Posted tagged ‘Riverside Park in snow’

NYC First Snow of 2012

January 22, 2012

Snow poured down on the city early yesterday morning.

Huge white flakes quieted the traffic

and veiled the water towers from view.

In Riverside Park, sledders of all sizes gathered at the 108th Street slope.

Looking north, the retaining wall took on a ghostly appearance.

When we started our walk, snow was still coming down and the park was strangely quiet with no animals to be seen and no birds singing. Where were they all?

The raccoons were probably nestled all snug in their den.

But look! The snow is stopping, and a solitary squirrel comes out to forage, almost disappearing into the snow.

Gray squirrels are made for winter camouflage,

as is this mixed flock of sparrows and junkos. The little birds vanish into snow and bare branches.

Fluttering into a more open space, one bird seems to be looking for something he’s lost, burrowing deep into the snow until only his tail shows.

Soon I’ll write more about urban animals in winter.

But now, it’s time to continue our walk. Esau’s waiting.

NYC Raccoons and Red-tails in Winter

February 22, 2011

Snow frosted the city yesterday.

Broadway and Riverside split at 107th Street, looking lovely

The water towers wore white skull caps.

A crow surveys 109th Street from atop a water tower

Esau was on the alert for wildlife

Prey?

but the park was quiet

Steps lead toward the river

The retaining wall is always beautiful, and especially so with a dusting of snow.

Raccoons live here.

The entrance to the large raccoon den is once again piled with snow.

I once saw six raccoons emerge from this hole in the wall.

It’s been over a month since I’ve seen a raccoon here, and I’m starting to worry. Raccoons in northern climates pack on the fat in autumn so that they can spend less time foraging in the coldest days of winter and more time curled up in their den. They don’t actually hibernate, but they may sleep away several weeks of bitter weather, living off their fat stores and waiting for milder days. It’s been a cold and snowy winter, so maybe my Riverside Park raccoons are just dozing away the cold and dreaming of spring. But still I worry. (Check back soon for an update on raccoon rabies in NYC.)

Sledders were out

Traipsing up the hill

as were walkers

A man strolls in an only-in-New-York fuchsia faux-fur coat

ice dancers

Olympics pairs, they are not

and a single cross-country skier

Heading south

as well as a passel of happy dogs.

Happy but headless snow dogs

No birds to be seen yesterday.

Branches empty of animals

Unlike Sunday, when a hawk devoured a songbird on the bare ground beneath the retaining wall

Red-tail takes a break from pulling entrails

The snow had finally melted in parts of the park

Back to work

and the hunting was good

Do you mind? I'm eating here.

After a few minutes, the hawk soared over my head, so low that I ducked to avoid contact with the carcass gripped in his talons.  He swooped up to a branch high above the ground in search, perhaps, of privacy from paparazzi like me

Alone at last

And there, finally taking the hint, I left him to his meal.

More NYC Snow Beings Linger After Winter Storm

February 11, 2010

Happy American Gothic

Yesterday afternoon:

NY Giants fan strolls toward Riverside Churchtower

Last night at 108th Street

Neighborhood Snow Day

And more snow beings…

Bosomy Snow Being

Spliff Being

Monsieur Gauloise and Chien

Esau Explores Igloo

Transient Beings Visit Riverside Park

January 2, 2010

A few hours after the snowfall of December 31, 2009, beings appear in Riverside Park.

Giant Dirty Being with Cat

Misspelled German Being with Dog

Owl Perched on Retaining Wall at Night

By midday on January 1, 2010, the owl has disappeared. By the time you read this, all beings are gone.

From Sein to das Nichts in two short winter days.


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