Wednesday, March 11, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

What a long cold winter this has been.  How glad we now are to find temperature readings above the freezing point during the day and night.  The ice and snow are melting.

I was encouraged by what I've been witnessing on the uptown and downtown streets and sidewalks over the past few days to see how the meltdown was progressing in Central Park.

No gloves were required as I took my midday walk.


The sky was somewhat overcast, and the color scheme that greeted me just inside the 72nd Street entrance to the Park was a study in neutral shades.  Any signs of spring were quite subdued.


Even so, I encountered several groups of tourist groups, many of whom seemed to be students on their spring holiday break.


These young folks gathered in the Strawberry Fields area to hear their tour guide tell them tales of John and Yoko, while a contemporary of Mr Lennon sat on a nearby chilly bench and played his guitar and sang some of those familiar old tunes.  I was happy to see some snowdrops had survived the recent weekly snowfalls.



The Lake's frozen surface was still covered with snow.  Some ducks were walking on the lake, while a few had discovered swimming possibilities on the shoreline.


Three young fishermen were looking for the same fish that eluded the ducks.


In the following photo, you can see the glow of the midday sun in the sky even though my eye spotted very few colors that told that spring would arrive in ten days.


It was all a bit grim color wise, although some of the tree bark was quite lovely.


Not all of these trees have survived the winter.  I saw evidence of several departures.


Continuing my walk around the west side of the Lake, I liked the look of the subtle colors of the railings.  The design always reminds me of xo xo, etc.


Here is one more southeastern view across the snow covered Lake.


Something about all that I saw around me reminded me of Bruegel paintings.


Over in the Shakespeare Garden, I found no flowers, but did spot a man in a gold suit and top hat having his photograph taken.  I also saw him dance around a bit.


Still looking for some sort of preview of spring, I was glad to see the buds on this tree, in front of another tree.  I think that the budding tree is a tulip magnolia.


Here's one more distant view of the man in gold.


I'd been walking for about an hour and realized that more thawing would be required before I would see some green shoots or tiny flowers.  I did see some odd reflections in tiny pools formed by the snow's melting in low spots.


Nearing the Central Park West exit from the Park I did see a few sweeps of green lawn in spots that had felt the sun for a few days.


Another view of a green sweep


And here's a cheery green sign stating what might seem obvious.


I do promise to get back over to the Park within the next week, as it is very likely that I'll see some dramatic changes.


Meanwhile, I will leave you all with this somewhat graceful view of a dried arrangement of branches that have withstood all the winter ferocity.  Another study in neutral tones,

Thank you all for your visits and comments.  I very much appreciate hearing from you.

39 comments:

  1. Frances, that was a very grey walk. I'm sure there will soon be signs of Spring. Indeed, if the Magnolia blooms it will be a beautiful sight. You will have to wander out in a couple of weeks and hope to see green shoots popping up.

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    1. Elizabeth, I think that it will only take a few more warmish days to encourage those flowers! xo

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  2. What a fabulous walk. It's hard to imagine that it is in the middle of such a big busy city. We've definitely had spring like weather here... The sun has shone, bulbs are flowering and birds are singing. It really does lift the spirit.

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    1. Gina, even after all the years I have lived here, I never tire of being able to see a bit of nature in lovely Central Park. Each season has its charms...as long as the temperature is above the freezing point! xo

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  3. Oh that does look cold! But I'm pleased the temperatures are rising and you will soon have some floral colour on your walks in the Park.
    We have had some lovely Spring sunshine and the flowers are opening all around, but every few days the weather reminds us it's early in the year with a chilly wind and a frosty night. It is glorious today and also promised tomorrow - then sadly back to chill and grey for Mother's Day on Sunday.
    My Christmas present of 2 sacks of daffodil bulbs means the garden is full of buds waiting to open :-) I will ask Santa for the same again this year.
    C
    xx

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    1. Celia, it's funny but yesterday was much warmer than it appears in those grey photographs. Your daffodils are going to be splendid. I think that we might see more flowers in CP in a week or two. Crocus and daffs will lead the parade. xo

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  4. A lovely tour of the park.
    How much we have to look forward to - any moment now!

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    1. It was grand to at least leave the gloves at home. Also rather nice to experience the tranquility of the Park before warm spring weather brings out the crowds. (I did see lots of cyclists and runners.)

      xo

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  5. A spot of green, soon to come. I love the peacefulness of your pictures before the burst of spring and color comes to life.

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    1. Yes, it was very peaceful in the Park yesterday. Lots of sparrows singing from the trees added to the atmosphere. xo

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  6. Dear Frances, I am so glad that you shared pictures from your walk. It does indeed look very cold and grey. At least my pond is now clear of ice and snow and my ducks and geese are pretending that it is Spring.

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    1. Gina, it wasn't quite as cold as my photographs indicate. By yesterday afternoon it was almost 60 degrees...a far cry from the single digit F. tems of recent weeks! We could have complete meltdown in another day or so. xo

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  7. Frances, hope that spring is really not far now for you! We have enjoyed some great light and bright days and daffodils start, still shy but they start. And still very cold nights but oh the joy of daylight and birds singing so loudly and colours appearing in the ground.

