Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Not Really All About Flowers

Or is it?
For some things, it most definitely is. I spent the day on a rooftop in the Bronx, weeding out the troublesome ones and admiring others, with the song of a mockingbird, these sweet sedum flowers and the pollinators for company. Not a bad way to spend a day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Little Piece of the Weekend Wrapped in Tinfoil

A fresh harvest from my vegetable garden. Much of it hung tough and survived the hot bike ride home and found its way into small bouquets.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Public Scoping Period Opens on Rockaway Pipeline and the Metering and Regulating Station at Floyd Bennett Field

The image above shows the preferred metering and regulating station location choice and alternative sites in paperwork filed by Williams with FERC in June of 2009. If you look at that picture and are familiar with Floyd Bennett Field on a map you will see that none of the six original sites considered for the metering station were in historic hangars at the airfield and many were completely outside of Gateway park land. I have been using this image for my pipeline posts for that reason. In that 2009 paperwork by Williams, (just about three years ago, keep that time frame in mind), Williams spelled out the reasoning behind those original potential metering and regulating sites in their own words as follows:
"Beyond the impacts to NPS properties, potential issues regarding land cover, land uses and property ownership were evaluated for each meter and regulating station alternative. As the construction of a meter and regulating station would result in a given site being classified as a developed industrial use, consideration was given to alternatives in areas with high proportions of developed land."

"A key goal of the alternative evaluation process was to identify a potential site that, in being developed as a meter and regulating station, would retain the land use regime of the immediate area."

That was three years ago. Today you can go to the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers website (and you should go there) to read about the public scoping period opening as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gets ready to prepare an environmental impact statement on the Rockaway Pipeline and two important meetings to attend. You might notice that the scoping period for public comment will only last for the next 30 days. Yup. That's right. Public comment opens on May 25th and ends on June 25th. Williams and National Grid have been at this for the last three years and the public, which is still pretty uninformed about the project even being considered, has a mere month to make comment on potential environmental impacts in order to help the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determine what issues they will evaluate in their environmental impact statement. Seriously?

Dan Mundy of the Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers has also quite kindly posted the whole FERC notice about this scoping period here. If you decide that you want to have some input on this project, the time to act is now. The meetings are:
June 12, 2012, 7-9pm  Aviator Sports, Floyd Bennett Field
June 13, 2012, 7-pm, Knights of Columbus, 333 Beach 90 St. (Rockaways)

There's another way you can act. Unlike other pipelines this particular one not only needs an environmental impact statement and approval by FERC, it also needs Congress to authorize it because it passes through land under the authority of the National Park System. The bill, H.R.2606, which will not only allow for the pipeline through Gateway, but also for the construction and operation of a new industrial facility at Floyd Bennett Field is currently with the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The committee members are listed here. The National Park subcommittee members are listed here. There's even an online contact form here where you could drop all the members a line at once letting them know what you think about this project and this bill and industrial uses of NPS land.

There's really no way to tell how far your voice will carry without using it. But you have to use it now because there is a clock and it's ticking and the bigger more powerful voices have already got three years on you. As the old tune goes, this land is yours after all and if you want to defend it, the time is now.

My Rockaway Gas Pipeline Project posts here


I think it's Sedum pulchellum. It's pretty in pink, or according to this source, as its name indicates, it sits beautiful. (In this particular case up high in the skyline of Manhattan.)

It's high time for a real camera. There are tiny lives to capture in bloom and this cameraphone ain't cutting it. So far, the greatest thrill of working in these unique spaces up in the skyline is that they are alive.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Some Things We Pull

An interesting little stretch on a multi-level greenroof maintenance yesterday, weeding outside of a terrace where someone gardens. This was the only patch on seven different levels where there was what looks like flax, a mustard, and a very dwarfed flowering cilantro instead of the weeds found on all the other levels.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's Blooming Bouquet from the Vegetable Garden

Joe's bouquets, whether weeds from the side of the road or pickings from the vegetable garden, are usually my favorites. Here just a little slice of May via a flowering cover crop, a brassica that bolted, sage and some unopened Verbena bonariensis, which actually overwintered in my garden this year.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yeah I know You're Supposed to Eat Them

but sometimes that feels beside the point. Pictured here, Jen's fire escape chives. I still think everyone ought to have a sweet little box or pot of them.

It's downright ridiculous how many pictures I have of chive flowers. But you know, I've got a thing for the allium flowers. Right now, there are some sweet ones blooming behind a locked fence that I can't get to and drumsticks still to come.

I did manage to nab this lone sweet moly though before the addition of bigger badder lock on the lot.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Slow Flower

The Columbine seeds were collected in 2010 at Brooklyn Botanic while working with Mike in the plant family collection and came home in my pocket. The plant sown from those seeds finally bloomed in Joe's garden this spring and this is one flower that made it's way home in the paniers of Joe's bicycle this week.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More Pea Family Flowers in May

Baptisia in May
Are you tired of them yet? I know I'm not. I skipped peas as a food crop in the vegetable garden this year. When it was like 80 degrees in March I figured it wouldn't be a good year for them and just sowed some to fix a little nitrogen in the soil and turn in. But maybe I'll just let those few vines grow anyway, just to see those sweet flowers and harvest a bowl or two to eat.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Columbine at Anne's

Because I think there's a commandment that was laid down saying it is right that you should covet your neighbors garden. Anne's got all kinds of sweet things potted up and growing on in her yard this year, this sweet native columbine among them.

