Archive for Wildflowers: Yellow

Taxicabs and The Easter Egg Effect

Taxicabs and The Easter Egg Effect . . .

Snow Drop on Sunday

Snow Drop on Sunday

Wildflower City Firsts With Full Effect

A colony of dandelions as yellow as taxicabs scattered themselves on a browned hillside. Taxicabs, ironic in the color meets Latin cadence of Taraxacum, the official. Taraxacum Taxicabs.

And groundsel, another daisy Asteraceae and an active commuter, stood firm and flush in full yellow bloom.

Taraxacum Two-Step NYC (01 2015)

Taraxacum Two-Step
NYC (01 2015)

Bright, warmer than the season’s usual early winter face: January on a Sunday afternoon remained mild.

Groundsel Epiphany NYC (01 2015)

Groundsel Epiphany
NYC (01 2015)

A foot of snow covered the scene one week later. A sky grey like actual polished lead hung the air heavy with damp deep cold riding a wind that scoured.

Two and a half months of brown, white, and blue with an emphasis on the white has taken another form in the sustained full sun of March. A very few Galanthus nivalis have appeared. Cautious egg white snowdrop heads shaped like ornamental streetlamps peer from leaf litter soaked with snow melt. Puddles in undeveloped areas, lots and parks, have formed shallow ponds of perhaps a quarter acre in surface area up to one foot in depth.

And on Palm Sunday, Passover and Easter just days away, egg yolk yellow spoke an internal smile set in eyes of palest purple: the croci, feral for the most part in fact. City spots here and there overnight decorated with wild plant life: a park corner, a tree pit, grassy curbsides. The random and sparse spread produced The Easter Egg Effect in my own wildflower city hikes set on random and at the speed of meditation.

Croci Afternoon NYC (03 2015)

Croci Afternoon
NYC (03 2015)

Spring has arrived in the western side of Manhattan.

– rPs 03 31 2015

Postscript: The Easter Egg Effect, The High Line edition –

https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2011/03/14/the-easter-egg-effect/

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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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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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Still Life Set in a Cityscape

Still Life Set in a Cityscape . . .

Butter & Eggs by the Stump

Butter & Eggs by the Stump

The City Still Life, continued: Ideas or Ideals?

October brings a new, almost kinetic view: warmer colors spread in the foreground as the backdrop of sky, like the temperature, reflects colder hues. Bright, or subdued, autumn’s more visible variety can shift one’s attention and shape it toward color composition. Hikes along a river lined by trees showing ever less chlorophyll have fueled thinkers too numerous to list anywhere but in some form of comprehensive Encyclopedia Autumnus.

One subject: The City Still Life, con Flores, im Herbst (“with flowers, in Autumn”) often pops up besides the trees that can no longer leaf. The stump, the rooted gravestone of a neighborhood tree, low to the ground, overlooked, left alone, or still in line to be removed, centers a wild space that may be encircled by plantains beaded by rain, nightshades gathered in miniature copses, or scatterings of less dispersed species:

Chicory, Chicorium intybus

Chicory in October

Chicory in October

Mallow, Malva neglecta

Mallow in October

Mallow in October

Yellow Toadflax (Butter & Eggs), Linaria vulgaris

Yellow Toadflax in October

Yellow Toadflax in October

Conscious tree cutting and removal always depresses me, more for the fact the tree cannot be left to compost where it comes to lay. A green space more sustained by itself by letting it be would better reflect its organic natural history. Spaces may be shaped, that is understandable. May it also be comprehended that a city park curated as a rotating clean slate may not be ideal when applied in a universal, as in monolithic, manner? Stumps add character and the distinctive wild space equivalent of a still life set in a greater landscape, or cityscape.

– rPs 10 07 2014

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Wave Hill Revisited

Wave Hill Revisited . . .

Wave Hill in Summer (photo taken 08 24 2014)

Wave Hill in Summer
(photo taken 08 24 2014)

Each season shares its quality of being in expression through plant life. Any green space reacts to and evolves over a temperate calendar year. Flower colors vary, as does the scale, texture, and even shape of this or that plant’s leaf or stem.

