Watching the River Flow


Freeloaders on the Andalusian Ospreys’ Nest

Went down by the river in Andalusia today to see if my beloved ospreys returned yet to their nest atop the old Mud Island range marker. They arrive usually like clockwork on or around St. Patrick’s Day.

Prior to last March, the birds arrived before the 17th by a day or two. Last year they were delayed by Winter Storm Stella that dumped over six inches of snow in the Philadelphia area, and a lot more elsewhere, keeping them away for an extra week or so.

This year, we’ve been experiencing unusually cold weather, and a few nor’easters have passed through since the beginning of March, most likely hampering the raptors’ yearly exodus north from South America and places thereabouts. Can’t blame them for staying in a warmer climate.

The above photo shows an odd couple—a mallard and great cormorant—who were occupying the nest today. I stuck around for a couple of hours, hoping the fish hawks might show up and chase them away; but nary an osprey was seen.

The yellow channel marker upriver was empty as well. The Coast Guard had removed the nest evidently, as the top platform where that pair roosts was devoid of twigs.


Pen Ryn Channel Marker

A Twitter compadre who keeps track of ospreys in Vermont has reported some have arrived up there already, which worries me that ours haven’t. Maybe tomorrow or the next day they’ll be back.

Elsewhere on the bird-watching scene, a friend has turned me on to another spot from which to watch bald eagles. It’s at an unlikely location along the Delaware River: that of a landfill in Tullytown Pa., which, come to think of it, provides a lot of nourishment for all kinds of animals in the food-chain hierarchy.

Went out there yesterday and was entertained by a plethora of juveniles who were chasing one another all over the place, and even some aerial fighting was displayed, which produced some exciting photography.

I’ve started a new photo-journal about the Tullytown raptors, in which I’ll be documenting my visits.

Looking forward to this upcoming birding season!

Just read that a good marriage keeps a person trim. With this country’s obesity epidemic, the state of that institution looks bleak. So that’s the reason I’m on a diet constantly to lose weight, having been divorced for many years.

Another article claims that the majority of selfies are taken with smartphone cameras too close to one’s face, which makes their facial features distorted. I’ve often thought my nose looked a lot bigger in my own selfies, lending credence to selfie sticks.

The remedy stated is to keep the camera at least five feet away for proportions to pan out. My arms aren’t that long, and I’ll never buy a selfie stick! I try to avoid taking them anyway, for one of my pet peeves is seeing them posted constantly on Social Media by narcissistic, duck-faced individuals whose self-presumed good looks and overwhelming vanity is well-overdone in my estimation.

I could go on with this diatribe by listing the recent political absurdities, but I’ll spare you and I the aggravation. Besides, my 500-word quota has been met for another week; and it’s time to close another tirade with thanks for your stopping in to read my musings. As always, thank you again for your continued support.

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National Pi Day

How many digits of π can you recite from memory?


Spoofed by Mike Slickster

Close, but no cigar! At least Bill had one of those.

Personally, I can recount 5 plus: 3.1415 blah, blah, blah . . .

Happy Hump Day, L8tr!

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Bird’s Eye View


Bald Eagles’ Nest along the Delaware River in Delanco, NJ.

Found a new bald eagles’ nest today. I stopped by to see, perchance, if the Pen Ryn or Herringbone Lane ospreys might have made it back early. They’re expected this week sometime.

Usually the fish hawks arrive on their migration north from South America like clockwork around St. Patrick’s Day, which is next Saturday. Last year they were delayed for a week by a winter storm that struck the region. The weather forecasters are talking about maybe a third nor’easter for this March may develop on Monday. We’ll see. I hope not, for the past couple of storms so far have reeked havoc, power outages, floods and even death.

Many people in Bensalem Township, Pa., had their power turned back on yesterday from the first storm’s outage, and other parts of Bucks County had been without electricity since Wednesday, the day of March’s second winter storm.

“In like a lion, out like a lamb,” as the saying goes.

Anyway, the ospreys haven’t returned yet. Pen Ryn’s range marker, atop which the birds always roost, is empty. Apparently the Coast Guard cleared off last year’s nest. The same goes for the Herringbone marker; however, a cormorant was present today. Both Delaware River towers are seen below.


