Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Clouds of fleeceflower

On a hill at Green-Wood Cemetery is a monument dedicated to the 148,000 New York soldiers enlisted in the Revolutionary War. Often, when I walk here, I imagine what the ground under my feet looked like, and what the sounds may have been, then, because this is where battles were fought. 

But what drew me to the monument this day was the cloud of giant fleeceflowers in bloom at its base. They are closely related to highly invasive Japanese knotweed, but apparently behave much better. Persicaria polymorpha: statuesque, yet floofy. In peak bloom, now.


New Summer Walks

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Graham Thomas

I think this was the best moment in May. A surfeit of roses. That doesn't happen often. I picked as many as I could and stuffed them into vases and bowls and kept a bowlful in the bedroom.

Their scent is described by David Austin as "a cool violet character." A good inscription for a headstone.


New Summer Walks

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Cherry blossoms

On the Vernal Equinox I walked in Green-Wood Cemetery under a high, racing sky and patchy cloud. In an early-blooming cherry, some house finches were very busy.

If you taste a cherry blossom, it is very bitter. But after a few seconds the flavor turns to marzipan. Perhaps finches like marzipan. Or the effects of prussic acid? How much is in a finch-sized blossom-dose?