Photo of the Week

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Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photo by Liz LigonPhoto by Liz Ligon
 

During this time of year, as plants almost rush to spring forth from the soil, the High Line's gardeners are working hard to keep the planting beds in tip-top shape.

Throughout the season, our gardeners are weeding, introducing new plants, pruning, adding beneficial insects, watering, and doing so much more. If it weren't for their steadfast attention to detail and care for the gardens, the High Line wouldn't be as beautiful. We'd like to take this opportunity to recognize them for the work that they do keep the High Line an amazing place to visit. Thank you!

Author: 
Erika Harvey
The Northern Spur Preserve from fall, winter, and early spring, to now. Photos by Steven Severinghaus

While winter was a little longer than most of us would have liked, watching the transition of seasons this spring has been a real pleasure.

We loved this series of photos of the Northern Spur Preserve, on the High Line at West 16th Street, that High Line Photographer Steven Severinghaus has captured over the seasons. This GIF shows the mesmerizing transformation that takes place from autumn to this moment (full-blown spring!). Watch the snow melt before your eyes, giving way to early spring bulbs and new green growth. If only this year's winter could have gone by as quickly!

Enjoy more lush spring photos in the High Line Flick Pool.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
EnlargeThe Chelsea Thicket in bloom. Photo by Stacy Bass

What a difference a week makes!

Warmer temperatures coupled with ample rain have fueled an explosion of new growth and vibrant color this week. Every bud along tree branches has seemed to burst, and delicate new blooms have popped up along the planting beds.

In Stacy Bass's gorgeous shot, which exemplifies the spring season, you can get a glimpse of the variety of plants that are making their first show of the season. The pink blooms of the redbud trees, the soft bottle brush–like flowers of foamflower, and the green of sedges and trees make this stretch of the park one of the most magical. Just north of West 20th Street, the Chelsea Thicket is an area of transition from grasslands to forest. Here you’ll find a mixture of shrubs and trees, and delicate understory grasses and perennials.

Discover all the blooms May has to offer in our monthly bloom list.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Photo by Gigi AlterjosThe High Line’s subtle lighting sets the planting beds aglow in this image, which looks south along the Falcone Flyover, at West 26th Street. Photo by Gigi Altarejos
 

Warmer temperatures, rampant blooms, stargazing on Tuesdays, and the return of food – do you need more reasons to visit the High Line after dark?

After the never-ending winter and slow-to-come spring that New York City experienced, it’s obvious that five boroughs of citizens are dying to get outside. Stop by the High Line after work to enjoy some of the best the park has to offer.

Here are a few of the highlights of the High Line after dark:

    Author: 
    Erika Harvey
    Photo by John SuharIn the evening hours and on overcast days, Lady Jane tulips, Tulipa Lady Jane, are closed. On warm sunny days the pink petals open to reveal bright white interiors and black anthers. Photo by John Suhar

    Yesterday evening, High Line Photographers gathered for the first time in 2014. Pausing briefly to observe beautiful blooms and catch up with old (and new) friends, we worked our way through the park documenting the season. This stunning photo of a “sleeping” Lady Jane tulip by John Suhar epitomizes the nascent magic of spring, which can often go unnoticed. All around the park – and the city – green growth is finally filling in what was once bare soil and tree branches are bursting with new blooms.

    Lady Jane tulips, Tulipa Lady Jane, are one of our most iconic spring blooms. Their arrival was a little delayed by cold weather, but now that they’re here, they won’t disappoint. Stop by on a sunny day in the next couple of weeks to see them in full glory.

    Author: 
    Erika Harvey
    Photo by Timothy SchenckJessica Jackson Hutchins’ sculpture Him and Me is turning heads on the Falcone Flyover, on the High Line between West 25th and West 26th Streets. Photo by Timothy Schenck

    High Line Art’s third group exhibition kicked off this week with the installation of eight artworks by seven national and international artists. Titled Archeo, this exhibition explores humanity’s alternating fascination and frustration with technology. From the rusty industrial (reminiscent of the once-derelict High Line) Common Crossings by Marianne Vitale to the hauntingly contemporary and semi-familiar Skittles by Josh Kline, each work transforms the ordinary visitor into an archeologist, uncovering human-made “artifacts” of post-industrial society.

