Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Variegated leaves

I recall unusual leaves on some of the maple trees by the old barn on the hill above our home in Danvers. Each fall they turned bright colors, as maple trees typically do, but the colors were in mixed patches of red and yellow. No two leaves were exactly the same. Most leaves had some of each color, in patterns that seemed random, haphazard. The overall effect was beautiful, intensifying the color, with both reds and yellows shimmering in the sun. 

Every year those particular trees again produced variegated leaves of red and yellow.

I live now in western Massachusetts, and there's a similar tree on our street.  I love its variegated leaves, so reminiscent of those trees near the Danvers barn.  Here are photos from this week:

Recently I wrote a poem about the fall foliage, inspired by colorful trees I saw as I drove along a local road.

Fireworks in slow motion
A burst of brilliant reds
Large sphere reaching skyward
Shimmering in the autumn breeze.
Next an oval, golden, gleaming;
I gasp at the glory of the spectacle.
This routine road transformed
To performance space
As tree after tree displays its colors.
I marvel at the outward spreading geometry
Thankful that each color burst lingers
longer than fireworks of July.
Particles of color fall earthward, landing safely,
Creating carpets of many hues.
I savor the beauty, and the quiet.
Sandy Nichols Ward

Thursday, October 4, 2018

David Balser

Rest in Peace, David Balser.

News of his death reached me this evening.  He was 75, and we were in classmates at Danvers High. I thank classmate Marsha Coogan for informing us, sending a link to this notice in the Salem News yesterday:

"David K. Balser, a resident of Newburyport, died peacefully at his home on September 30, 2018 with his wife, Susan, and his dog, Brady, by his side.

David was born in Salem, MA on January 19, 1943 to the late Arthur and Wilma (Wentworth) Balser. David grew up in Danvers, MA and attended Danvers High School and graduated from Brewster Academy. During his school years David particularly excelled in basketball at Danvers High School. He coached Little League Baseball and Youth Soccer in Danvers."
  For more information, see

Friday, August 10, 2018

Betty Clay

Today I am remembering my cousin Betty Clay, who lived in Danvers 93 years. I visited her last October, and enjoyed hearing her stories of earlier days.

News of Betty's death reached me today in CA, where I happen to be visiting Stuart Brewster, her cousin and mine.

You can read about her life here:   Salem News notice re Betty Clay