This is mostly the post I should have written yesterday or the day before. Tuesday morning I went out to Brooklyn to get the third (of three) doses of hepatitis B vaccine. The city Department of Health has three sites for free, walk-in vaccinations, and this one seemed easiest to get to, just a few blocks from the A train in downtown Brooklyn. (I got the previous dose at the end of summer, at a Department of Health site in Chelsea that closed about three days later.) So that's taken care of, and I can feel both a bit safer and a bit virtuous.
Downtown Brooklyn is also a fairly easy bus ride to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and, as it turns out, the Prospect Park Zoo. I was thinking Botanic Garden, then saw the zoo entrance, and figured why not, I'm a member, so it won't cost anything. It's a fairly small zoo, but I saw a couple of sea lions, an otter, a pair of emus, some turtles, and some very cute red pandas. OK, that's redundant, but it was fun watching one walk carefully down a steep branch.
Then across the street and into the Botanic Garden. Admission is free on "winter weekdays" (that's through March 9); I'm not at all sure I'd have paid $10 to wander through the grounds this early in spring, even an early spring. The garden's web page
said something about a Japanese flowering cherry. I didn't find that, but I did see a very nice camellia tree, covered in pink blossoms, near the Japanese garden (just off the "celebrity path"). Unsurprisingly, most of what's visible outdoors is bulbs: snowdrops and crocuses, a few dwarf irises, winter aconite, and daffodils in a couple of places. (I only poked into the conservatory briefly, because I didn't want to deal with the stairs.) Near the conservatory are a couple of witch hazel trees fully in bloom, and a visually unassuming tree labeled "wintersweet," a fitting name. I also saw a very impressive spreading white bush; when I got close my thought was pussy willow, from the bud shape (and they are somewhat gray close up), but it didn't have the pattern of long, basically vertical branches. I have uploaded photos of the camellia, wintersweet, winter aconite, and not-pussywillow
Today (March 1) I went to the gym; I had had a tentative appointment with Emilie, but was unsurprised when she called to cancel. While I was there, one of the other trainers praised me for sticking to my program by myself. ( just numbers )