The High Line is a lovely place in any season, but I especially love it at this time of year. It’s fun to wander and meander down this long, elevated expanse in the crisp fall weather.

Its plants — not unlike many people — start to look even more interesting and distinguished as they approach the sunset of their lives. Some plants show their stalwart character — grounded stark structures — while others flow gently with the breeze, blending among the crowd. They continue to undergo a metamorphosis with the march of time toward winter. There is a quiet beauty to their age, revealing their bones as seed heads and stems take the stage, the weight of their lush youthful clothing — petals and leaves — are now shed.

Beautiful Decay

There’s a part of Five Seasons where Oudolf talks about the pursuit of beauty. He speaks of the beauty of “dead plants” and the journey in discovering beauty in things that aren’t considered beautiful at first sight. The punchline is that people don’t like “dead plants.” But the hundreds of people traversing the High Line on any given day might suggest a growing appreciation for the changing nature of beauty. Or maybe they’re just enjoying a day outdoors, in the sunshine.

You can read more about this unique New York City treasure on the High Line site.