Northern Cardinal

Some days,
sing a song to your heart, to your soul
Some days,
sing a song to nature, because nature is a remarkable listener. ~ Hints Of Life

Path @ Central Park Conservancy

As I stepped inside Central Park after nearly four weeks, I saw the spell of Spring everywhere. The entire park was lush green, radiant like an ancient forest. The tall umber-green trees hovered over me all around.  In moments, I realized, how much I had missed the park, the quiet walks through the serene, abundant natural beauty. A gush of happiness, smile on my lips and the feeling of witnessing pure ‘Magic’ filled me as I stared into the greenery. Just staring into nature can be so soothing to one’s eyes. And inhaling the fresh, organic smells in the park can be a complete therapeutic experience for the senses.

Standing near the Conservatory Water  mid way in the park I could only think of one word ‘Wondrous’. It’s amazing how the same place in the park can feel so magical and different every time you visit. Like the Central Park Conservancy, my current most favorite part of the park. A friend of mine said to me once and I quote him here  ‘It’s like watching the same place, the same surroundings but with different eyes’. Two months ago I was in awe of the naked trees and open, wide landscape and today I see every corner lush green.

My adventure didn’t end here, just steps away from me I spotted a male Northern Cardinal dancing and doodling on the foliage behind some branches at the Conservancy. Probably searching for seeds and insects under the foliage. It was such a sight to watch him. Sometimes he disappeared behind the branches and other times made his presence felt completely as if playing hide and seek. He was so delightful and irresistible, I captured the detectable bird with tinge of red all over him in my camera – sealing the moment for ever.

@ Central ParkNorthern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal nests year around in Central Park. These birds are a perfect combination of familiarity, conspicuousness, and style in the park: a shade of red you can’t take your eyes off. Even the brown females sport a sharp crest and warm red accents. Cardinals don’t migrate and they don’t molt into a dull plumage, so they’re still breathtaking in winter snow. In summer, their sweet whistles are one of the first sounds of the morning.

Cardinals usually raise two broods of young in a year. Unlike most Northern songbirds the female also sings, often from the nest, what may be a call to her mate. Cardinal pairs have song phrases that they share. If you carefully listen to them on the first sunny days on late winter, you may hear sounds like ‘Cheer, cheer, cheer’ or a short ‘Chink’ sound.

@ Central Park1Central Park is home to umpteen species of birds. In my research I found that since the creation of Central Park, more than 280 bird species have been recorded, 192 are regular visitors or year-round residents and over 88 are infrequent or rare visitors. Isn’t it so fascinating? Considered as one of the best birding spots in the United States, the park attracts birders from all over the world. The park also provides guided bird watching tours in Spring and Fall.

So, do you feel pepped-up to sign-up for a bird watching tour at Central Park soon? Do share your thoughts in the comments section.



Azure, the color of tranquility is the color of nature. ~ Hints Of Life

Azure Manhattan Skyline

The wind blew past her like a song from heaven,
kissing her softly, gently like hands as they caress,

her soft hazel eyes gazing at the evening sky,
the clouds painted a many shades of blue,
her inner voice exclaimed, why did I never before notice- the clouds could be like this,

like the sky is the sea and the clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago,
she said aloud again, why didn’t I notice?
since then blue became her most beloved color,
and as far as her childhood memories go,
azure has been her favorite color forever and ever.



When there is calm within oneself, even the thorns appear harmless. ~ Hints Of Life


After a bleak rainy Saturday, the sun shone like a lady dressed in gold on Sunday morning. The Upper West Side was glowing under its golden rays depicting a beautiful Spring day.  The nature’s color added much serenity to the atmosphere. The feeling of bliss enrobed me from inside out. As much as I want to dwell on the beautiful, sunny Sunday, it would be unfair to totally forget the rain drenched Saturday.

Languorously, I starred at the rain, which was coming down in heavy sheets since early Saturday morning, and continued throughout the day. After much contemplation, I decided to stay home and enjoy the rain vicariously through the huge south-west facing  windows in my living room. It was a day to savor on a large mug of hot-chocolate and read my current favorite book, A House Somewhere: Tales of life abroad. Beautifully written the book includes original contributions by Isabel Allende, Jan Morris, and Simon Winchester (A good recommendation for readers who appreciate travel writing).

…I know well the delectable thrill of moving into a new house somewhere altogether else, in somebody else’s county, where the climate is different, where the mundane preoccupations of life at home don’t seem to apply and it is even fun to go shopping – Jan Morris.

My favorite lines from the book so far. I even went ahead and clipped it on my ‘Thoughts’ board in a colorful handwriting. I like to write down anything that inspires me or is plain beautiful. Because you never know when these words would uplift your sprits any given day, inspiring you to do something more with your life. I read and read for most of the day and the profound words transported me to many different destinations, giving my imagination wings to fly like the Blackpoll Warbler. A tiny, gorgeous bird that makes the longest overwater journey of any songbird, flying nearly 1,800 miles nonstop over the Atlantic Ocean to its wintering grounds every year. Isn’t that outstanding?

