WPC: The Forces of Nature in Small Urban Spaces

In the last few weeks, we’ve had fun making quick trips to several cities where we witnessed the arrival of spring.  In many parts of the country, we’ve given spring a hero’s welcome after a very long and cold winter.

In urban environments, we like to think that nature is under our control.  Amidst our high rise buildings and miles of thoroughfares, we design spaces to contain nature–in window boxes, small gardens, and parks.  This past weekend we were back in New York City for a quick visit with family.  We took my sister-in-law’s advice and visited the West Side Community Garden.  In this tiny urban space sandwiched between high rises, over 12,000 tulips were in bloom.

The beautiful seems right by force of beauty and the feeble wrong because of weakness.–Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Field Trip to the West Side Community Gardens.

Field Trip to the West Side Community Gardens.

We spent a wonderful hour wandering through the gardens, along with dozens of children and their teachers.  The kids were working on an assignment to write a poem about the flowers.

West Side Community Gardens.  Shot with my Canon 70D, 17-70mm Sigma Lens

West Side Community Gardens. Shot with my Canon 70D, 17-70mm Sigma Lens

This delicate and unusual tulip caught my eye.

Purple Tulip with Poster Edge Filter Effects.  Shot with my Canon 70D, 17-70mm Sigma Lens

Purple Tulip with Poster Edge Filter Effects. Shot with my Canon 70D, 17-70mm Sigma Lens

On another trip to Chicago, heavy rains and cool weather made me think that spring hadn’t arrived yet.  But flowers bloomed along Michigan Avenue.

Water is the driving force of all nature.–Leonardo da Vinci

Michigan Avenue, Chicago.  Shot with my Samsung Galaxy S5

Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Shot with my Samsung Galaxy S5

Back home in Grand Rapids, we’ve had to be patient, while spring advances and retreats.  Last week, in Rosa Parks Circle, the sun came out for a few hours, enough time for a couple to sip coffee in front of Bigby’s.

 Our patience will achieve more than our force.–Edmund Burke

Cherry Blossoms at Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids.  Shot with Samsung Galaxy S5 with Film Grain Filter

Cherry Blossoms at Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids. Shot with Samsung Galaxy S5 with Film Grain Filter

In these small urban spaces, nature seems to explode into a riot of vibrant color, a joyful celebration of the season.  My friends who live in rural places disagree.  They love nature on a grand scale.  They think the city is stifling because green spaces are so limited and nature is nearly non-existent.  But I disagree.  What do you think?  Can nature-lovers be happy in the city?  Is there enough “nature” in the city for you or do you prefer the country?

To see more interpretations of this week’s forces of nature theme, click here.

Thanks as always for your thoughts and have a wonderful week!

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10 replies »

  1. Thanks, Sally! It’s so true about NYC–it always pleases. Except maybe the Long Island Expressway!! 😦 Hope you get there as often as you’d like. I appreciate your thoughts–as always.–Patti

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