Last day of November

The serene fall colors glistening on the last day of November. ~ Hints Of Life

Last glimpse of November_The Lake_Central Park.

A view of ‘The Lake’ from Bethesda Terrace & Fountain, Central Park

I envisage the bleak cold days ahead,
but for now; I only wish,
to enjoy the serene fall colors,
glistening under the bright blue sky,
the sun’s rays kissing them softly,
red; yellow; orange shades,
an epitome of  life’s celebration,
the last day of November,
as nature prepares to embrace the change.

 

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Landscapes~ November crush

November, your last chance for fall walks in the park. ~ Hints Of Life

Central Park._Fall colors_landscape

Fall soaked brooks, oaks, elms, red maples in the North Woods, Central Park

November comes with a ‘crush’, a heart crush for Central Park as it enthralls you in its  fall spirit, and a dramatic weather crush as temperatures in New York City dipped below 20 degrees Fahrenheit on November 10, calling for a freeze weather alert. These conditions  killed all the crops and other sensitive vegetation, ending the growing season for 2017. Catastrophic!

As I welcome the change, I wish to let the days flow with grace. I want to surrender myself to the small cozy corner in my house more often. Where I wish to write loving and positive thoughts and think of ways to spread joy and goodness this holiday season. As these thoughts escape my conscious, I remember spending a perfect November afternoon in Central Park a week ago. Colored in the spirit of fall the Park dazzled in shades of purple, reds, orange and yellow hues.

American Elm_Central Park_Fall colors

American Elm (yellow) in North Woods, Central Park

American Elm
American elm a predominant specie in Central Park is found in the North woods; West Side to Mid-Park from 101st to 110th street and The mall; Mid-Park 66th to 72nd street. A high canopied, in shape either fountain or vase, the elm is by habit and nature conducive to a grandeur and elegance not lost on Frederick Law Olmsted, Central Park’s designer. Olmsted saw in the American elm, a favorite of his, a tree conducive to creating canopied spaces intended to evoke the tranquil intimacy of ecclesiastical chambers, writes;

By 1860 the first two elm saplings were already growing in Central Park’s turf. Ever since efforts have been made to  isolate the elms from contamination by the neighboring elms or becoming victims of the Dutch Elm disease. The difficult task is a result of the close watch by the gardeners of the Central Park Conservancy, now forming one of the largest remaining plantations of the trees. (Source: Em.wikipedia.org)

Central Park._Fall colors_landscape._

A moment with my three friends at Central Park

To me, Central Park in November is about taking the last fall walks. To be mesmerized by the beautiful landscapes (all around) before it vanishes away. I visited the park on a mid-week afternoon for two simple reasons, it is less crowded around the time and it gives me a chance to enjoy my own company. Other than me, it were the three dogs (in the picture above) running the length and breath of the North Woods and having a time of their life. I soon befriended them and even chased them with all my strength as they sprinted on the beautiful fall foliage. Stopping sometimes only to rub their face against the soft leaves and other times to stretch their limbs for a little while.

I entered the park from West 79th street, and walked towards the North Woods this time. The sight of the mighty American elm, pulled me to that part of the park. I must tell you,  elms are loved for their graceful, stately shape, with branches like spreading fountains, and their green leaves turning gold in fall. As you see in the pictures above it were these beautiful landscapes that captured my senses. Other than the elms, the North Woods is home to Black cheery trees that change their color to yellow, & red; Pin oak trees that turn russet, bronze, & red; Red oak tress that turn to yellow, brown, & red; Scarlet oaks turning scarlet and Red maple turning red.

So if you are planning to visit the New York City Parks anytime soon. I suggest, November (precisely now) as an excellent time to visit, as some of the most popular parks in New York afford glimpses of spectacular fall colors. And Central Park, home to about 20,000 species of trees with the changing colors is a breathtaking sight. So why wait friends! Don’t think, just make your way to Central Park soon.

Singing off with best wishes to all. 

Recommended articles:
https://www.nycgovparks.org/events/fall_foliage

https://wingsair.net/2016/11/23/fall-foliage-walk-new-york-city-streets/

 

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Halloween inspiration

Unveil those uninhabited emotionslet the hidden faces shine, happy Halloween~ Hints Of Life

Black&white

whisper in dream

let me shine one night

dormant shadows alive

 

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Sugar maple: the fall darling

Create memories in fall and reminisce in its warmth all winter. ~Hints Of Life

Fall colors_sugarmaple tree

‘Larger than life’ sugar maple at Central Park

Often times a weekend trip to Catskills or/and Adirondacks (though there is nothing like  weekend getaways) to experience the stunning fall colors and foliage can get dismantled by the burden of city life. I currently belong in this category of all consumed New Yorker. But as someone famously said; with fall breeze and autumn leaves, fun begins. And there is a lot of fall fun in store right here in the Big Apple.

