And the world is blooming again — #Berkshireweekend

By now the tree peonies at Naumkeag should be out in their full glory. When I slid in last week they were just opening, wide heads of nested petals. I caught an unexpected hour of sunlight in the last few days of the tulip festival.

It was spur of the moment. I’d come to the Red Lion Inn for a day with the Berkshire Oral Histories Center and Housatonic Heritage, conversations about storytellers and the skill of listening … and when the talks eased to a close, the sun had come out. I was in Stockbridge in the golden hour with every tree in bloom.

The Naumkeag folk said I could come by, and I walked up from Main Street, past the Missinon House, through the cemetery and up the road. Sheep were grazing in the pastures below the barn, and two Grand Pyrenees barked a dutiful warning as I came past.

A Maypole shows bright color at Naumkeag in the last weekend of the tulip festival.
Photo by Kate Abbott

A Maypole shows bright color at Naumkeag in the last weekend of the tulip festival.

The light was just beginning to slant toward afternoon, that deep warm light that intensifies color, and the tulips in the lower beds glowed with it. Something about the wide view from this hill and the colors of a thousand bulbs always gives me a quiet exhilaration.

The trees were blooming in a long light row, and the path through the pines was bright with paper lanterns. This festival has a playful sense of humor, a release when spring finally unwinds.

And walking through in the afternoon, at the end of the day, feels like walking through a theater backstage as the actors walk off into the wings, tired and exhilarated and satisfied.

The fields below Naumkeag catch the late afternoon sun on a spring day.
Photo by Kate Abbott

The fields below Naumkeag catch the late afternoon sun on a spring day.

More events coming up …

You can find more in the BTW arts and events calendar

Friendly goats join an outdoor yoga class at Hancock Shaker Village.
Jun 15 2024 @ 10:00 am
Hancock Shaker Village offers an outdoor yoga class ... with goats. Goats roam freely as you strike your poses with a certified yoga instructor.
A Baltimore Oriole looks out from a slender branch. Creative Commons courtesy photo.
Jun 18 2024 @ 8:00 am
Mass Audubon will explore Edith Wharton's historic home, including its woods, wetlands, and meadows, to find birds by sight and sound.
The Hoosic river runs high on a sunny afternoon at the Spruces in Williamstown.
Jun 20 2024 @ 5:30 pm
On Third Thursdays from April to October, Arianna Collins, director of the Hoosic River Watershed Association, and Justin Adkins, co-owner of Wild Soul River, explore the Hoosic River valley.

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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