JP A to Z: A is for Arboretum #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


A is for Arboretum

Our first day in Jamaica Plain for JP A to Z brings us to the Arnold Arboretum.  A link in the chain of green spaces that make up Boston’s Emerald Necklace, the “Ahbs” is part Harvard University tree museum.  Whether you’re studying trees (or the animals that inhabit them) or just going for a walk or bike ride, Arnold Arboretum is a place enjoyed by JP residents in all four seasons.

Post for “A” in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Click to see more “Blogging A to Z” posts.

Photopost: Signs of Spring


There is still snow on the ground and a chill in the wind, but it is Spring in New England all the same. On Saturday, my family and I went for a walk in the Arboretum in search of signs of Spring. We visited Drumlin Farm on Sunday where the newborn lambs were a definite sign of Spring.

Photopost: Autumn Color


Autumn in New England brings beautiful, crisp days and brilliant colors to the trees.  I think this year’s foliage has been particularly brilliant.  The past couple of weeks I’ve been taking photos around the city, mainly in Arnold Arboretum and collected them in a photo gallery called Autumn Color.

I also had the delightful serendipity of coming across a parade of animals on Charles Street as I was going to take the Boston By Foot Tour of the Month of Bay Village.  This was a reprisal of the Bay Village Tour of the Month I reviewed last year.  I added new photos to my Bay Village photo gallery with as special emphasis on capturing the autumn colors.

Arnold Arboretum’s Lilac Sunday


I hesistate to put “Lilac Sunday” into the title of this post since I didn’t see any lilacs on my visit.  Susan, Peter & I took a lovely Mother’s Day walk on a sunny, blustery day and arrived at Arnold Arboretum fairly early in the morning.  This is a good time to get there on Lilac Sunday before approximately 3.25 kajillion people descend on the Arbortetum.  Peter received a lovely tatoo of the Earth with flowers and a recycling logo and immediately set to work on removing it with his teeth.

Next we joined Arnold Arboretum curator Michael Dosmann lead an excellent tour to the lilacs (“just to the lilacs, not of the lilacs” he specified).  We learned fascinating things about maples, lindens and tulip trees.  After the tour I chose to luxuriate in the grass while Susan chased Peter up and down the hill to the lilacs.  So my family saw the lilacs on Lilac Sunday while I lay splayed in the grass photographing buttercups.

I will have to return on a less-crowded day this week to visit the lilacs.  Until then, here are my photos from Sunday, 100% lilac-free.

Previously: Lilac Sunday, YEAH!

Fall Foliage Festival at Arnold Arboretum


On Sunday, October 26th, the Arnold Arboretum hosted their first ever Fall Foliage Festival, an autumnal counterpart to spring’s Lilac Sunday. What a great idea!  I mean why drive to New Hampshire and Vermont for leaf peeping when there’s a little bit of the great outdoors right here in Jamaica Plain?  The timing is difficult of course as the foliage was actually more brilliant a week earlier, but it was a great event all the same.  There were demonstrations, tours, hayrides, and great music.  I saw a group of parents and children gamely dancing the Virginia Reel to the Bagboys and everyone was having a blast.

My son Peter & I checked out festival, albeit only the last hour as Peter was napping.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed this great event and hope to return next year.  And if anyone from the Arboretum is looking for ideas, I think it would be cool (no pun intended) if they held a winter festival focusing on the conifers.  That way the flowering plants, deciduous trees, and evergreens would all have their special day.

Lilac Sunday, YEAH!


First, an explanation of the title. Lilac Sunday is an annual event at Arnold Arboretum celebrated this year for the 100th time. 8 years ago Susan and I were walking through Central Square in Cambridge talking about going to Lilac Sunday and maybe sending lilacs to our mothers for Mothers Day. At this point, the man walking in front of us turned around, looked right in my face and said “YEAH!” He then turned around and resumed his stride as if nothing happened. To this day I don’t know if he liked the idea or if lilacs didn’t agree with him. Regardless, neither of us can talk about Lilac Sunday without interjecting a random “YEAH!” here or there.

After 8 years of being typical Somervilleans who avoided long trips across the river, we could not avoid Lilac Sunday since the Arboretum is next door to our current residence. The first thing we noticed about Lilac Sunday is that it attracts a lot of people, especially babies, and dogs. I’ve grown accustomed to the solitude of walking Peter through the Arboretum on weekday mornings so the crowds were a bit overwhelming. Still it was a nice day to inspect the lilacs, sniff their aromas, and relax in the grass.

Peter checks out the lilacs.

Lilacs up close.

Another type of lilac. What do you want, I’m a librarian not a botanist!

This is not a lilac. It’s called Orange Quince, but we did not have runcible spoons.

This also is not a lilac, but it sure is pretty to see blossoms against the blue sky again.

People, people everywhere. And trees, yes there are lots of trees in the Arboretum.

Adam at Universal Hub posts links to other bloggers’ commentary on Lilac Sunday.