This Thing Called Courage

Friday, July 13, 2007

Allen Young's New Book

I HASTEN TO ADD that the previous entry's last item, the article on bears in the North Quabbin region, is taken from Allen Young's next book. That piece and 30 others will be in Allen's new book, "Make Hay While the Sun Shines: Farms,
Forests and People of the North Quabbin," by Allen Young, published by
iUniverse, due out in August. Copyright 2007. Printed by permission of the
author. Thanks Allen for permission to use this!

Okay, I promised a few pics of my garden, and here they are. Everthing's starting to bust out now. The pictures don't do it justice. There are some less than beautiful spots along Main Street, which along this stretch is a four-lane state highway. Some of the beautiful, old, gracious homes have fallen into the hands of slum landlords, and are lived in by transients who aren't really invested in the town. The natives recently voted down an override for the second time in two years, and as a result art and music and sports have been cut in the schools. It's hard to imagine how people can be so penny wise and pound foolish, and not realize the best investment they can make is in the education of their youth. As above, so below: youth programs are cut, delinquincy and subtance abuse rise, a smaller percentage of the young in town go on to college, and the downward spiral begins.

On the other hand, the override lost by only 200 votes this time around, as opposed to a few thousand last time. We have the unrivalled beauty of the Middlesex Fells (Happy Land) occupying over 1/3 of the town's square mileage, a great new playhouse theatre and troupe, a few new funky restaurants, a cutting edge health food store, etc. It feels like the town is at a crossroads. At any rate my garden out front is my small attempt to bring a little beauty and refinement to the town-- to a not particularly pretty part of the town at that. And maybe the people roaring by in their SUVs will go a little bit slower for beauty. The pix show the garden looking north; the garden looking south; and one of my echinacea, this one a rare white called 'Fragrant Angel,' about to open. Echinacea are especially attractive to butterflies. Native to North America, echinaceas are mostly found on the praries, though a few species exist east of there-- in fact there has been one single plant growing for the past few years in an upland meadow of Happy Land, though I haven't seen it there this year. I also have some milkweed that I've raised from seed, doing quite well (hopefully they will flower next year, their third) some daylilies and true lilies, purple petunias (which associate so well with light green and white) green zinnias (also raised from seed)butterfly bush, bee balm, etc. More pix to follow.


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