Last Saturday my sole purpose of going to Central Park was to shoot the Ice “Festival” that was taking place in front of the Naumburg Bandshell, sitting at the end of the Mall and Literary Walk. I had visions of leisurely wandering around and photographing a variety of beautiful cool crystalline sculptures glistening in the sun.

Never happened.

By the time I got to the Bandshell it was at least fifty people deep packed in, sardine like, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the festivities and being serenaded by a pounding, driving beat blaring from giant speakers on either side of the shell. Nearly shattered the eardrums.

If a person was over 6 feet tall they had a grand view of the sculptor’s skills as he wielded his ice carving accouterments to the delighted oohs and aahs of the tall viewing crowd. I on the other hand, being a mere 5’2” had a commanding view of people’s backs and shoulders and if they were my height, heads. Even at that vantage point I could only get a squint at the tip of a large lump of ice in the far distance. That, and the claustrophobic conditions, convinced me to turn around and get the heck out of there. Better luck next year.

Back to the beginning of my arrival at the park.

When you exit the N or R train at 5th Avenue and 60th street, climb up the stairs and gaze out over a rocky wall on your left, a lovely serene vista lay before your eyes, a picture perfect Central Park scene, The Pond. It is always a visitor’s focal point throughout all seasons. My favorite is the winter season when Jack Frost has put down a smooth layer of ice on the water and where plump colorful ducks nap or nibble at water plants along its crusty frozen edges.

I played around the massive rocks littered throughout the park, capturing the snow that had melted and then froze over creating delicate lace like patterns that clung to their edges. There were also thick chunky icicles within the cracks and crevices of these infamous boulders which, were left by a passing ancient glacier thousands of years ago.

As the day warmed up the snow started melting and I sloshed through slush and squatted down to watch a runnel of melt water under the ice and snow, pool into a bubbly foam. Large puddles cast wonderful reflections and the trees, those beautiful trees that line the Mall walkway, provided spectacular back drops and foregrounds against the late afternoon sky.

Not a bad day at all, really. I hope you enjoy this walk in the park.


14 thoughts on “The Pond and the Park

  1. BEAUTIFUL winter scenes with soothing tones of black, white and griege, never disappoint!!!! The shadowy images are inspirational and stimulating, from tall grasses and reeds bravely resisting the winds and gales of winter’s frigid air, captured poetically and gracefully! Red petals upon the snow, powerful and near Shakespearean, I dare say. A panoply of winter motifs, holding us captive until the next scene is revealed! I thoroughly enjoyed it from a warm, vantage point but somehow vicariously flicking snowflakes from my nose. Spectacular!!!


  2. Wonderful images Cate. It is so lovely to see Central Park in a state I have never experienced, though I know it fairly well.

    The music for the ice sculpting sounds irritating and inappropriate. I would’ve fled too!


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