October 5, 2014 #2

Wednesday evening October 29, 2014.

To all the people asking to help me replace my stolen equipment; please know that I appreciate your offer but I am not comfortable accepting gifts, especially for my personal equipment.
Since I am unable to take new pictures presently, I would ask that you write a few letters to address one or two of the issues I have been fighting.
The one issue that always rises to the top of my thoughts apart from 'Rat Poison', is the stealing of Belvedere Castle by the Central Park Conservancy.
This special place which was once devoted to educating children was taken over by the Central Park Conservancy and turned into a gift shop where the Conservancy sells T-shirts and coffee mugs and other tacky merchandise and other paraphernalia to promote themselves.
Recently they've added 'free Nature kits' for children in what I have no doubt was their way to save face and coverup their initial disregard for the children from whom they stole their playroom.
Please review the letters in this link: stealing of Belvedere Castle and do what you can to help make the Conservancy give back the castle to the children.

Monday evening October 27, 2014.

Octavia flew by him and landed some distance away. Palemale’s eyes followed her to her perch where I am convinced that his heart did most of the following. I watched them both and wondered why I couldn’t tune out the many unpleasant distractions around me.
The drilling and honking and mindless chatter, the sirens, and the nasty sound of the helicopter hovering above. And the screaming and yelling and loud fits of humorless laughter, all bringing torture to my senses and disappointment that after so many years of practice I am still unable to tune them all out and focus my attention on the true beauty of Central Park that is daily withering away to the exploits of those few that have placed short term profit making schemes for themselves ahead of long lasting undertakings that can benefit so many more.

Unable to find solace in natural things, their tyrant eyes and minds abhors the simplicity in what Nature cultivates, so these wretches immediately contrive to gnaw away the natural beauty that virtuous people and all animals find wholesome and essential to life replacing them with sterile landscapes and uninspiring fabrications.
Their sinister designs for Central Park are so grand that they are easily mistaken for decent intentions. But I guess it all depends on where and in what an observer puts value that determines whether I am sounding unnecessary alarm.

I guess I am not justified in my accusations if Central Park is indeed better off with a patch of lawn where a healthy tree once stood. And perhaps I am wrong to be concerned that a few hawks perish accidentally for the benefits of poisoning rats. I guess I should overlook the unseen destructiveness of balloons and kites and fireworks and relish the brief delight they produce.

I guess too that I should not be concerned with the exploitation of Central Park by giant bullying corporations and be thankful that they always leave some benches free to sit on and a tree or two to lean on even during their most massive concerts and other profiteering events.

I guess I should also be thankful that our Central Park police, as ineffective as they are in keeping the park safe and clean, at least they don’t go around shooting at innocent people for no good reason like they may do in other countries—better to have passive and useless cops than violent, murderous ones.

And who knows...maybe thirty--forty--or even a hundred years from now all those pesticides and other poisons that are being pumped into Central Park lawns may transform themselves somehow into some miraculous substances that may cure all the worst diseases that plague us today. By then people like myself will be scorned and cursed for trying to stop their widespread use.

I guess if I was alive in the late nineteenth century and witnessed Friedrich Miescher messing around with nasty pus-filled bandages from wounded soldiers I would report him to the Department of Health as a madman. And if I had my way and they took me seriously then the world may never have been allowed the triumph of discovering DNA.

With that in mind, I think this weekend I’ll treat myself to a Central Park Hot Dog with everything—urine and all. I’ll even have an ice cold diet coke—I am not in a position to discount any possible miracle elixir that can come from the blending of Aspartame and ammonia--it may grow back all my hair, who knows.

And Palemale picked out one of his favorite trees and maneuvered himself meticulously until his sleeping place was most comfortable. Then with a brief goodnight visit from Octavia they both fell asleep without a burden of debt nor sense of entitlement to or from the world, and I have no doubt that they will both awake refreshed and ready to enjoy another beautiful day of life as worthy creatures of this beautiful planet and it is my deepest wish that I can be there for yet another day to watch them live it.

