You’re going to meet some gentle people there — #Berkshireweekend

The sun was dancing with the haze, so fine drops fuzzed the petals if you came near enough to see. It always feels like one of the advantages of walking in with a press pass — I can kneel on the grass in a public garden and lean in close. And I like seeing from the height of a tulip.

Naumkeag’s annual spring festival is far enough along that the daffodils are wide open and just starting to give ground, and the tulips are all in full blow. Vivid crimson, pink-veined cream, orange and gold.

In these weeks of Irish weather, I caught a bright morning to explore and think about color. Along the pathways, someone had set out nests with large papier maché birds’ eggs, and they were reminding me how few of the real ones I’ve ever seen.

Goldfinch and wild turkey, blue heron and redwing blackbird and barred owl and wren, they’ll all be nesting soon — and I wouldn’t want to worry any mother on her nest — but their eggs come in fine and beautiful shades, many of them in spring sky blues. And I’ve never seen them before.

The birds I might know by sight and some by song — and once, years ago, I saw blue herons nesting in the swamp-drowned trees at Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Richmond. (Pull off to the side on Swamp Road and you can look across the water … if you bring binoculars.)

And yet I know these bright red flowers that come originally from Southern Asia and Anatolia and Persia — and have meant love and spring there for hundreds of years

Daffodils bloom in the foreground with a wide view over the valley at the annual Daffodil and Tulip Festival at Naumkeag in Stockbridge.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Daffodils bloom in the foreground with a wide view over the valley at the annual Daffodil and Tulip Festival at Naumkeag in Stockbridge.

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Kenneth Tigar stars in The Happiest Man on Earth, adapted from Eddie Jaku's memoir from World War II through a century. Press photo courtesy of Barrington Stage Company
Jun 10 2023 @ 1:30 pm
Eddie Jaku was a teenager as World War II began, and he survived Buchenwald, Auschwitz and a forced death march — a new play tells his story.
David Gow and Zoya Martin perform in Dear Jack Dear Louise. Press photo courtesy of Shakespeare & Company
Jun 10 2023 @ 6:30 pm
Shakespeare & Company presents Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig's story of two strangers introduced through letters and kept apart by war.
A hand holds out an open book in evening light.
Jun 10 2023 @ 7:00 pm
New Yorker contributor Howard Fishman tells the true story of a mid-century New York City songwriter, singer, and composer and her haunting music.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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