I went down to the ferry landing to look at the river, but it wasn’t that exciting looking there, unlike the super cool views I saw out the window when I was driving to East Windsor yesterday. I think the water is more flowy and a little warmer here, so it was less frozen. There were some cool jagged bits, like in this picture, but most of it was either smooth or unfrozen.
After that I went to So. G., and my farmer neighbor pal was there. When I walked in, he commented, “You always look so cute.” Do I? Haha! I guess. (Probably all the orange I wear.) Then he thought I was insane because I complained that it feels too hot today (it was 42 degrees), and when I cringed away from the sun in my eyes, he remarked, “You’re like a vampire.” Me: “Hm, that’s kind of true.”
I finally remembered to ask him about the dolls’ house on Hopewell Road. As I expected, he knew all about it (he knows everything about South Glastonbury), and told me that it’s about 100 years old and used to be a store, and all the Italians used to hang out there, and further back on the same property is a place called Flat Rock that was the old swimming hole. He wasn’t aware that a family of living dolls lives there, looks out the windows all the time, and decorates their house for holidays (including a Christmas tree that they still have up), though, and seemed to think my questions about them were pretty amusing. How can he not know the doll family? I guess they keep to themselves, but they look so friendly. I always want to write them a letter, but I’m not sure if they have a mailbox. I wonder if the doll family is Italian, since that was the old Italian store/gathering place?
This morning when I was reading Posy Gets Cozy I suddenly realized that the cover of my Ethan Frome book is a Grandma Moses painting. I never knew her work but I really like it! Then when I was driving around, I realized why it appeals to me: my neighborhood looks like a Grandmas Moses. (The pic above is just an example that I happened to snap today; it’s lots more hilly in other spots, like over near Belltown.) Also, I have a thing for art with lots and lots of little houses and trees and hills—for example, one of my favorite fabric designs, “Morgantown” by Phillip de Leon for Alexander Henry.
I got a HUUUUUUUGE Grandma Moses book at the library. It’s 13” x 12” and I can barely lift it! I like the snowy ones best. I don’t know if that’s because I like the aesthetic of snow in general (like in Danish movies) or because it’s winter right now and I like to experience the seasons as they are happening.
Note: the little houses and sleighs and stone walls and fences in the paintings are very important. I wouldn’t like them if they were just pure landscapes with trees and hills and ponds but no signs of people or animals. I am not sure why that is, but I know it to be true!
I think I want to go to the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont. But I will wait for spring. Maybe I can visit some good Massachusetts burying grounds on the way?? (Deerfield, Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Amherst? Must research more to choose!) It’s about two and half hours away, so not a short trip. Maybe I could stay overnight and explore the area or something. It just seems like it would be fun!
[Edit: I figured out that the Ethan Frome cover painting is part of “Father’s Home,” from 1952. It’s in my library book, but not in color. The whole piece is 18” x 24”… the book cover only shows the far right side.]
The view from Belltown Hill Orchards today when my parents and I stopped by to get cider and donuts. It’s about a mile and a half from my house. All the blueberry bushes have turned red for the fall and are so pretty!
We found out from the cashier that the cider they sell is pressed and pasteurized by Buell’s Orchard (in Eastford near where my parents used to live) but it’s made out of Belltown’s apples. The label just says Buell’s! They should add their own Belltown sticker or something. Or at least have a sign.
We all quite enjoyed cups of Kona coffee brewed in my Aeropress (my parents wanted extra water in theirs; apparently I like my coffee strong) along with the donuts (heated slightly in the microwave so they were delectably warm and soft), followed by cold cider.
Wow. I’ve never seen this many cars in the hills of South Glastonbury! I guess a beautiful sunny blue-sky blazing-trees Columbus Day is everyone’s idea of the perfect day to pick apples!
!!! The lead article in this week’s Glastonbury Citizen newspaper is about a black bear that was recently seen in South Glastonbury—on Tryon Street and on Main Street near Draghi’s farm stand. Naturally, my first thought was “AGD was right!”
She was last seen meandering off through Portland and Marlborough, so I guess she was too lazy to climb up the hills to my house.
It’s a good day for pick-your-own blueberries at Carini’s Berry Farm! The bushes were laden with big, fat, ripe berries. Filling up the whole pail was easy! It was heavy when I’d finished. 2 quarts?
(The third picture’s all grainy because I used the front-facing camera on my iPhone, but I still like it. I was trying to show the big pail of berries hanging around my neck! :-)
Whole Foods’ weathervane was looking deliciously creepy today, with its eyes glowing green against the stormy sky.
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!