Friday, August 1, 2014

A walk in Central Park, with questions

I walked into the park at West 81st Street. Below the pea green boat pond I found cattails (Typhus sp - edible rhizomes, shoots, heart, female flowers and pollen; way too public for foraging but perfect for show and tell) and statuesque Liatris. That Liatris was about five to six feet tall - what species?

The grand San Remo.

A new flower, for me. Ideas? With its feet almost in the water.

[ID'd as Saururus cernuus, or lizard tail, but this is the fruit, after the goose-necked flowering stage]

Melilotus officinalis or yellow clover, not often seen in these city parts. 

In the woods of The Ramble, a milkweed (Asclepias what-is, a subspecies of incarnata, otherwise known as swamp milkweed?).

...and gorgeous cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis). Both American natives prefer damp spots. 

An arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum, referring to the tiny teeth on the leaves) - I think.

A new one for me, below: identified as a Phelledendron amurense (Amur cork tree). I have been aware of Philodendrons (the well known houseplant) most of my life so it's funny that the tree name is so similar. The berries were very fragrant when crushed. I am curious about them - used medicinally and in supplement form. But food potential?

Incongruous late summer violets. Viola canadensis.

And my favourite toilet company.

Out of the woods and into the circus.

Under arches the usual soprano was singing, O mio babbino caro, with some made up words, while newlyweds posed for photos.

And up top the usual troupe was drawing the usual audience.

I crossed The Sheep Meadow, passing bodies in many stages of life and undress, some best left to the imagination.

...crossed the road where tourists and New Yorkers sailed south on their bicycles.

And stumbled upon a motherlode of Cornelian cherries (Cornus mas - that early, early-blooming dogwood with yellow flowers. Loved as a fruit in Turkey, unknown mostly, Stateside).

Before exiting at Columbus Circle, on 59th, an hour after I started.

I dived into Broken Foods for burrata, and tomatoes from Canada (so much for local, seasonal produce) and exited to ride home on the sticky 1, then the cooler 2, and was back in Harlem 20 minutes later.


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