City Mouse Country Mouse

DSCN1781

Al fresco dining: one of the chief pleasures of the season. Above, the garden of Brooklyn’s Bedouin Tent restaurant on Atlantic Avenue, with a view of the Belarussian church next door

THESE DAYS, I’M BOTH a city mouse and a country mouse. I’ve been bouncing around from here to there — a few days in Brooklyn, a few days in Springs (Long Island, N.Y.), depending on what I have to do.

DSCN1637

The newish and very welcome Botanica Garden Center on Atlantic between Third and Fourth Avenues

DSCN1630

Look what’s behind the Botanica Garden Center, above

DSCN1636

Out in front, impromptu green space

DSCN1615

Row of three houses, surprisingly genteel, along gritty Ninth Street in Gowanus

Back in the country, I have a sense of purpose I didn’t have a couple of months back. An erupting garden, in need of watering, weeding, and deer-spraying, will do that.

DSCN1749

My backyard greening up, as it looked a week ago

DSCN1756

The scrawny magnolia I inherited is filling out, year by year

DSCN1768

Great, deer-proof stuff: kerria japonica

DSCN1765

Local color, before the tree leafed out

DSCN1761

Gardiner’s Bay, above, a short walk from my house. The raison d’etre of everything

“Gobble it up with your eyes,” my mother used to say. Spring’s beauty is already fleeing. Trees that were in full flower a week or two ago are now all-green. Savor it while it lasts, and then — since we have no choice — let it go.