At the heart of the city, Central Park is experiencing some amazing fall colors, finally! I say finally because the temperatures in the city have mostly been ranging between 70-75 degree Fahrenheit till mid October (unusual this year). But the trees have started to change color now. The sugar maple tree (below) bursting in its last beauty is the sight of Central Park.

Fall colors_sugarmaple tree._._

Sugar maple as it bursts with its last beauty

Sugar Maple
Sugar Maple is a landscape standout tree and can be seen in the warmest places in the United States. The leaves of the sugar maple can form a complete color wheel throughout the year, turning several shades of green, then from yellow to orange, and finally to red in the fall. The diversity of this tree makes it impressive all year round but especially in the fall.

Sugar maple is popularly know as hard maple, or rock maple, a large tree in the soapberry family, native to eastern North America and widely grown as an ornamental and shade tree. It is a commercially important source of maple syrup, maple sugar, and hardwood lumber useful in furniture manufacture and flooring. Some trees develop special grain patterns such as bird’s-eye maple (with dots suggesting eyes of birds) and curly and fiddle back maple, with wavy and rippled grain, respectively. The sugar maple may grow to a height of 40 m (130 feet). It has a dense crown of leaves, which turn various shades of gold to scarlet in fall. Its three- to five-lobed leaves appear after the greenish yellow flowers of spring. The fruits are paired samaras, or keys. Smooth grayish bark on the trunk and branches gradually furrows with age. (Source: britannica.com)

Fall colors_sugarmaple tree._._.leaf

Sugar maple leaf exposed in the sunlight

In Central Park you will find a dense population of sugar maple trees in the North Meadow, mid park from 97 to 102 streets. I found this gorgeous tree during my Friday morning run through Central Park. Known for its ‘landscape standout’ characteristic, it captured my heart and soul at just a glance (as you see in the first picture). I stood in its shade and enjoyed the crisp fall morning breeze for sometime. Then, landing on my knees I began collecting a few of the fallen scarlet leaves 🍃 to add them to my fall memories #2017 box. Because come winter my only sight will be miles of bare, naked branches and fall will seem like a distant memory. Looking around I saw other fitness enthusiast and pass byers stealing a glance of the larger than life sugar maple tree. Of course, others were creating their own beautiful memories by taking pictures and selfies with the tree. I left my sweet spot with a promise to visit it again tomorrow at the same time.

Catch the ‘last hurrah’ of these gorgeous trees before they go dormant for the winter. If you plan to visit Central Park to enjoy the fall colors, this particular sugar maple tree is located near the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain with The Mall behind you.

Signing off with best wishes for fall!

Recommended article:
https://www.6sqft.com/map-find-the-colorful-fall-foliage-of-central-parks-20000-trees/

http://www.centralparknyc.org/about/blog/guide-to-fall-foliage.html?utm_campaign=201611_blog_foliage&utm_content=tw&utm_medium=social&utm_source=cpc-engagement

 

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Fallen beauty

Fall leaves, falling in the lap of mother earth, reminiscing its old glory~ Hints Of Life

Fall colors_dry leaves_NewYork

The foliage looks just as pretty after it falls in the Central Park Conservancy

The leaves are fallen round me,
fall leaves, dry; red and yellow,
gathered in a hump,
their invisible soul speaks to me,
countless stories of time on earth,
the rise and fall of their destiny,
before disappearing in the soil

say,
falling is good sometimes,
only to come back stronger,
it’s not that we have to quit,
this life one day, but it’s how,
many things we have to quit,
all at once – family, friends,
laughter, love, memories and,
even the joy of talking to a stranger,
if only it would be lost, all not at once

Inspiration and source-Roman Payne

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Fall sunset

Tangerine sky, robin chirping somewhere in the woods,
smell of ripe earth, color all around,
FALL arrives with a spectacle. 
~ Hints Of Life

Fall sunset @Hudsonriver

As the Sun melts behind the horizon Fall sunset

As her feet moved forward, her legs felt like lead weight and lungs endured a burning sensation. The crisp cold air whistled through her ears, making her soft curls sing to its rhythm. In the backdrop of the gorgeous fall sunset, she finished her 4 miles run at the edge of Boat Basin Café at River Side Park. Her favorite go to spot on weekday evenings, Boat Basin café is located on the scenic Hudson River with in the historic walls of the 79th street Boat Basin. In simple words, the café is a casual open air treasure overlooking the Hudson River and has some of the best sunset views in New York city.

Recuperating from her rigorous run, Meena was suddenly aware of her numb cheeks and, more so of her beautiful surroundings. Standing at the fifth step leading to the café she marveled at the beautiful red and orange colors of the sunset. The universe never failed to surprise her. And fall is its most treasured time.

