Along Route 28, Palmer Hollow
By Phyllis Galowitz
It was a perfect June morning, following an unusual heat wave. I decided to forgo my gardening chores and enjoy what nature has provided and set off walking down my driveway. The brilliant poppies were nodding “good morning” in the soft breeze, the delicate, peach iris blooming on their first day of rebirth, the purple columbine, peeking from between the rocks on the retaining wall, and the dependable dianthus in shades of red all welcomed me.
I turned left at the road, noticing how green and lush the lawns looked now that the dandelions are gone. (Last month I admired the sea of gold when they were all in bloom and wondered why, in my previous life, allowing dandelions to appear in one’s lawn was something like not brushing one’s teeth. We all used “Weed and Feed” to make sure this wouldn’t happen.) My neighbor’s poppies were in full bloom, too, and they waved to me as I went by.
I came across a beautiful, tiny white flower, about five inches tall, with seven overlapping petals. It repeated its splendid design in the whorl of seven leaves behind it. Not knowing what this was, I made a mental note to bring it home on my way back, to identify in my Peterson’s Guide. (I learned that it was a starflower.)
I could hear the song of Bryant’s Brook before I came to it, the sound of the water gurgling and bouncing over the stones, some small and some gigantic, creating waterfalls of the rushing water.
Red-winged blackbirds flew back and forth overhead, perching on telephone wires on both sides of the road. Their voices are not pretty but their stylish attire more than makes up for it, and combined with the beautiful songs of the other birds, heard but unseen, they created a “Symphony of Spring”.
Wildflowers are everywhere. This seems to be purple season. The dame’s rocket appear in shades of lavender, mauve, lilac, and white. Clover is purple and some are white with purple or pink trim. New York asters are pale lilac. Of course, there are whole fields of what I think is water parsnip, but since I forgot to include some leaves when I cut them for a wildflower bouquet, I could not make a positive identification. There are so many similar, white umbel types, that all look like Queen Ann’s lace to me, some being highly poisonous when handled. I must try to learn to identify which are poison hemlock, cowbane, and fool’s parsley: the ones that should not be touched!
Backyard clotheslines peeked from behind houses, sheets blowing in the wind. Wild strawberries covered roadside hills on one side and ferns on the other.
No one could plant a lovelier garden. No place on earth could possibly be more beautiful than Andes, on this glorious June day!
I turned around, walking towards home, cutting flowers along the way, making a wildflower bouquet for Alan to see what I discovered on this walk. Other walks bring different flowers, different sounds, different views, different colors. My whole self is singing! How happy I am to live in this paradise!~