Thursday, December 20, 2007

More at Red Rock

What's unusual when we visit Red Rock Canyon is the time I actually have to look, listen and feel the wind. If you've read Tony Hillerman detective novels, you will be aware that the arroyos carve the space, give depth to the wide expanse beneath the hills. Water, either its lack or overwhelming torrents on the rare occasions of fast-rising storms, dictates the rocky canyons. Here in the Mojave desert, you can see the scrub that survives along the edge of the wash. Details of tiny survivor plants arrest.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lyrical Landscape: Dr. Atomic

A few nights ago, I was lucky enough to stare intimately at the mountainous silhouette that was the Lyric opera's stage set for Dr. Atomic. Given my past life in the theater, I would be thrilled to attend anything done by the visionary librettist and stage director, Peter Sellars. And of course the composer, John Adams, is famed for his previous opera Nixon in China. Having missed that, I jumped at the chance to witness this production.
You are probably aware that the opera examines the actions and feelings of many of the principals involved in the Manhattan project. Set in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the summer of 1945, the opera focuses on J. Robert Oppenheimer. Sellars says that Dr. Atomic tries to put a human face on the human beings who created the atomic bomb. The opera was an amazing mix of trance-inducing, poetry-worshipping, heart-stopping and yes, lovely music, song, dance and art.
What does this have to do with landscape?
I quote Sellars: "The hope is that we make something that does have the feeling of what it's like to be alive right now -- with that intensity, with that sense that the stakes are that high -- global stakes. That what we do as Americans actually has incredible consequences -- genuinely high stakes for the future of the planet."
While we may not all be brilliant scientists poised to change the future on a scale this profound, we can all take responsibility for our earthly actions or lack thereof. The words still echo from one of my favorite poets, John Donne: "Batter my heart, three-person'd god. For you as yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend." Be there.

Since I don't have any images from New Mexico, above you can see Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. And if you wish to read an incredibly moving book about the effects of radiation fallout on humans and flooding on bird migration (among other things), read Terry Tempest Williams' book, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jon & Hans Olsson: Skiers Extraordinaire!

Speaking of snow, here's something fun that has nothing to do with landscape except that it couldn't exist without it. And last year's effects of global warming really influenced this sport: the Alps had so little snow early last winter that certain events were called off. I'm talking about the world's best alpine skiing competitions.

Two dear friends of ours since their births, Swedes of course, are notable in this arena. We are thrilled that Hans Olsson just came in 11th in the Men's Fis Alpine World Cup Downhill in Val Gardena, Italy. Go Hans! I still recall his older brother, Jon Olsson (at 25 the grandfather of extreme skiing) picking wildflowers in the Swedish countryside. Jon's website is way cooler than I could ever imagine.

Here's how we looked on Christmas day last year in Sweden.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


What a difference a month makes...note the pear tree: still covered in leaves, but set off by bright white. As I walked to shovel off my car, people I passed in the alley were already complaining. And I am thrilled. Not only is it magical, but the land needs the moisture. We haven't had this much snow since December of 2000, a different time. I remember that winter precisely: my husband was in Burma and so I was the sole dog-walker (a different dog too). I had recently had surgery and walked at a snail's pace. Our compassionate little Pomeranian kept in sinc with me as we traversed the ice mounds at the corner intersection. Having grown-up with big dogs, I was amazed by her prescient abilities.

The snow's luminescence juxtaposes against imaginary jungle green. Reading the wonderful novel, The Hamilton Case, (by Michelle de Kretser) set in Sri Lanka, I feel the vines twisting, smell the blossoms perfuming and hear the monkeys howling.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Urban Naturalist Goes Green!

One of our favorite spots has always been the North Park Village Nature Center in NW Chicago. Not only is the place special but their newsletter is worth its weight in gold since it details the many valuable programs. Unless you specifically request a paper copy, they are switching to an online version of the Newsletter. To receive it, go to and click on the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page. Next, mark the "yes" box for the Nature Newsletter on the following page.

Above see an image in the garden of one of our most amazing gardener clients/friends...all under Silver Maples (although that's an Acer pennsylvanicum, Snakebark Maple, in the center) think of the trees we save by switching to online communication. Of course, the electricity that powers all our servers and computers: that's another story.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Day of the Dead in San Ildefonso

Communing between the living and the dead.

