Tuesday, April 1, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York and a very Happy April Fool's Day to you.  I am so pleased to tell you that Spring is at last showing us a bit of what we have been longing for.  No fooling!

The weekend's heavy rain finally gave way to a bright blue sky and warming sunshine.  Of course, I set out for a long walk around Central Park to see what had changed since my last visit.

Green shoots were emerging from the mulch.

The ice that had covered the Lake had melted.

Parks workers were out and about trimming and raking and even watering.  The watering didn't seem necessary after the weekend's heavy rains.

Tiny buds were appearing on branches.  Very few of these buds had yet been courageous enough to open into flowers.  I imagine that when I return to the Park in a few days, I will be seeing lots of flowers.

Perhaps some of you will recall the picture I took of the all ducks sheltering on the edge of the frozen Lake?  Yesterday these ducks were having a fine swim all over the Lake, and doing lots of diving below the surface to find a late lunch.  I noticed that quite a few daffodil plants seemed to have been munched by said ducks or other feathered friends during the past months.  There will be no flowers on those daffs, but I think that within a week I will be able to see quite a few golden trumpets in other parts of the Park.

It's difficult to take photographs of the varieties of hellebores, particularly since they are planted in areas that are fenced off from pedestrian pathways.

Still, I thought I would take just a couple of photographs to show you all that the hellebores were putting on their show.

Over in the Shakespeare Garden I also saw some evidence of early bloomers.

In the shadier spots, those little snowdrops that had actually braved the snow were still in flower.

Crocus flowers in many varieties and colors were all over the sunny spots of the Shakespeare Garden.

It's still early days, but I found all that I saw to be very encouraging.

More crocus.

The warmth of the afternoon encouraged some folks to rest a while on one of the rustic benches, while others got down on their knees to get close up views of the dainty flowers.

I encountered a bunch of preteen boys in red track suits who were being encouraged by their coaches to run up and down and all around the sloping pathway around the Shakespeare Garden.  Some of these lads ran much faster than others.  I could not have run as fast as any of them.  I think all the young fellows were glad to finally be given the signal that it was time to stop the running and to begin the walk back to their school.

The next photograph shows part of the magnificent Great Lawn.  This area was one of many that is currently closed "for the season" while the grass is nourished and some pesticides are distributed.  There were lots of green and white signs around the edges of these grassy areas politely telling us to stay off.

I cannot remember if I've ever before shown a photograph of this charming over/underpass.  It's always fun, for children of all ages,  to walk through it and sing out to hear the excellent echo.

If you look very, very carefully you all might just manage to see a few daffodils in bloom in the green area below the tree.  With some more sun and warmth, the little incline will be a yellow blaze.

As I was walking westward on my way home, I took this last photograph of some pretty curvy shadows and pretty curvy elm branches.  This picture looks tranquil, but in reality just a few yards to the left of my photo's border a very raucous break dancing performer was delighting an assembled group of applauding onlookers.  I think they were tourists, but maybe they were locals.

Back home I decided to make a pot of tea, and needed to decide between cup or mug.  My Spode cup and saucer have been chipped and mended a few times, but I love using them.  I believe that Spode not longer produces china in the U.K.  The mug is another sample of my little Emma Bridgewater admiration.  I truly do hope that here potteries will stay in business for a long, long time.

I will close this post with a report that today's visit to my capable dentist resulted in the formal installation of my new molar crown.  What a relief to be able to return to chewing in a less tentative way!

I so appreciate your visits and comments.  Hoping that you all are also enjoying the change in season and that no one surprised any of you with any pesky unwanted April Fool's jokes.  


  1. oh wonderful! i so enjoyed walking with you frances, it truly does look very spring like there (finally!). i had a similar report yesterday from hannah, she couldn't wait, and wore a summery dress out.

    love the intense colors of all the flowers, there is nothing like that lavender blue, goodness! and the over/underpass, i guess the acoustics are excellent there too, i've heard a couple musical groups playing there!

    so glad your dental visits have been a sucess and are hopefully done for a good long while!
    happy spring! xoxo lori

  2. Hello Frances:

    What an absolute delight this post is and what a splendid introduction to spring.

    You are so very fortunate to have Central Park so close to you that you are able to make frequent visits. It appears to be vast - we have very little idea of its actual size - and what an asset for those living in the heart of the City.

    Hellebores are amongst our favourite of all spring flowers but they really do need to be seen close up as their heads always hang down and to appreciate the colour they really need to be lifted.

    We have never heard of ducks, or indeed any other wildlife, eating the heads of daffodils. But the evidence is very clearly there!!

    Such good news after your visit to the dentist. It is always a moment of great joy when one's teeth are restored to good working order.

    Have a really enjoyable week and may you be blessed with the warmth and sunshine we have here. xxx

  3. Frances, it must have been such a joy to see the beginnings of Spring n the Park. Here the daffodils are beginning to go over, but there will be many later ones to come out.

