BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"The Walk to the Paradise Garden"; the lawsuit

Yesterday in the rain, by Bob Immoor. New slots posted (see to the right of this post)

My title today is that of a wonderful piece of classical music by Frederick Delius. It makesme think of the sanctuary Woodland Trail that starts at the yellow minibridge and ends at the main hummingbird viewing area near the cottages and the bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. Many visitors compare the sanctuary to paradise, though I usually respond that's it's a cross between that and a junkyard. Indeed, the land here was for many years used as a farmers' garbage dump, and whenever I plant something I come up with old bottles and shoes, rusted-out engines and bedsteads (one of which still adorns the woodland trail) and so forth. Of course when the neighbors' "landscaping" team are here it's more like hell than heaven.

The Youtube video painting captures a bit of the flavor. It's by Atkinson Grimshaw who was born in and worked in Yorkshire, along with Delius and yours truly (all within a few miles of each other). The piece is an interlude from Delius's opera "A Village Romeo and Juliet", and the "Paradise Garden" is just the name of a seedy pub where the lovers meet. Again rather appropriate! One of the comments on this video (Barbirolli conducting) refers accurately to "sumptuous dream music".

Delius spent several years in the US around 1900, residing in Florida on the St John's river, and also in Danville, Virginia, both rather pretty places - back then. Claire and I once spent an afternoon searching for his orange plantation in Florida - as did the violinist and Delian Tasmin Little:

The good citizens of Danbury recently organized a celebration of his stay there. He often visited Burleigh Plantation, just over the North Carolina border. Delius finally settled in Grez-sur-Loing (near Paris). There's a marvelous Ken Russell video about his life:

Here's another wonderful piece he wrote in response to his garden in Grez.

I keep intending to write about the ongoing lawsuit seeking to close the hummingbird sanctuary, and the corresponding Town action, but the whole subject is so unpleasant that words seem, uncharacteristically, to fail me. But I will write something soon,  to update everyone. But there are no big surprises.

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