Fall Back, 2010

Persephone with her pomegranate. Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Proserpine (Oil on canvas, 1874) - Tate Gallery, London

This year's autumnal or September equinox occurs at 03:09 Universal Time (UTC) on September 23. In my local time, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), it's 23:09, 11:09 PM, on September 22.
The Earth's seasons are caused by the rotation axis of the Earth not being perpendicular to its orbital plane. The Earth's axis is tilted at an angle of approximately 23.44° from the orbital plane; this tilt is called the axial tilt. As a consequence, for half of the year (i.e. from around March 20 to around September 22), the northern hemisphere tips toward the Sun, with the maximum around June 21, while for the other half of the year, the southern hemisphere has this honor, with the maximum around December 21. The two instants when the Sun is directly overhead at the Equator are the equinoxes.
- Wikipedia: Equinox


Daffodil Project 2010

Update 2010-10-22: Manhattan distribution date changed.
Updated 2010-10-09: Bronx distribution date and location changed.
Updated 2010-09-23: Added distribution dates and sites.

Daffodil bulbs just planted in place in a tree bed on Cortelyou Road in November 2007.
Daffodil bulbs in place

Today and tomorrow are the last two days to request Daffodil bulbs from New Yorkers for Parks for this year's Daffodil Project. Bulbs will be distributed in October. In Brooklyn, bulbs will be available for pick up on Saturday, October 23, from 8am-11am, at Grand Army Plaza at the Greenmarket Manager's tent near the white flagpole.


City Announces Revised Rules for Community Gardens

Updated 2010-09-14: Added links to news reports.

Note: The full press release claims that "there are more than 600 gardens across New York City." This in incorrect. The latest census lists only 482 gardens, 20% fewer than claimed in Parks' press release.

Parks Press Release

Monday, September 13, 2010

Parks Commissioner Announces Final Community Garden Rules Strengthening Protections For Gardens

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe today announced the Parks Department has finalized its Community Garden Rules, which incorporate significant changes based on public comments made on the draft rules. The Notice of Adoption, including the full rules, will be published in the City Record on Monday, September 13, 2010 and take effect 30 days later.

Key changes to the proposed rules, led by Commissioner Benepe in concert with elected officials, community boards, and community garden organizations, were made in response to testimony from the community at a public hearing on August 10th, 2010 which was hosted by the Parks Department. They include:
  • Active gardens under the Parks Department’s jurisdiction are preserved as gardens as long as they are registered and licensed by the Department.
  • Licenses will be renewed as long as the garden satisfies the registration criteria.
  • Parks must attempt to identify successor gardening groups for failing gardens and has nine months from time of default to return the garden to active status.
  • New gardens may be created and will have the same protections as existing gardens.
  • A party licensed by the City to perform work that results in damage to a garden will be required to return the garden to its preexisting condition.
  • The Department will attempt to provide notices required under the Current Rules to gardeners in other languages.
  • The Statement of Basis and Purpose states that gardens will be preserved and explains that the transfer and development provisions apply to abandoned and persistently non-compliant gardens under the Department’s jurisdiction.

Related Content

Community Gardens


Parks Press Release, 2010-09-13

Time's Up! Statement on New Garden Rules, Time's Up, 2010-09-14

Community Gardens Get More Protection, Brooklyn Eagle, 2010-09-13
Community-Garden Rules Receive a Mixed Reaction, Javier C. Hernandez, NY Times, 2010-09-13
City Adopts New Rules For Community Gardens, Erica Ferrari, NY1 News (Video)
NYC Adopts New Rules For Community Gardens, Monica Morales, WPIX (Video)


Grief & Gardening: Nine Years

Let's get the usual question out of the way. This is where I was the morning of September 11, 2001.
Skytop and tower, Mohonk, New York, September 10, 2001
This is Skytop Tower at Mohonk Mountain House at sunset the previous night. Blog Widow and I had planned a week-long vacation upstate, starting at Mohonk. The morning of September 11, we hiked up to Skytop. A rustic retreat, Mohonk had no televisions or radios in the rooms. As we left the massive wooden structure to go out hiking, I noticed people huddled around the few televisions in some of the common rooms. I thought nothing of it at the time. I later realized we left just after the first attack.


Citizen Pruner Training Fall Schedule

The London Plane Tree in front of my house.
London Plane Tree, Street Tree, Stratford Road

TreesNY's Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course is being offered in Brooklyn and Manhattan this season, covering basic tree biology, street tree identification and care. Upon successful completion of the final exam, participants receive a license that certifies them to legally prune trees owned by the City of New York. In New York City where there is limited money for tree maintenance but significant need, Citizen Pruners provide a tremendous benefit to our urban environment.

The twelve hour course consists of four weekly two-hour classes and four hours of hands-on experience in the field. Participants may miss up to one classroom session. The weekend field outing is mandatory. Specific dates vary by location. Locations and Dates for classes in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island are still to be determined.

The course fee is $100 and includes a comprehensive manual and other materials. Course fee is non-refundable.You can register and pay online with Visa, Mastercard or Discover. To pay by check, make your check payable to Trees New York, and indicate the course location on the check