Thursday, May 13, 2010

Love Among the Tulips

I adore Boston in the spring, and there's no place I love more than the Common and the Public Garden. If you've never been to Boston, make sure you include this lovely park when you finally visit.  

And you must visit!
This is Romeo and Juliet.  Well, actually, it's Juliet and Juliet.  Or maybe we could call them Juliet and Julia. This gorgeous couple winters at the Franklin Park Zoo, and then spends summers at the Boston Public Garden.  In years past, one of the birds would lay her eggs in the spring, and people would wait anxiously for the cygnets to hatch.  Each year all involved, whether feathered or not, were disappointed.  After a couple of years, officials at the zoo examined the birds and found that both swans are female.  To watch them caring for each other and their nest is a thing of beauty.  They are nesting again this spring, and I saw at least two eggs, but unless the eggs were fertilized ones donated to the couple, these two will be disappointed again, which makes me sad, because I think they would be amazing parents.  
Some brilliant designer plants loads and loads of white tulips near the swans each year.  
Oh, and if you've ever read Robert McCluskey's classic children's book, "Make Way for Ducklings," this is the place where the story unfolds.  You'll meet ducks aplenty at the Public Garden, even brass ones placed along the walking path as a tribute to McCluskey's book.  I didn't include a photo of them here (although I have before in at least one post); you'll just have to come see the mommy and her ducklings for yourself.  If you have little kids, this is the spot in Boston for photos!
Everywhere you turn, there's magic.  Statues come to life and carry on  conversations with robins . . .
. . . swans pause beside you on the banks of the pond . . .
. . . and then there is the fleet of swan boats--for more than a century they have been a Boston tradition.  A child can ride for just $1.50.  Growing up in New England, the swan boats were always one of my favorite parts of a trip to Boston.  I still love to ride them now.

Just across Charles Street on the Common, there's a playground and a wading pool, and there are often carnival rides.

Bring your camera and a picnic, and you can spend a whole afternoon relaxing in the grass.  This is one of the best spots in Boston for people-watching or simply lazing.  When I was there late on Tuesday afternoon, I bought a water over on Charles Street (after poking my head into a few of the gorgeous shops), walked over to the Public Garden, sat by the pond, and let my mind drift along with the swans.  

Anais Nin once said, "He does not need opium.  He has the gift of reverie."  I think she was precisely right.  
P.S. If you'd like to see swans with their cygnets this spring (as well as ducks with their ducklings and geese with their goslings), visit Great Meadows in nearby Concord.


  1. a beautiful stroll

    i want to ride the swan boats

  2. wow...this is my kind of place !
    wow wow wow !

  3. What a beautiful place. I do hope someone arranged some fertilised eggs for those two beauties it would be lovely for them to have some babies. Our beautiful Maggie kept having phantom pregnancies and she adopted soft toys as her was so sad the way she treated them so I would love to see Juliet and Julia with their own!

  4. What pretty shots! I want to visit soon!

  5. Dear Gigi,
    What a beautiful post. It makes me want to visit. I can imagine that a day spent there would be absolutely wonderful.
    Aren't swans amazing ? We have many swans on the river near me and, there will be lots of cygnets soon. and, alongside them are always lots of Canada Geese. It is such a sight when they all take flight, straight from the river. If only I could get a photograph of that. I also LOVE the little robin. People say that they can be quite vicious but, I love their company when I'm digging the garden. I like to think that the robin likes me but, I know that he is just there for all of the worms and insects that I might unearth !!
    Have a lovely weekend, Gigi, maybe tip-toeing through the tulips. XXXX

  6. Oh, Jackie, I think the robin DOES like you! You sound like Mary in The Secret Garden with her robin!

  7. The two times I've visited Boston have been during brrr cold weather. I must visit during these pretty warm months! I love the Anais Nin quote. Reverie is a gift.

  8. HOME! This makes me long for Beantown something turrible!

    And I had no idea about the Julie and Julia saga! There was a fascinating article in the NYTimes science section recently about female pairs of albatross in a rookery in Hawaii that reminds me of this swan story. SO amazing how nature works!

