Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tragedy in the City

What a sad weekend.  Words stick in my hands, unable to be written.  I wish this was more elegant.

If you want elegance, please enjoy some flowers from my garden in 2019.  Happier times!

The rest of this post is a bit grim, so please feel free to admire the flowers on your way out.  But I hope you'll stay.

As my United States readers know, there was a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, at a supermarket.  13 people shot, 10 dead, the alleged shooter (whose name I will not use) in police custody.  Buffalo is the second largest city in New York State after New York City.  It is also the home town of our current Governor.

The alleged shooter is an 18 year old man from Conklin, New York, which is about 15 miles from where I live near Binghamton, New York. Conklin is a small community of about 5,000 people.

Our community here in the Binghamton area knows about mass shootings.  We have felt the pain that so many communities have felt. 

On April 3, 2009 (as my regular readers know) a mass shooting several blocks from where I used to work in Binghamton took the lives of 13 innocents and the man who killed them.  That shooting convinced me to start this blog.  That shooter lived locally and bought the gun locally (at a sporting goods store now closed).

The school psychologist at Sandy Hook grew up in Vestal, another town in our area.

But these shootings were not like our shooting. Buffalo's pain is not our pain.  Our shooting didn't involve a young man who drove some 200 miles to target members of a Black community.  He picked the only supermarket in the area.  He must have known that, sooner or later, everyone in that community shopped there.

What else are we learning?  This man graduated from high school and was apparently attending our local community college. He also live streamed the shooting (which was taken down  but other sites keep posting it) and published a long manifesto with his beliefs.  He drank from the poison waters of extremist sites.  He came with weapons inscribed with symbols and words of hate.  This was, pure and simple, a crime of hate.

He purchased his Bushmaster semi-automatic weapon locally in the Binghamton area (although it was modified after sale in a way that would not be legal in New York.) The gun shop that sold the gun is now being targeted on social media, and has closed for this week, and I will not name it.

These are some of those he killed.  Reports state he had planned to visit other sites to continue his spree but the Buffalo police came too quickly. It's also reported that he may have also scouted out Rochester another major New York city, for a shooting.

By all accounts, this Buffalo neighborhood is a close knit community, and the residents are coming together in their grief as they now have nowhere to buy food.

Worse yet, this wasn't the only active shooter event in our country this weekend.  It was just the most deadly. There was a church shooting in Laguna Hills, California, also described as a hate crime. That shooting was stopped by a heroic doctor who died. There was a shooting in a flea market in Houston.  There were shootings in several locations in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  There were other shootings that didn't even make the news.

No community is immune from the poison of hatred or the easy availability of weapons, and we ask ourselves again, "why?" If we aren't minorities who are targets of hate crimes (people of color, Americans of Asian-Pacific origin, various religions) we may live in fear, a fear we don't dare show as we go about our everyday lives. (I say "we" because I am a member of one of those groups).  But make no mistake, everyone in this country is at risk.   Hatred is out of control.  It has become mainstream.

Americans have asked that question of "why" too many times now, in this nation.

How many times is too many?

Or will we offer thoughts and prayers yet again, and then move on, leaving the families and friends of Buffalo, of Laguna Hills, of Winston-Salem, of Houston, of previous sites like El Paso, Pittsburgh, Orlando, and Sacramento...so many other towns and places where hate has surfaced, to pick their lives back up?

This time, what will we choose to do?

Monday, May 16, 2022

Driving and Racing #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday, and the month of May is zooming by!  It's time once again for Music Moves Me!

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please!)   Our head hostess is Cathy from Curious as a Cathy,  and she is joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and the world famous (not) me.  Our founder, Xmas Dolly, has stepped back from blogging for now, and would appreciate your good thoughts as she works through some health issues.

We'd love more music lovers to join our fun group.  All you have to do is join the linky above with a music post that contains at least one music video (there must be a music video or your post will be subject to removal or labeling "No Music").  Easy peasy!

Each month, except December, we have a guest host. For the month of May, our guest host is John Holton of "The Sound of One Hand Typing" and he's got a good month of themes picked out for us.

For today, John is choosing the theme "Songs about Cars and Racing, because of the Indy 500, etc."

I've never attended a major car race, although I have been to (as a tourist) the Daytona Speedway in Daytona, Florida.  Taking the tour of Daytona in 2006 (the track and the museum after) was pretty awesome, I have to admit.

So anyway, about cars and racing.

This song immediately comes to mind: Hot Rod Lincoln.  The original, from 1955, is by Charlie Ryan.  I discovered it in 1972 when it was covered by Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen.  I chose a cover by Asleep at the Wheel, because he gave it a little different twist.

From 1972, Highway Star, by Deep Purple. 

Also from 1972, Rockin' Down the Highway, from The Doobie Brothers.


I'm going to start drifting a bit from the theme, but these are songs I really enjoy. First, Radar Love, 1973, from Golden Earring

Maybe not totally in line with the theme, but it's a favorite of mine:  1991's Life is a Highway. I chose the original from Tom Cochrane.

And finally, I have to include this because I love the Cars, and I love this song:  Drive.

And it's a driven/racing wrap!

Join me again next week, same time, same place, for another episode of Music Moves Me!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day May 2022

It's May, it's the 15th of the month, and it is spring/summer in my zone 5b garden in the Southern Tier of New York State.

Friday we reached 86F (30C) and yesterday we got up to 83F (28.3C) before things clouded over.  It's been warm and very dry, and a lot of my spring bulbs gave up blooming for the year, along with my cherry tree.  Today it is near 80 and we may get strong storms later today.  The rain is welcome.  The "strong storms" part (chance of tornadoes) isn't.

