Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sunrise Series: Astoria, January 27

New York City woke to another fifteen inches of snow this morning. Knowing there's no such thing as a snow day in public horticulture I packed my bag full of calories and keys and coffee and began the pre-dawn trek west towards Manhattan Island. Laid up the last couple days with a shot back, my body was quick to remind me I might not be as mended as I had hoped. No trains came and after long enough that was it. As valiant souls continued to cram the platform I retreated. As I did the sun began to rise.

The emerging sun hitting the faces of the buildings along the avenue shone bright and radiant through the frozen street.
Thanks to the fanciness that is my new iPhone I posted the above pic to the book of faces and named it "Beautiful Nightmare".
They say this is New York's snowiest January on record. Can't argue that one. I paused to appreciate the spruce and London Planetree in front of St. Joe's. Nature: 1, Man: 0

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Permission to Create

the shanty, digital print, January 2011

I hadn't realized I became such a blog delinquent. Certainly it wasn't for lack of material. We work while most people are off for the holidays so time becomes really of the essence for us. But realities of the jobs they are, so from Thanksgiving we remet the annual roller coaster ride that is December. We made it to Christmas in PA with my wife's family and it was wonderful to finally sit down. The blizzard started on our drive back to NYC, we made it in five hours, not bad, but then add the three hour trek to get the 6 miles (typically a 20 minute drive) from my brothers place in Brooklyn home to Queens, and there went that chance for down time! Shovel, sleep, shovel, sleep, shovel, ...well, if you're local you know all too well what I'm talking about. But I assure you I have great images and horticultural factoids from all of these adventures to share. For now we are working on creating a new home and that's why it might be a few more weeks before I am fully back in the blogosphere. You see, the shanty, our fabulous home base for the last four years is finally and literally crumbling to the ground around us. So it's time to go. It was time to go anyway. With our new married status the time for a fresh start is now. Thanks to the generosity and support of our amazing families we have permission to create, and we're taking full advantage of the opportunity. With a new and better home, new horticultural challenges to work the mind and body, health and happiness I think 2011 is going to be a great year. Our new place is sturdy and safe and secure and will undoubtedly make for great meals, great studies and observations, great moments, and all the appropriate blog posts to accompany.

Out back of the shanty is an Acer pseudoplatanus, a big shade tree called a sycamore maple. It is very obviously a maple, with that big quintessential leaf, but the scaly, almost flaky nature of the bark throws you off until you learn that there is such a thing as a sycamore maple. A thuggish tree without question, I can't help but be attached to this particular one. Though I don't endorse it's insane ability to set seedlings EVERYWHERE, it is a thing of beauty I've really enjoyed looking at over the years. This has been a great view. And now, yes, with more snow, oh brother. Happy New Year everyone, write you again soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pic of the Day: Awesome Sky and Black Oak

The snow just stopped falling. Well, for now at least. The sky opened through the monstrous black oak (Quercus velutina) near my office and I got this shot off before commencing the shoveling. Even though I definitely complain at times, being outside every day of the year I feel a connection with the natural world I fear most others will never know. I take this moment to be thankful.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pics of the Day: Conservatory Garden Snowfall

I never tire of the sensational mature forms within the Conservatory Garden in Central Park.
Seventy-three years later and more beautiful than ever.

Pic of the Day: Molten Harlem Morning

Another molten morning sunrise up in Harlem, on the advent of yet another day of snow shoveling.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pic of the Day: Mustache

Playing with my new iPhone 4 this morning during an adventure into Manhattan waiting for an R train. My wife and I have begun the moving process and needed a day off to have fun in the city and remember why we live here. I wanted to introduce Krissy to City Hats, the best little shop ever down on Bleecker between Lafayette and Broadway. Sure enough she would fall in love, blow right through that gift certificate from Christmas, and I would do some damage myself in the form of a new fedora to look sharp for spring, whenever that might show up. As we do we had a perfectly fine time acting like a couple of New Yawka's. Gotta love this town. Certainly no place else like it.