I took the citizen pruner test this evening. They don’t make it hard to pass, since they want the volunteers, so I think I did fine. The curious among you probably found my other blog here which I set up to document the trees I’m getting to know. I have to say it was great taking the class at the BBG, because we could just walk out of the classroom into the garden, and our instructor was an arborist there who does this everyday. (Once again, Brooklyn kicks the Inner Borough’s ass.) The place is fantastic after hours. And this time of year, of course, when everything is in great shape. Saturday, our field day, when we actually got to prune and mulch a couple of trees planted a few years ago, I walked through the garden after class and went looking for the rumor of an American chestnut in the native flora section, but didn’t see it. Managed to spot an ovenbird in the underbrush, though, bringing up to 16 the number of warbler species I’ve seen this spring to date. This is the one with the racing stripe over the poll.
Three others in the class turn out to live in my area of West Brooklyn. (I just made that designation up; why not, since RealtorsTM do it all the time?) Hopefully we can team up to do some tree work in the hood(s). Being a tree in this town is a hard way to live, and they need all the help the can get. I guess this means I’m an Ent now?
A long walk in Central yesterday with Ned Barnard. Turned out a very famous mycologist was there too, Gary Lincoff, who wrote the book on mushrooms. Both were really nice people. Finally saw devils-walking stick, which is more shrub than tree but does boast the largest (compound) leaves in the region. And serious thorns: they’ve got it fenced in so pets and chillin’s don’t harpoon themselves.
My old and dear friend B visited from internal exile in Pittsburgh and spent Sunday night on my couch, which is evidently a little dusty. When she got in, she asked me if I had a cat. Then she asked me if her staying over was cool with my girlfriend. It had been a while since we’ve talked, evidently… I said, do I have a lot of money too in your fantasy world? She used to cover the waterfront around here for the funny papers, so we had a drink at Montero for old time’s sake, and then at dinner at the place on Smith that was Japanese until fairly recently. Lovely. Amazing how the company does that, isn't it (not that the food was bad or anything, but dinning is all about the company.) She said Smith was famous for its rats in her day. How quickly things change, not that those rats have actually gone someplace else. Sadly, she was visiting because another dear friend of her’s mother is in a bad way in the hospital.
Saturday night was A’s birthday. He's twice-twenty-two like me and we go back more than twenty-two years. Nine of us at Chinatown Brasserie, formerly Time Café, as in Fez underneath. I wouldn’t recommend the place: far to expensive when you can get as good or better stuff in the actual Chinatown. But the point was the birthday and that was good. And T’s companion was super appealing. Nice work, dude.