Made by Craig McDowall in 2008, the sculpture “Coal Creek Homestead” offers a glimpse at the lives of settlers in the Erie area of Colorado, along Coal Creek. Elements of this sculpture represent the coal mining which took place, the locomotion era, the family homestead and reflections, the lonesome prarie and big sky, the ballooning events the area has become known for, and the richness of the earth, which provides the livelihood for many farmers and ranchers. Click to enlarge.
We went for the CBF in DC right on schedule, in fact it was timed perfectly – unfortunately no one told the blossoms, which went into perfect full bloom about 5 days later. We rode the kiosk rental bikes all around the Lincoln Memorial end of the National Mall, and got our first view of the White House from the base of the Washington Monument. In 2012 the Reflecting Pool was completely rebuilt, and it is fantastic. We planned it so we could be around many of the monuments at dusk, which is a beautiful time of day to view them. The new Martin Luther King Memorial is beautiful, and we will have a longer look at it in the future – same can be said for others. We ended our biking with an intense ride down a pitch black trail between Arlington National Cemetery and our hotel – a very exciting mile. Reward: great pizza and wine at Il Radicchio in Rosedale. The next day we went to the Botanical Garden, walked the steps of the Capital Building, and spent some time in the National Art Gallery.
As a recent transplant from Colorado, we are excited to see our Maryland garden blossom and grow. These entries are dedicated to the plants, shrubs and tress which cause us delight each and everyday.
To begin with, realize that a native Coloradoan has probably never seen a magnolia tree, or most of the other shrubs and trees we find in our yard. A southwest garden is typically xeriscaped because water is so scarce. When annuals are planted, they require constant watering, particularly to get them established. Soils are usually sandy and drain fast. Adding compost, mulch, peat moss or anything else organic is a must, and requires years to build a viable flower bed. The sun is hot, with UV at 5000 feet intense. In many parts of Colorado the wind is hot and rather constant, and starves plants of their moisture in a day or two. Add low humidity, and you can begin to see why Colorado has experienced so many devastating forest and grassland fires in recent years. When people come to visit we hand them lip balm and a bottle of water as soon as they get off the airplane.
As new Marylanders, Cathy and I have been working to identify the many plants in the garden, while at the same time doing some basic garden maintenance. Our split rail fence needs repairs, and we need to provide some pathways for the dogs. There are several good sized trees and shrubs which need to be moved to new places, and there are three dead trees in the yard which will need to be removed. It is a project, so much so that we had to make a big to do list and prioritize it.