Like everyone else in the Free World, we knew this campaign season was coming and planned our getaway accordingly. There's no level of campaign craziness that three weeks offline in Europe can't cure. Now we've decided to share our beautiful memories of The Netherlands and France with you. Get comfy, uncork a bottle of wine and enjoy!
Thanks to global warming, or at least an overactive La Nina pattern, summer started sometime around April up here. That's very unusual for New England. Unheard of, actually.
And, it has been a scorcher! But, here we are in the middle of August and we can see and feel hints that summer will soon depart. Some nights are well near 50. Flowers and crops that should fizzle in late August or early September, have already started to buzz. Soon, the water will be too cold for a dip, and the breezes will take down the first leaves of autumn, as a warning.
Until then, enjoy this little taste of summer in western New England. We've had gatherings with family and old friends, grandkid birthday parties, indoor and outdoor concerts, garden parties and garden tours, daily trips to farmstands for corn and tomatoes, and luscious solitary swims at the end of the day. We even sat for a spell in a cottage ornée in Pat's gorgeous rose garden.
Wish summer could go on forever, but I know better.
I hope you've had a good season, doing whatever it is you wanted to do. That's the way it should be. This is not the autumn of our lives, but the summer. Remember that and dress accordingly.
Here are some shots I took last week on Hutchinson Island near Stuart, Florida, where I fell in love with the sea, the pelicans and the tropical plants.
September 1 has come and gone, marking the unofficial end of summer. It could go on, but somebody flicked the switch! Night temperatures have dipped down into low 40s, cooling off water and land, if not the inhabitants.
Blessed rain came just in time, but nothing dampens the spirit of those determined to wring out everything they can from what’s left of the warm days of the year.
Now is a good time to catch an afternoon on the road or on the water. Take the kids to a downtown street fair, a ballgame or out for a hot dog at the drive-in that soon will shut down for winter.
Fruit growers have started bringing in their crops and cleaning them up for town and county fairs that go on, rain or shine.
Here are some shots taken in southern Vermont, western Massachusetts, Boston, Washington DC, Lake George and Long Island, NY.
What good is winter in New England without snow? This was only a dusting, but an especially pretty one. More to come later this week and -- hopefully -- on and on and on.
It's 41 degrees, cloudy and kind of damp today, but toasty inside and look at the view ...
Silver flash times two,
Eyes and fins slide by in waves,
whosh -- to you, then me.
On October 31, 2003, I covered a conference at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston for the Harvard School of Public Health newsletter. Universal health care coverage was topic of the day in Massachusetts, which was considering several plans for the uninsured. The half-day program included a keynote address by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, given to a roomful of insurance, health care and business leaders, plus people from patient advocacy groups, research organizations and universities.
On a break, I caught Ted Kennedy chatting with the focus of my story, economist Robert Blendon, of HSPH. I wanted a candid shot but was too slow and ended up with a very self-conscious one instead, just before Kennedy left. That story, with cropped photo, is available here.
The two men were standing in front of the huge bowed window in the library’s meeting room. From there, you get a spectacular view of Boston Harbor and, as you can see, it was a crisp, sunny fall day.
If the scene looks familiar, it may be because, on that day, Kennedy was standing in the same spot where his coffin would rest almost 6 years later. The entire Kennedy family gathered last week in the same room to bid Ted a final farewell.
Although the days aren't hazy because the soggy ground just hasn't heated up, we find late-July days still make us lazy. Our maybe it's just us. Our bodies keep telling us to slow down and relish the season, but our brains remind us it's unusually cool and wet. So, what season are we talking about?
Saturday was our first real gift of a summer day. Dave and I spent the morning at Tanglewood, soaking up some rays (so to speak) to the glorious sounds of Brahms' German Requiem. If you're going to sit around in lawn chairs and knit, read and drink coffee, you might as well sit within earshot of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, right?
After a picnic, we took the scenic drive home, stopping briefly to watch a motorcyclist get yanked from beneath a car on a very winding mountain road. Later, we saw more people in rafts on the Deerfield River than there are people living in the towns that line it. Quite a sight.
On Monday night, Alash, a group of Tuvan throat singers came to town to perform outdoors between rain showers. What are throat singers, you ask? They're people who manage to sing multiple notes at the same time. Sometimes they sing chords; other times they whistle, imitate birds, frogs or insects and sing a melody line, all at the same time. These incredible Mongolian musicians toured with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones last year. In fact, we were mesmerized by the sounds they made at an extraordinary holiday concert in Northampton.
Go here for a closer look at Alash, information on throat singing, and samples of their wild -- yet strangely familiar -- sounds.