Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Owls, alma mater

Owling tonight in CP. A family of eastern screech owls has been living around the Pool (100th/CPW). Before we went into the park, I spotted a falcon landing on a balcony railing across CPW. A kestrel. A couple of the owl chicks had fallen from their roost back in late winter and were sent to a raptor center in New Jersey; they were released back into the park the other day. Fresh out of rehab… Our guide was Bob DeCandido, who, as twilight thickened, followed the robins. Owls, being predators, aren’t favored by song birds, so they will often be beset by mobs of noisy robins and jays. Sure enough, in a big red oak, there were two brown owls. They eventually started tree hopping and we followed them a bit, helped again by the angry robins. At one point, one of the owls called. A soft tremalo, a whinny. Nice.

Saw a half dozen raccoons, one quite close on the ground, staring at us, wondering if we were food or had food. In the trees, they move like sloths. People come and feed them. Idjits. Meanwhile, these guys were rehearsing and a lovely dryad was handing out postcards advertising the coming performance of Love’s Labor’s Lost.

I had forgotten how incompetent my last alma mater is. I got an MS from Pratt a some years ago, and pretty much everything about the place except for the classes was a struggle: registration, payment, anything to do with the administration. It was a very frustrating experience. People who went through different programs there have concurred with my experience. Some claim that it’s because it’s an art school, as if this is an excuse. Anyway, as an alum, I got an email requesting pieces of clothing for an art project. I had a pair of perfectly good pants that no longer fit hanging around waiting for Goodwill, so thought I’d give them to the artist instead. The email said the stuff could be dropped off at the gallery at the 14th Street campus in the Inner Borough. Perfect! But of course, the gallery wasn’t open, and it wasn’t open because there’s no exhibit there currently. The security guard naturally knew nothing about the project. I didn’t want to leave the pants with her downstairs because the artist had asked for personal and contact information that I didn’t want lying around in a lobby.

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