The new year sailed in on wisdom and wings. We have a President-elect who is deeply experienced, empathetic, and open-hearted. When asked about Republicans who wouldn’t acknowledge his win, or might not work with him, he didn’t rant and rave. He simply smiled and assured us, “They will. They will.” He’s been, in a word, unflappable.

Here in New York City, the winter has seen a parliament of owls. Well, not in the strictest sense, because a “parliament” means a number of owls grouped together. But along with the usual owls—Long-eared or Great Horned here, Northern Saw-whet or Eastern Screech there—three Barred Owls have been present in Manhattan. All were reported on December 20th’s Christmas Bird Count: one in Central Park, one in the woods of Inwood, and one in Riverside Park.