Saturday, May 14, 2016

Another Red n White 051516

a little worse for wear.


Hodgepodge of Critters 051416

Out and About; Here and There

A friendly Cat Bird at the park

a Baltimore Oriole atMuldoon
 A Vole at the park
my family won't believe I took this one
come to think of it, I don't believe I even stood there.

Canada Goose contortionist 

A couple bully Tree Swallows
buzzing the little one.

A puddling Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Growing Goslings

Squirrel atMuldoon
This little scamp discovered the peanut feeder.

And Lucy; a die-hard Pittsburgh Pirate fan.
She is so tolerant.

Saturday Critters w/Eileen

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday's Hunt 051316

is for Toad - enough said.

Heron with a duck tattoo
or is he a thief making off with a duck under his wing?
This feather pattern amazes me.

A peaceful reflection of the dogwood tree
viewed from the porch swing at the end of day.


Today's Flowers 051316

Iris - a favorite of my grandparents.

 It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow

Shouldn't there be a little sprite sitting inside there?


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Preston: Jane's Retreat 051316

Preamble: I personally don't care for either the term 'man cave' or 'she shed' but when I first learned of Jane Preston's personal retreat (now that's my kind of word) the 'fad' term came to mind.

It’s been said that sheds are the answer to men’s ailments. But why should men have all the sheds? Every woman deserves a shed of her own — somewhere to retreat for some solitude, to create or grow, to write or paint, or just to enjoy the view.

Jane’s Cabin - a woman ahead of her time.
Hacienda: This is a one-room frame cabin approximately 25 feet by 25 feet, built circa 1954 in plywood in a clearing northeast of the main lab building. The name was derived from the Preston’s interest in and ownership of land in Arizona. 

The view through the trees from 
the main lab and upstairs apartment.
Two openings are on the west side. 
Each opening has a plywood panel that can be raised 
and secured to the rafters with an eye hook.

 The entrance is a 1950s aluminum storm door 
with side windows.
(the door was not in place at this time)

Also referred to as Jane’s Cabin, it served as a retreat for Jane Preston where she could garden and engage in holistic health practices and pursue other natural interests.
  It is a gable roof building built on a concrete slab.

 The north and south ends have openings where aluminum glass panes and/or screens can be installed.  Windows or screens can be installed in whatever openings allow for the best ventilation 
or the opening can be closed against rain. 

It became a place for both Prestons to be away from the telephone and a retreat from the non-air conditioned laboratory building 
seen in the background. 

The rest of the story on our second outing.

I should know when the RG is acting nonchalant 
that he has a secret.
 In this case he had come upon something 
he knew I would want a picture of
but was waiting for me to discover it.

 Hidden over the hillside from Jane's Cabin was . . .

Jane's Spring House

As I said earlier in the week, Preston Park has turned out to be
a hidden treasure relatively in my own backyard
Who knew??

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Preston Fence 051216

Continuing to highlight Preston Park this week.

I have been past this entrance untold times in my life
and only learned its unique history today.

Frank Preston always admired iron gates of the type seen at great estates when he was growing up in Leicester, England. He drove several times a year to Toledo, Ohio to consult with Owens glass. Each trip he noticed this gate on a farm in Ohio. He located the gate owner and purchased the gate. 
Preston had wanted to build a grand house a few miles away or on the property. In 1956, the year of renovations, the gates were erected. Columns and sweeping buttresses of concrete are covered with the Roman brick facing.  
Jane Preston was content with a simple life in the small apartment and the grand house was never built. There was one grand procession through the gates when they were completed and they were opened only one or two more times.

Preston Laboratories is an 87.5-acre property. 
It was the glass science research facility and later residence 
of Dr. Frank W. Preston and wife Jane Hupman Preston.
Rather than building a separate residence the Preston's 
lived in an apartment above the lab.


Preston Signs 051116

This week's blog posts are
from our walk at Preston Park.
As you can see 'signs' abound 
and this is only some of them.

The entire property has a fenced or wooded perimeter and is not visible from outside.

“It's a hidden jewel that we were not aware of. No one really knew, or paid attention to what was there, because you could not see it"


Preston Outdoors 051116

These photos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the outdoors at this park.
(or in Dr. Preston's case 'the lip of the moraine'.

There is a large oval arboratum where several of the trees have signs describing what they are.

I like the unique pruning of this row.

This is the back of the lab and upstairs residence.

Now turn slowly from the above spot
and this is your view down the terraced lawn.

As you make your way down the lawn
the serenity of the pond can be felt.

Then the sound of the water streaming over the dam.

 Back up the hill and there are a few more buildings 
instrumental to the glass research.

At the beginning I used the term 'lip of the moraine'.
That was because as a conservationist, Dr. Preston
donated a large amount of land on the edge of a moraine 
from the ice age which is now part of
our local state park in another location of the county.
I am fairly certain this 'pebble'
was brought from the area of the moraine.

Preston Park is an 88-acre English garden donated by Dr. Frank Preston, founder of Preston Laboratories, and Mrs. Jane Preston. Dr. Preston, a glass scientist, ornithologist, and ecologist, created and designed an English garden as a place to live, work and enjoy nature.  Dr. Preston apparently walked the entire property daily at dawn, in accordance with his origins in England where a deep interest in nature is a great pastime.

Visitors are able to appreciate the natural habitat by bird watching, catch and release fishing, and studying rare plant life which includes prairie grass and hybrid tree species.  Throughout the property there are many secluded and scenic areas for picnics and gatherings.  


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Preston Digression 051116

For today's post I am digressing from Preston Park 
to share a photo that I look at with wonderment 
every time I bring it up.
The first time I viewed it on my camera 
I thought it was double exposure or something.
Now that I know it's for real, I guess birds are into tattoos too.
Maybe its not that unusual of a feather pattern
but it was a first for me!

It was a heron kind of day.
I could watch them for hours.

Yesterday's moment of joy was the capturing a Baltimore Oriole.
We've been hearing them a few days 
but they tend to stay away from the house until . . .

and then at the state park today . . .
my first Pileated Woodpecker
a bit hidden by the foliage but it's that time of year.