Posts Tagged Upper West Side

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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Bed Time

Bed Time . . .

Underfoot: colors as savory as those on a Thanksgiving table.
(NYC 11 2019)

The still damp days of October are long gone, as are the bright autumn leaves illuminating the trees. The deep freeze and stiff winds of November have brought down the golden crowns and where rake or leaf blower hasn’t reached there lies a bed of brown oak and others where a few hardy perennial remnants remain nestled in bloom.

One is the bright green of onion grass:

Genus Allium
(11 29 2019)

Another is the rich brown of the boletus mushroom:

Genus Boletus
(11 29 2019)

The overall palette resembles the colors on a Thanksgiving table. Savory to contemplate before the sun makes an early exit.

Up Above: the brown, white, and blue season has returned.
(11 29 2019)

— rPs 11 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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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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