A Lake Eagle

Do you like finding new places to watch wildlife? I found another eagle nest recently. It is on a lake in New York north of New York City. It is close to a highway, a major commuting route for those traveling by car into New York City. I am trying to figure out a way to get closer to the nest. It is on a peninsula that juts out into the lake. These two pictures are taken from the highway quite a distance away without a tripod. I also cropped the photos quite a bit. Hopefully in the future I can get closer.

This seems to be this eagle’s favorite tree to perch on near the nest.
He could be eyeing the ducks swimming below the tree or possible a fish in the lake.

I like discovering new places to watch eagles. What is your favorite spot to view wildlife or nature?

The Actor’s Church- St. Paul’s Convent Garden

What church in London has a long history with the theatre and arts? Which church contains memorials to some famous actors and actresses? It is St. Paul’s in Convent Garden.

St. Paul’s has a long association with the theatre and arts community. Since about 1663 they have been associated with the theatre. Performances have been on their grounds. St. Paul’s has been home to its own in house professional theatre company since 2007. They also have an orchestra in residence.

The back courtyard of St. John’s in Convent Garden, London.

Some famous people are associated with the church. There are some famous people baptized at and St. Paul’s including Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan. Married at the church were Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale.

Memorials

There are memorials inside the church dedicated to famous actors including Charlie Chaplin. The memorials line the walls inside of the church. A few are pictured below.

Alec Clunes played numerous Shakespearian roles. He appeared in film playing Hastings to Olivier’s Richard III and in One of Our Planes is Missing, a WWII flick. He was the father of current actor, Martin Clunes.
Richard Wattis appeared in numerous films including Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang. See his IMB page for a complete list. Robert Atkins is known for Black Magic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Peg of Old Drury.
Vivien Leigh won two Academy Awards for Best Actress as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind and Blanche Dubois in Street Car Named Desire. She was primarily a stage performer playing roles such as Cleopatra, Juliet, and Lady MacBeth.
He appeared in the James Bond film to Russia With Love. He also appeared in The Sting and Jaws. He was a writer whose most notable work was the novel The Man in the Glass Booth.

If you are making a trip to Convent Garden, stop in to St. Paul’s. They have a great garden in the back and a unique history for a church. When I visited in July they also had a resident church cat.

NYC Murals Lower Manhattan and NoHo Area

“Street art is nothing else but urban poetry that catches someone’s eye.” Christian Guemy C215

These if I remember correctly are all near each other in or close to NoHo.

This one appeared to be in a private park. I took the photo from a gap in the corner fencing. This was in or near NoHo.
This may have been just north of Chinatown.
This was in the NoHo neighborhood of Lafayette Street.
Two peas in a pod- part of the same wall in the NoHo area.
This one is not far from the Brooklyn Bridge. I spotted it on a hike over the bridge into Manhattan. This one is a phone photo. It is hard to get these without cars in them. Usually all parking spaces are full.

My personal favorite in this group is the one on top, although the one on the bottom is a close second. Which one catches your eye?

Advertising Murals

You can find some interesting murals on the walls of buildings in New York City, but did you know some of them involve advertising? Here are a couple of advertising murals I found in Manhattan.

This one is advertising Canada Goose, which makes jackets. If I remember correctly, it is north of China Town.
This one advertises Gucci. It is in or near the NoHo neighborhood. NoHo stands for North of Houston Street. Incidentally, Houston Street is pronounced How-stun in NYC. This was viewable from Lafayette Street.

It is always fun to find new murals, even ones that advertise products. I find these a lot more interesting than bill boards. What do you think?

Bryant Park in Winter

Where can you skate for free in NYC if you bring your own skates? What rink has a holiday market around it? Which rink has several food choices close by? Bryant Park in Manhattan has all of these.

Bryant Park borders 42nd Street and 41st Street behind the main branch of the NYC Public Library. It is about two blocks from Grand Central Station. Between Thanksgiving and the beginning of January the park also hosts a Holiday Market. There are a booths outside carrying a variety of items from clothing to food and gifts.

Yes, if you bring your own skates it is free. They have a changing area. Skating starts early in the morning. There is food available in the lodge, an indoor area near the rink. There is also a Whole Foods across one of the streets it borders and other restaurants and shopping nearby. There are also permanent food kiosks in the park.

Bryant Park- behind the fountain is the ice skating rink. The park is behind the main branch if the NY Public Library. You can see some of the vendor booths for the Holiday Market on the left.
The fountain in the park
The Zamboni smoothing the ice on the rink. The rink clears for about 15 minutes when it is time to resurface the ice.

It is a rink with some nice views of Midtown Manhattan. It does not get the crowds that the rink at Rockefeller Center gets. I recommend this rink over the others because of that and the close proximity to food and shopping.

One of the permanent food kiosks at the park.

Whether you ice skate or not, it is worth visiting Bryant Park in winter. Watch the action or catch a bite to eat and enjoy the scenery of Midtown Manhattan.

Merry Maidens

When you think of stone circles in Great Britain what comes to mind? Stonehenge? The stone circle in Outlander? There are other stone circles you can see in England and Scotland.

The truth is there are many stone circles in Great Britain. It is said there are 316 stone circles in England, 508 in Scotland, and 81 in Wales.

Merry Maidens

Within the county of Cornwall in England there are 17 stone circles and this includes the Merry Maidens. Merry Maidens is made up of 19 granite stones. The circle is a diameter of 75 feet (24m). It is in a perfect circle with each stone about 3-4 meters apart. The tallest is 1.4 meters. The stones gradually diminish in size from SW to NE. This is believed to follow the cycle of the moon.

Tales Behind the Stones

The Cornish legend behind the monument is the stone circle was the petrified remains of a group of local girls who had been turned to stone as a punishment for dancing on the Sabbath. Further away in neighboring fields are three other stones. One is said to have been a fiddler and the two others were pipers. The story is they are further away because they heard the church bells ringing out at midnight and they attempted to flee because they realized they were breaking religious rules. They were caught as well and were turned to stone. This story was most likely started to turn people to the church and away from pagan practices.

Location

The stones are in a field next to the B3315 in the parish of St. Buryan in the West Penwith area. It has a small car park that can fit 4-5 cars.

If you are traveling to Cornwall and would like to see a stone circle up close and personal without the crowds of Stonehenge, then stop by this ancient group of stones. You will get to see something that could be over 3500 years old.

Pub Signs- The Mudlark

What is a mudlark? A mudlark is a British term referring to one who made their living by searching for coal, bits of copper, or anything else they could sell to get by. This was a profession long ago.

This sign is from a pub near the Thames River in London. The Thames fluctuates around twenty feet between high and low tide. People go out and search the mud for items. They have to pay attention as they search as the tide comes back in quickly.

Today people who mudlark are hobbyists. They are searching for Saxon items, ancient coins, Roman or Bronze Age artifacts, etc. One may find a blackened roof tile from the Great London Fire of 1666 or a clay pipe. Mudlarks of today are required to get permission and report anything of archeological value. This includes items that may qualify as treasure or human remains. Some prison transport ships to Australia left from London docking along the Thames River and some executions long ago took place near the river.

If you walk along the Thames at low tide, you may see some people busy Mudlarking. You could always join them. You never know what you could find.

Information on getting permission to Mudlark: https://www.pla.co.uk/Environment/Thames-foreshore-permits