“I sort of think adult novelists are subject to the same kind of luck.”

Brandeis professor and old friend John Plotz interviews me on the Recall this Book podcast about 9-year-old Daisy Ashford’s comic novel The Young Visiters. Please check it out!

The interview is part of getting out the word about B-Side Books, an anthology edited by John of short essays about underappreciated novels, to which I contributed.

Prospect Park, 6/15/2021

Carolina wren, Prospect Park

Two Carolina wrens were gathering nesting material and ferrying it into and under a thick matt of ivy around a tree trunk; they seemed to be building a nest deep inside. Sometimes they had trouble remembering exactly where in the ivy their nascent nest was and hovered outside looking for their entry point. Their work was interrupted by a gray catbird (not, however, the one photographed below) that slammed into the ivy as if to uncover the nest or to disrupt the wrens’ work; I couldn’t figure out its intentions. Only one of the wrens was present during the intrusion; it fled and then loudly summoned its mate to a nearby branch, where they reconnoitred. They resumed their work briefly but then lay low, abandoning work on the nest at least temporarily.

Carolina wren, Prospect Park

Carolina wren, Prospect Park

Carolina wren, Prospect Park

Gray catbird, Prospect Park

Prospect Park, 6/14/2021

Baltimore oriole, Prospect Park

The birds were trying to stay dry in Prospect Park this morning.

Carolina wren, Prospect Park

Mute swan and cygnets, Prospect Park

The photo below is from Green-Wood Cemetery yesterday afternoon. On the left is a brown-headed cowbird fledgling, begging for food from an adult chipping sparrow, on the right, somewhat smaller, who has been fooled into thinking it’s the cowbird’s parent.

Brown-headed cowbird fledgling and adult chipping sparrow, Prospect Park