1. The air turns crystalline. I love the clear blue sky.
  2. Dover Greek Festival. Every Labor Day weekend, fun dancing to a live band and singer. Don’t overlook the food, either. Anyone else know the meaning of kefi?
  3. Kids are back in school. Freedom’s in the air!
  4. Ditto for the crush of tourists. Mostly couples now.
  5. Some of the best days for swimming in the ocean happen this month, if a hurricane doesn’t blast all the warm water away.
  6. The equinox Riversing. It’s a mostly folk-based concert beside the Charles flowing past Boston. Join us if you can. We’re on the Cambridge side of the footbridge.
  7. Anniversary. My wife always gets the date wrong.
  8. Great time to hit the mountains. Not too hot, not too cold, not too crowded.
  9. Wild asters – big asters, too – grace the yard.
  10. More apple picking. We go for the drops on the ground. They’re half-price.


What do you like about September?


It’s a great time to get out in the countryside.




  1. High Summer arrives … gloriously, breaking the oppression of July. Days and nights are nearly perfect.
  2. Annual week of sessions at New England Yearly Meeting.
  3. Homegrown tomatoes. Who needs bacon? Good bread and mayonnaise set them off perfectly. I add a dash of Old Bay in memory of Baltimore.
  4. Lobster prices come down.
  5. Same-day corn on the cob. Boil it in the same water before or after the lobster. Eat both in the Smoking Garden, where a mess is quite easy to clean up.
  6. Apples and peaches at Butternut Farm.
  7. Ice cream.
  8. Body surfing at Long Sands.
  9. Two weeks of swimming laps in the city’s 50-meter outdoor pool while the indoor pool undergoes annual maintenance. On my backstroke, especially, I watching for bald eagles in the distance or count the contrails of jetliners heading for Logan – one a minute.
  10. Instead of a profusion of birdsong in the morning, it’s now crickets fiddling in the night, starting a crescendo that will end only with the first killing frost.


What do you like about August?


Shriners in an annual parade, Castleton, Vermont.


  1. Fireworks. I can do running commentaries on the artistic excellence of the Boston and Portsmouth displays. The crowds are another matter.
  2. Blueberries and raspberries.
  3. Languid evenings in the Smoking Garden.
  4. The ocean finally warms up enough to venture swimming. It’s brisk, not icy.
  5. Raw oysters on the half-shell.
  6. Florence Street block party.
  7. Daiquiris on 90-degree days.
  8. Portsmouth Greek Festival.
  9. Listening to Tanglewood broadcasts or Sox games.
  10. Great thunderstorms.


What do you like about July?

Anyone up for a parade?



  1. Birthdays … my wife’s and then elder daughter’s.
  2. Natural light lasts long into the evening and returns again early in the morning.
  3. Warmth! Open windows!
  4.  Nobody gives you funny looks for ordering ice cream.
  5. We get serious about charcoal grilling.
  6. Ox-eye daisies blaze forth.
  7. I don my Hawaiian shirts for more than contradances.
  8. Mountain laurel bloom.
  9. Bare skin all through town the sidewalks fill with people once again.
  10. I can put my snow shovels away.


What do you like about June?

Sounds like a balanced meal to me. Damariscotta, Maine.



  1. Green – lots of bright green.
  2. Lunching in the Smoking Garden on any sunny day.
  3. The hammock comes out from storage.
  4. Trees are covered in new leaf.
  5. Fresh asparagus. You can’t buy anything like this.
  6. Our own lettuce in abundance.
  7. Whales are migrating north — a great time to take a whale-watch cruise.
  8. If you could only see my ferns in all their glory.
  9. The kids are still in school … in case we decided to play tourist, things are still uncrowded.
  10. Alewives migrate up the river, pursued by cormorants, fishermen, and eagles, along with osprey.


What do you like about May?

Osprey are truly incredible birds. They can hover over a river, do a power dive into the water, and emerge with a fish that they then turn to face the airflow. Not that I’ve yet captured any of that on my camera — some photographers specialize in the challenge.



  1. Easter this year was April 1 — except for the Eastern Orthodox, who will observe it on April 8.
  2. White chocolate and malt balls. The Easter Bunny or somebody brings them.
  3. Ferns and flowers. Daffodils and irises, especially when they come indoors as cut flowers.
  4. The quality of daylight changes.
  5. Hot dandelion greens with fried eggs.
  6. The last of the snow melts despite a few spring snowstorms.
  7. Goldfinches discard their gray “duster jackets” and turn brilliantly yellow again.
  8. Bagging seaweed at the end of the road and filling the car trunk gives me an excuse to hit the beach early. Remember, the stuff makes a perfect mulch in the garden.
  9. Sitting in the loft of the barn again, catching up on some reading, now that the weather’s warmed.
  10. So many birds are actually singing in the morning. Quite rowdy, actually, at times.


What do you like about April?

Two antique forks and two paperweights on a shelf in my studio,

Of course, this is totally unrelated to the theme. Just another thing on my mind.



  1. Grow lights over shelves of seedling trays in our bay window. The 24-hour lights themselves, even before all the green shoots appear and flourish.
  2. The dramatic possibility of the biggest snows (though I could do without the digging out that follows).
  3. Arts & Letters afternoon in the Quaker meetinghouse. We have some fine painters and writers and quilters and weavers and sculptors and even musicians. Think of it as a salon without a piano.
  4. As I’ve already mentioned, a salon of Friends.
  5. Cutting pussy willows. A first harbinger of spring. Many of our friends welcome the gift.
  6. The realization we just might make it through another winter.
  7. First bulbs in bloom. Sometimes surrounded by melting snow.
  8. Bird migration. Especially the geese overhead.
  9. Flying kites at the beach.
  10. Those new wool socks from Christmas, now that they’re in regular rotation.


What do you find personally meaningful in the month of March?

Yes, an icicle. Our neighborhood can be full of these long daggers.