Saturday, February 8, 2014

Park Winter

Lamp lady, the garden siren, called me out of apartment doors today. So I made a trip for myself, walking the four mile or so round trip through the park to the Grand Army Plaza farmers' market, photographing along the way.

The park was busy with runners and sledders, but also photographers looking for charming shots. 

A squirrel darts from a tree to a phragmites stand to my right.

I became distracted by these two. That over the shoulder look? That's the look that asks, "is this okay?" His answer should have been no. 

Off they went, the girl shooting for the birds. I stayed because I was the only one around. I didn't like the odds. To the north was open water. Imagine me, with the red ladder on ice not able to support a girl one fifth my weight. Yet I did not vocalize my concern. Then, a runner in a safety orange shirt happened by lakeside, his protest just audible to me, and I agreed. "You shouldn't be out there!" he launched, after our exchange. To which the man said, "It has been frozen a month," in a tone more plea than defense and then slowly made their way back to the shore. Relief. 

By the Nethermead a sign proclaims "Caution!!" Falling limbs, icy pathways? No, ticks! I've never seen a sign in NYC parks warning of the nefarious blood suckers. In fact, a few years back I had been chastised for saying ticks were in Van Cortland Park, where I volunteered to work on trails (one had just been crawling up my shirt). Glad Parks is getting in front of it.

Isn't the water shut down for winter? That's what I've seen before, but the steady sound of moving, splashing water beckoned, and I braved the treacherous, icy path to see for myself. Yep, there it is.


I'm happy to have dried stems and leaves of Phlox in front of our place. They bristle at the slightest breeze, they crouch under the weight of snow, their haggard display a presentation of feelings about winter. 

Despite subway signal problems, slush ice sidewalks, the apartment's frigid floor and gelidly radiating walls, I've grown accustomed to winter, finding solace in the recess of growth and decay. As much as I think of a new season's garden, of tomatoes and greens, peppers and garlic, it's always too much. I aim to accept what can be done and what can be done, well.

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