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No.22: A Crocus Story.
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Adirondack Letter No.22: "A Crocus Story."
A few words About the French.
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Woods . . .
. . . and field . . .
Subject: A Crocus Story|
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 20:09:13
From: Martin (Your Adirondack Guide)
To: Fourpeaks Visitors
At: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
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."
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
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
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
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.
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.
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--
Make some time to experience it! (Availability Calendar.)
Your Adirondack Guide,
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
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in sun early Spring.
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 . . .
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