Entries Tagged as 'nature'

Speak Up on the Hudson River Barge Plan

December 5th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

The Hudson River is a bucolic, beautiful, and mighty river. Yet at various times, human activities have threatened the natural balance, splendor, and sustainability of this vital treasure. This is one of those times to speak up for the river. The shipping industry is proposing that the Coast Guard construct sites on the Hudson River […]

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Goodbye to the Greenwich Street Tree

May 3rd, 2016 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

The tree wasn’t a towering oak on the rolling landscape of a New York City park, a magnificent elm with big-shouldered limbs, or a bright, showy dogwood welcoming the spring on a village street. It was, in fact, the most unlikely of survivors, sort of scrawny, alone, between city buildings and flanking some very inhospitable […]

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Spring’s First Sightings: A Meditation

April 8th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Turn off the clock and look at those tree branches, and feel the wind blowing through them. The outdoors provides the lungs of life. Each day what is outdoors vitalizes my life, with breath, space, and an exhalation into a wider world. That is so much why it beckons one to walk, to feel my […]

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The Tree as Artist and Art Form

December 30th, 2015 · 8 Comments · Explore New York

To Paul Klee, a tree embodied the creative process. In a public lecture, the artist likened the artist to a tree. The artist is deeply rooted in the world, while the artist’s work is similar to the tree’s crown, as the book Art and Phenomenology explains. “Standing at his appointed place, at the trunk of […]

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Sweet Summer Days, Moment by Moment

August 25th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Very few summer-twilight evenings go by without a thought of playing hide-and-seek games decades ago. We grabbed every moment of fun out of the evening’s dwindling daylight. We tried to trick each other by switching jackets and sweaters in the dusk in order to fool the one who was “it” in hide-and-seek into calling the […]

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Spring’s Fleeting Beauty, Eternal Truth

May 29th, 2015 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

In the face-chilling, hand-freezing, blustery cold of a January night, who could have pictured these blossoms and flowers? In winter, many do not notice the gnarly branches of a crabapple or pear tree or the twisting limbs of a lilac bush, though they possess their own character and loveliness. Yet, there they are, strong, upright, […]

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The Insights That Blossoms Teach

April 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Beyond Gotham

About a month ago mounds of hardened snow still covered parts of the landscape and the bare tree branches shivered in a much colder wind. The Northeast United States waited and waited. Even for a professed winter lover, spring’s warmth and expected bursting forth felt long overdue. Some signs were there, in lengthening daylight, the […]

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Autumn’s Cure for Nature Deprivation

November 20th, 2014 · No Comments · Beyond Gotham

Nature is grand both in big spaces, such as mountain cliffs and ocean horizons, and in small patches, as in one leaf, a square foot of roadside, or a plant curled around a building column. Nature rewards the attentive. From the time he was a boy, Richard Louv has known this as much as anyone […]

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Nature’s Late-Summer Hurrah

September 10th, 2014 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

“Our appointment with life is in the present moment,” writes Thich Nhat Hanh in Peace Is Every Step. My appointment with life is in the present moment. Even saying these words slows down the moment and magnifies it. This can be a challenge as the days speed up and we think too much and too […]

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July Notes: Daylight, Towers, Prison Ships

July 17th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

For early summer, let’s skim the stones across the waters of several Mindful Walker topics. Honoring the First American Prisoners of War: The words “freedom” and “Independence Day” are inextricably linked, but how often on the Independence Day weekend did any of us think about those who gave their lives for the cause of American […]

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Traveling Near and Far With Spring

May 24th, 2014 · No Comments · Beyond Gotham

Edwin Way Teale wrote that spring advances up the United States at an average rate of 15 miles per day. Imagine a new season wending its way up the coastline, through the river valleys, across the fields, and along the mountain ranges. An author and naturalist, Teale knew firsthand of what he spoke. In 1947, […]

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Spring Signals: The Songsters Return

March 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Beyond Gotham

It occurs one dawn, quite beyond our human planning. Open the window or the door, or walk down the street, and you’ll hear it in a way that was absent the week before – birdsong. This isn’t the twitter of the hardy chickadees and juncos that have wintered here through the deep snows and sub-zero […]

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The Dazzle of Winter Trees

January 31st, 2014 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham, Columns and Features

During the howling of the wind, the crunching sound of steps on a frozen trail, or the diamond sparkle of the late afternoon sun, you see it standing there – unmoved, strong, and enchanting to the eye. To know nature’s spirit in infinite variety, get close to a single tree in winter – look at […]

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Roped In at Madison Square Park

August 12th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Explore New York

You cannot miss Orly Genger’s Red, Yellow and Blue art installation this summer in Manhattan. If people say this statement, they may mean, “You have got to see this!” Or, they may mean, “You cannot escape seeing this!” when walking through Madison Square Park. During the late spring and summer, this 166-year-old gracious park has […]

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Silhouettes, Shadows, and the Solstice

December 27th, 2012 · 16 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Perhaps the days of shortest daylight create a more intense desire to savor the play of light and shadow. We have just passed the winter solstice on Dec. 21, experiencing the shortest time of daylight for each day. It’s our all-too-human tendency to not appreciate something when we have it in abundance, say, when a […]

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Spring’s Many Enticing Invitations

May 1st, 2012 · 1 Comment · Beyond Gotham

It may be the line of bold yellow forsythia that appears on a drab brown hillside. It may be the sudden burst of crimson red on a stand of maple trees in the park or the cottony white and pink of blossoms on dozens of apple trees in an orchard where gnarled dark branches dominated […]

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NYC’s Sunset Spots: Brooklyn Bridge Park

February 14th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

In a city that is perpetually in motion, a sunset is an irresistible invitation to become still. Our days often have an agenda. Our walks are often preoccupied. But then it happens: At dusk the sun, sky, and water begin their dance of countless subtle movements. In New York’s open spaces edged by sky and […]

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Walking As Solace and Joy

December 12th, 2011 · 16 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Walking has saved my life and restored my serenity more times than I can count. When times have come that throw off life’s balance and inner peace, I know I have not walked enough. Walking has always been part of my life’s journey, a way to constantly look around at the world each day, no […]

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The Glorious Palette of Spring Green

May 19th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

The verb “spring” originates from the Old English “springan,” which means to burst forth or leap. The noun for the season, fittingly, derives from that term. Each year at this time, spring enchants us with the bursting forth of blossoms and flowers – pinks, purples, whites, yellows, reds – from what which lay dormant in […]

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A Tree Grows in Chain Link

April 15th, 2011 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

New York City has 5.2 million trees, and each one of them has a life story. For a very long time, a lovely European larch has marked the seasons for those walking in Central Park. It is a deciduous conifer whose needle-like leaves turn yellow in the autumn and fall off. A tulip tree in […]

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