Thursday, January 28, 2016

Making the best of the New York blizzard


It was a complete fluke, of course. You can’t plan for the weather when you book your flight months in advance. But there I was, in New York City during a near-record blizzard. Snow was falling at a rate of 3 inches per hour. Eventually it would accumulate to 26’’ at the official monitoring site in Central Park, one-tenth of an inch short of breaking the all-time record.

Meanwhile, the best thing to do was to get out and enjoy it. The subways were running. I hopped on the A train uptown from Chelsea to 72nd St. and joined what proved to be throngs heading into the park to enjoy the season’s first major snowfall.

I ditched most of the crowds by diving into a 36-acre section of the park called “The Ramble,” which designer Frederick Law Olmsted called a “wild garden.” Wild enough in a blizzard, I’d say.

I saw birds galore; mostly grackles, cardinals and chickadees. Some were massed in places that must have had something to eat buried in the snow. If I stood still for more than a moment I would be surprised to find myself surrounded by flocks looking for a handout. Thanks to a local photographer with a far longer lens than mine, who pointed the way, I spotted one large hawk.

Here is my photo essay of the New York blizzard in Central Park.


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