Monday, August 21, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

Later today we will be able to witness some of the effects of the solar eclipse.  Before that happens, I will keep my promise to myself and catch up on blogging.

Since I last posted, many terrible things have happened around the world.  There is much to concern us, to anger us and perhaps, to encourage us to involve ourselves positively in our shared world.

It has also been a time traditionally devoted to holidays, a time when school children are not required to spend days in classrooms.  
A time to visit beaches.  The following beach scene is a tableau set up in a neighborhood dry cleaning establishment.  It makes me smile.

In an attempt to not be consumed by bad news, I continue to encourage smiles.  This is what I am currently knitting...a tubular cowl that will eventually be added to my shop Foakley Arts.

I've been reading all sorts of books, from detective stories to serious literature, borrowed from The New York Society Library.  The following photo shows a book I treated myself to purchasing.  It was published to accompany a Winifred Nicholson exhibit that has been touring the UK.  Since I was not able to see the exhibit, I am thoroughly enjoying this marvelous book and recommend it highly.

There are so many wonderful places to visit and things to do in NYC during the summer.  The outdoor places are more pleasant to visit when the weather is not too, too hot and humid.  As many of you all know, Central Park's Shakespeare Garden is a favorite place of mine.

The Garden is currently in its full blown late summer look, quite overgrown and just a bit wild.  I took lots of photos yesterday and will share many of them with you all.

As one wanders along the sloping pathways of the Garden, it's possible to find all sorts of plants.  The Park's gardeners are very talented in their selections.

One of my goals on yesterday's stroll was to keep a lookout for unusual butterflies.  Alas, I saw only a few of very "usual" plain white butterflies.  The good news is that I saw and heard many bees buzzing around the flowers.

I like the rustic look of this Garden, and at this time of the year there are all sorts of interesting seed pods.  It's quite a feast.

Lots of plants had grown very leggy.

A great variety of greens were on display.

In more shadowed areas, I found quieter plantings.

I am hoping to be able to make use of some of these photos as reference for drawings and paintings.

My visit was just about midday, so there was the potential for lots of back lighting from certain angles.

In this shady area, the leaves had a blue tinge.

At the top boundary of the Garden, there was evidence that some garden fauna had been nibbling on the flora.

I liked this back lighting very much.

Here is my final farewell photo as I wandered away from the lovely Shakespeare Garden.  During my visit I encountered only about 30 other folks also enjoying the sights.

On my way home, I stopped by the farmers market, to purchase some wonderful tomatoes and green veg.

Somehow, I resisted purchasing any of the incredible flowers on display at this stand.

The red dahlia in the following photo was the size of a dinner plate.  It was absolutely dazzling!

In the next photo is my homemade contraption that I will be using in a few hours to safely observe the solar eclipse.  I learned how to "construct" it from the website of the Washington Post newspaper.

I am also going to show you all this painting which is my current "rescue" project.  The canvas was abandoned about 17 years ago when it was a rather dark moody abstract.  I've now decided to treat that moody bit as a view from a window.  Work on this painting has been interrupted by continuing very loud street noise from my own open window.

Electrical repairs seem to have been completed.  Now the below ground gas pipes are being replaced.  If you look very carefully at the Completion Date on the sign, you will see the letters ASAP.

I took that photo several weeks ago.  Work continues.

As always, thank you all for your visits and comments.  I am going to try to do better at keeping up with your posts.  Promise.  Admittedly, my Instagram page is competing for my time.

Enjoy the eclipse!