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The Botans

By April 23, 2012herb's eye view

After a quick shower to wash the whiskey from my body and the sleep from my eyes, I grabbed my mandolin and coffee and made my way to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.  I really wanted to check out the lilacs as they are usually in bloom during April and May.

I met first with my long-time friend and his baby boy before walking together to the gardens.

This particular Spring day in Park Slope was one for the books.  The sun warmed us as the chilly wind reminded us that Summer was not quite here yet.

Upon entering the Botanical Gardens, we were able to smell the lilacs before seeing them.  With a 150 specimens clustered together, the whole experience was almost overwhelming.  Looking upon them from afar was like looking at one of my water color portraits as a child where I was experimenting with the color purple.  But, upon closer inspection, these flowers were anything but an experiment:  they were perfected.

Although the lilacs were my main focus and goal for today’s visit to the gardens, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cherry trees up here were still in bloom.  The last cherry blossoms in the DC area (where I hail from) were pretty much out the door a couple of weeks ago.  Witnessing these blossoms a little bit further up north during the same season was like a bonus for me.

Folks old and young were playing in these petals like snow as the Spring wind whipped the pink blossoms off of the trees and scattered them about the esplanade for all to enjoy.

My friend asked me, “Why don’t you play your mandolin?” as he chased his 2-year-old around this wonderland.  I shrugged without a good excuse and opened up my case.  I held the instrument for a moment before deciding that an old time fiddle tune might be appropriate.  I don’t even remember the name of the song, and it took me a couple of tries to get it right, but after I settled in, it seemed to take pretty well as I reveled in being a part of this magical Spring morning in Brooklyn.



  • LeftCoastCapsfan says:

    Like your favorite blanket on a cold rainy day, you take words and create this swath of warmth for all to enjoy. That would make a great music video some day….

  • Larry says:

    That was a wonderful day Herb. Thanks for recapturing the morning and sharing some of your impressions of the sounds, scents and sites at the garden. The blanket of pink on the ground was really special. I have a few pics of you playin under the cherry blossom trees. Will have to send those.

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