Hudson River Park, languor and vigor






We wandered through Hudson River Park along the West 20's and 30's on Sunday afternoon, intermittently dodging the distractions of speedy human-powered wheeled traffic (much of the pedestrian path remains to be built), construction equipment, the banshee screams of jet helicopters alighting and flying off only feet from the path, and the monstrous hulks of deteriorating piers, including one still used by the city as a towed-vehicle pound.

It will be a magnificent park when it's completed, as long as we are able to maintain its beauty and its comforts, but under the present circumstances our Sunday walk had to be mostly about checking on its progress since our last venture so far west.

Yet we were still able to enjoy the richness of the small life forms and still-life forms installed where the harbor's waters wash or beat the shore of our narrow urban world. We checked the odometer on Paul Ramirez-Jonas's installation, "Long Time", but were disappointed to find the wheel itself was quite still at the moment, poised somewhere between the force of the rising tide and the current of the river.

At the edge of a blocks-long reserve composed of a landscaped thicket designed to reintroduce the rich natural history of the Hudson estuary, we watched a Monarch butterfly and two dancing white moths. We saw and heard many birds but it was the tiny female or immature male Painted Bunting* which I'll remember most. No turkeys, deer or coyotes that day. We also heard and watched the surf throw spray up through a long grate on the edge of the walkway. I captured an image of a bit of the spume washing over the outstretched branches of two hardy plants eager to reach more of the light of the afternoon sun, but the animal life on the edge of the river was even less willing to wait for my camera.

in the low afternoon sun of September the little guy didn't look at all like most of the images I found on line, but instead was more like a wren-size fluffy ball of chartreuse and, if I might exaggerate a bit, nearly as bright as Sweetpea

Well, my appreciation of this lovely post won't come as a surprise, but, hell, it's just very nice.

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Published on September 19, 2007 12:40 PM.

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