“If we stop long enough to gaze at what is laid out before us, to let the mystery of beauty and the wonder of the seasons sit deeply in our soul, our hearts cannot help but burst forth in thanksgiving and gratitude to life itself.” – Deborah Adele
After seeing this beautiful barn red building at Croton Point Park today, I thought it would make a beautiful background. I didn’t have to wait long before I an American Tree Sparrow landed on a perch
When I saw the beautiful “barn red” color of this wooden shed at Croton Point Park today, I knew it would make a nice background for a photo. I waited in my car for a little while before an American Tree Sparrow landed on a perch just as the first snowflakes of the season began to fall.
“We find quiet minds as we sit still with our breath, as we make small jottings in our books and as we practice silent waiting. Then one day, “the little ways” open, into broad expanses.” – Mary Hiles
just as the first snowflakes of the season began to fall. Thank you sparrow. Thank you snowflakes.
“Look! Look!” shouted a small boy while emphatically pointing to the moon as it rose above the tree line at Croton Point Park yesterday. But his family was too busy to give the boy (and the moon) their attention. Oh, to be able see the world with the eyes of a child – a great goal for us all.
Earlier in the day, I watched as a Black-capped Chickadee bounced around among the branches of an American sweetgum tree. The seeds are eaten by a variety of birds and small mammals. They remind me of Christmas ornaments dangling from the tree’s branches.
“Paying attention is one of the kindest things we can do – for ourselves and for others.” – Sharon Salzberg
Red-tailed Hawks, Great Blue Herons and Peregrine Falcons are three of our beautiful, local birds.
“In difficult times, carry something beautiful in your heart.” – Blaise Pascal
Truth be told, I had never even heard of a Tropical Kingbird. But when I was able to get my binoculars on the bird with a flash of yellow, near the Hudson River, I did know that this bird was something special.
I was able to see a Western Kingbird last year, a similar “flycatcher” with a yellow belly. It’s a very rare bird for our area and that was my first thought.
I quickly shared photos with my very knowledgeable birding friend Julien Amsellem who then raced to the river. He was not only able to see the bird but was able to get a sound recording – a key component to identifying it. “I think it’s a Tropical Kingbird!” he said. (One exclamation point doesn’t really capture the enthusiasm in his voice). “Is that rare?” I asked. “It’s the first time one has been seen in the state of New York!”
Well, word spreads very quickly among birders these days and pretty much every serious birder and ornithologist in the area arrived the next day to see this “mega-rarity.” There were about 100 people here despite a morning rain. Fortunately our bird stuck around.
Each birder was kind and respectful to each other and everyone wore a mask. Many seemed so grateful to have seen such a great bird to add to their “life lists.” All of us share a love of nature and a love of birds and we all shared our joy at getting the chance to see such a beautiful rarity.
Appreciative birders expressed their gratitude. “Thanks for the great find!” many said. Of course the bird should get all the credit. What a journey it must be on. And what a gift it was to have it land in our world.
“Nature can help us get close to each other as we realize that others love the natural environment as much as we do. It can also remind us that we’re all part of something bigger than us. This is the role we take on as nature stewards: to protect and respect the world around us, including all of its inhabitants.” – Martin Summer (Connecting With Life – Finding Nature in an Urban World)
American Robin, Rockefeller Park, Pocantico, New York
Tarrytown Lakes, Tarrytown, New York
Red-tailed Hawk, Tarrytown, New York
“When we contemplate the globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars, all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” – John Muir
Indian Brook Waterfall, Cold Spring, NY.
White-throated Sparrow, Deer Pond Farm, Sherman, CT.
“There never was a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope” – Bernard Williams
Bobolinks, like this one photographed this morning in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY are truly amazing birds. They can travel the equivalent of four times around the earth during their lifetimes. But their numbers are declining due to habitat loss.
The Peregrine Falcon’s comeback from the brink of extinction offers hope as the eventual elimination of DDT made it possible for the world’s fastest raptors to recover.
Red-tailed Hawk, Palisades Lookout, Palisades, NJ.
Great Blue Heron, Teatown Reservation, Ossining, NY.
American Oystercatcher, Milford Point, CT.
Belted Kingfisher, Dobbs Ferry, NY.
Semi-palmated Plover, Pelham Bay Park, NY.
American Oystercatcher, Turks and Caicos
“As many spiritual masters have taught us, heaven, earth, sea and every creature have an iconic or mystical capacity to bring us back to the Creator and to communion with creation.” – Pope Francis