Monday, March 21, 2011

Brooklyn in Bloom

On the night of the big moon (is that why everything is so weird?), I walked along the Promenade and saw the changes. The forsythia is opening. I think I'll stop calling it spring barf. I'm happy to see it.

The hellebores are all facing the dipping sun.

The crocuses too cold to open.

And something unexpected shining at the end of dark Doughty Street (where once a beautiful yellow tree blazed): I had thought the witch hazel had been and gone, but this was new. Not the red of two weeks ago, but a golden orange...

Seen to perfection with the sun blazing through it, as it headed down towards evening.

It was a cold evening, just after six and not many people out. A young father and his little girl, rolling down the winter grass hill. I pulled my jersey sleeves over my hands and stuck them into my pockets.

And then the winter hazels. There are at least a dozen in the park, as well as the early blooming Cornelian cherries.

I love these early-blooming shrubs. 

Maybe forsythia is spring barf, after all. The winter hazels are graceful, with delicately yellow tassles and an elegance that belongs to a beautifully dressed and poised woman, one who remains rather enigmatic. Forsythia requires little interpretation. But perhaps she's fun to talk to.

There are just two species of corylopsis here, I think. The orange-anthered shrub is probably Corylopis sinensis, and the other may be C. pauciflora, but I stand open to correction.

What a funny expression.

Red brick in the golden hour, and I called Vince to remind him to watch for the twenty year moon, at home.

In the colder air off choppy water I walked fast along the bike track, below the three layer cake and past a man and his tripod waiting for the sun to make the houses blaze.

There is an urgency now. I feel I must be alert and be everywhere, because things are changing fast, and I have to see them. The winter hazel were not on my radar. Every year it is something new. There are places to go, flowers to photograph...


  1. We saw the moon from 20000 feet, no pictures though.

    standing corrections: one photo isn't showing, getting the X.

    As a child we had a fenceline of forsythia. Not my favorite then but a welcome sign of true spring weather and internalized so that I can visualize them completely from any angle.

    love the Corylopis sinensis (spicata?)

  2. a friend of mine who gardens (beautifully) on 5 acres left a message yesterday and said they have been busy working in the garden because it's an " early spring"..maybe the 2 prettiest words I've ever heard.

    be vigilant!


  3. The Super Moon? We had a rain storm! But we have seen the big tide in the mangroves, the 2 days old moon, high in the sky at 9pm...

    And forsythia? Detractors may say what they will, I have a deep and abiding love of it. It's a personal thing. Like first love.

  4. Forsythia is a gal who has two drinks too many (every Friday night) at your local pub! Like you, I really don't like how she looks, but I do like the message she brings. I love having her in the far back corner of my neighbor's yard. I can look if I want to, but she's not in my face.

  5. Spring barf, how funny. We saw the moon as Michael drove me into the city to catch my flight. I couldn't take my eyes off it. Apparently we got 3 inches of snow in PA this morning, but here in SanFran the poppies are out.

  6. Frank - rats, after which photo/sentence do you see an x? I don't have it, but I'm on Vince's ancient laptop using Linux while awaiting my new Dell (...dude). It may be spicata. I need to study the two up close to compare. Wasn't sure whether spicata had orange anthers or not.

    Jane - 5 acres. Sigh. Early spring? It does seem earlier. I must compare pictures and dates. Time to look for Lower East Side daffodils.

    MIT - in the mangrove swamps where the tiger romps?

    webb - exactly! I am acquainted with at least one forsythia and she does lighten the rest of us up until she slides beneath the table.

    Ellen, ee, you're in Frisco! Spring barf is not mine but Betsy Smith's - she and I sold plants side by side for a while.

  7. brooklyn boys were here in nj this weekend and we saw the moon rise over our lake - beauty full!

    got to get over to see them soon and walk around to catch the blooms - ah, winter hazel - woke up to almost an inch of snow this am - and on the new rosemary that i picked up last week and left outside

    love webb's decrip of forsythia - it does kind of scream spring



Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.