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.