It’s Bartlett pear time in town, and I love it.
It’s such a beautiful May 1st in South Glastonbury. It’s 71° and sunny, the phlox are fluffy, the fruit trees are coming into bloom, and the big trees are overwhelmingly soft spring green. The roads are curvy, and the river is smooth. I’m so thankful to live where I do.
Naturally, I couldn’t resist stepping into Green Cemetery yesterday while on my tree walk in the historic section of Main Street. I was so pleased to see that this lovely “Halloween Stone” by William Stanclift has been cleaned and is looking great! It was so dark and lichen-covered on my previous encounter, it was very hard to appreciate the details.
Note the cool tented “T”s and the way he connects together the diagraph “TH.” He even has combo “THE”s here. All his letters are wonderful! James Slater described this stone as having a “delightful elliptical moon-like face.”
Cherry blossoms and maple blossoms: the ones you notice and the ones you don’t. They’re both pretty!
Happy Earth Day! To celebrate, I took a walk along Main Street in Glastonbury’s historic district to look at all the trees’ early spring buds and flowers. It was really neat to see which trees have noticeable buds now, which ones have flowers, and which ones still look exactly the same as they have all winter. The only one that already had leaves was the katsura, which wasn’t labeled, but I knew what it was because I used to have a katsura bonsai. All the others are large, old specimens, but the katsura is pretty little, and seeing it made me smile.
Largify the photos for captions. From top to bottom, they are: Norway Maple, Bradford Pear, American Elm, European Copper Beech, Sugar Maple, Katsura, White Oak (this tree is a descendant of the Charter Oak), London Planetree, American Sycamore, and White Oak (the same one) with a Saucer Magnolia.
[Edit: Oh wow, I went on this same walk last year on April 18th and 20th, and the trees were so much farther along! We had a crazily warm spring last year, so things were about three weeks ahead.]
I realized what that big brown house in my village drawing reminds me of: the Whapley Road Whaples homestead! :)
I need a blue sky day next week!! I want to go on an early spring Historical Section of Main Street tree walk, before the leaves come but while the branches are full of buds. That would be SO INTERESTING!
It’s nice out today (warm) but very overcast, windy, and bordering on rain. Kind of a tease! I want to look at all shapes of buds, and stand under a magnolia heavy with blooms (and INHALE!), and walk through Green Cemetery, and blast Buddy Holly while zipping along in my car with the moonroof open. Well, I’m doing the blasting Buddy Holly part anyway, at least. “Well, Alright” = love love LOVE. And “Every Day”! The perfect song for spring. That eager background pitter-pat of the heart is how this time of year makes me feel. Anticipation! Little little exciting changes, every day.
It’s magnolia TIME right now. I keep noticing them everywhere in Glastonbury! It’s especially wonderful because nothing else except forsythia is blooming yet, and all the other trees are still bare. Well, that’s not true—the weeping willows are green, long chartreuse strands hanging low, blowing like tresses in the breeze. But there aren’t very many willows around, and the predominant color is still brown, although when I look at the forests now the impression is warm and furry instead of cold and scratchy. The branches are tinged rosy and thick with buds, close, so close, to bursting forth into spring.
Anyway, right now it’s magnolia time—white stars and perfume pinks and old yellows and teatime creams and faded velvet mauves. I need to visit my favorite tree in Middletown next week. It’s urgent!
Sitting at So. G surrounded by the gentle murmur of neighbors young and old, empty cappuccino cup and warm mocha muffin plate in front of me, stretched-out and heavy after Pilates and a much-appreciated chair massage at Annie’s, shoulders back, arm flung over my chair…. People keep smiling at me. Coffee beans grinding, Van Morrison mumbling. Bare branches and grey sky, pile of snow at the corner of the parking lot, people coming and going, greeting each other, saying goodbye. Not moving, not wanting to leave, just soaking it in. I miss South Glastonbury already.
I drove down to the ferry slip because I wanted to look at the frozen river. The ice makes cracking sounds when the wind blows. And the ground is SO hard.
Dean and I went out to So. G, and then shoveled the parts of the front path and driveway that the plow guys were slacky on. It was fun and invigorating, but the tips of my fingers got numb! I used my shovel upside down and did lots of scraaaaaaaaping to get it nice and clear so it won’t be icy. It was already kind of slippery!
This is Gardiner’s Market, our local South Glastonbury grocery store, which is across the parking lot from the So. G building. I always park under this London Plane tree if I can. I love how you can see that it’s full of buttonballs, and the individual buttonballs still have snow on them!
We might have a white Christmas here in Connecticut this year, but not in North Carolina, so I’m killing time by looking at some of my fav snowy Connecticut photos from years past.
I stopped at the historical society on the way home to ask about the Hollister House, which is discussed in a book I have about historical Glastonbury. It’s the town’s oldest house and at least part of it was built around 1649 by John Hollister (he sounds like a pretty cool guy… there are some good stories about his relations with the local Nayaug indians!). However, Mr. Hollister probably never lived on this side of the river permanently; the house was, in fact, occupied by his tenants, who can be considered Glastonbury’s “pioneer settlers”: Josiah Gilbert and his family, and Josiah’s brothers John and Jonathan. They were cousins of my ancestor Ebenezer Gilbert.
I didn’t know if the house still existed, but, in fact, I pass it all the time on my way to the ferry! It’s at Killam & Bassette farm, which I stop at frequently for vegetables. It’s being rented out and is in pretty bad shape right now (much to the dismay of the historical society people), but there is a small sign on the front that says, “Built by John Hollister in 1675. Oldest house now standing in Glastonbury.”
Weird!! Just got home, and there’s no snow (just rain) in the netherlands of South Glastonbury, but there’s lots of beautiful snow coating everything up here in the highlands!