Sunday, April 23, 2017


A song sparrow, Melospiza melodia, getting its feathers ruffled by the wind. For comfort about how cold and rainy it's been this month, a Portuguese proverb: A cold and moist April fills the cellar and fattens the cow

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Spring Day

I saw this American robin with wings stretched out soaking up sun in the park. My camera click disturbed him  and he folded up and flew away. It was a great day to appreciate spring with blue sky, warm sunlight, and soft breezes reminding me of this poem by Billy Collins. (Click the photo to enlarge.) 

If ever there were a spring day so perfect, 
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw 
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, to rip the little door from its jamb, 

a day when the cool brick paths 
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants 
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

And here's a picture of my neighborhood to prove it! A path to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with the skyline of lower Manhattan across the East River. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bird Fight!

There's a bird in this photo. Look at the end of the horizontal pipe near the top. That pipe holds cables that suspend another traffic light over the roadway. Click to enlarge.
These are favorite spots for New York City's house sparrows (Passer domesticus) to build nests. I see birds coming and going from the ends of these pipes all over town. There is room for two nests, one on each end. The male sparrows fight to claim and keep them.
The urban bird house.
As I was passing this spot today, a pair of male sparrows fell onto the road -- fighting with wings, beaks, and claws. The next moment I realized a car was coming right at them. I had a second only to hope they would break off and fly away as city-birds-on-the-road usually do. But they didn't! The car ran right over them! Whatever I yelled was lost in New York's noise. Then the car passed and there the birds were on the road -- still fighting! It was their good luck to fall exactly in the center of the roadway so the car passed without hurting them. They did break off and fly away then, one doing evasive maneuvers and the other in pursuit. I have no pictures because it happened too fast, just a story. But geez birds. Don't fight in traffic!