Saturday, April 16, 2011

There Is Nothing Like This Dame

Came upon this sign while wandering around the Back Bay. It's on the fence in front of the townhouse that sits where Isabella Stewart Gardner's Beacon Street mansion once stood. She caused quite a stir when she decamped from here to the Venetian-inspired palazzo she built for herself and her art in the much more peaceful, yet marshy Fens. (Home today to the Gardner Museum.) What I hadn't realized was that Mrs. Jack, as she was know, had stipulated that her house number, 152, never be used on Beacon Street again! And you know what? It isn't! The townhouses go from 150 to 154. Talk about chuzpah! And power!
(Did you know her will stipulates that anyone named Isabella gets into the museum for free?)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Waiting for Her Ship To Come In

Boston's other opening day is this Saturday, April 16th, and workers at the Public Garden were getting the swan boats ready for the '11 season -- which will be the 135th! The only question is, with all the people who'll be lining up to say hello, when is the most peaceful time to take a ride?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Star of the Day

The saucer magnolias on Commonwealth Avenue are more abundant, but the star magnolias on the Farifield-to-Exeter block of Marlborough Street are in bloom right now and the fragrance is amazing. Relax and smell the magnolias! (And get ready for those Comm. Ave sweeties, which should be in full bloom later this week. (Weather permitting!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jeepers, Creepers, Don't You Love Those Peepers!

Spring Peeper by Norm Walsh
Spring Peeper, a photo by Norm Walsh on Flickr.

I love the sounds of spring and the way each new bird returning or passing through adds its voice to the dawn chorus. But the night chorus is also impressive. Just head to a wooded or grassy area near wetlands or vernal pools and listen. The sometimes deafening whistles and calls are the love songs of Spring peepers, tiny nocturnal frogs. Hearing them brings a smile to my face.