Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Archive: June 2013

The Diary of H.H. Rusby: The Bolivian Climb

Posted in Around the Garden, Science on June 29 2013, by Anthony Kirchgessner

Mountainous Bolivia, near La Paz
Mountainous Bolivia, near La Paz

Altitude and cold weather continue to plague Rusby, who decides to travel ahead to warmer climes, but must pass through even higher and colder mountains to do so. He is helped along the way by the Guggenheim mining company, providing him with many comforts in the inhospitable mountains. But the survival of the expedition is in jeopardy, as the supplies have not yet arrived.




This has been a very important day for us. I rose after a night of much discomfort from my cold and remained in the house all day. I wrote a long letter home and partially straightened out my accounts and brought my journal up to date. We have today made our final arrangements about our journey from here to the Boopi, and it appears that there are some unpleasant complications which will render this transaction less favorable than we had anticipated. Mr. MacCreagh had virtually committed himself to send our cargo by a contractor over a different route than the favorable one provided by the Guggenheim Company. It now transpires that we must carry out this arrangement, sending most of our freight directly by mule to Canamina, at a cost of about $3.50 American money per hundred pounds, and going ourselves with a small outfit by way of Eucalyptus and Pongo.

The freight did not arrive in time for any work at repacking today.

Read More

Morning Eye Candy: Eye in the Sky

Posted in Around the Garden, Photography on June 29 2013, by Matt Newman

Her expression suggests she’s not too fond of the wildlife paparazzo, wouldn’t you say?

Today, Debbie Becker leads one last Saturday Bird Walk before putting these popular group binocular outings on hiatus until September 7. Join her at 11 a.m. near the Reflecting Pool of the Leon Levy Visitor Center!

Red-tailed Hawk

Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

This Weekend: Bronx Treasure

Posted in Programs and Events on June 28 2013, by Matt Newman

The NYBG WeekendWeekends start on Friday! Everyone knows that. And as soon as you get out of work later today, we’ll have something for you to dive into before heading out for the evening. Thanks to Thirteen NY and Treasures of New York, their in-depth examination of all things Big Apple, the New York Botanical Garden has been getting the star treatment all week. In fact, our special feature on Treasures hit the airwaves for a premiere this past Tuesday. But for anyone who missed out, or anyone who’s just looking for the inside scoop on how and why we do things at the Garden, there’s another chance coming up!

We’ll be taking part in an OVEE screening of the special at 5:30 p.m. today on this site, where we’ll have Todd Forrest, VP of Horticulture and Living Collections, and the Treasures of New York producer on hand to answer your questions in a friendly chat. It’s certainly not an everyday opportunity, and you don’t even need a TV remote, so don’t miss out.

Another ship passing in the night this weekend is the Saturday Bird Walk, which—contrary to popular belief—is not an indefinite affair. Sometimes even the birds need a break! Whether or not you have a pair of binoculars of your own (we’ve got some loaner pairs at the Visitor Center), meet Debbie Becker for one last stroll around our 250 acres before the summer hiatus; she’ll be back for more hawk-spotting this September 7.

The hydrangeas are bright, the lotuses are blooming, Wild Medicine is better than ever, and summer’s kaleidoscope is focused squarely on the NYBG. Head below for more.

Read More

Morning Eye Candy: Red as Red

Posted in Around the Garden, Photography on June 28 2013, by Matt Newman

“Then it was that the monstered moth
Which had lain folded against the blue
And the colored purple of the lazy sea,
And which had drowsed along the bony shores,
Shut to the blather that the water made,
Rose up besprent and sought the flaming red
Dabbled with yellow pollen—red as red
As the flag above the old cafe——”


Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Four Years of New York City Wildlife with Pat Gonzalez

Posted in Around the Garden on June 27 2013, by Matt Newman

I don’t think this compilation of critters needs much chatter to introduce. Pat Gonzalez was with the New York Botanical Garden long before becoming a Visitor Services Attendant—as a child growing up in New York City, and a burgeoning photographer, and a wildlife enthusiast. She’s put countless hours into capturing the lives of our furry, scaled, and feathered residents, and continues to do so with an enviable passion.

