Thursday, September 29, 2011
Someone seems to have a lot of fun doing some stencil art in the park. B. thinks it's Tibetans - he says he remembers having seen those letters in Tibetan writings, T-shirts, etc. I think his O.D.D. (Observational Deficit Disorder, a condition we've invented) is not so severe as mine. Anyway, I certainly hope this represents a fight for Tibetan Freedom, and not an anti-American battle.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Beautiful sky this morning - mackeral sky with hints of blue peeking through. So gorgeous!!
Apparently, NYC has a roller skate (well, rollerblade) marathon every year and today was the day. We went over to see the start. The Pros and advanced skaters do 100 kilometers! that's 41 times around the park road - I didn't figure it out, it was announced. Others do shorter rolls. So they've got 5-6 different groups, the last being latecomers. It looked like a lot of fun, especially when we saw some of them on the other side of the park when we were leaving - skating in rows, holding hands, or talking while skating. Looked like a lot of fun.
Did notice that the adults did wear wristguards, but not the small children. I remember when my kids learned to rollerblade. I learned that wristguards were the most important piece oif protection because if you fall on your knees, it's no big deal, just a scrape. But if you damage your wrist, with its 20 or so bones, it can be permanent. So I was surprised to see the kids without them. Well, I guess they're batter skaters (this was in the sort of recreational-skater section). Also, they don't have nearly as far to fall, and weighed a lot less.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Lovely gray morning - the park was pretty empty when we got there. Almost no birds - just a few ducks and a cormorant by the lake, and the 3 cygnets cruising around. JJ made a new friend - a delightfully happy 6 month old boy who sat on JJ for a ride. JJ kissed him several times. Not sure how much Mom liked it, but the young lad seemed fine with it. Picture attached.
Everyone seemed to be sleeping in. There's a man we see every morning with 3 dogs. Only 2 this morning - the 2 big ones. The 3rd, little one, slept in. So we went to the end of the peninsula. sat in the rustic house, watched the cygnets and the hugely growing Lakeside, enjoying the morning. There is a huge tree that came down in the Peninsula. Really beautiful. I hope they don't cut it up. Wouldn't it be nice to let nature take it's course in the Peninsula - a little Wilderness area right here in the park? With the little paths, nicely covered with shredded bark, wending their ways through it. I may have to get a bag and clippers from Tony to pick up the trash there. Apparently, according to Emily Lloyd, the park spent $40,000 keeping our end of the park clean this summer (no wonder everything looks better), but didn't do so much in the Peninsula Woods. But it was VERY clean by the ristic house - someone is doing a pretty good job!
Many, many people and dogs when we got back to Peninsula - probably in preparation for the anticipated series of thunderstorms this afternoon.
And an exuberant volunteer squash plant growing along the Prospect Park West side of the park. Very small, round yellow squashes so far. They may never grow substantially. So many plants are hybrids, and the volunteers often revert to the original breed, which is frequently not so large or tasty (hey, why do you think they were hybridized?)
Monday, September 19, 2011
Beautiful fall day in the park today, with flying geese and flying swans (last year's cygnets) giving life to the skies. I think I'm ready for long pants, though the short ones keep me moving faster to get warm.
We saw a dog behind the fence at the SW corner of the park - the area next to the lake, near where Candleman used to light his candles (and may still, though if he does he cleans up very well). I
The dog has no collar. Took these pictures - if it's anyone's lost dog, please go and get him.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
It's 9:35 AM, and we just heard an NPR report about the incredibly prolific crop of mushrooms and fungi this year - we are not alone in noticing the great masses of them in the park! A woman who's been collecting wild mushrooms for 40 years said this was the best she'd ever seen. The actual plants, she says, is a large one growing under the ground. The parts we see don't come up every year. Anyway, it was nice to see that our observations are part of a larger trend. We were hoping for a mention of the gorgeous elegant stinkhorn, but no. She only talked about edible mushrooms, and suggested that anyone going out to find them take a course in which ones are edible before they go. And that's "edible," not "edible but not recommended."
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I was quite amazed at the 3 bags we found today - all totally different. Note the skulls decorating the one, and the smallest bag we've ever seen on the right. I wonder who makes these bags, and who decides on what designs. Last year we found purple unicorns and pink hearts. the skulls seem more appropriate - crack = death.
Park was very, very quiet today, almost eerie No bird noises at all. And they're still taking down trees.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Lovely time in the park as usual this morning. Swans and geese all hanging out, enjoying the morning. The regular route - up Lookout Hill, running around the Nethermead, strolling along Lullwater back to Peninsula, a swim in the lake (JJ, not us).
This afternoon, I needed a different venue, so we went out to Ft. Tilden, whgich I am now considering VERY south, Prospect Park. My daughter once lived in an apartment at 21st St., and they called that Prospect Park South, not Sunset Park. So Ft. Tilden can be Prospect park Very South. Anyway, the beach there is huge and clean and beautiful. There are WWII ruins here and there, great for exploring. Didn't bring JJ, but we can and will next time we go. The ocean waves were perfect for strolling. Two women making an art project on the beach. It was a perfect afternoon.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
They weren't kidding when they said they'd clean up the downed trees today. Five crews working in our little corner of the park! One rental unit had a hastily tacked on sign crediting Bloomberg with the work they're doing. Actually, I credit Emily Lloyd, who seems to be doing a great job of keeping this end of the park clean. Lots of people and dogs, mostly planning to avoid radio and TV today, and maintain a calm peaceful demeanor.
