Autumn Landscaping Resources

Child in leaves

Autumn Landscaping. Sorry I'm Late!

This year, what with all the all at our gallery, every other plan I had went out the window.

Both Synchronicity and my gardens were sorely neglected.  

I am thus late with this article and still struggling to accomplish basic fall cleanup.

Fortunately, while I still have important work to do, I am comforted by a whole host of experts who now recommend taking it easy on the leaf removal.

Autumn Dogwood
"Autumn Dogwood" photo by Katheryn Laible

On Leaving the Leaves

This is rapidly becoming a very mainstream concept.

Here’s a piece from Homeserve.com, “Rake It or Leave It? Here’s Why You May Just Wanna Leave Your Leaves Where They Fall,”  one from the USDA, and even one in Good Housekeeping.

Here’s an article from James Doubek for NPR on the subject.

Environmental groups have been saying this for years. Here’s the National Wildlife Federation on why.

And one from The Xerces Society: “Leave the leaves.”

BTW, I just discovered the Xerces Society, which is focused on saving invertebrates. Their work is deeply fundamental and yet applied at our level in the food chain, so it’s really helpful! Their Facebook page is a wealth of basic, excellent advice.

…There are tips on winter cleanup, saving seeds, a beautiful sight of Monarch Butterflies migrating….

I learned about them from Long Island Native Plant Group on Facebook, a great community of incredibly knowledgeable and helpful folks who think about our local ecoscapes all year long

…but I digress…

…I was talking about leaving the leaves…

Photo of oak leaf on pavement
"Oak Leaf" photo by Katheryn Laible

Well, Most of Them Anyway

The movement to leave the leaves is really important, but should be taken with a little common sense.

It also remains important to keep the driveway clear, as well as stone patios and pathways, assuming you wish to preserve them. The same goes for grass (though a thin layer of leaves may be mowed quite healthfully), which also likes to be aerated from time to time.

On my property, I’m dealing with invasive Norway Maples that I’m working to eradicate and replace with native trees as quickly as I can afford to do so. With them, I have found raking the leaves is fairly important as they seem particularly smother-y and slow to break down. As I am working to reduce their spread, I also want to be able to get their whirlybirds up in the spring!

As such, my approach isn’t so different from what Soil Seed and Garden.com says here, or The Spruce, here.

So, I do continue to rake a bit….mindfully….

Autumn afterblooms
"Autumn Afterblooms" photo by Katheryn Laible

Consider Losing the Lawn

Of course, while lawn health is among the biggest reasons to still rake, folks such as those from Re-Wild Long Island (an incredible collaboration of Long Island experts) suggest you consider doing away with your lawn instead.

This powerful opinion piece in the New York Times suggests you’d best “Kill your lawn before it kills you.”

On the West Coast, this has become a serious affair. Alternatives such as Xeriscaping, which focuses on minimizing water use, have become very popular. There, many factors including severe ongoing drought are coming together to prove that fighting the ecosystem for the sake of grass isn’t worth the trouble.

Related practices are gaining popularity across the country as communities come to realize that tending their own yard is a great way to nurture a healthier environment.

I’m not quite ready to ditch my lawn myself. However, I am committed to neither watering nor fertilizing nor spraying it with chemicals, and to doing all I can to maximize the ecological value of my property.

Here’s a nice piece from Brooklyn Greenways on why native plants are so important.

I am deeply inspired by projects like these “Rewilding Long Island” examples featured on the Rewild Long Island website.

See these 12 Inspiring ideas for a lawn-free landscape from porch.com, and some more on Houzz.

Check them all out and then go, tread lightly into winter, and dream of the upcoming spring.

 

(BTW: You can find resources for that here … it’s never too early to start planning!)

photo looking up at trees in twilight
"Looking Up: After the Fall" photo by Katheryn Laible

Dear Veterans: Thank You For Your Service

From an event honoring local champion of veterans Gus Scutari in 2016

Thank you to all who served. In honor of Veterans Day 2022 we offer deep gratitude, good resources and indelibly moving stories.

Continue reading

Firefly Lights! Gratitude, Veterans, Holiday Prep!!!

The Firefly Artists Logo

Thank you for making us the 2022 Best Art Gallery on Long Island and for all you do to support local art and artists. We’re pleased to learn we’ve been nominated again — Thanks! It means a lot!!!

Vote for us here every day through December 15th!!!

In this update:
– GRATEFULLY GETTING READY – Our FIreflies are creating and planning all sorts of wonderful things!
– HONORING OUR VETERANS we are pleased to host “Ink Stories: Symbols and Service.” 
– KIRK LARSEN will be hosting a special exhibition in our Darcy Arts Center
– DID YOU HEAR THE NEWS? We are excited!!!

There are so many people to thank, so much to organize, so much now to do! We’re so busy, I didn’t even have time to find my own picture of a wreath for this post. Thank you Milada Vigerove and Unsplash!
There are so many people to thank, so much to organize, so much now to do! We’re so busy, I didn’t even have time to find my own picture of a wreath for this post. This one is beautiful! Thank you Milada Vigerove and Unsplash!

GRATEFULLY Flying Into the Holiday Season!!!

 
As we race from the excitement of last summer straight into the holidays, the first thing we have to say is THANK YOU!   

 

Thank you to all who have supported our transition! Our future is bright because of our amazing community. We would no longer exist if not for you. Thank you for helping keep the Firefly Light Shining!!!
 
Our Fireflies are making like busy elves, crafting all sorts of things for the holiday season. Once again we will offer our popular “100 works at $100,” as well as a $50 and under table where you can come find something modestly priced, and uniquely handcrafted by our talented artists for everyone on your list. 
 
