Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The male is not less the soul, nor more—he too is in his place;
He too is all qualities—he is action and power; 75
The flush of the known universe is in him;
Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance become him well;
The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost, become him well—pride is for him;
The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul;
Knowledge becomes him—he likes it always—he brings everything to the test of himself; 80
Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail, he strikes soundings at last only here;
(Where else does he strike soundings, except here?)

The man’s body is sacred, and the woman’s body is sacred;
No matter who it is, it is sacred;
Is it a slave? Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf? 85
Each belongs here or anywhere, just as much as the well-off—just as much as you;
Each has his or her place in the procession.

Walt Whitman -Leaves of Grass

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I do not know what that tall learned older gentleman saw in me when I was young. I was a strange knobby kneed girl prone to daydreaming and spending the day on my hands and knees in the woods watching ants marching back and forth. I would climb up the old worn green painted stairs to his front porch and ring the old bell by the side door. He would always have a minute to chat. He would escort me in through the rooms filled with books to his cramped and musty office. He was the first true academic I had ever met and I loved the exotic appeal of it. I am not sure why he would graciously tell stories of the world to me, but he would. He would offer advice on what I should do from his perspective, ask me about my grades and listen to what was interesting me at the time. He was always patient and I would love to listen to his soft voice describing the wonders of some foreign place he had been to. He was building my dreams with those conversations, giving the world to a little girl who had no idea of what lay beyond her suburban home.

He would sometimes give my parents money when they needed it. He was very generous and for years paid for a subscription to the Smithsonian Magazine for my family. This was another doorway for me. Through the pages of this magazine I discovered great painters, poets, writers and new ideas in science. These articles shaped my interest and I would cut out the pictures and hang them all over my bedroom walls. He gave me a room full of travels. I think if we could speak one last time, if I could climb those chipped green stairs and ring the bell, as he ushered me in I would tell him all that he has given me with his simple gifts of time and knowledge. I would tell him about all the other doors he ushered me into, the ones of great words and ideas. So tonight I find I must again say goodbye, goodbye Mr. Andrews and thank you.

Jim enjoyed growing roses in his rose garden and sharing them with his friends and neighbors. He also enjoyed giving out keychain lights to almost eveyone he met. For 10 years after his retirement he loved to travel and he visited all the major continents of the world. Jim was a Lt. Colonel in the US Army and served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. Jim was affectionately known to all who knew him as a gentlemen's gentlemen. A sincere honest, thoughtful, generous and kind man who helped many throughout his life in many ways. He will be sorely missed. Like Will Rogers he never met a man or woman he didn't like. It was a genuine pleasure to know him.

it's a swamp thing, you wouldn't understand...

The Painter (to himself ((or herself))

Every point counts-
every thickness and thinness counts
every direction-every brushstroke counts-
and so do the most differentiated color shades-
They do not count for themselve [sic]
their velocity and power is manifested
in the magic relation unto them-
Make the picture furrowed like earth
and brilliant like sun
make it pearl and diamond laden
with colour in every shade
make it hard and weighty like rock-
but dewey [sic] like fruit and
pulsating as blood does in
a loving heart
and fill it with life and laughs and
that it may be felt how you have
felt it
as the maker of a new world.

-Hans Hofmann
Darlin' darlin' darlin'
I can't wait to see you
Your picture ain't enough
I can't wait to touch you in the flesh
Darlin' darlin' darlin'
I can't wait to hear you
Remembering your love
Is nothing without you in the flesh

Went walking one day on the lower East side
Met you with a girlfriend, you were so divine
She said, "Hands off this one sweetie, this boy is mine."
I couldn't resist you - I'm not deaf, dumb, and blind

-Blondie from: In the Flesh

Monday, April 28, 2008

crimson petal

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost he glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all his sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

-Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal -Alfred Loyd Tennyson

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rusty Black Bird

Went for a long walk this morning to see some trillium, my favorite wildflower. I found some red ones but not the bigger white ones that I like as well. We are in for some cold weather this week with snow so I wanted to air myself out after a long days work yesterday. I also worked in my herb garden to get it ready for some more plantings. I am going to add some dye plants to a few beds and add more small berry bushes in the yard to cut back on the lawn. So my arms are killing me from the digging. Mostly quiet on the hike, but the highlights were an early Yellow Warbler and lots of Rusty Blackbirds. It was a thrill to see lots of Rusty Blackbirds since they are in decline. Read about that here

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Common Terns

Ironically must this particularly beautiful, graceful sea swallow now be called the common tern, for common is scarcely has been, except in the dry-goods stores, since its sharply pointed wings, and often its entire body also, were thought by the milliners to give style to women's hats. Great boxes full of distorted terns, their bills at impossible angles, their wings and tails bunched together...
(which almost wiped them out until people got together and banned this horrible practice)

But whether flirting, nesting, hunting, or flying at leisure, there is a refreshing joyousness about the tern that makes it a delight to watch. Another beautiful sight is the pose of a tern just before alighting, when with long, pointed wings held for a moment high above its back, they flutter like the wings of a butterfly.

