When I started playing around on WordPress, I found HeatherBlog and more specifically this post about a 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge. I loved the idea and realized it was something I needed to try in NYC. Because we don’t always see a lot of nature in NYC. Or at least we don’t think we do. I’ve been known to stop friends both in the city and away from it and say “Guys! Look, it’s the moon!” And then my friends are like “Yup, good job.” and go back to whatever we were talking about because we’re a little old to still be getting excited about pointing out the one really obvious thing in the night sky. But I just don’t see it very often so sometimes I forget it’s even there.
So for the last week, I did the 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge. Here’s how it went:
I knew I wanted to start the challenge this week and it was already Thursday so I needed to get going. I was hoping to go for a “nature walk” at lunch and find something to photograph in midtown, but I ended up stuck in meetings almost all day. I just barely found the time to walk one block to pick up lunch…and I didn’t think the leaves in my salad counted as nature so I didn’t photograph them. After that, my best option was to walk home through Central Park (one of my favorite ways to commute—SO much better than taking the subway!). The first nature photo I considered was one of flowers that were sort of hidden by a bush near a playground. But I quickly realized that poking around in the bushes to aim your camera phone toward a playground is frowned upon, so I decided to keep walking. I ended up seeing lots of photo-ops in the park and taking a few, but here’s what I chose for Day One:
I love dandelions and there are surprisingly few in Central Park (at least on my walk). I love that to kids, they are flowers. If a child gives you a dandelion, you must act as though it is the most beautiful and rare flower anyone has ever given you. That’s a rule.
I promise not every photo will be from Central Park. In fact, the first photo I took today was of nature on a street corner! But then I walked into the park and the sun was perfect and it was still off-leash hours so the dogs were frolicking and I just couldn’t resist this one:
I had a different photo for today, but then a friend and I were killing time between dinner and seeing Grey Gardens at Film Forum. [Side note: HOW had I not seen this amazing cult classic before now?!] I had told my friend about the photo challenge so when we got to the water, we had this conversation:
Me: This is gorgeous…but I’m not sure it counts as nature.
Her: It’s water.
Me: Yeah, that’s nature!
I think you would probably have to call this one “fancy nature.” Because I know it’s paid for by the tenants of the expensive buildings on Park Avenue. But it’s still pretty gorgeous to look at—especially when you get stuck in the middle of Park Ave between lights and you’re just kinda standing there on the median hoping you don’t get hit by a taxi.
I had really been hoping to include a furry friend in this whole nature thing and this morning, this little guy sat in his tree and watched me stretch after my run. So I took a photo even though I knew the lighting was bad and I had to play with filters on my computer so you could really see him!
Today was one of those “I don’t have time for anything days!” I prioritized visiting a friend over getting lunch and getting ice cream with friends over doing laundry (ice cream, something I will always prioritize!). So on my way home from volunteering at like 9:15, I quickly snapped a shot of this tree near Union Square. I really love the way the city lights shine through the branches!
I have to leave for the airport at 8 am, but it’s the last day of my challenge and I wanted to finish strong. So I got up and went to my building’s roof deck to take a picture of the morning sun. It’s not quite the “nature” I imagined. (Can’t a girl get some pink clouds on command at 6am?!), but the sun is still gorgeous!
And there you have it. Seven days of nature in NYC. It’s actually easier to find than you’d think! Most days, I took multiple photos and then had to decide which one was “the one.” I also liked the way this challenge made me enjoy the city. It’s so easy to run around NYC without really seeing it. This was a great reminder to stop and take a look!