Posts

Showing posts from March, 2012

Short Bursts: Ginkgoes Emerging

Image
So, that I love ginkgo trees should be readily apparent from previous posts to this little blog of mine.  They are coming to life these days here in the midst of New York City where they line city streets and are scattered throughout Central, Riverside, and other city parks.  It's a magical thing to see tiny little ginkgo leaves unpack from the tight confines of their winter homes.  I don't have time to do that much writing this week.  Or is it that I lack the brainpower to form full thoughts?    Hmm, at this time of night (after 11:00) and year (March heading into April), I am thinking it is the latter rather than the former.

So, herewith a few assorted photos that tell the story of ginkgoes over the past several weeks.  More to follow as the mood and the energy level match up.

Looking a bit like dinosaurs as the buds start to break open.....









Those leaves are just hankering to bust out......





And burst out they do.......
























I love these trees.  My thanks to the Buddhist monks who sa…

Passing Neighbors

Image
If it's Sunday morning, I can generally be found trudging back and forth between the building laundry room and my apartment.  My own washer/dryer combo has been broken for a year now and I am eternally torn between replacing it and repairing it.  So I do my laundry downstairs with my neighbor from another floor whose name I do not know.  We exchange pleasantries every week.  She has a daughter who moved to Alaska (for love) that she plans to visit this spring.  In turn, she knows that I just went to Canada for a couple of weeks.  My Sunday morning routine will often include a dash to the Dunkin Donuts -- coffee for me, OJ without pulp for Miguel the doorman.  Miguel, like most NYC doormen, probably knows everything there is to know about me.  Those lazy Sunday mornings always include Law & Order playing in the background as I putter around my apartment (or more often around Facebook, that evil time suck to quote a friend).  Lately, I've been running into one half of my ne…

World Days: In Search of Attention to Older Adults

Image
Today is World Water Day, following close on the heels of March 21st which was World Forestry Day, World Sleep Day, and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination -- all wrapped into one day.  Although yesterday, the only day I saw commemorated was World Forestry Day.  Most notably by Google which used its street view technology to immerse us in the landscape of the Amazon River.  Pretty cool stuff.  I would have enjoyed celebrating World Sleep Day though -- I think a collective postprandial nap around the world around 2:00 pm in each time zone would be just the right thing to celebrate that day.

I was curious about the World Days and so set off to investigate this on the Web.  It took a lot of trial and error to find an article on Hub Pages about world important days with an actual list.  Tomorrow is World Meteorological Day -- it makes sense to have a run of days that elevate climate and environmental awareness (maybe it would make more sense to put them togethe…

Welcome Back, Spring

Image
Although yesterday was the "official" first day of spring, it seems like it's been here for about three weeks now in New York City.  The temperatures have been balmy, leaves are starting to unfurl, and all sorts of flowers are making their appearance, bringing with them the hunter gatherers that spend their day flitting from flower to flower gathering the raw ingredients for honey.  Every morning, the birds seem to be singing a little louder -- celebrating the arrival of warmer weather no doubt.

Although there is still a bare spot in the Conservatory Garden where my star magnolia once stood, the flowers are busting out all around and the tulips are growing ever bigger with each passing week.  I am always a little surprised by spring -- it seems to creep up on me when I least expect it, bringing with it the need to think about what to wear (coat or no coat) and thoughts of the hot summer days that are all too soon to follow.

So welcome back, spring, into my little neck …

Wide Angle Fun

Image
I recently purchased a Zuiko Digital ED 9-18 lens.  Translated into English, it's a wide angle lens.  Translated into plain English, the person walking on the beach in the photo above was maybe three feet from me as opposed to looking like she was miles away.  It's the perfect lens if you want to take big sweeping landscape pictures.

But what's the good of a one trick lens?  So, while up in Canada, I began to play with tilting the lens slightly upwards to see how it would do in capturing big trees.  Hmm, these are a lot bigger than they were in person.

Lately, I've taken it one step further and instead of trying to get the whole tree by tilting the lens slightly upwards, I've just been shooting straight up.  Nothing particularly earth shattering about that -- I'm sure it's been done before.  The resulting pictures do make me smile, perhaps even a little giddy.  As if I was lying under that tree on a warm day with nothing better to do than read a good novel…

Big City Nature

Image
The North Woods in New York City's Central Park are like having a little piece of a New England forest as a backyard.  Whether because of their distance from midtown or their not being on the tourist route, one can often find a quiet spot where there is nary a soul around.  Yesterday was not such a day -- a truly outstanding late winter day with April-like temperatures and sun brought many New Yorkers to this neck of the woods.  Yet, this waterfall (one of two) that breaks up the stream that runs through the ravine was remarkably quiet.  It was a great place to take advantage of my discovery that some "auto" settings on your camera are worth knowing better -- at least when it comes to photographing moving water and not wanting to be burdened with a tripod.

The setting I speak of is the action setting (you know, the little running figure that is a picture on most dials).  It's there for when you want to catch people moving -- whether it be your kid playing soccer or …