Saturday, May 23, 2015

Where Sheep May Safely Graze Pt 11

Where Sheep May Safely Graze (contd)
New York, May 23--It's not only a tranquil Memorial Day week-end in the city, but awards time at the 68th Cannes Film Festival and Iceland's Rams (Hrutar) by Grímur Hákonarson has just been awarded the top prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. As the film's story goes, two brothers who hadn’t spoken in 40 years reunite in a remote Icelandic valley to save their rams.
Meanwhile, closer to home on Mulberry Street, sheep are also being honored in a more low-keyed fashion, without fanfare or fashion police. As I cross the street from the public library side, three sheep are being bundled out of a van from Hudson, NY and promptly set to graze the delicious fresh long grass in Old St Patrick's Cathedral cemetery, their needs perfectly suited to the task at hand. Says the Monsignor, "They'll be here for two months to keep the grass trimmed."  Literally. After all, we the people in New York give short shrift to the metaphorical use of the phrase "mowing the grass" and the practice to which it refers of obliterating people, buildings and neighborhoods in the Gaza strip.

Asked whether this was the return of the lambs named Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh which had been brought in for St Francis Festival of the Animals last Fall, Monsignor said no, these were new sheep and had been given cartographic rather than scriptural names: Mulberry, Mott and Elizabeth.  Nor did their  visit coincide with an event on the ecclesiastical calendar. " We just like to keep things pastoral," the Monsignor smiled.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Woodpecker Is Hard To See

New York, May 2, 2015--Faster than a drum roll, a downy woodpecker drills into  a plane tree's broken branch in M'Finda Kalunga community garden at Chrystie and Rivington on a Saturday afternoon, one of the three times a week  when the garden's open. Of course, the woodpecker could also be drilling when the garden's not open, which is the rest of the time. Once, roosters crowed in the garden until humans moaned about being woken at dawn. Now hens lay eggs and the roosters have been relocated upstate, but have visiting rights. Other such recordings are at the Urban Nature playlist on my YouTube channel, nothingofficial.

This video is dedicated  especially to all those rhapsodising over  the new Whitney's inaugural exhibit (which I haven't seen yet)  and over the nautical properties of the museum's "airy, spacious, light-filled",  architecture, as though it's about to raise anchor, become unmoored and sail down the Hudson into the sunset, bearing an art cargo. Robert Smithson did something else with his public art project  Floating island, but that's another story..