Musings from the Hill, Oct. 15, 2015
Maple Leaf time is when our town turns upsy daisy, because of the hard work and effort on the part of many devoted people. Thank you to all who make this well-known celebration possible.
Hundreds of participants display unusual items and works of art. Let us not forget the Lumberyard exhibit of Tom Russell’s long successful career in the art world, although it will not be on display during the festival. We miss you, Tom!
Be sure to take the interesting Baker University Wetlands Tour, under the supervision of the Boyd family.
Is October truly here? I saw my very first pale-yellow leaf lying intact upon the still-green sward. I remember, in September, many leaves brown and sere slowly fell colorless to the ground. Will glorious colorful October appear in time for our big annual Maple Leaf celebration this week?
A daughter who lives in Texas called to say they are still contending with their long drought and badly need rain. Baldwin has really lucked out this year. We have had sufficient rain, no tornadoes, the heat has not been excessive and no floods, as have devastated South Carolina.
Baldwin City is beautiful. How did our many laborers and volunteers manage to keep our town blooming and lovely all summer? Tom Swan’s garden, the baskets decorating the light poles, etc. (I struggle to keep up with flower-filled vases). A grateful thank you to all who have given many bouquets for my pleasure. I miss my gardens on the hill.
A friend and her children recently took me on a jaunt to my house on the hill and for a ride around the beautiful countryside and woods surrounding Baldwin. I saw my old friends, the white and grey herons of the Douglas County State Fishing Lake. For many years, they, or their progeny, have returned to the lake. I was happy to see them.
The Baldwin Woods was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1980. Bill Busby, a scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey, said, “It is a rare spot in the landscape that’s never been altered.”
We often stopped to pick only one sample of about a dozen different wild flowers. We wanted to be sure we left plenty to re-seed. I encountered a flower unknown to me — a meadow buttercup. Meadows in New Jersey and Illinois were usually filled with yellow buttercups, a large single blossom on a tall stem. This particular flower had a series of small “cups” along a single stem, like a forsythia bush although smaller and more delicate. My friend’s daughter, Kameree, looked it up on the spot and identified it for me (the wonders of electronics!).
Thank you, Kameree for your help. And for taking the time from your busy schedule to assist me numerous times. Kameree is a senior in Baldwin High School and a member of the tennis team. Good luck. I have enjoyed my trips into the beautiful forests and countryside surrounding Baldwin City with my friend and her family. I thank them so much.