Day of the Dead: Guatemalan Cemetery

Boys flying kites: November is the month of wind.

Family resting.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Behavior Change...

[At 10,000 feet in Guatemalan village without many outhouses. Toilet is land just beyond hut.]

[Deluxe composting toilet in outhouse in Guatemalan village of Casaca at AFOPADI project.] what counts for the long-term, but is not sexy (especially to funders) in the short-term. This morning, I heard a radio report on the BBC about lack of toilets and poor sanitation leading to childhood death in Cambodia. I believe the figure cited was 84% of the population do not have access to toilets. The woman interviewed (Barbara Evans?) said that you can't just drop off toilets; change comes from behavioral change over the ribbon cuttings, just slow progress over time.

Of course, this is the same struggle as the Earthways project I work with in Guatemala. All three aspects (Education, Health & Agriculture) of the AFOPADI project are integrated to such a degree that you can't separate them. With toilets, the improved sanitation effects health in a positive way. When people recycle human wastes into organic compost, that improves the crops which leads to better yields. When people use silos to store the harvest, that leads to fewer rat intrusions in the corn and better health (more food, less poop). None of this can happen unless people are available for behavioral change. Think how hard it is for us to change on a daily basis. Then imagine you had recently survived a 30 year long civil war during which the military and government forced you to rape, torture and murder your neighbors. Your entire communal society was violated. Now, would you be very trusting and open to change?
I believe we must work with people after establishing relationships and honor their differing capacities for change.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Prep in Guatemala

Inside the fancy mall in Xela.

At the nursery in Antigua.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"Human Sunrises"

If you go back to my posts from Guatemala between Oct. 26 & Nov. 13, you can now see the images I have added. During the next weeks I will post more pictures.

Meantime, I received a card from Martha Pierce who heads a group I worked with during the 1980s when we worked with Guatemalan refugees, the Chicago Metropolitan Sanctuary Alliance. Martha quotes the novelist and poet, Alice Walker, on "Human Sunrises."

"When it is all too much, when the news is so bad meditation itself feels useless, and a single life feels too small a stone to offer on the altar of peace, find a human sunrise. Find those people who are committed to changing our scary reality. Human sunrises are happening all over the earth, at every moment. People gathering, people working to change the intolerable, people coming in their robes and sandals or in their rags and bare feet, and they are singing, or not, and they are chanting, or not. But they are working to bring peace, light, compassion to the infinitely frightening downhill slide of human life."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lake Atitlan to Chicago

In less than a week, I went from a tropical volcanic lakeshore to the Windy City in fall.

When I awoke the next morning and saw that most of the leaves had fallen and the few left (as on this pear tree) had changed into vivid hues, I felt as if my lungs had opened and I stood tall (pretty conceptual from my towering 5' 2" status).

Going from a third world country into Thanksgiving celebrated in the States was lovely, but challenging. I noticed that I was the only one at the table who finished everything on their plate. Watching my mom's and dad's dogs chomp away at their big butcher bones, I couldn't help but be reminded of the discrepancy between them and the packs of skinny non-species specific mutts who roamed and patrolled the village and whose barking filled the night until the sound of the cocks' crows an hour before dawn.

I am always happy to be home amidst loved ones and plumbing. Upon returning from Guatemala, I usually take longer to adjust to what's taken for granted in the empire.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

On the tourist trail

Back in Antigua for a few days. I admit it`s nice to have a toilet seat and some hot water. Plus I have a friend who moved here 15 years ago, supposedly upon my advice. Even when I studied Spainish here in the late 1980s, during the war, this was a tourist town. Beautiful colonial buildings surrounded by volcanoes, lots of Spanish schools and cafes. Now it is about 30 times more touristy and all about buying. The place crawls with twenty-somethings. You can usually tell what country they`re from by hairstyle, posture and attitude. They have time, money, youth & options. Even when I was their age, I was more interested in action & social justice than in hanging out; I never had much capacity for coffee or beer anyway. After several weeks with the reforesting project in the village, there is a bit of culture shock. However, I am so grateful for food and freedom. Not many trees here although the bouganvilla seems always to be in lush flower.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Race, Class & Gender

The way discrimination plays out with these aspects seems fairly similar to their manifestation at home. People of color are lower on the hierarchy. Which in Guatemala means the indigenous people. The more Spanish blood you inherit, the higher the probability of a better quality of life. Guatemala is the only country remaining in Central America that has a majority indigenous population. Needless to say, they don´t own enough land to grow enough food to support themselves. Land, work, education, health care and opportunity are in short supply for the native people. When you visit Tikal and see the capacity of the Maya to create a complicated society, racism makes no sense. Unless it evolved out of fear, greed and the usual assortment of menacing creatures that often fly around the heads of afflicted people in Goya´s later prints.

