Leaves Are Down

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Suddenly it’s freezing in NYC. On an early afternoon walk in Riverside Park, the temperature is still in the 20s.

Most branches are bare.

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Snow lingers on downed leaves in the shady spots beneath the retaining wall.

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A leaf carpet glows golden.

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The staircase at 116th Street is also carpeted in gold, thick with the lovely fan-shaped leaves of the Gingko tree.

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But the beautiful carpet reeks of rotten feet or sour vomit, thanks to the stench of the gingko tree’s fleshy, easily-crushed fruit.

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The fossil record shows ancestors of today’s Gingko biloba, also known as the Maidenhair Tree, date back over 250 million years. Native to China, the trees seem to thrive in NYC.

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A few steps further on, oak and maple leaves have transformed the wire fence into a wall of brown.

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I’ve never seen this before.

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Here the leaf carpet is brown.

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Bare branches make for good viewing of the river.

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Good hawk viewing, too. Today we see only a flock of dark-eyed juncos and a few mourning doves. But a few days ago, a red-tailed hawk watched over Riverside Park for at least twenty minutes.

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As we head out of the park, the dog poses under our favorite flame tree, its fire extinguished.

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Just a couple of weeks ago, the same tree blazed with a fiery glory.

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If you’re lucky enough to see leaves still hanging on the trees, enjoy them. They won’t last long.



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Explore posts in the same categories: 2013, Fall, Flora, In the City, NYC Parks, Riverside Park, Seasons

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3 Comments on “Leaves Are Down”

  1. Charlotte Says:

    Thanks for the lovely walk (and photos) this morn. I needed that!

  2. Barbara Says:

    Such a lovely tour of Riverside park.

    In my former home there is at least a foot of snow courtesy of a storm over the past weekend, but here in southern Ontario, by Rice Lake – there are only bits caught in the thousands of leaves that I’m trying to rake into piles to throw as mulch on a tiny garden or into a compost pile to bring forth good stuff come spring.

    Going to be a long cold winter… thanks so much for such a great walk about – Esau looks his usual magnificent self whether backed by flames or golden yellow.

  3. p hoey Says:

    You lose the greenery, and even the glorious red, but gain a mighty
    river…Thank you for noting season’s change.


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