This is my new favorite phenology spot. I’m now capturing this solitary walnut tree, which is located on the drive into Bernheim, on a regular basis. These two shots were, respectively, September 12 and October 3rd, 2014. I still have much love for my older photographic subjects but I really like the way these shots capture the tree, the grassland, and the tree line in the distance. I’m hoping there is a good bit of information that will be captured here that might be used in some way in the future. And I can’t wait to see this tree through the winter months. This has been one of the highest mast production years in memory. The walnuts, persimmons, pecans, hickories, dogwoods, oaks and others have been pumping out the fruit/seeds this year. Fecund.
The current artist-in-residence at Bernheim is Mei Ling Hom. Her web page is HERE. She’s currently working on a sculpture that will be set up in the Edible Garden along a sweeping walkway that goes from the arbor to the raised growing beds. It involves creating around 50 individual “dits” and “dahs” that make up Morse Code. Each “dit” will be filled with soil and planted with a lavender plant. Each “dah” will be planted with a row of European garlic. The roots of the plants will be inoculated with Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi which will form a relationship with the plant that, in theory, will allow the plants to grow better than they would without the fungi. As the sculptural piece rots over time they will leave the soil beneath them in better shape than before. This concept of regenerative design is part of the larger garden design considerations. Here’s some pictures of the pieces in production. I’ll post pictures of the sculpture in place later. Mei Ling’s partner, Dave, is instrument in all of this happening.
As is my custom (actually addiction) I’ve got my eyes on a short list of plants and vistas that I follow closely in the spring. Here’s two photos of the buds on two of my index trees. Both are at Bernheim. The first is a butternut (Juglans cineria) and the second is an Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra). I take frequent pictures of both of these as I track the timing of their development each year. These pictures were taken on 3-14-14.
I know that the readers of this blog are few. And I know that the few are not close. But… Next Friday and Saturday is the first Children at Play Conference at Bernheim (near Louisville Kentucky). I’ve been pulling the larger Children at Play Initiative that this conference kicks off for over a year. This is the start of an on-going effort to reinvent the universe of outdoor play spaces in my region. I know, in my bones, that this community will become a hot-spot for the most amazing outdoor play environments to be found. With a bit of help we will simply make it so. If you want to find out more about the upcoming conference simply click HERE.
Every morning when I arrive at Bernheim and see the Big Prairie I take a deep breath. I am lucky to work in the middle of this kind of landscape.