This is a benign post about those tiny details which, should one choose to accept them, can chisel an alternative reality into our lives as megapolis dwellers. Over nine million souls live within a eighteen-mile radius of our home. Needless to say, we are piled up on top of one another like sardines in the proverbial can.

We can choose—and often do—the reality of traffic jams, news-promoted crime, corrupt politics, soaring inflation, omnipresent garbage and lamb chop shortage. Yes the latter is a thing.

But every once in a while—at weekends mostly since five days a week we drag, at the end of a heavy-duty ball and chain, our society’s fixation on bringing in income—a quick dash to the outskirts, or sometimes even to the complex meadows within, yields peace, stunning nature, sheer beauty, surprising wildlife, an everchanging world and the most minute delicacies.

The images below were shot on such a spring day recently. No prize winners in here, just puzzle snapshots of one of New York City’s shiest faces: Nature.

Nature. Reluctant, stubborn, deeply rooted, raped, abused, and yet, by a miracle of this universe (there are many others), still managing to thrive in some incredibly tight, surrounded and fenced outposts. Those mostly are City, State and National Parks. Shining jewels within an otherwise Bloated Apple.


Scarlet tanager. If you think he’s bright, the in-flight colors are even more mesmerizing!
Scarlet tanager, breeding plumage.
Yellow warbler
Oyster catcher, enjoying the benefits of roosting on a fenced-off dune, courtesy of NYC housing rules.
Gaston Lagaffe’s bird la “mouette rieuse” (for the Frenchies out there), the laughing gull.
One-flowered cancer root, the flower is prettier than the name.
A whale spotted breaching a stone’s throw away from shore! Most likely a humpback.
Humpback whale cruising along NYC shores
And then there were hundreds of dolphins, coming through in small pods, for as long as we were on the beach.
Changing weather, the fog clears.
And finally back home, we were treated to a stunning blood moon (bad phone pictures)