When I read such courageous stories, my belief in harmony (within oneself) and self-belief becomes stronger than ever before. As Sallust rightly said,  Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.




Eastern redbud

Nature is a silent teacher. In its company you will find your answers. ~ Hints Of Life 

Eastern Redbud

As I sat in the shade of the beautiful Eastern Redbud tree this Sunday afternoon, I heard an adorable ‘whooping’ sound(s) coming from the tree. Only to realize – two big yellow striped honeybees were flying around the reddish purple flowers on the tree. Though a little scared of the bees (I confess here) I stayed put where I was sitting to observe their fascinating behavior. And soon I realized that the honeybees were in the process of pollination. They use the flowers of the redbud tree for pollen. I have usually seen the honeybees dancing around the flowers in the garden and parks but watching them whooping and flying around the eastern redbud tree was a new experience.

I have also read that The Henry’s elfin butterfly (Callophyrus henrici) and hummingbirds utilize eastern redbud for nectar. I am definitely on a look out for these two beautiful creature. And it will be a lucky experience to see them around the eastern redbud tree.

Eastern Redbud_1

Eastern Redbud
Eastern redbud popularly known as redbud tree and Judas tree, is usually one of the first trees to bloom in spring. Its pink to reddish purple flowers are grown on old twigs, branches, and trunks.

Flowering occurs in March to May before leaf growth (as you see in the pictures). After bloom, the leaves begin to grow and gradually turns dark green. When mature, the alternately arranged leaves are about four inches long, four inches wide and heart shaped with prominent venation. The twigs are slender, spreading zigzag with short or dark brown knotty spurs.

Eastern Redbud_2

An extraordinarily beautiful spring variety, eastern redbud is one of my favorites at the Riverside Park. As I sat under its shade, it was shinning in the gorgeous afternoon sunshine and looked eternal in the evening as the sun was going below the horizon. Not just me, but many other pass byers were attracted to its beauty. Planted so close to the river, I enjoyed the cool spring breeze and the beautiful views.

Eastern redbud occurs as scattered trees or in small populations. Even at the Riverside Park I see they are less in population. It is know to be an understory specie in open woods and is found on moist, loam or sandy soils in valleys or bottomlands. But its beauty, the lovely pink and reddish purple flowers makes it a very special tree. It attracts not just humans but also butterflies, birds and honeybees.

If you visit the Riverside Park anytime in Spring, I highly recommend the Easter Redbud. You too will be mesmerized by its grace and elegance.


Golden sunset

I stand alone like the cherry tree
shining in the shadow of the sunset
radiant in its beauty like a diamond


Watching the sunset is a profound moment for me and I do takeout time everyday (almost) to gaze at the spectacle of color in the sky that lasts for a few minutes before it fades away. Living in the West where winter is long and brutal there can be many days when the sun doesn’t show at all. So, it becomes even more important for people here to be out in the sun when it does appear. But the upside of living in the West is the many breath-taking sunsets that one witnesses as the days get longer in spring and summer.

Nonetheless, as a sun worshipper I don’t need much deliberation to be in its company. I always have ready reasons to be out in nature. Moreover, research shows that the psychological effects of admiring the sunset may persist long after the color has faded. Admiring the sunset helps boost ones well-being, increase levels of happiness and enhance life satisfaction. The key is to actively engage with the experience. To reap the rewards of the sunset, you need to stop whatever else you’re doing and really notice and appreciate the show in the sky.


The five reasons to gaze at the sunset:

Makes you feel at peace:
No matter how tough your day went or how exhausted you feel, spending a few minutes gazing at the sunset will make you feel at peace with yourself and others. You will look forward to a new, fresh day tomorrow.

Doesn’t cost a cent:
I believe watching the sunset is the most romantic date with your love or just by yourself. And the best part is it doesn’t cost you a cent. To make it an even more beautiful experience you can bring along a bottle of wine and savor the myriad hues in the sky.

Enhances your emotional well-being:
It is a know fact that people who live close to nature are happier and more emotionally secured. Especially people who spend time appreciating the beauty of nature. And what can be a better way then enjoying the sunset.

Makes you mindful:
It gives you a chance to be mindful and live in the moment which is otherwise quite difficult. And in time you would realize, admiring the sunset has become a routine. Isn’t that an amazing addition to an otherwise busy life.

Mindfulness is bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment- basis. According to Perspectives on Psychological Science study, mindfulness is “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment” and has been proven to have significant psychological and physical benefits, including stress reduction and improved cognitive functioning. Gazing at the sunset is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness.

Allows you to multi-task in a healthy way:
Some days I like to run in the park as the sun begins to hid behind the horizon. I take a few minutes to simply look at the setting sun, relishing its beauty, as I perform a few stretching exercise. Other days I like to stand upright in a Mountain Pose and simply gaze at the beautiful sunset, slowly inhaling the fresh air through my nose and exhaling it through my mouth.

Don’t miss a sunset because every sunset is gorgeous and different!

%d bloggers like this: