Clear evening skies,
a sprinkle of burnt red and gold,
drifting away under my feet,
whispering the name autumn ~ HintsOfLife
A first sign of autumn in the neighborhood
Childhood memories of cool, misty September evenings are etched in my mind. How mama would have our light cardigans drycleaned sometime early in the month. Like the other young mothers she would be prepared for the change of season. This year though September feels more like a summer month. Gone are the days when the John Keats ode to autumn – ‘Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness‘ – felt so befitting for this time of the year. Still it warms the heart to see the leaves of the mellow garden tree turn a burnt red and yellow. A sign of the arrival of autumn.
September walks are delightful. There against the evening sky resplendent in gold is the mellow garden tree. Standing under its canopy I wait patiently to witness the magical autumn moment, the slow falling leaves, the fall foliage to come. It’s a tradition to collect a handful of autumn leaves in my copper basket, a reminder of nature’s lessons on life and existence. We come into this world for a short while, play our roles and vanish eventually into the cosmos to unite with the universe.
The mellow garden tree leaf in its autumn glory
It is pure joy to see a cluster of yellow mellow leaves changing color. Standing out among the green pine trees, they create a beautiful vista for onlookers.
Autumn resplendent in burnt red and yellow
And then the mind turns to the prospect of those misty, cooler days when the sun will beam weak on my face, my breath fogging the car windows. Snug, cozy nights, reading glasses, a cup of tea. Do share below your autumn stories. How has it been so far for you?
To the moon I bare my soul
under its glowing light
the longings of my heart come alive ~ HintsOf Life
Moonrise in Chandigarh, northern India
Living in the foothills of the Himalayas is an extraordinary feeling. The undulating hills visible from the hustle and bustle of the city are the Shivaliks, a range of the outer Himalayas. The autumn moonrise and its sunsets are beautiful to watch.
I’m such a ‘look at the moon’ person, a confirmed selenophile. The picture above was taken as I was walking my baby girl to the nearby park (her coos are louder and more full hearted there). A beautiful evening just after the rains, the breeze cool, birds making their way, a game of cricket in play on the street.
Through the labyrinth I set my eyes ahead, and there it was the moon rising under the fading daylight even as the hymns from the temple started to be heard. A sign of momentary nightfall.
Notefromtheblogger: Iembarkonmy blogging journey as a mother of a 4 month old daughter. For now I blog from India. Check out this space for beautiful pictures and heartfelt content from the beautiful country India.
Magnolia blossoms in spring splendor at Central Park.~ Hints of Life
The sky bright and blue, the air fresh, sunshine everywhere, and within it blossomed the stunning Magnolia Jane at Central Park East. Spring notably is the season of new beginnings, new life, colors and lasting memories. And I standing under the breathtaking purple-pink Magnolia flowers in the ‘East Green’, was creating a beautiful memory to share with my friends and family.
Entering the park from near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was welcomed by an avenue of Magnolia blossoms. From Magnolia Jane and Star Magnolia to the Saucer Magnolia there was a spring magnificence all around.
My first encounter was with the Star magnolia, the elegant, starburst flowers made up of long thin petals that vary in color from snow white, to deep pink, and from lightly to intensely scented. They are usually the first magnolia to bloom in spring or sometimes even in late winter. In fact, just a handful of Star magnolia have been planted in Central Park, mostly behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was under its shade, the subtle lemon scented flowers filled my senses with zest and exuberance.
Walking further the Magnolia jane colored the park in white and pink blossoms. The light scented, tulip-like blossoms are known to be late bloomers, and slow growers, and so less prone to suffer damage from late frosts in the spring. But when they blossom they are a sight to behold. They have a sort of ‘wow’ factor that forces passersby to stop to admire their eternal, benevolent beauty. The white and pink blossoms hang so close to the ground that I could touch them, feel their delicate texture and smell their fragrant flowers, leaning into the lush blossoms for the perfect #flowerpower selfie.
Walking towards the obelisk (aka Cleopatra’s Needle) another magnolia specie blossomed in spring glory. Saucer magnolias known for their large flowers bloomed in various shades of white, pink and maroon. I first spotted the bloom beginning at the stairway to the Obelisk, running north to the end of the lawn where the statue of Hamilton sits. The flowers of saucer magnolias emerge dramatically on the bare branches of the tree before its leaves in early spring. Its leaves are shiny, dark green and oval shaped. The magnolia species are truly sensational in this part of the park.
I left the park with heartwarming memories that I’ll cherish for a long time. Magnolias are among the most ancient trees in the world, and some of the oldest found fossilized flowers. Like the cherry blossoms, magnolias represent the arrival of spring and should equally be celebrated as a spring delight. In Conservatory Garden, you can spot this bloom in the South Garden.
Little gems falling from above, the season’s first snow blankets the streets of New York. ~ Hints Of Life
It all began in the late afternoon, the magic of winter. My heart ‘snow’ happy as we got the first snow of the season in New York City. It was a whirlwind of flurries like moths in a hurry. Soon it turned into flakes like someone was grating the sky.
Blissfully I stepped out to enjoy the first scenes of snow in my neighborhood. The soft snow gently kissed my face, making my soul, my spirit come alive. Walking, exploring, enjoying the gift of nature and living in the moment.
It was a surreal view. Daisy, the neighbor’s poodle, out enjoying the magical first snow. Commuters rushing to their next destination. The buzz of cars, buses and pedestrians.
As I absorbed the scene, a beautiful lamppost caught my attention. A grand, ornamental lamppost glistening in the snowfall. I looked up at the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight, shining in my eyes.
The tree lines were covered in a thick coating of snow, creating a beautiful winter vista. A yellow maple tree looked majestic, cotton balls draping its branches.
Two chairs dressed in snow from head to toe. Their owner likely to return at first dawn when the sun would break through the clouds and the day again come alive. I stood there idealizing, weaving a story in my mind.Bringing in an early night, the snowflakes turned into a gusty icy slush descending horizontally in a blur. To me it all seemed a part of the universe’s plan, dark thickening outside, as winter comes on us in layers and layers.
Today, sit yourself on a park bench and watch the fall colors turn into ethereal golds, reds, yellows and orange. ~ Hints Of Life
It’s Sunday evening, the first evening after the daylight saving hour ends. As my mind and body adjust to the change in time, my soul is reminiscing the beautiful fall weekend I enjoyed with my husband. The bounty of gold, red, yellow and orange trees I woke up to on Saturday morning. Smitten by the fall colors I sat on a black walnut wooden chair by the oversized bohemian windows in my living room sipping my morning chai (Indian tea).
As the day progressed I could not endure the thought of losing on the precious fall sunshine. So, I spent almost all of the daylight hours outside and most part at Central Park. Walking up Broadway in the early afternoon sunshine I entered the Park from 68th street and Central Park West. As I now recollect the initial few minutes in the Park, I remember being engulfed with excitement and thrill whilst the weekend crowd. The fall colors were magnificent… at last !
“Notice that Autumn is more the season of soul than of nature.~ Friedrich Nietzsche”
“As autumn leaves turn their brilliant hue, two in love will say I do.” And so was the scene at the Park’s Strawberry Field. Anewly wed couple posed for stunning fall foliage pictures along with a Flower Girl and Bridesmaids. As they stood under the golden yellow fall Foliage it felt like a scene straight out of a movie. Magical!
The larger than life tree that became the backdrop of the Bride and Grooms most memorable day is the Green Ash tree. The tree can turn a variety of colors each fall, from purple to orange to golden yellow. They are popular urban trees that are at risk of going extinct because of the invasive, imported emerald ash borer beetle. The green ash is a good tree to appreciate in all seasons. In addition, ash trees represent the Tree of Life in mythology. (Source: Centralparknyc.org)
“I hope I can be the autumn leaf, who looked at the sky and lived. And when it was time to leave, gracefully it knew life was a gift.~ Dodinsky”
Walking forward towards The Lake, I was engulfed with a stunning view of The Ramble to the South from where I stood near the water. The large Tupelo trees appeared in various shades of red, yellow and purple. Other towering trees glowing in their fall yellows, deep oranges and fiery reds include red oak, sweet gum, pink oak, sassafras, and more. Adding to the view were the couples enjoying the remarkable fall colors from their canoes in The Lake.
A little to my right I saw the famous Bow Bridge gloriously decorated in the fall bonanza. The bridge located mid-park at 74th Street, west of Bethesda Terrace, spans 60 feet with a walkway. On Saturday, it was packed with tourists who had come to capture the best of fall colors in New York City.
One of my most cherished moment at the Park was the view of this Red Maple tree shining in the glory of the setting sun. Instinctively, I pressed the stutter of my camera to capture nature’s blessing. As moments like these are often short-lived.
The red maple trees are spread throughout Central Park. And at this time of the year they are blazing forth in a fiery spectacle all over the Park. Once the leaves drop, in late winter, it takes on a pinky glow as flower buds tint its branches.
Bidding my farewell for the day I went home with great fall memories for the fourth consecutive year in the City. It was a day well spent with my bae. 🙂
Listing below some of the best spots to spot fall foliage in Central Park:
~ North Woods, where a rustic lake provides the perfect backdrop for fall colors
~ Conservatory Garden with its incredible chrysanthemum display
~ The Pool, where you’ll also spot wildlife (turtles, fish, and birds) and a waterfall
~ North Meadow and the Reservoir, where two types of cherry trees turn vivid colors
~ The Ramble, perhaps the most iconic foliage spot
~ The Mall and its collection of American Elms, one of the largest in North America
~ Hallett Nature Sanctuary and Pond, a peaceful haven with several scenic overlooks (Source: centralparknyc.org)
Do share your fall experiences with me in the comment box below.
