Saturday, November 6, 2010

Show Me The Money!

Fall is upon us. . .

. . .the trees have begun to drop their leaves.

Leaves are a key component of compost.  They make up the "browns" or carbon rich ingredients (the other component are the "greens" or nitrogen rich ingredients).

One of the roles that "browns" play is to help control the odors that might develop in a compost pile.  I'd say that's a pretty valuable role!

So, from an ecological standpoint, fallen leaves. . .

. . .might just as well be like piles of dollar bills lying around for the taking!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Left Behind

Awwww. . .looks like this little guy got left behind in the parking lot, after the last rain storm.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Operation Wendy's

This fence happens to border the drive-thru of a Wendy's restaurant.

These vines look like reconnaissance scouts.  Maybe they're planning a reclamation initiative!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Once Upon A Time. . .

. . .industry used to really be local, that is within a community or neighborhood.

This factory, along with its smoke stacks, was enclosed within the interior space of a Williamsburg block in Brooklyn.

Interesting, some of the unexpected places that remnants like this, turn up.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Green on the Go

This weekend I volunteered at the New New York DIY Block Party.

One of the vendors there was the Biobus. That would be interesting enough, but what really caught my eye was a little patch of green on the roof at the back of the Biobus

It's called Bus Roots and was conceived of by Marco Antonio Castro Cosio. His idea is to create a fleet of mobile green roofs on the tops of city buses!  Read more about it at here).

Sounds like fun to me!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Look Both Ways!

I think these planters are trying to cross the street to get to the park.

They live in the pedestrian plaza, where 5th & Broadway converge @ 23rd St., near Madison Square Park (there's a similar plaza at Times Square - 42nd St., a block away from Bryant Park).
I think I would too.

I'm sorry, but I just don't understand this concept of carving out sitting areas in the middle of busy NYC streets when there are actual parks (and rather nice ones too), mere steps away. . .
. . .speaking of which, both of these parks were no-man's lands back in the '70's, but at some point were reclaimed for the public's enjoyment.

They are now thriving.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Unless or until a kindly breeze can blow these leaves elsewhere, it will be difficult for them to cycle back into the soil.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Drivey Ivy

This ivy hangs out in the drive through, near the garbage bins of 
a nearby fast food restaurant.

Friday, August 6, 2010


". . .thousands of blossoms create fruit for birds, humans, and other animals, in order that one pit might eventually fall onto the ground, take root, and grow. . .

. . .the tree [does this] without depleting its environment. . .

. . .Once [the blossoms] fall on the ground, their materials decompose and break down into nutrients that nourish microorganisms, insects, plants animals, and soil. . .

. . .the tree makes more of its 'product' than it needs for its own success. . ."(1)

Generous, huh?

(1) quotes taken from Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough & Michael Braungart - Chapter 3, p. 73.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Subversive Blossoms

Sometimes a solution cleverly disguises itself
as a problem or adversity.

Some may view these plants tucked away behind bars with dismay, but I choose to look at it another way . . .

. . .as an unequivocal statement on the part of the residents
 on this block to include beauty and nature on their street. . .

One. Way. Or. The. Other.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Here Comes the Sun!

Earlier this year I was pleasantly surprised to spot this installation of solar panels on the roof of a home in my neighborhood. Although I am aware of a solar panel installation in a nearby commercial district (about a mile away) I think this may be the first  (only...?) residential installation.

I hope the first of many!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Morning Visitor

I happened to look out the window this morning and saw these two odd shapes sticking out on either side of one of the bars on my fire escape. At first I thought it was a piece of plastic bag that had somehow blown and got stuck there.
A few minutes later, I looked again and saw that it was a dragon fly! It was sitting so still that I didn't think it was something alive.

I've never seen one in the city before, but it sure was a nice way to start the day!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

GuestPeek: Along the Edge

My friend Okolo sent me these images.

Where edges meet something wonderful happens. . .

. . .It really just depends on how you look at it.

Thanks Okolo! :-)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

They're Back...

At the end of the driveway, behind the building, there used to be tall trees.  They must have been there for awhile, because one of them had actually grown through the fence, and a bit of the trunk is still there (within the white circle).  In the afternoon I liked the way they looked silhouetted against the sky.

Then one day, for whatever reason, they were cut down (in fact they've been cut twice) and you can see for yourself what that looks like.  At some point, I guess they'll either figure out or get around to cutting out the root, because whatever type of plant this is, it grows back quite rapidly (these two pictures were taken about a year apart). 

Until that time, I'll continue to enjoy them as much as I can.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Curb Repurposed

When I saw this little garden tucked away here, it just tickled me.
Need I say any more?!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Welcome to Permie Peeks!

Several years ago, I woke up to an incredibly loud pounding noise. I couldn't imagine what it was. It went on for a bit, then stopped, then started again. I went over to the window and looked out, but didn't see anything. Then the noise got closer! As if it was right under my window! I looked out again, but still didn't see anything. Finally, I stuck my head out of the window and saw someone breaking up the concrete by the curb. The sidewalk there had recently been redone, so I wondered what was going on. Of course, I immediately thought the worst— that my apartment building's oil tank had busted again and they needed to get to it.

A little later, as I was leaving for work, I saw my building’s super in the lobby and asked if he knew anything. He said that he had requested some trees to be planted and the city had come to break the ground for the tree pits! Well let me tell you that gave a wonderful lift to my day. When I came home that evening, two new little trees had been planted in front of my building. Now, whenever I go out, I see them and they make me smile.

And that's what this blog is about.

Whether on its own or through deliberate intervention, nature pokes it's head out in the most unexpected and delightful ways.  It's all right there in front of us if we only take a moment to appreciate it.

I plan to do just that, recording what I see with my trusty camera.

Come join me! It should be fun!