Category Archives: Jamaica Pond

Lovely June Day

June 1st has been a lovely day, after a hot and humid May 31st. A north east breeze was blowing, and we had a delightful walk at the Pond.

All is green now, so refreshing and soothing. Green Leaves

There is much new life among the water fowl.  I saw the nine ducklings for the first time, just a few days old.

Ducklings

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We’ve seen two small groups of goslings in the last week or two, and today we came across the latest goose family, resting on the back shore of the Pond. Seven goslings! I think this is the mother goose who was nesting on the hill. I was transfixed. What is it about baby animals that appeals more than baby humans? Everyone seems to love them.

Mother Goose with Goslings

As I watched, the little ones gathered around their mother, and she let some of them crawl under her wing.

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It was one of the sweetest things I’ve seen.

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Climbing on mother’s back.

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All together, mother and babies.

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Just look at the one little gosling’s head sticking out from under its mother’s wing!

I had to tear myself away from this heartwarming scene as Peter was waiting. I’ll look for this goose family every time we walk around the Pond.

The early summer flowers are out at the Pond and in gardens on Pond Street.

Later, in the afternoon, I prepared a tea tray with my June plate and teacup and had a lovely tea on the chaise longue, with soft breezes wafting in the windows. It gives me great pleasure to use my china in a seasonal way, and so I only use the June china in June and enjoy it all the more when its turn comes around. June is my birth month and a special time for me every year. Welcome June!

Tea Tray June 1st

Tea on June 1st

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Nesting

Goose Nesting

A week ago I wandered off the paved path at the Pond and followed the dirt path along  the south shore of the Pond. There, to my amazement,  I found this goose sitting on a nest in the open on the little hill above the Pond. I had always wondered where the ducks and geese hide their nests, as I’d never seen one before in all the years I’ve walked at the Pond. I’ve been back twice, including this afternoon, and each time the lovely mama goose is sitting as calm as can be on her soft nest in a slight depression in the ground. She let me approach quite close. I spoke to her in soothing tones.  I will visit again, and it will be so interesting to observe this process and see the goslings in a few weeks. I’ve known many sets of goslings over the years and have watched them grow up–so fast!

Here’s the male goose, who came up out of the water.

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Quiet Winter Days

We just lived through the coldest night in Boston in over fifty years — nine below zero!  We’d been warned for days of the severe Arctic chill that was coming this weekend, with wind chills of twenty-five below or more, so Peter and I walked around the Pond Saturday morning and then burrowed into our home for the duration of the weekend.  The thermostat read 58° when we got up at 8:00 this morning, the lowest I have ever seen it.  Not until noon did it reach 68°.  For Valentine’s Day we allowed ourselves a little extra heat, and we were snug and warm all day.

I love these quiet winter days. We walk around the Pond in the afternoon most of the time. Peter prefers morning, but I’ve persuaded him it’s warmer in the afternoon in winter. I like to go later in the afternoon to see the colors of sunset and twilight.

Winter Lavender Blue at the Pond

Then it’s home to tea and a good book.  This past week tea was tiny slices of my favorite marzipan fruitcake. I make it every Christmas season, and this year I doubled the recipe and froze two little loaves — that size is perfect for teatime. The ginger cookies I made for the first time in January, and that recipe will become one of my regulars. It’s got chopped crystallized ginger and walnuts as well as nutmeg and  cloves. The buttery, spicy ginger cookies go very nicely with the fruitcake, which contains dried apricots, cherries,  pineapple and golden raisins.

 

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Lantern Light

I like to carry my camera around with me in my daily life and look at things I might otherwise walk right by. I found in my files two recent photos I had taken of lanterns in places of major importance to me:

The entrance to my beloved Boston Public Library in Copley Square, the center of my life in the city. I looked up as I entered on a recent afternoon, to see the grillwork reflected on the glass doors, with the lantern shining through in the vestibule. “Free to All” is chiseled in the stone above the doors. In this library I take free classes, attend programs, get books, and always feel welcome. The cloistered courtyard in the center is one of the great public spaces in the city. Last summer I listened to lovely midday concerts there while sipping iced tea and watching birds fly about the courtyard and the sky above.  My retirement party (one of them, that is) was an afternoon tea in the library’s restaurant. We citizens of Boston are fortunate to have one of the great libraries in the country as our very own, and I never cease to be grateful.

