Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Boston Common and Public Garden Part I

A very popular spot in Boston is the Boston Common and Public Garden, seventy-two acres of open space in the middle of the city. Boston Common was established in 1634 and served as a pasture, military encampment, and execution site. The British Army camped on the Common while they occupied Boston from 1775-1776. In the 1800s, the area was used for open-air civic gatherings and is still used that way today. The Public Garden is more of a formal garden for strolling and appreciating nature.

We started our visit in the southwest corner, entering the Public Garden near the statue of Reverend William Ellery Channing, an early Unitarian preacher and theologian. A random stranger was kind enough to take a picture of us with our camera (it would be awkward if she used hers!).

Rev. Channing and us

A close up of us

The garden was delightfully shady on a warm summer's day. We took many opportunities to rest and enjoy nature around us.

Brothers relaxing together

A "lagoon" was added in 1861 and provides a fun spot to watch water fowl.

Lagoon with buildings in the distance

A shady duck

View of the lagoon bridge

Further north in the garden is a statue of George Washington. The bronze statue was cast by Thomas Ball and dedicated in 1869.

Only the sun outshines George Washington

More visible back view

The sun now doing its proper job

Exotic plants and flowers abound around Washington.

Purple balls?

A nice hedge of flowers

We crossed the lagoon bridge and went for a ride on the famous Swan Boats. They were inspired by Wagner's opera Lohengrin and have a long history in the garden.

Looking at the Swan Boats

Three levels of enjoyment on the Swan Boat

The boats are powered by young people who have the sort of leg energy and stamina to get the boat around its ten to fifteen minute tour of the lagoon.

Another boat!

The bridge from the water

Under the bridge

Our swan and paddler

An odd lamp on the shore

The lagoon also has a small island where the water fowl like to hide. It's the subject of the children's classic Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, about a family of ducks who live in Boston.

Lagoon island

Ducks and swans mixing?!?

Closer to the island

I liked the way the red and white building is nestled in among the trees in the next photo!

More from the water

Back under the bridge

We continued to explore, discovering an odd-looking fountain of children playing together. The kids thought it was funny. I moved us along as quickly as I could.

Uhm, yeah...not sure who thought this was a good idea

Further up we found the sculptures the memorialize Make Way for Ducklings.

Patting the ducklings

Mama duck in the lead

Ganging up on a little guy

Too cute

Ganging up on the big duck

More of our visit in the next post!

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