“The strange, uneven bill of the skimmer has a purpose: the bird flies low, with the long lower mandible plowing the water, and snaps the bill shut when it contacts a fish.”
In a few weeks my wife and I will be on Longboat Key, Florida for our sixth winter. Almost every morning during the past winters I’ve crossed the street to Whitney Beach. After walking for one-third of a mile there is practically always a collection of shorebirds that I call the “assembled multitude.” This mass includes gray-headed laughing gulls, royal terns with long orange bills, some sandwich terns with yellow on the tips of their black bills, a few Forster’s terns and black skimmers.
I was saddened to learn of the passing of one of the true giants of the Plainview-Old Bethpage community – Gene Goidell.
Gene was an active and involved member of our community for a half century. He had a true passion for community service and the kind of “can-do” attitude that is far too rare these days. Whatever Gene did, he did with enthusiasm and a maximum effort.
How can a loving father review a play written and produced by one of his children?
I gave myself this extremely arduous and demanding task after attending the opening performance of Clemenza and Tessio Are Dead at The Shell Theater at 300 West 43rd Street.
According to my son Gregg Greenberg, the playwright, it is a comedy-drama parody of the movie The Godfather. Two of the soldiers of the Don Corleone Mafia family are discussing their prospects in a world that is changing, and they are two dinosaurs of a past life.
Because of the response to our column on movies, I realize we have many film buffs out there. This column will bring back memories of some not-so-popular movies. The selection had no particular genre or theme in mind, only terrific and almost forgotten films.
How many do you remember?
Do you remember the deprecating put-down by W.C. Fields of the city of Brotherly Love? “Last week I traveled to Philadelphia, but it was closed.” Not very nice!
Teen-agers enjoy a good “fight” with adults who do not feel a need to dominate and are willing to listen. As children progress from the “earthbound” quality of concrete thinking to the “intergalactic” quality of complex thinking, they become capable of formulating contrary-to-fact-hypotheses, of leaping with their minds here, there and everywhere. Herein lays the source of teen-agers’ growing ability and fervor for challenging others’ ideas, beliefs and values and for engaging in furious debate, often to the dismay of parents, teachers and other adults.
As we all learned in elementary school, the first Thanksgiving holiday set the tone for centuries to come. During the initial winter that the Pilgrims spent in Plymouth, Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag tribe, donated food stores to the settlers. In turn, the Pilgrims invited members of the tribe to a three-day feast after their first harvest in 1621.
I do not text message!
I have no iPod!
I haven’t yet figured out Facebook or Craig’s List!
This past Wednesday I did my duty!
I traveled to Staten Island to tidy up and say a few prayers at my parents’ graves. Refreshing my bonds with my mother and father is always pleasurable and meaningful to me. No matter what is done, the weeds keep coming in and popping up, uninvited on the gravesite.
From September through early November at the Fire Island Hawk Watch, migrating raptors are counted daily and the data is eventually shared with researchers worldwide. I go once a week, but not just to help spot and identify birds. I go for the excitement, the feast of images and for the moments when the words “this is why I come,” ring silently in my head.
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