The Quiet Park

Spring has really been taking its own sweet time in getting here this year, which is a pity, because if there’s one thing the east coast does better than Idaho, it’s being green.

In northern Idaho, you get exactly one month of green. The minute May hits, the hills are as lush and verdant as Ireland, and you wonder why in the world anyone would choose to live anywhere else.

And then June happens, and the moisture is sucked out of all vegetation, the undergrowth becomes particularly prickly, and the only thing that stays green are the pines with the tell-tale name.

So I was thrilled when I moved to the east coast and discovered that everything stays green until it goes golden. The trade-in, of course, is the feeling that you are living in an armpit.

All this aside, today was a lovely misty day that really highlighted the incoming greenery, so I hauled myself and my umbrella outside to see the colors.

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The nice thing about a park in the rain, on a weekday, at one in the afternoon, is that you truly have the place to yourself.

And there were indeed signs of spring, despite the slow-going. Perhaps wary of another sudden frost, the leaves were advancing at a snail’s pace, but they were there.

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One started to get the feeling that the leaves were only showing themselves grudgingly.

I didn’t expect to see any animals besides the usual assortment of birds and squirrels, seeing as my closest park is hardly larger than your average Wal-Mart, but I actually ran into a herd of deer that seemed disturbed at my passing.

I felt bad about it, really, because there wasn’t really anywhere for them to go. The park has a lake on one side and suburbs on the rest.

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The straggler who would have been picked off if I were a wolf.

It was very wet out, but I enjoy overcast days. They typically mean I only burn a little.

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I spent a little while trying to figure out how this tree had managed to split and fall so artfully.

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Fungi!

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And speaking of fungus, I don’t know what this stuff is but a poor baby pine was coated in the stuff. I’m always grateful humans can’t grow mushrooms on themselves.

There’s a part of the park with an odd low wall that extends into the lake; something to do with keeping the little bay of water from being disturbed, no doubt. People are always out on the wall; teenagers going to drink or smoke, children trying to look cool to their friends, fishermen who like a little risk. But thanks to the rain, it was empty.

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I didn’t go all the way out because I wasn’t willing to risk falling in to drink or smoke in a cool place.

Back in the park, one of the flowering trees was heavy with large pink blossoms. I figured by the time the leaves on other trees came in, most of the blossoms would be gone.

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There was absolutely no way to get a picture of this tree without also picking up the trashcan on the right. It couldn’t be done. Also, I was too lazy to crop it.

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Very pink. A well-established whatever-it-is.

While I was in the park I went looking for the fairy house I had built some time back, just to see if any part of it was still there, but there was no sign of it. I have no idea if some little girl found the tea set and kept it, or whether they were unceremoniously trashed some time later.

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But I did find some periwinkle in the vicinity. I always wanted to be a periwinkle fairy.

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It was nice to get out. In a month or so it will be unbearably sunny and humid and I won’t want to do anything but stay in my air-conditioned room and long for colder climates, but for now it’s pleasant.

And then, when it’s too hot and humid to function, my employers will take me and the three to six boys to Disney World again because “It’s the cheapest time of the year to go!”

A Trip to Terrain

The first thought I had today as I took the vacuum to my bathroom to deal with a spider approximately the size of Venezuela, was that being an adult sucks because you don’t have another more adultier adult to deal with spiders.

Possibly you do when you get married, but I wouldn’t want to take the time to track down my husband to deal with it. The chances are, the second you leave the room, the spider uses its powers of teleportation to hang out in your bed instead.

But my long and redundant is that I’m actually glad to be an adult, because my adult friends and I can go out and do adult things together. Like spend all day in a greenhouse, for example.

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One with a mushroom house, even.

I always thought I liked plants until I met my friends Katrina and Addison. It turns out, I’m a small fry in the world of liking plants. I may have twelve plants in my bedroom as we speak, but Katrina and Addison live in a house that is 85% plant life and 15% board games. Frankly, it’s ideal.

Katrina, previously mentioned as the person most like a fairy I’ve ever met (besides my father), is always dragging me off to strange and fascinating places, like fancy tea houses and the Mutter Museum. This time, it was a restaurant and greenhouse called Terrain.

Terrain is a nifty restaurant and greenhouse that is always teaming with people. And by people, I mean white thirty-something women. Katrina and Addison go there whenever they can justify spending the entirety of their paycheck on plants. They were very excited. I was excited by osmosis.

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The front entrance.

Terrain is several big barn-like structures full of plants, and things related to plants. And candles. And hats. And variously-shaped glass jars. Much like Renaissance Faires, it’s a magnet for a certain kind of people. Typically, people of the feminine persuasion who enjoy things like brunch and sunny hiking trips.

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The roof was always covered in plants and I could never tell how many were real.

If you like spending fifteen dollars on a pretty pink perfume-bottle plant mister, boy is Terrain the place for you.

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Just look at all these colored bottles!

I spent a considerable amount of time wandering the place and resisting the urge to grab everything I saw. Ferns were everywhere. Air-plants were everywhere. Containers to make your own terrarium; fourteen different sizes of terracotta pots; watering cans that looked cute but were, according to Addison, much more decorative than functional.

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I’m an instant killer of ferns, but I crave them like some kind of fern vampire.

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One day, my house will look like this.

We wandered around the place for an hour before our brunch lunch reservation was up. The attached restaurant serves, predictably, a lot of plant-based meals, and a number of fascinating teas. And, perhaps best of all, they server their appetizer bread in a flowerpot.

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And it was delicious.

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Anyone who ever goes to Terrain has to take a picture of the flower pot bread. It’s the Law. 

I always feel a degree of shame with taking pictures of my food at restaurants, but I was too drunk on Terrain’s “Iced Blueberry Pie Chai” to care. I had two.

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This was a fried cauliflower burger. I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was.

After lunch it was back out to the greenhouses to collect plants for purchase.

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And to stare at the massive ceiling kokedamas.

There was a book sale coming up the following Monday that I planned on splurging on, so I told myself I could only buy one item at Terrain. Accordingly, I bought two plants, two fancy pots, and a pretty plant spray bottle.

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Was it worth it? Absolutely.

If you live anywhere near Glen Mills, PA, I would recommend taking a day and going to explore Terrain- possibly in another month or so, when there’s more to see outside as with the inside. The downside, of course, being that you will begin your slow transformation into a middle-aged white woman who throws garden parties, but it’s a small price to pay.

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Well, that and that if you go to Terrain and then to a book sale the next day, you won’t have enough money leftover to purchase this gem.