Thursday, May 10, 2012

Snake Hollow

Pulling into the parking lot at Bernheim Forest's visitor center last night, we spied a long black snake hurrying across the warm pavement towards the safety of the nearby trees. By the time we reached it, it had disappeared entirely just a foot away from where we had last seen it. Maybe he was heading for Snake Hollow.

Last month, artist Patrick Dougherty created a most unusual kind of sculpture entirely from willow sticks, and Dick was very excited to help in its construction.

Huh? Art from willow sticks? I wouldn't have thought of it either, but this is very attractive, and kid friendly. It resembles a house after a severe storm - the roof and siding are both gone, revealing all the structural beams - and it tilts quite a bit in the direction of the wind.

Most sculpture is something you just stand there and look at, but the twists and turns invite you to enter and explore. In fact, some of the doors are designed for children only, and lead to little hidey-holes where a child can giggle softly while parents call his name just on the other side of the wall.

Patrick said he didn't want to make a maze, because kids can get lost and scared when they can't find their way out. This is more like a labyrinth where each turn leads you someplace else.

A fascinating little green and white spider has taken up residence in the Hollow. I don't know what kind it is, and hope someone will recognize it. As the sun sinks down, shadows play on the walls and the floor of each corridor.

The fish pond at the Visitor Center reflected the sky and wisteria trellis above, until one of the fish jumped for an insect, setting the image in motion.

Dick spoke to the Bernheim volunteers last night about our trip to the Galapgos Islands last summer, and I went along as his personl IT techie. I don't know how the horticulture department managed to change their DNA to grow little name tags!

Of course, the Barn Swallows are nesting in the rafters under the porch at the Garden Pavilion, as they do every year, while the Purple Martins swoop around their white gourds just across the lake. Don't worry, there are plenty of insects for all the birds who eat them.

By the time we left, the guards counted our cars going out the half-closed gate, making sure no one was left inside the property after hours. Are there purple mountains at Bernheim? No, just some tall clouds from a storm system passing north of us. You can see why we love this place!

No comments: