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    Hints of Balsam and Pine  from our  corner of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Letters
    No.22: A Crocus Story.
    CLICK & GO!  (On this page.)   Adirondack Letter No.22: "A Crocus Story."    A few words About the French.   (On the next page.)   Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.

    [Click on thumbnail for full view. Scroll Down for more photos.]
    cr2201.jpg
    Crocus
    cr2202.jpg
    Sugar Camp
    cr2203.jpg
    April 2001
    cr2204.jpg
    Crocus vernus
    cr2205.jpg
    Woods . . .
    cr2206.jpg
    . . . and field . . .
    Subject: A Crocus Story
    Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 20:09:13
    From: Martin (Your Adirondack Guide)
    To:    Fourpeaks Visitors
    At:    < youremailname@youremail.address >

    Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,

    Just back from a long roadtrip ("à la fraîche," the French say,
    and I like that way of putting it), I'm not sure. Murray's up a
    couple of weeks before. Deep cuts on the sand flat and he has
    trouble getting in. Halfway up the Northway I call the Highway to
    ask. Chris seems surpised. Tells me it's OK, I'll have no problem.

    He's right of course. It's his road. He must have wondered about
    my call. Stonehouse Road is just as dry and clear as you could
    want. A few big limbs down on the side was all. And Andy's sap
    buckets from my line all the way up.

    Bert says Andy has them on Route 86 all the way to Wilmington.
    Living now in his trailer on just a building lot across from the
    Acres, he gets his sap from folks like me (and Willy, Nadine and
    Dale) who aren't using their trees. I smile at this, thinking now
    the whole town knows, like me.

    Claire writes me on my Facebook Wall:
    "Things here are trembling and wakening--crocuses of all sizes and
    colors and narcissus. Forsythia. Magnolias are about to bloom,
    but it'll be in the 20s tomorrow night."

    cr2212.jpg Before I write back I go out to Sugar to see. The pretty sward along the brook is still Winter brown. I walk it looking close but there's no sign. The flow is black and fast under the old ash. No limbs down and the popple whips that came in close to the camp are fine. Shade for Summer. I look again at the open space by water's edge and I hope I'll think to come and see the trillium in it later on.

    Becky wants a garden by the deck at Camp Barn. She starts it the Summer we're together, setting daffodils and giant hyacinth there, more at a spot she fixes on the sunny grade behind. They surprise me next year, a mix of pleasure and pain. I don't pick them and they don't come back.

    I reason crocuses and the like aren't natural. You see them in
    Holland with the tulips in broad fields of color under the
    windmills. Claire may enjoy them in Brooklyn. I remember that, the
    first soft sun on long expectant lines at the gardens waiting to
    get in, the exuberant display. But they don't take here in the
    Northcountry.

    cr2209.jpg Every year cinnamon fern covers the open space in the pine swamp by the Well House and along the road. A newcomer to this event I write away to a catalog company for a generous assortment with cr2211.jpg names like spleenwort, royal, Goldie's wood, and maidenhair. When they come I feel excited walking through the muck and setting them on the grassy banks in shade. Garden riches in the making. 1972.

    Purple trillium visits Sugar Camp by the brook and I see a few on
    (old) Perkins Road as well, beyond my gate where the waters fill
    up and flood. Taken with the idea of wildflower gardening I get a
    box of seedlings off the same catalog and find the perfect spot
    for them at Ridge where the cow pond overflows into a low woods of
    pine and beech. I carefully consider each spot for the precious
    plants. Same year.

    cr2208.jpg Those early days I see wild rose at The Cabin. A small patch of them in poor soil by the fenced yard I make for Albert. I take care not to mow them and wait for the deep red hips in Fall. They grow nowhere else, though one year they do make it to the far side of The Shed nearby. You could say wild rose was the first to try to show me the mystery of wild flower propagation and I should have learned better from the start. I find them last August, with joy and wonder, at Wolf's Nest and more in the field by New Camp. A good year for wild rose.

    cr2210.jpg There's more. Corydalis in thin mossy cover on granite behind New Camp. Columbine on Cookout Hill. Lady Slipper by the trail to Rattlesnake beyond Ridge. I flag the spot, but never see it again. Burdock from the very beginning only by the side door at The Cabin, where I tell them it's a sign of evil. Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. It shows up by my office door at Camp Barn. Murray says there's no problem figuring that out. I fence them and take care to let them mature to flower and make burrs. Blackberry bushes are prolific, but they do move around and they may not be where you saw them last. For years the black bear feasted on them below High Meadow. Not there today.

    Claire writes again:
    "Went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden last week. There were carpets 
    of crocuses everywhere. I always miss them when they go."  

    I also tell time by natural events, and I write this letter back
    to her. It's for you, too. Thanks for reading.

    Come to Fourpeaks for a nature retreat. Take off your watch and
    tell time by just looking around. The signs are all over. To get
    started CLICK HERE http://4peaks.com/finquiry.htm and tell me what
    interests you, what time you might have, any budget constraints,
    maybe a little more. I'll write back. Thanks.

    Get the views-- http://4peaks.com/fotrails.htm
    Enjoy the comfort and seclusion of a real Adirondack cabin--
    http://4peaks.com/fcamp.htm
    Make some time to experience it! (Availability Calendar.)
    http://4peaks.com/femail0.htm

    Your Adirondack Guide,

    Martin Schwalbaum
    P.S. If you liked this letter, save it for the links. And tell a
    friend! If you didn't like it, please send it back (REPLY) with
    "REMOVE" as the subject. Thanks.
    P.P.S. CLICK http://4peaks.com/fkhint22.htm for crocus photos and
    about the French.

          Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau        
       Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau

    ******************************************************************
    This is #22 of a really occasional newsletter, for Fourpeaks
    guests or anyone who ever inquired about a Fourpeaks Getaway. To
    see them all CLICK http://4peaks.com/fpswal.htm#ltrs TO STAY ON
    this list remember to send me your new email. TO GET OFF please
    send this letter back (reply) with "REMOVE" as the subject.
    ******************************************************************
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    cr2207.jpg
    in sun early Spring.
    cr2208.jpg
    Wild Rose (rosa arkansana)
    cr2209.jpg
    Cinnammon Fern
    cr2210.jpg
    Columbine
    cr2211.jpg
    Lady slipper
    cr2212.jpg
    Purple trillium

    About the French.
    "à la fraîche," "where it's cool," most often referring to the cool air early mornings
    or in the evening when the sun is down. But Gerard Depardieu means "on the road" as he and
    Patrick Dewaere are heading off again with Miou-Miou at the end in a favorite movie,
    Bertrand Blier's '74 Les Valseuses, a most refreshing (cool) funny-sad road story. Only the French . . .

    .Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out. 
    Are you in this picture? Fourpeaks hosts now welcome paying guests to a 700-acre rest and playground for vacations in the Adirondack Great Camp tradition. Couples appreciate Fourpeaks secluded settings. Outdoor loving families have fun exploring our accessible wilderness. Folks with dogs enjoy the open spaces to run their pets. A private nature rereat. For a vacation away from it all.    Are you in this picture?  CLICK HERE to find out!    [More about this at Frequently Asked Questions.]

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