Summer is almost over and I had not paid a visit to The New York Botanical Gardens since March, when I went searching for signs of spring in the hopes that winter was finally leaving, allowing me to thaw out. At that time the gardens still had patches of snow and ice on them with only a few tiny green shoots bravely breaking through the still frozen soil. This past Sunday, those same gardens were bursting with floral color and greenery in a mind-blowing array of plants, flowers, shrubs and bushes.
It is still technically summer but, fall is just over the horizon so my first stop was a visit to the giant conifers that were packed with pine cones weighing down the branches. I ducked under the laden bows to capture the cones at eye level and the sun filtering through the trees highlighting a soft carpet of fallen pine needles. A tiny taste of Autumn.
Stepping out from the pines and onto the tarmac I refocused my sites and my lens on the late summer blooms.
The Seasonal Walk and the Perennial Gardens are a terrific place to just amble around, with no particular itinerary and no crowds to dodge, while the flower and plant aromas travel on the breeze exciting the senses and relaxing the mind. My eyes traveled over the flowers observing color, size, texture, grouping, and lighting and then I would compose and shoot. Chubby bumblebees were out in full force this warm day humming and hovering around and adding just the right touch to my images. I passed through the vegetable garden which was in its last stages of producing with just a few late cabbages, lettuces and tomatoes, but their textures were interesting and a few were enshrouded in a delicate gauzy cobweb. I came upon a glittering copper-colored beetle taking an afternoon nap on a sun warmed leaf and a very inquisitive bug-eyed dragon-fly who smiled right into the camera, as if saying “cheese!” In a shaded area of the vegetable garden was a much harvested broccoli patch with just a few remaining small buds where, I uncovered a clear oval droplet; a jewel of water set in the curl of a soft green-blue leaf. That was my favorite shot of the day.
Across from the gardens, in the parking lot of the train station was a Catalpa tree. I stopped to admire its broad green leaves and stringy foot long pods waving in the breeze and aimed my camera up, shooting them against a sky turned a rich blue by the late afternoon sun.
I look forward to returning to these gardens in the fall when there is a little nip in the air, the autumn flowers are in bloom and the foliage is in full color.