Friday, May 31, 2013

Very sad news about an old friend -- and responses from others in the Central Park community

Three of Jimmy Lewis's many admirers:
[from left] Regina Alvarez, Lee Stinchcomb, and Noreen O'Rourke. Jimmy is the beaming heartthrob between Regina and Lee.   I am missing from the photo  though I was usually part of this group. Why? I must have taken this picture.

[photo taken in Central Park, October 22, 2005]

On Memorial Day I received two heart-breaking e-mails, one from Jimmy Lewis's sister Marcia Lewis Scott and the other from Jimmy's great long-time friend Bobby Belson. They told me the terrible news that Jimmy had died that weekend. I'm still reeling from the shock.

Jimmy was one of my best and oldest  friends [in the number of years I'd known him, not in age]  among the Central Park Regulars. He and Lee and Noreen [see photo above] formed the core of the little group of "Regulars" I wrote about in Central Park in the Dark; the book is dedicated to them.

I'll write a little more about Jimmy sometime soon.

Meanwhile, those of you that  have my book Central Park in the Dark can find a few paragraphs about Jimmy starting at the bottom of p. 91 

The Central Park Nature Community responds:

1. From Lloyd Spitalnik, received a few minutes after I posted the notice above:

What terrible news. When I leave the park at 79th St Eastside i would often see him on the benches. Haven't seen him in several months and i was wondering where he was. What a nice guy with a really good heart. He'll be missed.

All the best,
Lloyd Spitalnik Photography

2. From Steve Kennedy, Charles Kennedy's brother:

May 30, 2013

Hi Friends,

I am deeply saddened to learn of Jim Lewis' passing. It is a somber time for the remaining Regulars. Debbie and I, as well as my dad and brother, Scott, are keeping you all in our thoughts. Each of us was so happy to count Jim as a dear Central Park friend. He was a good man, a dear friend to Charles, and a tremendous ally to Pale Male. It is hard to believe he is gone.

With love and sympathy,

Steve Kennedy

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Today's birds -- [second post of the day]

 Hooded Warbler--Central Park -- May 2, 2007,   Photo by DAVID SPEISER

Jeff Ritter of  Little Neck, NY just sent in a report on this morning's birds [via ebirdsnyc]:

Small numbers of migrants continued to appear in the Ramble this morning. The highlight for me was a singing HOODED WARBLER in the Evodia Field. Other warbler species that I observed included CANADA, AMERICAN REDSTART, BLACKPOLL, MAGNOLIA, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and NORTHERN PARULA (heard singing). Also, an apparent GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH (not vocal) and VEERY, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, RED-EYED VIREO, CEDAR WAXWING, EASTERN WOOD PEWEE, GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER and an Empidonax Flycatcher which I got only a brief look at.

Not the numbers of birds and variety of species that were present a week or so ago but satisfying birding nonetheless.

Rare Bird for the park -- and PS

Grasshopper Sparrow in Central Park --5/25/13 - photo by ELLEN MICHAELS

Ellen Michaels, a model who switched careers and became a fine nature and wildlife photographer , sent a note last Sunday:

Hi Marie,

I photographed this Grasshopper Sparrow at the North End of Central Park on 5/25/2013. It was close to 8PM and the bird was extremely far away. So I was lucky to get a shot, if only for ID.

Best regards,
Ellen Michaels Wildlife & Nature Photos

PS A few minutes ago Ellen Michaels sent another email:

Hi Marie,

Oops, sorry for the confusion, but I photographed the Grasshopper Sparrow on 5/21 rather than on 5/25.

All my best,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

This Sunday

Yesterday - 5/28 -- I posted the very sad news about Jim Lewis.

This is to say that there will be a Memorial Service at the Frank Campbell Funeral Home- 1076 Madison Ave. [at 81st Street] this Sunday, June 2 at 3:30 pm..

Lee Stinchcomb & Jim Lewis at the old hangout - Columbus Bakery - a few years ago

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pale Male and Marie wish you all a HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

Meanwhile, back at the Fifth Avenue nest things are getting exciting:

2 photos by MURRAY HEAD - Central Park - 5/27/13

Other news:

Anders Peltomaa writes [via ebirdsNYC]:

Hi all,
There is an adult Red-headed Woodpecker at Evodia Field (feeder area) in the Ramble, Central Park.