Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Early Spring Evening, 1953; watercolor on paper, 20 x 40 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, May 20, 1954
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Our 32nd anniversary.
(Bought for Bertha, a wrist-watch, which pleased her a lot). It was long over-due.
A.M. Drove to the Hillside Woods about 20 miles south of Springville (where we used to go for Hepaticas). A delightfully cool sunny day – May-time in its full glory – Lilacs just about half-out; apple trees still showing white clouds tinged with pink; woods beautiful with all the infinite variety of yellow greens, orange-pink and russet greens, accented by the deep black greens of hemlock & pine – the air full of the songs of orioles, wrens and red-wings.
On the way we surprised two young does just about to cross the road – they retreated in the direction from which they had come.
Parked by the Hillside woods where Greek Valerian was growing in great profusion. Dug a few plants, then we climbed the hill and wandered in the woods awhile, digging a few sweet-Williams –
A wood-thrush sung –
Then we drove south to Rt. 242, then North on the new Ashville Hollow Rd, and beyond, going west on the East Otto road. Here we came upon a pond formed by a newly built town (part of the N.Y. Wild-life Restoration Program as a sign informed us) Here we parked and ate our lunch.
It was a golden hour. Almost complete solitude – (but two cars went by the whole time we were there). Watching the various birds – red wings, king-birds, swallows, and wild-duck – once a flock of swallows came over the pond, playing the game they so love of circling in dizzy whirls, tagging each other –
But most delightful of all it seemed, was to watch the sun-stars dancing on the tiny wavelets formed by an intermittent wind – sometimes the wind would die down completely and water was almost smooth, with only a tiny star here & there – then far down the long pond we could see hundreds of glittering stars began to dance, and then sweep up towards us in a bewildering wave on wave of glittering profusion, until the whole surface of the water in front of us was chopped by the brilliant tiny suns. Almost as if they could be heard.
We finally tore ourselves away; turned north at the East Otto church, taking the dirt road North to the Zoar Valley. The dust unpleasant – it seeped into the car.
North on the Trevett Road. We saw two deer again. This time, as I waited, they crossed the road.
A huge lilac bush, all alone. We got a few sprays – the odor is always a new-born miracle and sends the mind back-ward into the past with almost a dizzy violence.
Stopped at the woods near the Black Walnut Place to get a couple of bane-berry plants.
Home. – Anniversary greetings from Mary H & Louise.
P.M. – Setting the new plants in the wild-flower garden. While I was thus engaged, Bertha came out with glowing-face to tell me Sally had called from Caro to congratulate us. (Red has taken the job at Bellefonte – Sally will stay until school is out – sell the house etc. then join him the June).
Evening – to Café Rouge for dinner – we told our waitress who we were & asked her if she remembered our girls, who had worked here while going to school. She did, & said she was “Cel”-
Then to the cinema to see “Little Fugitive” – a most delightful story, beautifully done – of two brothers – 12 & 7 and a day they spent in Coney Island, the older seeking the younger one, who had run away, thinking he had killed his brother (a joke the older boy & his companions had played). The mother absent overnight because of her mother’s illness). Both did a fine job of acting, but the younger was outstanding – a heart warming [sic] little human drama.
With it a movie of Queen Elizabeth’s tour of the Empire.
Charles E. Burchfield, May 20, 1954