Once again…I catch up!

P1350121-1I can’t believe how summer is flying by.

One minute you are celebrating the disappearance of the last snow ple and next thing you know…everything is in full bloom.  This photo was taken last week on a trip (on a relatively cool day) to Yaddo  for a trip through the gardens.  A few of us got together and had a great time taking pictures.  You can read all about Yaddo via the link. It is a very interesting place,

P1350116-1The mansion pictured here is an artists’ community, and off limits to the general public except for special occasions.  You still get a grand view of it from your vantage point across a vast expanse of lawn.  It was the home of Spencer and Katrina Trask, and the name came from one of the children who could not pronounce “shadow”  And so…it is Yaddo.

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The Rose Garden is lovely, although not in full bloom when we were there.  A beautiful pool/fountain with koi and water plants enhance the garden.  Hedges form the dividers to keep visitors on the pathways.  It is beautifully maintained.

 

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Behind a rose pergola is the woodland garden, with pools, streams and fountains.  This provides a delightful spot to cool down if it is a hot and sunny day.

I try to get there at least once a year and happy that I finally did.  It is a gem only about 1/2 hour from home.  Close to the racetracks if you are so inclined or the City of Saratoga which in itself makes for a great day trip.

Then it is back home and I water my own “feral garden” – named thus because I have not been able to keep up with it as I once did but the perennials have a field day.  All in all, it is a wonderful season even if it does get hot and humid.

Carpe Diem!

As the days get longer…

1What could be better than late May/June days?  The days are warmer, things are blooming, the bugs are not as bad as they are going to get.  At least here.  It is the time when the earth fulfills the promise it makes every year…that life goes on, and there is always something beautiful to see if you look hard enough.

 

2For me, it’s also about the babies.  Eggs are hatching all over, and although the birds are growing rapidly I did get out to catch a few of the goslings and ducklings locally while they were still in the “fuzzy” stage.  Less broods it seems, so I am thinking that many eggs were addled to cut back on the populations…especially the geese. We always seem to have an overabundance if measures are not taken.

3My favorite catch this year was this pair of Wood Ducks in Washington Park in Albany.  They can be terribly elusive and shy, so I was delighted to be able to get quite a few photos in two trips a friend and I made,  We have plenty of geese and mallards..usually up to our butts in them.  But these little creatures..only a little larger than a good sized pigeon…have delightful markings and tend to find quiet areas.

Looking forward to a hermit retreat in a bit…where I will be off to one of the cabins at Still Point.  There, I look forward to a couple of days of intense, up close nature observance.  Time away from the bustle of ordinary life can be a refreshing change of pace.

I can’t wait!

My own retreat!

P1240866-1Most of the retreats I am away on are “working retreats” so every now and then it’s nice to just take a little time away to renew, and to get ideas for the upcoming presentations.  Since they are all nature based, what better than a small cabin/ hermitage where you can take advantage of the quiet?  I did just that last week, spending a couple of days at MY “go to” place for retreat…Still Point.

The photo above is the cabin I stayed in (there are 4…and one is a double cabin.) The weather was perfect…a little rain, a little wind (well, a lot of wind one day) and a little sunshine.P1240851-1  There is a Nature Trail, a pond and woods around the cabin  A perfect place when you crave quiet.  Normally, I will fix my own meals and bring books to read.  There are also programs that you can attend if that is what you like to do.  Not every day, but a few offerings throughout each month.

Mostly, though, I love o absorb the beauty around me…to listen to the birds and crickets at this time of year, to watch the squirrels and chipmunks running around the cabin…it’s a great place to renew and come back refreshed.  A few more photos below, and you can also check out the link at the top of this page.

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Belated Happy 4th!

Foggysunset2Hope you all had a safe and happy 4th!

We didn’t get to the fireworks in Albany because we attended a 90th birthday party for 2 people…both turned 90 this year and they just happen to be married also.  It was a grand celebration! Quite a milestone – and they are both still alert and active. What a gift!

When we got home, the sun was just beginning to set.  I grabbed the camera and practically flew over to one of the locks near home in time to get a beautiful sun setting…and fog settling in.  This area was devastated during Hurricane-turned-Tropical-Storm Irene in 2011, and has just been reopened this year.  It’s one of my favorite places to catch a sunset.  No wires..just water and hills…and the sound of frogs and crickets.  There are usually a couple of people fishing, and perhaps a boat moored for the night.  In my opinion, it was a wonderful end to a wonderful day.

May YOUR days be filled with wonder.

 

 

 

June…Bustin’ out all over!

rgsm1We bounced back and forth from warm to cool, then sunny to finally much needed rain (although we really didn’t need some of the heavy storms we’ve had)

But in the middle of all of this flux…life was building and growing in gardens – especially the rose garden at Central Park.  I stopped by last night for a few photos and was blown away by how much bloom took place since I last passed by.  The Rose Garden is a crown jewel in Schenectady…it was maintained for years by the City and then the job was taken over by a committee of hard-working citizens when budget constraints rgsm2caused the city to give up the greenhouse and the Rose Garden operation and maintenance.  Since the committee took over, the area has been improved, a central fountain was added, and the “bridge” area has been expanded with a larger waterfall feature added.  It truly is an amazing place and a testament to how hard work and determination can save a landmark.

Of course, the park is beautiful as well…Iroquois Lake, the Duck Pond, picnic areas, tennis and softball courts, Music Haven…just to mention a few.  But my focus today is on the Rose Garden itself, and the beauty that is appreciated by thousands yearly.

rgsm3I will head back over quite a few times before the season is done.  Breathing in the scent of roses…listening to the splash of fountain and waterfall…hearing the birds and watching people come in with their cameras, kids, or just for a stroll.  To read more about the Rose Garden, visit their web page:

Schenectady Rose Garden