Wave Hill in the Bronx sets just such a scene for close looks at cultivated plant life in process. There are 28 acres in The Bronx covered by a flowered pattern as if a giant picnic basket blanket has been spread, supported by bedrock bluffs, summer green, looking over a gorge bottomed by a variegated aquamarine river, its surface roughened by strong currents.

Beyond the artful gardens soft wildflower edges do have a place here. Plant patches now offer a sharper, drier tone of color with some lingering favorites from earlier in the summer: the yolk yellow and china blue Asiatic Dayflower and Lady’s Thumb, its flowered head not unlike an elongated pink mulberry, stem uptight.

Here are a few Wave Hill wildflowers in bloom this August:

American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

American Pokeweed 08 2014

Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis)

Asiatic Dayflower 08 2014

Common Mullien (Verbascum thapsus)

Common Mullein 08 2014

Goldenrod (genus Solidago)

Goldenrod 08 2014

Marestail (Conyza Canadensis)

Marestail 08 2014

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)

White Snakeroot 08 2014

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) were also spotted on a bright and dry Sunday afternoon. Such variety brings new views every time one revisits Wave Hill, another must destination for the wildflowers of the west of New York City.

Wave Hill Entrance (photo taken 08 24 2014)

Wave Hill Entrance
(photo taken 08 24 2014)

– rPs 08 26 2014)

Postscript: Wave Hill’s website http://www.wavehill.org/

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Wildflower Cabin in the Woods

Wildflower Cabin in the Woods . . .

The Cabin (photo taken 06 21 2014)

The Cabin (photo taken 06 21 2014)

Bloomsday remains the 16th of June as time continues to pass through a June in bloom.

River runs and a weekend visit yet again along the west side, along the banks of the Hudson River, this outing situated near the southern end of Lake George, also an impressive water body filling big grooved earth in the domed range of the Andirondack Mountains.

Lake George, Looking North (photo taken 06 22 2014)

Lake George, Looking North (photo taken 06 22 2014)

The Hudson River’s glinting flow could be seen from a small clearing in the trees on the cabin’s west side. The sun was high on the first days of summer. Evenings followed around a crackling forest kindling fire accompanied by starry nights and the tumbling sound wave of the water flush in strong motion.

This Hudson face here is lined by trees and ferns that flank and shade a broad, cobblestone, relatively shallow and even trout river. The translucent flow rips. Wading best done makes the sport a fusion exercise of yoga, hiking, and bouldering, blended. One stretch possesses a scattering of exposed monoliths near to both sides with numerous current slots and runs that hold recalcitrant trout; a rare mix of brook, rainbow, and brown. The full environment bears green banks, buffering sounding, moving water; crisp air in the form of mild breezes; and, at the start of this new summer, bright sun, almost white, filtered little by washed blue sky.

The sum mixed on this outing weighty enough to have left quite an imprint, more a full sensory movie that shall play again and again, I am sure, in one mind during subway rides.

Hudson River as Trout Stream (photo taken 06 22 2014)

Hudson River as Trout Stream (photo taken 06 22 2014)

Page white cumulus, real whipped cream toppings tipped by a twist from a painterly brush, arrived middle morning from the direction northeast. A sloping hillside hike back to the cabinside revealed feral white daisies, true Marsh Speedwell (Veronica scuttelatta), and a small number of burnt orange flowers, Asteraceae, fixed atop taut fuzzy stalks standing center of basal rosettes. This flower is one I included in my novella, Little Hills. The excerpt here conveys my point:

“They walked the cut path, passing here and there through the lingering sun-warmed aroma of grass. Young Robert pictured these patches of scent as invisible little cloud islands in the air. To either side of them, brilliant orange hawkweed blooms posed on the top of slender fuzzy stems rising from basal rosettes. A few white cabbage butterflies dappled small shadows around the flowers.”

Orange Hawkweed in Dappled Shade.

Orange Hawkweed in Dappled Shade.

Orange Hawkweed (species Hieracium). I also encountered a more yellow variety beside one of the roller coasters I dared engage on the park grounds of Great Escape: Six Flags.

Yellow Hawkweed at Great Escape: Six Flags.

Yellow Hawkweed at Great Escape: Six Flags.

