Mr. & Mrs. Mallard are looking for a nice place in Boston to start a family. While they are searching for the perfect place Mrs. Mallard hatches 8 little ducklings. Mr. Mallard looks for a new home and arranges to meet Mrs. Mallard in Boston Public Garden. Mrs. Mallard has to lead her ducklings from the Charles River through traffic and other obstacles. Fortunately, the police help out so that everyone will make way for ducklings.
Make Way for Ducklings is a best selling children's book written by Robert McCloskey back in 1941. In 1987 the bronze sculpture arrived in Boston Public Garden and has become almost as popular as the book.
The sculpture shows Mrs. Mallard leading her children towards the pond that they will eventually call home. Her children are called Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack.
In 1634 Boston Common was created as America’s first public park and Boston Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in America opening in 1837.
A large number of ducks call the garden home so every spring there is a new group of ducklings following their mothers around on a new adventure. The rest of the year Mrs. Mallard will always be there to the delight of visiting children.
The Big Dig was an ambitious project in Boston. It took the elevated roadways that ran through the city and moved them underground. It cost billions of dollars and ran well over budget. Construction started in 1991 and finally finished about 10 years later than anticipated in 2007. Still, it was an example of long term thinking that changed the face of Boston forever. We think for the better.
As part of the project, the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge was built over the Charles River and the Rose Kennedy Greenway (above) was built where the old highway once stood. Both projects were named after prominent figures from Boston. Leonard Zakim was a civil rights activist and Rose Kennedy was the mother of president John F Kennedy along with 8 other Kennedy children.
The Zakim Bridge has become a recognizable Boston landmark. It was the widest cable stayed bridge in the world at one point. In the movie Zookeeper, Kevin James climbs the bridge on the back of his gorilla friend Bernie. They are trying to find the taxi Rosario Dawson is taking to the airport and stop her. Thanks to the Zakim Bridge and the Big Dig getting to the airport in Boston is easier than ever.
We have stayed at the Marriot Residence Inn in Charlestown on more than one occasion and had a view of the Zakim Bridge from our room. The closest bridge is North Washington Street Bridge and the Zakim Bridge is behind it.
We often took a shortcut through the Charles River locks to get from our hotel to the subway. It was also more fun, especially when a boat was passing through.
You can also get a nice close-up view of the bridge by day.
And by night.
When the sun sets the upside down Ys that hold the cable and support the bridge stand out against the sky. The Zakim Bridge and parkland created by the Big Dig make walking around Boston a pleasant experience. You almost forget that underneath your feet hundreds of cars are rushing through tunnels trying to get across the city. Map of Our World Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge , Charles River Locks Rose Kennedy Greenway
Post # 260
Granary Burying Ground in Boston has been a graveyard since the late 1600s. Many of the graves have been worn thin through the years or had the writing on their faces worn down to where they are unreadable. Many famous people in Boston's history are buried here. We were looking for one grave in particular. The grave of Mother Goose.
Mother Goose is credited with many nursery rhymes. Some famous ones are "Three Blind Mice", "Humpty Dumpty" or Hickory Dickory Dock". After hunting around the cemetery we finally located her grave.
Mary Goose died in 1690. Her husband Issac remarried to a woman called Elizabeth. Thomas Fleet married her daughter also called Elizabeth. It is said that grandmother Goose sang songs and rhymes when Thomas and his wife had their first child. Thomas being a printer made a book of some of these rhymes called Mother Goose's Melodies For Children. This is said to be the first use of Mother Goose in America but Mother Goose had also been associated with rhymes in England long before even Mary Goose's death.
So it appears there is no true Mother Goose. At least not in a cemetery in Boston. Most people are familiar with some Mother Goose nursery rhymes even if much like the myth of Boston's Mother Goose, they have changed and been re-written through the years.
The Hancock Tower is the tallest tower in Boston. It is named afterJohn Hancock Insurance company which had offices there. The insurance company is named after John Hancock whose signature is on the Declaration of Independence. Johm Hancock's grave is also located in Granary Burying Ground.
Paul Revere's grave is also located in the Granary Burying Ground. Paul Revere is best known for riding through Massachusetts warning that the British were coming. We didn't see his grave, but did visit his statue in Boston's North End. Granary Burying Ground is filled with centuries of history and a little bit of mystery.
