Tuesday, February 23, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

We are speeding along towards the end of February, and there perhaps won't be too many more days for me to wear these pale blue alpaca mitts, knitted from some lovely soft alpaca yarn and a clever Blue Sky Alpaca pattern 1250 that I was given for Christmas.

I very much like the way that the textural lace stitch detail also created a curve to the top and lower edges of the mitts.

Carrying on with some knitting updates, I finally redeemed another generous Christmas present of a gift card from a very interesting website Gnome Acres.  I've used their sock yarns before, and am looking forward to see how this colorful skein will turn out.  

I was working last weekend when some strangely warm weather slipped into the city, and was delighted that the temperature stayed well above the freezing point yesterday afternoon, creating a grand opportunity for a walk over to Central Park.

The snowdrops in the Strawberry Fields area just inside the West 72nd Street "Women's Gate" entrance looked a bit scrawny, but seemed to have outlasted the deep freeze.

As usual, quite a few lawns were fenced off for seasonal maintenance.  It won't be long before these lawns will be full of folks relaxing and enjoying the sun's warmth.

It might be a while though before this vendor will find many customers wishing to buy ice cream.  Other items are featured on the menu.

As I continued my walk along the western side of the lake, I was delighted to see that the bright sun, clear blue sky, and mostly algae-free water made for many beautiful reflections.

It is unusual for such photo opportunities to present themselves.

Although my pictures are silent, I would ask you to imagine the busy birdsong that accompanied along my strolling.

Lots of bird courtships were well underway.

Shadows were sharply defined by the sunlight.

I was very amused by the sight of this lady with her dog, each of them having individual appreciations of the birds and the lake.

There is something about the intricate designs of all these almost bare branches that remind me a bit of my twisted wire/tomato vine assemblage shown in my last post. 

Although flowers were not yet blooming in the Shakespeare Garden, I did come across these red rose petals scattered over a part of the Garden path.  Possibly a wedding had taken place there earlier in the day?

Some of the hellebore plants I'd seen on my walk seemed a bit worse for wear, post blizzard and deep freeze, but these seem to still have blossoming potential.  I will return to check on them.

Walking along the southern edge of the Great Lawn, I looked up to see this beautiful sycamore tree, still bearing lots of souvenirs.  I did pick up a couple of the quirky little seed balls from the ground as my own souvenirs of my walk.

As my walk took me past the southern end of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was treated to a beautiful shadow show.

I was not the only person stopping along this walkway to take a few photographs.  Perhaps if you click on the following photograph, you will detect the tracks of some sort of heavy work vehicle, that somehow reminded me of those mysterious crop circles.

And here's just one more photograph of trees and shadows, although I don't find the result quite so dramatic against this tall, windowed museum wall.

Returning home, I emptied my pocket and added the natural touch of sycamore balls to some stacked antique china.

And now, for those of you all patient enough to stay with me though this post, I will reveal a change that is about to take place in my life.  I am retiring from my work, and by the end of March will be starting a new blend of freedom and responsibility.

For some months, I've been carefully considering this decision, and making all sorts of lists and calculations to confirm that retirement is a wise and feasable step.  Although I do look forward to soon having additional free time, I will be sorry to no longer have daily encounters with my splendid colleagues at the shop.  

Future posts will be chronicling some of the experiences I'll be having as I make this transition.  Yes, traveling is in the cards, as is more time for creative pursuits, seeing NYC friends, and continuing to expand my curiosity about life's meaning.

Thank you all for visiting and commenting.  It's quite likely that I will soon be posting more frequently.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York on a very, very chilly February 13.

As I type, I hear the wind blowing, and the radio has just told me that the temperature is 21 degrees F.  By the time I leave for work in a few hours, it's going to be about 10 degrees.  By the time time I return home from work this evening, the prediction is for about 5 degrees.

How I wish I could stay indoors all day long...and tomorrow, too.  Instead, I'll remind myself that spring is not too far away and add lots of layers of clothing for my outdoor journeys, hoping the subway trains are running frequently.

In observation of Valentine's Day being tomorrow, I wanted to share a funny little assemblage that hangs on my kitchen wall.

Many years ago, I bent a wire coat hanger, added a dried tomato vine and tucked in a slip of paper found in a Chinese fortune cookie.  It amuses me every day to see this little tangle.  The paper fortune reads, "You will make changes for the better."  It's a good fortune to read every day, and then contemplate the potential for the message's truth.

This still new year is going to be a time of changes for me.  I look forward to sharing some developments with you all in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile, I thank you all for your visits and comments, and continue to marvel at the connections that blogging allows us to make.

May I also wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 5, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

Large, moist snowflakes are painting the tree branches white.

These flakes do not have the power to coat the streets or sidewalks, and weather forecasters say that the sun will be back around midday.

Meanwhile, I do like the looks of the ginkgo tree just the other side of my front window.  When I first saw its central branch this morning I thought someone had tossed a polka dot scarf into the air that had then been caught by the tree.  Perhaps you all will also be fooled by the snow's effect?

I've always liked these sorts of lacy accumulations.

It's odd that only a day ago, my down-filled coat felt too warm.  I'm hoping that tomorrow's temperature will be warm enough to encourage me to have a walk over to Central Park.  I am very curious to discover what our odd January and February weather has brought to the Park, and will be taking my camera with me.

Meanwhile, thank you all for your visits and comments on my blizzard posts.  That recent snowstorm now seems so long ago.  This morning, the snow is just flirting with us.