Hawkweed: a wildflower I may always associate with summer fun with family and friends.

Wildflowers in the West Village spirit, still.

– rPs 06 26 2014

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Wave Hill

Wave Hill . . .

View From Wave Hill

View From Wave Hill

We had the pleasure to spend some quality west side time at Wave Hill in The Bronx during their Arbor Weekend at the end of April. What is Wave Hill? I’ll let their mission statement speak:

“Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.”

Wave Hill offers a complimentary hourly shuttle service from the end of the 1 Train at 242nd Street to the public gardens and back. The ride takes fewer than five minutes and leaves one at the front gate of the property. Within this expanse of preserved land reside trees, both deciduous and coniferous, flower gardens, greenhouses, an art gallery, a café, and a gift shop with adjacent restrooms. The layout is bright and spacious, with lots of flagstone and brick and wood chip trails: everything a New Yorker cramped into a studio might want from a weekend, or weekday, visit.

Wave Hill Entrance

Wave Hill Entrance

The initial view is especially breathtaking: the Hudson River Palisades; an exposed, sheer rock cliff capped by an unbroken line of trees stretching as far as one can see along the New Jersey side of the fjord. (More on this point can be found below in the Postscript)

Up close, along the margins of the grounds full of tended native and ornamental plants, one can find some of the region’s familiar wildflower stars of spring:

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

Garlic Mustard (Allaria petiolata)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

And something new, too: While we waked across one of the sloping meadows near the Glyndor Gallery, we also found and photographed a first for Wildflowers of the West Village:

Whitlow Grass (Erophila verna)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

This member of the Brassicaceae family, the mustards, sports numerous flowers consisting of four paired white petals. The blooms rise on ruddy stems from a small basal rosette, which forms a very tight, tiny bush that is quite attractive.

We encourage anyone with an interest in flowers, trees, gardening, or landscape architecture to visit Wave Hill, and to return again and again as the seasons pass and offer more and different views of this green west end of The Bronx.

– rPs 04 28 2014

Postscript: The riverfront that gives the great view from Wave Hill is under threat from a proposed office tower on the New Jersey side. I encourage all those who wish this undeveloped land to remain in its original, natural state to visit the following website and perhaps even sign the accompanying petition to Protect The Palisades:

http://www.protectthepalisades.org/

VIEW UNDER THREAT! The Palisades in Spring

VIEW UNDER THREAT!
The Palisades in Spring

.

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Earth Day 2014

Earth Day 2014 . . .

Yellow Trout Lily In Bud. (photo taken 04 2014)

Yellow Trout Lily In Bud. (photo taken 04 2014)

Happy Earth Day 2014 from Wildflowers of the West Village!

Click on the following link to learn more about the holiday:

http://www.earthday.org/

Meanwhile, enjoy these recent photos of one of the season’s most attractive wild herbaceous plants, the Yellow Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum.

Yellow Trout Lily In Bloom. (photo taken 04 2014)

Yellow Trout Lily In Bloom. (photo taken 04 2014)

— rPs 04 22 2014

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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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The Christmas (Wild)flower

The Christmas (Wild)flower . . .

Groundsel in bloom before Christmas. (photo taken 12 04 2013)

Groundsel in bloom before Christmas. (photo taken 12 04 2013)

December has, for me, been a busy month filled with moving (more on that story in a future update) as well as traditional holiday activities. That may explain why the theme of Christmas colored my principle wildflower encounter in recent weeks.

This season’s weather has been on average much colder than during the past few years. Most of New York City’s ruderal plants, annual and perennial, have consisted of brown stalks crowned by split seed pods. There was just one species of undomesticated flower consistently in bloom despite the cold. This is the Asteraceae immigrant, Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris).

While the lovely red Poinsettia and the waxy white Mistletoe are most identified with a traditional Christmas, I can’t help point out the evergreen quality of Groundel’s leaves, edged like a snowflake, and the tight golden bauble of its bloom. As far as the region’s established flora is concerned, Groundsel is, to me, the most authentic Christmas (wild)flower.

Christmas Star: Groundsel up close. (photo taken 12 04 2013)

Christmas Star: Groundsel up close. (photo taken 12 04 2013)

– rPs 12 30 2013

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