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Important Trees of Cambridge

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hi all! I'm a little bit behind here because I've been too busy taking in Cambridge and Boston to blog. That's a good thing for me, probably a little dull for you to keep seeing Cayuga Lake popping up. I had such a wonderful time with Kris that I want to show you some of the things she showed me. I am having the most wonderful trip, not wasting a moment of what's been granted. So far, it's been solid, 100% fun, sprinkled with work. I'm speaking tonight (Friday) at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA. Back to the tour:
Here's where Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived. His house still has the only unobstructed view of the Charles River on that whole stretch.
Nearby, there's a private residence (!). Kris says she would not want to live in this house, because where would you take in the groceries? I agreed. This would be an inconvenience that would be a deal breaker for me.
Here's a nice beech tree, against a house where the MA governor once lived. The house needs to be painted now.
Kris' favorite beech tree is a huge copper beech that has softly and silently taken over the entire front yard of a brick house. She stands under it in summer. She says from the outside, the leaves are copper, but from the inside, when you look up through them to the sky, they're green. How does that work? As you can imagine, I was beside myself to be given a walking tour that featured things like this beech tree. Two of its immense looping branches had melded together into a torso. If you look carefully at this picture many intriguing things will reveal themselves. Many of the beech branches loop down and touch the ground, before swooping back up toward the sky. I would imagine they are impossible to mow around. Kris and I love the fact that anyone who has owned that house over the decades (century plus) this tree has dominated it has accepted that the copper beech comes with the house, and is not to be harmed.
I noticed these lovely espaliered fruit trees on a low green wooden wall and commented on them. Kris told me that behind that wall stands architect Philip Johnson's senior project, a house made entirely of glass. Brrrrr! I started to laugh when we rounded the corner and I realized that we would not be permitted so much as a glimpse of this masterpiece, if masterpiece it be. Kris says there are no closets in it, and I got to thinking that there might be privacy issues (hence the wall). So then, we wondered, what is the point of having a glass house if you have to put a privacy wall around it that keeps anyone from seeing in, but also keeps you from seeing out? You'd have about the same view of the world that a box turtle does, kept in a shoebox. It was all I could do not to try to throw myself at the wall and scale it, just enough to peek over and see this thing. Aggh!
Kris, standing in front of Julia Child's house. I used to know a guy who lived in an apartment next door and two floors up. One evening I looked down into Julia's window and watched her and Paul fix supper. They moved around each other like dancers. I remember the kitchen being turquoise blue. Kris says the entire kitchen is now in a museum, maybe the Smithsonian?
My last, and favorite: The Center for High Energy Metaphysics. That's how I knew I was back in Cambridge.


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The beautiful succulent (below the Japanese Maples) in the photo is called Aloe Plicatilis.

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