Midsummer flutterers for amateur nature lovers: moths make quite an interesting study. Click here to read more… NATIONAL MOTH WEEK.
Here is a simply superb site, packed with amazing photographs and succinct essays about plants and animals native to Kentucky. Waterfalls, moles, snowbells … who knows what the next highlight will be. Tom Barnes is the Kentucky state Extension Wildlife Specialist and a full professor in the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky. His travels across the Commonwealth tend to include forays down roads the rest of us rarely travel by, and what a difference that has made! (apologies here to Robert Frost.)
The photos and entries on the blog will bring you a few moments of fresh air, awareness, relaxation, and reassurance that there are still treasures to be experienced and preserved. Join in by clicking here … Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife blog.
No doubt, the Kentucky Horse Park is alive with events, new arenas and museum space, and a renewed sense of purpose with the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games just over a year away. If you haven’t seen visited the park in a while, you will be surprised at the changes, which only begin with the entrance landscaping, still a work-in-progress.
This week, Vaulting events took the center stage at the new indoor arena, sponsored by the American Vaulting Association and WEG2010 Foundation. Remember the old pommel horse in gym class? Here, the horses are real and on the move. In the discipline called vaulting, the horse canters around a circular arena at the end of a longe line, directed by a person called a team member called a longeur who stands in the circle’s center. The vaulters perform dance or gymnastics elements to music while atop the moving horse; riders leap to mount and dismount without using stirrups. As with other arena settings, greenery and flowers create a pastoral atmosphere, lining the circle and accessways. From its origins with the ancient Minoan culture, to today’s practice at the Kentucky Hose park, this combination of grace and athleticism is a work of art.
At the same time, other classic equestrian activities can be spotted, from Draft Horse demos, to Rocky Mountain Horses with western appeal and quick-stops to U.S. Pony Club flag games, and more. As Executive Director John Nicholson says of the upcoming World Equestrian Games, “We plan to celebrate the horse in the same way as we do every day, just on a larger scale.” If hoof beats get your heart beating, catch a sneak preview of what’s happening right now in 2009 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
There is an undeniable dignity and decorum added to a garden setting when the Stars and Stripes of our flag is displayed. This past month, as I traveled throughout towns in Central Kentucky, it was easy to collect photos which speak for themselves about posies and patriotism. Happy 4th of July, Kentucky!
This weekend marked the crowning of a new Mountain Laurel Queen at Laurel Cove in the Pine Mountain State Resort Park near Pineville. Since 1931, the folks in Bell County have been mixing together the awesome splendor of pink and white mountain laurel in bloom against the deep greens of a forest setting in a natural hillside ampitheatre, with some beautiful young women and children dressed in pink, white, and green formals for the ceremony. to create a magical, serendipitous moment. It made me remember what being a flower princess was all about. Just lovely.
You can find more information about the festival and its history HERE.
* Extension Horticulture Agent Annette Meyer Heisdorffer wrote an article about Restoration Pruning for the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, with ideas from University of Kentucky Professor William Fountain about what to look for with damaged branches.
*The U.K. College of Agriculture also provided a similar story in Aimee Nielson’s Ice Storm Dealt Brutal Blow to Landscape Trees in the Ag News; it is also based on Fountain’s advice.
*U.S. Ag Net offers information from U.K. Forestry Specialist Doug McLaren, in its Ice-Damaged Woodlands will Benefit from Professional Assessment story. The viewpoint from a forestry expert includes woodland management information.
* Not much of a consolation, however there may be an opportunity to check for the presence of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer in broken limbs. Jennifer Stewart’s article in PhysOrg.com may be helpful.
*Walking in the woods, or even under trees lining streets in your neighborhood, remember to look up to learn where branches are still hanging, ready to drop on unsuspecting hikers or parked cars. See what Larry Lowe had so say about woodland hazards for outdoor activities in the Louisville Courier- Journal.
* Fayette County Horticulture Extension Agent Jamie Dockery gives some good advice about how to go about pruning a tree in his Frankfort State-Journal article, After the Ice Storm: How to Save Damaged Plants. His advice about avoiding power lines is something we all need to heed.
*One of the most useful “What to do” guides on this subject is the joint Illinois and Wisconsin State University extension publication Trees and Ice Storms: The Development of Ice Storm-Resistant Urban Tree Populations, complete with color photos of scenes most of us would like to forget, but need to remember to reduce potential for future damage.