Posts Tagged Manhattan

Earth Day 50

Earth Day 50 . . .

The Globe by Kim Brandell on Earth Day 50 Morning.
(NYC 04 22 2020)

Ten years ago on Earth Day 40 I walked in Central Park and wrote of the lovely clear spring day it was and how nature and the city seemed to be in ecological balance.

Ten years later we find New York City like the rest of the world locked down in the midst of a global pandemic. The weather is the same, even more intensely clear and crisp, but the human activity is mostly absent.

My everyday life has me fall under the category of “essential (healthcare) worker” who also happens to work the night shift. My morning commute home, a healthy walk rather than a horrid subway ride, today took me through Central Park to revisit the view of a decade ago, which remains the same except for the spikes of several new supertall condominum towers stretched along the width of Central Park South.

Viola sororia, bi-colored form, claims a crack near Columbus Circle.
(NYC 04 2020)

My strongest impression is that the high blue sky clear of jet vapor trails and streets devoid of the numbing hum of peak vehicular traffic have given the city, in fact the entire planet, a pause to catch its natural breath. It’s as if the Earth is itself a meta unicellular creature exclaiming: “Thank you for ceasing to stress me with all that bad gas. Here is a perfect spring day as a reward.”

Earth Day 50: ironically the most beautiful Earth Day I have so far witnessed. May it not be the last.

The Lake in Central Park.
(NYC 04 22 2020)

— rPs 04 22 2020

Postscript: Time Does Fly. Read about Earth Day 40 here: https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/04/22/earth-day-40-on-the-fly/

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10th Anniversary

10th Anniversary . . .

Inspiration: The springtime view of Scilla siberica in bloom that began Wildflowers of the West Village.
(NYC 03 22 2010)

Ten years ago today I took some time to write a few paragraphs after a walk in Hudson River Park. The subject, one that had interested me since childhood, the wildflowers one encounters along the way.

“Wildflowers of the West Village will be an ongoing document, beginning with the 2010 growing season . . .”

A decade since spent exploring New York City’s wild flora, both native and immigrant (NOT invasive, imho), has given me monthly material enough even when internal inspiration may have been lacking. The walks and runs I have taken have at times rejuvenated my body and mind and imtroduced me to fellow like-minded lovers of nature. WWV has even received a bit of media notice from the likes of West View and The New York Times.

I have long described my love of creative writing as exploring the infinity found within the fixed space of the page, and likewise, so I have found the seasonal variety of wild plants established along the Hudson River side of Manhattan.

And as no writing enjoys life without readers, may I thank you all for taking the time to visit. I have endeavored to create an ongoing lasting document and resource for anyone interested in what has and what comtinues to grow wild along the margins of this great city of New York.

Here’s to ten (10!) more years of Wildflowers of the West Village.

Continuation: Scilla siberica
(NYC 03 17 2020)

— rPs 03 22 2020

Postscript: Read the post that started it all here: https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/03/22/welcome/

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Mild Winter Early Birds

Mild Winter Early Birds . . .

Forsythia in February!
(NYC 02 12 2020)

You can tell a winter season is a mild one when the mourning dove wakes you with its morning call as early as the middle of February.

Rain rather than snow with plenty of sun in between has brought early flowering greens along with the songbirds. Leap year adds an additional day to the second month of the year, and what’s become clear is this one has been warmer just as Punxsutawney Phil predicted. A brief walk in the park or down a garden block encounters:

Bittercress

Cardamine hirsuta
(02 28 2020)

Chickweed

Stellara media
(NYC 02 23 2020)

Grounsel

Senecio vulgaris
(02 28 2020)

Birds and blooms already in February may forshadow a healthy 2020 growing season for New York City, and a hot one, too.

— rPs 02 29 2020

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Reason for Hope

Reason for Hope . . .

First Snopdrop Sighting:
Galanthus nivalis
(NYC 01 31 2020)

January is either a damp cold colored brown, white, and gray during a walk outside, or the sky above is a transluscent blue lens magnifying sun and wind into a bright frigid bluster.

Life greets first losses of the year especially hard. Hard to lose a personal hero, Neil Peart, who was quite clear and correct in the title track from the Rush LP Presto: “I generate more heat than light.”

Peart was an avid cyclist and birder in between life as a recording artist and author. He inspired (the “heat” to create). Role models as such it follows I am an avid cyclist and documentarian of urban flora, indiginous and immigrant, in between life as an author.

Sad, too, to lose one who makes us laugh (Monty Python’s Terry Jones) and who’s sheer elevation of life lifts us (NBA and Oscar winner, Kobe Bryant).

Saying goodbye, letting go, tasks in life always never easy. The reason for hope in all that can be found; it emerges like a snowdrop from the remnants of last year’s leaf fall. The first flower of the year near month’s end is like a lawn bathed in January sun. Bright and alive, the thaw, temporary perhaps, but a reminder new life follows from the former; everything continues.

Winter Season Variety:
Groundsel, Senecio vulgaris, and others.
(01 2020)


— rPs 01 31 2020

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Ever Greens

Ever Greens . . .