The power imbalance between men and women in poverty always seems more extreme than in other classes. This was the same when I taught welfare mothers in Chicago in the 1990s and can be linked to many reasons but the lack of work, education and mobility appear to be determining factors. I am very grateful not to be a poor indigenous woman in Guatemala. I would be subject to sexual abuse by employers or husbands or random men. Then, if I got pregnant and wasn´t married, there is the double-standard (sex OK for men, but women are easy). And most of one´s time would be taken up by child-care, cooking and washing by hand endless dirty clothes and dishes. Not much room for a landscape business!

I am likely showing my colors here as a product of the first world...but that is my perspective, one born of my history and fortunate birth in a fortunate society at the inception of the 20th C military-industrial complex.

Thinking outside the box

Cultural differences determine the simplest actions & outcomes. During several workshops, I observed that the campesinos were responding differently to the process of counting off in numbers (1, 2, 3) in order to divide into groups. Not only were they not understanding how to count sequentially and repetatively, but once asked to separate according to the numbers, the groups always ended up unequal and imbalanced.
When I mentioned this to the Belgian nurse in AFOPADI, she told me how she finally achieved success with this process. Instead of counting, she asked everybody to imagine that she and the other two health promotores had very fast pick-ups that were ascending the mountain. She pantamimed the vehicle´s course complete with sound track and very quickly the group divided into three equal parts.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another comment about guatemalan elections and fruit

Here is another strange southern fruit: Anona or Custard Apple. Marvelous flavor somewhere between pear & pineapple to my taste buds.

Today I learned why there was so much more violence (not that there isn´t way too much on a daily basis) before last week´s election. Apparently robbery is the method most practiced to finance candidates. Today we bought fresh passion fruit on the roadside. You remove the top (Like my dad used to do with an upright boiled egg) and then slurp out the seeds: muy saborosa! Blended with water, the fruit makes a nice refreshing drink.

City girl again

After two weeks in Casaca, I returned to Xela (Quetzaltenango) today. We are amidst a valley ringed by mountains and a volcano (Santa Maria), but my hosts say this is not one of the active ones...those two are near Antigua (Picaya) and Guatemala City (Feugo). At 2300 metres it often rains however today we are blessed with sun before the clear night of chilly cold and endless stars...actually I don´t know if we will be able to see the stars since this city numbers about 800,000 and has much more electricity than the village. Last night in Casaca, the stars created such a mantle, I understood the arching space above the earth. One feels very insignificant and very lucky.
Now that I am back amidst familiar creature comforts, perhaps I will detail some of the daily routines in the village. With AFOPADI, I was treated to a room with a cement floor. Also, a composting outhouse, solar electricity and an ecolfilter that made drinkable water. About 3/4s of the inhabitants now have these compostings latrines. The impact on health is profound plus their use recycles human waste into organic compost. As I´ve mentioned, land is the big factor here. In most areas people do not own enough to grow enough crops to survive. Also, much of the land has been severely degraded by chemical fertilizers over the past decades. On Tuesday I attended a workshop about silos up in the village of Papal. The inhabitants there are finally wanting to purchase silos through the project (at an affordable price...this is extremely important since the campesinos do not generally value gifts as they have not attained them by working). Always they lived with their harvest...and the rats and the rat feces in the corn. Only recently have they understood the connection to better health and longer retention of their crops. There are many things to learn about proper maintenance of silos in order for them to function well...I am reminded of garden design at home and how much depends on quality maintenance. With the silos you have to elevate them for good aircirculation, make sure the points of entry and departure are properly sealed, take care not to store items on or near the silo (especially chemicals), and make sure you clean the silo in between uses by turning it on its side, entering and washing out the silo with water. There are two sizes, one is 30 and the other 18 but I can´t exactly translate the measurement. The larger one is about 6' tall and 3' wide. Also, before filling the silo with corn, you must apply the correct number of pills and wait at least 3 days. These pills kill any insects or eggs that might be inside. Otherwise, your corn harvest turns to dust. Maize is the universe for the Maya. Not only do most subsist on tortillas or tamales, but corn figures in their understanding of the cosmos, of the origins of man and of our purpose here on earth. Seeing the stars last night, I understood why the Maya were pioneers in astronomy and mathematics (they invented the concept of zero). And when you meditate on the stars, this comprehension of a larger whole forces you to reflect on your place, your purpose, your connection with eternal cycles. Forgive the waxing poetic: the sun is just now setting perfectly between the crest of two shadowed mountain peaks. Illuminating their silhouette are pastel orange rays that lighten the high clouds and darken those closer to earth. And on earth tonight, I will not need shoes and flashlight and fortitude against insects if I drink a cup of tea before bed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Election Results + Colors!

