Hello and Goodbye    Spring 04
WAKE UP    and Smell the Roses, the Clover.
Here at Last. Wink an Eye, and it's Past.

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-wing Blackbird on pole

SPRING Brought to you by the color GREEN. Top photo at Right was taken at the beginning of spring and shows Red-wing Blackbird in reeds that are drab brown. Top photo at Left was taken ten weeks later at roughly the same spot and shows Red-wing Blackbird in lush verdant reeds . The entire park went through the same ten week transformation.

This year, the first and most vocal of the reed-birds, the Red-winged Blackbird , began arriving on the first day of spring. A small bird only eight inches long, the Red-winged Blackbird is very quick, darting from reed to reed. It may vanish in the trees at the slightest provocation. They build nests in the reeds. Each pair can have several broods in a season. The Red-winged Blackbird will be gone from the park long before the onset of winter.

Arrow Shows Red-wing Blackbird
Red-wing Blackbird Blowup

Ancient Column From Roman City of Jarash - now a part of modern day Jordan
Sun Streams Through Unisphere to Backlight Column of Jarash During First Sunset of Spring

Last Week In March and Willow Trees are in Bud

The New York City Winter of 03-04 was unusually harsh, and a large number of trees, some very beautiful, died. The park's weeping willow population - delicate natives of China living a precarious New York existence - are slowly being whittled down by natural selection. Most older willows are heavily scarred, so it is exceptionally gratifying to see the oldest and largest weeping willows wake up in March

The Column of Jarash has seen seven-hundred-thousand desert sunsets. Then one day, the Jordanians brought the column to Flushing Meadows and the New York Worlds Fair as part of an exhibit of Mideast antiquities, and here it has stayed - a gift from Jordan to New York City (the Jordanians are justifiably proud of their Bedouin hospitality.) The 2,000 year old Column of Jarash will now grace New York City sunsets, hopefully, for all time, but none so fair as the first one of springtime.

First Week in April - Willow Tree Bursting into Bud

First week of Spring and feeding the ducks is still the parks most popular pastime
Meadow Lake International  Duck-Port. Regular Flight Arrivals and Departures Throughout the Day

Mid April Picnicking
Mid April Day Campers

A Sunday Afternoon in April

April arrives drab brown and goes out distinctly gay in green. Apart from the changing hues of landscape, days grow warmer, longer and brighter. People lighten up with the season, shedding winter coats for shirt sleeves, and winter gloom for a spring fling.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park is part of the great outdoors in the very heart of Metropolis. In fact, this park lies at the geographic center of New York City. While the leisure time refinements Flushing Meadows offers make it seem like a tame city park, nothing could be further from the truth - especially in April. The place is a natural low-land bog on Flushing Bay, a part of the Long Island Sound ecosystem. The tame appearance results from an ingenious, transparent system of underground plumbing that keeps the saltwater out of the park, and allows the freshwater to drain into the bay. In April, the lawns are not yet solid underfoot. The burning summer sun is needed to dry the lawns and make the park hospitable. .

April Ends But Daisies are Forever

Early April - Model Flying Field Helicopter Team
The Model Flying Field -  Helicopter Mechanic

May Clover
Auriferous Wildflowers

Up until mid-May, Spring was missing a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the season uniquely its own. Everything seemed normal, the days were getting warmer and longer, trees were turning green, normal - all too normal, but . . . . disconcertingly so - what was missing? Then one day, after a May shower, the aroma was too overpowering to ignore - the strong smell of clover waffed across the meadow. Spring was finally in the air. May's sweet petrichor brought the deepening green panorama to life.

Fields of May Clover
The Fragrance of Clover on the Meadow

Rose Garden in June
Rose Garden in June

Whats in a Name

June is the month for roses in New York City. Botanists of Brooklyn and Queens - the two Long Island boroughs - have a friendly rivalry over which borough grows the most beautiful roses. As if any mere mortal could weigh the transcendental qualities of beauty; or codify a delicacy as luscious as a rose? Absolutely preposterous. But, like Paris, fools issue meaningless verdicts on the subject, and stir nothing but cosmic storms. Want to try? Click here.

Stand of Roses
Red Roses

American Egret
American Egret Blowup

Every year in the spring, a pair of American Egrets visit Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In Spring 04, they arrived in June.and seemed to have stayed about a week. Egrets fly great distances, travel in pairs, but feed alone. They stand in shallow water on long, thin black legs and fish, with saintly patience for anything that moves. One egret was spotted fishing in the lagoon - which is actually, the 25,000 square foot well for the Fountain of the Planets. The large bird stood by the point where water from Flushing Bay flows into the park. The egret apparently had quite a few successful strikes. Spooked by onlookers along the railing, the egret moved to another spot about 50 feet away. When the onlookers charged along the rail to get closer, the egret took to the air, cleared the trees and was soon out of sight.

American Egret
American Egret Takes to Air

On the Last Day of Spring
Awaiting the Summer Crowds

June and Soccer Season Is HERE

The last full day of spring 2004 was Sunday June 20th. Technically speaking, spring lingered a few more hours into the 21st of June. This spring was cooler and wetter than the average. The crowds steadily increased throughout May and June The park's vegetation is at its deepest green by the last week in June - before the summer sun dries and bleaches soil and plants. Several million people will visit the park in 2004 for the sporting events, music fairs, community events and to use the leisure time amenities Flushing Meadows Corona Park offers.

Meadow Lake in mid June
Stormy Weather - The Story of Spring 04


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