Spring oh spring, where are you?

Let’s keep it simple! Today I want to believe, no matter how long the winter, Spring is sure to follow. ~ Hints Of Life

New York embraces Spring nor’easter storm (Toby) on the first day of Spring


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Postcards of nature

March begins, Spring is in the promise. The sunshine though seldom always soothes my heart and soul. ~ Hints Of Life

Sunset at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Central Park

The Central Park Reservoir
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (sometimes abbreviated by locals as the JKO Reservoir) – originally called, and is known by locals as, the Central Park Reservoir – is a decommissioned reservoir in Central Park in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, stretching from 86th to 96th street. (Source: Wikipedia)

Take me to the sunset and I’ll find my smile 


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Happy 2018

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



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Majestic is nature’s plan, a rainbow it creates with tears and light. ~ Hints Of Life

Calssic New York View
Sometimes all you need is a beautiful ‘life size’ bohemian window and a vision of appreciation, to make life as mesmerizing as a rainbow.


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Eastern redbud

Nature is a silent teacher. In its company you will find your answers. ~ Hints Of Life 

Eastern Redbud

As I sat in the shade of the beautiful Eastern Redbud tree this Sunday afternoon, I heard an adorable ‘whooping’ sound(s) coming from the tree. Only to realize – two big yellow striped honeybees were flying around the reddish purple flowers on the tree. Though a little scared of the bees (I confess here) I stayed put where I was sitting to observe their fascinating behavior. And soon I realized that the honeybees were in the process of pollination. They use the flowers of the redbud tree for pollen. I have usually seen the honeybees dancing around the flowers in the garden and parks but watching them whooping and flying around the eastern redbud tree was a new experience.

I have also read that The Henry’s elfin butterfly (Callophyrus henrici) and hummingbirds utilize eastern redbud for nectar. I am definitely on a look out for these two beautiful creature. And it will be a lucky experience to see them around the eastern redbud tree.

Eastern Redbud_1

Eastern Redbud
Eastern redbud popularly known as redbud tree and Judas tree, is usually one of the first trees to bloom in spring. Its pink to reddish purple flowers are grown on old twigs, branches, and trunks.

Flowering occurs in March to May before leaf growth (as you see in the pictures). After bloom, the leaves begin to grow and gradually turns dark green. When mature, the alternately arranged leaves are about four inches long, four inches wide and heart shaped with prominent venation. The twigs are slender, spreading zigzag with short or dark brown knotty spurs.

Eastern Redbud_2

An extraordinarily beautiful spring variety, eastern redbud is one of my favorites at the Riverside Park. As I sat under its shade, it was shinning in the gorgeous afternoon sunshine and looked eternal in the evening as the sun was going below the horizon. Not just me, but many other pass byers were attracted to its beauty. Planted so close to the river, I enjoyed the cool spring breeze and the beautiful views.

Eastern redbud occurs as scattered trees or in small populations. Even at the Riverside Park I see they are less in population. It is know to be an understory specie in open woods and is found on moist, loam or sandy soils in valleys or bottomlands. But its beauty, the lovely pink and reddish purple flowers makes it a very special tree. It attracts not just humans but also butterflies, birds and honeybees.

If you visit the Riverside Park anytime in Spring, I highly recommend the Easter Redbud. You too will be mesmerized by its grace and elegance.


Golden sunset

I stand alone like the cherry tree
shining in the shadow of the sunset
radiant in its beauty like a diamond


Watching the sunset is a profound moment for me and I do takeout time everyday (almost) to gaze at the spectacle of color in the sky that lasts for a few minutes before it fades away. Living in the West where winter is long and brutal there can be many days when the sun doesn’t show at all. So, it becomes even more important for people here to be out in the sun when it does appear. But the upside of living in the West is the many breath-taking sunsets that one witnesses as the days get longer in spring and summer.

