CUC Bird Walk Report: Sun Apr 20

Bird Walk Results
Sunday Morning Apr 20

Report filed by:
Rev. LoraKim Joyner, DVM

Time of observations: 8:30am - noon EST
Site: Grounds of Community Unitarian Church, 468 Rosedale Ave (approx. 8 acres)

In honor of Easter, our theme for this morning’s walk was birds arising, which we celebrated with these
opening words by Sufi poet Hafiz.
I once asked a bird, “How it is that you fly through this darkness of gravity?”
She responded, "Love lifts me."
Many are uplifted during the spring and Eastertide, for we are reminded of this fecund earth and the chance that hope and love may arise again and again despite the dark winter of our lives. We sought for glimpses of this truth as our morning’s adoration followed that known by many cultures for hundreds of years, though we were late by about 3 hours to make it a sunrise service. Like many during sharp turn of lengthening days, we were out looking for signs of fertility in the form not of eggs, but of egg-hatched birds. Though our list of birds was not super, we did add a new species for the year, a hermit thrush. This bird heralds the shifting bird populations, for in the last weeks we have said good bye to the dark-eyed juncos and hello to diminishing flock sizes as birds pair up for breeding season.

With relief we were finally able to do a bird walk where we could actually traverse off the pavement. With the undergrowth at a minimum we could walk with ease, well mostly, as we negotiated over stones, fallen trees, and creeks. Along the way we saw many budding bushes, trees, and the spring flowers arising along with the birds. We also paused in silence at the memorial garden, walked the maze, and idled at the pond.

There is so much to see and to share, and we are grateful that birds brought us together.

Do join us for our next walk – Sun May 11 at 8:30am at the Parsonage. Until then, happy birding.
- LoraKim

Today’s sightings:

2 Common Grackles
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Titmouse
2 Carolina Wren
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Mourning Doves
2 Robins
2 White-throated Sparrows
2 House Sparrow
2 House Finches
1 American Crow
2 Northern Cardinals
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
3 Goldfinches
1 Hermit Thrush

Previous Bird Walk Reports (click on date)
Sun Mar 2
Sun Feb 9
Sun Jan 5



CSA = Community Supported Agriculture

Roxbury Farm is a community supported farm. Community UU is their White Plains distribution point for produce shares from Jun - Nov.

Pick-up at Community UU, room 43, is every Wednesday for 23 Wednesdays, starting the second Wed in Jun through the third Wed in Nov (except the second Wed in Nov) -- between 3:30p and 6:30p.

The shares are currently all sold out for the 2015 season.

Sign up in spring for the 2016 season.

More info about Roxbury Farm: CLICK HERE.

How does it work?
Roxbury Farm members pick up a share once a week from June to November at a central distribution point in their neighborhood. Roxbury Farm delivers to 6 sites in the Capital Region, 5 sites in Westchester, 2 sites in Harlem, 2 sites on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and the Farm in Columbia County.

When you arrive at your CSA site you check off your name on the sign-in sheet, pick up a newsletter (or download one from the website), and read the share list. You then collect each item from the share list and place it in your own bag. If you are going on vacation you can have a friend or neighbor pick up you share. But, don't worry none of the vegetables go to waste, all the produce left after the CSA pick up is delivered to a food pantry or community kitchen.

What’s in a share?
A share provides 10-17 lbs of freshly harvested produce each week. Given an average harvest, a share provides enough vegetables to feed 2-4 adults eating a vegetable based diet (400-450 lbs of produce every season).

Each week you will receive 7-12 different varieties of vegetables. You will experience a variety of vegetables that changes with the seasons. From early spring with wide variety of greens, scallions, and radishes, through the peak of the summer with rich flavored tomatoes, freshly picked sweet corn, and green beans, and into the cool days of fall with hearty root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, and parsnips.

Fruit Share:
In addition to our weekly CSA vegetable share Roxbury Farm also offers our members the option to buy a fruit share by subscription only. The fruit provided in the share is all grown in Columbia County orchards but it is not organic. The share includes 2-4 lbs of pre-bagged fruit per week, ranging from sweet cherries, to plums, peaches, pears and a large variety of apples. We deliver fruit for 18 weeks beginning in July.

