‘Standing still in your past, floating fast, like a hummingbird’

That’s my favorite lyric from one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands, Wilco.

This weekend was probably the last time I’ll see my favorite birds floating fast — until next spring. Our flowers have mostly bloomed and withered, leaving sparse food for our feisty gang of hummingbirds.

Every year they always use this same perch from our maple tree. So I got out the good camera and shot this while Adela entertained herself by scratching lichen off our outdoor porch swing. Later, when one hovered close to her, she pointed up and said “bird!” My heart melted, again.

Silhouette of a ruby-throated hummingbird

but in the deep chrome canyons of the loudest Manhattans
no one could hear him…
…or anything”

Exclusive interview with New York’s trendiest residents: Humpback whales

A few winters ago, when I read about trips to see harbor seals hanging out around the little islands in New York Harbor, I had no choice but to go see them: The return of marine mammals to this area is, in ecological terms, a historic event. After decades–if not centuries–of polluted water, the Ha-bah (harbor to you West Coasters) was clear enough to support top warm-blooded predators (besides humans). And damn: That’s some pricey real estate those seals were gentrifying!

And this summer, our much, much larger mammal-cousins — Atlantic humpback whales — decided to get in on a bit of the clean-harbor NYC action, and I sat down with them for an exclusive interview on life around New York City, and how much they pay in rent.

Q: Hello, whales 004 and 016. What do you think about New York City. Is it everything you ever imagined?

A:

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Q: Uhhh. Hmm. This will be harder than I thought. But…wait, you can probably hear me underwater…you’re good at that sort of thing. And Google Translate can sort out any words I don’t understand. So let’s keep going. As I was saying, what do you think about New York? 

A: (burble burble blrrbber). Translation: It’s a….FISH!!!

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Q: (Gasping, squealing, slowly recovering ability to speak) OK, I think I get it: You heart New York because you’re hungry and there’s lot of  menhaden? It does look pretty amazing. That’s a lot of little teensy fish. (Looks out to sea.)

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Q: Almost as crowded as the Queens-bound N train platform at Lex-59th at rush hour! Amirightoramiright? Give me a high five! Hello…are you listening to me? Oh there you are! Circling those fish again.

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Q: Anyway, let’s continue: What’s your rent like?

A: (blrbb) Free.

Q: NO! Do you have a dishwasher? What about the pet policy? ….Are you going to tell me? I have to know!

A: (brrllg wredddd regg bllrg) Can’t. Gotta go. But hey, look behind you…that’s our VIEW.

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A: (bggef) Jealous?

Q: Now that’s just mean. Yes, it’s a view, and yes, I’m jealous.

A: (BBKDF REEEDD HLLEEFF EEEEE EEEE EEEE EEEEKKK!!!!) WE KNOW, AND WE’RE SUPER EXCITED ABOUT IT!

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Q: (Sighs.) OK. Well, at least someone in this town has a good deal. 

(To read more on these awesome creatures, go to Gotham Whale.)  A special thank you to Adela for sleeping in long enough for me to complete this post.