Saturday May 7th was a beautiful sunny spring day here in New York City and I bounded out the front door with one thing in mind; to take pictures of weeds! Yes, my friends weeds. The amazing plant life that seems to use concrete and debris as its fertilizer and drives gardeners insane trying to keep them from taking over their lawns and back yards. Being an apartment dweller living in Queens, NY and not having to till the soil as it were I find these plants fascinating. Notice how they manage to grow right through a crack in a brick wall or straight up through the concrete sidewalk? Talk about survival of the fittest these little guys seem to just sprout and thrive where ever they land. There are many types of weeds and I can only name a few thanks to the researches on the internet and they are: crab grass, plantain plants, ragweed, ground ivy, clover leaf and curly dock. All of them have their own distinct colors and leaf shape.

Since it is spring the most common and colorful are the bright yellow dandelion. I must say that it is quite pretty when there is a profusion of these bright yellow flowers carpeting a neglected stretch of green grass in the morning sun. As a kid I used to pick a bouquet of the yellow blooms to give to my mother and pick the white seed heads, make a wish and then blow on the fluffy flower dispersing the seeds to the winds and hope my wish would come true.

I walked down Ditmars Boulevard (from 77th to 31st Streets) photographing weeds in various forms and tightly packed spots. At Ditmars and 31st I took the N train into Manhattan’s Chelsea district to continue my search for more weeds. I found a beautiful red, gold and green weed sprouting from the seam between a red brick wall and the pavement like a flower in a lapel. Next to a rusted 2″ screw and an empty mini vodka bottle a tiny little green leaf poked its head up from the dirty soil of an abandoned flower box attached to a wrought iron fence. The best place to find the weeds is anywhere that shows signs of neglect or abandonment; there the weeds grow and live.

I did get side tracked a bit and took some shots of bikes; like weeds bicycles are everywhere.You can find them leaning against a fence, chained to the base of street lights, mail boxes, garbage cans & poles, or lined up next to a restaurant that delivers food & drink to neighborhood residences. I would say almost on every single corner on every block within all the boroughs there is a bicycle standing waiting for its owner to return. I have a Bicycle gallery on my website devoted to these wonderful forms of urban transportation and have added a few terrific shots from this Saturday’s walk including one with a little Parrot patiently sitting on the handle bars while its owner locked up the bike.

After the weeds and bikes I wandered up 22nd street toward 10th avenue and The High Line a narrow horizontal elevated park. The last time I was there it was winter and I wanted to get a spring perspective with a few shots of the seasonal wild flowers growing all over the old train tracks that makeup the base of the gardens there. As usual the park was full of people enjoying the warm weather strolling along the elevated walkway or sitting in the oversized wooden lounge chairs facing the Hudson River and Chelsea Piers. I had my 50mm 1.4 with me which I love to use for flower shots because of the wonderful bokeh effect produced by the very shallow depth of field. These photos you will find in the High Line gallery on my website. FYI, I did find a few weeds in between the flowers and I was thrilled. 

It was a free and productive day for me and I arrived home tired, hungry and eager to start processing the days photos. I hope you all had a great weekend and will continue to have a great week ahead. Enjoy the images below and pick a dandelion bouquet today. Oh, the weeds are in this gallery.

Stay in Focus,

Cate

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