Archive for Wild Non-Flowering Plants

Brown Flowers

Brown Flowers . . .

Brown Flower (NYC 01 2017)

Brown Flower
(NYC 01 2017)

Winds like sudden change bring a dust devil three stories tall. The spiral appears, carries fallen brown leaves and other debris as it pauses, then passes through a rear courtyard in Manhattan. Yesterday there was rain, a week before, snow.

January Snow (NYC 01 2017)

January Snow
(NYC 01 2017)

Temperature. Precipitation. Wind. — The planet has a trio of tools to modulate the weather. This new year has experienced all three in just as many weeks. Climate changes almost day to day with a strobe effect at this local level.

January began with snow under the clearest, cleanest blue and white sky, the nested web of tree bark browns giving glimpses of rows of great buildings beyond.

Snow does not linger under rain. White turns into the waterlogged tans and yellowed green of the unconstructed ground when the fog rolls in with spattered showers. Park turf begins to feel like marsh. Even cross-country runners stick to the hard paths.

January Rain (NYC 01 2017)

January Rain
(NYC 01 2017)

This marks the peak season of the brown flowers. Skeletal remnants of several species continue to covey beauty. There remains a multiplicity of forms to compensate for less diversity of color.

Asteraceae. Brassicaceae. – Asters. Goldenrod. Thistles. Peppercress. – Their upright tresses stand symmetrical, architectural.

There remains a multiplicity of forms to compensate for less diversity of color.

Wildflower beauty endures all kinds of changes in the weather, so far.

– rPs 01 22 2017

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Ten Days in August

Ten Days in August . . .

Ganoderma (NYC 08 19 2016)

Ganoderma
(NYC 08 19 2016)

Time enough makes enough time past for the passing eye to perceive a growth surge in a fresh Ganoderma attached to a tree on a Manhattan side street.
The bracket fungi generate and expresses a repeated series of shelves ascending or descending . Rippled by the environment, these waves of growth are beautifully expressed. The sharp color contrast of the edge to the body clearly communicates an understanding of balance. Each one may be likened to the ring on a tree. The cycle appears more frequently than a year and may mark dry and wet periods of slow or vigorous growth.

Ganoderma (NYC 08 29 2016)

Ganoderma
(NYC 08 29 2016

This time marks the middle age of summer. Green has gone to the tired end of the spectrum as if some gray had been added from age, dust, a face exposed to the city. The bright and dry days of summer’s middle age give clearance at the end of a serious wave of high humidity in increased heat.
Clear air gives the spread of an individual Marestail grace to remain green from the available water. Individual Conyza canadensis hold beauty upright in tall symmetry dressed in green stalks and a filigree of white.
A clear face as the milk white Convolvulaceae. Bindweed sits bright before leaves sharp as a lancet, another allusion to Ages Middle like time Yore and ways Olde.

– rPs 08 30 2016

Postscript: More on Marestail: https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/11/09/the-mares-tail/
and Bindweed: https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/10/08/blooms-that-bind/

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February Flowers Green

February Flowers Green . . .

Manhattan Lichen 02 2016

Manhattan Lichen,  Candelariella and Cladonia. (02 2016)

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:

Leucobryum Moss 02 2016

Pin Cushion Moss, Leucobryum, NYC. (02 2016)

 

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.

Sweetgum Grove 02 2016

Sweetgum Grove, NYC. (02 2016)

 

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.

Onion Grass 02 2016

Onion Grass in the Oak Leaves, NYC. (02 2016)

 

– rPs 02 22 2016

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October Ghosts Are Not Green

October Ghosts Are Not Green . . .

Amanita Which One? (NYC 10 2015)

Amanita
Which One?
(NYC 10 2015)

There is a brief hour or so in morning and in evening both where a walk in the park feels shadowed. Time good to run.

Darkness, the simple absence of sun, comes at a quicker pace in October. The bluebird sky with cirrus vapor trails glowing goes dim in almost a blink when our star dips rather than slides below the horizon. Branches above remain leafy, block the darkening sky, and make a roof. You find yourself feeling enclosed in the outside, feeling fun scared outdoors. Imagination takes the macabre, perhaps Gothic, trailing path within the confines of nature’s haunted house.

The space below the branches is a more quiet place. Scattered yellowed leaves grace the ground. Single crickets scrape out a weak, woody, tonal rhythm like a single string lonesome and slower in step with the cool temperature. The tremulous vibrato creates the scare soundtrack. Some wind in the tree tops helps as well. The leaves will always carry voices.

Progress forward and happen to contemplate how this year a space probe from Earth, New Horizons, encountered Pluto and Charon and revealed their faces. The Ferryman? He of Hades? Spooky times as we drift down a line through the days toward Halloween.

Ghosts along the way do appear more resolute now upon colder, damper, ground. The chilled white caps of the Amanita, the Death Angel, may appear. Perhaps that trio clustered at the base of the ivy? Huddled, it seems, around something hidden?

Jogging along now, faster of foot, find bracketing the paths (in a way that just demanded pun dropped), the shelf fungi. Bracket fungi like the Ganoderma sport high contrast stripes that act as reflectors when spotted and passed by head lamp. Trametes, known also as Turkey Tail, rippled and lined in white like the fins of the brook trout, the inner bracket concentric rings in a range of brown true to the bird. Equally; Autumnly: the match for any tale of spectres encountered along the path lit low.

Bracketed Path (NYC 10 2015)

Bracketed Path
(NYC 10 2015)

Turkey Tail (NYC 10 2015)

Turkey Tail
(NYC 10 2015)

That October evening run in the Manhattan green, remember it formed a loop, a circle, haunted by ghosts lost to the living, uplifted anyway by the living still. Like those white caps, which turned out to be Amanita citrina, the False Death Cap, an edible mushroom spared the table because it so closely resembles its fatal fellow.

New York City harbors paths, routes where ghosts remain to roam, and where that Earthy symbol from ghost stories, a kind of flowering not green, grows.

Ghostly Fungi Gravestone Log (NYC 2015)

Ghostly Fungi
Gravestone Log
(NYC 2015)

– rPs 10 14 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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Spring! Spring! Palm Sunday Passover

Spring! Spring! Palm Sunday Passover . . .

Scilla siberica April 2014.

Scilla siberica April 2014.

An atmospheric switch flicked. Palm Sunday passed, borne up on bright skies, extending a temperature nearly touching eighty Fahrenheit. The wind, at last, was less generous, bringing stillness.

Past high noon, along a fence, I did see a single yellowed bumblebee buzz a shaded Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). Beauty along a margin, preceding formal plantings, as nearby some nearly pale violet Scilla siberica (Siberian Squill) spread on a backdrop of bark brown soil.

Marsh Marigold April 2014.

Marsh Marigold April 2014.

Farther afield, yet on the west side near the Hudson, the Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) has appeared. No stinky foot in odor present here to my senses. This bloom, to my eyes, is the actual and sudden appearance of first thick leaves forming narrow green vases affixed to the forest floor.

One of Vases on the Forest Floor. (photo taken 04 10 2014)

One of Vases on the Forest Floor. (photo taken 04 10 2014)

Exceptional greenery became apparent, too, in patches of the Onion Grass chive (genus Allium), found often at the base of trees, standing in thatches at a full state of lushness.

genus Allium April 2014.

genus Allium April 2014.

Shoots! Everywhere!

Eastern Skunk Cabbage April 2014.

Eastern Skunk Cabbage April 2014.

Spring has begun to passover our latitude; at last.

– rPs 04 14 2014

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