To seize the moment, she squeezed her eyes close, as tight as she could (subconsciously), and thought of all her favorite fall memories. Heartwarming and soothing, they came dashing into her conscious like stories from her favorite books. The awful, wonderful brightness of sunrise and sunset colors. The light fog in the evenings and the morning dew on her bedroom glass window. The smell of the hard, pale wood sending up sharp, orange smoke into the night. The feel of the mellow, golden sun on her skin, sometimes more gentle and cozier and more golden than even the light of her favorite reading nook at the close of the day. (Source: Catherynne M. Valente)

Fall sunset @Hudsonriver_1

Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there. Rumi

Tangerine phenomenon
Not just the changing color of the trees but the tangerine, vivid sunsets makes fall a beautiful experience. But what is the science behind the phenomenon?

When it comes to getting great sunrise and sunset photos, late fall and winter are perhaps the best time of year to find success. There are two reasons why the winter months offer up the greatest opportunities. The first reason is that the sun rises later and sets earlier so you don’t have to get up at a frighteningly early hour or stay out past dinner time to capture the beauty. The second reason is a bit more scientific.

The colors of a sunrise or sunset are based on how light is entering and traveling through the atmosphere. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tells us that dust and pollution particles in the air scatter light and reduce how much makes it to the ground, and thus reduces the intensity of colors at sunrise and sunset. So, when it’s hazy out, the sunrise or sunset colors will be more muted. When the air is crisp and clear, these twilight hours will offer up more vibrant colors. NOAA states, “Because air circulation is more sluggish during the summer, and because the photochemical reactions which result in the formation of smog and haze proceed most rapidly at that time of the year, late fall and winter are the most favored times for sunrise and sunset viewing over most of the United States. (Source: Mother Nature Network)

Fall sunset @Hudsonriver_2

Goodbye Summer, coz Fall has arrived

Living in the moment is her life mantra. Seated at a table for two by a charming waiter, she inhaled the sweet; crisp breeze and, prepared herself  to embrace the colder and darker winter. The most beautiful time of the year, “Fall is the only season when the earth lets itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.” Rainer Maria Rilke describes fall with such beauty and elegance.

Like Meena are you enjoying the joys of fall? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.

Happy Fall! 🙂

Recommended article:
https://weather.com/news/news/autumn-sunsets-20121018_immersive

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/publications/corfidi/sunset/

Source: 
https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/why-sunrises-are-more-amazing-in-winter

 

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Late Summer sunset

Sunset is the most surreal of all nature’s miracles. ~ Hints Of Life

Sunset @riversidepark

A late Summer sunset by the Hudson river

As the Sun sets behind the horizon,
on a late summer evening,
it looks like a teenager gushing with youth,
glowing so beautiful, it would make you blush

its light so luminous, you feel its radiance in your bones,
its energy so infectious, you smile just at a glance,
its promise so pure, to shine again tomorrow,
and tomorrow…

I watch,
an old gentlemen practice putting on the green grass,
his hands firmly gripping the club, his eyes measuring the distance,
his stance, illuminating in the orange,
adding character to the beautiful,
late summer sunset

 

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Sunbathing turtles

A turtle is not just a fascinating species, but a silent teacher. ~ Hints Of Life

Red-eared turtle

A group of Red-eared slider turtles basking in the sun at Central Park

Try to be like a turtle- at ease in your own shell, Bill Copeland. The beautiful thought captured my conscience after my visit to Central Park on August, 13. Oftentimes, you want to enjoy the experience in solitude for a while before penning down your thoughts on paper or a blog. Such is the case with my new post ‘Sunbathing turtles’.

It was a surprise scene at the Lake in Central Park as I and many other park lovers witnessed a very pleasant sight- numerous, beautiful red-eared turtles sunbathing around the 18 acre lake. The turtles coexisting in the environment with you. Stretching their limbs right at your feet and even posing for the camera was quite an enthralling experience.

Red-eared turtle_1

A gorgeous red-eared slider turtle at the Lake, Central Park

Red-Eared slider
Red-eared sliders are a solitary species, but they do “socialize” during mating season. Most turtles do not venture too far from their established fresh water habitat unless searching for a mate or nest site.

Red-Eared slider sunbathing: Heat absorption is more effective when their limbs are stretched outwards. Red-eared sliders are almost entirely aquatic, but as they are cold-blooded, they leave the water to sunbathe to regulate their temperature.

These turtles are poikilotherms, meaning they are unable to regulate their body temperatures independently; they are completely dependent on the temperature of their environment. For this reason, they need to sunbathe frequently to warm themselves and maintain their body temperatures.

