Category Archives: nature

residents of nyc


in nyc you’ll find people of all colors, shapes & sizes – animals too.  since most residents  ‘weekend out east‘,  on sunday,  i hung out with this guy in central park.

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“Life was never meant to be a struggle, just a gentle progression from one point to another, much like walking through a valley on a sunny day.”
 ~ Stewart Wilde

 

the same time


a day, a week, a month ~ it can seem like forever ~ almost never ending, and it can seem like just yesterday ~ both perceptions happening simultaneously.

how does that work?

ivan exploring bedminster  (2)

 “Time moves in one direction, memory in another.”
 ~ William Gibson

 

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nyc from the 12th floor


out the window of my apartment, it looked like this most of the day:

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it’s been snowing since early in the morning.

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it is currently thundering.  thundering really loud.  and a lot.

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i want my normal back.

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“I have never seen snow and do not know what winter means.”
 ~ Duke Kahanamoku 

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thank you for this information


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Weekend storm could drop 3… or 30 inches of snow.

 

The Weather Underground forecasting service sees scattered snow starting in the city Saturday night, real snow coming Sunday morning (one to three inches), followed by more later in the day (three to five inches) — and flurries on Monday.

( That’s not quite 30 inches.  . . . )

That could produce a blizzard that drops several inches of snow per hour on whoever is unlucky enough to suffer the brunt of it, making it the worst storm of what’s becoming known as “the terrible winter of ’14.”

But five days out, it’s all far from certain. “I think we’re throwing darts,” Kines said.

just keeping you ‘posted.’

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nj exit 12, bear left!


after spending a good part of the summer in upstate ny, i saw a lot of wildlife, much different than the wildlife i see in the city. the one thing i was hoping to see and didn’t, was a bear.  and i really wanted to see a bear.

i’ve been spending time at my friend diane’s house in nj. she lives on 6 acres in the woods and her yard backs up to 40 more acres of wooded land. the other night around 9:00 pm, while relaxing in the living room with diane, her friend richie and her daughter, i thought i heard a car door close.  when i asked if anyone else heard it, diane and her daughter instantly jumped up and yelled, “bear!”   wasting no time, they ran to the garage and opened and closed the electronic doors to make noise which they hoped would scare the bear away.

while diane and katie were busy attempting to scare an unseen bear from the driveway, i opened the sliding glass doors in the kitchen and stepped out along the side of the house.  assuming the bear had taken off into the woods, i was looking straight ahead into the woods and calling for the bear.  i really wanted to see a bear.   so that you have a clear perspective, here is the layout:

diane's house laurie calling bear 

hoping to get a close up photo of the bear that i was still not convinced existed, i was holding my camera (which you may not be able to tell from the above rendering).  i called for the bear several times before seeing a dark shadow moving slightly up in the woods to my right just a little bit.

i wondered, if that’s the shadow, where is the actual bear creating the shadow?  i looked harder into the woods, squinting and trying to focus into the dark woods.  knowing that i was very close to this shadow and presumably, the bear, my body seemed to go into “survival” mode without the help of my brain because i became extremely nervous and began to get a bit shaky, but continued to watch the slow moving shadow 20′ away and call for the bear.  i could hear diane screaming, “close the door! close the door!”   when her words registered in my mind, i thought of the possibility that the bear had not run into the woods, but was still around the corner from me right in the driveway.  this prompted me to look to my right at which point i realized the bear was in fact not in the driveway, but standing approximately 12 feet to the right of me.

diane's house laurie calling bear 2 

this was by far the biggest bear in america.  rather than looking into the camera as he appears to be in this picture (that i lifted off the internet for obvious reasons), he was actually staring straight at me.  eyeball to eyeball.  his head was at least one foot higher than mine (i am 5′ 4″ tall).  he was just standing there staring at me the whole time i had been calling him!  i have seen a wild bear once before and i have never, ever, seen such a behemoth creature in all my life.  at a speed rivaling usain bolt, i flew into the house.  

it took the rest of the evening for all of us to calm down enough to switch subjects and think about anything else.  diane had seen this same bear before and was relieved to know that now someone else had witnessed this particular guy, as she always thought that the people she told about ‘big bear,’  thought she may be exaggerating about his size.  he was easily 900 lbs  and the size of a small car. 

as you can probably imagine, it was a little nerve racking for me to take ivan out after dark from then on.  for the next couple of nights we stayed close to the house.  diane had her spot lights replaced and now the side yard can be lit up like wrigley field.  

last night i turned on every light outside and let ivan out to relieve himself around 8:30.  as i waited for ivan to finish up, i thought i heard some rustling in the bushes just about 10 feet away from me.  it wasn’t loud and i thought it was probably just the cat, but  i interrupted ivan midstream,  and yelled for him to get into the house, just in case. when i came inside, i asked diane if the cat was out, to which she answered, “no.”  

i went into the kitchen and opened the blinds covering the sliding glass doors to see if anything would appear from the bushes.  in the small grass area between the kitchen and the woods was a bear sauntering by and looking directly into the kitchen.  he looked to be about 500 lbs.  when the screaming began, he walked slowly into the woods . . .

