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Lantern Festival at Forest Hills Cemetery

The Lantern Festival is an annual Jamaica Plain tradition that takes place at Forest Hills Cemetery. Attendees decorate lanterns in memory of loved ones. After lighting a small candle in the center, each lantern is placed on Hibiscus Pond. The prayers and well-wishes then swirl around the pond.

Lanterns on Hibiscus Pond
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Urban Nature Walk: Arnold Arboretum

On Sunday, I joined an Urban Nature Walk in the Arnold Arboretum led by Jef. Last year at this time, a few magnolias, cherries, and red maples were blooming. This year, winter still held sway with temperatures in the 30s F, a cold wind, and patches of snow hiding in shadow.

Despite the cold, we found a few plants in flower. Skunk cabbages (Symplocarpus foetidus) were popping up near the marsh.

Skunk Cabbage in bloom
Skunk cabbage in bloom

The rosegold pussy willow (Salix gracilistyla), native to East Asia, was also starting to bloom.

Rosegold pussy willow flowers
Yellow in an oval of red on a bed of cotton.

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