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

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Astronomy Tuesday

This gorgeous composite of Hubble images shows the Bubble Nebula, the result of stellar winds and radiation from a type O star like our sun, but 45 times more massive.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing and Copyright: Mehmet Hakan Özsaraç

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sunday bird blogging

I saw crows and cormorants and chickadees in California, but didn't photograph any of them. So here's a pretty junco in Central Park a few weeks ago.

One more tree

This cypress lost its fight with the sea winds, but I love how the broken trunk forms a (sort of) heart.

Trees at Land's End

Nothing evokes the Bay Area for me more than the smell of eucalyptus on a foggy day, but I've always loved cypresses as well. The weathered trunks and scrawny flat crowns are well suited for a life of being windblown.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday reflections

It's obviously a stretch to call this a reflection picture—a few faint clouds and two silhouettes in the water do not really qualify. But I'm in the middle of a take-home midterm this weekend and don't have time to look for something better.

These are the ruins of Sutro Baths, by Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The baths burned down in the Sixties, but I remember visiting when we were having special occasion meals at the Cliff House next door. There was a skating rink, and for some reason a mummy in a glass case, which I found both fascinating and terrifying. I never even realized there were actual baths there until after it had burned down and the ruins of the pools were exposed. We used to climb all over the ruins and the hills above when I was in high school; like so much else in San Francisco they've now been cleaned up and there are beautiful trails over the hills where we used to skid around on the bare rocks.

Speaking of the Golden Gate Bridge

I saw this bridge on a daily basis when I was young. I've driven across it countless times, sailed under it, and walked across it more than once. It often shows up in my dreams. And yet, I had never noticed the Art Deco details on the towers before.

Obviously, when I was a kid I wouldn't have known what Art Deco was, but the adult me never noticed either until I looked at these pictures.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Urban poetry

A look at two bridges—the new span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate—taken through the sunroof of my friends' car.

My body is finally back on Eastern Daylight Time; I know what time it is, more or less, but I am still not entirely clear what day it is.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Astronomy Tuesday

I am back in New York after an all too brief visit to the Bay Area. I had to get up before 4 am yesterday to make a 6 am flight and that, plus the time change and the general disorientation of finding myself on the other side of the continent again, have left me with the firm belief that there is no such thing as enough coffee or too much sleep and that I have not had nearly enough of either.

So here's another alien landscape, where humans have now left their mark: tracks made by the Mars Rover, photographed by Perseverance in February.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Paul Byrne

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Sunday bird blogging

I would have loved to get a closeup of this turkey hanging out by the freeway in Berkeley, but I was in a moving car and had to admire those wonderful tail feathers from a distance.

Saturday reflections

This is the wall of windows across from the benches in the previous picture.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Urban poetry

This is just a bench in one of the corporate pocket parks in Midtown, but I loved the arrangement of the trees and the benches.

I am actually in California; I will write more about that and post some pictures later. I had an airline credit that was about to expire, and Covid cases are low at the moment, so I took a few very deep breaths and went for it. It's a short visit because of my school schedule, but more than worth the jet lag.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday bird blogging

Posting very late because Things Came Up, as they have a habit of doing.

Here's a white-throated sparrow enjoying the snow in Central Park a few weeks ago. Their colors are starting to change to the bright yellows and high-contrast head markings of mating season now, but this one was still relatively subdued.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Saturday reflections

I drive past this building on my way into Manhattan on Tuesdays, and took this picture while sitting in traffic.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Astronomy Tuesday

Beautiful colors in this detail from the Orion nebula.

Image Credit and Copyright: Maroun Mahfoud

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Sunday bird blogging

Several American woodcocks have been hanging out in Bryant Park over the past few weeks. It took me a few tries to actually see one, but this handsome creature was certainly worth the effort.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Saturday reflections

Another muddy path in Central Park throwing back the sky.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Urban poetry

I admit that I am a wee bit curious about what exactly this Room for Rent (seen in the Rockaways last summer) looks like.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Standing with Ukraine

A demonstrations in Times Square last night. Several huge Ukrainian flags were draped across Duffy Square, while the demonstrators sang in Ukrainian. It brought tears to my eyes.

Unfortunately I couldn't linger, or try to get a better picture. On Tuesdays I drive to Brooklyn in the morning, meet with the professors of the class where I'm a TA, lead a half hour session on writing and grammar, then observe the rest of the class. When class ends, between 3 and 3:30, I retrieve my car, drive back to Manhattan, do some last minute homework while eating an early dinner, then walk to the Upper East Side for my evening class. I usually get home a little after 10, take a shower, crawl into bed and stare at something stupid on television until I'm sleepy.

I'm always rushed walking to my evening class, but it's the only exercise I get all day, and it clears my head. Unfortunately it means I can't take the time to enjoy any interesting things I pass along the way.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Astronomy Tuesday

I'm too tired to say anything intelligent about this image, NGC 4945. It's a galaxy. It's beautiful. That's all I have.

Image Credit and Copyright: Dietmar Hager, Eric Benson

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