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NYC Snow Day Brings News of Central Park Raccoons and Coyotes

February 27, 2010

The Parks Department declares Saturday an official Snow Day, and is providing free sleds and hot cocoa at several parks, including Riverside at 103rd. Esau and I went by to check it out. We ran into Sunny and Sheriden, our Urban Park Ranger friends, who were supervising the happy sledders from the bottom of the […]

NYC Vaccinating Raccoons To Stop Rabies Epidemic

February 18, 2010

I spoke Tuesday with Dr. Sally Slavinski of the NYC Health Department to get the latest on the city’s response to the swiftly spreading rabies situation. I will write a more detailed post as soon as I can find time, but here is the news in a nutshell, with few details, few photos and little […]

Galumphing Dogs and Wary Raccoons

January 28, 2010

Esau and I went raccoon spotting the night before last, around 7:30 PM. The evening before, we had seen the usual trio. The mother and one baby were up on the wall near their den entrance, and the other baby was down on the ground, messing around with some unidentified object. It was too dark […]

New York City Raccoons Go About Their Business in Riverside Park

January 24, 2010

I’ve been so interested in Manhattan’s raccoon rabies epidemic that I’ve been neglecting to write about the raccoons themselves. I continue to watch my local raccoons almost every evening, and get powerful pleasure from seeing them go about their business. Five of them live in one den, a rectangular hole in the stone retaining wall. […]

New York City Raccoon Rabies Update

January 15, 2010

Last week, neighborhood associations in Morningside Heights, Upper West Side and Upper East Side received a new alert from the Health Department about rabid raccoons. The final numbers of rabid animals have come in for 2009, and they are not good. In December 2009 alone, ten rabid raccoons were found, eight of them above 100th […]

Rabid Raccoons in Central Park

December 16, 2009

After years of being pretty much rabies-free, Manhattan has four confirmed rabies cases in 2009, all in raccoons.  One rabid raccoon was found last summer in Inwood Park; the other three were all found dead in Central Park’s North Woods, two in the week of December 7th. Oh, my lovely Riverside raccoons, what will happen […]

Raccoon Babies at Play in the Dark

November 11, 2009

Esau has never understood why I won’t go into the park at night.  But though I’ve been sorely tempted, I’ve been ruled by an ancient taboo forbidding parks after dark, along with cannibalism and incest. But no more. Last night, lured by the possibility that raccoon babies might be dancing in the night park, we […]


November 1, 2009

A little after 4:30 this afternoon, inside Riverside Park and just north of the 108th Street entrance, Esau and I spy three little faces all in a row, peeping out at us from a hole in the great wall:  Raccoons! They stare. They wrestle. They stare. Dusk comes down fast and they seem restless. Probably […]

Walking in the Pandemic

April 10, 2020

Walking the Pandemic I’m still out walking and though the dog no longer walks with me, I hope you’ll join me as I walk my way through the pandemic. I’m staying close to home, but there’s plenty to see. So put on your mask, maintain social distance and let’s head out into the New York […]

The Blizzard and the Dog Walk

January 23, 2016

The dog must out. Neither snow nor rain nor sleet nor gloom of night stays the dog and his walker from their appointed rounds. We went out this morning around 8:30. Riverside Drive is empty. Inside the park, we spot a handful of sledders. Deep inside my beautiful retaining wall, the raccoons are nestled all […]

Dispatch from the Icebox: Wildlife Update

February 17, 2015

It’s cold here in the Northeast. Today the dog and I went down to the river. We were surprised to see the river flowing freely with just a few large ice chunks floating by the shore. You can see ice over by the Jersey shore, but virtually none on our side. Yesterday, the river had an […]

NYC: After the so-called Blizzard

January 27, 2015

 Where the blizzard at? Anybody seen my blizzard? I know how bad the storm is for people to our east, west and north. But if there was a blizzard here in Manhattan, I missed it. Oh, it snowed, all right. Here’s what the city looked like yesterday, back when we still believed in unicorns, elves, and […]

Coyote Captured on Upper West Side

January 11, 2015

Last night in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, a coyote was captured by the police. As far as I can tell, this is the first coyote sighting in Manhattan since March 2010 when a beautiful young coyote spent about a month in the city. She quickly found her way to Central Park’s Hallett Nature Sanctuary and made her […]

Happy New Year (We’re Back)

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year, dear much-missed readers! We’re posting again for the first time since last spring when we watched a White-throated sparrow dig up the park. Eight months is a long time to go dark, but we needed to focus on other work. We missed our readers, and we want to thank all of you for […]

NYC Wildlife After Hours

March 23, 2014

Two nights ago, around nine o’clock, I leaned over the retaining wall at Riverside Park to look for raccoons, and found a raccoon looking right back at me. It was perched, as it were, on the broad stone ledge outside its den. We stared at each other, each apparently curious what the other might do. […]