Monday, March 3, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

I am pleased to report that the temperature rose a bit on Saturday and I headed over to Central Park for my very first 2014 walk in the Park.  I cannot recall another year in which I avoided such walks for so long.

You can tell from my photographs that it was a sunny day and that snow still is covering lots of the ground.  I kept my gloves on against the chill, and so my camera clicks were awkward and limited.

Scattered around the Strawberry Fields area were some sunny patches.  Some snow had melted away.  Some beautiful tiny snowdrop flowers were starting their annual performance.

As I neared the western edge of the Lake, I spotted a refreshment stand.  I can only imagine how cold the person manning this cart must have been.  Even with the sunshine.

The Park sidewalks and roadways were well cleared and a few folks were riding bikes, running and walking along while enjoying the fresh air.

The Lake seemed to be solidly frozen after the weeks of sub-freezing days and nights.  There were lots of warnings posted about the possibility of thin ice, and measures to take in case of an emergency.

I am glad that I saw no folks venturing out on the ice and no need for the use of these red ladders.

A great variety of ducks were, however, making the most of some areas near the Lake's western border, where the ice had been broken up to allow them to swim, or graze amongst the green shoots on the bank, or even do some walking on the ice.

I had never before seen such a variety of ducks in one concentrated area.  It was party time for ducks, with a few pigeons crashing the event.

Continuing my walk over to the Shakespeare Garden showed me that it would be a long time before any Spring flowers bloomed there.  

The shadows were beginning to lengthen, and my fingers were feeling the cold, so I decided to head on home.  

The following photograph is certainly not beautiful, but shows you all another facet of our long winter.  Right in front of my apartment building last week, a dangerous electric hot spot was discovered.  The recurrent snow, sleet, street plowing, salting of the streets, etc. have caused lots of damage to the streets.  Potholes are abundant, and the City forces have been trying to keep the repairs going strong.

These electric hot spots are a result of salt water seeping through manhole covers into the below ground area of electrical wiring.  Folks, and pets, have been injured by walking on these parts of sidewalks and streets, and so now the City has vehicles with equipment able to detect such dangers traveling around the City.  When such a danger is found, the area is blocked off, and a City inspector/observer/guardian is sent out to remain parked in an adjacent curbside area 24/7 until the dangerous situation is corrected.  I have never seen this before.

Out curbside guardian/s remained at their post for almost a week until Saturday's repair crew arrived to take care of the hot spot.  I think that the guardian post might also be connected to avoidance of lawsuits against the City.

Back indoors, I continue to try to imagine that Spring will soon arrive.  My tiny daffodils are very cheery.

I am also continuing to knit this rosy fair isle scarf on my little circular needle.  It's getting longer and long, and playing with the colors is lots of fun.  I think that I will soon be adding it to my Foakley Arts shop over at Etsy.

Thank you all for your visits and comments.  It has been wonderful to visit your posts, too, and to see that flowers and green leaves are actually beginning to appear in other parts of the world, and that rain has finally graced California.


  1. Thanks for daring to take a wake and show us the sights. Looks like Spring is still a day or two away.

    And how nice to see daffodils for St. David's Day!

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  2. Hello Frances:

    What terrible conditions you have endured this winter...and still they continue. Last night a friend from New York arrived to stay with us for a few days, relieved to have a break from the intense cold. Here the winter has been relatively mild with little in the way of snow. One cannot help but wonder what is happening to our normal weather patterns.

    We have never before heard of an electric hot spot. How very alarming for you to have one close to where you are. We are glad to learn that it has now been repaired.

    Take care, Frances, when you are out and about and be assured, spring will come!!

  3. Hello, Frances! I've read about this year's cold winter in the USA. But actually there are three weeks left to the official arrival of Spring, so I believe you'll show us Cental Park in all its green splendour very soon!:)
    Your shawl is fantastic - you combine colours in such a wonderful way! A flower always changes the atmosphere in the house - maybe I will buy a tulip or a daffodil in a pot, too!:)

  4. Isn't it lovely to see the first snowdrops pushing their little heads through the ground....or snow in your case!

  5. Wow it seems like the whole worlds weather has been topsy turvy this winter. You will have seen the devastation caused by even more rain than usual here, and since we often get some snow after it hits you we may have a way to go before we feel the warmth of spring. But we do have snowdrops and crocus and daffodils trying their best to cheer us up. I hope you soon feel the benefit of a little warmth too, and I don't mean those awful 'hot spots'.

