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First Day of Spring

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sometimes we become inured to the miracle of flying thousands of feet over the good earth. I was reading The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, and I glanced out the window to see what had to be the Finger Lakes rolling by beneath the plane. Oh! Oh! I snapped photos madly, figuring out what I was seeing and planning to check it with Google Earth later. That had to be Lake Erie just out of the top of the picture, and the snaky lake that looked like an effigy--a Swami, actually, wearing a towel on its head must be Cayuga Lake. I was distressed to know that Ithaca was out of sight at the swami's feet, under the plane, but man, it was cool to be able to recognize something on the ground below. Poor things, all snowed in... In fact, I was flying right over my friend Lang Elliott's house in Ithaca. Lang just contributed sound recordings to my commentary about American woodcocks that aired on NPR this evening. I was picking out some toys for my new grand-nephew in a toy store in Cambridge when Bill called to say the commentary had just aired. That was a day-maker. I had recorded it especially for the first day of spring, and if it didn't air today, it probably wasn't going to air. Yay!

Flying into Boston was absolutely beautiful. It was all laid out, the city rising up like a growth, the harbor sparkling blue before it, the Charles River, an artery leading to the harbor's lung.
I bumpity-bumped my 47-lb suitcase over countless blocks of brick sidewalk before reaching my dear college friend Kris Macomber's house. After a cuppa tea and some yakking, we took a guided tour of Cambridge's wackier and more arcane wonders. Kris has lived here in the Cambridge/ Boston area since 1976. As a result, and thanks to a curious intellect and love of architecture, Kris gives a house tour that people ought to pay for. Here, she shows me the pooh Tree--an abandoned stump that's been carved into Pooh's house, complete with furnishings in a hollowed out space beneath the roots. A small jar of hunny marks the spot.
Continuing the theme, Owl's House adorned a tree farther down the block, and Owl himself perched high above, sporting some Tootsie-esque specs. I love stuff like this--urban art, that comes unbidden from quarters unknown. The best kind.

Hi Phoebe, Hi Liam, Hi Will...Hi Baker. Love you!!


I stumbled across your blog in my search for that self-same pooh House. I found it last week on one of my epic Cambridge walks (exercise + audiobooks = dangerous combination), and wanted to show it to a first, but I really can't recall what street I found it on. Any chance your friend Kris could give me a clue?
Thanks for your time,
p.s. fabulous pics!

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