A beautiful day -- after most of a week of gray, rainy weather today's sky was blue, the sun was warm but not hot, and the afternoon was spent at Heritage Plantation, a large botanical garden in Sandwich, here on Cape Cod. Rhododendrun season is in full swing, the plantation is famous for their rodies and azelas (also blooming magnificently). The displays were gorgeous!
The garden is large, it has features to keep everyone happy. After we visited the flume, near the entrance which the kids love (water falling from a pipe far up into a pool, they raced around the labryinth at least least three times and have now learned that there is a difference between a laybrinth and a maze (although they have not yet experienced a maze). Of course we made our way, past fields and some new scultpures to the "Hollow" which is a children's play area complete with a two story tree house and many other toys and amusement. They would have been happy to spend the entire aternoon there.
I could have spent more time in the museum which has a fine exhibit of landscape paintings inclding a beautiful Hopper painting and somewhere between 35 and 50 other paintings, some as old as Marsden Hartley but most contemporary painters, both realistic and abstract. In a separate building is a beautiful carousel, free! with relatively long rides. The kids went twice, I went once and declared it "the carousel ride I've had in 50 years." All except little Silas (who can't talk but is a wonderfully placid and easy going baby -- readying to take his first steps) wanted to see the paintings. They are hardly art critics but they told us which ones they liked best and were willing to look at everything.
The kids have been there before and so knew about the children's area and the wandering paths. There were no fusses or arguments, no whining, just enjoyment. What a very, very good afternoon it was!
This is my favorite photo of spring, taken a few years ago on a walk in one of the pulic areas in Barnstable Village. Many Cape Codders say we don't really have spring and that usually seems to be true. But we get teasers, which we've had most of this week. After two weeks of mostly rain, gray, windy, chilly, weather suddenly it was summer.
Suddenly the sun was brilliant, the waters were sparkling, the temperatures climbed quickly through the 60s to the 70s and even into the 80s (in Boston they hit the 90s). Wonderfu! Out came the short sleeved tee-shirts and even the shorts -- especially here on the Cape it seems, men, truly more than women, are eager to get into shorts. (For one thing, men don't worry about shaving their legs and they totally ignore their ankles).
One night the temperatures stayed up and I slept, as I often do in the summer, with my feet out from under the covers. It was actually a humid and muggy. And only a few days earlier I had to go to bed with socks on to get my toes warm!
This morning, again grayish, again coolish and possibility of showers in the forecast. Yes, it was all a tease. The flowers are out, the grass is brilliant green and growing, and I'm still going to spend the morning sorting turtlenecked tops and filling the drawer with short sleeved tee-tops. I wasn't really fooled by that teaser but I know, truly KNOW, that when summer actually comes, it will be hot. Probably once again the hottest summer on record ... yes, climate change is a bit of a flirt around here but when summer settles in we'll know it. We'll bitch and moan and many will worry about the future of our world.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!