I was wrong about the election. Actually Colom won. Those I speak to say things will be ´menos peor,´ less worse. Still, it is better not to have a general who was in power in the army during the genocide of the 70s and 80s.

The larger problems continue (poverty, racism, in equitable land distribution) regardless of the party, because, economic interests control the situation...just like in the states...perhaps fewer corporations and more drug lords here but basically the balance is in favor of profit for a few at the expense of many. Of course, the difference between the third and 1st world continues to make me both grateful and appalled.

Now for some lovely plant observations....I came here during this time of year to see Guatemala green and ripe. But the surprise lies in the abundance of colors. Higher up in the mountains, patches of deep yellow interrupt the green and gold of the milpa (corn). Endless orange cosmos define these contrasts. Growing wild are blue & purple salvias, red-orange lantana, white sambucas and various yellow sunflowers. As we ascended up to the village of Papal yesterday (truly in the clouds at 2500 metres), bright red bromliads decorated the scraggy (forgive my English: I am between it, Spanish & Mam, the language of the indigenous groups near Quetzeltenango or Xela) oaks.

Upon returning, I discovered a book: Etnobotanica mam. How lucky we are for Linneus! The book has the names in all three forms (Mam, Spanish, Botanic) so I know some of the plants. It also details their medicinale and spiritual and food applications.

Only a few minutes here today down in the Pueblo: I was lucky enough to catch a ride on a motorcycle which shortened the walk from 30 minutes to 7.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