Neltje Blanchan Birds that Hunt and are Hunted

-a new friend was such a help today, with kind words and a listening ear when I most needed one and I am so grateful to have run into her.

Albatrosses are dying from too much plastic waste floating around in the ocean. So think carefully before you casually toss something out, is there a way to recycle it? If not, why not? If there should be then we need to do something about it. We are becoming so indolent with our waste and will leave the next generation a pile of garbage for a lonely legacy. (yes I am waxing political again sorry)

(this an image from wikipedia)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Great Blue Ocean

Patience, an easy virtue of the tropics, from whence the great blue heron comes, characterizes its habits when we observe them in the north. Standing motionless in shallow water the Sphinx-like bird waits silently, solemnly, hour after hour...

-Neltje Blanchan Birds That Hunt and are Hunted

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Plain Chachalaca's are not plain

Even though the way seems really far, it does not mean I will stop walking.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I do not often wax political on this blog, to spare you all from my crazy views... but this, this really gets to me. We are so busy linking our food system to our fuel system without any clear reality check on where food comes from. It is hard to believe in big fat wasteful America where we do not usually face the reality that food can indeed run out.

Coral Bean

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there;
From joy the holy branches start,
And all the trembling flowers they bear.
The changing colours of its fruit
Have dowered the stars with metry light;
The surety of its hidden root
Has planted quiet in the night;
The shaking of its leafy head
Has given the waves their melody,
And made my lips and music wed,
Murmuring a wizard song for thee.
There the Joves a circle go,
The flaming circle of our days,
Gyring, spiring to and fro
In those great ignorant leafy ways;
Remembering all that shaken hair
And how the winged sandals dart,
Thine eyes grow full of tender care:
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.
Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile.
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For ill things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old.
There, through the broken branches, go
The ravens of unresting thought;
Flying, crying, to and fro,
Cruel claw and hungry throat,
Or else they stand and sniff the wind,
And shake their ragged wings; alas!
Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:
Gaze no more in the bitter glass.

William Butler Yeats

Sunday, April 20, 2008

To you I would
build cathedrals of words
my Apollo bright shining brow
rip branches from my hair
to make your crown
celebrate the triumph of you
save me from the ordinary dream
the endless wasting of days
without the light of words
falling so easily speaking alchemy
give me one more hour
to draw you in before the day ends

-by the Corbyhawk herself who misses someone

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A day at Braddock Bay

Today I decided to not work as usual and instead take a day off. The perfect cure for a case of the blues is a visit to Braddock Bay. I started the day off early at the songbird banding station. It is a bit early in the season but you never know what birds you may encounter. We walked the nets and watched as they quickly untangled the birds. The birds cannot see the nets and fly into them. They are then placed in a small cloth bag and taken to the bander who will take down some data about each bird. Lots of birds were around, common loons, a merlin, a flyover from a sandhill crane, many kinglets, sparrows, and lots of migrating birds of prey.

This is the bird that was taken out of the net. It is a white-throated sparrow (white morph). Soon he will be getting measured, weighed, aged, and banded. This helps scientists track bird migrations. Braddock Bay is one of the few places where you can visit and walk the nets with the banders. You can also watch them band the songbirds. It is very interesting to see so many different birds up close. Every few days the birds caught are of different species as they migrate north. Braddock is on the lake so often they stop for a bit before they continue to migrate making it an excellent place for banding.

This ruby-crowned kinglet was in the nets today. You can see why they are called ruby-crowned. They are a rather small bird.

I went over to hawk banding station at Braddock Bay. It was a busy time with lots of sharp-shinned hawks. This is one of the very few hawk banding stations that are open to the public. The three banders had their hands full today, with lots of hawks flying over to catch. They catch the hawks in a bow net which releases over the hawk or a net that the hawk flies into. The hawks are drawn in by birds used as lures. The lure birds are treated very well and even have thick leather harnesses that protects them from the hawks. This photos shows the action was fast and furious. I am usually a good spotter, so I watch for the hawks that come in.

This is a juvenile Northern Harrier that has been caught at the hawk banding station. Dan was nice enough to let me get some photos before he released the bird. Note how owl like the face is, even though this raptor (bird of prey) is in the hawk family.

This is an adult male Northern Harrier. They are quite beautiful and seem like ghosts in a way they are so pale. This Harrier is getting measured. They have an almost owl-like face.