While standing on the river-access boat ramp at the public park there, which is in Bensalem Township, PA., I happened to see a bald eagles’ nest in a sycamore tree across the river in Delanco, NJ., as seen in the lead-in photo to this essay.

It’s hard to believe the birds nested so close to that house. Usually they’re off by themselves, isolated from encroachment. These raptors are part of the neighborhood. I wonder if the citizens know the eagles are there, and do the eagles know a family lives in the house that’s only a backyard away?

While I was taking some photos, a PA Game Commission warden said hello and was looking around with his binoculars. I pointed out the bald eagles’ nest to him, for which it was his first time seeing it too.


Bald Eagles’ Nest in Delanco, NJ, as seen from Bensalem, PA.

The above photo is a faraway shot, farther than all the other bald-eagle nests I monitor around the area; but at least there’s no obstruction in front of it. We’ll be able to follow their progress this spring and see how many offspring are produced.

I mentioned to the game warden that I was thinking about running over to the NJ side of the river in Delanco, to see if I could get a closer vantage. He offered to look up on his phone for me, the names of the streets nearby the nest. Using Google Earth, we found the spot, which I’ll not divulge to protect the privacy of the birds.

Besides, the tree and nest are on private property.

The officer asked if I would post any photos I get of the birds onto the PA Game Commission’s Facebook page, for this nest isn’t known to them.  I said yes and posted a few before starting on this week’s blog entry.

Also, I made up a Pinterest board dedicated to the Delanco Bald Eagles, on which one can find the full-size photos taken today.

Heading over to NJ via the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, traveling southerly through Burlington Township, Beverly, and into Delanco, I probably could have paddled across the river faster, but not in the wintertime.

The neighborhood in which the nest resides is a quiet riverfront community, with only a few spots on the street where I could take some photos of the sycamore tree. Once spring arrives, the birds will be totally hidden by foliage, which is great for them, but not for this bird-watcher.


The bald eagles’ nest is on private property. The Delaware River is in the background.

The street that runs parallel with the river afforded a clear shot into the nest, where one of the adults were seen roosting on eggs, I presume, as shown below:


It bald-eagle-Delanco-03-10-18-s

It almost looks like the bird is smiling:


A Proud Parent-to-be!

Although we may not be able to view the nest from the neighborhood in Delanco, NJ, later in the season, at least, from the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware, we’ll be able to keep an eye on them, however small.


Burlington-Bristol Bridge from the NJ Side

Returning back to PA, I crossed over the Burlington-Bristol Bridge again, and headed to Bristol to check on the Burlington Island bald eagles, and found that their nest is occupied by a roosting female and a wandering male, both of whose photos will be posted later on their own Pinterest board.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by to read this, and, as always, thank you for your continued support.

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Internet Blowhards


From Twitter

Like most folks addicted to the Internet, I get a large percentage of my contemporary news from that medium, reading totally from reputable sources like major-newspaper or published-magazine Websites, not your everyday blogger and far-left- or far-right-leaning sites whose twisted versions of the actual facts are taken out of original context to serve the writer’s own prejudice views, containing stories that can be classified as fake news.

Seems like politicians throw around that illustrious term whenever bad press is about them, and their minions believe it, passing on the same expression in their postings on Social Media, or in comments at the end of various articles. Their cantankerous spewing is like listening to an original tape recording of their political poo-bah.

Everyone has a right to their opinions, but what raises my ire is reading some of the comments made, posted by smart-aleck trolls who slant everything into a political rant, regardless of the subject matter.

It’s liberal this, conservative that; who gives a shit about political leanings when reading about astrophysics, space exploration, medical breakthroughs, philosophical merriment, whatever?

Then there are those who spew hatred in all of their responses, whether it’s bigotry, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, etc. Prior to the Internet, such trolling was not widely prevalent as it is today, which brings up Stephan Pastis’ cartoon displayed at the top of this essay.

Found it on my Twitter feed earlier, re-posted by the cartoonist, originally tweeted by Emily Guskin, a writer for the Washington Post. The spoof illustrates a good point: the anonymity of the Internet does bring the worst out in people. I bet the trolls who post all that vitriol are like timid animals in real life: harmless lambs, sheep following their flock.

