the Arnold Arboretum in Boston. The sprawling 281-acre park was laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1872 and still represents a great refuge if the crush of the metropolis (ha ha, crush? In Boston? I guess it’s all relative) begins to get to you. Of course we took the quiet, meandering little Beech Path.
There are indeed majestic beeches here. Some have their root zones cordoned off, to keep would-be vandals away from the tempting, gleaming silver bark.
Rene had obviously snuck in at some earlier time and made his mark. Or her mark. Or their mark. Whomever the culprit might be in this gender-fluid age.
The leaves of the copper beech positively glow.
A massive pin oak displays its new leaves with their deeply cut nodes.
Elsewhere, Beacon Street in Boston proper is thick with flourishing white oaks, whose leaves’ curves always remind me of old fashioned doilies. Along the venerable trolley tracks we also see plenty of green ash, with some of the urban forest in poor shape. The city began a tree inventory in Spring 2021 and vowed to examine all of its ash population to determine which ones had suffered depredation from emerald ash borer. Which ones could be saved and treated with the possibility of survival, and which would have to go. Looks like it’s more than about time to render this assessment. When city planners put these ash specimens in the soil many years ago, no one knew what would happen to them – it was imagined they would just keep on growing forever, not be felled by a lowly beetle. But, as is well known, stuff happens. We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us, said E.M. Forster.
Despite its moniker other trees also share the Arboretum’s Beech Path grove with the beeches. Eastern pines.
A Norway spruce, bristling with cones.
The fragrance that comes off the ground is reminiscent of happy camping summers. I’m ready to roll out a sleeping bag right here! Life is just one ecstasy after another, said Margaret Anderson, the publisher who founded The Little Review, early on in another century, famous for publishing Pound and Elliott when no one else thought the greats were any great shakes.
Rhododendron claims top honors among the Arboretum’s scented flowers right at the moment.
Azalea for color.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal wrote Sylvia Plath, And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,/
And I want the one’s longevity and the other’s daring.
Lilac, the favorite of grannies and granny wannabe’s, is still in bloom.
Sitting on a log, we speak of things that matter, with people we don’t get to see that often. Also of things that don’t matter at all. Under the trees, all that really matters is that we are here, now, with each other.
Wrote Ezra Pound:
One hour was sunlit and the most high gods
May not make boast of any better thing
Than to have watched that hour as it passed.