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Archive | urban nature

Signs of Hope in the Universe

We are the house of sneezing wheezers these days. The weeks of monsoon followed by the weird ten days of August-in-April have combined for a serious pollen whammy. Husband and I are popping Allegra like candy; and even though Liam gets allergy shots, he’s itchy-eyed too. Caleb seems to have avoided the worst of it thus far–but being as he’s only five, probably he too is doomed to springtime ambivalence: yeah, yeah, flowers and blooming trees, very pretty, but I CAN’T BREATHE.

Now that I’ve gotten that complaining out of my system, however, I’m going to move on to the glass-half-full part of the post: those same blooming trees that make me want to take off my head, scratch the inside of it, and then return it to my shoulders.

Every year, it seems, the gardeners in Stuyvesant Square seem to outdo themselves with plantings, and the flowering trees there this year are dazzling:

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And then there was a whole Their Eyes Were Watching God pear-tree type thing:

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And then these, which amuse me to no end:

redbud

It’s a redbud tree, although not all redbuds seem to have these little barnacles of blossom along their trunks. Liam and I think it looks like something out of a Miyazaki movie.

I don’t have a garden (although I may try tomatoes this summer, stay tuned), so Stuyvesant Square gives me a little sneezy pleasure in watching the season take hold.  It’s hard to be pessimistic walking through blooming apple and cherry trees.

And then, as if blooming trees and early flowers aren’t reason enough to be happy, the SEC announced today that it was charging Goldman Sachs with fraud.

My cup runneth over.

Continue Reading · on April 16, 2010 in urban nature

The Sunflower State…

is officially Kansas, I know.

But, as the saying goes, we’re not in Kansas anymore. But remember those seed we planted a while back, in the wet gloom of April? Well, now we’ve got a little bit of Kansas blooming on the terrace:

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Hey! While you’re here, why don’t you click on the link for the juice box jungle, over there, on the sidebar. Go ahead…what the hell else do you have to do, really?

Continue Reading · on July 23, 2009 in urban nature

Hope II

Remember those seedlings from a few weeks ago?

IMG_0287.JPGThe economy still stinks, Joel Klein still makes me livid, the house is (still/always) a mess, my children still regularly try to kill each other. But so far, as Monty Python might say, these aren’t dead yet.

Happy Spring!

Continue Reading · on May 23, 2009 in urban nature

Hope

It’s end the of the semester, which means haggard students, crying students, students explaining that their computers died, their grandmother died, their dog died. Liam’s school is gearing up for the benefit auction this Friday, which means lots of volunteers, lots of emails, lots of back-and-forth…and it’s been raining pretty much non-stop for the last ten days. A recipe for grumpiness on all fronts. 

The last time the sun shone, sometime in late April, the boys and I planted seeds – pumpkins and sunflowers – and put the little cups of dirt on my windowsill, hoping the seeds would sprout. Given the lack of sunshine, I figured I’d be doing one of those bait-and-switch operations, in which I run out to the farmer’s market, buy seedlings, and tell the boys that these are what grew.

But then this morning:

IMG_0241.JPGCorny, but true: I always find this first appearance amazing. Something green and growing appearing from nothing but dirt and water (and a little gray daylight).

So all morning, as I’ve been scurrying from task to task, the last lines of Robert Frost’s poem “Putting in the Seed” have been running through my head:

…Love burns through the Putting in the Seed/On through the watching for that early birth/When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed/The sturdy seedling with arched body comes/Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

See? Don’t you feel better now too?

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Continue Reading · on May 6, 2009 in urban nature

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