Started out with blue sky, then turning gray. Rain felt imminent, but it still feels imminent now at 1:30, but still dry.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
The lake is nearly down to normal. But no new photos - battery ran out of charge. I should probably check it before I leave the house every day,. but I don't seem to be that organized. Oh well. The nice photo of the supported tree will go in. I think its a great shot.
Coffee Bark today. Big crowd, great weather, friendly people. I was talking to Rine, who's a big animal rights person. She was telling me a bout something called Kapparot. This is when some ultra-religious Jews, like the Hasidim, take time just before Yom Kippur, to swing a live chicken in a circle over their heads 3 times while chanting. I had to stop her to ask if she was serious - sounds so much like a Monty Python sketch! But this is totally serious. It apparently started up on the 9th century, when some genius noted that the Hebrew word gever means both man and chicken, so it would be cool to torture a chicken and make him/her suffer for your sins. WHAT??? As a Jewish person myself, I find this embarrassingly weird, and cruel. I'm not a vegetarian, and I accept that meat-eating is a large part of nature. Doesn't mean it's all right to torture, mistreat, etc., animals. http://www.endchickensaskaporos.com/ is the website, for more info. She's trying to stop it, to replace the chicken with a bag of money for charity, has the support of several rabbis, and I hope she's successful.
The world is busy making 9/11 plans for tomorrow, the 10th anniversary. Even the park. Paths will be closed for downed tree removals. I think I want to go to the beach or a movie, and according to today's Times, I'm not the only one. I don't need anything to remind me of 9/11 because I haven't forgotten it. At all. And I think most New Yorkers feel the same. I think about frequently. When the day is beautiful, with a cloudless blue sky, I shudder - this was the 9/11 weather. Tony thinks this is PTSS. I don't know. I think it's just that life affects people.
Friday, September 9, 2011
For the past 3 days JJ has absolutely refused to go to the park in the rain., though we did go the 3 days before, just didn't write anything,. Finally, some sunshine! Saw Tony, who is better than us, and didn't let the rain stop him. Of course, he drives to the park, doesn't walk a mile. Just saying.
The lake is even more over its banks than it was after Irene. We saw Martin, from the Prospect Alliance, who says there is no water going in, and the drain has been on full blast for some time. He cleans the drain every day, and was happy to have a sunny day today to do it.
All the water is taking its toll on the park's trees. A lot of them have fallen down, and one is barely being held up by a stump that someone attached. Hopefully the soil will drain and the roots will re-establish themselves.
HUGE elegant stinkhorn crop all over the park - the nicest part of all this rain.
Quite a few "do not enter" places in the park, where there are downed trees. Of course, it's Brooklynites who visit the park, and we couldn't help but notice people completely disregarding every sign. Hey, it's "The People's Republic of Brooklyn" here - we don't like following directions - like the famous Brooklyn U turn that is so common. Actually, I think we have just re-interpreted traffic laws. If there's no "No U-turn" sign, then the u-turn must be legal. Lately, I notice that drivers wait for the light to go red, then do the turn through the intersection, from the right lane. Breaking 3 laws at once!!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
We decided to go around the lake today, checking out the Lakeside progress and see what damage the storm did. The news is not good. The whole SE corner is looking very bad. Probably because it's getting little use, since the BBQ area is gone, the Parking lot is gone, the boat rentals are gone, the sweet rustic shelter by the water is gone, and most of it is fenced off. The huge piles of dirt have 1-2 ft. long weeds growing on them, and trash is all around them. A couple of downed trees, and trash all around them. A couple of people sleeping in the shaded nooks, with trash all around them. We decided to keep to the main path rather than the little scenic paths, since they were sleeping peacefully and we didn't want to disturb them. Some people hanging out, having breakfast, with trash all around them. There's a new altar type thing in the Haitien worship circle, but with trash all around it.
The Lakeside project seems to be gigantic, taking up 3-4 times the space of the old skating rink. And high up - do we really need this monstrous structure? It will be visible from everywhere. Even the sewage container looks big enough to house 5-6 families comfortably.
The statue of Abe Lincoln is now blocked by a fallen tree, and there's one down on the north side of the fence.
Meanwhile, the swan family is looking very content, munching on duckweed by the boathouse. Downed trees are being cut up and shredded as much as possible. I asked the woman on the team if she ever got to chainsaw, and she said yes. So glad to hear it, as I used to do a lot of chainsawing on the farm, Even taught my friend's son how to do it safely. I think women make safer chainsawers, since we're not afraid to admit we're tired and take a break. Tired chainsawers who don't admit it and take a break and lose legs, etc.
I'm a little concerned about an extremely drippy fire hydrant between Peninsula and Nethermead. Is this the high lake level or will it burst and waste water? Also, all the fencing around Nethermead is down . Guess the Michael Jackson concert is canceled.