Posted tagged ‘fallen leaves’

Leaves Are Down

November 24, 2013

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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.


				

Esau Among the Leaves … and a Nature Walk in Prospect Park

November 19, 2010

Last week in Riverside Park, a little dog sat under a flame tree in a halo of light.

Holy dog.

What, really, can you do this time of year but celebrate leaves in every possible way?

The Red Shoes, or Little Dog with Feet on Fire

Aerial View of Esau Among Leaves

Wall-Walking Among Fiery Trees

Four red-heads (one human, three canine) dissolving into light and leaves

Fallen Stars

One Dog, Many Leaves

Magic Carpet

Some of the leaves have wings.

Through the Leaves - the River!

“To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or sea-side stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with fine art works, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall. Teach him something of natural history, and you place in his hands a catalogue of those which are worth turning around.”
– Thomas Henry Huxley, 1854

Little dog models big leaf cape.

I lifted Huxley’s  quote from Backyard and Beyond, the blog of Matthew Wills, a Brooklyn-based writer and amateur naturalist extraordinaire.  If you’d like to know more about nature in New York (like what the heck is that giant leaf on Esau’s back?), head over to Backyard and Beyond, where Matthew is offering a personalized tour of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. All you have to do is be the highest bidder for Matthew’s “Natural History Walking Tour of Prospect Park” at The Nation’s online fund-raising auction.

Good luck.

A Shadow Person walks a Real Dog on Fallen Leaves. Strange.


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