News from a guatemalan village

Today is election day in Guatemala. I am down in the town of San Ildefonso de Ixtahuacan where all the people from the various villages in this municipality (west of Huehuetenango, up in the NW part of the country close to Mexico) come to vote...and to go to the market. Through the eyes of a western consumer, the market offers multiples of the same things: thread to make the traditional clothes (trajes), fruits, vegetables, watch repair, plastic shoes, soap (very harsh to make up for the lack of warm water), flashlights (to compensate for the lack of reliable electricity), a few chickens and many many products with the main ingredient being sugar: candy, soda, ice cream, bread etc. I doubt that the results of the election will change the daily lives of the inhabitants. It is said that the candidate of the party promising´´Mano Duro´ a strong hand, will win...that certainly didn´t work before except for the few who gain much when the majority works hard and suffers. But maybe the violence will dampen a bit after the election.
Of course, in a country where a tiny minority owns most of the workable land, the only real change would be land reform. And if you attempt to put this possiblity into practice, your life may be cheap. For those of us who live in cities in the North, I think it is probably hard to feel this...we are so disconnected from our land and the sources of our food, houses and souls. I promised more cheer in my last post: since I was here a year and a half ago, 9000 trees have been planted in three villages up the mountain through the AFOPADI project! In January, they will take a census to see how many are living. How wonderful to be here when the plants are green! The milpa (maize) sways in the wind and towers about twice my height which is that of the average Mayan. Different other harvests happen and I am fortunate to try new fruits ( a small tart mango with a giant seed, good laxative) and vegetables (Pacaya...a minature broom or octupus in form & texture with the flavor of an artichoke: first you boil it a long time then you dip it in whipped egg batter and fry). The great excitement is that the silo project and the organic agriculture and reforesting projects are in full tilt. The organic plots produce higher yields. The silos function to protect corn from the rats (not only do they consume the corn but leave their droppings which of course leads to sickness) as well as conserve for a time when there is little food in the village after the harvest. During these months (Jan. thru April) only women and children and hens and pigs, sheep and a few horses remain...the men now go mostly to work in construction in Cancun or in the fields of Mexico. Coffee is no longer a big product here, sugar cane remains a big guatemalan export to the States. The really scary truth is that here, where maize originated (a sacred spot), I hear that all the corn is genetically engineered and the compesinos must buy seed from Monsanto since it is patented...just like most of the corn in the States. This is one of the many reasons I do not believe Ethenol is the solution to global warming. Instead, from here, consumption in the States looms large. Daily life here does not include many cars. Among other luxeries. Instead, the salvation of the pick-up. To walk from Casaca to Papal (the village up in the clouds) takes a campesino 3 hours but 1 in the pick-up crowded in the back like sardines. Papal is an amazing place. While very deforested, the inhabitants have much land on which to grow crops...the land is high, the slopes are great, water is scarce and the distances to cart organic fertilizer is great. But the results amaze...I will post photos of the reforesting, the organic parcels, the profoundly shaped faces when I return. We visited the nursery in Papal: tiny seedlings trying to survive the brisk temperatures amidst cloud cover. We saw experiments of fruit trees and reforesting, all examples of great physical and internal strength and hope. I am not sure I would have such fortitude in the midst of such extreme conditions. Food, education, heat, water, electricity, health care, human rights all are extremely lacking. The people I have come to know inspire me with their persistance, gentle manners and friendly hearts. I miss my family and friends at home but am not sure they would be comfortable here. Spiders loom large and daily comforts are of a different sort than at home in the States. Each time I return from Guatemalan, I am most impressed by my liberal consumption of water. The elementals are profound here: during a Mayan ceremony to initiate an agriculture workshop, we lit candles to honor them: Red for the sunrise; Black for the night; Yellow for water; White for the wind; Green for the earth and Blue for the sky that is infinite. Only we are the limit to infinity. I am reading extraordinary essays by George Sanders (I think that is his name, he won a MacArthur Genius Grant and the book is called THE BRAINDEAD MEGAPHONE). I hesitate to finish the last essay, but it is about a 12 year old boy in Nepal who has mediated for 7 months without food. The author does such a fine job of examining the people around him and himself through the same lens. He discusses those human desires that have corrupted men and the earth for thousands of years. Perhaps knowing bit of those other motivational forces can instruct me for my return to my daily habits.

Friday, October 26, 2007

See Through My Eyes; Guatemala

In Guatemala about 36 Hours. The smells, the land, the buses, the people so wonderful: I feel at home. However, the poverty is so pervasive, it makes the middle and upper classes seem so much richer. And everything accompanying the inequities much more sad.

This is such a lush land that ever the weeds are flowers. Still seeing trees being cut and carted off (maybe that`s the wrong verb since campesinos carry such huge loads on their backs they are horizontal). Wonder if there will be noticeably more deforestation when I wake up in the village tomorrow?

The PanAmerican highway is being doubled in size: 5 new bridges since I was here a year and a half ago. My friends mention how much of the construction funds are lost to graft and I am reminded of how many American tax dollars going to private companies for supposedly building infrastructure in Iraq.

The presidential run-off is Nov. 4 I´m glad I won´t be near the cities. They say the candidate promising "El Mano Duro" (the strong hand) is ahead in the polls. Given the fancy new airport (Aurora) in Guatemala City, I guess appearances count with tourism.

Once I´m up in the village I will write about more promising pictures.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Guatemalan Room with a View

I hope to post a few notes from the internet cafe a half hour walk down the mountain.

Michigan Nature Retreat

Changing Beech Leaves.

Shagbark Hickory.

Mystery Mushroom...who knows its identity? Do tell.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Back to Bong

How could I resist? Gail Specht of Northwind and I hiked the Richard Bong State recreational area dressed in orange, not to be mistaken for some delectable plumage. The record heat meant we saw no one save this one fellow trying out his airborn skills.

The lack of frost had the landscape still looking like summer save for a few stands of Sumac rippling the green with burgundy so deep you could drink it and apply adjectives running to "chocolate & berry."

