Sunday, November 15, 2009

Adelaide B. Shaw: Montgomery Place

We visit an historic house, one of many in the Hudson Valley.

Along the drive leading up to the mansion is an avenue of black locust. The signature tree on this estate. More locust on the river side. Some over 200 years old. Deep, knife-like ridges, forming as the tree ages, extend lengthwise down the trunk.

squinting in the sun—
character lines deeper
with each tree

We stroll past the trees, across the arboretum spread out on the far end of an expansive lawn. Red and white oak, beech, tulip, sweet gum, sycamore, maple. Each planted to give pleasure to the viewer for its size, shape and position on the lawn.

We continue around the mansion, stepping onto the veranda.

a reclining chair
with a river view—
a life before mine

A side path leads to a series of garden rooms, one spilling into another, like the waterfall in a shadowed corner tumbling into a pool. The breeze plays little tricks—first teasing with late blooming roses, then honeysuckle, then sage. We meander on the paths, noting the curving lines, the seemingly unplanned plan. A spontaneous eruption of vistas—lawns, gardens, river.

the cries of geese
crossing the hunting grounds
of ancient tribes

by Adelaide B. Shaw
Millbrook, New York

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