And as of this weekend, it is definitely spring. The magnolia trees are blooming, the air is getting heavy with pollen (as judged by my poor wifes allergies) and the temperature is creeping into the 60's and 70's. Yup .. spring is definitely here.
Plus last week was Passover, so that means that it is definitely time for spring. Passover was a bit late this year, mid- rather than early April, but Cherry Hill was still a bit damp and cold, though I did wear shorts most of the time. It was, as usual, a wonderful time, with a big seder on the 1st night (25), the Rappaports (who always make it fantastic) came over, and Arthur Bailey came along with Tom and Barbara, and our friends Jen & Volkan came down from the Bronx for the night - Volkan blew Buckys mind by telling him he was in Betar. The second night was a much smaller (just the 13 family) seder, somewhat tired and subdued but still wonderful food and good company. More than anything, as my nephew and nieces were running around, communicating and interactive and just incredibly fun and wonderful, this passover made me realize that the holiday is really for the kids ... and how important it is for us to make it accessible to and share it with them.
Anyway, back to spring and hiking, today Aviva and I met up with Jen and Volkan and their wonderful dog Maddie to go hiking in Mountain Lakes Park in northern Westchester county, up in the irrefutably cute town of North Salem ... I mean the town and the surroundings are gorgeous, like a Crate & Barrel catalog for farms and street signs. The park itself was great, a bunch of small lakes strung together along a series of small rivulets - the defining feature of many of the trails we went on today was wet and muddy and kind of rich with life - you could see the swamp lettuce blooming all over the park. The park also contains, Mt. Bailey, purported by my trail guide to be the highest point in Westchester county. This is something I seriously doubt, and the mountain, as it was, was not particularly impressive ... in fact I am not sure we noticed when we were on top of it.
Still, the whole park was great - though I am sure it would be even better in the late spring once all the trees have leaves, because the trail we took today would be under a leafy canopy then - we kind of hiked around one side of the lakes along a gravel road, then closed in on the other side and spent some time throwing sticks for Maddie in Hemlock Lake before walking around Spruce lake, through the parks ropes course (which looked cool, I would happily go back) and back to the cars. The hike was short and easy, but it was really nice to be outside and just enjoying the forest, plus there were a number of small waterfalls around the park which I got to photograph ... all in all a pretty great day :)