperate marine stray and is the only member of its family (Cyclopteridae) found, albeit rarely, in our watershed. Lumpfish are number 138 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. If you would like a copy of the list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.

lumpfish

A Lumpfish

There are very few forms of wildlife whose common name is a better fit. Bigelow and Schroeder’s 1953 classic, The Fishes of the Gulf of Maine, describes them as “ungainly” and refers to them simply as “Lump.” They are a fish of the North Atlantic, ranging from Hudson Bay south to northern New Jersey. The only lumpfish I have ever caught was in 1992 from Ron Ingold’s commercial boat out of Edgewater (NJ) as we picked his shad net at midnight under the George Washington Bridge. Most lumpfish average a foot-long or less but can reach 23-inches. While they are rarely eaten, their roe is marketed as caviar to those who cannot afford, or feel ethically compelled to avoid, sturgeon caviar. – Tom Lake

Green’s always been our favorite color,

UGS

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