Journal archives for April 2020

April 12, 2020

Do you know the Green Man?

I found a stone carving of the Green Man in my neighborhood yesterday, and it made me very happy.

As naturalists we are all familiar with the Green Man, whether we know him by that name or not.

The Green Man is a personification of the powerful magic of nature, which we see most movingly as the natural world splendidly renews itself in the spring. Even in the tropics there is something like spring, when the dry season ends and the rainy season begins.

We all respond to that rebirth of nature at every level, viscerally, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.

And the power of nature renewing itself is particularly uplifting and inspiring to humans right now in this time of COVID-19, when, from a human perspective, disease and death are stalking the Earth and we are cowering in our burrows.

Green Man is a piece of powerful mythology, and his depiction is found in numerous cultures all round the world and throughout history.

In much of the northern hemisphere, the spring awakening is in full force now, even here in NYC. The unstoppable power of nature to start anew and afresh means that even a dandelion in full flower can move me to tears.

Posted on April 12, 2020 13:45 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 24 observations | 3 comments | Leave a comment

April 15, 2020

Two more Green Men

Today I walked west on 82nd Street from 1st Ave. I was delighted to find two more buildings that have stone-carved images of the Green Man enshrined on them:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/42262099

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/42262840

The Green Man may sometimes look stern, but he is a great friend as well as being a sort of boss to all gardeners and naturalists. He is the power of nature, the power of growing green things. He is at his strongest in the spring and fall. He is at home everywhere. Nothing can keep nature down.

All the best,

Susan

Posted on April 15, 2020 23:20 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 26, 2020

What does a "stay-at-home" order mean?

I live in Manhattan, in New York City. Some of my friends appear to think that a "stay-at-home" order means they have to stay in their apartment and not go out at all under any circumstances. Of course when they do that, they are having food delivered a couple times a day at least, and that is not great for the delivery people in terms of the delivery people's having to commute in from the outer boroughs and therefore their considerable exposure to the virus.

So anyway, I found this quote:

"What is a stay-at-home order? California and New York, two hotspots for the coronavirus outbreak, were two of the first states to implement stay-at-home orders, which limit the circumstances under which people can leave their houses. Under a stay-at-home order, all non-essential workers must stay home. People can leave their homes only for essential needs like grocery stores and medicine, or for solo outdoor exercise."

(A stay-at-home order is not the same thing as a "shelter in place" order.)

NOTE: As mentioned in the quote, solo outdoor exercise such as walking, running or biking is allowed under a stay-at-home order. My husband Ed has been told by his doctor that he needs to walk an hour a day for his health. I go with him, and for me it is a nature walk too. We are very careful to practice social distancing, wear masks and gloves, carry wipes, and so on. Sometimes our walks are longer than an hour (during CNC much longer than an hour), but nonetheless, this amount of exercise is allowed and is healthy.

Of course people who are ill with a somewhat mild case of the virus, and who therefore are not in a hospital, those people should stay in their apartment all the time, and not go out at all for any reason. This is called "self-isolation", which is not the same as "stay-at-home".

Posted on April 26, 2020 12:17 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 10 comments | Leave a comment