This .GIF found on the Web exemplifies these blowhards:


I’m so sick and tired of reading political rants and raves, and yet here I am posting about them in my weekly diatribe. It’s horrendous the way everyday conversations lead to someone’s political leanings, preached while standing upon their own Social Media soapboxes or platforms.

March sure did come in like a lion on the East Coast with Winter Storm Riley, a nor’easter that turned into a bomb cyclone. That’s another thing that cracks me up: how every storm now has a name, like hurricanes did only in the past. And whoever heard of bomb cyclones before? Seems like the expression is new to our vocabulary.

I doubt we’re going to use up every letter of the alphabet during this winter season with storm names. March should go out like a lamb, according to the old saying, but hopefully not a political one as aforementioned.

Spring is less than three weeks away. Major League Baseball season starts on Thursday, March 29th, which is the official start of spring for this fan. Bring it on! I’m ready for it.

I need to get back to recording some covers again. Who cares if no one likes them? In lieu of something new, allow me to post this old-time favorite, recorded with my good friend, Rie Waits, who, incidentally, is celebrating her birthday on Friday.

Happy birthday, Rie.

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Another Saturday Night


Winter Storm Noah

Another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody;
I’ve got some money ’cause I just got paid;
Oh, how I wish I had someone to talk to;
I’m in an awful way.

Was looking for a way to start my weekly tirade and couldn’t think of anything except the preceding stanza from Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night.” Seems apropos, however, since I’m sitting behind my keyboard, typing away, with no one around except in my memories.

That’s nobody’s fault but mine anyway, so I’ll just change the subject.

Winter Storm Noah is passing through the region. We’re supposed to get 1-3″ before it ends, which looks like it has. The above photo is what’s accumulated in Andalusia at around 10:30 p.m.

Was at Lake Luxembourg this afternoon. Figured I had better get out and do something, having been housebound for the past week with the flu. Finally got over it. Spent the time while fighting the virus, reminiscing about my glory days at Mardi Gras, back when I was working before retirement and could afford such frills.

Like music, photographs bring back the nuances from days gone by. I made several videos from leftover pictures and clips, stored on an external hard drive, posting them on Youtube, reliving the fun and shenanigans at one of my favorite cities in the world; but no one on Social Media seemed to care, except a couple of friends I have on there.

Maybe it’s because of the #MeToo movement, which seems to have dampened any such activity that might be construed as objectifying women. One of the offshoots of Mardi Gras is the nudity that’s displayed by fun-loving individuals, letting loose during that annual festivity.

It seems as if we are living in such a confining era of political correctness and puritanical imprisonment of thoughts and actions. Even Twitter enthusiasts stayed away from acknowledging Mardi Gras, as it didn’t trend at all throughout that day.

Getting back to Lake Luxembourg and another topic in which only a few of my Social Media compadres seem to be interested, the resident bald eagles there appear to be incubating eggs.

Upon my arrival, I notice one was perched in the tree and the other was in the nest, as seen in the photos below:


Lake Luxembourg’s Nesting Bald Eagles

I had presumed the bird on the limb was Louie, while Lucy was in the nest, but was surprised to find out the opposite:

Out of the nest, the roosting bird flew up and landed on the branch next to its mate.

Notice the green band on its foot, determining the eagle is Louie. He had been sharing the task of sitting on the eggs while Lucy took a break; and the eagle looks to be telling her he had enough.

Shortly thereafter, the male took off, as if on a mission. I didn’t see him again for the rest of my time there. I took some video which I’ll post here as an update when available, if it came out OK.

In a month from now, St. Patrick’s Day will be rolling around. Not only is that festivity a harbinger of spring, but it signals the arrival for my beloved ospreys, who are back along the Delaware River by then. Last year we had a major snowstorm that kept them south for an extra week or so. Hopefully, the worst of winter is over.

March can be a tricky month, so I better not say any more and jinx us.

Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

Here’s the update, which isn’t as clear as I would have liked. I captured the footage with an old cam to see how the digital zoom compared with the Nikon. No contest there, although I thought it was OK:


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Happy Mardi Gras in Advance

Take Me to the Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Honeys

“Why bother? You’ll never win.” That’s what I keep saying to myself after buying lottery tickets, entering sweepstakes for money, giveaways for sports and fan paraphernalia, seeking literary and photography awards, prizes from other cockamamie contests found on the Internet or sent to me as junk mail, etc.