Gail, the real photographer, introduced me to her plastic toy camera Diane and we spent most of our shots (kinder than the hunters in their blinds) on glimmering milkweed that reminds us of the transient nature of all things...and the life cycles which amaze.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fine Gardening: "Last Word"

My opinion piece "Gardening Without Borders" appears in the current Fine Gardening (Nov/Dec '07) in the "Last Word" section. Hard to take yourself seriously with that concept, but of course, I do. Anyway, it compares and contrasts some of the gardening conditions in Sweden, Guatemala & Chicago. The illustration is quite nice albeit presenting a fantasy version of my gardening plot. Since the last few posts have shown what deforested mountain tops look like in NW Guatemala, here is a view looking out onto Swedish birch around the winter solstice. If you read the article, the rest of this picture will hopefully have more resonance.

I am teaching a class with this same title at the Chicago Botanic Garden on 9 February 2008. Good Luck navigating their website!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's all about soil

I lied when I said it was all about light.

Guatemala: Organic Corn at 10,000 feet

Striking results even when dried.

Cool Globes

Since I'm going to be on a panel discussing the cool globes on October 13th at the Coyote Art Festival I've been thinking a lot about global warming. In turn, this leads me to reflect on the reforesting/organic agriculture project my company has been helping to support in Guatemala for the past few years. Now that I am the Earthways project director, essentially the US fundraiser & liason to the NGO in Guatemala, and because it is my favorite place on the globe, I have Guatemala on my mind. And heart. Since I never posted a report on my most recent trip there (Feb. '06), I'm going to try to post some images here before I return.

Let's start with an image up in the mountains at about 10,000. If you look closely, you can see that people are farming up here. Given the utterly impoverished soil & human conditions it is amazing that many of those who have been returning to organic & sustainable methods have begun to achieve striking results.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Notebaert Nature Museum Green Roof

In my quest to learn which green roof system (to use pre-fab trays or not) performs better, I went to see one of the earlier green roofs in Chicago. The head engineer at the Notebaert Nature Museum, Chris Dunn, was kind enough to give me a tour and indulge all my questions. He is very pleased with the installation. Since the green roof was installed in 2003 by Intrinsic Landscaping, Inc. (so cutting-edge that LEED wasn't even a program yet), it has been an interesting lab for observation. Plant materials, originally mostly sedum, have morphed to include a bunch of aster and moss. Chris and Kurt Horvath (President of Intrinsic Landscaping) were on-site investigating what might have caused these changes (soil pH, less maintenance) and one of the reasons I appreciate them is that they approach the situtation as curious scientists, not demanding prima donnas. It is a public building after all and therefore we should all be able to learn from the process. Unlike architecture which is a bit more exact, plant culture is constantly in flux. Of course, green roofs incorporate both, so the intersections most fascinate.

This was one of Intrinsic's earliest installation using a non-tray system. They now install all over the US and are quite in demand from some of the more progressive institutions. The discussion of pros & cons (to tray or not to tray) is too complicated to investigate here. For the moment, let's say that if a leak occurs, you don't know where it originated in either system, so as far as I can tell, that's not a good argument for using the trays. Although apparently there is now some electronic device which can pinpoint the leak exactly. Also, once you remove the tray, that system is compromised and has no filter. This green roof has three components over the building roof membrane: a pvc permeable layer, a root barrier and a filter cloth. The soil medium is contained by grills on a slope with about a 4% grade. About 3/4s of the way down the green roof sit three drains. Intrinsic set up dams before installing the layers in order to test drainage.

In general, even after a large storm, the roof garden seems to retain water at a rate of about an hour before the excess is released back into the drainage this case a retention pond (or the lagoon as it was known in my childhood wanderings). Who wouldn't applaud that?

Inside the museum, you can watch the process of the green roof installation from a worm's eyes view. Most people know the Notebaert as the butterfly museum, but of course it offers more ways to spread our wings and rise above the crowd.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Adam Siegel Photography Show

My brother Adam just had a show of his wonderful photographs (plus two other artists) open until October 11, 2007 at the Zolla-Lieberman Gallery in Chicago. After that, that renowned sculptor, Deborah Butterfield struts her stuff.


Up near Indiana/Michigan border we saw a fabulous woodland garden designed by Garth Conrad Associates out of LaPorte, IN. Its subtleties were powerful and worked their magic.

Monday, September 3, 2007