Here I am releasing a female sharp-shinned hawk. You can see that this bird is not about to linger after getting a shiny new bracelet.

Dan is measuring this female Sharpie (sharp-shinned hawk) to see how long her wing is. He enters this data along with her band number on the chart under the pliers. Only about 1% of hawks are re-banded, but this still provides valuable data to scientists. This data including weight, sex and age (after hatch year, immature) will go into a database. You can also see a bander's cryptic sketch as well.

That is my hand holding this immature sharp-shinned hawk female. I was able to release quite a few of them today and it was just about the coolest thing I have done in a long time. I love to work with birds and to feel them under my fingers.

Dan is placing a band on the immy tail's tarsus (leg) (immy tail=immature red-tailed hawk). You can see why he is a raptor, he has a good set of talons on at the end of each toe. You can also see that the talons are pretty big on a tail if you compare them to Dan's hands.

This immy tail is about to have his wing measured. He does not look very happy about it. You can see the two other banders are manning the nets. They look out of the viewing area and pull the strings to make the lure birds jump when a raptor approaches.

On the way out, a group of helpful people showed me where a saw-whet was roosting in the owl woods. They rest in the woods and sit very still so that you do not even know they are there!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Check out some Darwin here

White-Faced Ibis

Today I was angry and desperate when I got up. So entirely melancholy and wanting so much to just give up all hope. It is easier to not hope, to slide down into the mire of things and not weep at the beauty of some passing birds. No more weeping, no more beauty, no more longing. I will wait but that is all. I will wait for all of this to pass as it does and begin the slow steady pace of life again. So I worked on my garden. Ramming the hoe into the dirt with all the force of my anger, until a small brown toad leaped into my view. Then I slowed a bit and wondered at him. Wondered at the tree swallows who have returned just today. The singing of the red-wing blackbird and the amazing craftsmanship of the oriole's nest I found on the ground.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I will catch you father
you stumble and fall
As your open arms have caught me up
in a thousand hugs

Lean on me
with your shoulder weight
it is your own strength that bears us
one moment more and we reach the doorway

We are given more days
from death's reluctant deck
even now joking
your eyes continue to dance
and the day keeps its steady dawning

-By the Corbyhawk who is lucky to still have such a great and loving father
A long day and I am tired of melancholy. I am tired of it all, the losses lately, bears down and tries to break me. Tired and I want to hide away for a while.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Live Oak

My dad is very ill and had to be rushed to the hospital today. Luckily I was there and could got to hospital with him and my mom. So I am tired, worried and sad. It has been a long day. Be well and take care of yourselves

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Brown Pelican

Each of the tragedies can be read
as the tale of a single ripening self,
every character part of one soul.
The comedies can be included in this as well.
Often the flaw is a flaw of self-knowledge;
sometimes greed. For this reason
the comic glint of a school of herring leads to no plot line,
we cannot imagine a tragedy of donkeys or bees
Before the ordinary realities, ordinary failures:
hunger, coldness, anger, longing, heat.
Yet one day, a though as small as a vetch flower opens.
After, no longer minding the minor and almost wordless role,
playing the messenger given the letter
everyone knows will arrive too late or ruined by water.
To have stopped by the fig and eaten was not an error, then,
but the reason for going.

Flowering Vetch -Jane Hirschfield from the book After (great book)

Monday, April 14, 2008

It avails not, neither time or place—distance avails not;

-Whalt Whitman -Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
(a beautiful poem here)

Pyrrhuloxia do not eat rice crispy treats

So I spent the day photographing one painting, yes the day. I did mean a good portion of the entire day. Why? Because I am a perfectionist? So up and down the basement stairs over and over, only to discover a continued glare on the painting. Today I win the, duh it is not working do it again the same award. As if by magic it will suddenly be right. Finally I took it outside and photographed it in some shade-perfect.

Now I am being a slug for a bit. (rather rare) I made some rice-crispy treats because I miss New York and will forever associate the flavor with being outside of the Red Dot show. It is sticky all over my fingers-but I think I may have actually over cooked the marshmallows since it is a bit crunchy in parts. A day of not getting things right I guess.

Even this post rambles and is uninteresting really. The way it is to miss someone, life goes on in the little insignificant details that make up the day. Ramble along. Now there is paper towel stuck to my fingers and the rice crispy treat.

I feel as if I am on hold and music is twinkling along in the background as I wait. I remember suddenly the sound of the subway flying past, but it is not my train yet. Where is it anyway? Must be that crazy weekend schedule still even though it is Monday.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Suddenly, across one of those glimpses of eternity,
there flocked the forms of two majestic birds;
and from them came a far croaking trumpet sound.
By their long wings, long necks, long legs, and snowy plumes,
I later knew they were two white cranes,
the noblest thing that flies, sailing on to their northern home,
and the ring triumphant of that stirring trumpet call
still echoes in my heart.

