Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Highlights, part drei

Miss Emily’s House:

J!’s a big fan of the Belle of Amherst—not so much of her poetry, but mostly because she was so odd. I think he rather likes the idea of being an eccentric poet in an old moldy house. For Dickinson fans it doesn’t get much better than Amherst (kind of obvious, since the only other place she ever went to was Boston). We cruised by the house to see if tours were available, but there seemed to be A Gathering in the parlor. We decided to give the horde of middle-aged, Miss Emily fans a skip and instead we toured around her garden a bit and then walked into Amherst itself.

Miss Emily and Robert Frost chatting together under a tree.
Guess she’s not as shy as she used to be.

Two poets, sharing a special moment.

Mt. Holyoke greenhouses:

I’m a sucker for greenhouses and these ones are particularly nice. The collection isn’t huge, or even that great, but the actual greenhouses themselves are quite old and so they are fun to walk through. Plus, not only are the greenhouses free for visitors but Mt. Holyoke has a lovely collection of orchids, the keepers will give you a free plant, and they have a mimosa pudica, or “sensitive plant.” This little plant, like a Venus Fly-trap, will move if it is touched. We spent some time stroking the leaves and watching it shy away.

The mimosa pudica, after J! pet its leaves.


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