Lake Bomoseen, VT

There is nothing as peaceful as staring at the rippling waves, watching the weather change and a pair of osprey fishing.


Summer movies

Poetry on the Marquee at my local theater

I have been to more movies this summer than the past five years combined, I think. Although I loved going to the museum of the moving image in our old neighborhood, it was rare that a desirable showing would line up with my schedule. When the new Nitehawk opens, walking distance from my home, I will go weekly. 

Last night I watched The B-Sides, a relief from the violence and heavy gender and racial politics of summer blockbusters. 

Gateway National recreation area, NYC

Personal chef hard at work
these are meatless hot dogs

Instead of a solo expedition to the Appalachian trail, I brought my spouse and stayed in the national park in Brooklyn. There were birds, bugs, a dirt bike rally, party boats on the bay and we slept in a tent. In addition to cheffing, Nick was my personal bicycle support service after my tube popped in Sheepshead Bay. Barely slowed us down. 

I was awestruck by the dawn chorus of birds singing and using my rudimentary skills I heard and then spotted the Eastern Towhee, which had alluded me in Prospect Park this spring. Where are the photos, you ask? I didn’t bring my camera. Too much equipment to keep track of when packing for a trip with multiple goals – camping, cooking, biking, birding, and the beach. 

Second only to the dawn chorus is the thrill of arriving at Jacob Riis Beach before 8:30 in the morning. We staked out the best spot and set up our tent for shade. I saw my first American Oystercatchers and the elegant Terns (common, I think) fishing in the surf. Unfortunately I had just read an article about Coney Island water quality and was therefore not swimming, but the breeze and sound of the surf did their soothing work. 

Once the beach started filling up around 11:30 it was time to eat two tacos and bike home. By three we were showered and napping in our own bed.

I am eating peanut butter and leftover marshmallows on hotdog buns for all meals until they run out.

Living Bird Magazine

Kirtland’s Warbler- cover bird

New hobby means a new periodical. Living Bird is published quarterly by Cornell Ornithological Society and true to its name is focused on birds in all their variety and keeping them alive. The content gives me much to consider. New travel ideas (not necessary,) new equipment (also not necessary,) new friends (probably needed for those 4AM twitches,) new vocabulary. 

So far in June and July I have taken a casual approach to nature study, getting into the park every day but not camped out in one spot, tracking nestlings or studying bird song. I like the idea of a slow romance that leaves plenty to learn each season  I am not cramming for a self imposed test. 

Last night the Brooklyn Botanic Garden stayed open until 8:30 for picnicking. Swallows swooped over the ponds and fountains and lightning bugs were just beginning to rise under the cherry trees as I made my way home.

There are so many ways of being. Happily, unlike the Kirtland’s warbler who can only nest in immature jack pine between one and four meters tall, I am adapting far from my home forest. Thanks to the trees.