Director's Note 5/1/16

May 1, 2016

The evidence of the senses can be confusing. If we wake to a cold, grey day--too cold, it seems, for this time of year; perhaps as grey as our own dark thoughts--but are greeted with patches of daffodils so bright they vibrate, aggressively green grass, and magnolias holding forth in their whiteness and pinkness, what do we make of the dissonance? It is spring in Wisconsin, and the plants and animals are taking it far more calmly than the humans, marching steadily toward growth and rebirth.

Rebirth was on the menu last weekend when Andy Yencha supervised our first prairie burn at Lynden. Andy has been developing a land management plan that highlights different zones within Lynden's acres, and continuing the prairie restoration work begun by Bob Retko is part of that plan. Working with Paul Ryan and his crew and some volunteers, we burned two areas we hope to be able to enjoy as functional, beautiful prairies in the future. Andy will be writing about this and other landscape matters on our blog as time permits.

Spring is, of course, a busy time at Lynden, and you'll see lots of activity outdoors over the next month or two as we upgrade our sheds, work on the changing house, and begin installation of Eliza's Peculiar Cabinet of Curiosities. Artist Fo Wilson will be staying onsite periodically to work on the cabin installation. Nick Matthes was in this morning to hook up the power for Emilie Clark's Research Station; once it is fully charged we will be planting a new aquaponic garden, re-outfitting the interior with equipment, books, and samples, and restocking the aquarium with fish. We'll be delighted to have the sculpture back in regular use in time for spring field trips and summer camps. Paul Druecke's Garden Path is due for some new mulch, and once the shed is finished we should be able to finish the restoration of Marta Pan's Floating Sculpture so that we can get it back in the pond.

Summer hours begin May 18: we'll be staying open until 7:30 pm on Wednesdays for picnickers, strollers, and those who want to come after work. The big event in May is Kites Over Lynden, with the grow crew helping out as we make kites from repurposed plastic bags. Artists-in-residence Pat Hidson and Tori Tasch enliven the day by helping you make kite tails using the cyanotype process, followed by an artist talk about their installation in the birch grove (treats will follow!). Jamie Lea Bertsch is back with lap looms for tapestry weaving, Leslie Perrino pops in for her annual Mother's Day Silk Scarf Painting workshop, Katheryn Corbin offers a session of Primitive Raku, and Jeremy Stepien will be making wicker trellises inspired by a visit to Monet's garden. New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki drops by the Women's Speaker Series to talk about her latest, Sisi: Empress on Her Own and Kim Cridler will be giving an artist talk about her exhibition, The Descriptive Line. May 21 is dog day, and Chuck Stebelton leads another bird walk the next day (he identified 27 species last month). The very young can experiment with matching at Tuesdays in the Garden and during Story Time in the Garden. Many of our school-year programs are winding down as we move on to summer camps: we'll have our last homeschool day of the season, and Art Drop-In meets weekly on Wednesdays through May 25.

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