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.

Full Well Farm brings wreathes of rosemary and dried flowers to the North Adams Farmers Market.
Mar 2 2024 @ 9:00 am
Chocolate peanut butter cookies, fresh flowers, jams and pickles and cheeses ... the North Adams Farmers Market returns with more than a dozen farmers and makers.
Daffodils anticipate the spring in the annual show of bulbs at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
Mar 2 2024 @ 9:00 am
Spring comes early inside Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Fitzpatrick Greenhouse as the annual Bulb Show brings daffodils, narcissi, tulips and more, free and open to the public, daily through March 17.
Matt Neely and Camille Upshaw touch hands and look searchingly at each other in Barrington Stage's 10x10 Festival of New Plays. Press photo courtesy of the theater
Mar 2 2024 @ 2:00 pm
Barrington Stage Company's annual 10x10 New Play Festival returns for its 13th Year as a compact cast of actors perform 10 short plays by 10 playwrights.

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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