Sharing Shares:
If you would like to purchase a half share, we ask that you find someone to split the share with. We request that you indicate on your enrollment form one primary shareholder, who will be responsible for making the payments to the farm. We cannot accept checks from both parties. The share must be picked up all at once: you cannot sign in and pick up only your half of the vegetables. All splitting of shares must be done outside the pick-up site, unless you come together. (Some people divide their share by picking up on alternate weeks).

What is my responsibility as a member?
A CSA eliminates the need for a retailer, so the members not only share the harvest with the farmers, but the distribution of the harvest as well. It is important for members to help keep the sites running smoothly or they don't work. Each member or family is asked to contribute three to four hours of time, helping to set up or clean up the site, delivering leftover food to a pantry, or telephoning other members with reminders.

If you are unable to fulfill this work requirement please contact the farm to work out an alternative arrangment.

What is the share price based on?
Each fall the farmers go over the farm budget to figure out the operating costs for the next season. They then divide the costs of operating the farm by the number of members. This is the base share price. The farm adds a delivery fee to pay for the trucking costs. Then each member community adds on an administrative fee to provide for management of the pick-up site. Each site community has a different share price, see the specific site page for share prices.


Thu Apr 17: UU Christian Fellowship

On Thu Apr 17, the MNY (Metro New York) chapter of the UUCF (Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship) will have its April meeting.

In recognition of Holy Week and the end of the Lenten season, there will be a small communion service at the start of the meeting to commemorate Maundy Thursday.

The meeting is in the downstairs chapel of the Community Church of New York (40 E 35th St, Manhattan) at 7:30 pm.
This communion service is open to all, not only UUCF members.
Afterward, we’ll return to our regular programming.

From Rev. Kelly Mason:
This church year, our theme has been Moving Beyond Doubting Thomas. We’re continuing our discussions of The Gospel of Thomas, that notorious extracanonical sayings gospel. We’ve been looking closely at this occasionally scandalous scripture and also the exciting new scholarship that has been done about it in recent decades. This has been a fascinating point of discussion for both old and new attendees of our local UUCF chapter. On Thu Apr 17, we'll be gathering at the Community Church of NY from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm, just as we will on the 3rd Thursday evening of each month through Thu Jun 19.

At the very end of June, the 2014 Unitarian Universalist General Assembly will be held in Providence, RI. At GA, the national organization of UUCF will be sponsoring a UU communion service called “The Meal for Others” on Fri Jun 27 evening. In addition, UUCF members from across the country will be attending a Sunday morning service at the First Universalist Church of Providence, where communion will be included in the 9:30 service on Sun Jun 29. More information about both those services can be found on the UUCF Facebook page.

Early in May, I will be speaking as part of a panel at the 2014 Metro NY district meeting, talking about the Christian perspective in a highly diverse UU theology. Recently, Skinner House books has published a series of books on the Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist perspectives in our faith movement. The panel will be held in Morristown, NJ on the evening of Fri May 2. Anyone interested in attending should be sure to register for the event; further information about that is available online at http://www.uumetrony.org/am14/index.htm.

Note that our reading list – while quite illuminating – is only recommended, not required. People are welcome to join the group at any time with any degree of familiarity with the material. A treasure trove of background information is online at the Gospel of Thomas website, http://users.misericordia.edu/davies/thomas/Thomas.html. At the national level, UUCF has its own rich store of resources available at its website and invites lively dialogue about alternative Christian communities and various “heresies” within the larger church at www.uuchristian.org.

Do let me know about any questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions you might have regarding our Metro NY UUCF chapter meeting. Folks from various congregations throughout the tri-state area have attended in recent years, so thank you all for your generous support of UUCF within our wider Metro New York district. You are warmly encouraged to pass on word of our regular UUCF meetings to those in your UU congregations or other Christian-curious friends who might be intrigued by what UU Christianity has to offer. During this coming Holy Week and Eastertide, people may be especially inclined to connect with our perspective on the Christian tradition.
Links for the MNY chapter of UUCF for 2013-14:

"Metro NY UUCF Flyer"
"Monthly Schedule"
"Scholars' Version of Gospel of Thomas"
"Order of Service and Resources"

For more info, contact UU minister, Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason: Rev.KMMason@Gmail.com