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From the Wild Side

January 14, 2013

From the Wild Side is a new, regular feature on our blog. Author Bob Retko has been on the staff at Lynden since 1966.

Wood Duck Nest Boxes

This winter the ice formation on most bodies of water in Wisconsin was painfully slow and unpredictable. The three inches required to safely hold a human came to Lynden’s ponds in early January, about a month later than average. It is the clear first ice that allows us easier access to clear out and store the sculpture garden’s two wood duck nest boxes.

If you have walked around the Big Lake you may have seen one weathered cedar nest box fixed to a pipe among the white cedars on the water’s edge at the east bay. The second is located across the road to the north in the much smaller Lily Pond. We haven’t been keeping records, but those two nest boxes have been in the same location for well over 20 years. Each spring they play a central role in the courtship and breeding of “woodies” at Lynden.

There is a good chance that you may see mallard ducklings throughout the spring and summer on the waters here. Since mallards are for the most part ground nesters, a mallard hen’s biggest concern is finding adequate ground cover to avoid the multitude of predators so that she can bring off a successful clutch of eggs. Should she be successful, she and her brood might stay on the open ponds all summer. Wood ducks, on the other hand, are cavity nesters and while they may face less of a threat from ground predators, the availability of suitable nest cavities may be a limiting factor. Wood ducks prefer to spend most of their time on wooded creeks and sloughs rather than on open water. As a result, you would be very lucky to see a more secretive wood duck hen with her brood at Lynden. Most wood duck broods hatch around Memorial Day and are taken by the hen to brushy waterways after a day or two.

If you are interested in erecting wood duck nest boxes to attract waterfowl, you need to commit to maintaining the boxes each year to improve the occupancy rate and nesting success. At Lynden, we have mounted our boxes on steel pipes over water. This greatly reduces the chances of predators such as squirrels, opossums and raccoons gaining access. When the ice forms in early winter, we pull the nest box and the pipe from the lake bottom, open the nest box and check for hatched eggs, and clean out the nest cavity. Removing the box in winter also prevents squirrels from using it to raise their young just prior to the arrival of the wood ducks in early April. Once cleaned, the nest box is stored. The boxes are filled with fresh wood shavings and reinstalled as the honeycombed old ice of winter recedes in the spring.

Wood Duck Nest Boxes
Weston Wagner, Assistant Groundskeeper

Wood Duck Nest Boxes

Marcasiano Works on the Grounds

November 5, 2012

We've already covered artist Colombe Marcasiano's residence at Lynden here, here and here, and now we wanted to share with you pictures of the temporary installations she's left behind now that her residency is over.

You can, of course, see these works in person at the garden!

More Colombe Marcasiano Pictures

October 29, 2012

Yesterday, to mark the end of her month-long residency at Lynden, Paris-based artist Colombe Marcasiano gave an artist talk about her work at the garden. Throughout her time here, Colombe temporarily installed and then deinstalled multiple works. For her talk she put up three pieces including the birdhouses pictured below.

Colombe Marcasiano Continues to Experiment in the Garden...

October 24, 2012

See our previous blog post about Colombe Marcasiano's work at Lynden here.

Colombe Marcasiano's Conversation with Lynden

October 16, 2012

Colombe Marcasiano, Lynden's first long term artist-in-residence is currently in the middle of her month-long stay at Lynden, and we wanted to post a preview of the work she's been doing. Right now, Marcasiano seems to be having a conversation with the garden; she's making pieces, siting them on the grounds and then bringing them back inside. To discover the final result of this conversation, join us on October 28th for the unveiling of her outdoor installation.

Nohl Fellow Update: Richard Galling

September 3, 2012

2011 Nohl Fellow Richard Galling is part of a group show at PEREGRINEPROGRAM in Chicago called Did You See Heaven: WYSIWYG. The exhibition was selected as a Top 5 Weekend Pick by Bad at Sports.

For more on Galling's work, click here.

Nohl Fellow Update: Sonja Thomsen

August 23, 2012

Sonja Thomsen: lacuna

2011 Nohl Fellow Sonja Thomsen will be showing an iteration of her 2009 installation, Lacuna, at Catherine Edelman Gallery's project space, Ctrl+P: Photography taken offline. The show (Headliner: Terry Evans and Ctrl+P: Sonja Thomsen) opens Friday, September 7th and runs through October 27th, 2012. Thomsen has previously exhibited Lacuna in Reykjavik Iceland; Milwaukee WI; Madison WI; New Jersey NY; Indianapolis IN; and Rochester NY.

For more on the show, click here.

For more on Thomsen's work, click here.

Harry & Peg Bradley's Backyard Barbecue Slideshow

August 17, 2012

We'd like to thank everyone who helped make our first ever fundraiser for our education programs a success. Enjoy a slideshow of the festivities below, courtesy of Claire Ruzicka, who took pictures of the event.

Coming (and Going) Attractions Pictures

July 18, 2012

We'd like to give a big (and slightly belated) thank you to everybody who attended Coming (and Going) Attractions this past Sunday. Claire Ruzicka took some wonderful photos of the event. I've posted a few below, but to see the entire set, click here.

Photo: Claire Ruzicka

Photo: Claire Ruzicka
Roy Staab

Photo: Claire Ruzicka
Jon Mueller

Photo: Claire Ruzicka
Lingo DanceTheatre

Photo: Claire Ruzicka
Juniper Tar

Nohl Fellow Update: William Andersen & Mark Escribano

July 13, 2012

2004 Nohl Fellow William Andersen recently sold a piece from his 2005 Nohl Exhibition, Mi er wa qi, to our good friends at Chipstone. The piece, a chinoiserie drill (pictured below), is displayed alongside other works by Andersen at Chipstone.

Mi er wa qi, 2005, William Andersen

Mark Escribano, a 2003 Nohl fellow, has a great Q&A with Art City's Mary Louise Schumacher over on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel site. The conversation touches on Escribano's move from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, his recent work on several "orphaned" art films he began while living in Milwaukee, and more. Read the interview here.

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