    Big hugs, happy weekend. xoxo

  9. reminds me a bit of the park i went to as a kid. the paddle boats arent there anymore, but the place where they used to rent them is now a cute little pub called the boathouse. its a pretty cool place.

  10. i love boston spring and the common is so wonderful! the weeping willows, the beautiful swan with their nest. so lovely!

  11. Hi Gigi,
    Oh, you brought back my memories of Boston and I could almost feel as though I was there.
    Do you think the ducklings, goslings and cygnets are at Great Meadows right now? We hope to visit there very soon (my Dad-in-law lives across the street). Over at my furry and feathered friends blog, I have posted a few photos of some ducklings we saw the other day here in Maine...
    Loved your post!

  12. Make Way for Ducklings is a favorite in our house. I have been to Boston just twice in my life, and I loved it every time. It is one of the few places in the U.S. I would love to live in someday.

  13. What a beautiful garden and your eye for seeing the details is great. Thanks for the walk

  14. comment didn't show up here again!...Something about taking advantage of visiting my daughter who lives and works in Boston:)

  15. so liberating to be able to walk out and take photos in the warm spring air.

  16. I have only been to Boston in November and found it an amazing place to visit even then.

  17. Oh, Gigi.... I have missed visiting you so very much. School ends on Friday and you can imagine the hectic pace. I'll be around again this weekend to really say, "Hello" to my friends and see what I've been missing. But, I couldn't wait to come and tell you I've missed you.

  18. Ooh Gigi - you always have the happy knack of making me want to be where you are. No where else on Earth could possibly be as splendid! May those beautiful swans become parents one day... Would love to see the result.

  19. Oh, how I love Boston and the Public Garden - so gorgeous and the swan boats are fabulous too! I loved walking around Boston - when we were there, we had the most beautiful weather and truly enjoyed EVERYTHING about Boston..Looking forward to visiting again! Have a beautiful day, my wonderful friend...P.S. Love.Love.Love. your photos! xxoo :)

  20. Your post made me want to cry a bit. I think its because it reminded me of how time goes by so quickly and we must not wait to do the wonderful things alone, together. I love that A.N. quote. perfection. How do we expose the reverie in people's lives? lovely post. thanks.

  21. Definitely somewhere I know I'd love. Thank you for taking me there, Gigi! I hope someday I really do get to visit. Yes, those Swan Boats are calling me too!

  22. hello dear gigi ~
    i just really wanted to come by and give you a *hug* today ... just cuz.
    i am so happy i did as i get to take a peek at this precious part
    of your world ~ and i love it so ...
    my heart swells thinking of how the swan boats were so dear to you
    as a child and still today ~ riding in them must be pure magic for you!
    just one more ... *hug*
    prairiegirl :)

  23. i've always wanted to visit Boston! I have some jealousy in me right now, these are gorgeous. I'm from Ohio and I miss the green sooo bad :)

    love your blog!


  24. If I get to Boston, I am definitely take a float around the pond on those swans! You're lucky to have such a beautiful park to hang out in.

  25. Not sure how I missed this post, but so happy I went back and found it. Boston has always been high on my list of places to visit - I'd love to take my daughter there one day as she is a huge lover of history and Boston is full of early American history.

    This park is just too lovely. Wish I could take my little boys and head out today. Might have to take a couple days as it looks like there is much to see.


  26. Hi, Gigi! So great to catch up with you...we're on vacation visiting family & friend in PA and having the best time! :o) And I just loved seeing this outing you've had for us. Those swan gondolas make my heart sing...very dreamy... *sigh*... Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

  27. Oh, I do love that book. On field trips I often feel just like the mother. I am walking along with all my little ducklings in a row behind me. I love that.

  28. I could get a photograph of that. I also LOVE the little robin. People say that they can be quite vicious but, I love their company when I'm digging the garden. I think its because it reminded me of how time goes by so quickly and we must not wait to do the wonderful things alone, together thanks.

  29. What a beautiful place to spend a spring afternoon. Thank you for has been dark, grey and drizzly for days now. I am huddled up in a blanket as I read this, wishing for a sunny day to go out and explore. I love rain, but spring is so fleeting...I need to get out and soak it up before it's gone for another year!


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