Monday, March 03, 2008

A breath of spring

Winters are really long in lovely downtown Northampton and one of the surest cures for cabin fever was always a trip to the Smith College greenhouse. There isn't much that fifteen minutes in the tropical room can't cure on an ordinary day. But by the time March rolls around, most people are really sick of snow and ice and cold and Smith in its wisdom invented the annual Bulb Show.

Locals rarely attended during the two week run because it's crowded and they keep it up until the flowers die so you can go two days after and enjoy the heady aromas without battling the tourists. However, in the last couple of years they've installed a live webcam in the main entry room so you can watch the people strolling through. I found it amazingly empty today but it is Monday. Best tourist viewing is of course on the weekends. Looks like a good show this year as well. I hear the theme is orchids.

New this year is the outdoor webcam. The view is pretty dismal at this time of year but it does provide a nice contrast to the indoor scene and a way for an expat like myself to keep track of the local weather. Judging from the choice of outerwear, it looks like a warm day by New England standards. I hope they keep that one up through the summer. It will be fun to see the outdoor gardens bloom.

Meanwhile, I can't help but be pleased that my view outside here more closely resembles the indoor view there. I'm shivering just looking at all that snow.


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