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

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

I posted a picture of the Trifid Nebula a few weeks ago; here's a spooky detail shot of the heart of the nebula.

NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI); Acknowledgment: F. Yusef-Zadeh (Northwestern Univ.)

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday bird blogging

A black and white warbler in the park Friday.

Fall migration is under way; unfortunately, so is Fall semester. Tomorrow I actually have an in-person class -- my first time in a classroom since I started this program.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Saturday reflections

Two more looks at Central Park in summer. Even when it's so hot that sweat collects in my ears and drips down the lobes like Satan's earrings, it's an oasis. I am so grateful that I can go there again!

Friday, August 27, 2021

August sipped away like a bottle of wine

Central Park lake this afternoon -- it was so hot and humid that rowing a boat wouldn't have been my idea of summer fun, but this couple apparently disagreed.

Classes started on Wednesday, so summer, such as it was, is over for me anyway. Last night when I walked through my living room on my way to brush my teeth, I wondered how I had managed to get so little done on the closet reorganization yesterday. And then I remembered, Oh yeah. I was doing homework.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Urban poetry

Outside a restaurant on Ninth Avenue, waiting for the delivery orders to be ready.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

 Here's something a little different, from the Twitter feed of Dr. James O'Donoghue.

You can fit all of the planets (and former planets) in the solar system in the space between Earth and our moon, as long as you tilt Saturn a little to allow for the rings. This feels like it cannot possibly be true, and yet it is. The average maximum distance to the moon is 405,000 km; the combined radii of Jupiter and Saturn are a bit under 130,000 km, leaving plenty of room for everybody else.

I can't believe no one ever told me this!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sunday bird blogging

Henri has been downgraded to a tropical storm now, and we're not on the direct path, but are seeing endless heavy rain today.

So the bright colors of a grackle are very welcome today.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Urban poetry


Despite my snarky prediction a few weeks ago, it appears that Hot Yoga may be coming after all.

The windows have been cleaned and someone was working inside when I walked by this week. It's not a business I would be patronizing even without a virus running rampant through the world, but the optimism of a possible opening, any opening, is a good thing right now.

And I love this building.

Saturday reflections

Reflections with the old Post Office building/Moynihan Train Hall providing some spiky contrast.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Life in the time of coronavirus

A sidewalk in Chelsea on an August day. I was on my way to have the wonderful James undo eighteen months worth of home haircuts, and I'm still not used to being able to go outside whenever I want to.

But, as this man demonstrates, thanks to rising case numbers we're mostly back to masking on the street. I will pull the mask down if I'm on a side street with no one else around, but if there are more than a couple of people in my vicinity, it goes back up. 

I'm glad I got the haircut in while I still could. School starts again next week and one class is scheduled to alternate in-person and online classes. Everyone has to supply proof of vaccination, and masks are required, but I am wondering if in-person classes are possible yet -- at least in places that take the virus seriously.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

The Trifid Nebula (Messier 20) got its name from the bands of interstellar dust that seem to divide it into three parts when seen through small telescopes.

Unfortunately, because I spent much of my youth watching bad sci-fi and horror movies on television, the name immediately makes me think of The Day of the Triffids, where walking carnivorous plants attack Earth. The Trifid Nebula is not, as far as we know, carnivorous, nor does it star Howard Keel.

Image Credit and Copyright: Mike Selby

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sunday bird blogging

Yes, it was 95 degrees and too humid to breathe, but a robin's gotta do what a robin's gotta do.

Not the best picture, but I liked the way that robin just sat on that patch of dirt and sang.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Saturday reflections

I'm in the mood for something bucolic this morning, so here's the Ramble in Central Park -- as close as we can get to the countryside in the city.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Urban poetry

One of the seldom-seen city residents, in the aptly named Turtle Pond in Central Park.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

Neptune and Triton, in black and white.

Although I miss seeing the beautiful blues of color images, I like the minimalism of this shot. taken by Voyager 2 in 1989.

Image Credit: NASA, Voyager 2

Monday, August 9, 2021

Lost bird blogging

I didn't forget about my birds yesterday, exactly, but my heart wasn't in it because of the very sad news about Barry the Owl being killed. I never actually saw Barry, although I looked for her every time I've been able to go to the park in the past few months. She was the latest in a series of avian celebrities, like Pale Male the hawk and Mandy the Mandarin duck, to hang out in Central Park, but because she was around during the dark lockdown days in 2020, I think New Yorkers loved her even more than they normally would have.

Rest in peace, sweet girl.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Saturday reflections

Rebuilding the city, on West 30th Street.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Life in the Nineties

I am trying to be ruthless in my latest round of closet cleaning, and have hauled several huge garbage bags to the basement without making any appreciable difference in the levels of junk I possess.

Among the things I got rid of: the New York Times from November 1992 announcing Bill Clinton's election, and a copy of Newsweek from a few months later covering the incoming administration. What was more interesting in that issue was the “Best Of” lists for 1992, including this cutting edge “pocket phone.”

Seriously. That thing is a phone?

Best Product of 1992:

For telephone junkies, the best came in small packages: Motorola introduced the world's lightest cellular phone. The MicroTAC Ultra Lite (price $945), the first portable to weigh in under half a pound, has been ringing up record sales since it was unveiled in September. As tiny as it is, the MicroTAC is expected to extend Motorola's big lead over such rivals as Fujitsu (which just introduced a similar phone with a new return-call feature). Pocket phones are the fastest-selling segment of consumer electronics. Total sales of pocket phones topped 1 million units last year, compared with 87,000 four years ago.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Urban poetry

A musician in Central Park last weekend.

Okay, he was playing My Way, but I smiled anyway.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

And now for something completely different

I've been taking pictures of empty storefronts on my walks through the city, and will post a series when (if) it feels less depressing to me.

Here are mannequins in the window of a store for rent on West 30th Street, with some crazy color filters that I applied accidentally and then liked the look of.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

What on earth (not on earth) has happened to this poor galaxy? Ring Galaxy AM 0644-741 is yet another victim of galaxy collision. A small intruder galaxy (still visible in the upper right corner of this image, trying to look like an innocent bystander) passed through what was once an ordinary spiral galaxy. The resulting gravitational disruptions destroyed the spiral arms and eventually led to that ring of bright blue new stars around the galactic core.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Processing: Jonathan Lodge

Monday, August 2, 2021

Saturday in the Park

A beautiful view of Belvedere Castle, near the Ramble in Central Park.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Sunday bird blogging

The bird picture reserves are getting low, and my visit to the park yesterday didn't replenish them. One woman who stopped me to commiserate over the lack of birds mentioned that she had only seen a northern parula and a male Baltimore oriole, and was so disappointed. At that point I had seen a couple of robins.

My luck didn't improve, but it was a beautiful day and I'm still thrilled to find myself outside, so I didn't mind that much. So here's a bad photo of what I think is a female gadwall mallard* in the Turtle Pond.

*Found another picture of what I think is the same duck and found the blue side feathers that are invisible in this shot.

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