  6. So lovely to see your photos, really is very icy and snowy there still! What a hard winter you have coped with....I hope the springtime warmth arrives for you soon. Your scarf knitting is looking very colourful and delightful!
    Take care, and keep cosy!
    Helen xox

  7. Frances...thank you for sharing a bit of your winter world. I am glad that you were able to get out for a walk! Not being a city person, I have never heard of an electric hot spot. Sounds very dangerous so it is wise and prudent that the city has recognized and planned for the needed repairs. Your knit creation is lovely..such pretty colors! Stay warm..hope you have a pleasant week...Susan

  8. I too had never heard of hotspots, how interesting. Enjoyed seeing the photos of central park, how lucky to live so close. We live in a village close to Lyon which has Parc Tete D' Or. The younger children enjoy the Zoo there.

  9. How cold it looks in your part of the world. Brrr. We have signs of spring here - very welcome after what has been a dreary, wet winter. Must remind ourselves that we are not out of the woods yet - last year we were snowed in for a week at the end of March.

    Your scarf is fabulous - wonderful colour combination.

  10. Finally, things seem to be looking up for New Yorkers. I hope the season keeps its promise and brings you some warmth after that long winter.

    In the meantime keep a pretty flower or two handy indoors and your beautifully colourful scarf on the needles.

  11. Hi Frances. Thx for your comment about JI. I have an edition of Paupers Cookbook I am reading now. Who is publishing the new one?

    I will look for it.

    Very cold here still.


  12. Goodness, I feel chilly just reading that! Well done you, Frances, for venturing out to take those lovely photos - I especially like the snowdrops, such brave little flowers. The hot spots sound alarming - I know it's cold outside, but no one wants to warm up by getting fried. Mind how you go! Cx

  13. I love the colours in your scarf! We are ahead of you with Spring, but it can't be long for you now. Very welcome it is too.

  14. I do hope that all thaws soon for you - never fear those little bulbs are waiting for their moment to shine.

    Somewhere I have a photographs of myself standing in Strawberry Fields - I remember it being a very pretty spot

    I hope that it is a warm sunny day for you today
    Best wishes

  15. I love those little snowdrops! And that is an INCREDIBLE scarf you're knitting.

  16. I'm so glad to read that it's warming up for you, although clearly the air temps are way below where you'd wish them to be.

    Here it's been gloriously sunny these last few days, which makes such a nice change.

  17. Frances, thank you for those pictures of Central Park in the snow. We have had a snowless winter here and hardly a frost either - but rain has made up for it and we have frozen with the damp. It's raining now and this has put me off my walk, so I have been getting on with some incompetent DIY and am covered with brickdust. I am sure I would be only marginally more incompetent if I took up knitting.

  18. Electric hot spots sound very alarming. Are people actually getting shocks by walking across them? We seem to be getting a larger number of burst water mains to add to the surface drenching.
    Your scarf is a wonderful antidote to all this grey and white. Mercifully some colour is coming back into our parks and gardens now.

  19. Hi Frances!
    Thank you for taking my for a lovely walk in the Central seems a bit chilly but the cute snowdrops is a warm sign that the spring is near!
    Have a great weekend and take care...
    Love Titti

  20. A chilly walk in the snow, it puts colour in your cheeks and makes you look healthy. Then getting home to a cosy warm room feels even better. I love a hot chocolate drink after a chilly walk. I can relate to the finger ends, freezing fingers are no fun. I was amazed to see the frozen lake. We certainly have escaped this, having a wet but mild winter.
    Love the colours choices and the patterns you create with your knitting. When my daughter was small I knit her a circular scarf with Peruvian style people at both ends, still have it ! I just sewed the ends and it made a lovely warm scarf being double thickness. Of course it had a matching hat and mitts too, you have triggered my memory.
    You have had the chance to wear your knitting and get the full benefit of the warm wool during this cold weather. Hope it warms up soon for you, then spring will soon put some welcome colour in the park. X

  21. As always my friend you take us with you on your journey. I found myself shivering looking at the snow. Hereabouts the weather is a mixed bag, not so much a lion as a very bad tempered cat. Stay well, talk soon.

  22. Hi Frances,
    How lovely with your first walk in Central Park. Spring will soon be with you!
    I love the colours in your knitting and the daffodils in your window gives you a feeling of spring!
    All the best,
    xoxo Ingrid

  23. Me encanta tu blog, besos desde EspaƱa