JUST PHYLLISOPHY – Sounds and Scenes – August 2018

By Phyllis Galowitz

It was probably the most beautiful day of the year! (Have I said that before?) The leaves on the trees doing a slow dance, creating a gentle breeze, as I walked my usual walk along Route 28, heading west and alongside Bryants Brook. The water was gently rippling by, passing a border of true-forget-me-nots. Along the side of the road were long-leaved speedwell, yarrow, wild carrot, feverfew, daisy, red clover, mallow, field thistle, milkweed and on and on. I used to know the names of every wildflower, but my aging brain is forgetful and too lazy to look up the names of each in my Peterson’s Guide.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, a great blue heron leaped from out of nowhere and rose above my head, spreading its enormous wings and disappearing into the sky. As I followed its trajectory, I noticed the blue sky and soft white cotton-batting clouds and I was awed.

Last Saturday, my friend and I went to the Treadwell and Franklin Stage Coach Run Studio Tour. The drive itself was beautiful and made me realize why I love living in the Catskills. We only saw five of the twenty-nine studios because we kept getting lost in the maze of unfamiliar roads, but each studio was a treat and each artist explained the media that he or she was using; each one so different and inspiring. I wanted to learn everything and do it all (but knew I could never achieve what these amazing artists did.) It’s too late for me to start.

There was photography by Drew Harty, combining both traditional and digital techniques. How I wished Alan and Pablo and Anders (my family of photographers, past and present) had been there. They would have loved seeing the new, modern possibilities, using equipment that makes all things possible! Muffy and Harry made amazing, creative art from gourds, grown in their beautiful garden, an art form in itself. There were collages, pastels, oils and so much more that I thought I would remember but now, writing this, I’m sorry to say, I can’t remember who did what!

Last night, the first concert of the season of the Honest Brook Music Festival featured a violin and piano concert and Monday, July 16th, we went to the Glimmerglass Opera for a stunning performance of West Side Story.

Andes Garden Tour, however, was the treat of the season. So many fantastic venues packed into a very short season—it’s hard to keep up with all of them. We have to choose.

The day of the Garden Tour started out with threatening clouds and the weather report called for thundershowers. Oh—how terrible that would be! The gardeners worked so hard to have everything in tip-top shape. The library volunteers, who prepared the maps and went on trial rides to mark and place the floral bouquets at each garden, the many meetings to coordinate and insure that all went smoothly—and then—rain! But, as if someone said, “No. This cannot happen!” The clouds miraculously disappeared. The sun came out. It was a perfect day, with gardens at their best and everyone enjoying the spectacular Gardens and Vistas of Andes and, as if that wasn’t wonderful enough, followed by a lovely party for all the hosts given by Lynn Preston and Ellen Shumsky, who served delicious hors d’oeuvres and cold drinks and where we talked about gardens and the friendly people who visited and donated generously to the library. As the cars began to descend the wooded hills, the sky darkened and those promised showers poured down, washing our cars and ending a perfect day.~