Daily photographs by HANS VON RITTERN, with humorous, artistic and social commentary on life in the big city.

Posts tagged “nature

Photo of the day: LILIES OF THE FIELD


Photo of the day: LILIES OF THE FIELD – Fun facts about the Easter Lily:
HOUGHTON LEAVES A RYUKYU – Louis Houghton, a soldier during World War I, is responsible for the popularity of the Bermuda lily, better known as the Easter lily, here in the U.S. In 1919, he brought hybrid bulbs home with him to the southern coast of Oregon and gave them to family and friends to plant.

Today, ten growers, most located along the California-Oregon border, in an area known as the “Easter Lily Capital of the World,” produce 95 percent of all bulbs grown commercially in the world. They produced almost 11.5 million bulbs last year for commercial greenhouses in the U.S. and Canada.

Easter lilies are the fourth largest crop in wholesale value in the U.S. potted plant market despite a sales window of only two weeks.

The Easter lily is native to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.

The cultivar “Nellie White” is the most popular form of Easter lily in the U.S.

To prolong the life of an Easter lily’s blossoms, remove the yellow anthers (pollen-bearing pods) found in the center of each flower.

Photo of the day: TOWERING TULIPS


Photo of the day: TOWERING TULIPS
While strolling through Forest Hills Gardens one day,
In the merry, merry month of May,
I was taken by surprise
By a towering tulip high rise,
I  wished I could stay underneath all day.

Photo of the day: JOY – SPRING IS HERE !


Photo of the day: JOY! What is joy to you? The warm rays of the spring sun with promises of the summer to come? Celebrating a day off from work? Spending the day together with one of your best friends? Discovering a new part of town together on a noon day walk? Seeing a red breasted robin carrying a twig to his new nest? Smelling the heady perfume of hyacinths in bloom? Feeling the soft breeze on your face? Hearing the birds singing in the trees?  Shadows playfully changing shapes on the ground? White puffy clouds that look just like the ones you saw in your fairytale books? The almost ‘Oz’-like green of newly grown grass? Seeing a tulip tree in full bloom illuminated by the afternoon sun?
My dear friend Deborah Blau and I experienced all these things while being alone at George Washington’s haunted Morris-Jumel Mansion.
Or – is joy listening to this: One Of The Best Instrumentals Of All Time From The British Studio Group “Apollo 100” Featuring Keyboardist Tom Parker. This 1972 Hit Made It To #6 On The American Hot 100 And Is Based On The Bach Composition Titled “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring”.

Photo of the day: TREE CLIMBING TURTLES !

TREE CLIMBING TURTLES!: I could not believe my eyes. I was photographing the lake at Heron’s Point in Central Park when I noticed this lovely shady cove. At first glance I saw the beautiful water and trees and was lulled by the tranquility of the scene. Then –  as my eye zoomed onto the main branch of the tree, there were two turtles marching up the tree! Who knew there are tree climbing turtles ! I love New York !


‘Phil’ is an albino peacock who lives in the gardens of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Harlem NYC with his brothers Jim and Harry who are the standard green/purple colors of a peacock.  St. John the Divine is the largest gothic style cathedral in the world, two football fields long. Built in 1892, it is still in the process of being built. When attending an organ concert at the cathedral you will hear Phil chime in, he screeches along to the music.

From the gallery: THE WATER HOG

THE WATER HOG: This was the scene outside my window the other afternoon. A frustrated little sparrow kept waiting his turn for a sip of water, but this fat pigeon wouldn’t move out of the water dish. I have this dish set up so that the birds and squirrels always have some crucial water to drink. In the summer months I have to refill it twice a day. Most birds come for their morning and afternoon drink and socialize on my fire escape. My local squirrel (dubbed Oscar) receives an unsalted peanut every day. So we were a happy little bunch till this fat pigeon showed up the other day. He/she apparently thinks it is their personal sitz bath. This poor little sparrow kept coming back again and again, hopping around the dish to just get that one little sip while the pigeon contently contemplated life with it’s eyes closed, resting in the water dish.
Can you just imagine the conversation?:
“Ah, hey bud, you about finished in there?”
“Hey bud?!”
“You’re not going to fart in there on anything like that are you? I mean you’re just sitting there, right? No pooping either right?”
“Hey! It’s our water dish too and my other sparrow friends are gonna come in a minute and, and, and – well, we’ll come and stare at your rude self!”
“Hey, you even listening?”
“Gee! Peep, peep!”
Nothing, the pigeon just keeps it’s eyes closed till sundown when it finally stretched it’s wings, waddled over to the edge of the fire escape and flew off to his condo somewhere nearby. Another day in Sunnyside, Queens, 3rd floor.