Central Park in...well, not quite fall.

During the years that I lived in New York City, I never went to the park. The reason for this was actually quite simple - I was just out of college, and I lived for the night- for dancing and clubs, swishy Upper Eastside parties and limo rides down West End Avenue, for smoky underground jazz clubs and rollicking Irish pubs. This was not so uncommon in Manhattan. That, and in the summer, if you can't afford an apartment with a/c, it's actually much less painful to live by vampire hours.
So it was an absolute revelation to me to discover, many years after moving away, the wonders and delights of Central Park. What an amazing place! What a national treasure! What foresight, what planning, what brilliant design!
Of course, it's really much better to have waited. I had my wild, misspent youth. And now I have a beloved family and a starry-eyed two-year-old with whom to experience all this wealth and luxury of beauty.
This, I am absolutely convinced, was the cutest couple in Manhattan. Are they not adorable? This was not a fleeting embrace. They were standing there in this posture, rapt with the beauty of the day and the world around them, for as long as I stood watching the lake. Is that not the sweetest thing?

But here's the other thing: wait 'til you see the cutest couple in the Hudson Valley!! Oh, ho-ho, do I have a treat for you. I also snapped a picture or two of them, and let me tell you....But I get ahead of myself. The cutest couple in the Hudson Valley is for another post!

To go off on a tangent, I've noticed that once one has experienced love - the real, generous, ever-expanding, painless variety that brings nothing but happiness and contentment, one is suddenly able to look at happy couples with the sort of appreciation that only comes with personal experience. The sight of happy couples brings me so much unfettered joy at this stage of my life. It just sends little tremors of sunshine through my veins.
As does the sight of duckweed on a lake.
Q admiring the candy bracelet that Daddy got her at FAO Schwarz.
She's not much of a sweets-eater, but when the occasion calls for it...


Wanderings in the city

Q hearts New York

What can I say, the kid loves to travel!


Well, we had a fabulous time in NY (and QQ got to bond with Anne and Muguet in the city...more on that later!) We're just barely home, with a ton of photos to edit...but in the meantime, the talented Melissa Macdonald did a photo shoot with us at the stunning Blithewood Mansion at Bard on the Hudson River. She's a wonderfully talented photographer and I'm thrilled with the results. For a sneak peak, check out her site....MacDonald Photography, and click on the "blog" button. See you soon! OX


Happy Birthday to our daughter!

Well, folks, tomorrow we're off to New York where we will be celebrating Q's second birthday...for a whole week! A bientot. OOXX


There's a farm in the far, far northern reaches of our city that grows organic produce for the picking. Velvety purple beans, sweet, fragrant Jenny Lind melons, basil, radishes, red and gold raspberries.

The rows are so orderly, the farm shop so well-kept, the produce so stunningly visual that one is gobsmacked, and even a little embarrassed, at the end of a good, long, indulgent session of picking and shopping, to hear the cashier announce the total.
"Really?" one wants to say. "Really? Couldn't I pay just a bit more?"
This place is beautiful. It's pristine. Even the mud feels clean, like you might want to use it for a spa treatment. And it has everything one could hope to find at the intersection between the suburban sprawl of the Front Range and the endless emptiness of Colorado's Eastern plains.
At this point in the summer - and a very wet summer it was for Colorado - the endless acres of raspberries are just coming into fruition, while benign bees pollinate busily and ignore invading hands.
This year's torrential and occasionally alarming summer rains have created an oversheltering haze that is alien to our dry-aired state, and makes for unusual photographs, obscuring, at certain times of day, the crystalline blue of the Colorado sky.
It reads more like California to my traveler's eye.

Somewhat to our surprise, we found that Q loves raspberries, and was happy to eat them straight from the branch by the fistful. We had a hard time keeping her carton full.

We also discovered that we are not born farmers, and our picking technique was dilletantesque, at best.
But nothing could dim the colors of this gorgeous evening in late August, just as the weather begins to turn cool in anticipation of fall.

Q's abiding affection for toys mimicking construction equipment left her feeling right at home among the tractors. I had to physically restrain her from putting this one in gear. And as for the pig, though she had never seen one at such close range, she knew exactly where she stood and was quick to point out its snout (complete with sound effects, and much to the pig's indignant alarm) and curly tail.
I think Q was a natural all around. Until, that is, she stepped in some extremely viscous clay-mud with her beloved river sandals, and felt wronged by nature.
Daddy picks basil for pesto, while QQ peruses the decorative blooms.
The farm shop, for those too lazy (or too ignorant) to find what they want among the rows of growing things.
The farm is particularly proud of their heirloom melons, and with good reason. Arriving late, we ended up scrambing for our last produce before closing time, and somehow managed to leave our melons behind. I was so depressed at the loss that Q and I returned the next day to retrieve them. All I can say is...the Jenny Linds? Transcendent.
The shop also offers an abundant selection of gorgeous hand-woven baskets from Ghana, and I think this was Q's favorite part.
Mine was quite possibly the tri-colored carrots. Is there anything as mouthwatering as a fresh carrot straight out of the sun-warmed earth?
Roosters....roosting. Sorry, couldn't resist.
The view as we hit the road heading back into "civilization"...with more than a little regret.
Two happy travelers at the end of another beautiful day.

River walk

A local swimming hole on Clear Creek, where we're taking advantage of the last days of summer!
Learning to splash.
Tossing river stones with Daddy.
Wading into the current (at Q's insistence!)

On a totally unrelated subject: QQ exceeded all her goals at her latest speech therapy evaluation, AND she sucked juice through a straw (and blew bubbles) on purpose for the very first time today! We're so, so proud!