On the Tuesday of my trial Staycation, I went to several favorites I hadn’t visited in a while, including Belmont Acres Farm and Fresh Pond, where Shodai also went on his Staycation (see his Facebook postcard below):
- I took the 74 bus down Concord Avenue to Smith Place in order to get to Black’s Nook, a part of Fresh Pond which was part of Belmont between 1859 and 1880. Another hot day, there was welcome shade from the trees, and lovely butterflies to enjoy. In the pond, I saw small fish, not sure what they were. I also walked some of the Perimeter Trail around Fresh Pond; due to summer construction, it’s not possible to get all the way around. It was interesting to learn about Frederick Tudor and the local ice industry, which was supported by both the railroad and the hay industry before electric refrigeration brought its demise.
- I visited the Belmont Gallery of Art to see the summer display of work by Richard Hill, which he describes as the “group iconography” of a mid-life crisis, as well as the work of a talented Belmont High School graduate and animator, Jerry Suh. I found the work of both artists quite fun and colorful for a summer show. Hill’s work was full of iconic faces from modern times, as if famous people from pop culture or mythological characters or cartoon characters were all in one imagined room. I found Suh’s scenes of a wheelchair-bound older man gazing wistfully at others thought-provoking. I’m considering returning on a Thursday or Friday, when the gallery is staffed.
- I visited Belmont Acres Farm to pick up potatoes and carrots, and talked with the owner Mike about how much this year’s drought in Massachusetts is affecting crops all over the state. I reflected on how much more aware we all would have been about this back when most residents were involved in agriculture, or at least kept a kitchen garden. We all watched a cute toddler curious to see the ducks and goats after her mom had been debating whether to buy duck eggs, quail eggs, or chicken eggs.
- I picked up some yummy take-out (lentils and tortellini) at The Loading Dock, a nearby favorite. I look forward to enjoying a Sunday Brunch there in August. For this visit I resisted the temptation to bring home one of the beautiful pastries. I rode my bike to the end of Flanders Road to see Blair Pond, part of the state-owned Alewife Reservation. The water was very low, and some unusually-shaped ducks were walking in the mud in the middle of the pond, pecking for some sort of food. I took a look at the construction project to dig trenches for bringing electricity along the tracks from Cambridge to the new Belmont substation at Blair Pond.
As I walked and biked around town, I admired the new trees the DPW is watering daily in this hot weather, as well as the plantings maintained by the Garden Club on various traffic deltas. I noticed some lovely gardens, many with daisies and lillies and black-eyed susans, and got some ideas about what to plant at our house.
P.S. Here is Shodai’s Facebook postcard from Fresh Pond: