Monday, April 12, 2010


Signs of Spring

The heavy rains followed immediately by several days of record-breaking heat have everything popping all at once here. It's yellow season on the property, with thousands of daffodils and all the forsythia out at once. Fritz planted the early seed crops and they were germinated with in days.

The watering system is all in place and hooked up this summer.

Rain falling on the solar panels drains into a gutter at the base, and through a drain pipe into the first of two rain barrels, the overflow from which fills the lower one. We can use the water from these either to fill watering cans or for drip irrigation.

Peas, for which Fritz natural branches for support, and radishes are up.

The three new dwarf peach trees are all well into bloom.

One of several banks of daffodils on the property, with the Center above.

One of our friends built us a bird house made from a hollowed-out section of birch trunk two years ago. We hung it outside our bedroom window but it didn't attract any birds last spring. this morning, a pair of chickadees spent some time examining it, the male standing on top as guard, the female on the little branch outside the entrance checking out the inside. We're not sure if they've decided to move in yet but are hoping they do.

I built a little deck outside our bedroom for these two beautifully simple Adirondack chairs. They were a gift from a dear colleague at MIT who had them built to his own specs, but then had to move and couldn't use them in his new place. We often sit for a while in the late afternoon with tea before heading inside to start dinner

I'm giving a two day symposium on Richard Wagner out in Greenfield, MA, Wednesday of this week being the second and last section. It's the fourth year that I've been invited to present, which is a pleasure because everyone out there is great to work with and the audience is both strongly attentive and fun to play to.

Display boards with pictures of people and places relevant to the story

I prepare a bibliography for them to take away as a guide to further exploration and this year provided them with copies of excerpts of Wagner's infamous essay "Jewishness in Music" because his antisemitism is a necessary part of any Wagner study.

I told them going into the first session that I would answer a probable question right away because it was sure to come up: "how is it that such a disagreeable and bigoted person like Wagner could write such great music?" And I gave them my standard reply: that it has never, ever, been a requirement of Nature that Talent and Virtue walk hand-in-hand.

This one is pure fun, a Bayreuth Festival souvenir book that folds open into a panorama of the theater Wagner designed specifically for the production of his work.

Those daffodils are gorgeous; it is just where I would want to spread my ashes.
Michael, I was struck by your comment -- in fact, the ashes of someone were scattered at another planting of daffodils under a group of apple trees elsewhere on the property.
Man, your place is beautiful in Spring. I love the water collection system too. ingenious.
The Bayreuth popup book is quite striking.
Will, the daffodil bank is spectacular. Hope your chickadees stay, but they can be picky. The chairs and deck look like they are in the perfect place to relax. Enjoy the weather, we are. :)
I thought the daffodils here were amazing (they came up almost a month ago) but that bank of daffodils is breathtaking! I envy your ability to build things.
Since I've just mentioned Rufus on the above entry, how about his real style and 'Under the peach trees', one of my favourite songs?
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