Archive for Birds

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.

pigeon on rock 3ret copy

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.




In Praise of Puffins

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

(Click image to make larger)

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.

Rollin’ on the East River

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


 (Click photo to enlarge)

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.





Blue Angels on the LES

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


(Click photos to enlarge)

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.









Summer’s End In Maine Continued

Posted in Art, Beauty, Boats, Landscape, Lighthouse, Maine, Photography, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2012 by maine1nyc
Fall has just arrived and Summer in Maine is fading, however the memories do not. Here are some more photos of this great state, including one from a close neighbor, Campobello Island, Canada. (Click to enlarge.)



To see more visit my web site.

A Williamsburg Sunday Morning

Posted in Art, Beaches, Landscape, New York, Photography, Rivers, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2012 by maine1nyc

Morning light is one of the most beautiful times of the day and that’s why I continue the tour of the coastal area of Williamsburg, Brooklyn on a beautiful Sunday morning. Important painters like Edward Hopper (1882–1967) knew how the morning light can bring out the wonder and meaning of objects and create a mood. Even the things we are familiar with, like a fire hydrant, subway tracks, or a bridge, can be seen as having more meaning because of how morning light is on them. And when we meet them in Williamsburg—well, we have something special. Here are a few images that show what I mean. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

A Tribute—The East River.

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Landscape, New York, Photography, Revolutionary War, Uncategorized, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2011 by maine1nyc


Yes, NYC has another river as historic and as rich as the Hudson on it’s west side.

THE EAST RIVER is host to some of the most structurally diverse and romantic bridges as any including—The Queensborough, The Williamsburgh (The Willie B), The Manhattan and of course The Brooklyn Bridge. For some years NYC has been rediscovering that it is truly an island and has been enriching its shorelines with many different sites, including neighborhood parks which people can enjoy, with lush foliage, water fountains, coastal walk-ways, promenades. And there are dayline cruises, ferries, restaurants and all sorts of coastal enhancements. All is still in progress, including the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, which in its present state, is a real gem. And when it is finished will be as popular an attraction as any that NYC has to offer. It is in this area in 1776, that the Battle of Brooklyn (also known as the Battle of Long Island) was fought and where General Washington was able to elude the capture of his army by the British.

The East River is rich in history, from the earliest inhabitants, the native Americans, who were respectful caretakers of the land, to the earliest European settlers. It was home to the world renown Brooklyn Navy Yard, (sorry to say no longer there), and was one of the waterways that hosted a dramatic sea chase in James Fenimore Cooper’s great novel, “The Water Witch”. It played an important role in the War of 1812, and it was also the site where the Civil War naval Iron-Clad warship the Monitor was launched in 1862. It was where the earliest settlers of the area came from Brooklyn to Manhattan to sell their farm produce. Now, honoring it’s memory, it is the home to a wonderful farm-market, The New Amsterdam Farm Market, where people come from, not only Brooklyn, but Long Island, Upstate NY, Vermont, Maine, MA, RI, NJ, PA, and FL, to sell all kinds of wonderful things.

Sadly, the East River is not home to as many varrried wildlife as when the Native Americans were there, however along with the sea gulls and comorants, it is still full of surprises—like the Redtail Hawk.

It was and is home to many industrial sites, which in their way add to the visual wonder of the River, as well as a dramatic New York Skyline. The East River is surely one of the treasures of, not only NY, but of our nation.

To see more of the East River visit (Galleries-New York-The East River); and to get a rich and historical sense of New York City as a whole go to Aesthetic Realism looks at Beauty of NYC

The Williamsburg Bridge from the Brooklyn shore

The Williamsburg Bridge from the Brooklyn shore

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