Fresh breeze, sun on my back, clear blue sky and a gabble of foraging geese. It’s a well-known inclination, the sentiment of fall. ~ Hints of Life
Gaggle of geese foraging on grass at the banks of Hudson River, NY
The view grand, the inclination excessively natural, the scene returned to, the affection for fall new and fresh. Fall genuinely is nature’s last loveliest grin before a long distance race of early sunsets and dark sky’s. In the city, as I trust that the leaves will turn brilliantly golden (full blossom) an unexpected, anticipation awaited me at the Riverside Park South.
A couple of weekends, on my run along the Riverside Park South, a group of heavenly Canadian geese grabbed my eye. It was a basic yet ground-breaking scene. Regularly found in large flocks on a variety of water bodies, I spotted the delightful feathered creatures rummaging on grass, and seeds by the Hudson River. A gaggle of ten grown-up geese went on with their day as I watched them from a short separation, sitting on the grass rehearsing the pranayama asanas.
As I click the shutter capturing the long black neck and white cheek patch
A reasonable scene as portrayed in the photos indicates them flipping wings, culling plumes from their bosom, and scrounging on grass, seeds, berries and other plant seeds. It additionally demonstrates their readiness around the people as they extend their necks straight between the encouraging interims.
Not long after, the geese pushed ahead to an alternate fix of grass. Their pioneer conveying to them through rambunctious sounds. In awe I viewed their unique association, the trust they showed in their pioneer and the solidarity they had as a family.
As one of the goose parted from the herd into a low trip over the Hudson River, I saw the glorious white ‘U’ it shaped on the dull upper tail, in profound diverge from its lower dark tail. It was genuinely a stunning moment!
Evenly dark brown body with limited contrast with the black neck
In middle, all things considered, I recalled the adage by Hal Borland, “two sounds of autumn are unmistakable- the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street by a gusty wind, and a gabble of a flock of migrating geese.” I most likely didn’t miss the prattle of a group of geese in the city. What’s more, I enthusiastically anticipate the rushing stir of fresh fall leaves in my street and in the city parks. Despite the fact that I wish for that garland of reds and golds, I should be as patient as she.(Source: Angela) Abraham)
To my readers who live in the city or are intending to visit Manhattan this Fall. I profoundly suggest the Riverside Park South situated between West 59th Street and West 71st Street. Interestingly, it is settled between noteworthy Riverside Park and Hudson River Park along the Hudson Waterway. The Recreation center is a mix of recreational space and flourishing local biological communities. It pays reverence to the region’s essential role in the railroad history of New York City.
Do share your fall experiences with me in the comment box below.
Soft, graceful, captivating and spirited; the summer beauty Nikko Blue hydrangea bewitched its viewers with everlasting beauty ~ Hints Of Life
As summer sinks in, the Riverside Park on the Upper West Side is blooming with radiant, colorful flowers. As Charles Bowden says, summer time is always the best of everything that might be. Such is the scene here and everywhere. The diversity of the blooms in the park is splendid. The abundant sunshine, and periods of rain provided the much-needed moisture in the air crucial for the flowers to blossom.
It was a regular thirty minute mid-week run for me through the park. I was determined to find my summer muse. For several minutes I admired the sunset over the Hudson river. Though stunning, it didn’t do the trick for me. Nonetheless, what caught my eye as I descended the path towards West 84th street was an abundance of hydrangea blossoms. Dazzling in soft white, blues, pinks and purples. The soft flowers made an amazing display against the dark green leaves as if saying out loud ‘look at me.’ One of my favorite flowers, the star-shaped hydrangeas are closely packed, forming a delicate lacelike ball as seen in the picture above.
Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko’ Blue-
Hydrangea Nikko blue is one of the best blue blooms you can lay your eyes on. Its blossoms start with flowers that are cream-colored with blue margins, and turn a solid gorgeous blue as the plant matures. The flowers flaunt emerald-green, with tooth edged large leaves. The deep green foliage adds great beauty to its flowers.
To achieve the bluest blossom possible from your ‘Nikko’ hydrangea blush keep the soil on the acidic side. This mophead variety blooms earlier than most blossoms, usually beginning in June, and endures for two months.
Some interesting facts about Hydrangea
Hydrangea stands for gratefulness and heartfelt feelings. Some others connect hydrangea to boastfulness because of its abundance of flowers and its round shape. The blossoms of hydrangea are treasured for their boldness and delicacy.
