Wednesday, May 26, 2021

More Wanderings Across the Pennsylvania Border from Wilmington, Delaware

 This is the last of my three posts documenting my nature-based findings while visiting Wilmington, Delaware, President Biden’s hometown, as well as the surrounding Brandywine Valley and across the Pennsylvania border. 

Longwood Gardens is draped with a rainbow of brilliant colors — beyond the tulips that the crowds sought.

Though a springtime visit to Longwood Gardens means you’ll find the venue thronged with those who came for the showy flowers, I chose to stroll along paths that bordered the expansive and picturesque Meadow Garden that exuded nothing but a sense of calm.

Seeking to avoid the masses at Longwood Gardens who came for the tulips, I discovered serene woodlands.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

More Nature-Based Discoveries in Delaware

This is the second of three posts documenting my nature-based findings while visited Wilmington, Delaware, President Biden’s hometown, as well as the surrounding Brandywine Valley. 

The myriad colors and textures in the gardens of the Nemours Estate, a grand duPont property, easily allow visitors to be wrapped up in a sense of tranquility that seems endless.

A sense of magic and wonder pervades the stunning grounds of The Inn at Montchanin Village, a former 19th century hamlet and DuPont property that exudes charm and offers a window into a long ago era.

Broad sweeps of verdancy characterize the serene Brandywine Valley that surrounds Wilmington, Delaware.

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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Nature-Based Discoveries in Delaware

I recently visited Wilmington, Delaware, President Biden’s hometown, as well as the surrounding Brandywine Valley. This is one of several posts documenting the lush parks and gardens I discovered.

 I love coffee and gardens. So imagine my surprise to find not just awesome coffee but the prettiest outdoor seating around at Brew HaHa! cafe in the Greenville suburb of Wilmington. (They also serve tasty breakfast sandwiches.)

Despite the throngs who came to gape at tulips at the expansive Longwood Gardens (just 12 miles away across the border of Pennsylvania), I managed to find a sense of magic in areas that attracted few.

Home to the Enchanted Woods, the Winterthur Gardens in Delaware wraps visitors in a veil of magic no matter where you walk.

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Friday, May 21, 2021

Face Masks and COVID Infection

 Now that the CDC has offered new face mask guidelines — that fully vaccinated people basically don’t need to wear a mask outdoors or indoors — many people are either celebrating or are expressing confusion. I’m doing neither. Since I’m a scientist by training with a background in epidemiology, I have decided that, though I’m fully vaccinated, I have no intention of going indoors to a restaurant, grocery, theater or other public places without a mask. That’s because we still don’t know how the vaccines perform in the face of the myriad COVID variants, including the new one festering in India, let alone those in Brazil and South Africa, to name a few. In addition, the vaccines are not 100% in preventing infection, though they are highly effective in significantly reducing the risk of getting seriously ill, being hospitalized or dying from COVID. For myself, I’ve decided to wear a 4-ply mask on all means of transportation — bus, ferry, train, plane — and also indoors, whether I’m shopping or buying takeout food. After all, there’s no way for me to know who is or isn’t vaccinated. (But a substantial segment of the population — some 20% or more — say they will not get vaccinated. In addition, in many states, such as Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, under 30% of the population has been vaccinated so far, substantially lower numbers than in the Northeast.) I do not intent on eating indoors nor visiting a wine bar because that means not wearing a mask in a closed environment with other maskless people who may or may not be vaccinated. Yes, I know this probably sounds either paranoiac or overly vigilant. I’m fine with that. 

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