Turtles love the Morningside Park pond! There usually are a couple dozen or more sunning themselves in the late morning. Most of the turtles are red-eared sliders, which were all pets, or descendents of pets, that have been released into the pond.
Yes, meerkats actually do that standing up thing. So do prairie dogs. Nieces not so much.
I'm trying to think of how many zoos I've been to. Not many. As an adult I've gone to the San Diego Zoo once, the Cleveland Zoo once, but that was only to see the newly opened rainforest, and the Central Park Zoo a few times with visitors. There was the Catskill Game Farm when I was a kid. I also remember going to the very awful zoo in Watertown, New York. The only clear memory I have of that is of people throwing gum and marshmallows to the bears, who would then chew and chew and chew. I think that's it. I'm not much of a zoo person.
I should have put this up yesterday. This bench sits looking at the canal in Phoenix, New York. I looked around some and couldn't find a second bench that said "our veterans" or "our heroes" or anything like that. Maybe they forgot to buy it.
Quiz time! There are at least two interesting things to notice on the headstones of John and Gerritude (Gerritile? I can't tell with that crack running through her name) Ten Broeck, what are they? Answers after the jump.
I got off the Thruway in Saugerties on Sunday thinking I could quickly find an ice cream shop. That didn't work out too well. For a reason to be revealed later I had to stop at this cemetery on the south side of town.
Everyone in Massachusetts has spring break in mid-April to observe Patriot's Day. That's patriot in the Paul Revere/Lexington/Concord/Shot heard 'round the world sense, not in the football team that loses to the Giants sort of way.
Because so many people in his district visit Washington that week Congressman Ed Markey holds a constituent day in the Capitol. They even let a New Yorker in! We were met by the congressman's staff who led us down labyrinth-like corridors to the House chambers, where Mr. Markey talked to us and answered questions for a half-hour or more. Afterwards we went out to the Capitol steps for group pictures.
We could have gotten passes to the House gallery to see a floor debate later in the day, but Congressmen wake up early and we needed to get breakfast and see more sights.
Totally unrelated but I have to tell this story: I was driving across 125th Street yesterday when I got behind a car with vanity license plates. In itself that isn't unusual, but the license plate had punctuation (a period and a hyphen) added to further emphasize the vanity. It was pretentious enough to take a photo. At the Amsterdam Ave. traffic light the driver anticipated a green light about 20 seconds early by jumping past the crosswalk and part-way into the intersection. At the next stop light, Old Broadway, he swerved left and stopped in a nether region that's clearly marked (Google Map view) as not a traffic lane. Look at that link and you'll see that he was anticipating getting into the left turn lane on the next block even though he was the first car at the traffic light in the proper lane and nobody could have gotten to the left turn lane before he could. For no reason whatsoever he endangered other people by putting himself in harm's way at two consecutive intersections. I felt like getting out of my car and scolding him. I thought I should post the photo here. Then the vanity plate finally registered with me and I realized this person is probably a colleague of justenoughsalt or me (although I didn't recognize him when I drove by).
Among the first things incoming SUNY-Oswego students learn when they arrive on campus is the names of the smoke stacks at the Oswego Steam Generating Station. Those names shan't be repeated here.
This isn't the best picture to show this, but the history of air pollution control can be seen in older power plants. The two original coal-burning plants are housed in the brick building. The four smaller stacks (one is hidden) haven't been used since the 1970s, thanks to the Clean Air Act, because pollution from those stacks would fall over the city of Oswego. The response to that was to build tall stacks. These stacks are about 700 feet high. The tall stacks improved Oswego's air but the building of such stacks across the country had the unintended consequence of producing acid rain far away from the power plants. In turn, big light-colored buildings to either side of the generating stations are the scrubbers that remove the excess sulfur dioxide, ash and other pollutants. This particular plant switched from coal to oil sometime in the 1970s and I believe it can also now burn natural gas as well.
Did I mention the freakishly large carp that hang out where the warm water discharges? Of course not! Why would I mention such a thing? Pay no attention to the giant fish.
This is Thayendanegea, aka Joseph Brant, prominent Mohawk military and political leader of the late 18th century. He spoke English and at least three of the six Iroquois Nation languages. He fought with the British against the French in the French and Indian War, went to London and met King George III, and served with the British against the colonists in the Revolutionary War. The keenest of keen history buffs will know that Brant was involved in the Cherry Valley Massacre. After the war Brant moved to Canada, where he worked to secure land where the Six Nations could live without interference from the British Crown. The town he founded is now known as Brantford, Ontario, known to all good Canadians, and a few bad ones, as the hometown of Wayne Gretzky.
That's a long winded way of saying I'll be away for a few days. I might actually see this sculpture while I am gone.