However, I did win a photo contest recently, which was quite uplifting for once, giving me encouragement that my work doesn’t suck that bad after all. Here’s the winning photo entered at the DRCC Monthly Photo Contest:

I’d like to thank Trevor Taylor and Patty Beaman, two of my loyal followers, for offering their congratulations, along with the good folks at DRCC, who sent me a $25 gift card from B&H Photo, a nifty DRCC polo shirt, sundry pins, pens and tokens from their organization, including a handful of wrapped, delicious chocolate candy which was gobbled up by the end of the day I received the morsels in the mail.

The contests that irk me the most are those found on Social Media which read, “Follow and Retweet” or “Share to Win” whatever freebee they’re offering to give away. I’ve stopped doing it, period. Not only is it annoying for me to see it on my timeline by those of whom I follow, but I’m sure it’s annoying for them as well to see it all the time on their news-feeds by others.

Never have, or never will I win something from that type of competition. It’s all a nuisance, a ploy to get more followers and exposure on the part of the contest-holders.

I wonder, how do they pick the winner anyway? Methinks it’s fixed, seemingly always to be a good-looking girl, or a fashionable guy who takes home the prize.

Another photo contest struck my fancy: the “Delaware River Means Beauty” contest,  which I just entered today with the following picture and inscription:

The Delaware River has always been spiritual for me. While at Bristol Basin Park, Bristol, PA—also known as Lions Park—at the terminus (or beginning) of the former Delaware Canal, I spotted this basket stuck on the rocks at low tide, reminding me of the bible story about Moses, and also about the tale of Romulus and Remus at the foot of Palatine Hill prior to the establishment of Rome. I checked inside to make sure it was empty and found just a leaf.

If you feel so inclined, I would appreciate your clicking here to vote for my entry.


Received this today, requiring my sending back another entry form by the deadline to win.

Then there’s Publishers Clearing House (PCH) Sweepstakes. Since the last time I complained about it in this journal, which was two weeks ago, the conglomerate informed me through the mail that I had sent in 31 entries to them during this past year.

If I wanted to keep my SuperPrize Number: XXX XXX 0215, and not release it to the alternate owner who had sent in 29 entries during the same period, I had to lick some more stickers and place them on yet another entry form to be mailed and received by PCH on, or before, February 23rd.

Afterwards I’ve received separate correspondences, listing me on their President’s Loyalty List, Final Winner Selection List, Imminent Winner Selection List, Declaration of Entitlement List, Sworn Statement of Final Winner Selection List; received my schedule of delivery by the Prize Patrol, should I hold the winning SuperPrize Number; got my Owner Papers, another Report of Progress, and Inside Information for Prize Day, all requiring my licking more stickers, signing, sealing, stamping with postage, and mailing each return envelope with enclosed entry form to be received by PHC before the final deadline, while ordering something from their vast assortment of bric-a-brac occasionally along the way.

That’s probably why they continually send out more packets filled with flyers. Like a nincompoop, I’ve spent close to $20.00 in postage and about $200.00 for merchandise since the beginning of this wanton insanity, all for the desire of winning something, anything.

Before DRCC’s prizes, the only items I had ever won in a contest were a chocolate cake and a small replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà from a church raffle. That was when I was in grammar school!

Wait a minute; I take that back. The t-shirt in the following photo was graciously awarded to me by The Rolling Stones during one of their Twitter giveaways. I still wear it proudly.


Here’s Slickster, vying for a re-tweet by the Stones’ Social Media person.

OK, so I backslid on my New Year’s resolution about not complaining so much. You have to admit I’ve been good thus far this year, making it to almost the middle of February before lashing out with a major tirade.

Thanks, as always, for your stopping by to visit, and for your continued support. Again, please vote for my entry in the latest attempt to win something by clicking here.

Happy Mardi Gras in advance. In honor of that, allow me to share a cover I made last year for Fat Tuesday:



February 14, 2018 – Happy Valentine’s Day from PCH

Received this today. Tempted to throw it out, but will send back the enclosed form. The giveaway is nine days away. Guaranteed, if I don’t win this, any future correspondences will end up in the trash!

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