Thursday, April 25, 2013

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Media news reports continue to contain many troubling stories.  I continue to seek some relaxation in my official time off via knitting.

I'm working on a scarf that uses a variety of warm and cool neutral shades of yarn.  Having a bright bit of daylight today makes it easier to see which neutrals work best together.

I've also gotten some much postponed apartment clearing and cleaning out accomplished, while wondering when the weather would actually warm up.

Well, early this afternoon my question was answered.  The sun was bright, and the temperature had reached a height that would no longer require me to wear my down-filled coat.

I quickly ate my Greek yoghurt lunch, pulled on a sweater, grabbed my camera and headed east, bound for Central Park, and beyond.

Just look at that blue sky!  There's even a reflection in the Lake.

The next photo shows a bit of the plaza around Bethesda Fountain, with some rhododendron framing the foreground.

So many trees are flowering.  So many other folks walking through the Park also had their cameras pointed at all the natural beauty surrounding us.

I could not resist taking this close up view, to remind me of this beautiful afternoon, later on when November chill arrives.

Once across the Park, I am officially walking in the Upper East Side.  I had a particular goal in mind.  Every spring, I try to take some photos of the tulips planted along Park Avenue.  These photos are dedicated to Merisi, whose Vienna for Beginners is a treat during every month of the year.

Bright red tulips against bright yellow taxis make a strong contrast to the gentler colors I'd just seen in Central Park.

Some unseen, uncredited gardeners must plant thousands of tulips every year to create these dramatic displays.

The red tulips appear at each north or south border of the median areas of the Avenue.  In the middle of the median areas other plantings take center stage.

Nature's beauty really does a fine job of softening the perpendicular architecture and the street grid patterns.

Oh, just look at that blaze of red!  The banners hanging in the background proclaim the current exhibitions at that building...the Asia Society museum

What a parade!

Some years, the tulips are other colors.  Although I do very much love these brilliant reds, I do wonder how well they compliment the trees' blossoms.  What do you all think?  I do think the clear blue sky suits both colorways.

If today's warmth continues for another day or two, I expect that these flowers will be soon taking their 2013 curtain calls.

Having bid a fond farewell to Park Avenue, I turned westward once again crossing the Park, taking a slightly different route than my earlier eastward walk.

The lawns are so green, and many are currently off limits to mere mortals.  Wire fencing sets the boundaries with signs telling us that the lawns have been newly seeded.  I did see lots of birds and squirrels who paid no attention to that signage.

Peeking through those trees can be seen a bit of city skyline.

The following photo shows an avenue of some of my beloved elms, and the lovely shadows they cast.

I'd also like to include this view of some humble dandelions.  Aren't they jolly?   

As I neared Central Park West, I passed by the wide open space known as the Sheep's Meadow.  You can seen major midtown real estate towers in the background, and in the mid-ground you might even see some early sun bathers.

This spring has been so unusual in its lingering chill, and has resulted in our seeing unusual pairings of flowers.  It is very odd to see lilacs in bloom while forsythia is still blazing.

Here is a close up of lilac buds bursting into full flower.

I liked the rather romantic look of the flowering branches as a veil over the sunny Meadow beyond.  I expect that many couples were enjoying a bit of romance in the Meadow this afternoon.

Not everyone was lolling about on the lawn.  Some folks were tossing softballs, and frisbees, and just cavorting.  I think that some of these folks might have been playing hooky from their work places.

I feel so fortunate to have had this day off.  There are only a few of these sorts of brilliant spring days every year.  I was given a gift to have been able to be outdoors, as I chose.

Tomorrow I will return to work.  I hope that the weather will continue to stay so beautiful so that other folks might be able to experience the happiness I found today.

Isn't spring grand!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

Although I am so very happy that springtime has begun to give us beautiful flowers, I am also so very sad about several recent tragedies in other parts of our country. The bombing that took place this week at the Boston marathon has now changed many lives.  Some as yet unidentified people planned and executed something horrific.  Other people immediately rushed to aid their fellow human beings.

What a world we live in.  It's appropriate that as I type this, I hear Elvis Costello singing What's so funny about peace, love and understanding.

Bearing all this in mind, let me show you the beauty that I saw a few days ago during an overcast day in Central Park.

The designed Park landscape features many curving, undulating pathways, creating many vantage points.  The following photo is just inside the West 72nd Street entrance way.  You can see the famed Dakota apartment building just beyond the chopped-off tree's forked branches.

Tucked in amongst the rocks are lots of little flowers.

Because our weather has been unseasonable cool, I found some lingering snow drops. 

Just above the path where I was walking, you can see another pathway complete with pedestrian and lamp post.

The wisteria has not gotten into gear yet.

Lots of forsythia was in full blaze, although on this misty day, its colors seem subdued.

I walked back up the incline and started my walk around the lake, on my way to the Shakespeare Garden.

Moody, moody.

In the distance you can see some Fifth Avenue buildings.

Daffodils were abundant.  Their showiness grows each spring as naturalization continues.

Can you believe that the following scene is in the middle of a huge city?

Well, it is.

I got down on my knees to take this photo.  And somehow managed to spring up again afterwards!

Rhododendrons were also in the mix.  Central Park West apartment building towers in the background.

Looking southeast across the lake, I give you a view of a New York City skyline.

Ahhh, finally I reach the Shakespeare Garden, to see its rustic beauty.

Again, I sink to my knees for a close view of some tiny beauties.

Here is a close up view of the Garden's quince branches.

Center stage in the Shakespeare Garden is the glorious tulip magnolia.

I wish that there were more primroses hereabouts, but am happy to see a colorful sampling.

Here's a lovely view, even though there is no blue sky.

Tulips come along a bit later in the annual spring parade, and I think that I'll find many more in bloom on my next visit to the Park.

I do like these thorny branches and the shape of its leaves is lovely, too.

After all this walking up and down and all around, I was feeling a bit warm, and considered stopping at this vendor's stand for the first ice cream of 2013.

However, just then a gentle rain began to fall, and so I decided to postpone the ice cream selecting, and just make a speed trip homeward.

I hope that you all will enjoy visiting the Park.  I thank you all for your visits to my posts and for your comments.