What’s The Big Stink?

What’s The Big Stink? . . .

Skunk Cabbage April 2014

Vase on the Forest Floor: Symplocarpus. This North American native is stinky, too. (NYC, April)

Flower in the news . . . Flower in the news in New York City:

What’s the Big Stink?

Good News about to bloom:

My friends at the New York Botanical Garden have enjoyed sharing a rare moment with a most distinctive flowering plant:

Amorphophallus titanum is set to bloom.

 

“What’s the Big Stink?” When the plant flowers the source of that classic phrase may be known.

One may first hear a name: The Corpse Flower.

Omen? As it may have been when one last bloomed in NYC in 1939? Perhaps.

Magnificent? Certain. The scale, the distinctiveness of size and aroma of this plant nurtured “a decade in the making” has, for all that time, communicated enough to us to garner human attention and celebration.

“Bravo!” to . . . THE BLOOM.

— rPs 07 27 2016

 

Postscript: Visit the New York Botanical Garden and view the Corpse Flower Cam by following this link: NYBG/125  http://www.nybg.org/exhibitions/2016/corpse-flower.php

 

One may also visit in the field the somewhat similar, and indigenous, Skunk Cabbage , Symplocarpus, across the New York City area in March:  https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2016/03/21/anniversary-spring/

 

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American for French

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.

 

BLUE Chickory 07 2016

BLEU (Chichorium intybus 07 2016)

 

WHITE Catalpa 06 2016

WHITE (Catalpa speciosa NYC 07 2016)

 

ROUGE Duo Sumac 07 2016

ROUGE (Rhus glabra 07 2016)

— rPs 07 15 2016

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Second Half Fireworks

Second Half Fireworks . . .

 

Sumac Candle Panicle NYC 07 2016

Candle Flame: Sumac, genus Rhus, begins to bloom. (NYC 07 10 2016)

 

Again my head turns toward the Sumac. The flowering tree’s form has by its distinction in Autumn and Winter been visited before. Trees that flower and fruit are the largest of the Wildflowers of the West Village in scale. The dimensions of their blooms, often in multitudes, remains modest, gives scent, sweet aroma, to the watered cleansed air flowing off the Hudson.  Genus Rhus by its panicles stands on a pinnacle point within the five boroughs.

July begins the second half of the calendar year. The candle flame panicles of the Sumac catch fire in step with the traditional fireworks at the start of month. Army green trees in a blink flame on with a rich blend of reds. Trees from a distance advertise their berries. The panicles from that vantage look like berry dots across fixed fields of green. “Berries Offered Here” the message seems to say. Many of Manhattan’s birds, native American Robin and immigrant European Starling, feast here. So may humanity. The spikes, or panicles, will evolve by Autumn into ripe dense clusters of russet berries capable of a fine brewed cold press beverage.

 

Sumac Rhus NYC 07 2016

“Berries Offered Here” (NYC 07 2016)

 

For now, though, that beverage is something best served with, or as, ice. Hot summer for the wildflowers and their appreciators has arrived: the fires of July.

– rPs 07 11 2016

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Summer Blooms

Summer Blooms . . .

 

Plantago major 06 2016

Broadleaf Plantain, Plantago major (NYC 06 2016)

 

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.

 

Plantago lanceolata 06 2016

English Plantain, Plantago lanceolata (NYC 06 2016)

 

– rPs 06 20 2016

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May Showers, May Flowers

May Showers, May Flowers . . .

West Side Berm 05 2016

A Well-Untended West Side Berm (NYC 05 2016)

The annual NYC Wildflower Week filled the Five Boroughs with wild plant awareness, again celebrating native New York City flora, between May 8 and 15 this year.

Further exploration of the green spaces at the speed of exercise accompanied several days of dark sky and sprinkled rain. The cool water and ameliorated sunlight has invigorated everything that grows green in New York City. What follows has emerged as days bright and clear, brisk, borne on steady breeze. The dappled shade of the Sweetgum, Black Oak, London Plane, or Ginkgo reveals many native and immigrant inhabitants in flush growth.

 

Burdock, (Arctium lappa)

Burdock Manhattan 05 2016

Garlic Mustard, (Alliaria petiolatra)

Garlic Mustard 05 2016

 

Grass Lily (Ornithogalum umbellatum)

Grass Lillies NYC 05 2016

 

Shepherd’s Purse, (Capsella bursa-pastoris) Shepherds Purse Bench NYC 05 2016

One can encounter at ease many such plants sprouted to the size of a shrub. That advertises healthy vigor, acceptable conditions, and lenient grounds-keeping.

NYC Wildflower Week, and beyond; Wildflowers of the West Village, and beyond: here, along the trailed, trailing green edge of Manhattan. Proof may be witnessed on any average, well-untended New York City berm.

– rPs 05 18 2016

 

Postscript: The website of the NYC Wildflower Week may be browsed any time of year with a click of the link available to the right under the Blogroll.

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Three Gravestones

Three Gravestones . . .

 

Van Cortlandt Park Massacre NYC Spring 2016

SHAME: Part of the vast ongoing massacre of old deciduous trees falling to the saw in Riverside and Van Cortlandt Park this season. (NYC Spring 2016)

I.

Better views demand now.

Immigrants turned “invasive!”

Old trees around cut down

By naturalized non- natives?

 

Cattails In Seed Spring 2016

Cattails: Spring Gone To Seed (NYC 2016)

II.

Passing, cattail flowers seed,

Parachute lives, each on its own,

Scattered, carried, by the wind

Betting to reach free ground.

 

Willow NYC Spring 2016

Willow (NYC 2016)

 

III.

Green, again,

Gone the limber down.

Bead chains of brightest green

Drape over rain swelled brown.

 

– rPs 04 18 2016

.

Postscript: April is National Poetry Month. Enjoy.

https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/home

.

Report Illegal Tree Cutting in NYC here:

http://www.nycgovparks.org/services/forestry/illegal-tree-work

.

in memory of Robert L. Bogaski, Jr. (1949-2016) . . .

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Anniversary Spring

Anniversary Spring . . .

Trio of Leaves: Symplocarpus (NYC 03 2016)

Trio of Leaves: Symplocarpus
(NYC, 03 2016)

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.

“Phenology.”

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.

Six Spires Green Beside the Path: Symplocarpus (NYC, 03 2016)

Six Spires Green Beside the Path: Symplocarpus
(NYC, 03 2016)

– rPs 03 21 2016

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