American for French . . .
A NYC daily newspaper headline stated the fact:AGAIN. Here today this American’s Red, White, and Blue supports the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.
— rPs 07 15 2016
Summer Blooms . . .
Bloomsday passed with a literary flourish on June 16 and now, just a few days later, Summer is here in New York City, or rather as of 6:34 p.m. Eastern Standard Time today, June 20.
Rain or shine, this is the peak time for the Wildflowers of the West Village. Multiple species, in some cases multiples varieties of the same genus, such as the plantains (Plantago) can be found edging lawns and other green spaces throughout the Five Boroughs.
Have a great summer season.
– rPs 06 20 2016
Anniversary Spring . . .
Six (6!) years ago the concept of “Wildflowers of the West Village” conceived in liberty an ongoing mission to serve History. The best is, as the rest, and seeks out to answer what untended wild exists on the western edge of Manhattan during the early twenty-first century.
Report as a journalist: craft, ethics, objectivity. Write as a poet within the standard prose traditions of Natural History. The fact the flora explorations offer exercise at whatever fitness level one desires has extended and sustained a silver lining to my distance running life for two score plus of years.
Spring Equinox 2016 gusted in near 12:30 a.m. EST with preparations readied for a citywide snow storm that arrived only as brief periods of spritzing sleet. The predominant weather pattern has remained bluebird skies, sun bright, almost white, the atmosphere blowing on strong sustained winds.
Some outings may be more of a hike than a run. Sometimes both are combined for various effects. Spring time gives the city good air before the pollen count commences, great times to be out of doors.
Full sun bathed one such exertion combo around the leafy stretches of NYC’s parks. Marshy areas call for lighter stepping. I attempt to not even leave footprints. A drier winter has left marsh in place under a dry intact leaf carpet in most areas. One spot of perhaps an acre did stand out as wet as expected. Brush nested in oak leaves, which received sun later in the afternoon. Within that section there rested a spot near a tannic puddle bottomed in saturated oak leaves. Nearby stood distinctive green candle flame spires rooted in a patterned purple almost ceramic in appearance; there the new green shoots of the soon to be enormous Skunk Cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus.
Sighted often on spring hikes, near the water waded in search of trout, some enormous verdant “verde” ears may be seen by early April. Fly fishers may take note stoneflies and bees are attracted to the plant, inedible and indelicate of odor to most humans. The health and vigor and native green this species gives to one’s eyes a fresh bloom to the picture; a kind of green quotation to the predominant three brown, white, and blue.
Skunk Cabbage could just as easily be called Woodpecker Cabbage, or Trout Cabbage, given its time of emergence and the other active living species gathered and about around the days surrounding the Spring Equinox.
Symplocarpus may be NYC’s first native thumb up for another growing season, perhaps like a first tuba in spring’s unfolding symphony of green. Skunk Cabbage takes its place with all the other wildflowers of the West Village, and beyond.
Happy 6th Anniversary, Wildflowers of the West Village. Spring, 2016.
– rPs 03 21 2016
February Flowers Green . . .
Wind may be heard in the ears on the first afternoon, followed by daylight hours of stillness. Snow melts under scattered showers over a few overcast February days. Water, cold and clean, drips and drops over rocks, down trunks, and brings early green into bloom in Manhattan.
Soft light from a variegated gray sky gives conditions bright for the Lichens, Candelariella and Cladonia. The wash over stones swells cracks as well as sustains the Moss, Leucobryum:
Some views are so rendered by nature to appear as Art in itself that should be viewed but not walked upon. Take in a lawn sprinkled with the bristled iron brown fruits of the Sweetgum, Liquidambar, then move along. The Path: the fact, like the philosophy, when followed keeps the pristine that way.
Wet and gloomy, perhaps the middle of Winter can affect some psyche’s in that manner. The difference comes as the following days see a break, often bright and breezy, marking the conclusion of a February rain cycle, as did this one in 2016. Afterward, bedded in oak leaf litter, the Onion Grass, Romulea, stands refreshed, as does the viewer, the person turned away from interior and exterior screens and instead focused on the living open air found outside during February in Manhattan.
– rPs 02 22 2016