Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rainy Wednesday.... who would have believed it. Seems like months since we've had any rain, probably because it's BEEN months since we've had any rain. More rain today tomorrow. We've got a few hundred plants to plant that will have to wait a few days now for the soil to dry out a bit, but that's okay- I'll take the rain.

The monthly tour of the Blomquist Garden, called the "Walk on the Wild Side", will focus on drought, and what happens to forest ecosystems in times of prolonged dry weather. In honor of my talk, it will most likely rain next Thursday. See you at 11 at the Blomquist gatehouse.

I'm working this morning on a new entry for the Blomquist Plant I.D. Blog "Name That Native". I'll be posting entries for that blog through October, then I'll take the late- fall and winter off, and start back up again when Spring arrives.

If you read my last post, you may remember me mentioning a 5K race I was going to run on campus last Friday. I bring it up again to comment on aging. I ran a lot when I was in high school and college, and thought I was pretty good. I recently starting running again (could have something to do with just having turned forty in July, not sure though). At any rate, with a quarter of a mile to go in that race last week I was in the lead, only to get passed by a nineteen year old at the very end. Payback is a #$^%#. Twenty years ago, I was that kid doing my level best to put any old geezer racing against me in my rear view mirror. I even remember what it felt like to put your foot down on the accelerator and find that extra gear when it counted most. I tried that on Friday myself, but something went wrong with my transmission, and that gear was nowhere to be found. I'm taking this hunk of junk into the shop.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Holy Taxonomy Batman! Time flies when you're not blogging.... Lots going on. Plant sale this weekend from 9-2 this Saturday here at the gardens. Lots of plants to choose from- both native and exotic. I'm running in the Pauly Dog's 5k run on Friday evening on East campus- I'm skipping the hot dog eating contest. Never seemed a good idea to run in ninety degree weather and then wolf down as much of something as you possibly can. I'm a vegetarian anyway, and I've never eaten a tofu dog that I'd want another of. At the sale we'll have a special collection of piedmont native perennials for sale in the Blomquist Collection area- come see us!

Some fun improvements happening in the Blomquist Garden- we're about halfway done with a garden renovation near the entry gatehouse. We've pulled out the exisiting plants and potted them, and we've improved the soil and irrigation. yesterday we began installing some of the "bones" in the form of boulders, shrubs, ferns and sedges. Soon we'll add some decaying logs, and then the flowering perennials will come last. Check it out!

Can't think of anything else to say right now, except "Will someone please throw a few three day weekends into the calendar, and pronto! I'm fried" Thanks in advance for your cooperation, whoever is in charge of the whole weekend type thing. See you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

a quick note- the latest blog post in my native plant i.d. blog is up- a good many goldenrods and others who are in bloom right now- check it out, you might learn the name of that plant you've been seeing on the roadside on the way to work. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I love three day weekends. Who was the @#$#^%$ who shortened them to two!?

A few notes.... we had a great "Walk on the Wild Side" last Thursday. Our topic was the early twentieth century Chicago area landscape architect Jens Jensen, and his impact on ecological landscape design. Lots of fun. As an ecology student interested in landscape design, Jens Jensen was one of my heroes, and he remains so today. I mentioned that I'd add a few links about him in a blog post- here ya go!

Jensen was a bigwig in the development of the parks and nature preserves in and around Chicago. Here's a link to an article detailing some of his legacy in that part of the country.

His book entitled Siftings is a treatise on the need for closer connection with our natural environment, among other topics. I read it twenty years ago, and still have fond memories of it.

Jensen was also enamored of working with his hands, and the peace and well-being that could be derived from a life of craftmanship. He took this love and translated it into a folk school in Door County, Wisconsin, an amazing spot to spend some time if you've never been. The Clearing is alive and well today, carrying on Jensen's love of all things handmade.

oh yes... the name of the author that I was struggling to remember during the walk who makes me think of Jens Jensen is Wendell Berry. My favorite book of his is one of his non-fiction essay collections entitled A Continuous Harmony.

one last thing... I've posted a photo gallery of the new handmade cedar railings in the Blomquist Wildlife Garden. Click here to check it out!