Xmas Moss
(NYC 12 2019)

Brown, white, and gray dominate an outdoor day explored after Solstice past. A setting reminiscent of Poe’s bleak December can get cultivated along the Hudson when the cold rain falls heavy and straight on a still, chilled day. The poet did know the local atmosphere; he wrote the poem here on the west side of Manhattan, after all.

The living color contrast to be found like an ornament nestled deep within the tree are the ever greens, the lichen and the moss. Both plants savor the cold damp days of December and decorate the more sober wood and stone. Their colors are barometric, the verdant reflects well on the health and vigor of the local air and water.

Welcome news, for those who reside here, or visit often to soak up the season’s songs and lights.

Yule Lichen
(NYC 12 2019)

Season’s Greetings . . .

— rPs 12 30 2019

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Hudson View: “Usher Ulalume”

Hudson View: “Usher Ulalume” . . .

Mallow, Malvaceae
(NYC 10 2019)

The morning commute made in mist, the grey above and down to the ground drawing all its fire into tree leaves gone gold to red. The lower edges remain green for the last in the return of the damp season switched on following after the dry bluebird skies of August and September.

Dew on the rejuvenated grass sports oak, beech, and elm leaves. The locust trees add a crown of yellow as gold as ripe corn. The gold coins of the ginko are to follow, later, into Thanksgiving.

The scene now on the ground with turf and leaf are fungi. Large mushrooms stand confident in the muted morning light.

Vigorous Fungus
(NYC 10 2019)

October brought to you by the letter M? Add the Mallow, the cheeseplant, Malvaceae, continues to bear its gorgeous pale stripes. Find the flowers nestled beneath the spread of clustered leaves held by long petioles.

City never silent still during some stretches blends into a symphonic whole rather than chaotic scramble. By the fence, in the park, the sound of the hardball hitting the grass, often heard here, ceased after the Yankees bowed out in early October. The same sound now drops when the fruit of the Osage Orange, Maclura pomifera, lands in the grass.

Colloquial: “Monkeyball”
(10 30 2019)

The view beyond, the shallow fjord of the Hudson, presents like a line from “Ulalume” or the grounds of Usher as documented in description by Edgar A. Poe.

Hudson View: Usher Ulalume
(NYC 10 2019)

— rPs 10 30 2019

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Through the Fence

Through the Fence . . .

Asiatic Dayflower:
Commelina communis
(NYC 08 26 2019)

Property shaped by fences is a reality in the developed and redeveloping city. A fence, though, not be just used to keep some thing or some one out. A fence can aso keep things contained in a sustained, unmolested zone of wild flowering green.

Bittersweet Nightshade:
Solanum dulcamara
(NYC 08 27 2019)

A blooming even so in August, the late last of the growing season, when the sun still hangs high over the region’s annual dry season.

Canada Thistle:
Cirsium arvense
(NYC 08 27 2019)

Sun, followed by a late afternoon shower that keeps the city parks in formal, and informal, flower.

Phytolacca americana
(NYC 08 28 2019)

This time of year it is pleasant to peek through the fence if on the other side there are wildflowers.

— rPs 08 28 2019

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High Celsius Cirsium

High Celsius Circium . . .

Thistle: genus Cirsium
(NYC 07 2019

July has baked in an actual sense. Hot days, humid, sun bright and still. New York City heats.

Somewhat in the shadows, ar the base of some shade trees, both native and immigrant thistle species of human stature may be found in vigorus bloom on the green West Side of Manhattan.

High Celcius Circium . . .

— rPs 07 31 2019

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Bloomsday 2019

Bloomsday 2019 . . .

Trifolium pratense

Bloomsday on a Father’s Day Sunday, 2019 celebrates quite a packed, stacked, and weighty day for the wildflowers situated in sutu within a peak perlod of . . . bloom:

Chicorium

Chicory
(NYC 06 2019)

Malva

Mallow
(NYC 06 2019)

Brassica

Wild Mustard
(NYC 06 2019)

Solanum

Bittersweet Nightshade
(NYC 06 2019)

Circium

Canada Thistle
(NYC 06 2019)

ReJoyce and Enjoy!

(NYC 06 16 2019)

— rPs 06 16 2019

Postscript: Read WWV’s original Joycean odyssey here:
https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/06/16/bloomsday/

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Path and Pond

Path and Pond . . .

Tulip Tree Flower
(NYC 05 2019)

Spring season stalwarts of the wildflower world are in full bloom throughoit the city as the month of May comes to a close.

Two of the most iconic can be found along two distinct spots: the shaded path and the sunny pond.

The park trail may well be lined by the subtle reds of the bushy wild red columbine, Aquilegia canadensis.

Aquilegia canadensis
(NYC 05 2019)

By the water, the full sun fuels the rich nectar of the wild iris Henry David Thoreau called the yellow flag, Iris pseudacorus.

Iris pseudacorus
(NYC 05 2019)

These are just two of the many wildflowers to be found flowering in the West Village and the rest of Manhattan during these salad days of spring. These living still lifes in situ make a great excuse for a walk in NYC’s park(s).

— rPs 05 31 2019

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