Friday, January 11, 2013

Changes in the Park

The park in my community has undergone a few changes over the past couple of years. Most are for the better and some have had a positive affect on this natural habitat for so many creatures, which either reside here or visit along their migration route. Most notable is a small butterfly garden which contains numerous flowering plants that attract the lovely winged creatures.

These photos were taken in November - long after the blooming season.

decorative cabbage
Ornamental cabbage is really quite a deep purple colour but the sunlight was so brilliant on this particular day, its leaves appear to be bright pink.




coneflower dead2
Coneflowers typically show off their own beautiful pink petals through the summer but this one had long passed its prime. Still, I thought it looked beautiful just as it is.




pink and green leaf
The broad leafed plant part of the ornamental cabbage displaying its pretty purple-pink vein.

The park surrounding our pond, has indeed been enhanced by the placement of many new benches, information boards about the local plant and wildlife, murals along the walls of tunnels which pass under busy streets, and beautiful animal designs carved into the trunk of a dead tree near the park entrance.




foggy day bench
One of the new benches overlooking the pond on a foggy morning.




mural 5
What used to be a graffiti-filled underpass is now a canvas for some colourful artwork painted by various volunteers, depicting our local birdlife. On this morning when I snapped these photos, I had just seen a lovely red-shoulded hawk perched on a tree in the park. I didn't have the right lens for its distance so you'll just have to imagine that it looked a little bit like this one.




mural 4
More regulars at our pond - among them the great blue heron, the kingfisher and the night heron.




mural 3
Cardinals, jays and gulls - we see or hear them at least daily.




mural
Along with the Canada goose there's a colourful wood duck. He used to visit our pond toward the end of each autumn but I've not seen him for a couple of years now. I still remember Woodrow fondly.

The wood carving artist is Jim Menken. He was commissioned by the city of Mississauga to create his beautiful art in several of our parks. Here are a few photos depicting his fine work on what was once a tree in our local park.

tree carving heron
The great blue heron stands out at the base of the tree.




carved eye2
Much like the real thing, he keeps a close, watchful eye on those who pass by.




tree carving raccoon
Just above him, a young raccoon playfully peeks out from a cubby hole in the tree. I was glad to see that the artist included my favourite wild creature.




tree carving night heron
Around the other side of the tree, a black crowned night heron stands guard, and you can just make out the back of a downy woodpecker on the left.




tree carving mink
This guy always give me pause when he makes an appearance at the dam. It's usually with duckling dumplings or gosling goulash in mind. But the mink is very much part of the animal kingdom in our little piece of wilderness in the city and I'm glad that the artist (whose name is carved into this one) included him.

Now you know what's been happening at our park recently. More photos coming up soon.

51 Perspectives:

Leave It To Davis said...

I adore this dead tree art! Making art out of something that was once alive and giving it life anew...who would have thought? Wonderful!!

The murals are wonderful, as well. Bravo to your city council for beautifying your park!

Pierre BOYER said...

Great pictures and marvelous sculptures...
Greetings from France,

Pierre

chariskalee said...

What fantastic color and beautiful shots again Hilary! Thanks for sharing and inspiring! :)

ladyfi said...

Another set of great shots! I really love those playful wood carvings - they are superb.

Michael Manning said...

Hillary: I've admired various projects to paint over ugly graffiti, such as the underpass. The ornamental cabage is only my second introduction to this interesting photo, and the black and white park bench is very interesting! :)

Nadezda said...

Hillary,I love the photo of foggy morning, is a bit sad but touching.

Andy said...

Hilary, you have presented another fine collection of photos. This looks like an amazing park that would be fun and interesting to explore.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Beautiful photos..and those sculptures are amazing
Hugs
SueAnn

Brian Miller said...

that dead tree art is amazing...how cool...i agree with the first commentor it gives it new life...

DJan said...

What an artist! And the carvings are really nice, too. :-) I love the cute raccoon especially, and the pretty pink veins on the cabbage.

Slamdunk said...

I love the thought of turning a graffiti covered area into artwork that is enjoyed. Though the investigator in me always sees graffiti with interest--trying to decipher what stories are being told in what context.

And, the bench looks like a good addition; one that is inviting for a time of reflection.

Enjoy your weekend Hilary.

Tabor said...

Lots of magic and whimsy in that park. I love when parks allow this.

