Posts categorized as The Nature Walk

Summer Is Here

clean up the beach 1

I feel overwhelmed by the masses coming to Rockaway the past few weeks. Last summer it was calm in comparison, due to the pandemic. The garbage, the parking situation, and the dunes problem have been upsetting. Before I scare you off though, I’d like to say,  I’m not using this forum to complain. This is not Facebook!  I’ve been thinking about it and I want to share some of the positives I came across relating to these local issues. The Garbage: A few Mondays ago I went down to the beach […]

tagged in beach, rockaway

Brood X

Billions of cicadas known as Brood X are emerging after 17 years living in their underground world. When will they arrive in Rockaway?! As a gardener, I’m so intrigued with these rare insects. The ground temperature needs to be about 65 degrees to trigger their surfacing. Which was estimated by scientists to be mid-May in New York. It’s the first week of June now and I haven’t seen any on the peninsula. I’m upset! Cicadas remind me of an alien species from the Delta Quadrant. Brood X has two  distinctive […]

tagged in garden, gardening, insects

A Shade Garden

Bungleweed-in-bloom-scaled (1)

My backyard is shaded by the towering condo on the corner of Beach 91st and Shore Front Parkway. A shade garden is a challenge! But a challenge is fun and encourages you to learn. If we all had perfect soil and full sun, that would be boring, right? A big part of gardening is trial and error. In the past few years – since my front yard is generally organized and thriving – I’ve focused on the backyard plants. I’ve tried many different perennials and annuals, with tags that say […]

tagged in garden, gardening

Groundcover or Grass?

Purple Mazus

I remember my father taking so much care to make his little patch of grass perfect. But there was always some kind of problem –  grubs one year, the neighbor’s cat the next year. And us kids that one time we destroyed the grass with Slip N’ Slide! I’ll never forget my father’s face after seeing the mud puddles everywhere, which looked more like a Florida marshland than a Long Island lawn … oops. There’s so much maintenance to lawn care. “Don’t walk on the grass, I just put down […]

tagged in garden, gardening

Bigmouth Strikes Again

squirrel pumpkin 1

My squirrel is back. I’ve compared the markings and I’m almost positive it’s the same guy (yup, I sit, stalk and take notes on squirrels in my spare time). For the past three years now, Bigmouth, as I somewhat affectionately call him, has come to feast on my fall decorative display. I spend an unreasonable amount of money on pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, hay and decorative cabbage. This year there is all the more reason to rationalize the cost. We’re seven months into a global pandemic and a very scary […]

tagged in halloween, squirrel

Trees This, Tree That

New trees planted at the Beach 91st St. skate park

A few tree-related items have popped up this week and I thought it would be worth sharing. The first is both frustrating and hilarious. I got an email from 311 in response to a request I submitted to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation on June 22, 2018. Yes, that’s 2 years ago?? “Thank you for your street tree planting request. Pending inspection for utility conflicts, we have determined this to be a suitable location for a new tree. The next update is due within 180 days. We’ll notify […]

tagged in rockaway, trees

Shirley Chisholm State Park

Information signage lines the park trails

Driving on the Belt Parkway over a decade ago, I remember seeing the landfill by Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn. I recall the strange black netting over the garbage hills and the signs with Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo’s names on them, with an explanation of what was happening at the location. With the new administration, the signs changed to read Bill De Blasio, and architectural landscape plans were presented. But it seemed like it would forever look like an experimental nuclear site. The former Fountain Ave. Landfill was in operation […]

tagged in nyc parks

DIY Indoor Greenhouse

DIY seed containers

April is holding up its end of the bargain – rain, rain, and more rain. It’s needed to jump-start our gardens and the growing season. I’ve been outside whenever the weather permits, weeding, cleaning up leaves, and dividing/moving plants to new locations. Normally I start my veggie seedlings in the Beach 91st Street Community Garden greenhouse. I’ve been a member for several years now. A greenhouse is typically 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. The average temperature this month in Rockaway has been about 55 degrees. So the greenhouse […]

tagged in garden, gardening

The Most Beautiful Pigeon In The Key Food Parking Lot

pigeon nyc

There’s a beautiful pigeon that lives in the Key Food parking lot on 87th street and the blvd. The lot is littered with garbage and oily pools of water, especially by the can return area. The pigeons don’t seem to mind. The beautiful pigeon’s plumage is a burnt auburn color, except for  under her large wings, where she’s white and gray. (I’m assuming it’s a she because she’s so glamorous.) She appears to be stout and healthy. When I walk over there to run errands, I always take a little […]

tagged in animals

A Three-Course Meal

Last year I battled a squirrel who decided to feast like a gavone on my amazing pumpkin and gourd display. I documented his “vandalism” on Instagram. One follower recommended coating the pumpkins and gourds with clear polyacrylic. It worked for about two weeks and then the gnawing continued. He showed no mercy! As the weeks went on, my anger subsided and I  grew a fondness for the little guy (or shall I say, chubby guy.) I looked forward to seeing him on the porch while sipping my morning coffee. This […]

tagged in fall, squirrel