Saturday, September 29, 2007


Great Horned Owl in Tompkins Square Park

These varied images perhaps look to be images of more than one bird but they are not . They are images of one very large bird : they are images of North Americas third largest owl .
For the past two days a Great Horned Owl ( Bubo virginianus virginianus ) has been roosting in the Hari Krishna tree in the middle of Tompkins Square Park . Apparently this big bird , smaller in size than only the Great Grey Owl ( Strix nebulosa ) and the Snowy Owl ( Nyctea scandiaca ) , has been doing some night-time hunting in the TSP area .
We have never seen this species of bird in the park before and have no idea why it would be in our park . though a very adaptable bird it is usually shy of human populations . If the size of the crowds that have gathered to observe this animal are any indication it is a welcome visitor .
Great Horned Owls are large in all ways . The bird is probably 20 inches or more from the tip of the "horns" ( actually just some tufts of feathers ) to the tip of the tail .The wing-span is perhaps 40 or more inches and the span of one of the open , huge and powerful feet is 7 inches talon-tip to talon-tip .
The bird probably weighs around 3 pounds and as is true of many of the larger predatory birds the female is larger by a noticeable amount . In the case of the Great Horned Owl the female is larger by perhaps a quarter .
These owls are strong enough to carry a rabbit or a smallish house cat to the nest to feed its young . It is a heavy lifter and is probably more than a match for our slightly lighter TSP Red Tailed Hawks : look at the size of the feet and talons on this owl . Red Tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls do not commonly encounter each other in the wild since the two species usually hunt at different times of the day
This afternoon we waited for at least two hours to get a chance to take a picture of the owl taking flight to begin an evening of hunting . Since it was getting darker we decided to remove the optical doubler from our image-stabilized lens inorder to increase its speed by a needed 2 stops but just as we had finished removing the optical doubler from our lens the owl took to the air and we missed our chance for a really good shot ... but we did get a blur of a wing in the sky.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Early Evening in Astor Place

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Mayor Mike Visits the Neighborhood Tuesday Night ...

Tuesday night Mayor Mike was interviewed by Tom Brokaw in the Great Hall at Cooper Union . We have been told by some who attended that only 2/3 of the seats were filled for this 45 minute Mayoral event .
Some of the issues that many in this neighborhood would have liked to hear the Mayor answer to , like the continuing expansion of NYU and Cooper Union in the East Village , overly aggressive developement , the displacement of so many long time East Village residents and the resulting destruction of so much of the old East Village community were not touched upon during Mr. Brokaw's questioning of the Mayor .
One courageous , staunch protestor of NYU and Cooper developemnt policies and behavior maintained a formidable presence at the entrance to the Cooper Union building . Mayor Mike in cowardly fashion avoided her and some of the press by entering and leaving the building by the rear entrance on St Marks Place .
Though few outside of the building had any intercourse (verbal of course ) with Mayor Mike , the poet Swami ( pictured above with back to camera ) did manage to get a question concerning the issue of the end of politics to Mayor Mike ; a question which Mayor Mike did answer but with all the traffic and confusion about us we could not quite hear .
Swami ,a.k.a. John Lesko , of course would be familar to those familiar with NMNL since we last pictured him here at NMNL last summer (4 June 2007 : Some Saturday Night Scenes on Avenue A...) as he was being interviewed and photographed by the NY Times on avenue A at Ray's Candystore for a story concerning the chronicling of the East Village .


Morning in Tompkins Square Park

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The Wedding of Amy and Jewels Redux : A View from a Distance of Last Summer's June 17th Celebration

This post begins last June 17th on "Crusty Row" in Tompkins Square Park with the groom and much of the wedding party sobering-up at least enough to make the long trip by subway across New York City to Beach 25 Street and then trek by foot to the very end of Beach 9 Street at the water's edge in Far Rockaway . This post ends on the beach behind an abandoned refreshment stand with the sun going down over Queens and a wedding in the rites of Odin having been performed .
Folks will argue about what really happened there on the beach that afternoon : was it a wedding or was it not ? Whatever .... There was a celebration and there is a record of it ... a record that Jewels thanked us for presenting on NMNL for him to see because he could not remember any part of the June 17th ceremony on the beach .
We felt that since we had some previously un-published images of last June's event that we could present these images with the purpose of providing a fresh perspective on the now historical wedding of Amy and Jewels . This presentation might also help to ground to some extent an appreciation and understanding of the current sad and difficult situation of both Amy and Jewels as they wait to learn the extent and nature of Jewels' incarceration .
Return to the NMNL series of three June 20 , 2007 posts titled : "The wedding of Amy and Jewels -Part 1-3 " to learn or refresh your recollection of the story of this day of celebration and the cast of characters .

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