Stephen Hayes said...

Love the inclusion of artwork in your park. I think it really adds to the experience.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

The wooden carvings are just amazing, and I must say that I am totally enamored with that colorful cabbage.

TexWisGirl said...

the wood carvings are spectacular! i WANT that gbh at my pondside! :)

the shot that took my breath away was the coneflower seed head. wow! gorgeous!!!

messymimi said...

What a lovely idea -- create art near nature's own canvass. They did a fine job of it.

Anvilcloud said...

Clever posting as usual. The dried coneflower is most excellent.

Red said...

Cool, cool, cool! I can't wait to get to my local parks people to tell them bout the art work. I know bridge that's exactly like the one you show.

Mage said...

What a lot of fun. Thanks.

Kerry said...

You found such great treasures here: a fantastic underpass, a fabulous carved tree, and also the ornamental cabbage which I love because it's the only that I can grow right now.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

The carvings on the trees are really quite stunning. Very well done,I must say.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant Hilary, the paintings and sculptures are fantastic.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Wow, that tree art is amazing! What a brilliant idea and talented artist.

Linda said...

Your park has always seemed beautiful in your photos, but the new embellishments are very nice. Jim Menken must have a wonderful talent. I'll bet newcomers to the park do a doubletake when they see his lovely carvings.

Gillian Olson said...

That bench looks like the perfect spot for quiet contemplation. The art, paintings and carvings, is a wonderful addition too.

SandyCarlson said...

The artwork and the park sure are wonderful. I love the perspectives on the leaves and the coneflower.

Frank Baron said...

Very nice collection, as always. I agree that many of the changes are for the good. But time will tell whether that's true long-term. (I have my doubts about that dock extension.)

Indrani Ghose said...

Wow! I like that engraved work.

holdingmoments said...

Those wood carvings are stunning.
What a great artist.

Daryl E said...

love the carvings

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I love the art in place of graffiti and most especially the wood carvings.

rosaria williams said...

Wow! I love the birds sculpted into the trees!

Grayquill said...

Yes, you sure have a great grasp of your camera and how to make it dance but something that cannot be bought or taught I think you possess. And, that is the eye for what will make a great picture and there in lies your brilliance. You have amazed me again.

Dave said...

I liked the artworks and wood carvings Hilary. You sure have very talented people in your locality, and many forms of wildlife. Lucky you :-) - Dave

Kerri said...

Beautiful captures! LOVE the mural and the carvings just take my breath away!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Very impressive carvings and art, beautifully captured.
Belated greetings to you, Hilary for a very Happy 2013.

Redbush said...

Love all the carved bird pieces, especially the black heron, and the woodpecker. The ornamental cabbage is wonderful!

VM Sehy Photography said...

Cool shots. The carvings are very beautiful.

Lisa Gordon said...

Beautiful photos, Hilary!
I especially love the coneflower.
The detail you have captured is amazing.
xo.

Birdie said...

Thanks for bringing some colour into our January!

Rita said...

I love all the artwork and carvings at the park! I have never seen such interesting carvings right in the trees like that--wow! And your pictures are amazing, as usual. Looking forward to more of the tour. :)

Mental P Mama said...

How creative and wonderful! I wish there were more artists like him roaming around:)

Bossy Betty said...

Such creativity everywhere!

Happy Monday, Hilary!

louciao said...

May we all remain beautiful long passed our prime, and find a meaningful repurposing in our later years rather than simply lingering on as dead wood!

photowannabe said...

Oh, I love the amazing carvings and all the artwork for your little corner of wildlife in the city.
The raccoon is just delightful.
I really like the photo of the bench on a foggy morning too.
Have a great week Hilary.

lime said...

what a wonderful union between art and the natural world. looks like a wonderful community effort. i hope it is valued and well-cared for. thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What a terrific tour!
Cheers from Cottage Country!

Friko said...

wonderful carvings, but I certainly also enjoyed the ‘live’ artworks.

Betty Manousos said...

marvellous carvings!

very beautiful series of photos, my favourite is the one of the coneflower!

there's so much beauty in the world around you, dear hilary!

xoxo

ellen abbott said...

Love the art in the underpass! And the tree carvings.

Anita said...

From photography to paintings to wood carvings - I can't imagine anyone not appreciating art.

I'd like to see those wood carvings in a park near my home. Thanks for sharing.