Nonetheless, as a sun worshipper I don’t need much deliberation to be in its company. I always have ready reasons to be out in nature. Moreover, research shows that the psychological effects of admiring the sunset may persist long after the color has faded. Admiring the sunset helps boost ones well-being, increase levels of happiness and enhance life satisfaction. The key is to actively engage with the experience. To reap the rewards of the sunset, you need to stop whatever else you’re doing and really notice and appreciate the show in the sky.


The five reasons to gaze at the sunset:

Makes you feel at peace:
No matter how tough your day went or how exhausted you feel, spending a few minutes gazing at the sunset will make you feel at peace with yourself and others. You will look forward to a new, fresh day tomorrow.

Doesn’t cost a cent:
I believe watching the sunset is the most romantic date with your love or just by yourself. And the best part is it doesn’t cost you a cent. To make it an even more beautiful experience you can bring along a bottle of wine and savor the myriad hues in the sky.

Enhances your emotional well-being:
It is a know fact that people who live close to nature are happier and more emotionally secured. Especially people who spend time appreciating the beauty of nature. And what can be a better way then enjoying the sunset.

Makes you mindful:
It gives you a chance to be mindful and live in the moment which is otherwise quite difficult. And in time you would realize, admiring the sunset has become a routine. Isn’t that an amazing addition to an otherwise busy life.

Mindfulness is bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment- basis. According to Perspectives on Psychological Science study, mindfulness is “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment” and has been proven to have significant psychological and physical benefits, including stress reduction and improved cognitive functioning. Gazing at the sunset is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness.

Allows you to multi-task in a healthy way:
Some days I like to run in the park as the sun begins to hid behind the horizon. I take a few minutes to simply look at the setting sun, relishing its beauty, as I perform a few stretching exercise. Other days I like to stand upright in a Mountain Pose and simply gaze at the beautiful sunset, slowly inhaling the fresh air through my nose and exhaling it through my mouth.

Don’t miss a sunset because every sunset is gorgeous and different!


Yoshino Cherry Blossom

Her laughter makes my heart blossom. All I aspire is, to spend time in her companionship.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park
Yoshino Cherry Blossom tree at Central Park

A lovely spring afternoon, and I was meeting a friend for lunch at Quality Italian, Midtown West. A delicious meal and lots of talking and laughter. It was more than a perfect afternoon for me but it didn’t just finish there. After goodbyes (for the next five minutes) with promises to catch up soon, I had some time on me before taking on the worldly duties again.

There were two things on my mind coffee and a spring afternoon walk through Central Park. So, I got myself a cappuccino from Zebetto (one of my favorite café around the area) and made my way through the streets to Central Park’s entrance at 6 avenue.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park 1
The secret of life is that there are no secrets. Life is always showing itself. Byron Katie

Yoshino Cherry 
Yoshino Cherry is a very popular ornamental cherry tree found in plenty at Central Park. If you happen to visit the Park now, from mid to late April you would see the first buds of these trees typically blossoming before any other tree in the park.

Before the leaves appear on the Yoshino Cherry trees, pale pink flowers emerge in clusters of five or six (as seen in the pictures). Then as the leaves begin to grow on the tree, they first appear in bronze color and later as the summer approaches the same leaves turn into a darker green.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park 2
Only from the heart can you touch the sky. Rumi

It is said, ‘the perfect blossom is a rare thing. You can spend your life looking for one and it would not be a wasted life’ Katsumoto, The Last Samurai. Such were my feelings as I stood in front of the irresistibly gorgeous Yoshino Cherry tree. A feeling so overwhelming, as I was a little teary eyed but could not reason it why.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t just me. After gaining my composure I noticed that a few steps to my right were two teenage boys mumbling something to one another. They went around, closer to the branches that were leaning towards the earth to get a close look at the pale pink flowers. It was truly a mesmerizing sight as the branches had lots of flowers. They stood there for some time simply gazing at the blossoms before biding adieu to the beautiful tree. Though strangers, our joy was the same.

When you see people just like you appreciating the beauty of nature, it is a divine feeling.