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is a private school specializing in science and technology. Ray Stata was a graduate in 1957 and contributed to the construction of what is now the Ray and Maria Stata Center.
The building is also known as building 32 and was designed by architect Frank Gehry. Gehry is well known for creating unusual buildings around the world.
The Stata Center opened in 2004 and looks like it belongs in some sort of cartoon world.
There is no shortage of skewed walls and odd angles.
The shiny roof on some portions of the building further distorts whatever it is reflecting.
Windows appear to be different sizes and look as if they were glued onto the building after it was finished.
A second level balcony offered even more unusual views. We wondered what it would look like if we were peering out one of the funny windows. Then again we don't quite have the qualifications to be accepted to MIT.
We took a peek into one window and came face to face with a dead ringer for Johnny 5 from the Short Circuit movies. It appears that some research is being done behind these curvy walls. Who knows what future graduates may come up with? At least the Stata Center will give them something to think about.
This Easter weekend we thought it would be a good time to take a look at our top 10 bunny encounters. Here they are in no particular order.
1 )Lop-Eared Rabbit
A friend of ours used to care for a very cute lop-eared bunny. A lop-eared bunny is a bunny whose long ears hang (we guess you could say lop) down. You will notice all of the other bunnies in this blog post have ears that stand straight up or sit back on top of their heads.
2) Bugs Bunny
One of the all-time favourite bunnies is Bugs Bunny from the Looney Tunes cartoons. He is among a short list of animated characters to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The outline drawing of Bugs Bunny (above) was in the Warner Brothers Studio's Museum.
3) Flemish Giant Rabbit
From Bugs Bunny we go to Big Bunny. A Flemish giant rabbit can weigh up to 10 kg and grow to about 30 inches long. It is one of the largest domesticated rabbits. The bunny above was at the Toronto Zoo for a short time and shared an enclosure with the wombats and wallabies. Perhaps it had outgrown its previous living space.
4) Arctic Hare
While we were in Churchill, Manitoba we spotted this hare just across the road from our lodge. While it may not be the smartest thing to do in polar bear territory at night, we headed outside to try and get a closer look. Luckily, he stood still long enough for us to get the picture above. It took us some time to determine if this was an arctic hare or a snowshoe hare as both inhabit Churchill. We read about one having bigger feet or ears than the other. Some reports said that one has bigger eyes or fluffier fur. We made our determination by the black on the ears. As far as we can tell arctic hares (like this one) have black just on the top tip of their ears while snowshoe hares have a black edge that may cover the tip, but runs further along the ear as well.
5) Lionhead Rabbit
A lionhead rabbit is bred to have a mane around its face like a lion. They end up looking like little balls of fur with ears. We wondered how they can even see where they are hopping. When taking pictures, the bunny below did flash us a look from beneath all that fur just to let us know he was in there. The lionhead above is from Prickly Ball Farm and the lionhead below is from Far Enough Farm.
6) Rabbit Balloon
Artist Jeff Koons had a piece of his art appear in Toronto's Nuit Blanche 2009. It was simply named Rabbit Balloon. It featured a giant shiny silver bunny that was floating inside the Eaton Centre. This bunny also once floated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2007.
7) Tortoise & Hare
In Boston's Copley Square is a sculpture of a tortoise and a hare. It was installed as a tribute to runner's of the famous Boston Marathon. It is based on the popular fable of The Tortoise & the Hare. The fable tells the story of a rabbit who was so confident in his ability to outrun the tortoise that during a race he ran ahead and took a nap. While he napped the tortoise passed by heading for the finish line. The hare finally awoke and tried to catch up, but it was too late.
8) Cute Bunnies
We think that all rabbits are cute. There is something special about a tiny bunny that you can pick up and hold in your hands while it sits quietly twitching its little nose. These cuties are from the Toronto Zoo kid's section and from Jungle Cat World.
9) Chocolate Bunnies
Chocolate shaped like eggs is good. Chocolate shaped like bunnies is good. This bunny above is a box from Teuscher Chocolates and hides a chocolate truffle in its belly. We like chocolate.
10) Eastern Cottontail
The one rabbit that we have encountered the most is the eastern cottontail. Actually we have eaten more chocolate bunnies and watched more Bugs Bunny cartoons than we have had encounters with eastern cottontails. Let's try that again. The eastern cottontail is the wild rabbit that we have encountered the most. Sometimes when you least expect it you look out into the yard and there is one munching away on something. Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail!