Monday, December 19, 2016

Nature beyond the neon: Reno, Nev.

The weather is brisk and beautiful during our annual visit to visit family and friends in Reno, Nevada. The sunshine entices us to spend time outdoors where we find several oases of autumn color in this otherwise casino-lit city.

Galena Creek Park

Just up Mount Rose Highway from our former home in south suburban Reno, this park is one of our favorites. We stop by to see how the trees planted eight years ago for our younger son's Boy Scout Eagle project are doing. He's relieved to see that most are still alive. The ranger tells us that he's removed the temporary irrigation that the scouts installed and he's quite pleased with the trees.

We check out the hill where our son led a tree-planting project
at Galena Creek Park, Reno, Nev.

Flags fly at Galena Creek Park in Reno, Nev.

Lazy 5 Regional Park

On the other end of town, north of Sparks, we visit Lazy 5, the scene of our older's son Eagle Scout project about a dozen years ago. He organized about a hundred volunteers to plant trees here when this park was brand new. It looks like the trees are thriving. Despite the sunny day, there aren't many visitors on this weekday afternoon, although we provide a band aid to a little girl who got a boo boo on the playground. That scout motto — Be Prepared — comes in handy.

We're pretty sure this is one of the trees planted as part of
our older son's Eagle Scout project at Lazy 5 Regional Park
in Sparks, Nev.

Lazy 5 Regional Park in Sparks, Nev.

Teglia's Paradise Park

Just down the road from our Sparks condo, Teglia is home to several species of geese and ducks. We enjoy a walk around the lake and a view of of the local drive-in theater.

El Rancho Drive-In Theater can be seen across the pond in Taglia's Paradise
Park in Reno, Nev.

One of many geese gaggles in Taglia's Paradise Park in Sparks, Nev.

Sparks Marina

One of my first assignments for the Reno Gazette-Journal was to write about this venue, so it holds a special place in my heart. We take a couple of two-mile laps around the lake, during which we spy a bald eagle.

In order to maintain a desirable water level at Sparks Marina, 2.3 million gallons
of water are pumped out of the lake and into the Truckee River each day.

A bald eagle (one of a pair) is a resident at Sparks Marina in Sparks, Nev.

A cute duck dips its toes in the water at Sparks Marina in Sparks, Nev.

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

I love visiting the arboretum here. Although no flowers are in bloom this time of year, the park is still pretty. Each September, the park hosts the Great Reno Balloon Race.

Wilbur D. May Arboretum in Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, Nev.,
is a pleasant place for a walk, even in the late autumn.

Wilbur D. May Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, Nev.

A picnic pavilion at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, Nev.

Reno Riverwalk

A walk along the Truckee River is just the antidote for our post-election blues. The city of Reno has put in a lot of effort to create a beautiful area here, in the heart of downtown.

The Truckee River flows through downtown Reno, Nev.

These ducks seem to be enjoying the kayak park on the Truckee River
in downtown Reno, Nev.

Detail shot of a fountain along the Riverwalk in Reno, Nev.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Boston in a day

My return flight to France isn't til 7:30 this evening so I take advantage of being in Boston for a few drizzly hours. The weather may not be the best, but I'm with two of my oldest, bestest buddies: my sister and my dear friend who has taken the bus down from Maine just to see me.

Boston Public Garden

I've flown in and out of Logan Int'l. a few times, and I have fond memories of exploring the Boston area when I was a little girl with my great uncle Walter serving as my personal tour guide. However, this is the first time I've actually spent time in downtown Boston. Seven hours in a city by no means makes me an expert, but I eagerly share some of the highlights of my day here.

Green Dragon Tavern was the secret meeting place of the Sons of Liberty
and, according to Webster, was the headquarters of the American Revolution.
The original tavern was located near here.

Boston is the cradle of the American Revolution, and, after picking up bagels at Bruegger's to bring home to my patient husband in France, we easily find ourselves on the Freedom Trail, a meandering stroll through the city that takes visitors past 16 historical sites.

Old Statehouse Museum and site of the Boston Massacre. Patriots
including John Adams, John Hancock and Samuel Adams worked here.

Weary as we all our from this bitter presidential campaign, walking in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers is just the tonic I need to remind me what America stands for.

Paul Revere statue in Boston
The Old North Church in Boston
Bell in Hand in Boston is America's oldest tavern
George Washington statue in Boston Public Garden
Boston's history is not only about the American Revolution. The city has a rich culture based on the many immigrants who settled here. 

Boston's Irish Famine Memorial commemorates An
Gorta Mór
(the great famine 1845-1852)
Boston's Irish Famine Memorial also celebrates the triumph
of the city's Irisn immigrants.

New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston

Contemplating frog at Frog Pond in Boston Common

Base of a Dawn Redwood tree in Boston Public Garden

'Make Way for Ducklings' sculpture by Nancy Schön in Boston
Public Garden features the characters created by Robert McCloskey.