Posts Tagged New York City

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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Autumnal Apiaceae

Autumnal Apiaceae . . .

Queen Anne’s Lace: Family Apiaceae
(NYC 09 2019)

Fall arrives late this year, the 23rd of September, on a sunny day as hot as July.

Although it doesn’t quite feel like it, day and night are in balance. Tomorrow begins the speedy transition to shorter days and fall season temperatures.

Meanwhile, the plant world remains green, for now, and the late season palate of white predominates among those still in bloom. The most visible examples are the broad umbels of the wild carrot, Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota.

Living bouquet can be found in bloom throughout the NYC area along fences, beside lamp posts, and even sprouting from the spaces between the stone walls lining the Hudson River.

Lamp Post Bouquet
(NYC 09 2019)

— rPs 09 23 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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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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May Day 2019

May Day 2019 . . .

Lush Lawn Still Life: Taraxicum officinale
(NYC 05 2019)

Today, the first day of the fifth month, a century to the day after the Cleveland socialist riots, the set date of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s epic novella May Day.

“May Day!” — def: distress signal

Here. Now. Happiness. Everything green seems to be in bloom in the West Village along the verdant basalt bluffs of the Hudson River.

Winged Liberty “Mercury” dime minted in 1919.
Once in the pocket of F. Scott Fitzgerald?
(NYC 05 2019)

— rPs 05 01 2019

Postscript: Link to an online copy of “May Day” by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/May_Day_(Fitzgerald)/Chapter_I?fbclid=IwAR35fVS-XMY_htrkXtSPFV7YkhvRi5zvnkVG6_2NhO8uOyHRK-8Ezu5X8nw

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Earth Day 49

Earth Day 49 . . .

The author of Philadelphia on the Fly celebrates Earth Day “by the book” . . .
(Planet Earth 04 22 2019)

Earth Day has reached the cusp of a human’s middle age. The planet remains older, larger, and more important than all of us people put together. Let us try, at least try, to be stewards and gardeners and protectors rather than mere users of our one and only green, white, and blue home.

Trout lily and others spring into being.
(04 2019)

Earth Day 2019.

— rPs 04 22 2019

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Happy (9th) Anniversary

Happy 9th Anniversary . . .

Lichen Spring
(NYC 03 2019)

March 22 on the calendar marks another year, nine (9!) years, of Wildflowers of the West Village.

Happy Anniversary . . .

The weather today, cold, wet, under a white lid of sky, matches the scene in 2010 when this monthly, sometimes more often adventure in urban botanicals began.

The blog format was a fresh, relevant way to spread one’s written words and images in 2010. Social media had yet to spread its petals in full. Outdoor writing from the perspective of sport had by then through two books established my published, authorial voice, a voice that enjoys harmony.

Wildflowers, such a part of the setting of fishing and birding, have always been in my sight, perceived by scent, and a favorite subject of line drawings. Wildflowers hold a diaspora of fascinations with the added advantage of statis for the visual artist. Fish and birds are difficult to capture. Plants, fixed, quiescent, make much more agreeable sitters for the still life sketch and the photograh.

The impact of one blog, one post to that blog, would be just like a snowflake stuck on a window if not for the incredible archival capability of this online internet format. The weight of nine years, some 165 posts, gives one the feeling some good natural fieldwork has been done. There may even be a book in there!

The year now sees the first snowdrops and croci have appeared along the Hudson. The first dafodils have already been sighted. Bright and dry, or white and damp, the sky and air of Manhattan again the freshest of the year. Again the pastel colors emerge to season the brown, white, and blue palate of the cold leafless months. Again another year of Wildflowers of the West Village.

Sprung!
(NYC 03 2019)

— rPs 03 22 2019

Postscript: Revisit the post that started it all by following this link:
https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/03/22/welcome/

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