Archive for Journal

My sister goes to the White House!

Some of you followed and were very supportive of my sister, Deborah Rosan, on her long fight with the library where she used to work over the issue of service dogs in training. Well, I have two sisters, the other being Naomi Rosan Davis, who has an organic farm in Georgia. When Obamacare became available she had a hip replaced, something she needed but couldn’t afford for years. Then she had the other one done. Then she wrote the President a letter thanking him for making it possible for her to walk and farm again. Then he invited her to the White House! Ladies and gents, the White House blog.

Fifth Saturday, four days late

Pilings, icicled,

Rise shining out of river,

Smooth in bright sunlight.

Lone runner in red.

Checkerboarded drying path

Between white snowbanks.

Wind blows hard from north,

Sprays sharp froth from curling waves.

Curved bridge sings two notes.

Snowpocalypse, Day 2

Morning:

planter

planter

wlakway

walkway

under the trees

under the trees

grating

grating

Afternoon:

piling field

piling field

snow fills pier number

snow fills pier number

lights on tree

lights on tree

sidestreet

sidestreet

pier with tent

pier with tent

Snowpocalypse, Day 1

Morning:

walkway

snow begins

valve cover

valve cover

pilings

pilings

debris at the riverbank

debris at the riverbank

spare tires for snowplows

spare tires for snowplows

Afternoon:

street

street

street

street

garden

garden

house

house

Fourth Saturday

Rain-slick smooth round bark

Red to sepia to brown

Rough green lichen spots

Ship slips out of fog

Slides up opaque green river

White foam flows from bow

Heavy icy snow

Piled on railings, thick on path

Melts in drizzly rain

Winter birds II

Evidence of Brants, though no geese themselves, seen on their favorite pier this morning, just south of my bench. A pair of mallards flying upstream. Fifteen (!) Gadwalls a few piers north. And two mergansers fishing in the piling field. A gull dive-bombed them, as though he was worried they’d steal his breakfast. Since gulls don’t dive for fish the way they do, he was likely just acting on bad-tempered principle.

Winter birds

Last week, saw a loon fishing in the river. (What kind? Who knows? I have a little trouble differentiating one loon from another. May come from living in NYC.) This icy frigid morning, a female bufflehead; and then a long line of black dots flying north out in the middle of the river, just above the surface. At first I thought they were cormorants, they were flying so low, but beyond them was another group, and another behind them. I realized these were the Brant geese, who come down in huge flocks to the mouth of the river. These flocks break into smaller groups that deposit themselves in their winter feeding grounds, which is what was going on this morning. So the Brants and buffleheads are here at last, and the occasional wintering loon will come and go. I’ll have to go out to Dead Horse Bay to see the scaup. When I do, I’ll post photos.

Meanwhile, signs have gone up in the neighborhood urging people to leave berries on their fire escapes for out poor Crouch’s Kingbird, who is way, way out of his range up here — got caught in a storm or some such. The birding paparazzi have been running around the neighborhood for weeks, trying to catch sight of him to add to their life lists. I don’t keep a list, but I did see him, zipping back and forth between two trees, grabbing bugs. It’s too cold for bugs anymore — he’s been here some nearly two months — but they also eat berries, and I hear the robins and cardinals have been showing him how to deal with the tiny fruits of the callery pears. If people actually do leave him berries on their fire escapes, the guy might make it after all.

Second Saturday

Red helicopter

Thumping across bright blue sky.

Silver plane behind.

Ice-circled pilings,

Broad swath of sunny river,

Bitter, biting wind.

Waves rise on water.

Miniature mountain range,

Fluid and sharp-edged.

Charlie Hebdo

Write right, right wrong, sing song, long gone.

— Korean proverb

je suis charlie

River report

Snow swirling out of fog on the river this morning. Gulls flying low, staying close to the railing. Two Gadwalls padddled by with snow on their backs. None of the winter birds are here yet; must still be warm up where they live, so there’s still food. This is troubling in a long-term, climate-change way. Meanwhile, down here, the callery pear trees are full of robins, sometimes eight or ten in a tree. Callery pears are planted for their gorgeous blossoms, but they do have tiny little fruits. They’re hard as rocks until after they freeze and thaw. Then they’re mushy and the robins make quite a living on them until spring. The city planting so many callery pears may be one of the reasons our robins don’t migrate any more. Birds leave when the food’s gone and up here in the banquet that’s NYC, the food’s never gone.