Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Early Spring Late March Meditation

On this early spring morning the sky is bright, but a wintry wind blows and most trees in the New York skyline are bare. Still, already this march there are and were the subtle signs that it's all about to change. It really won't be long now before the entire landscape will be almost completely transformed, just as it is every year. Right now though, there are buds biding their time on the ends of branches everywhere, some color and new growth to see. And all you have to do to catch the show is keep your eyes open and pay attention for a moment.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Outside Now(ruz) It's Spring and Another New Year Beginning to Celebrate

In the end it probably doesn't matter what you call today's celebration. Be it the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox or the Persian New Year (which I just learned is called Nowruz). The winter and the spring meet today. The sun rises straight out of the East and sets due West. The day and the night are said to be equal.

There is still snow on the ground and the remnants of last year's blooms but there are also new buds up high and some green nearby. In New York the sky is clear and the day is bright and crisp. I celebrated with a little photo safari at Hofstra, which I hear doubles as a university. For me it's just this lovely public garden and arboretum though.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Picture Yourself Outside Now, Naked, With the Snow

Instead of these sweet and beautiful things, picture yourself outside now, naked, with the snow at your feet, and then try to tell me some delicate-looking flowers aren't Fierce, with a capital F. Spring may be just around the bend, but March is still roaring like a lion not like a lamb. And these earliest of bloomers? They are the best show in town.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

'Cornell Pink' Korean Rhododenron Buds Before the Storm

Monday afternoon before the Nor'Easter these early blooming Korean rhododendrons at Hofstra were showing some colorful buds. I guess I will find out how they fared in the storm and this freezing weather that followed it soon enough. The Missouri Botanic Garden has the following to say about these Rhododendrons, but it also notes that because it is so early blooming it is susceptible to frost damage to flowers, buds and emerging leaves:

"Rhododendron mucronulatum, commonly called Korean rhododendron is noted for its unusual (for rhododendrons) deciduous habit and for its early spring flowering period. It is native to Korea, Japan and northern China. It is a dense, upright, deciduous shrub which typically grows to a mature height of 4-8' tall and as wide. Flowers bloom in clusters at the branch tips in early spring (late March to early April in St. Louis) before the foliage emerges. This is perhaps the earliest blooming of the many species of cultivated rhododendrons. Elliptic, medium green leaves (to 3" long) are, as the species name suggests, mucronate (have sharp, pointed tips). Leaves turn interesting shades of yellow and red in fall."

Monday, March 13, 2017

Birch Catkins, Like Bird Footprints, in The Sky

Maybe it's because I have been bumping into so many crows this winter that these Birch Catkins blowing in yesterday's wind and blue sky reminded me a bit of some bird footprints in the snow at my feet?