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

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Trees at Jamaica Bay

I don't know if these trees are dead, or just lost all their leaves in one of our recent hurricanes, but they were beautiful.

I've been inundated with schoolwork, including creating an educational game using Google Slides (which only took me about ten times as long as I had planned) but I'll be studying from the Jersey Shore for the next couple of days -- one of the advantages of life in the age of Zoom. I can go to school anywhere that has wi-fi.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

In Astronomy as in Real Estate, it's location, location, location.

In this image, the location that matters is our vantage point here on Earth, which puts these two very different objects into the same frame. M52, the star cluster on the left, is a mere 5000 light years away, while the Bubble Nebula, on the right, is more than twice as far. But seen from Earth, they look like neighbors.

Image Credit and Copyright: Lorand Fenyes

Monday, September 27, 2021

Jamaica Bay

Despite the exotic name, this Jamaica is in Queens. I drove past the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on the way back from the Rockaways a few weeks ago--one more place in New York I've never been despite having lived here for so long--so, finding myself with a free morning last week, I went back.

It's an easy enough drive from Manhattan, assuming that one has something to drive, of course. It turned out that there wasn't that much to see there; many of the trails were closed for maintenance, and none of the birds I saw let me get anywhere near them. Still, it was a pleasant place to walk for an hour or two instead of doing homework.

I am amazed to find myself with a huge backlog of unprocessed pictures again. It's been so long since I had so many new things to photograph.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sunday bird blogging

Back to the beach.

I remain terrible at telling one seagull from another, but since first-year herring gulls are the only brown gulls in this part of the world, I can at least be confident about this guy.

Once he grows up and turns white, that will be quite a different story.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Saturday reflections

Reflections times three, somewhere on the West Side of Manhattan.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Urban poetry

This is just a grocery store/deli in Rockaway Beach, but I was charmed by the name and the bright colors.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

It's baaaack!

When we last saw comet C67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko several years ago, the Rosetta probe had landed on it and managed to send back several images before self-destructing.

Its 6.4 year orbit takes it out beyond the orbit of Jupiter but it's approaching the sun again and will be visible through a telescope over the next few months.

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

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday bird blogging

A beautiful oystercatcher on the beach at Jacob Riis Park Wednesday.

I love that the bands on his legs coordinate so perfectly with his beak.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Saturday reflections

City windows, throwing the views right back at you. you can see something similar on every avenue in Manhattan; this particular example was in the West 30's.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Wise words

I loved this sign in the bathroom at Jacob Riis Park at the beach.

Please check the roll before you commit are definitely words to live by.

This is how I dress for the beach

Long sleeves, pants rolled up, hat, sunscreen.

(Thanks to Jayne for the picture.)

Thursday, September 16, 2021

More on the beach

I've lived on the East Coast for many decades now, and yet the idea of wearing bathing suits on the beach still seems so wrong to this San Francisco native.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

On the beach

I really wanted a beach to be the next stop on my Dipping a Toe Back Into Reality program, so I spent an afternoon in the Rockaways. (Technically I spent an afternoon in the car driving out to Queens and back again, with an hour walking barefoot on the sand and another spent eating lunch.)

It was glorious. And these guys made me smile.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

Nighttime on Saturn, as seen by Cassini two days before its long mission ended in 2017.

Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute, Mindaugas Macijauskas

Monday, September 13, 2021

It's Monday again

Readings and assignments are starting to pile up, and I have class tonight, so it is definitely a Monday, and unfortunately it feels like one.

Here's a magnificent tree in the morning fog near our place in Wallkill.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Sunday bird blogging

This bird is so remarkably unremarkable that it could be several different species, but I'm going to say juvenile catbird, because there were other catbirds in the area.

I was standing next to another birder/photographer in the park on Friday, and it was a humbling experience. We were looking at exactly the same trees and he kept taking picture after amazing picture of birds I wasn't even seeing--a reminder that first step in photography is noticing.

By Tillson Lake

The stream on the other side of the dam that creates the lake, and the road that leads to the dam.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Saturday reflections

A few perfect miniature clouds hovering over Tillson Lake, near where we were staying in Wallkill.

