I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Urban poetry

I'm still paying for carrying a camera with a big lens to the park last weekend, so here's a picture I took with my phone yesterday while I was sitting in traffic in a cab on Seventh Avenue.

I'm obsessed with reflections, as anyone who reads this blog knows, and also with headlights and taillights on cars, so here's a nice abstract image combining both.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Astronomy Tuesday

There was a partial solar eclipse last week; sadly, it wasn't visible from the East Coast.  This photo was taken from Santa Cruz, and shows the giant sunspot group with the romantic name AR 2192.

If I had a life list, if I believed in such things, seeing a total solar eclipse would be near the top of the list. There's one visible from Northern Europe in March and I almost signed up for a tour to see it. (Of course, right now I can barely make it to the corner so the idea of going anywhere outside of Midtown Manhattan is comical.)

If I can't make it to the eclipse, I'll just have to wait for the eclipse to come to me. There's one in 2017, visible in most of the United States.

Image Credit and Copyright: Michael Bolte (UCSC)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday bird blogging

October is the most beautiful month in New York, but I admit I haven't been paying much attention, and I hadn't been to the park in months.

Many months ago, I broke my foot. It got better, then worse, then better. Months of limping took a toll on my knees. I'm not supposed to take NSAID's because of the bleeding risk, but I get away with an Advil now and then. But after three days of trudging up and down the hills of Seattle I was in serious pain and I bought some Aleve before going to Alaska.

I'd probably do it again -- every step in Alaska was worth it -- but I've been paying for it, getting by on two-thirds of a normal blood supply while undergoing the familiar endless tests and treatments for anemia. So that's why blogging has been sporadic; just going to work and doing the minimum necessary chores has taken all of the energy I have.

It was perfect October in the park this morning. Although I couldn't walk far, and the light wasn't ideal for photos, I was rewarded for the effort with a rare pair of purple finches hanging out by the feeders. Here's the male.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Because every building has to have a back door -- how else are the staff going to sneak out for smokes?

Here's the Frank Gehry version, from EMP in Seattle.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Urban poetry

Perhaps not the marketing approach I would have taken.

Astronomy Tuesday, uh Wednesday

The cluster of stars in the bottom half of this photo is Messier 6, photographed in enough detail so that even Monsieur Messier would have immediately realized it's not a comet.

The object in the top half of the photo, on the other hand, is -- Comet Siding Spring, which this past weekend came within 140,000 miles of Mars.

Image Credit and Copyright: Rolando Ligustri (CARA Project, CAST)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday bird blogging

An eastern wood pewee hanging out in Central Park on a lazy weekend morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday reflections

A twofer.

Rockefeller Center reflected in automobile hoods. Same, but different.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Urban poetry

A tangle of trolley lines in Seattle.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Astronomy Tuesday

This is the Dumbbell Nebula, number 27 on our friend Monsieur Messier's list of Things That Are Not Comets.

Small to mid-sized stars like our sun don't die in a blaze of supernova glory; they become planetary nebulae like this, throwing off layers of gas that bloom and eventually fade, while the parent star settles into sensible retirement as a white dwarf.

Image Credit and Copyright: Bill Snyder (Bill Snyder Photography)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday bird blogging

Another look at the homely and the common, New York style: a white-throated sparrow who appears to be deep in thought, but is probably just keeping an eye out for breakfast.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday reflections

Because there is actually no place like home.

These thoroughly mundane apartment buildings on a drab block near the Lincoln Tunnel somehow manage to snag a complete rainbow's worth of reflections.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Urban poetry


I'm thinking they had some excellent refreshments available at that street fair.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday bird blogging

Sandhill cranes coming in for a landing at Creamers Field.

The picture is not that sharp but I still love the way they're caught in sync, those ungainly legs ready to reach for the ground.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday reflections

Traffic waiting at the Whittier tunnel, as reflected in the side mirror of our van.

I've been tweaking the blog design a little -- after six years it's starting to look less than fresh. I like the look of this font but think it might be hard to read, so haven't made a final decision about it yet.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Urban poetry


At first I thought this was an upscale travel agency. Instead, it's the sleekest, most glamorous bail bonds office ever.

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