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    1. Bayou, it's fun to hear how spring is arriving in your part of the world. We will catch up with you soon, I hope. I only saw and heard singing from sparrows during my walk. Other birds seem to be also waiting for warmer temperatures before heading north to NYC.

      Soon, I do hope! xo

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  8. Hi Francis, I enjoyed your tour of Central park as the thaw begins. It really looks a lovely place. I particularly liked the Shakespeare garden and the added colour of costumed figures.
    I look forward to seeing how it changes over the next few weeks.
    Jacquie x

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    1. Jacquie, Central Park is lovely, and it's quite a large place. I look forward to showing you more of its landscape in the coming months. xo

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  9. My friend, an Art teacher from Manchester, took a large party of her students to New York last week - to see galleries and exhibitions. She took lots of photographs of the snowy streets and said it was bitterly cold. Didn't stop them enjoying the city though!

    Lots of signs here of Spring - which is wonderful. Really lifts the spirits.

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    1. Mountaineer, I think that your friend's group were here during the deepest part of our cold and snow and ice. I'm glad they enjoyed NYC even so...but do hope they will return again ... spring and autumn are fine months for visits. xo

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  10. You really had an cold cold winter. In Europe we had a warm winter! Last week we were in Barcelona with springtemperatures and lots af sun. Even in Holland we have lots of blue sky and good temperatures. I sent some to you:)

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    1. Jolanda, those photographs of fantastic Barcelona were fantastic. Palm trees! Architecture! Sun and sea and warmth! xo

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  11. Glad to see your weather is warming up. A friend visited New York for the first time in February and said it was too cold to take her gloves off to take photos. I do enjoy your visits to Central Park. I cycle through a lovely park in South London on my way to work each morning and am loving all the signs of Spring.
    Thanks Sarah

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    1. Sarah, thank you for your visit and comment. Oh yes, February was no time to take your gloves off around these parts. Wearing two pairs of socks was also a good idea on some days!

      Do you know of Spencer Park in South London? A large green space and a fine place to relax.

      Please visit here again. Cheers!

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    2. Well it appears I have lived about 5 miles from Spencer Park for 20 years but have never heard of it before so thank you! The park I cycle through is my absolute favourite- Brockwell Park if you are ever visiting nearby...

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    3. Thanks so much for letting me know about Brockwell Park. I will remember the name, and might even have a look at it whenever I next get over to London. xo

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  12. I find the pre-Spring time challenging as far as taking pictures goes but you have some real beauties. So glad you are having milder temps!

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    1. Thank you, Vicki. I think that having all that snow still hanging around in the Park made most of my photographs look like tinted black and white photos. Green will continue its advance on the landscape. xo

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  13. In a few short weeks we'll be treated to far different views of your beautiful park. I look forward to them! I think the monochromes of winter in the east make the spring and summer hues seem all the more brilliant.

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    1. Pondside, I agree with your thought about monchromes and brilliant hues. We'll be getting some more rain this weekend to perhaps finish rinsing the snow away. We'll be all set for next week's St. Patrick's Day Parade! Lots of green. xo

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  14. Dear Frances,

    Happy to hear that the snow is melting and temperatures in NY are slowly rising. The first signs of spring in Central Park look beautiful! Have a good time at St. Patrick's parade next week.

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

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    1. Thanks Madelief...raining today, which should clear away lots of the lingering icy remnants. By Monday...all will be ready for the flowers. And parade. xo

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  15. If the thaw continued it may even be clear now in many places and perhaps the ducks have a pond again?

    There is something melancholy about a park in winter or early spring when colour has been bleached from the landscape and black and white and grey have taken over.

    But soon . . . .

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    1. Friko, I agree with you about the melancholy of the winter park. Even so, it was also pleasant to walk around and look for signs of a spring awakening. Next week will be very different, I think. xo

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  16. Bleak, but lovely still. The park looks like pen and ink. It's so good to see those magnolia buds, though! Soon, soon. :)

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    1. Yes, Kristen, the Park did look very much like a drawing, with all the lines so apparent. After this weekend's steady rain, I think that flowers will soon be taking over the stage with their colorful ways. xo

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  17. What a test of patience this New York winter has been. I hope the thaw speeds up. The buds on the magnolia are a hopeful sign. Today we are suffering a small setback with cold winds from the East pulling the temperatures right back down.

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    1. You are so right, Lucille, about our patience having been tested. It's been an unusually cold winter. It really felt good to actually go for a walk in the Park and have a little survey of what was going on over there.

      I guess that we will still have to be a little patient as those traditional March winds do whirl around for a few weeks.

      The Park is particularly lovely in Spring, so I am truly looking forward to this transition. xo

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  18. I remember all the activity around Strawberry Fields when I was in NYC last, now quite a few years ago. Music, dancing and often lots of flowers and of course lots of people. Lots of fun!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    xoxo Ingrid

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  19. Yes, Ingrid, there is always a little crowd around the Imagine Mosaic in Strawberry Fields.

    Thank you for the weekend wishes...I am going to put up a new post now with some colors! xo

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  20. Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.

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