From rosés to lupine

Despite there having been a fairly mild winter, spring seemed slow to arrive this year. My crocus bloomed late, the down comforter is still on my bed and I just finally flipped the thermostat switch to off. I think, though, that after the gorgeous weekend we just experienced in Albany, it’s safe to say that spring at last is here.

My postage stamp garden suddenly feels like it won’t possibly be able to contain the perennials which have exploded in the last few days. My iris, in an array of colors, have started to pop and the lupine and peonies are waiting on deck for their turn to shine. My backyard jungle is fragrant from the very last of the lilacs and the lily of the valley that returns each spring with an aroma that is intoxicating.

Things in my little corner of the world are waking up and, after months of social distancing and semi-isolation, the world is starting to feel open once again. Saturday night I had dinner with friends in what I jokingly called the country aka Watervliet. We relaxed outdoors on a perfect evening with a spread of tidbits before making our way to the dining table indoors. Yes, indoors. Everyone is vaccinated and we toasted repeatedly with glasses of pretty pink wine.

Many glasses of pretty pink wine. It’s rosé season after all.

Sunday morning didn’t have quite the glow as the previous evening, but my well earned mild hangover was a small price to pay for a normal night spent enjoying time with friends. After a solid breakfast, I was feeling ready for the afternoon’s adventure a walk in Albany’s Pine Bush.

My friend with the AllTrails app had come across a 5 mile loop that sounded like just what I wanted on a sunny and beautiful Sunday afternoon. We parked at the trailhead on Madison Ave Ext and got our bearings. Or so we thought.

Venturing straight out seeking the red trail, we were immediately welcomed by a sea of lupine in a shade somewhere between periwinkle and cornflower. Perhaps that’s Karner blue? These lupine are smaller and more delicate looking than the monstrosities currently claiming space in my sunny front garden, but their plentifulness emphatically demonstrated their hardiness. They were breathtaking.

While the lupine were the clear stars of the parade of wildflowers, there were other gorgeous blooms to be enjoyed. I’m most definitely not an expert on botany, and there were far more educated, camera carrying appreciators of flowers than I, but it was easy to appreciate the natural beauty present in this special local preserve.

The trail we intended to take proved to be impossible for us to follow…we simply could not find our way consistently on the red trail and instead found ourselves between the purple and yellow trails content to wander along breathing in the smell of evergreens which somehow reminded us both of Cape Cod. The sun was strong but a friendly breeze kept us comfortable during the 2.5 hours we rambled. It was a lovely afternoon.

The Pine Bush’s calendar of events, including lupine fest activities, can be found here.

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