Saturday, April 28, 2012

May Recycling Dates

The recycling dates in Princeton Landing for May are the 7th and the 21st. There is also a link to these dates in the right-hand column under Popular Posts.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sayre Drive Underpass — 4:04 pm

Yesterday we saw this beautiful Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a wire above Route 1 near the entrance to Princeton Landing.

National Poetry Month

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The water understands
Civilization well;
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.

Photo: Jim Brekke

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

They All Dressed for Bill

Photo: Zeitgeist Films

Last night one of our favorite people, photojournalist Bill Cunningham, received the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence at a gala benefit dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The award recognizes Mr. Cunningham's incredible devotion to chronicling American fashion trends for nearly fifty years. It also honors his role in inspiring philanthropy and highlighting the importance of arts, culture and non-profit causes in the life of New York City. Currently a photographer for The New York Times, Mr. Cunningham's two columns, "On the Street" and "Evening Hours," appear each week in Sunday Styles. A clip from Bill Cunningham New York, the 2011 documentary about Mr. Cunningham, was shown during the dinner. Last night's event raised approximately $1.5 million for the music education and community programs of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. These programs are now located in what were once artists' studios above Carnegie Hall, where Mr. Cunningham lived for 60 years (shown above).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dr. Moss

Happy Birthday to our friend and neighbor Dr. Leonard M. Moss. Congratulations as well on the recent publication of his latest book, Managing Stress In Times of Uncertainty, available here and here.

Len and his wife, Dr. Muriel Vogel Moss, live in Parcel 6.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nature Guide: Question Mark Butterfly

An orange butterfly caught our attention as it fluttered by yesterday, but it wasn't until it landed that we noticed the sharp, irregular shape of its wings. We identified it as a member of the anglewing family, but it wasn't until we looked closely at our photos that we were certain what it was. The butterfly in question . . . a Question Mark. Our Nature Guide Jon Latimer gives us more information.

"The Question Mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) looks very similar to its close relative the Eastern Comma butterfly (Polygonia comma) except for two marks that are clearly shown in these photos. First, if you look closely at the photo of the underside of the butterfly (click on the photo below to enlarge), you see a small silvery mark that resembles a question mark (which gives this butterfly its common name). Then, if you look at the photo of the red-orange upper side of the butterfly (click on the photo above to enlarge), you will see that its forewing is covered with black spots. An Eastern Comma also has spots, but notice that this butterfly has a black spot that is shaped like a dash near the corner of each wing. When you see this dash, you can be sure that the butterfly is a Question Mark.

"There are two seasonal forms of Question Marks. The ones now in our area are the winter form. They were born last August and probably hibernated locally through winter, although many Question Marks migrate south and return north in spring. These adults will lay eggs between now to the end of May. Their eggs will produce a summer form that will live from May to September, laying eggs that develop into the next winter form.

"Question Marks can be found in wooded areas with some open space, such as city parks or along fence rows. Males perch on leaves or tree trunks in the afternoon waiting for females to pass. Females lay eggs singly or in stacks under leaves of plants. Their caterpillars feed on nettles, false nettle, hackberry, Japanese hop and elms."

Dick Clark

1929 – 2012

National Poetry Month


I know
Not these my hands
And yet I think there was
A woman like me once had hands
Like these.

Photo: Carolyn Hall

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dame Maggie Update

Here's the latest word on The Huffington Post about Maggie Smith leaving Downton Abbey after Season 3.

UPDATE: A representative for Masterpiece, which airs "Downton Abbey" in the US, told The Huffington Post that "Season 3 is currently filming with Maggie and the rest of the cast. We don't comment on future storylines, but there's no truth in the story that Maggie is is leaving the show."

Good news. We hope it's true.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dame Maggie Leaving Downton Abbey?

The Huffington Post is reporting that Dame Maggie Smith may be leaving Downton Abbey after Season 3, according to a story in London's Daily Mail. The newspaper says that Smith has asked writer Julian Fellowes to leave the show because she wants to "get back to the stage and big screen." Season 3 is filming now in England and will premiere in the UK in fall and in the US in January 2013.

Say it ain't so—the Dowager Countess is our favorite character!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Paul McCartney's "My Valentine"

This video, which premiered last night in Los Angeles, features Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp signing the lyrics to Paul McCartney's "My Valentine" as he performs the soundtrack. The song is an original composition from McCartney's latest album Kisses on the Bottom. The video is based on an original idea by his daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Encounter With a Spring Butterfly

Nature Guide and I always look forward to the return of butterflies in spring. So far we've seen mostly Cabbage Whites and Mourning Cloaks. But yesterday on the D&R Canal towpath, a Pearl Crescent flew in front of me and landed on a broken branch in a leafy spot on the ground. She stayed still with her wings closed for a while. Then she flew onto my hand where she remained until I set her down on the grass. To read more about the Pearl Crescent, click here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nature Guide: Mink

Yesterday's visit to the D&R Canal towpath turned up an assortment of turtles, cormorants, mallards, mockingbirds, sparrows, grackles, red-winged blackbirds and, of course, geese. It was toward the end of our walk that Nature Guide and I noticed a dark weasel-like animal quickly making its way through the broken shrubs and fallen tree limbs along the shore of Lake Carnegie. It had a shiny brown body and a furry black tail. I was able to shoot one photo, then the animal was gone. We had seen a mink! Our Nature Guide Jon Latimer tells us more.

"It is unusual to see an American Mink, Neovison vison, in daylight. They are nocturnal and solitary, often spending the day in their underground den. Minks usually live near water, where they catch much of their food. They are found throughout most of North America, except for the drier areas of the Southwest.

Photo: Terry L Spivey, Terry Spivey Photography,

"Minks are aggressive predators, hunting muskrats, shrews, earthworms and insects on land. They are also excellent swimmers, moving through water by undulating their body rather than paddling. They often dive to catch fishes, frogs or salamanders. They are even known to climb trees and hunt birds.

"Minks are valued by humans for their thick and shiny fur. They were once hunted to near extinction in some places. Today most of the mink used in the fur trade is raised on farms. In the wild, a mink's fur is usually a rich brown, but mink farmers have produced various color varieties, such as "blue" or lighter browns, through extensive cross-breeding programs."

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Giotto di Bondone
Resurrection (Noli me tangere)
Scenes from the Life of Christ, 1304-1306
Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

Happy Easter

From The Six Wives of Henry the Peep

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Giotto di Bondone
Scenes from the Life of Christ, 1304–1306
Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

Happy Passover

Seder Plate
Tiered Seder Set
Eastern Galicia or western Ukraine, 18th–19th century
The Jewish Museum, New York

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday

Giotto di Bondone
Last Supper
Scenes from the Life of Christ, 1304-1306
Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

National Poetry Month

The 2012 National Poetry Month poster, designed by Chin-Yee Lai, features the line " . . . wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life." from the poem "Our Valley" by U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine.

Monday, April 2, 2012

National Poetry Month

The Enkindled Spring

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that's gone astray, and is lost.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday

Giotto di Bondone
Entry into Jerusalem
Scenes from the Life of Christ, 1304-1306
Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

National Poetry Month

I, too, dislike it.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in
it, after all, a place for the genuine.

— Marianne Moore