-Ernest Thompson Seton
-Trail of the Artist-Naturalist
Postal workers attacked by turkeys, go get your water guns and read about it here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

All that and a box of rocks

Each new year is a surprise to us.
We find that we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird,
and when we hear it again, it is remembered like a dream,
reminding us of a previous state of existence...
The voice of nature is always encouraging.

-Henry David Thoreau

Friday, April 11, 2008

beauty and garbage

My love has a face
I can never touch
so I run my fingers
over the open air
hoping he will hear
its whisper

You make me want an afterlife
where I can discover you
over and over
like some hidden temple
a long forgotten god

I hope always to know you
tomorrow comes quickly
the sun hushes this air as it sets
the darkness tugs
at memory.

-By the lil' Corbyhawk herself
I am having the worst time settling down and writing. I have this thing I am supposed to write and I do not want to face it. My mind wanders and I want to get up and do something active to get away from it. So I bully myself back to concentrate and I just plain do not know what to say. So I tap the keyboard and write things to fill up space but they are not clear. They are just little blocks of letters to fill a page. I can't keep still and focus, I want to wander about the room, clean the house, walk the dogs, go outside, make lunch...anything but write.
ok back to work I swear I will get it done.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Take a walk with me
Dawn finds us walking into the Sabal Palm sanctuary. The woods are alive with the calls of birds, you can hear the Plain Chachalacas over all of them. The Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks sit above us on top of the few dead palm trees. You can see their bright beaks glowing in the sunrise through the dense vegetation.

For a moment it feels like we are in the primeval forest, alive around us. The energy of spring is contagious and it fills us. You can smell the humid forest floor below us as we step. It is the warm scent of ripe earth filled with the possibility of life. This place is alive with its density and we go forward with all of our senses alert.

The green jay dances for his mate, fluffing out his chest. He jumps quickly branch to branch coming in and out of view.

The clay colored sparrow hops up on a high branch and sings. He is holding his territory as he serenades us. The sun is rising and it slices through the palm fronds, creating pools of light.

The golden-fronted woodpecker is also calling above us. His call sounds like a burrr burrr and he flies across the path. He almost looks like he is diving and then catches himself, dives again and then he flies up to the top of a palm.

Suddenly we see the bright yellow of the Couch's Kingbird. He looks down at us with curiosity as we pass.

All too soon the walk ends, remember it. The smells, the sounds, the way the sunlight makes the palms look like giant fans. The breeze that brings the smell of earth to us, the dancing butterflies that fly up as we pass. Remember the spiders that dangle above us as if they are hanging in the air. Remember the white-tailed kites displaying in the early morning air, soaring over us. Tomorrow is coming and this forest has a very short time line to exist. Someone will fence us out and bulldoze it, for the sake of chasing the ghost of fear. At what cost? I cannot help but fight tears as we leave and wonder what kind of world we are returning to.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Laughing Gull

I fly away
to try and forget
but I am haunted
by your voice
in the crashing
dark waves
the gulls fly over
laughing at me
as I stand there
fighting desire
the wind takes my hair
and hides my face

-by the Corbhawk herself

Monday, April 07, 2008

Wow, what a stupid thing the government is doing here.
I am planning on visiting a wildlife preserve that is going to plowed under tomorrow so I can really know what will this completely ludicrous plan will really cost us.
What is the extinction of a condor to a child who has never seen a wren?

-Naturalist Robert Michael Pyle

Friday, April 04, 2008

Union Square

Hello and I am off again!
After this busy week I am off again early tomorrow, much to do and pack...
Be well, I will be back shortly.

The Corbyhawk has flown...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

John Waters

Everyone says that the mind plays tricks, but deep down, most people don't believe it. A brisk walk through city traffic will prove that we trust perception to represent the real world faithfully. Yet every day you experience numerous small events in which you lose your senses and then regain them. You say that the mind wanders, and it does, often farther then you think.

-Laurence Gonzales -Deep Survival

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Coffee and Jenny Holzer

The best of part of my day was recounting seeing the artwork from NY City. The rest of the day generally sucked and I am feeling ill so off to bed early.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Slowly we lose our freedoms, one bank at a time (so much for cutting back on big government) and how about that rebate check you want? They will decide on what to spend it on for you. Read about it here.
fight fight fight fight and fight and fight and pick and fight and pick and weary and weary and cold and fight some more and watch the wind blow with such fury, for what? Beating a dead horse at home, rotted really long past time and ripe.

I will try to keep my spirits up though, my dreams are close I hear the hush of their breath like a whisper.