Red-eared turtle_2

A Yellow belly slider turtle drying itself on a rock near the Lake

Though most of the turtles were basking alone in the sun (as you see in the pictures), I spotted a group of turtles sunbathing together on a rock (in the first picture) and a baby turtle swimming near by. It was a beautiful sight which attracted a lot of kids and their parents. I was also able to spot a rare Yellow bellied slider turtle on the south-west side of the Lake, stretching its limbs, drying itself on a beautiful summer day.

Yellow bellied slider
Yellow bellied sliders are aquatic turtles. This means they spend most of their time in the water but unlike amphibians, they need to be able to get out of the water to dry off and breath. Yellow bellied sliders do not have gills. They grow to be almost a foot long, are excellent swimmers, and live well over 20 years. They are cousins to the red eared slider and have almost identical care requirements.

The Video

The first turtles that made Central Park their home were pet turtles released into the Park’s man-made fresh water ponds by their owners in 1980’s, since then their population has grown tremendously. The most common among them were the red-eared slider turtles. In addition, snapping turtles, painted turtles, musk turtles and some yellow-bellied sliders that hail from the Southeast make up the turtle family at Central Park.

As I walked through the Lake into the ramble at the Upper Westside, my day was filled with joy, a sense of fulfillment griped my mind, body and soul. It was a day well spent in the company of nature.

Recommended article:
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/warm-weather-turtle-lovers-warning-reptiles-article-1.1036724

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-eared_slider

https://www.thespruce.com/yellow-bellied-sliders-1238384?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=shareurlbuttons_nip

 

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Golden Sunset (series) #2

In the midst of a mundane life, you catch a glimpse of the spectacular. ~ Hints Of Life 

Golden Sunset

A regular day, just the mundane routine,
the mood was sombre all around,
the yellow cabs, jolting on the streets

people pacing as if walking on air,
chasing the materialistic desires,
unaware of the beauty that surrounds them,
as if, in a daze

But there it was again,
the breathtaking golden sunset,
radiating, beaming in yellow with a ting of red this time,
always timely,
and, never-failing to please its admirers

 

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The Lake

Sometimes, a walk by the Lake is therapeutic. ~ Hints Of Life

The Lake

The view of The Lake at Central Park

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains- Diane Ackerman. Such our my feels except instead of the mountains it was a beautiful walk by the Lake at Central Park.

It was a perfect Sunday in New York city with abundant sunshine and an everlasting blue horizon. The one day in the week to laze and relax. After a late brunch with my husband at Vive La Crepe on Columbus Avenue between West 68th & 69th street, we decided to head to Central Park for a walk. Our walk started right from our brunch spot as Central Park was just a 10 minute walk from there.

Mallard Ducks

A school of Mallard Ducks attracted quite an audience

The Lake
The Lake that is spread over 20-acre is the largest of Central Park’s naturalistic water bodies. It is located Mid-Park from West 71st to West 78th Streets. Park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux created the Lake from a former swamp, for boating in the summer and ice-skating in the winter.

In 2012 the Central Park Conservancy completed the comprehensive restoration of the Lake and its surrounding landscapes. With the water’s edge having slowly crumbled and eroded through the years, the Conservancy set out in 2006 to stabilize its shoreline.

What the team did..?
The team excavated and removed excess sediments, then reconstructed the shoreline with rustic boulders on a stabilized gravel base. Using coir logs, created from the binding of coconut fibers with biodegradable netting, the Conservancy reconstructed the vast shoreline staked at the base of the slope where the normal water level meets the shoreline, the logs serve to protect the Lake’s edge from erosion until plants can become established. The coir logs are a sustainable solution to the Lake’s restoration, and one that’s helping preserve the beauty of its lush landscapes and the health of its wildlife habitat.

The Lake_Flowers

Black-eyed Susan blooming at the foot of The Lake

As we entered the park from West 71 street entrance, it took us to the Lake through the Strawberry Fields. A living memorial to the world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist, John Lennon. It was serene and tranquil as we circled  the Lake at medium pace. At the North-West side of the Lake we were greeted by a school of handsome male Mallard ducks, who attracted quite an audience for themselves.  It was a sight to watch them swim in the water and listen to their quack.

Just ahead I spotted a beautiful bed of Black-eyed Susan flowers. The flower a deep yellow with a dominant black center is native to the United States. It is a very versatile plant and can grow in damp to dry and sunny to shady conditions. The Black-eyed Susan is the state flower of Maryland.

A World-Class Urban Park, Central Park is just the kind of escape one needs in the Big Apple, which records the highest population density of any major city in the United States, with over 27,000 people per square mile.

So fellas make your way to the park soon!

Source:
http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/lake.html
http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/bloom-guide/blooms/black-eyed-susan.html?season=
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/data-maps/nyc-population/population-facts.page

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