Vernal Equinox 2015

Vernal Equinox . . .

St Lukes Tree Flowers and Sky 03 19 2015

A day does make a difference. The eve of the Vernal Equinox in Manhattan was sunny, if windy, and here and there, like at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields along Hudson Street, the very earliest hints of spring could be seen basking in the light.

First Shoots: On the Eve of the Vernal Equinox (photo taken 03 19 2015)

First Shoots: On the Eve of the Vernal Equinox
(photo taken 03 19 2015)

First Tree Blossoms: West Village (photo taken 03 19 2015)

First Tree Blossoms: West Village
(photo taken 03 19 2015)

The next day: again, snow . . .

Vernal Equinox NYC Snow 03 20 2015

— rPs 03 20 2015

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One Day in Bloom

One Day in Bloom . . .

Foliose Lichen in Bloom Manhattan, NYC. (photo taken 02 22 2015)

Foliose Lichen in Bloom
Manhattan, NYC.
(photo taken 02 22 2015)

Sunday. Everyone outside, on the streets, walking, or on park paths, running. One hiking along the tree’s edge of the city met perhaps the first bloom of 2015. One day of sun bracketed by single digits, one day that touched 44 degrees Fahrenheit, still and bright in the air, brought the foliose lichen to bloom.

The leafy thallus of this tough, enduring pant gorged on cold melt from white snow crevices around the trunk. Extended colonies of varying density bloomed in shades of yellow just bright enough to capture my eye, not yet bored with winter brown and white, just happy for the brief broader palate to contemplate.

Mountain and Cloud (photo taken 02 22 2015)

Mountain and Cloud
(photo taken 02 22 2015)

rPs 02 24 2015

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Snow Day(s)

Snow Day(s) . . .

Parallel (Manhattan Snowfield After the Blizzard of 2015)

Parallel (Manhattan Snowfield After the Blizzard of 2015)

Vertical whiteout, snowfall carried on a sustained, at times brutal wind, gave fresh perspective on the powers of Earth’s natural processes. Snow season, perhaps, was peaking. I dressed for a cross-country run that allowed me to pass through Riverside Park during the thick of it, the Blizzard of 2015.

The next day, songbirds conversed in bright sunshine. Sky blue and unbroken, breezes still persistent, yet sonorous, graced a day free with time to take a snow hike. The storm, though smaller than predicted, had shut down the city of New York, giving a holiday after the headache.

In park, the skeletons of asters, goldenrod, and white snakeroot stood above snow gardens sculpted by wind and what it carries through the trees, often oak leaves. Stumps off to the side and some thicker fallen branches added the brighter tans of bracket fungi. Most colorful were the birds. Song sparrows descended, perched sideways and twisted heads, to forage off the wildflower stems capped by seeds.

Snow Stump Brackets (NYC 01 2015)

Snow Stump Brackets (NYC 01 2015)

– rPs 01 30 2015

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Thin Ice

Comme Il Vous Plaira

Cold calms it down
Despite the light of live fire.
Brown, white, and blue
Rush red flush in full attire.

This, That, and Thine
Locked on the city of lights.
Your time and mine:
Most necessary of rights.

Hielo Fino in Manhattan (January 07 2015)

Hielo Fino in Manhattan
(January 07 2015)

— rPs 01 08 2015

Postscript: My opinion is my own and includes the belief that I am as a creative writer and professional journalist an individual who cannot condone the brutal slaying of fellow journalists no matter how they may have expressed themselves in media. The events in Paris on January 07, 2015 should serve notice that a global restraint on violent reactions to free expression must be accepted, adopted, and enforced in full. No one or thing, not even in the name of a sacred human conception of God with a capital G. has the right to take another human life. Murder is an immoral, an inhumane, an incorrect act that discredits the dignity of us all.

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Brown, White, and Blue

Brown, White, and Blue . . .

Brown, White, and Blue

Brown, White, and Blue

Brown, white, and blue fills out the flag of the season marked by low light and temperatures. Late autumn, the winter proper, and early spring together sing in a harmony of three colors on clear bright days.

American Pokeweed stands shriveled and tan with a few blackened clusters of berries still in grip.

American Pokeweed 12 12 2014

American Pokeweed
12 12 2014

Asters of several varieties have browned and gone to seed in heads as white as frost.

Asters of New York 12 12 2014

Asters of New York
12 12 2014

Snow, a bit, marks the edges. December, a proper cold one in New York City, can still give the hiker or cross country runner gifts of discovery as long as fans of wildflowers respect and appreciate the full life cycle of urban species.

December: Two Species Together

December: Two Species Together

– rPs 12 12 2014

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November Libation

November Libation . . .

New York Aster

New York Aster

Shadows long across a lawn otherwise flooded with sun lead to a lone New York Aster in bloom. Light reflected off leaves shines as bright as wine. Foliage, served like oven-browned vegetables to the eye, rustles below a monochrome blue sky. November in Manhattan can approach perfection on a clear day.

Flowers now reflect white for most sighted. Symphyotrichum novi-belgii, the New York Aster’s light purple, makes an exception as does the egg yolk of the Solanum, varieties of Nightshade and Horse Nettle. Tiny nightshade plants often bloom around the uncut rings of turf that surround park trees. Small size may be due to in part to oak tree tannins in the soil.

Nightshade & Oak Leaf

Nightshade & Oak Leaf

Richer lawns hold patches of mature pink Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria peersicaria, and the tiny daisy faces of Galinsoga parviflora, Galinsoga.

Lady's Thumb (or Heartweed)

Lady’s Thumb (or Heartweed)

Galinsoga parviflora

Galinsoga parviflora

Seeds set to parachute from tiny globes blow in the walkway edges as do stands of Ageratina altissima, White Snakeroot. The flower heads of this Asteraceae resemble baby balls of yarn when viewed through lenses of enhanced imagination. Rational can turn Dionysian at the sight behind the now relaxed leaves of American Pokeweed. Phytolacca americana stems, exposed, convey the color of Pinot Noir.

Gone to Seed

Gone to Seed

White Snakeroot

White Snakeroot

Phytolacca americana

Phytolacca americana

Here’s a toast to November in Manhattan.

– rPs 11 12 2014

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Wildflowers of Waikiki

Wildflowers of Waikiki . . .

Frangipani blossom (Plumeria) set in the Hawaiian Airlines logo

Frangipani blossom (Plumeria) set in the Hawaiian Airlines logo

Hawaii begins borne by flowers. “Aloha” is the aroma and sight of flowers around necks, pinned behind ears, hanging from trees. Gardens, lawns, and copses all in bloom as a collective fragrance carries on a mild warm breath off Pacific seawater.

Here are some views from an October 2014 visit to O’ahu . . .

Waikiki 10 2014

Hawaii 2 10 2014

Hawaii 3 102014

Hawaii 4 10 2014

Hawaii 5 10 2014

Paradise Close . . .

Bird of Paradise 10 2014

– rPs 10 31 2014

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