If you want to commission something special, ask now! Many of our artists would love to create that special gift for you. 
 
Many Fireflies will be hosting trunk shows and demonstrations throughout the holiday season. Stay tuned for details. They’re so much fun!!!
 
…and now...NOW…we hear we are receiving a MAJOR AWARD set to light up our whole beautiful, slightly wacky village! 
Do you already know what we’re talking about? Find out below!!!
Images of Ink Stories: Symbols of Service on loan from the Northport-East Northport Public Library to The Firefly Artists.

Special Exhibition: “Ink Stories: Symbols and Service”

 

Thank you to all who served.

In honor of Veterans’ Day, we are hosting “Ink Stories: Symbols of Service”

This is an amazing project assembled in 2019 by Librarian Kathryn Heaviside of the Northport-East Northport Public library to share Veteran’s stories and experiences through photographic representations of their tattoos.

The show will be on view at The Firefly Artists 11/4-11/13.  

Here’s an article on the show in the TBR News Media from back when it was put together in 2019.

 
Image of landscape painting postcard by Firefly Kirk Larsen
Image by Firefly Kirk Larsen

Special Exhibition: “Take Me Home: Oils Watercolors & More by Kirk Larsen

 

We are pleased to announce that Firefly Kirk Larsen will be holding a solo show of works in our “Darcy Arts Center”
 
Kirk’s an internationally known Plein Air painter (painting outdoors in Natural light) and one of America’s foremost Marine Artists. His landscape, seascape and nautical images grace the walls of homes throughout the area, globally and in museums reflecting his passion for discovering new places, seeing the commonplace with fresh eyes, the water, the environment and sailing.

Learn more at kirklarsenfineart.com and by following @kirklarsenart on Instagram and Facebook

The show will be on view November 15-30
Opening Reception: Tues 11/15 from 6-9pm
Closing Reception and Mini Auction: 11/30 from 5:30-8:30pm

All works are for sale.
Photo of a photo by Firefly Jennifer Lau of the Northport Hardware Company

The Leg Lamp Returns! We are so Psyched (and a Little Overwhelmed!) to Receive this Major Award

 

Fundamentally, the Firefly is the best because it has the best community ever.

Thanks to our community—starting with folks at Firefly’s core and spilling out into the streets, across LI and beyond — we are privileged to be racing from our wild adventures last summer into all that it means to host forty small businesses on Main Street during the holiday season.

Now! Now we hear from diverse corners that Northport is bestowing upon us “A Major Award”…

All kidding aside, this event is really much bigger than us…a very special torch folks are coming together to help us light as part of a very special Small Business Saturday Northport tradition…

They then had a wonderful pop-up/trunk show together in our Darcy Arts Center. In addition to showcasing their wares, Michele also raised money for the Lighthouse selling cards made of Jan’s beautiful painting. It was a lovely day!

We've Been Nominated! Best of LI 2023 Logo

We’ve Been Nominated! Again!!!

Not only have we been nominated, but we are more sure than ever that our Fireflies are THE BEST!!!

We are thrilled to have been nominated for “LI’s Best Gallery” in the annual “Bethpage Best of LI” contest. If it was you who nominated us, THANK YOU! If you’re one of the many who’s votes made us Best of LI 2022, THANK YOU!!!

You can vote for us – and other great local treasures – EVERY DAY between now and December 15th!

Please vote often and help spread the word! Thanks!!!

Here’s the link To VOTE for The Firefly Artists

Photo of The Firefly Artists, 90 Main St., Northport

About the Firefly Artists

 

Come to our beautiful new location, The Old Hardware Store at 90 Main Street, in Northport!

***NEW HOURS***
Mon-Wed 11am-6pm  
Thurs-Sat 11am-9pm  
Sun 11am-5pm

We were established in 2011 to create a gallery setting for local artists. The goal was to create a space where artists could meet, collaborate, and sell their beautiful creations.

Over more than a decade, The Firefly Artists has had the great privilege to display a stunning variety of work by hundreds of Long Island creators through our Main Street locations and pop-up galleries. We boast extraordinary talent, while maintaining a very down to earth and supportive atmosphere that is unique to Long Island.

In 2020 we expanded our offerings to create the Darcy Arts Center, featuring special exhibitions and classes in addition to the rich selection of works by our resident artists. While we are adjusting to our new space, we are thrilled to be able to continue these expanded offerings, right in the center of everything! 

Come see, and bring home that perfect thing to brighten your world or someone else’s!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check our website for all the latest updates!

Thank you for your support!

 

More to the Story…

Childs rendering of my heart.

A Child’s rendering of his heart….and mine… <3

I Will Be A Hummingbird.

When I last saw one of my smart, loving, mommy friends…one of those grandmothers they speak of who rise up to save the world…she spoke of a video that’s inspired her:

 

“I love this story…I live this story,” she said, “But it bothers me because they never finish it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the humming bird! She goes and gives it her best, no matter how overwhelming it all is, and that’s good, and THEN…

Once she explains herself, and is seen walking this talk, her friend is inspired!

And then another! And another! And then they inspire folks in turn…

By the time the elephants get involved, already soaked by all the little birds plus everyone else…

Something wonderful has happened.

Something wonderful has been saved.

Even more has been created.”


“Yeah…”


We start talking about this video that’s about a dancing man and a whole lot more that another fiercely beautiful, passionate, intelligent friend once showed me:

 

I will be a Hummingbird…

I will be a Hummingbird’s Friend.

May we find good things to lead and follow

Good songs to sing and dance.

Of truth and love, transcending wisdom…

Grateful to all who uplift and inspire.

Namaste.