Nature

Happy 2018

From the HOL team to you, wishing every nature lover and otherwise a wonderful and  prosperous New Year.  

 

 

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Nature- Heartfelt tales

Snowing December

It’s snowing December in Central Park ~ Hints Of Life

Central Park_First Snow_Winter
Glimpse of the first snow at Bridge No. 24, Central Park

On this exciting Friday, I wish to relive the few snowfalls we already have had in December, especially the first snowfall of the season!

Yes, it is snowing December in New York City. And as we are only two days away from Christmas, if the heavens permit I am earnestly hoping for a white Christmas. Oh, that will be a dream come true, indeed!

Though the first dusting of snow has melted (and two or three snow showers have passed), its essence is still alive in my senses. The first fall of snow is not just an event but a magical event. You go to bed in one world and wake up in another and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? says J. B. Priestley, the British writer.

As the first snowfall blanketed the city, the streets, from Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue,  to Madison Avenue and the parks – especially Central Park – were an enchanting sight. Children, couples, and, of course, pets took to Central Park to enjoy the snowfall. The sight of the horse carriages adorned with couples and families (cozily sitting together) enjoying the ride in the snow was my favorite of all.

New Yorkers took to social media, sharing stunning snow pictures and videos. But I consciously chose to live in the moment, enjoying the snow day in the company of family and friends. It’s my third winter in New York, and I still get the same thrill glimpsing the whirling snowflakes, kissing the earth gently. The feeling so magical as if a fairy angel is sprinkling love on earth.

Central Park_First Snow_Winter..
As it lay in a blanket of snow, the Great Lawn

The Great Lawn
The lush oval lawn (Great Lawn) that opened in 1937, was Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s vision of a rural retreat in Central Park. This green 55-acre area is the geographical center of the Park, and one of the most famous lawns in the world. Located Mid-Park from 79th to 85th Street, the Great Lawn is popular among New Yorkers for a mid-afternoon picnic in Spring or for relaxing in the summer sun. It is open from mid-April until mid-November. When covered in snow the lawn looks like a winter wonderland, as you see in the picture above.

It is interesting to know, that the site of the present-day Great Lawn was not always the pastoral meadow we see today. The space was instead occupied by the rectangular Croton Reservoir, constructed in 1842.  However, in 1917, the reservoir was made obsolete when a new water tunnel was built and all of its water was drained in 1931.  During the Great Depression the area served as the home of displaced residents and surplus supplies and materials leftover from the construction of a subway line and Rockefeller Center.

Over the next few years there was much debate about what would be done with the space. Options on the table included everything from a WWI Memorial to an opera house to underground parking garages. Eventually the debate concluded in 1937 and grass was planted, creating the oval styled-field now known as the Great Lawn.  During the 1950s, eight baseball diamonds were installed along the outer rim of the lawn. (Centralpark.com)

Central Park_First Snow_Winter....
Kids playin’ in snow at Central Park

As I walked in Central Park after a 30 minute run in the winter wonderland, watching the kids play in snow got me thinking of the many wonderful moments we create in our life on a snow day. For instance, a snowball in the face is a perfect beginning to a lasting friendship. I am sure many of you cherish these incredible childhood friendships even today. As I passed Cherry hill, I saw a little boy making a snowman with his mother in the middle of the hill. Seeing the beautiful mother-son bond, I couldn’t resist playing with them for sometime.

As I said goodbye to them, I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? Covers them in a warm white blanket until summer comes. With this wonderful feeling and priceless experience I made my way out of the park. It was time for a delicious hot chocolate in the cozy corner of my house.

Signing off with warm holiday wishes.

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Nature- Poetry

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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Nature- Heartfelt tales

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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Nature- Poetry

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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Nature- Heartfelt tales

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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Nature- Poetry

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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