lifestylesforthedisabled

Check out the birds at Blue Heron Park

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Tufted titmouse at Blue Heron Park, Staten Island by Aaron B/Lifestyles

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Tuesday was a wintry day but life was popping at Blue Heron Park. It was all happening at the bird feeders. Because contrary to popular belief, not all birds go south for the winter.

And even though it was cloudy and cold, with temps in the mid 30s, we didn’t even have to be that adventurous. The Annadale preserve has a spacious Nature Center, so in its warmth and comfort the Media Department members were able to watch the birds come and go and get quite a few photos displaying the beauty of the feathered creatures. (Check out the slide show below.)

The field trip was part of a new activity sponsored by Friends of Blue Heron Park, called the Jack Baird Bird Identification Program. It provides youngsters (and the young at heart) with binoculars, books and charts to ID the birds and chart to record the observations. Oh and a friendly ranger to help too.

“The birds come to the feeders because it is winter time, and they don’t have food, especially when the ground is frozen and covered with snow,” said Meredith A, explaining what Park Ranger Andrew told us.

“He also told us deer sometime visit,” said Kevin D.

The birds we saw included the red-bellied woodpecker, downy woodpecker, male and female cardinal, black-capped chickadee, tufted titmouse, house finch and the mockingbird.

“I got my first photo of a cardinal,” said a beaming Meredith.

When we first got there, things got a little quiet. Then a feeding frenzy broke out and binoculars and cameras were moving among the nearly dozen feeders. As you can see by the photos, when things get quiet at the feeders, there is plenty to look at in the center, from bones and fur to turtles.

The goal is for this feeder project to become a true scientific research project for the young and curious budding scientist.  By recording this data about the birds here in Staten Island, the information collected will help students, naturalists and other interested people.

The program is named in honor of the late Jack Baird, a native Staten Islander who helped create Blue Heron Park. It extends from now through April 30.

Check it out this weekend. Blue Heron Park Nature Center is at 222 Poillon Ave., Annadale.

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Kathryn Carse wrote this with Meredith Arout, Kevin Distefano, Aaron Bialer and Anthony Kefalinos. Photos by Meredith Arout, Kevin Distefano, Aaron Bialer.

Riki’s Third Tattoo

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I like geeky stuff. This tattoo is from a Japanese cartoon or anime. I like the design. It’s my personality. It’s my body. This is my geeky side.

 

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Riki’s latest tattoo, inspired by anime. “It’s my geeky side,” says Riki. (Yoni Chernock/Lifestyles)
Everyone wants to know: Are you afraid?

No. It didn’t hurt. Maybe a little spasm. But in general, I have a high tolerance for pain, so I feel nothing. The hard part is the tattoo takes hours. You have to stay still, not move around. You have to relax and stay physically still.

First me and my mom have to set up a consultation with the tattoo artist to decide the best place, size and color of the tattoo. My colors are white, dark purple and black.

Both cats have a yellow half moon shape. It is on my first tattoo too. (See below.)

The artist has to have a license. My artist was female. The place has papers that you have to sign. You have to bring ID to show you are of age — over 18.

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Riki G talks about her new tattoo. (Yoni Chernock/Lifestyles)

You have to take care of it. You have to wash it twice day with unscented bar soap to clear off bacteria. Then you put a small circle of lotion on it. You can’t swim. You can’t shave your legs.

I got my first tattoo when I was 21. I like bows, dressing up nice. I showed a picture to my mom. She liked it. It’s my tattoo, but she has to be “in the circle.”

I got my second tattoo when I was 22. The meaning is private.

This is my third tattoo. I’m 23. It’s a way to express myself.

This story was written form an an interview with Riki G by Angel Bruno, Yoni Chernock, Timothy Fauske and Anthony Kefalinos

Meredith the Magnificent Magician

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Meredith solves her friends’ problems with her magical powers.

How did she do that?

Shooting and editing with the students at Staten Island Technical High School provided budding Lifestyles actors with a chance to have a good time making an intriguing video.

Lifestyles for the Disabled collaborated with Staten Island Technical High School to create this video.

Take a tour of Italy with Giuseppe

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Giuseppe looks right at home strolling around Italy, the thing he wanted to do most if he could do anything.

Members of Lifestyles Media Department traveled to New Dorp  to join the high school students at Staten Island Tech for some cool sessions in their TV studio.

In addition to a control booth and three video cameras, the studio is equipped with a green screen. The creative juices were flowing with all the possible visual effects provided by the digital backdrop.

Enjoy the tour.

Basketball Fantasy: Shoot the winning basket

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The crowd is going wild. The cheerleaders are pumped. Brian coolly dribbles in, shoots and sinks the winning basket.

Brought to you through the magic of a green screen.

Members of Lifestyles Media Department traveled to New Dorp  to join the high school students at Staten Island Tech for some cool sessions in their TV studio.

In addition to a control booth and three video cameras, the studio is equipped with a green screen. The creative juices were flowing with all the possible visual effects provided by the digital backdrop.

For Brian, that meant hearing the roar of the crowd as he launched the game winning shot.

R5 Fan Fantasy with SI Tech and Lifestyles for the Disabled

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Members of Lifestyles Media Department traveled to New Dorp  to join the high school students at Staten Island Tech for some cool sessions in their TV studio.

In addition to a control booth and three video cameras, the studio is equipped with a green screen. The creative juices were flowing with all the possible visual effects provided by the digital backdrop.

Meredith Arout chose to “attend” a concert of R5, her all-time favorite band.

“I didn’t really know what I was going to do ahead of time, but I have been to an R5 concert so I know what it was like,” said Meredith.

She looks right at home dancing on stage.

“It was funny when I ran off the stage,” she laughed.

Was she nervous about being “on stage.”

“No. I was excited,” she beamed.

Meredith Arout with Kathryn Carse

‘Talented Fish’ with Lifestyles and St. John’s U

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Aspiring scholars from Lifestyles for the Disabled traveled to St. John University’s Staten Island campus to collaborate on projects that taught them about the “Mysteries of the Ocean.” At their final class, they take a few minutes to share what they learned about “The Talents of Fish” and other underwater creatures with Lifestyles videographer Meredith Arout.  Sannurha Vertus shares her talent for singing.