I love rainy days, they’re great for snuggling up with a good book and a cup of strong coffee, fragrant tea or a glass of fine wine. In my case it is taking a walk in the rain, umbrella protectively overhead, while searching for the beautiful leaves that the rain has forcefully pulled from the limbs of nearby trees and pushed to the ground; sodden flat in varying patterns, against a canvas of concrete.
My walk was proving very successful as the colors were intensified by the overcast sky and the sheen of the rain water enveloping them. Some were accented with tiny rain pearls. I was happily humming a tune as I was hunkered down balancing the umbrella against my shoulder, taking a group shot of colorful leaves in a puddle when, the wind in a rude and ferocious moment, tore my umbrella from my hold, knocking me to my knees, pulling the earplugs from my ears as well as an earring and loosening my hold on the iPhone which plopped into the puddle. No harm to ears or phone or knees and my umbrella was rescued from the wind’s tumultuous hold by a women who had been walking behind me. I thanked her very much and she didn’t even ask if I was okay but, just walked on with a look on her face that said “escapee from a lunatic asylum!”
Who else would be splashing about in a rain storm taking photos of fallen leaves? Lunatic? Nay, just little ole mees.
I had Jury Duty today and in between the long boring hours of sitting in the jury room waiting to be called for service, I took advantage of any breaks to go outside, iPhone in hand, to take photos of the onset of autumn’s color palate. I was in the neighborhood of Kew Gardens right off of Queens Boulevard and it was raining but, that didn’t deter me on my quest. Behind the court-house there was a lovely little wooded area where I wandered around during a thirty minute morning break balancing my umbrella as I searched for and took images of, Mother Nature’s magical transformation.
Happily, we had a two-hour lunch break and I took advantage of that time to discover what was across Queens Boulevard. I wound up on Austin Street. A quiet little oasis lined with beautiful houses and gardens with lots of trees and bushes. I busied myself keeping an eye out for splashes of red, yellow and brown and leaves just starting to turn from green to gold. There was a tree that wore a sweater of colored mosses and a large sodden leaf with a rainbow of colors spreading across its shiny face. Because the day was overcast, it provided a diffused light that made the colors pop and the rain droplets shine like jewels.
I had a few more minutes before I had to go back to resume the “wait” so, I paid a visit to an old red #7 subway car that was on display adjacent to the court-house and is apparently a mini-transit museum. I then went back around the court-house to capture a few puddle shots before returning to the silence and tedium of the jury room.
I never did get on a case and at 3:00pm was set free for another four years, Yahoo!
Today, was a wonderful quiet lazy rainy day spent doing just what I wanted with no demands on my time. I curled up on the couch with the windows open, music playing on the CD player and reading a favorite book on my kindle. I took intermittent naps between chapters and occasionally put the story aside and turned down the music to listen to the birds chirping, the rain pattering on the new green leaves and taking long drafts of the sweet moist air that blew in through the windows.
At one point it really started to pour and I sat up and looked out the window watching the water rushing down the street along the curb like a tiny wild river. The view outside, framed by my window was peaceful and natural and very, very green. It was time for a few photos.
My favorite place to take photos from my apartment is in the kitchen. The kitchen window is a little wider than the living room windows and the sill a little deeper which allows me to rest my elbows as I kneel on the floor in front of the open window. The first thing I see from this window is my trusty little red fire hydrant that has been my model on several occasions when nature has made it impossible to go outside to shoot. Today it was glistening with moisture sitting on the curb watching all manner of vehicles pass it as they hurried to homes warm and dry.
I zoomed up into the trees as the heavy rains streamed down and poured off the leaves. As the lighting changed so did the colors of the leaves changing from a deep blue-green to a bright yellow-green. I slowed the shutter speed to show the rain drops in long stretched white streaks. I pointed my camera down to the grass under my windows to capture the clear crystal drops of rain sitting on the clover between the blades of grass.
I enjoyed this April shower and the beautiful photos is helped me to create and I hope you enjoy them too!
The Botanical Gardens that is. Yesterday was just too beautiful a day not go somewhere where nature thrives and blooms and presents a photographer with wonderful little bits of the natural world. And considering I was in the middle of an area of New York City that is quite a feat. I am talking about the last of the old growth forests taking up fifty acres in these botanical gardens and there was a Haunted Pumpkin Patch that I wanted to see too.
I knew the leaves would still be green but it was a perfect time to hike around the numerous and peaceful trails and find the spots that I know will provide incredible foliage shots upon my third visit in a few more weeks. My goal was to make my way to the Bronx River that runs through the gardens, find the water fall and scout out the area for other interesting photo ops. I found quite a few oddities such as a day-glow green scum covered pond providing great abstract shots; some wild forest fungi, polka dotted bird feathers, purple poisonous looking berries and an old shopping cart floating eerily beneath green murky waters.
I did get side tract for a little bit in the beautiful and fragrant Rose Garden but I eventually found my way to the falls and before I took any photos I sat myself down for a few cool peaceful minutes and just listened to the sound of the water as it rushed and tumbled over the rocks to the river below. Behind the falls the water was calm and smooth as glass and the reflections of the surrounding trees and rocks was spectacular and will be mind-blowing when in foliage. I stayed there for about an hour taking shot after shot and marveling at how crystal like the water looks as it pours over the edge of the land and bursts into brilliant water shards when it hits the rocks. The rest of the day was spent darting in and out of the trails to mingle with the trees and inhale the damp mossy wild smells of a forest.
When I had my fill of all things great and green I decided to head back toward the Children’s Adventure Garden and take a few shots of the whimsical pumpkin creations in the Haunted Pumpkin Patch. The place was just crawling with little ghouls and boys laughing, screaming, screeching, shrieking and crying (there is always one child that cries no matter how much fun they are having) and it truly gave a most haunting atmosphere. The garden was filled with huge orange pumpkin sculptures of spindly legged spiders, stinging scorpions, annoying giant flies, marching caterpillars and large child sized orange toad stools.
Another terrific autumn day. Enjoy the photos below and you can see the full gallery of early fall photos from the New York Botanical Gardens on my website.