Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

6/4/13 Tuesday at Buchanan, MI (Bear Cave Resort-TT/Mid Atlantic)

(NOTE: lots of images to load) After packing our lunch, we took off for Fernwood. What a lovely place. It began as the country home of the Boydstons, later becoming a public garden of 105 acres.

 Small Pond

Small Pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mock Orange

Mock Orange

 

 

Peony

Peony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Railway Garden

Railway Garden

IMG_9515 In the Railway Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Red Bud Tree. Buchanan calls itself the Red Bud City. Our Campground is just off Redbud Trail.

 

 

 

Model of Notre Dame

Model of Notre Dame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Garden structure

Japanese Garden structure

In Japanese Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian Dogwood

Asian Dogwood

IMG_9538After the Japanese Garden: Asian Dogwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One and One Make One Sculpture

One and One Make One Sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Wheel on Wilderness Trail

Water Wheel on Wilderness Trail

 

 

Spider on Left, Moulting Dragonfly on Right

Spider on Left, Moulting Dragonfly on Right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Pond

Big Pond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hosta Plant flowering

Hosta Plant flowering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Society Garlic-these were flowering everywhere

Society Garlic-these were flowering everywhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foxglove

Foxglove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bench In Woods

Bench In Woods

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peony

Peony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9610 Beech Tree Carvings. It’s smooth gray bark invites carving which can kill the tree

 

 

 

 

Rain Garden

Rain Garden

At the Rain Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calm Frog

Calm Frog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tall Grass Prairie and Observation Deck

Tall Grass Prairie and Observation Deck

At the Tall Grass Prairie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plant in Tall Grass-Sweet Pea?

Plant in Tall Grass-Sweet Pea?

 

On our way home, we stopped at the Post Office, just in case. Wow, both packages from Illinois came! Yes, now John has his newly repaired hearing aid. I got the Health Insurance Claim Form from the Mississippi clinic that checked out my cut lip.  By the way, it’s healed so well that I see just the tiniest red fang.

I spent a good part of the afternoon straightening out a mess that was not my fault: My health insurance sent me a check for $69 for Lidocaine that I’d never been given, or bought. The Mississippi clinic had received it’s payment ($89) from me when I received treatment AND received their payment from my health insurance. Now I get to return the $69 check and wait for my $40 refund from Mississippi.

I’d also received a letter from the IRS in response to my letter asking that they return taxes I paid in error (Amended 1040C). So the rest of the afternoon, I talked with the IRS. A scary concept, but the lady was nice, helpful and best of all, she sounded just like John’s sister who has helped us with our taxes. Now I have homework, more info, to send them.

At the end of that conversation, our English neighbors arrived from their trip to the RV Museum in Elkhart. John told Pauline I was on the phone with the IRS. She said that had been her job, working for an accountant. She saw how many companies made big bucks, yet paid NO taxes. Then she saw how normal citizens would ask for amendments and often get letters saying “determined no action was necessary on your account”. She said that in the IRS often the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing, so it would be another 6 months, then you’d get another letter. She spent much of her time writing letters in response the the IRS’ letters. Great, another treadmill for me. Pauline invited us over for tea. We said we hadn’t had supper yet, so she said come over when you’re ready.

What a great time we had later, when we got together. We talked until bedtime with Allan and Pauline, our neighbors here. They were born in England, then when they were 28 and 29, they moved to the US. A friend had told Allan that the US really needed engineers to maintain knitting machines. That’s what he was and he thought it would be fun to work in the US. We learned a lot about Immigration (as my cousin Cathy said, the door is wide open for people from England and Europe in general – because the law was created in the 1800’s). Allan said they mostly don’t want someone coming here that might take away an American’s job. There just weren’t Americans experienced in his field. He also noted that they didn’t get free stuff, like so many articles imply. They paid taxes. It took a long time to finally get to citizen status. In the beginning, in fact, because his employer didn’t want Allan to look for a job with another company in the US, he dragged his feet in getting Allan a green card (they weren’t green anymore – that was in 1973, when he applied). He was able to get a lawyer to help.

I asked why they wanted to stay here, become citizens. He said it was just so interesting (they worked in New York; Manhattan and Long Island for 14 years, then in Miami, FL).

He and Pauline also mentioned that Monaco/Navistar has been bought out by Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc. and that they will be closing the factory in Wakarusa, IN., moving those operations to Decatur, IN. Looks like something we need to check out tomorrow. As it got dark, we bid adieu.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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