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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday reflections

Scaffolding, and its reflection across the street, with some of that wonderful dappled light you get in Manhattan when the glass towers throw their light onto less reflective neighbors.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Urban poetry

I'm ready for the end of summer weather, but I will miss the dancers in Times Square -- though not threading my way through the crowds of tourists surrounding them.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Astronomy Tuesday

Our beautiful sun in a bad mood on September 10.

This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows an intense solar flare, which was followed by what astronomers whimsically refer to as a coronal mass ejection. It's the sun's version of blowing off steam, except instead of steam it's magnetic plasma. This is the stuff that can cause electrical havoc on Earth when it slams into our magnetosphere, causing blackouts (in 1989 power surges from solar flares melted power transformers in New Jersey) as well as knocking out satellite and GPS communications.

Image Credit: NASA, SDO, and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday bird blogging

It may officially be autumn now, but it was still warm and muggy in the park yesterday.

The birds didn't seem to mind -- I saw the first white-throated sparrows and juncos of the season, and a few warblers hiding in the foliage. And this winter wren, with that adorably stubby spotted tail at full salute. The light wasn't great so the picture isn't that sharp, but I so rarely see wrens that I'm thrilled with it anyway. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday reflections

A truck on Tenth Avenue -- at first I tried to get the same effect without that annoying Mercedes symbol in the middle of the shot, but now I like the way the buildings curve around it.

Also I couldn't get the shot without it. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Urban poetry

I already posted this on Instagram, but I like it enough to cross-post here: another look at Taxi Land in the West Forties.

What makes this true urban poetry is that you now expect anyone captured in this pose to have a phone in hand, but what this man is staring at so intently is -- paper.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Astronomy Tuesday

One last look at the eclipse from the moon's point of view, courtesy of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The smudge at the top of the picture is its shadow across North America.

Image Credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State Univ. / Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Monday, September 18, 2017

Domestic archaeology

I spent most of the weekend cleaning out closets -- or technically, distributing the contents of closets all over my living room in preparation for the tedious business of sorting, discarding, and re-closeting -- and buried in the bottom of a box of family papers and miscellaneous letters, I found a collection of t-shirts that I was apparently saving for the Apocalypse.

I moved into this apartment in 1999, and I'm assuming I packed them then, and immediately forgot about their existence. So if you see someone walking around New York in a practically pristine Clinton-Gore inauguration t-shirt from 1993, that would be me.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday bird blogging

This isn't a great picture -- the sun was behind the bird -- but this is the first time I've ever seen a warbler (a pine warbler, btw) sitting in plain sight on a path, instead of flitting around behind thick foliage where they can barely be seen and rarely photographed.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday reflections

Here's some psychedelia Manhattan-style.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Urban poetry

Continuing with the theme of interesting sidewalk seating, here are a couple of chairs (plus motorcycles) outside a walled garden in Jaipur last January. This was an access road, separated by a line of trees from a very busy street. So it was noisy there, but also cool and shady, which may be why the residents would choose to sit there instead of in the very pretty -- and sunny and hot -- garden.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Astronomy Tuesday

Here's one of the last looks at Saturn and its rings from a distance, captured by Cassini with a wide-angle lens last October, but released by NASA and JPL yesterday.

We'll probably get more pictures, as it takes time for NASA to process and release them, but the Cassini probe itself will die on Friday, when it ends its mission with a plunge beneath Saturn's clouds and into whatever lies beneath.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Monday, September 11, 2017

Welcome to the working week

West 44th Street in Hell's Kitchen is full of taxi companies -- garages, repair shops, auto supplies. I loved this row of chairs forming a temporary waiting room outside a taxi repair service.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday bird blogging

The gritty city.

I took this picture earlier this summer, and since you don't get much more New York than this, it's an appropriate image for a week in which I sometimes floundered at finding myself back in a place that's the complete opposite of my mostly peaceful, mostly non-eventful vacation.

But I did spend the morning in Central Park, and that always reminds me that there are oases of tranquillity even in this mad city.

Sunday deer blogging

I forgot about this until I was going through pictures yesterday. 

The night before the eclipse, there was a wedding party at Sunriver having cocktails on a lawn by the river. This mama deer (the fawn was hiding in the tall grass behind her) stood watching them through the grasses for a few minutes before running away along the riverbank.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

And in black and white

More arboreal poetry

Some of the lovely trees in Ken Mercer park in Pleasanton. On the days when it isn't 112 degrees it's a lovely place to take a walk.

A tree lovely as a poem

I took more pictures of trees than of anything else, including the eclipse, on this trip. A lot of that was due to the quality of the trees around me, of course. They were just begging to be looked at closely, loved, and remembered.

Here's a mossy tree in the zen garden, and a hilltop dweller draped in fog.

Saturday reflections

I survived my first week (okay, four days) back in Cubeland, so this is an appropriate image.

It's been a long time since I had a vacation that was so, well, vacation-y. I think I need to do more of that.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Your moment of zen

Here's a pleasant memory to smooth out the rough edges of my re-entry into daily life, work, New York: a zen garden near Muir Beach, California.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Astronomy Tuesday

Last one -- I may do one of those composites of multiple images of the sun shrinking into a sliver, but it's not going to happen any time soon.

Here our mighty star is reduced to its last thin stripe of light before totality.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sunday bird blogging

Posting was delayed because I had no wifi over the weekend, and I spent most of yesterday on a plane returning to New York (where it's surprisingly much cooler than it was in California -- makes it a little easier to face the end of vacation.)

But here's a phone picture of some odd residents at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Those knobby red beaks made me think they were turkey vultures, but they are Muscovy ducks.

Friday, September 1, 2017


I'm still on vacation, baking in the California heat wave (112 degrees here today), so here's something cool and refreshing instead of the usual urban poetry: the hallway outside the Flower Power exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

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