Lantern at Pond

At the end of a recent walk around Jamaica Pond I noticed the lantern over the gateway to the dock shining in the gathering twilight. The mile-and-a-half path around the Pond is our almost daily walk, except when I am downtown walking around there. The Pond is a priceless asset in our neighborhood, two blocks from our home. I am forever grateful to Frederick Law Olmsted for his vision in making the Pond part of the Boston park system and the Emerald Necklace. It’s so important to so many people, and to us who live in the Pondside neighborhood, it is the center of our local geographic identity. Here I’ve watched the seasons for thirty years, taken thousands of photos, observed and come to love the ducks, geese, and squirrels, and watched sunsets and moonrises. When I moved to this neighborhood of Boston from Rockport thirty years ago, the Pond seemed a small substitute for the ocean, but it has grown large in my life over the years.

 

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First Snow

Today we woke to the first real snow of this winter, only about 3″ but better than nothing. As a snow lover, I have to remember that last year at this time we hadn’t had any snow either — and then look what happened — so I guess there is still hope. Some forecasters are predicting a big storm this weekend, which would be almost exactly the same date on which it all began last year.

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After working hard most of the day doing our post-holiday cleaning of the house, Peter and I went to the Pond in the late afternoon. The temperature was about 25º, with a fierce wind coming at us from the northwest, for a wind chill in the single digits. I found it bracing and invigorating. The air was sparkling clean and clear, the sky a crystalline blue. There were dozens of geese and ducks and coots on the water, and we saw the three swans who have been staying at the Pond for the last few weeks.

By the time we came around to the south side of the Pond, the sun had already set behind the hill and a half moon had risen in the east. (Yes, that white speck in the photo is the moon.)

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As we walked the final half mile around the Pond, the horizons and clouds turned pink and lavender all around us, and I felt privileged to be there seeing the cosmic splendor.

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Then it was home to tea. There’s nothing like being out in the bitter cold to make our warm, cozy home seem like bliss.

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A Day of Retirement

Instead of the office, a walk around the Pond on this cool June day, with its gentle breezes.

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We saw the ducklings and the gosling.

In the afternoon, tea on the chaise longue. Today I had open faced cucumber sandwiches with dill, a scone left over from my retirement tea party at the Boston Public Library, and China Rose tea. It’s not often that I want to drink rose scented tea, but June is the time to do it.

Tea tray cropped

It beats being at work.

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Snowy Walk at the Pond

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Jamaica Pond
December 20, 2008

The snow started on Friday the 19th and continued most of the weekend.  I couldn’t have been happier.  The college announced Thursday that Friday would be a snow day, which meant my Christmas vacation would start a day early!  A snow day is heaven any time, and in those days before Christmas, which are so charged with anticipation, I was in highest heaven.

After a quick run to Whole Foods ahead of the storm Friday morning, to start the Christmas food shopping, I lay in my chaise longue by the tall windows Friday afternoon, under my soft pink throw, and watched the lovely snow fall.  I think the city never looks better than under a cover of snow.  My two-and-a-half week vacation stretched ahead of me.  A pile of books was beside me, as always.  I had prepared a tea tray and enjoyed a leisurely afternoon tea.  The Christmas tree shimmered and glowed, with its delicate glass ornaments.  I lit votive candles as the dark came down.

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Not until Saturday morning did Peter and I go out into the transformed white world.  It was still snowing as we walked around Jamaica Pond.  Few other humans were out.  We were mostly alone with the animals and trees.  I fed pecans to a squirrel under the big tree.  The ducks and geese swam over to me when we reached the northern cove–they had had a hard night and were famished.  When they come out of the water, their legs start to freeze and they have to plop down on the snow and warm their wet legs with their bodies.  I fed them by hand so they wouldn’t have to get up and freeze their legs.  I am so glad to be able to help them out.  They’re very dear creatures, and after years of observing them at the Pond, I really love them.

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