Posts Tagged New York

8 Great Years

8 Great Years . . .

Spring Snow
(NYC 03 22 2018)

The flowers of Tuesday’s Vernal Equinox now rest under snow. The thaw can be expected soon, though, the white of crystalized water replaced again by blooming wildflowers. Until then . . .

Happy 8th Anniversary, Wildflowers of the West Village.

– rPs 03 22 2018

Postscript: You can revisit the view that instilled an ever growing idea in March 2010: https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/03/22/welcome/

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The End of November

The End of November . . .

Asteraceae Gone to Seed
(NYC 11 26 2017)

One of the aspects to appreciate most during the growing season’s latter half is the evolution of the predominate color. The tired greens of September give way to the splendid yellows of October that age into the russet spread seen by the end of November.

Wildflowers on the ground have mostly gone to seed by this time. The leaves up above that remain rustle in the tannic tones of the oaks. Here is where the color action remains.

Deciduous leaves often lumped under the generic descriptive “brown” resemble many of the cooked dishes on a plentiful table of Thanksgiving. The same kind of variety is actually present within that one color. One can see tan, rust, ochre, and many more. If, by the end of November, one cannot find a plant in bloom at their feet, pause, and look up . . .

November Splendor
(NYC 11 27 2017)

. . . where the plant world meets the sky.

— rPs 11 30 2017

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Teasel Season

Teasel Season . . .

Thistle Season For Teasel
(pencil on paper)
(NYC 10 2017)

I have been drawn, pun there yet unintended; I have been drawn to draw, sketch, the crown of the teasel this season.

family Caprifoliaceae

Along the way, to consistent degree in scope and scale, still bloom the:

Mallow

Mallow
(NYC 10 2017)

Lady’s Thumb

Lady’s Thumb: A Wild Buckwheat
(NYC 10 2017)

White Snakeroot

White Snakeroot
(NYC 10 2017)

Seaside Goldenrod

Seaside Goldenrod
(NYC 10 2017)

Ganoderma

Ganoderma
(NYC 10 2017)

Autumn Highlights Here, Now.

– rPs 10 24 2017

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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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Autumn Whites

Autumn Whites . . .

White Aster & Snakeroot (Manhattan, NYC, 11 2016)

White Aster & Snakeroot
(Manhattan, NYC, 11 2016)

Russet variation of deciduous oaks and maples see their feet dressed in filigree of wildflower white as sparse as lace, or as morning frost on lawn, or the first accumulated dusting of flurries.

Friends appear like snowflakes clung to a window. … ”

Lines of poems shaped like prose recited aloud in the out of doors can be a symptom, if one allows it, of mind, perhaps your own, ruminating, meeting, encountering such attractive intersections of nature and the city.

Here it remains, on the west side of Manhattan, where civil island meets tidal river at a time when sun sets are fast and temperatures bring a shiver.

The cold months are hinted on the rippled gray sky, felt on the wind, not far.

– rPs 11 21 2016

 

Postscript: Thanksgiving is on the menu. Centerpiece: Wildflower White (Asteraceae, various)

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Burdock in Bloom

Burdock in Bloom . . .

Blooming Burdock in a Breeze (photo taken 08 12 2014)

Blooming Burdock in a Breeze
(photo taken 08 12 2014)

“Elephant Ears” spoke to a detail everyone pointed out whilst on walks through the leafy city neighborhood of my boyhood. Autumn hikes and winter downhill sled rides encountered “Burrs” on the wool clothing that kept me warm. The plant continues to make its presence known as a sure neighbor.

Today Lesser Burdock is in bloom throughout the region. Attractive stands of Arctium minus, of the family Asteraceae, can be found along the west in Van Cortlandt Park and in Riverside Park and in scattered patches farther south in Manhattan. The latter stands remain lush until gardening companies turn wild plant fields to brown lawn.

No negativity from here shall be introduced to the curating of plants. I do continue to uphold a broader definition than recent standard, as in my lexicon I do include IMMIGRANTS rather than “invasives” or “invasive species” – terms to me that beyond technical definition ring hollow given the diverse people, the first source of all these mixed species, who have also come to populate the Western Hemisphere.

Burdock varieties hail from Continental European sources. The plant lives as a vigorous green, edible when young, with health benefits as a digestive. The innumerable hooked spines of the seed heads, burrs, inspired a Swiss inventor, George de Mestral, to do the studies that resulted in the useful tool we have named Velcro.

The plant rises from a stout central stem that supports lobed ovate leaves that narrow toward the tips, all arranged in a graceful, aesthetically pleasing manner, like draping pachyderm ears. Some leaf parasites often tunnel their way within, leaving topical asymmetrical veination as summer progresses. Flowers appear tight and spiked in a purple to true pink quality akin to thistles. Once browned by the end of the season, seed heads become bunches of burrs on stalks. Animals: birds, and the most prevalent mammal of all, people, when out of doors, all help to spread the Lesser Burdock to a greater range.

A quartet of young "Elephant Ears" (photo taken 08 12 2014

A quartet of young “Elephant Ears”
(photo taken 08 12 2014

Greater hardiness marks this plant’s vitality as well. Ava Chin, author of Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal, describes mingling Burdock with other early winter greens.

But now high summer reigns August. This year’s is damp and cooler, averaging in the eighty degrees Fahrenheit, giving more urban green than on hot, dry years. Burdock is in abundance in this weather. Burdock is in bloom.

Blooming Burdock Bough (photo taken 08 12 2014)

Blooming Burdock Bough
(photo taken 08 12 2014)

– rPs 08 13 2014

Postscript:

Read More About Burdock. “Earthy, Crunchy Burdock” by Ava Chin: The New York Times City Room blog, Urban Forager, 12 18 2010:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/18/urban-forager-earthy-crunchy-burdock/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Wikipedia biography of George de Mestral: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_de_Mestral

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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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