Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Black-capped Chickadee

I'm reading Sy Montgomery's book "Birdology" and I am quite riveted. If you read "The Good, Good Pig" then you know Montgomery is a great writer and now she's written about one of my favorite topics - birds. Apparently, birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs. In the chapter on the cassowary (which looks strikingly similar to a dinosaur), Montgomery writes, about the discovery of soft tissue in the femur of a Tyrannosaurus Rex by paleontologist Mary Schweitzer. The DNA was sequenced from the 68 million year old fossil and guess what living creature the DNA most closely resembled, a chicken!

I decided to post this image after reading the following: "the timid titmouse and fluffy chickadee, it turns out, are close relatives of the largest, most powerful carnivores that ever lived. Their direct ancestors were bipedal, meat eating dinosaurs, with three toes, air-filled bones, and wishbones like those from the Thanksgiving turkey."

This black-capped chickadee also happened to be a frequent feeder at Grammy Tunney's bird feeder in Long Island - from Jurassic Park to Long Island.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today I walked by IXIA on Market Street and they have, as usual, two beautiful arrangements in the window. One of the wonders today featured persimmon branches filled with gorgeous ripe fruit. This post, is a nod to Gary Weiss, the proprietor, who makes art out of branches, leaves, and flowers, and offers us, the passers-by, a new arrangement every week or so through his dramatic window pieces.

I've only been eating persimmons for the last ten years or so and now they are such an essential part of my fall food habits. I usually begin collecting hachiyas in early November so I can turn the luscious soft fruit into persimmon pudding. But before that, if we are lucky, our fruit bowl is filled with crisp fuyus until they are no longer crunchy, but slightly soft and sugary.