Shorebirds, especially small ones, are difficult to distinguish from one another. I first became familiar with a few shorebirds, large and small, in their brilliant summer plumages on Cape Cod beaches in the 1990s. Last winter on a Longboat Key, Florida beach I slowly came to recognize a number of shorebirds in their dull winter plumages and observed things about them, which I hadn’t before. These accidental discoveries gave me a fuller picture of each bird’s behavior and a greater appreciation of them.
Throughout the 11-plus years I have been writing this column, I have always appreciated mail. Mail lets the columnist know what his/her readership is thinking. In the past month I have received some interesting letters (e-mail) and I will pass them on to you.
There has been a profound change in My Old Gang. I guess, at 75 years of age, I would still like to see my old friends as they were at 17 years of age.
Lorraine and I attended a 75th birthday celebration (not a surprise party) for one of my oldest pals. He is my age, but has gone through a difficult bout with Mesothelioma. He lost a lung, but he keeps on ticking.
I’m writing to invite veterans and Boy and Girl Scouts to participate in a unique initiative I am bringing to our community: The Library of Congress’s Veterans Oral History Project. Too often, the sacrifices that our veterans make are forgotten with time. As the years go by, the stories and legacies of the Greatest Generation – those who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II – are passing with those who fought.
The last two weeks, Lorraine and I were involved in “Surprise Parties”. At a surprise party, you are not allowed to be late…or you will ruin the surprise. That is the most callous thing a person can do- ruin the surprise.
Last spring brought the tragic news of the death of Yeardley Love, a member of the University of Virginia (UVA) women’s lacrosse team, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, a UVA men’s lacrosse team player, in an alcohol-fueled fit of rage. Both teams competed in NCAA championship tournaments after Love was buried.
When Ellen Lawrence entered the Taproot Writing Group at the Jericho Library, she made an immediate impression on the group. We meet every Friday from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. We each write stories and/or poems to a group of about 12 other writers. The constructive critiques are a boon to each of us.
It has been said that we human beings sleep away one-third of our given lives. Those eight hours that we spend on mattresses during the night could be put to much better use. Imagine if Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer or Charles Darwin could have had all that productive time to invent things to better humanity. What a waste!
On a Saturday at the end of May a year ago, my wife and I went to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, one of the premier spots in the NYC metropolitan area to witness the annual avian spring migration. The first things we hear are the sounds of birds. In my high-powered scope is a vocalist, the rufous-sided towhee. It’s a striking black and white bird with an amber eye and a generous dash of rust on its side. Its bill opens, sending out calls into the morning air.
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