Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oh, Hey.

Holy heck!
So I just started a new career as a New York City Public School Teacher. It has been quite an experience and as much as I am teaching, I am also learning ten times more. It has kept me on my toes and limited my outdoor exposure. Serious respect to teachers, you can never judge the job of a teacher until you step into their shoes (and hopefully they wear comfy shoes, because your feet get crazy tired).

Thankfully, I get a (brief) daily dose of nature. My bike ride commute involves cutting through Prospect Park. So I see things as I whiz by, including all the birders getting a final glimpse of migrants as they make their way south (JEALOUS). I also tend to see the sun rise, and last week, the moon rise after spending almost 12 solid hours at my school, doing what? I can't think back that far.

The following pictures were all taken in the same day- with my iPhone, enjoy the little things I get to enjoy:

A fly sits super still even within close range. The mornings have been cold and this fly can't take off in cool temperatures. He must get some warmth to recharge himself. He looked so beautiful on my landlord's flowers.
The sun rises over the lake at Prospect Park. It is probably just a touch after 7AM.
So this photo does the moon absolutely NO JUSTICE. The moon was rising over the horizon on my way home and it looked so large, I was stopped with a few other lunar admirers. This photo was taken at around 7:15PM

Stay tuned for more soon, I did make a brief escape upstate and even took a moment to see nature-y things!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Summer Dumping of iPhone Images

The worst thing about having a camera on your phone? You take too many photos.
The best things about having a camera on your phone? You can take a million photos!

     I have way too many images on my phone. These all happened this summer... I will cry as I post them, because I don't want summer to end:
A rather large moth that decided to live in our classroom during summer camp. I dubbed him "James" so that way when a kid would potentially flip out, I'd just say, "Oh, no worries, it's just James the moth." He also camouflaged well with the floor.
At my coworkers picnic wedding, I decided this beetle complemented diamonds quite nicely- you'll notice how this bug bling becomes a personal trend...
A tiny mantis on my hand at my father in-law's house.
While biking to work in Park Slope on Prospect Park Southwest I heard a red tailed hawk, then I looked up and saw him perched on this building. I had to grab a shot.
A fledged robin at the Central Park Zoo in the Central Garden.
This guy got caught in the volunteer room at the zoo. I shut off the light and he flew out and landed right on me. I got him on my hand, grabbed a picture (bug bling) and returned him to a sunny bush where he could warm up.
These bushes right down the street from me got covered in mantids. I have only seen a mantis in Brooklyn one other time, and that was a few years ago.
Mantis Bug Bling. 
A little beetles on a tomato plant in the community garden by the library in Windsor Terrace.
A beautiful dragonfly right outside the Windsor Terrace Public Library.
Oh yeah! AND some videos! First is a snowshoe hare, from when we went to Maine. The other is a Mantid swaying like a leaf down the street here in Brooklyn.

Saying Goodbye to Summer...

     If there is one season I have the hardest time letting go of, it is summer. I like warmth, I like long days, I like green trees and grass, I like wearing shorts, I like my flip flops, I like my sad excuse for a tan. I really despise winter, it is cold and depressing, I really was meant to be a reptile.
     Things are changing not just in the seasons but in my life. For the first time in 7 years I am not working in an establishment that focuses on animals. I have (very sadly) left my job at the Central Park Zoo to focus on my career as a science teacher. So starting Monday morning I will meet my first class of four that I will be teaching. My life is about to get incredibly stressful as a public school teacher in Brooklyn, NY - but it will be a good challenge, and I like challenges!
     So the last 2-3 weeks have been me doing the best that I can to prepare for that very first day. I have had a lot to do, especially after being in the school, seeing the layout of my day, and seeing the students I will have. I decided that this girl needed a meditative moment, and for me, those moments always take me to Prospect Park...
This is what it is always like taking photos of warblers...
Fall warblers: they are here! American Redstart!
A great blue heron on the Lullwater.
A green heron fishes with some pals, some red-eared sliders. 
An immature male wood duck did not like that I sat and watched the green heron. Possibly the same duck I saw last week.
This green heron did not catch anything while I was there, but was always amazingly still. 

I think this is a blackburnian warbler... Fall warblers are notoriously confusing.
This is what a breeding male looks like in spring.
So blurry, but I kind of love it.
The robins were snacking on this sumac tree.
An easy one, a black and white warbler walks up and down tree trunks. This is what they look like in spring.
A common yellowthroat. This is what he looked like in spring.