Monday, August 07, 2006

other activities in Central Park

This weekend my daughter and I found recess in Central Park for both leisure and activity.
In the children's playgrounds cold water rained from sprinklers and ran through concrete troughs to cool our feet. These city-days are hot and humid. It was refreshing!

We entered
from the south side of the park passing by familiar grounds where I typically do daytime observing. These are mapped here. When I mention to Arissa that Papa sets up here and here...and here...and here - it's just not her dig, she shrugs and says I know you've told me. Okay. We're on our way past Heckscher Playground destined for Umpire Rock.

A map to Umpire Rock for the tourists looking for a great view of the Manhattan skyscape. For the daring, like my daughter Arissa, its northern face is known as Rat Rock to another ilk of persons. Greensward Foundation, a terrific resource with a number of free online books, including Rock Trails in Central Park.

My daughter digs rock climbing and so do I. A sport we both share a growing interest. I don't know enough yet whether to call it bouldering or climbing or if those terms are even synonomous, but you can bet if I get real with the interest I have now I'll be able to distinguish the two.

After climbing the rock outcrops we made our way up to Adventure Playground. Sheltering trees, monkey bars, and water games provided some relief from the sun and heat in the open air. Onward to
Loeb's Boathouse where we get a row boat to take on the Lake. Much to see and lotsa fun. Crashes are common, noone gets upset. Hey how often do you go rowing in NYC outside of a gym?

While on the row boat we saw some birds we've never noticed, probably fair to say we've never seen. I'm still trying to find out what kind they are. The easy way to pass the pics to a birder ;^D but that would way to easy.
A resource chock full of links concerning birds in Central Park.

Clicking the photos offers a larger view. (Mental note: Find out why these photos aren't crystal clear.)

As we rowed up to this little creature, she walked towards the right of the photo along the tree branch. Apparently she had her eye on something and the boat did not even bother her.

What caught our eye was that longish beak. Just not common when one sees so many pigeons, starlings, robins, and sparrows. Red appeared to stretch from shoulder to cheek.

This guy is large and odd looking, sort of gawky. His lower cheek or throat was fluttering away like Sach would do with his cheek on the Bowery Boys, like a flapping motion. His legs are pretty thick with webbed feet. Later we would see either this one or another submerging in the water and popping up a good distance away. Hence some strong legs to displace a lot of water as he moves through the water.