Monday, May 14, 2012

And So We Meet Again

Last year, in May in the sand at Plumb Beach. This year atop a greenroof in Brooklyn. I could be mistaken, but I think it's you, Blue Toadflax, a sweet and delicate native wildflower. If turns out you're just some sweet weed, it won't make a difference to me the next time we meet. I'm sure I will still be enchanted.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Grass I'm Testing This Week

It's holding strong day four. Now I just have to figure out what it is. (It's a roadside find.) Right now, I think it's Hare Barley. A weed. Another weed I tested this week is a definitely a member of the pea family, Birdsfoot Trefoil. (A lot find) That's unfortunately crapping out at day three. But I didn't change the water or recut the stems or condition it other than a quick shot in the fridge, so maybe another time round with a little different care, it will last a little longer.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One Pea Family Flower Blooming this Week

Ridiculously pretty dripping in long chains of those pea family flowers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Latest Development at the Lot, A Door

There's a door on the fence. Interesting. I've been following development and then stalled development, even the city filling in the construction exvacation and putting up the fence all at this lot for a long time, but this might be the most curious development in a long while. Unless of course you find developing buds and flower a curious thing as well. It looks like the foreclosure has gone through and there's a new owner in town. The question for us is whether or not this one will be likely to consider an interim use for it or whether they have the finances and team in place to build or are just looking to sell to someone who can. I don't know a whole lot about real estate and what the chances are for a new project these days. I know there's a large stalled site a few blocks over at the corner of Eastern and Franklin. Most of the new construction in the area happened during the great housing/development boom, but that doesn't mean that there's no chance for new development on this site. A much smaller development? Some opening buds on glads planted last fall with Susan and Anne.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Strawberry Bed

or rather the strawberry/creeping thyme/chives/decorative allium I know not the name of/rattlesnake master bed (but that's too much of a mouthful really to say) in this early May. I like this bed not just because I don't have to replant it every year but because every plant in it came by way of another gardener. I didn't plan it that way, but there's not a plant in there that wasn't originally dug out of someone else's garden or given to me as a gift. There are a million lovely things about gardening but the passing on of good things and the way that the person who shares with you is just as happy as you are has to rank close to the top of the list.

Friday, May 4, 2012

OMG (as my nieces say)

Should they be saying this? I don't know. But now they've got me saying it because I'm at a loss for other words. Something unexpected just happened. I don't think I'll ever again be quite so happy and surprised to see a bulb about to bloom.

Small Things Count

1. A moment in the sun with a tiny shiny bloom
2. The total amount of weeds you can manage to pull on one rainy day in comparison to the number you've left behind or the ones just waiting to sprout in the spots where you've cleared
3. A rain drop caught and captured by a green roof

It's all right to live a small life and pay attention to the small things that make up a day. The raindrops are finally falling again this week in New York city as they do in multitudes together loud enough sometimes to wake you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ida and Eddie and Christine speaking out about pipeline project/metering station at Floyd Bennett

Two must reads:

Over at The City Birder blog, where Ida Sanoff speaks not only about why both the pipeline and the metering station are bad ideas for the national park that contains Floyd Bennett Field and the surrounding environment, but also about how slick (and quiet) some of the first public meetings by Williams, National Grid and National Parks were last week. It's worth a read and I cannot add anymore to what this smart woman has said other than to share two questions and answers I got at the meeting. I asked a Williams Rep before leaving  when there would be a more formal presentation on the project in a proper forum where all who attend could hear the questions being raised and answered instead of quiet one-on-one conversations at small tables like at a trade show (which is what the meeting at Floyd Bennett felt like to me). The answer was that the only formal presentations and public outreach currently scheduled by Williams (Transco) will be at the Jamaica Bay Task Force meeting in June and to two local neighborhood boards. If that is true, then these meetings will be important ones to attend. One would think it might be important for the public to learn about the project and voice their concerns in a way that all present can hear before the Senate decides to move in any way on the bill that will authorize this project. One of the other questions I asked Williams representatives was whether or not the legislation that would authorize building and operating the metering station in hangars at Floyd Bennett would be precedent setting and this was a question that could not be answered. I haven't been able to find any evidence of legislation passed to authorize building such a facility on National Park land before, but my research and knowledge on the topic was not and is not exhaustive.

And over at the Brooklyn Daily fellow FBGA gardeners and neighbors Eddie and Christine voice their concerns.

There's hope yet. There is opposition.

Link to my pipeline posts here

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

After the Petals Have Fallen

much beauty remains and there's still the whole year of living and growing to do.