Spring — and it was June, not April — arrived this past week for a surprise visit. The magnolias on the sunny side of Commonwealth Avenue were fooled (along with azaleas, flowering cherries, and other spring bloomers) and appeared almost a month earlier than last year. Usually they coincide with the Marathon on Patriots' Day Weekend. But here they are:
Of course, we're enjoying the trees on the sunny side of the street. The ones on the shady side might decide to take their time and show up on time instead of early.
I'm able to stray a little further from home every day on my recovering ankle, but I haven't made it all the way up to Arlington Street yet to capture some of the other magnolia varieties. The pink ones you see here are Magnolia c soulangeana, planted in the mid 1960s by Back Bay volunteers, led by Laura Dwight. I'll try to shoot some of the white ones, planted in 1995, soon.
Penny Cherubino, photographer, journalist, and coauthor of Boston Zest, wrote about Ms. Dwight and the magnolias for the Back Bay Sun. Read her story here.
I wonder how long it will be before computers can transmit scents as well as images and sound. I wish you could smell the sweet perfume under these trees. It's a whiff of spring.
The weather pattern changed last night, and now skies are gray and temperatures are seasonably chilly, which should keep the magnolias blooming longer. The cold hasn't stopped people from eating under the umbrellas on Newbury Street patios. At Stephanie's, people were wrapped in big brown blankets. Clothing, as usual around here, runs the gamut from sundresses and sandals to winter coats and gloves. They may call us unfashionable in Boston, but no one can accuse us of doing it in any uniform way.
I was thinking about local brides, who may have planned April weddings to take advantage of our beautifully blooming neighborhood. And then I thought about March brides, who are usually deprived of all that spring glory but got lucky this year. I thought about the many brides who've had receptions in the ballroom of the Boston Center for Adult Education, at 5 Commonwealth Avenue — including me. It was a beautiful site for a celebration, very French, all ivory, gold, and marble, with a parquet floor for dancing under rows of crystal chandeliers. Now it's a private house again, and it may only see a wedding or two in each generation. Sorry, house.