It was a bit disappointed because I had a number of spring flowers to show you, and they are gone.  But, nevertheless, there are a lot of blooms at my house - finally!  Winter is truly over.  As usual, the variety names are lost to me because I don't keep good records.

I only have a couple of these late pink and white tulips.

Ditto for these white tulips. 


Only a few late daffodils left.  These grow several flowers on a stem and have a scent.


Last of my late yellow - this may not last the day and is so faded you can barely see the yellow.

These are what the blooms on my wild cherry tree looked like on the 11th, alas.

The lilacs have come out.


Light purple. (We had another lilac, but it was destroyed in our late April snowstorm).  We planted this one several years ago.

White (we share this with our next door neighbor; part of it is on their side and part on ours).

Darker purple.  This came with the house, so it is over 30 years old.

In our shady back yard, a wood poppy purchased several years ago from Monticello (President Thomas Jefferson's home).

White bleeding heart.

Pink bleeding heart.  I don't think it's happy where it is and we may have to fix that.



Variegated Solomon's Seal.

And that's it for today, although I have lots more, because I have to go now.  If this wasn't enough, why not go to the site of the woman who lovingly provides this monthly 15th of the month meme, Carol at May Dreams Gardens, and check out her blog and other blogs linking to GBBD today?

See you next time!

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Global Big Day and Eurovision

What a big day this is for music lovers and birders!  I'll have to divide this post into two parts so you can read whichever section moves you!


Today is Global Big Day,  when birders from all over the world try to count as many species as they can over a 24 hour period. "More than 51,000 people from 192 countries submitted 134,000 checklists with eBird" in 2021. (eBird is an app for recording bird sightings, and helps with bird ID and bird education).

Both heard and sighted birds count, and if you don't know what you heard or saw, there are general categories for those.  Researchers use these checklists for various purposes, and it is important you don't omit anything. What you didn't see or hear can be as important as what you did know confidently enough to identify.

So...we tried to listen and hear on an exercise walk and pay some attention to our feeder.  At least it's a beautiful day, It's 81F (27.2C) out there right now and after I finish this post, I'm going to get outside and experience more of the beauty of spring.

From earlier this week, Binghamton, New York


Today (at 3pm Eastern Daylight Time) the finals of Eurovision will begin.

Last year, I found out about Eurovision for the first time and blogged about it. When I told my spouse I was blogging about Eurovision, he responded "What's Eurovision?"  I have a feeling more people know this year than last, but in case this is new to you:

Eurovision is an annual contest which originated in the aftermath of World War II, when Europe was struggling to recover from the horrors of World War II.  The idea was for various European countries to cooperate with each other "through cross-border TV broadcasts". The contest started in 1956, based on an Italian music festival,  with seven countries participating, and has expanded into the largest world music event there is.

Until last year, I had no idea that the singers Celene Dion and the group ABBA, among others got their start from Eurovision.  I was aware that Riverdance had its start as the "interval" act in 1994. (An interval act performs after the last act in the final during the tallying of the votes, and some of these acts have won their own brand of fame. Additionally, I learned a new word, too, because "intervals" are what we Americans call "intermission" in an event.)

Our country tried its own version of Eurovision this year called the American Song Contest.  I should be blogging about that contest in the next week or two.

This will be broadcast live on the streaming service Peacock and hopefully, with my free account, I'll be able to access it.

Here's a taste of Eurovision for you. 

Riverdance, the 1994 interval act that introduced the word to this wonderful dance act and Michael Flatley.

Norway and its entry
"Give That Wolf a Banana" as performed by Subwoolfer. 

Wanting more flowers?  Join me tomorrow for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Hungry for more music? Join me Monday for another episode of Music Moves Me.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Celebrating Blue Skies #SkywatchFriday

It's time to watch the sky today!

Let's say goodbye to grey, gloomy spring (photo taken April 23) skies with no leaves on the trees.

Let's say hello to the sun, flowering trees, and green!

For almost a week, where I live in the Southern Tier of New York, it was sunny with low humidity and no clouds.  The week started out cool.  By yesterday we had reached 85F  (29.4C) and we finally got some clouds.  Let's enjoy some spring photos from earlier in the week.  

We took a trip to Ithaca, New York, which has a number of waterfalls.  Here's Ithaca Falls on Monday.

Two bushes side by side, with a peek of sky, at the Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Stewart Park, Ithaca. Loved this reflection.

Finally, two geese a-swimming.

Joining Yogi and other sky loving bloggers today and other Fridays at #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Cherry Tree May #ThursdayTreeLove

The cherry trees are in bloom today in the Southern Tier of New York, along with many others.  We've had such a beautiful week, with perfect temperatures, and it's time to celebrate before the weather turns cool again, which it will do early next week.

I got this native cherry tree from a neighbor (now deceased) as a small sapling and it has grown into quite the bloomer.  I apologize for the glare in this picture.

It isn't a fruit bearer (and its fruits seem to be ignored by birds until they are scrounging for whatever is available in early spring) but I love its blossoms.

Spring teaches us to pause, breathe in beauty, and exhale our cares, if only for a few minutes.

I grew up in a city housing project in a small apartment, and I feel fortunate to have this small plot of land with my own flowering trees to enjoy.  Hopefully there will still be blooms on the 15th, when I join other flower lovers for May Dreams Gardens' Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Joining with Parul of Happiness and Food, and other tree lovers each second and fourth Thursdays of the month, for #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Patience! #WordlessWednesday

Memories of earlier in the spring, when it seemed that winter would never loosen its grip on us.

Seen earlier this spring at a local nursery.

Daffodils at the nursery May 10


But oh, when spring flowers come out...patience is rewarded.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.