  4. After the inch of snow on Long Island on Monday, yesterday was a delight.
    So glad you were able to get out in the park to give us the advance report on Spring's arrival.
    We must arrange a walk in a week or two.
    Glad your tooth is suitably in place.
    Buster says HAPPY SPRING.
    No fooling!

  5. Finally spring is coming to you. I love your pictures of central park. We hope to come to NY again next year, i realy look forward to walk through the streets again...lovely greetings

  6. How happy we all are to see Spring arrive and to join you on a walk in the Park! !'m enjoying Spring in y part of the world too!

  7. Frances, that was a lovely walk in the park. We will be visiting son in NYC in June,and I must see that "Shakespeare Garden" in person. I imagine it will be marvelous. It was so nice to see you this morning on my post. I hope you will attempt the eggs, as an artist yourself, I think yours will be quite beautiful. Jeri

  8. Isn't it grand to see Spring showing her beauty? Lovely photo's as always my friend, and you bring us with you with your lovely description. After planting two hundred daffodil bulbs last year to add to those my Mother had planted, and to replace those lost in the past six years to frost and snow, we are now enjoying the view of rivers of daffs "dancing in the breeze". Even on a dull foggy day they light up the garden. Thank you for this wonderful walk with you. xx

  9. There you are, it’s spring and Frances is out and about in the Park.
    How delightful.

    I can tell that you enjoy yourself immensely, every word you write speaks of it.

    Ah spring!

  10. Hi Frances,
    How lovely to see that spring has arrived in NYC and Central Park. It's now quite a few years since I was last in NY - but I remember our walks in Central Park very well - Shakespeare's Garden, the lake and the tunnel. So nice to see it all again.
    Have a lovely weekend!
    xoxo Ingrid

  11. Springtime in NY! Lovely pictures dear...
    I would love to take a walk in the Central Park, looks so beautiful!
    Thank´s for your sweet comment on my blog Frances...

  12. Isn’t it nice to see all these golden daffodils? On one of my blogging friends blog, in Washington state, she showed fields of daffodils – so bright so sunny – wish we had one field like this here. Your walk in the park was so refreshing after all the snow you had. Once spring is here it is amazing how quickly some of these buds will open and flower. When we left for Tennessee last week our azalea bush was just green, and when we came back a couple of days ago, it is covered with red flowers!
    It is always lovely to walk with you, virtually, in your park.

  13. Isn't this time of year wonderful, I do enjoy watching the bulbs spring back to life. Springtime is very special here in Vancouver, too. There is so much cherry blossom to be seen and it is starting right now. Thank you for admiring my Lila jumper, you really should think about knitting this one. It's a very satisfying project and, of course, the end result is so lovely. I love mine!
    Have a great week Frances x

  14. Such a lovely collection of photos of Central Park, Frances! I am so glad that you had sunshine and blue sky and were able to walk there again....and to take us with you too! Such a lot of spring growth at last, and how beautiful that under/overpass is. I hope the weather is kind to you this week too, and you can enjoy mores walks and time outdoors again.
    Helen xox

  15. At last you can enjoy some Spring colour and the sunshine will soon bring all the blossom out. What a beautiful sky, I can see why you had to go for a walk and make the best of the day.
    And home to a lovely cup of tea. Your knitting is wonderful, both the colours and patterns. I liked seeing your grey cabled cardigan with the handmade buttons. I too llearnt to knit young , I knit my school jumper as a teenager and always had some project on the go. A jumper pattern modelled by Twiggy was one such project, then worn by me made my feel very trendy ! I guess you never forget those skills. At the moment doing some sewing and enjoying it. Loving the extra hour of daylight in the evening.
    Golden Lindt bunny time again and maybe you are banned from cadburys Creme eggs by the dentist!
    Happy Spring Wishes too . X

  16. What a wonderful walk in the park Frances. It seems as though your Springtime has been a little later to arrive than ours but I bet you are pleased to see its arrival.

  17. I'm so slow to comment that some of those glorious flowers are probably over by now. But how wonderful the park looked in it's spring attire :)

  18. Your spring is coming Frances! Love the crocuses. The season is so short and mine have been and gone leaving me deciding that next year I must have more. Lovely blog.

  19. Hello Frances,
    a good morning to you, here it is sunday morning 8oclock!
    Sun is shining, again!
    And now I find you through our friend Madelief!!!!!!
    New York is one of my favorite places in the world and now, by following your blog, I can see more about it every week!! I am HAPPY!!!!!
    Thank you and when you would visit Rotterdam, :) ,in my shop you can buy LOTS of Emma Bridgewater!!!!
    I love it too........... and the old china I love it so much and that is whats makes my shop different! Because I sell both, old & new.
    So please visit my blog if you want to see more about it.
    For now I wish you a lovely Sunday and I see you soon, somewhere in blogland!
    Liefs from Hollland

  20. Beautiful blog! all my compliments.
    Good Easter to you and family.