* A red-tailed hawk seeking shelter from the frigid winds and driving rain on the topmost corner of a high-rise apartment across the way.
* A very pregnant woman travelling on the subway wearing a surgical mask as a protective measure against swine flu (known here as H1N1).
* Colours of Central Park: smouldering-ember red (Japanese maples), Hot English mustard (beech), cinnamon (oaks), lemon-peel yellow (ginkgo). The ginkgo trees are my favourite, littering the paths with masses of delicate Egyptian-fan-shaped leaves. They are also known as maidenhair trees because of the way the leaves cluster along the stem, resembling maidenhair ferns.