Green-Wood Cemetery, like the city at large, lost a mess of trees during Sandy. One of them was this giant, which was also the home of a Red-tailed hawk nest for several years. Judging from Facebook, these pins were probably put in by the Cemetery’s tree specialist, Adam Rychlicki, who has been doing this sort of thing lately. It looks like each pin marks 10 years of growth here, except for what looks like the five years below: I was reminded of Madeleine in Vertigo. She’s in Muir Woods with Scottie, and points to a cross-section of a centuries-old redwood, saying “here I was born… and there I died… it was only a moment for you, you took no notice.” Chris Marker quotes the scene silently and still-ly in La Jetée, and, years later, so does Terry Gilliam in 12 Monkeys, somewhat more ponderously but still affectively.
The passing of time is haunting however you look at it.
Published April 2, 2013
Tags: Green-Wood, trees
Looks like something you’d find along the banks of the Withywindle, doesn’t it?
Published March 31, 2013
Tags: Prospect Park, trees
Interesting bark in Prospect Park. I don’t know what kind of tree this is. Any ideas?
Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) bud emerging. Today marks the vernal or spring equinox, when the hours of day and night are exactly 12 hours each — except that they are not. But you can take that up with your local astronomer if you’d like. Otherwise, enjoy the eruption of life here in the northern hemisphere in the coming weeks.
The Sweetgum was in Green-Wood on Sunday. The rest of these were yesterday in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
And half-a-dozen or so Red-winged Blackbirds, bringing the area around the Terrace Bridge to sudden, raucous life with their insistent “I am now here!” vocalizations: Check!
It was interesting to observe these birds, all males. Two at the feeders presented variations in plumage, with one bird sill having some of its juvenile brown-speckled feathers, and one the sumptuous color of midnight, a rich, glossy black, popping with red shoulder epaulets.
This was all yesterday in Prospect Park: sure signs of spring
“A beautiful form has as much life at one season as another.” ~ Henry David Thoreau.
The distinctive cone shape of the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is actually kind of similar to the distinctive cone shape of the Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum). Both species grace Brooklyn Bridge Park and both appear “bald” this time of year. And, in the cold, battened down — or maybe that was just me, being iced in the cheek by the wind off the water.
The Rings of Saturn? No, the benches and tables at newly opened Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park.Like elsewhere in the park, this is recycled Southern Longleaf Yellow Pine (Pinus palustris), which was salvaged from the former Cold Storage Building at Pier One. This species has the highest resin content of any pine, perhaps because of its natural fire-fighting abilities or perhaps because of a woodpecker species (read more at the link), or maybe in response to both of these environmental stresses. Over time, this resin turns into amber, and this makes the wood, which is made of cellulose, something rich and strange, a combination of cellulose and amber. The result is extremely durable. The warehouse, after all, dated to the 1840s. So you’re eating off of, and sitting on, wood that was cut some 170 years ago, and was already many decades old at that time.
Alas, the Longleaf pines were too successful. What let them survive and thrive was precisely what attracted us. The trees were all cut down, and a habitat thousands of square miles in extent in the Southeast was eradicated. But, by using these virtual fossils, the park does not require the exploitation of living trees today for its furniture. Each annual ring of growth here is bicolored: the lighter, inner portion being early spring growth, the darker outer portion being summer growth. Even in this small sample, you can see how some years produced wider rings than others, telling of optimal growing conditions. The thinest line here tells of what was probably a hot, dry summer, in which the tree barely grew at all.
Such rings are the basis of dendrochronology, which has been used to chart changes in regional climates over thousands of years.