( photoshopped bear walking by diane’s kitchen window – again, i missed the photo op, but this is what it looked like)

diane's house bear kitchen

i never understand why people are afraid of the city.  really, it’s a much less dangerous place to be.

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

missing leaves


they won’t be back until spring and i’m missing the leaves already.

houston st grafiti subway (2)

♥ 

“What a person believes is not as important as how a person believes.”
 ~ Timothy Virkkala

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hairy turtles


strolling through central park, i found myself wondering, what has happened to the turtles?

central park ducks turtles birds (24).

“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”
~ Wayne Dyer 

♥ 

i believe in miracles


even though it’s down-pouring outside, it feels good to be heading back towards the city today.  i’ll leave  susan’s secret retreat  today, spend 2 days in jersey, and wake up in my own bed on east 52nd street on sunday morning.  🙂

it’s been raining here for the last 3 days which means no cell phone service, and intermittent internet.  i have to keep watching the modem – and if the green light goes on, i make a mad rush to the computer to check my e-mail.  sometimes i can get through 3 or 4 before the internet goes out again. although this may have been the quietest summer i’ve ever experienced, i did manage to meet 2 people and several hundred animals – all of which i will tell you about when i get back to civilization.  in the mean time, i will leave you with some pictures of this amazing place in upstsate ny.

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here ivan is enjoying the view from the deck at sunset:

ivan enzer deck (1)

the local cuisine:

colored eggs farm fresh (4)

interesting reading material:

old man xing sign (2)

outstanding views:

sun setting landscape (88)

some of my new friends:

hillsdale ny cow herd (29A)

deer running (5)

daisy ponies (7)

rte 21 pigs columbia county (2)

roosters columbia county (10)

and a flower encircled silo:

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a giant ‘thank you’ to susan for lending me this wonderful space for the summer.  i am forever grateful to you! (and if you’re interested, she’ll rent it to you – just let me know –  the fall is spectacular and there’s skiing just around the corner. )

i’m expecting some miracles this week.  i’m very excited about it and  i’ve decided to expect some every day from now on.  

just keeping you up to date.

Acts of kindness, however small – a smile, a compliment, a helping hand – plant seeds of hope, love, and beauty in a spectacular garden you’ll one day call home.

Talk about ‘Miracle Grow,’
~ The Universe

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cow kisses


 

schoolhouse rd kissing cows 

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“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
~ Dalai Lama

 

♥ 

 

 

reporting live


current report from weather underground:

Now
Clear
Clear
Temperature
74.7 °F
Feels Like 75 °F
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to me it feels more like 74.2
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“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
 ~ Buddha 
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getting unstuck


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cow fence crop 

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
 ~ Confucius

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lessons from the country


#1.  wear boots in grass

as i stood barefoot in the grass today, a snake slithered right past my foot.  ivan was close by relieving himself.  he was a bit startled as the snake approached him.  he didn’t notice the snake but seemed to be some what alarmed by my blood curdling scream as the snake made it’s way toward him.  i may have scared the snake as well because i don’t even think he noticed ivan was peeing on him as he slithered right through ivan’s legs.

#2. i don’t ever want to be a cow

fly cow

hillsdale ny cow herd (15)

seriously, could you stand this for even 10 minutes?

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these cows are having a serious meeting.  presumably about the fly situation. 

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“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
~ Auguste Rodin 

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new york has turned into florida


Today Jun 29

Scattered T-Storms82°F – 64°F  Scattered T-Storms
CHANCE OF RAIN:
40%

Sun Jun 30

PM T-Storms82° – 68°  PM T-Storms
CHANCE OF RAIN:
50%

Mon Jul  1

T-Showers77° -68° T-Showers
CHANCE OF RAIN:
50%

Tue Jul 2

Scattered T-Storms77° – 67° Scattered T-Storms
CHANCE OF RAIN:
60%

Wed Jul 3

Scattered T-Storms83° – 68° Scattered T-Storms
CHANCE OF RAIN:
40%

Thu Jul 4

Scattered T-Storms83° -67° Scattered T-Storms
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“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
 ~ Buddha
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the way of it


back on retreat!  well, sort of. . .  i’ll be spending a good part of the summer out of the city and i’m currently enjoying another week at my friend susan’s house in upstate ny, which i refer to as susan’s resort.  the resort is on a mountain in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees, amazing landscapes and all kinds of wild beasts. everyday, rain or shine, i am compelled to go for a long ride to take pictures.