Friday evening October 17, 2014.

These days any direction is good enough to watch him. There is no more need to move around to find that optimum angle to capture the best photograph dependent on the Sun’s lighting.
The eye is an outstanding camera to observe and record and to inspire so almost any old lighting will do.
One shortcoming, and perhaps blessing of the camera is that it cannot observe. Sometimes I wish that I, like the camera, can just see and not observe, so I can, like so many, enjoy days of mindless wanderings in Central Park, free of the vexations which my observations often bring.
My camera was able to capture images within a 3.5 degree angle of view, but I was forever beleaguered by the other 356.5 degrees encompassing me which I forever struggled to not have taint the image I was trying to frame.

Thursday evening October 16, 2014.

I heard the ruckus the blue jays were making somewhere in the trees around but I can’t always be sure whether those crafty birds are alarmed in earnest or not. I mostly depend on luck every day to find him.
After I passed the upset birds I looked back in time to see him fly towards the Met.

There was a particular way the Sun bounced off his feathers last evening, a delightful way, as if it went through some extra trouble weaving through the branches and the leaves to fall upon his breast and rest happily after such a long journey.
He must have a special relationship with the Sun, there is no doubt about that. I get a really good feeling inside when I see how pure the light is when reflected off his body, and I get an even better feeling when I see for myself that two natural things like the Sun and Palemale can communicate so beautifully and stay above all the superficial creations we’ve created to disturb these beautiful friendships.
There appears to be a determination from every direction to distract us from observing sacred bonds like these and instead we are sidetracked by fickle things like concerts and fireworks and other foolhardy creations.
It’s as if there is a movement to block the natural and unadulterated events from our eyesight so that we can be shepparded into a mass of mindless beings.
But it’s there if you choose to take the time to observe and admire them—all through the day and night the Sun never falters to shine some light on the lives of those precious animals that remain undistracted and unimpressed by the destructive things we do to ourselves—just watch.

Wednesday evening October 8, 2014.

I arrived late, long after sunset, but could still make out Palemale nuzzled down on his favorite branch and blended into the darkened leaves up high on that beautiful London Plane near the Glade Arch in Central Park. Below him the dried leaves had settled on the patchy ground and on the cracked tiles of the bridge--as if the Wind too had retired for the evening. The patterns the leaves made may appear random and devoid of meaning to my ignorant mind but I believe that these patterns have meaning to people like Palemale.
Through the wire fence, which picked up from where the walls of the bridge had ended, I could make out a few human figures breaking the beams of path lights as they made their way mostly out of the park at Seventy-sixth Street. I stayed a while to enjoy the serenity of the almost vacated park and I must confess that there were times that I reached around me for a camera that was no longer there. Just then the Moon showed up behind someone’s terrace on Fifth Avenue and for yet another moment I forgot that I was unable to get a shot of that divine body in the sky of which I could never get enough photographs. But photographs or not, the Moon was there—beautifying the sky and preserving all life on Earth. The adorable leaves along with Palemale & Octavia were also there and I took mental pictures of them all.
I sat on the ground and leaned back on a flimsy fence not caring for the mud I got on my pants and I imagined all the creatures in the shrubs behind, and in the cozy branches above me, as they all shut their tiny eyes and drifted off to sleep without a care or bother that their possessions were secure or worry that tomorrow will be there when they awake. But should tomorrow present itself they will all awaken refreshed and prepared to dive right in and indulge in all sweet and even the bitter that the day will offer to them.
So when the Sun comes out, or even in the rain and snow, as those enchanting animals frolic through their day--cameras or not there will be pictures abound, and if not with a lens then with a pencil I will try to capture those moments to share with you.

Octavia on Sunday.

Octavia & Palemale going to sleep on Sunday evening.

Sunday October 5, 2014.

These were the last pictures I took on Sunday. Soon after all my equipment was stolen on the Upper Eastside. Every piece of gear was taken from the largest lens to the smallest action camera so it will take me some time for me to buy back my gear so I can continue shooting again.