2019-07-11

Grief and Gardening: Remains of the Day

Walking from my bus stop to work in the morning takes me across Broadway in Downtown Manhattan, the site of some celebration or other yesterday morning. Still this morning, littering the sidewalks, and especially the gutters, was "ticker tape". Of course, there are no tickers any more - it's all electronic. So this was all long, thin shreds of paper, individually unrecognizable in its drifts.

And in that moment, crossing Broadway, walking in to work, I was taken back 18 years.

The gutters were thick with shreds of paper, and ash, for weeks and months after 9/11. There was so much of it, it took that long for all of it to finally be washed away.

The gray ash was the last to go. In sheltered spots, it lingered for years. Even if you didn't want to know, certainly not think about it, you knew what it was.

Living and working in downtown after 9/11 was being in a crematorium. Every couple of years, you might hear about finding "remains". This is what they're talking about: some shards or shreds left behind, sheltered until uncovered by demolition or restoration of the ever-changing skin of the city.

And so did yesterday's remains, of a celebration, remind me of those weeks and months a lifetime ago. I wondered how few of those celebrating would understand the connection. How few around me had the same association.

Did they, too, feel alone in this?

St. Paul's Enshrouded

Related Content

Written live in a series of tweets on Twitter, typos and all: https://twitter.com/xrisfg/status/1149480485090820096

Grief & Gardening #2: Five Years After, "Ths Transetorey Life"

Links

2019-06-08

Sunday 6/23: Pollinator Safari: Urban Insect Gardening with Native Plants

Me hosting the NYCWW Pollinator Week Safari in my Front Yard. Photo: Alan Riback

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be hosting a pollinator-focused garden tour and citizen science workshop in my garden for Pollinator Week, in association with NYC Wildflower Week.

Event Details

Date: Sunday, June 23, 2019
Time: 1-4pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY, corner of Stratford Road and Matthews Place
Cost: FREE!
RSVP: Eventbrite

1-2pm: I'll be focusing in using iNaturalist to observe and identify insects in the garden. Create a free account on iNaturalist, and install the app on your smart phone. I'll show you how to make observations in the garden with your phone!
2-4pm: We'll explore the garden, see examples of how to garden for insects and pollinators, look at insect-plant associations happening in the garden, and, optionally, make observations with iNaturalist.

These times are a rough guide. You can drop by any time.

2019-02-12

Charismatic Mesofauna

Over the weekend I was inspired to write a little tweet storm. I thought it would make a good blog post.

Danaus plexippus, monarch butterfly (male), with @XercesSociety Pollinator Habitat sign behind, in my front yard, September 2016

It started with a blog post by entomologist Eric Eaton, who goes by @BugEric on his blog, Twitter and other social media. Benjamin Vogt, a native plants evangelist (my word, bestowed with respect) tweeted a link, which is how it came to my attention.
The Monarch is the Giant Panda of invertebrates. It has a lobby built of organizations that stand to lose money unless they can manufacture repeated crises. Well-intentioned as they are, they are siphoning funding away from efforts to conserve other invertebrate species that are at far greater risk. The Monarch is not going extinct
- Bug Eric: Stop Saying the Monarch is a "Gateway Species" for an Appreciation of Other Insects