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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Now that it's officially Denali

The mountain formerly known as McKinley, as seen from the air a year ago.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Since I missed posting reflections this week, here's a late offering -- summer times two, in the Azalea Pond in Central Park.

Sunday bird blogging

A catbird in Central Park this morning.

It was only slightly less steamy than a sauna by 10 am, but I haven't been to the park this summer, and by the time I get back there again it will be autumn and all the early migrants will be gone.

Already the birds are singing valedictions -- goodbye to summer, goodbye to the north -- grabbing just a few more grubs and berries for the long flight ahead.

Friday, August 28, 2015

More urban poetry

Another overlooked shot from Istanbul: a display of children's bicycles outside a shop.

I'm going to Scotland at the end of next week, and will probably have a few thousand pictures of mountains and cows as a result, so I'm trying to clean out the old files, get rid of the junk, and properly label the photos I do want to keep.

Like this one -- the pink bicycles make me smile.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Urban poetry

A teenage boy on skates hanging off the back of a bus in Istanbul.  (Pointing out that the skater is a teenager, and a boy, seems almost redundant in these circumstances.)

I took this picture with my phone on the very long cab ride to my hotel the first night, when I was in the kind of semi-hallucinatory state you only achieve with serious sleep deprivation or really good drugs. And outside it was Istanbul, which is a mild hallucinogen all on its own.

Which is why I completely forgot about this picture until I was looking for something else last week, and the spooky light and unfamiliar pose made me take a closer look.

I love the way the boy is posed like a dancer, leg extended, hip cocked, waiting for the bus to move again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Astronomy Tuesday

Here's a new comet for your viewing pleasure. And a swallowtail comet to boot!

Comet Catalina was discovered in 2013, and is currently only visible in the Southern Hemisphere, and then only with binoculars. But as it moves closer the the sun, it could become visible to the naked eye. Or not. You never know with comets.

It will move into the Northern Hemisphere in December. Where it may or may not be visible -- see above.

Image Credit and Copyright: Ian Sharp

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday bird blogging

Keeping with the theme of summer blues, here's a bluejay, regarding me suspiciously over what would be his shoulder, if bluejays had shoulders that is.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Never have I asked an August sky, Where has last July gone?

Never have I wandered through the rye, wondering where has some guy gone

I had to throw in the next line just because I love the rhyme of “guy gone" with “July gone," though it has absolutely no relevance to the photo at hand.

Which depicts some fun futuristic porthole windows on Ninth Avenue, against the brilliant backdrop of one of those aforementioned August skies.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Astronomy Tuesday, on Wednesday

I honestly forgot all about Tuesday this week -- work has been busy, and we've been having the most August-like of Augusts, with baking hot wet days, and by the time I trudge home and dry off all I want to do is lie down in a cool room.

It's great incentive to cast the mind elsewhere, and here's a lovely elsewhere for the occasion -- clouds of gas in the constellation Cygnus.

Image Credit and Copyright: Paul C. Swift

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday reflections

An abstract of red, white-ish, and the deep blue of an August sky, in Midtown.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Urban poetry

Pipes at a construction site. Who knew they came in so many flavors of red?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Astronomy Tuesday

Gob. Smacked.

This looks like an amateurish animation in a bad sci-fi movie, but it is actually a series of photographs taken by NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory last month showing our moon passing in front of the Earth.  (That's mostly the Pacific Ocean you're seeing on Earth -- you can see the west coast of North America moving away to the right, and Australia coming into view in the bottom left.)

This is also a good look at the dark side of the moon -- the side that is always turned away from us. It's comparatively featureless, lacking the dark seas and big craters of the near side, and looks thoroughly dowdy compared to the blue jewel behind it.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday reflections

The blue skies and puffy clouds of summer in the city, as reflected on West 18th Street.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Urban poetry

An empty tour bus heading back to the garage.

I do think that Les Miserables may be an unfortunately appropriate label for any tourists riding on that top deck on one of our steamy summer days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wednesday reflections

We now resume our regularly scheduled blogging.

This is a slice of the cool glass spiral staircase at the Apple store on 14th Street, where I spent much of my weekend. This all began with one tiny, itty bitty, minuscule, barely perceptible drop of water, which got into the trackpad of my Macbook last week and brought all laptop operations to a halt.

I took the patient in for surgery on Saturday, and got a message that it was available for pickup Sunday morning. So I went downtown again, booted up in the store, found everything working correctly and all my data present and accounted for, and went home.

Where the laptop, which had been so deceptively well-behaved inside the Apple store, no longer booted up. After an hour or so of cursing, I cabbed it back downtown, where it was determined that the operating system was toast, the hard drive would no longer mount, and BTW, I did have everything backed up, right?

A few hours later, I had a new OS, but no data or programs. Though I had been thinking extremely uncharitable thoughts about Apple in general, this laptop in particular, and their fiendish decision to situate their store within easy walking distance of the Sarabeth's in Chelsea Market, where I had drowned my sorrows in baked goods multiple times over the course of the weekend, when Apple technology works, it is truly a thing of beauty. My Airport router backs up my laptop automatically without my having to think about it, and when I got home I just had to click on Restore, and....it restored. Everything -- all my documents, all my photos, all my software.

So Apple, I'm sorry for all the mean things I said. My laptop is not a finicky slab of over-engineered aluminum, and you are not a hipster Satan. Still, the next time I have a crisis I think I'll pick a store that's not anywhere near a bakery.

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