Newburgh architecture

This building--it appears to be apartments, judging by the balconies/ staircase on the right--was across the street from the historic site in Newburgh.

And I took a picture for no better reason than it caught my eye, and I loved that cupola on top. Being able to see things that don't look like the things I see every day is one reason I love travel, and nothing in my neighborhood looks like this.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Beautiful downtown Newburgh

A look at Liberty Street in Newburgh from the grounds of the historical site, and the back seating at Ms. Fairfax's, where we had lunch at the picnic tables.

It is so odd that after a year and a half of longing to be anywhere else that in many ways this weekend away didn't feel like a big deal. I'm grateful that it didn't, that it felt as though getting in the car (a car that I have owned for all of a month now, though that's probably worth its own posting) and heading out of town is something I do, and have done, regularly.

There were many small pleasures--fog-draped trees, nectarines from a farm stand, breakfast in restaurants, driving down country roads--and honestly I don't think I could handle anything more exciting than that. Not yet.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Inside the Tower of Victory

The statues that are usually here have been removed temporarily, but I love those spiral staircases.

From a distance -- I could walk up without much difficulty but would probably have to spend the rest of my life up in the belfry rather than attempt to walk down.

George Washington slept here

The Washington Headquarters historic site overlooking the Hudson in Newburgh. The memorial stone is actually from the Civil War, erected by the Newburgh Guards in June 1860.

The structure on the left is called the Tower of Victory. It was built in 1887 to celebrate the centennial of the end of the Revolutionary War.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Urban poetry

A mural on Washington Street in Newburgh.

We stopped at a restaurant around the corner for lunch on our way upstate, and liked it so much we went back on the way home. There's a state historic site across the street, where Washington had his headquarters during the final year of the Revolutionary War. Much as I like this rock 'n' roll version of the General, I am especially amused to note that he also appears to be wearing a Fitbit.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Astronomy Tuesday

I'm too tired to say anything intelligent about this image of the Elephant's Trunk Nebula.

So I won't even try.

Image Credit and Copyright: Robert Eder

Monday, September 6, 2021

Morning, Ulster County

I went back to the wildlife refuge this morning, in what you can see was much improved weather.

Still no luck with the birds, but if you zoom in on the photo you can see quite a few flying over the trees in the distance. That's okay. I got to take a nice walk.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

The view from a detour

One of the roads we didn't mean to be on headed up a mountain; I pulled into an alleged scenic overlook to turn around.

The view from the overlook was a sea of blank white, but when I turned around I saw this: fog-draped trees heading up the mountain.

Because it was grassy and wanted wear

One of the trails in the Shawangunk park this morning, looking quite tempting despite the gray skies and threat of rain.

My travels skills do seem to be very rusty, even for such a short distance, even for just a long weekend. Or maybe it has nothing to do with travel, and it's just that this long terrifying pandemic has left me, along with everyone else on the planet, no longer completely sure about how to do anything -- shop, see a doctor, see friends, go to school, go away for a weekend.

But I am finding just being out of the city enjoyable despite it all. We get lost at least once every time we get in the car; since there's nowhere in particular we have to be, arriving a little later, by a longer route, isn't a problem.

Sunday other winged creature blogging

The Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge is just a few miles from where we're staying, and I had thought if we got there early this morning I might get a few pictures of birds I could post.

Unfortunately, it's gray and drizzly today, and going out to breakfast was much more of a priority, so there wasn't a single bird to be seen by the time we got there. We'll try again tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a monarch butterfly, always a welcome sight.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Saturday reflections

 A typical reflected cityscape, made even lovelier by the fact that I am actually out of the city at the moment, for the first time since I went to Quebec for Christmas 2019.

I'm in a lovely AirBnB out in the farmlands of Ulster County. Pictures will follow.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Urban poetry

One of a series of signs around a parking lot in the West 40's. I do have to wonder if chalk is the best medium for conveying this particular message.


I was lucky in that I mostly slept through the tail end of Hurricane Ida that whipped through the Northeast two nights ago, and luckier still that I wasn't affected by the flooding afterwards.

It's still a mess, but getting better. And I am (knock wood) actually leaving town tomorrow for the first time in what feels like decades. So here are some bicycles hanging on a rack, just for fun. I am always a sucker for bicycles.

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