Monthly Archives: March 2015

Spring Snow

We were all hoping that we had seen the last of the snow for this winter.  And in a way we were right.  After all, technically it is spring, and what we had was a spring snow — the kind that sticks to everything and changes the way everything looks.

1 StreetEven the bags of garbage look good in this kind of snow.  And I think I see at least two faces in that pile!

2 BagsSo I had to walk over to the Park and see how everything was transformed there as well. The Gugenheim Museum never looked so good!

3 GugenheimSo I paid a short visit to my friends, the dancing cherry trees, who were going strong in spite of everything.

4 DancersLovely, my dears.  But even the most banal scene demanded that its picture be taken.  And who was I to say ‘no’?

5 BanalIt kept snowing.  In fact, the snow seemed to fall harder as I walked further into the Park.  I thought this particular group of trees was having an unusually good time frolicking in the snow.

6 FrolicAnd how can you ignore a tree that provides a place to sit?   It seemed to be anxious to make a fuss over someone.

7 swingA week or so ago I was writing about the winter trees as naked ladies.  This pair seems to have pulled on elegant gowns perfect for dancing.

8 dancersA few feet away from this peaceful scene was King Jagiello, swords crossed, ready to do battle against the world’s tyrants.  His horse was eager to get out of the snow.

9 kingTime to start home again.

10 HomeboundBut with cold hands stuffed into warm pockets, and the camera put away, I came upon this snow covered tree on Park Avenue, appearing as if it had been dipped in powdered sugar and set in front of that dark building — chocolate maybe?  One last picture!

11 Sugar TreeI hope it is the last snow of this spring.


Walking North

I have no excuse for writing another post that involves a walk in Central Park, but at least this one starts from a different direction.

CP 1I began this time at 59th Street and 7th Avenue and walked due north.  It was still relatively early in the morning and the light was casting shadows and reflecting off the frozen surface of the snow.

CP 2 UnderpassYou can’t walk far in Central Park without seeing an underpass or a bridge.  Children (and certain adults) generally cannot go through an underpass without checking the echo.  However, there was a homeless person sleeping this morning, so I passed quietly.

CP 3 HecksherThis is the Hecksher Playgrounds, called by my children the “Big Rock” playground because of that big rock you see in the distance.  We came here almost every weekend when they were young and always ended our time with a climb. On the northwest side there are grooves carved in the stone by the glaciers when they came through.

CP 4 SwingI am partial to people who cannot resist a swing, even in the morning with snow on the ground!

CP 5 Big RockThis is the Big Rock looking south.  We would slide off the top to the left of the tree and come to a stop just before the precipice there on the left.  It scared me every time.  Again, Daddy!

CP 6 DairyContinuing north, I looked back and saw this magical structure shining in the morning light.  The Dairy, so named because milk was dispensed to children when times were even harder than they are now.

CP 7 MallNorth again, along the Mall.  Everybody knows how I feel about trees in the winter.

CP 8 Bow BridgeI couldn’t resist a detour into the Ramble to The Point, which is a favorite birding spot, especially in the Spring and Fall.  That is the famous Bow Bridge in the background.

CP 9 Dog HillThis is the hill at 79th Street.

CP 10 CleopatraAnd what would a walk in the park be without a stop to wonder at Cleopatra’s Needle.  This one has a set of “claws” at the base to steady it.  The obelisks that we saw in Egypt were simply free-standing on a flat base. It is hard to conceive how they were able to accomplish such fine work.

I hope you have enjoyed this walk through the park.


The Naked Old Ladies of Central Park

I know … weird title, right?  Let me explain.

Years ago I had a secretary by the name of Thelma Morris, who was both the best secretary I ever had and certainly one of the most interesting.  She enjoyed travel and even brought back stones for me from various places, including one from the Jordan River.  She was intelligent, loved to laugh, and just a nice person.  Anyway, one winter day she came into my office and, for a reason that I do not remember,  started talking about a walk she had taken in the park  and the trees she had seen, without their leaves, which reminded her of naked old ladies.  And with that, she smiled, thrusting her arms into the air and striking a pose as if she herself were one of them.  It was an image I have never forgotten.

I don’t know if I had spent a lot of time looking at winter trees before that day in my office.  But I certainly have paid close attention since.  And Thelma was right.  They are naked.  And they are old.  And they are magnificent.

Winter tree 9Why not start with one of my favorite trees, the English Elm at the 90th Street entrance to Central Park.   Solidity and grace.

Dancing treesWith this group of cherry trees, you can almost hear the music.

Winter tree 1On the edge of the Great Lawn, this tree has feathery tentacles that seem to wait for a breeze.

Winter tree 2Looking west.

Winter tree 3 Winter tree 4And then walking north again, they speak for themselves.  But who listens?

Winter tree 5This lady resides on the north side of the reservoir.  She seems to be bending in the wind, but there was none. What can one conclude, except that she is a drama queen?

And as we again leave the park at 97th street, an American elm.

winter tree 7Who can resist.

Winter tree 10One last look!

Enjoy them while you have the chance.  Spring is coming.

Another Winter Walk in the Snow

I’ve always enjoyed the snow.  It lifts my mood.

When I was a kid this may have been because it meant a day off from school or the chance to earn a few dollars shoveling sidewalks.  But, I also enjoyed long walks with the snow falling in the woods behind my house.  I still do. The difference now is that Central Park is my back yard.  And so I went out this past week while a gentle snow was falling.

English ElmThis is the English Elm that has graced us with its presence at the entrance to the Reservoir at 90th Street, just off Fifth Avenue.  It is one of my favorite trees, especially in winter and most especially when snow coats its branches.

Reservoir 4I am always surprised when the park is empty.  But I’m happy as well since I enjoy the solitude.  It is so very quiet!

Reservoir 3The snow is like a great fog that causes distant objects to disappear.  The ordinary path is transformed. Sight, sound, touch, taste — all the senses are affected.

Reservoir 1Layers of black and shades of gray (not that Gray!) and white are mesmerizing.  The mind drifts to favorite memories and to plans for the future!  The beauty of it invigorates.

Resevoir 2Of course, I can’t keep it all to myself!  People I pass seem friendlier in the snow, as if they know they share a secret.  Pssst.  Pass it on!