Archive for the Wildlife Category

Autumn on the Move in NYC

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Art, Autumn, Beauty, Birds, Fall, New York, New York Landmarks, Parks, Photography, Poetry, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2015 by maine1nyc

My wife, Carol Driscoll, and I wanted to honor the waning Fall season by discovering a place which we have never been before, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, one of the most picturesque and beautiful areas in NYC. And are we glad we did! There are areas in this park where you can get a sense of what it must have felt like in NY hundreds of years ago. It has a rich history, and is a must visit, or I should say many visits, for a landscape photographer.

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It is an area that many winged beings like to visit. We didn’t see any unusual fliers this day, but were favorited by a being that is much taken for granted, including by myself, in NY—the pigeon. However, I was affected by this photo that Carol took, that had me reconsider. I’m also including a poem by Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, which can have all of us value this most overlooked bird in a new and surprising way.

New York Pigeons
By Ellen Reiss

New York City pigeons are bold.
They peruse the ledgers of dead economies.
They give me critical looks.

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In Praise of Puffins

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Art, Beauty, Birds, Maine, Photography, Puffins, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2015 by maine1nyc

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Like many people I love Puffins. And a maxim that I care for very much by Eli Siegel from his book of maxims, Damned Welcome, had me appreciate Puffins even more as I took this photo on Machias Seal Island off the Maine Coast.

The strange really has a smile on its face; you should welcome it with open arms.

Stay tuned for more Puffin sightings to come.

Squirrels of Corlears Park

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Beauty, New York, New York Landmarks, Parks, Photography, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by maine1nyc

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In preparation for a trip later this year to photograph Puffins in Maine, I thought it would be a good idea to practice on some fast moving, but oh so common beings, like the squirrel. New York doesn’t have that mysterious & colorful Puffin—but boy do we have squirrels!

Was I surprised to find out how wrong I was taking so ordinary a being, like the squirrel, for granted. As I followed some around on their adventures I was surprised to see how much I was affected by them. Not only are they fast, but they’re inquisitive and daring, they’re industrious and can be quarrelsome, and they have a kind of grandeur. I was taken by how many traits that we have in common—not the least of which is a deep pleasure that can be felt when they take in the world through food. I felt both criticized and inspired when I read this maxim by Eli Siegel, “What we’re used to, if explored, will surprise.”

As I left the park and looked behind at the squirrels I was grateful to them for showing me how wonderfully surprising what I see all the time can be if I looked with fresh eyes. Click here for more squirrels.

Rollin’ on the East River

Posted in Beauty, Landscape, New York, Photography, Rivers, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by maine1nyc

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Usually the main attractions here are the waterfront views and the tugboats & barges that help keep NYC movi’n. But this is Spring migration along the North American Flyway, and the East River is a great stopover for many birds to their final destination. I spotted a group of Red-breasted Mergansers just taking in the sights and looking for a bite to eat. These beautiful ducks joined Mallards and the resident Gulls & Cormorants in having a good time enjoying a premier waterway in NY. And thanks to Mayor de Blasio, the East River will host a spectacular July 4th fireworks display for all New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy. The ducks will probably have gone but their vibrant color & energy will be in the night sky. But that’s another blog for July.

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An Overcast Day in New York Harbor

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Beauty, Boats, Bridges, Landscape, Lighthouse, New York, Photography, Rivers, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2014 by maine1nyc

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On a recent day-trip with the Audubon Water Taxi in NY I had the opportunity to see some of NY Harbor that I hadn’t seen. Unfortunately the weather was more overcast than I would have hoped for, however it did make for a kind beauty all the same. Along with a sense of mystery, there was a stillness that went hand in hand with a slow kind of motion that was very taking. I hope I captured some of that feeling in these photos. Also there were the local residents, one of which greeted us, which you don’t often get a glimpse of. I was reminded of a maxim by Eli Siegel from his book “Damned Welcome“, that encouraged me as I looked about. “If anything can please you, don’t narrow the field.”

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Blue Angels on the LES

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Beauty, Ethics, Landscape, New York, Photography, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2013 by maine1nyc

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There are pigeons and then there are these pigeons. I called them—the Blue Angels of the Lower East Side. They graced the area near the Williamsburg Bridge with uniform acrobatics that added a kind of magic to the air. It was hard to stop watching them, always a challenge and pleasure to photograph them. Then one day I looked up and they weren’t flying anymore—they’re gone! — victims to “gentrification” on the LES. What a pity! How can one of the most historic and visited neighborhoods of NYC really show off its best while evicting some of its best? At least that is what some landlord did. So here is a tribute to those red & white, black & white, magnificent hi-flyers—may they find a well-deserved place to soar.

Here is a poem by poet, Ellen Reiss, published on the Aesthetic Realism Looks at New York City web site, that honors these daring beings.

New York Pigeons
By Ellen Reiss

New York City pigeons are bold.
They peruse the ledgers of dead economies.
They give me critical looks.

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Botanicals

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Art, Beauty, Landscape, Maine, New York, Parks, Photography, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2013 by maine1nyc

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Why are people so affected by flowers? It seems like an easy question, or maybe one with a lot of different aspects, but I think worth giving some more thought. I started looking freshly at flowers again through my camera and was stirred in new ways—like the way they can take the light or even convey an attitude or feeling.

I am affected by how the poet and philosopher Eli Siegel writes about the relation of flowers to feeling in his lecture “Feeling Is in Science.”

“Flowers have given rise to feeling, and we soon run out of adjectives. The lily is pure. The violet is modest. The rose is proud. The hydrangea is flaunting. The carnation is confused (which it may be or not). The chrysanthemum is ostentatious. The rhododendron is uppity. We haven’t given feelings to all the flowers, but the more a flower is looked at, the more one can give it feeling….The important thing is 1) whether there is feeling possible from every object, and 2) whether that feeling will ever run out.

To read more click here

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For more of my botanicals click here.

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