She put together this compilation of video footage shot at the Garden between 2009 and 2013, and thought you all might like to have a look. I’m of the same opinion.

Faculty Recognition: Dick Rauh

Posted in Adult Education on June 27 2013, by Lansing Moore

Dick RauhPeople all over the country will soon be able to appreciate NYBG instructor Dick Rauh’s work alongside that of other accomplished botanical illustrators in the American Society of Botanical Artists’ current traveling exhibition, Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps.

The exhibit showcases illustrations from a wide variety of botanical artists of the plants grown, sold, and introduced by John Bartram (1699–1777) and his son William (1739–1823), pioneers of American naturalism. Knowledgeable and worldly, John and William Bartram ran a thriving business in Philadelphia shipping seeds and plants across the Atlantic for the gardens of English aristocrats, where the nature of unspoiled North America was in fashion. William continued the family business and became the first American-born botanic and natural history artist, as well as a prolific travel writer in his own right. His 1791 nature book Travels was a foundational influence for great Romantic writers such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Emerson.

In the course of their career, the Bartrams introduced many previously unknown species, including Franklinia, a tree William named for his friend Benjamin Franklin. Alongside Bartram’s beautiful 1788 painting of the tree’s flower—illustrating all of its component parts—is Dick Rauh’s own watercolor of the same species. We loved this illustration so much, we even used it for the cover of our Fall/Winter catalog in 2011! Bartram’s Garden felt the same way, and awarded Rauh’s painting for “encapsulating the Bartram spirit of discovery and passion for nature.”

Read More

This Thursday: Cooling Cocktails and a Touch of Jazz

Posted in Programs and Events on June 26 2013, by Matt Newman

Wild Medicine Cocktail EveningsDon’t let your sweltering New York City apartment define your summer experience—even if you love a good sit in a banya, spending every night in one is probably pushing the boundaries of good sense. Instead, I’ve got a few words that might distract you from your wheezy air conditioner and all the half moments lingering in front of the open freezer: gin, cucumber, violet liqueur.

Cocktail Evenings & Summer Concerts are back, swinging, and set to take the edge off the city’s muggy summer nights—and we’re not skimping on the “cocktail” bit. This Thursday, June 27, from 6 – 9 p.m., we slip into our latest after-dark series with the help of a liqueur appropriate to the quiet viewing of Wild Medicine you’ll get with your ticket. Crème Yvette blends mûre, framboise, cassis, and fraise sauvage berries with the dried violet petals of Provence, leaving no question as to its plant pedigree. And our first featured cocktail, the Yvette Cup, doesn’t waste the flavor, mixing gin, cucumber, lime, ginger, and mint for a bracing sip that’ll put the drawbacks of summer in your rear view.

Read More

Crowd Sourcing The New York Botanical Garden Herbarium Plant Database

Posted in Around the Garden on June 26 2013, by Michael Bevans

Michael Bevans is the Information Manager for Digitization at The New York Botanical Garden Herbarium.

Virtual Herbarium ImageThe William and Linda Steere Herbarium at The New York Botanical Garden houses over 7 million plant specimens gathered from around the world over the course of 250 years.

Plants supply most of the world’s food, fuel, shelter and medicine, and plant specimens help us answer the most critical questions facing our planet. How many species are there and how are they related? What environmental factors control their growth? And how do plants respond to climate change? Now you can help scientists to better understand our planet by transcribing plant specimen labels in our newly released crowd sourcing effort, hosted by the Atlas of Living Australia.

Choose an expedition studying the Oaks of North America or the Plants of the Caribbean. Click the “Start Transcribing” button to log in and get started.

To learn more about the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, make sure to watch “Treasures of New York: The New York Botanical Garden” this Thursday, June 27th at 10:30pm on Channel Thirteen.