    This week’s Photo of the Week by photographer Timothy Schenck captures Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ organic and personal-feeling artwork, lovingly entitled Him and Me. This ceramic sculpture takes respite in a hand-woven hammock beneath the High Line’s Falcone Flyover, between West 25th and West 27th Streets.

    Learn more about all of the artworks of Archeo.

    Author: 
    Erika Harvey
    EnlargeIn this photo from 2011, two visitors are perfectly outlined by the High Line’s illuminated frame at West 26th Street. Photo by Timothy Schenck

    Extended spring hours mean more time to experience after-dark hours on the High Line. With the park now open until 10:00 PM – and temperatures in a much more friendly range – visitors can enjoy the light show that makes the “city that never sleeps” so enchanting.

    The High Line’s position on Manhattan’s far west side makes it the perfect place to watch the evening’s slow transition from day to night. Bright skies warm to darker orange and red hues as the sun dips below New Jersey’s skyline across the Hudson River. The best seats in the house can be found on the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck, on the High Line between West 14th and West 15th Streets, and at West 18th Street. Cross streets, like this gorgeous view of West 26th Street captured by photographer Timothy Schenck, also offer a unique opportunity to see the park silhouetted against the colorful evening sky.

    Author: 
    Erika Harvey
    Photo by Steven SeveringhausWisps of Mexican feather grass gently wave in the spring breeze. GIF by Steven Severinghaus
     

    If you’ve visited the High Line recently, you’ve probably noticed that the once-tall dried grasses that characterize the park’s winter landscape have been trimmed back to the ground. This annual “haircut” for the park is called Spring Cutback and the tremendous task takes High Line Gardeners and volunteers four weeks to complete.

    Not all of the High Line’s plants are trimmed back during Spring Cutback. The park’s woody perennials, shrubs, and trees may be pruned at other times of year, but they are not trimmed back aggressively as the park’s grasses are. One species of grass that does not get cut back at all is Mexican feather grass, Nassella tenuissima. This slow-growing perennial is left intact making it the only dried grass you’ll see on the High Line right now.

    This entrancing GIF by High Line Photographer Steven Severinghaus captures the beauty of Mexican feather grass at this time of year. The dense bunches of dried thread-like blades look almost like hair as they wave in even the slightest breeze. In the background, it’s possible to see the trimmed-back stumps of other varieties of grass. Soon Mexican feather grass – and its wild grass brethren at the High Line – will transition to shades of vivid spring green.

    Learn about more plants of interest by viewing our monthly bloom lists.

    Author: 
    Erika Harvey
    Photo by Mike TschappatThis GIF shows the Northern Spur Preserve, on the High Line at West 16th Street, at three different times during the late winter and early spring seasons. Photos by Melissa Mansur
     

    It’s difficult to believe that Spring Cutback is nearly finished! Later this week High Line Gardeners and volunteers will wrap this nearly four-week endeavor.

    The first spring bulbs and green shoots are tentatively breaking the soil and soaking up every available drop of sunshine. As the cold weather starts to subside – and we promise it will – the High Line’s landscape will transform into full-blown spring glory.

    This GIF, comprised of photos by High Line Photographer Melissa Mansur, allows us to look into the increasingly green future of the Northern Spur Preserve. This small offshoot, or “spur,” on the High Line once connected the active freight railway with the Merchants Refrigerating Company, a massive cold storage facility. Now, like the rest of the High Line, the Northern Spur Preserve is home to a wide variety of plants. The varieties chosen for this section of the park are especially meant to evoke the wild landscape that took over the High Line after the trains stopped running. You’ll find a variety of asters, sedges, catmint, and phlox.

    Author: 
    Erika Harvey
    Photo by Steven Severinghaus A male cardinal perches atop one of the High Line’s birch trees. Photo by Steven Severinghaus

    This week High Line Gardeners and volunteers continued to work to trim back dried grasses along the High Line and visitors rejoiced at every new colorful crocus that popped up. And it turns out that it’s not just our planting beds that are getting a dose of color! We loved this bright cheery male cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, that High Line Photographer Steven Severinghaus spotted earlier this week. The spring season marks the beginning of their breeding season, so soon you may see them defending their territories and building nests in wooded areas or other areas of dense foliage.

    Steven has an amazing talent for documenting the beautiful and subtle details of the park’s ecology that so many of us miss. See his Flickr photostream for even more examples of flora and fauna from around New York City.

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