on today’s journey i was listening to wayne dyer speak about the tao by lao tzu. tao is chinese for ‘the way’.  i’ve listened to this cd many times over the last several years and never get tired of  wayne dyer speaking about lessons of the tao, which of course any taoist knows, cannot actually be spoken of.  if you don’t get that – no worries.  to simplify the idea, i can only suggest that it says something along the lines of, ‘we need do nothing for all to be done perfectly’.

after driving for about an hour or so, i realized that i hadn’t noticed any real photo ops.  this has never happened before.  i always see something photo worthy on my excursions up here in god’s country.  maybe i was so into listening to wayne, i had driven right by places that i normally would have stopped for a photo or two.  how unusual.  i decided to pay particular attention to the scenery and looked carefully so that i would be sure not to miss any beasts hiding deep in the woods.  driving about 5 mph for the last 10 miles home, i looked and looked as i listened to wayne talk about finding peace through the tao and how all that is, is already perfect, ect. . . .

as i drove up the driveway of susan’s resort, i was astonished that i had arrived home picture-less.  normally this would have upset me but i felt happy to have had the opportunity to listen to wayne talk about the tao suggesting that to be one with what is, is the way to peace or, (in my words) all things happen for a reason & if you just go with that, you’ll have peace.

when i got out of the car, i let ivan out of the back seat and then went around to the passenger side to get my bag and my camera.  i almost laughed out loud when i discovered my camera wasn’t in the car, but had been sitting on the kitchen counter inside the house the entire time.

wouldn’t that just be the way of it??

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“The wise man is one who, knows, what he does not know.”
 ~ Lao Tzu, 
     Tao Te Ching

hiding out


ivan and i have been hiding out at my friend susan’s secret retreat up in the middle of nothing but trees and animals.  we’ve been here for 5 days and so far we’ve made a lot of new friends.  here are just a few:

rte 21 pigs columbia county (2) sheep grazing (3)
pigs in mud (6)daisy flower horses (13)lone deer in spencertown (2)hillsdale cows (7)horse in field spencertown (2).

ivan has taken the opportunity to teach his new friend his favorite sport,  grass rolling.  here he is doing a demonstration:

ivan happy boy (8) and here is the student doing an excellent grass roll:

daisy flower horses (28)

a good time was had by all.

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“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”
e. e. cummings

all i need


there are just 2 things i need, a vacation and to lose the weight i’ve been carrying around since my sabbatical in nj.  i managed to find the perfect retreat up in the catskill mountains where i plan on doing a 5 day juice.  in addition to not eating, i will practice yoga, meditate, catch up on some reading and hopefully get some really nice photographs.

upon arrival i met with the retreat owner who asked what it was that i wanted to accomplish this week.   i told her i intended to get some really good photographs of a bear or two.  her reaction made it pretty obvious that that wasn’t the usual answer she received from guests.   she proceeded to weigh me and directed me to meet in the dining room for dinner juice at 6:00.  she then told me if i was going to see a bear at all i should ask the fitness instructor to point out the area where they kept the dumpster on the hike which was planned for the following morning.   i unpacked my things, grabbed my camera and headed out to explore. after hiking around for 20 minutes or so,  i saw something moving in the distance through the trees.  upon closer examination i noticed that the moving object was near a blue dumpster.  before my brain had time to process the situation, i found myself in a  staring match with a black bear.

in the next half of a second, all of the following happened:

i thought about this amazing photo op

i realized i was shaking

i remembered that not even roger bannister could out run a black bear

i calculated that i only had to run approximately 1/8 of the distance to saftey than the bear did

i wondered if bears could run 8 times as fast as me

i watched the bear jump off the dumpster and charge full speed ahead up the path towards me

i thought about how no one really knows how the end will come but this is ridiculous

i think i teleported into the spa.

the next thing i recall is slamming the front door with all my might, startling the woman at the front desk (not to mention all of the people enjoying  the relaxing spa treatments they had paid good money for).   i proceeded to scream at the top of my lungs,  “i found the bear!  shut the doors! it’s chasing me!”  there may have been more  but that’s all i know for sure that i yelled -very loudly.   at that point my heart was trying to come out of my throat and my overall state of panic prompted the staff to start scrambling around the first floor shutting all open doors and windows.

i can’t remember being so scared since the time ellice and i were stalking high end hookers & got chased down the center of fifth avenue by two of the biggest, furriest, gold wearing pimps in the city, who apparently thought we were encroaching on their corner.  thankfully i survived both incidents.

when the tremors stopped i got in my car and went back to the scene of the nearly fatal attack.  here is what i found: