New York City is surrounded by water. There are rivers, causeways, estuaries, ponds, streams, and a really big ocean lapping at the front door. And there are loads of professional gardeners who tend to the parks and the walkways and the gardens. This is why, on any given summer day, you don't see the scenes of drought you see on the news from Iowa or Illinois or Nebraska.
But every so often, something catches my eye. There are bits of greenery that grow out from the stoops, the subway tracks, and the walls. These amuse me because they remind me how defiant nature is of these manmade distractions. Next to my bus stop, there is a spectacular church with a retaining wall that grows things. Little plants, ferns, mosses, even this really neat yellow lichen will grow right out of the tiny spaces between the rocks and, left untouched, by the end of August, the wall will be nearly covered in random, rogue greenery that doesn't know why the wall is there.
But that's not the case right now. The little mosses that sprout tiny flowers are all brown. The leaves of the plants are crisp and the ferns are mostly eaten by insects. The grass that grows up between the squares of sidewalk is brown and not even nearly half as tall as it usually is this time of year.
Then, there are these flowers. I took the first shot to illustrate a post on how green Manhattan is. The post was dated June 17, 2012. The second shot was taken today. These are flowers, planted along Broadway, that rely on rainfall and soil moisture to survive. The folks who planted them do not have the resources to drag out hoses and water them manually.
June 17, 2012
Photos by me