In the language of flowers, hydrangea conveys a beautiful message ‘Thank you for understanding.’
Do you own a hydrangea blossom in you garden or home? Or love the flower for its priceless beauty? Share your views in the comment below.
Spring’s arrival; when nature blushes with life, earth is dressed in color, sky almost blue and sun almost bright. ~ Hints Of Life
Crabapple buds shining in the spring sunshine at Riverside Park. Soon the deep pink buds will open to pink blossoms, becoming something of intrigue and fascination for its viewers. This spectacular spring delight caught my attention on a weekend afternoon as I made my way into the park from West 79th street, Upper West Side. The beautiful buds swinging in the light breeze, looking so ethereal. Their touch soft and smell sweet. After an hour-long admiration of the spring beauty I pointed my camera towards the buds capturing the moments I spent in its company.
Did you know, the unopened crabapple flower buds may hint of one color and as flowers open, other hues are revealed in a spectacular floral. For flower lovers, crabapple blossom is a highly recommended spring blossom. In New York City the sweet-smelling blossom is occurring in great abundance. You will come across some of the finest mature crabapple stands in park landscapes by early May, including Riverside Park’s Crabapple Grove and Central Park’s Conservatory Gardens allee.
Knowing a little about the magnificent ornamental tree I returned home to my internet. Over a cup of steaming Indian masala chai (tea) I revisited the crabapple buds shots in my camera and read about the rich New York City’s crabapple heritage. I am excited to head back to the parks on quiet weekday mornings to enjoy my time with the most stunning spring blossoms in the city. How ’bout you?
Stay tuned for more pictures and stories on crabapple blossom in this space.
Nature’s most exotic sight is not the soft falling snow but the vast frozen river. Though static on the surface it is constantly moving underneath. ~ Hints Of Life
Growing up in India, I never experienced snow. The maximum low temperatures in my city never dropped below 40 degree Fahrenheit. Fascinating as it may sound, I grew up in a city situated at the foothills of the Shivalik (a mountain range of the outer Himalayas). So, to experience snowfall one had to make a trip to the mountains. That trip is still on the top of my bucket list.
But life moves on, and fate takes you places. Yes, it happened to me. 29 months ago I moved to New York City. Gosh, I was thrilled to live in world’s most exciting city – Big Apple or famously known as The City That Never Sleeps. Home to a huge majority of international expats I looked forward to meeting people from across the globe. My initial few months in the city were overwhelming. I dreaded the long, harsh North Eastern winter. First winter was tough. The daylight saving time was much harder than I expected. I spent most time indoors as it was too chilly for me to be outdoors. I was bored to death and missed home terribly.
But I’m a fighter. As the second winter arrived, I learnt the process of surviving the cold days. Blogging became my biggest passion and a way to share my thoughts and feeling with like-minded people. I took to running outdoors on sunny cold days and sometimes on usual gray days as well. Living close to Central Park and Riverside Park, I found myself almost everyday at the parks enjoying the beautiful, serene views. I discovered bird watching as my new hobby. Curious, I carried my camera where ever I went, capturing moments – sunset, sunrise, different New York seasons , colorful trees, migratory birds, through the lens. Photography gave me perspective. I started seeing space in new dimensions.
Adaptive and resilient, I fell in love with New York winter in the third year. It is simply beautiful. The gray days seem charming now. Gray is the real winter color even on the subway. I wait for snow like a child and there has been plenty this year. I have braved a couple of heavy snowfalls to work and it truly was fun. My wardrobe is decorated with colorful cashmere sweaters, and I own a beautiful J.Crew winter coat. At last, I have learnt to dress according to the weather outside that varies a lot.
The new year began with a record-breaking low of – 40 degree Fahrenheit (- 40 Celsius) freezing the Hudson River. After seeing the breathtaking pictures and videos on social media, I couldn’t resist myself from venturing out in the frigid conditions to see the frozen Hudson River for real, in person. As I stepped outside, my breathing became heavy, and feet started moving slowly into a jogging stride. It was cold beyond belief. Careful (a snow fall bump was certainly not my idea) I made my way to the snow-covered Riverside Park from West 71st street on the Upper West Side.
The view of the Riverside Park was divine. It looked white like an angel and felt peaceful like heaven (as you see in the picture above). As I got to the Hudson River bicycling track the river was covered in large chunks of ice floes.At the boat basin marina, mallard ducks and ring billed gulls sat close to each other on the frozen river, surviving the arctic chill. That scene was my defining moment. The 45 minutes spent in the unbearable cold were worth every breath. My New Year started with a splendid naturalist experience. I learnt life’s most important lesson yet again – we must stick together through harsh and tough times and we will emerge as champions.
Do you have a story that is close to your heart? Do share in the comment below.