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

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

The Cassini probe may be gone, but fortunately we still have all of its amazing images of Saturn. This is from 2006.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute;

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

A female downy woodpecker hanging out in Central Park last winter.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Saturday reflections

A storefront on Madison Avenue a few weeks ago.

Thursday, February 23, 2023


Missed a few regular postings here—just the usual business of life, like trying to get in all the overdue doctor's appointments and new job paperwork, plus going in circles on upcoming lessons that just aren't coming together.

Spring may be a month away, but the pigeon trees are already in bloom.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Saturday reflections

Yes, sometimes when I'm waiting at a red light, I take pictures to pass the time. Why do you ask?

Friday, February 17, 2023


Despite the crocuses and the optimism of the bees, it isn't spring yet. It rained most of the afternoon, but I took advantage of a break in the clouds to run a few errands and as soon as I was a ten minute walk from home, it started to hail--sharp little ice pellets bouncing off my head and every inch of exposed skin.

Which reminded me of this picture: confetti at the conclusion of my graduation ceremony last month.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

But spring is coming

It's early for crocuses, but I was so happy to see them pushing their purply way through the dead brown leaves. And the bees already hard at work!

Did I mention that leaves are brown? Brown, brown, brown

Où sont les neiges hortensias d’antan?

More of the crazy chaotic winter foliage in Fort Tryon Park Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Look around, leaves are brown...

There hasn't been a single patch of snow on the ground and the weather the past few days has been sunny and almost springlike, but it is still undeniably winter, as these remnants of last year's gardens in Fort Tryon Park yesterday can attest.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

A group of some of the smaller and lesser-known nebulae in Orion.

Image Credit and Copyright: Daniel Stern

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

After closely monitoring the object spotted in the sky over Central Park this weekend, I was able to determine that it was a cardinal and did not pose a threat. No further action is required at this time.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Saturday reflections

A store window on Madison Avenue a few weeks ago.

The first thing I taught my English students this morning was the expression “just one of those days.” Mine started like this: I was running a little late so I took an Uber to school. The driver was charming and when he heard that I was an English teacher he told me about his own ESL classes twenty years ago. He dropped me off, I walked towards the main door and realized that I'd left my purse sitting on the back seat. I ran after the car, caught it at a red light, pounded on the window and retrieved my purse.

Then my classroom was locked (I don't have a key.) I went to the lobby, convinced security that I'm actually a teacher even though my ID still says student, and got the door opened. The classroom computer was disconnected and I couldn't log in. I called the help desk, and while I waited for them to send someone, I realized that I'd left the clipboard with the sign-in sheet in the lobby. I ran downstairs to get it, and missed the help desk guy, who reconnected the computer and logged it in with an ID I don't have a password for. So I had to call again.

And then I had to teach my class. Just one of those days.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Urban poetry

Rainy evening on Ninth Avenue a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

This image of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus taken by the late great Cassini probe is interesting because of the light. That crescent of brightness on the right is from the sun, but if you look at the shadows you can see that there's another, less intense, light source on the left. That light is coming from Saturn itself, reflecting sunlight back onto its moon like a giant mirror.

Image Credit: NASA; ESA, JPL, Cassini Imaging Team, SSI; Color Composite: Gordan Ugarkovic

Monday, February 6, 2023

Sunday bird blogging on Monday


I saw a blue jay on my fire escape a few minutes ago and realized I never posted a bird yesterday—too caught up in emails about students changing levels and grading writing samples. Because I'm a teacher now, and that's how we roll!

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Saturday reflections

A store window in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan.

I taught my first class as a genuine English teacher today. Well, it was the first class of the semester so there was very little teaching involved; it was mostly orientations and introductions and paperwork and assessments. These students are low intermediate, much more proficient than the students I had last semester.

However, as part of a discussion about how it's hard to understand spoken Engish because of the way we smoosh words together, I taught them Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. It's not exactly literature, but they loved it.

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