An Eagle Project is one last adventure in a decade-long journey. Max, here, is leading creation of a fence, educational kiosk and model native plant garden that will serve as an enriching gateway to newly restored grasslands at the Nassau County Museum of Art.Continue reading
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.
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.
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…
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!
So, I do continue to rake a bit….mindfully….
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!)
Congratulations to Dylan Skolnick, Charlotte, Skye, the full CAC Membership and the entire film-loving community on the grand reopening of the Cinema Arts Centre! It all began back in the early 1970’s with two movie buffs, some friends, a sheet and a reel-to-reel projector. Now, a full generation or so later, there are 10,000 members and approximately 150,000 attendees per year at this very special theater.
The CAC offers “compelling American and international films, restored classics as well as entertaining popular films, adventurous and cutting edge films and a remarkable array of monthly film series, often coordinated with music, art exhibits and more. Educational programming includes workshops in screen-writing and filmmaking.”
There’s really nothing else like it. We are so glad to see it’s doors reopened! Read about the theater and its renovation in Huntington Now, TBR News Media. Newsday (subscription required), and LI Business News (subscription required)
Congratulations dear friend, Helen Crosson, Board and Staff, and everyone involved in the Half Hollow Hills community on the grand opening of your new library! The brand-new, forward-looking, $24.7M Half Hollow Hills Community Library is located at 55 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway in Dix Hills. Here’s a sampling of press regarding the achievement, including the Half Hollow Hills Community Library’s own updates over the years. This is the SECOND library Helen has had a major hand in spearheading. Here is a past article about Helen, written back when this whole latest chapter started. You may also be interested in our tribute to America’s Public Libraries and great philanthropy in general, which also includes a little bit about Helen!
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” ~Google tells me this quote is attributed to Nelson Henderson but to me it belongs to Ken Christensen, who spoke those words often and took them deeply to heart.Continue reading
A few years ago now, I started reaching out to friends and collecting resources that we are pleased to share with you!Continue reading
It was a privilege to witness Girl’s Inc of Long Island produce their Annual Gala. As an organizational wonk and a human being, I instantly fell in love with these strong, smart, empowering women, the folks they draw into their fold, and their skilled passion for the girls it is their job to nurture.Continue reading
Photo of Dr. Spencer Thomas atop the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. Photo by Katheryn Laible
As usual, when he’s not scrying into the mysteries of metals at the atomic level, or pondering puzzles of more efficient means of tapping energy, Dr. Thomas is bringing some light into our life. Here are a few of the things he’s brought to our attention:
Now that we’re about a month into the college semester with social distancing and remote learning, a lot of people I know are feeling a bit of a drag. You are not alone: Lonliness at Pandemic U: 14 tips for college students and their parents
Along similar themes, but more for everyone:: Your Surge Capacity is Depleted. This is Why You Feel Awful (and a couple good things you can do about it)
One thing that’s helpful is — to help! Here is a heartwarming and inspiring story from one of my very favorite professors from back in my undergrad time at Stony Brook. Bente Videbaek is an amazing person who has been working hard to make sure people have masks Facebook Page: “Humans of Mather Hospital”
When you feel a bit grounded and ready to stare some of the bigger challenges facing humanity in the face: Countdown is a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. One of the speakers, Dr. Rose Mutiso, is a friend of mine – we were graduate students together. She’s the incredible CEO of the Mawazo Institute, which supports women scientists and leaders throughout East Africa. She has also spoken at TED and written in Scientific American about the challenges that people in Africa face building digital and clean-energy infrastructure.
One for the Coltrane fans out there: The most feared song in jazz, explained. It’s not too hard for a layman to follow this breakdown of “Giant Steps,” even as it’s still among the most challenging things a musician may face
Finally, no big point here, but a bit of joy for you since we could all use it: The happiness of this dog after they put prostheses on
Spencer Thomas received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. After some time at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, we are DELIGHTED to welcome him back to Long Island as a researcher at Stony Brook University. He also happens to be Katie’s brother. For a time, Spencer studied metals at the atomic level; the way atoms are arranged in a material can change its properties; one can take ordinary metals make them stronger, more flexible, corrosion resistant, even radiation resistant. We’re still endeavoring to understand what he’s doing now well enough to explain it so simply.
Spencer believes that no matter who you are, good communication can put scientific concepts within reach. The modern world demands scientific literacy and it is the responsibility of scientists to make that possible.
We see Harborfields High School putting photos of its entire graduating class along Pulaski Road, We’ve appreciated the William Floyd School District honoring its grads on Facebook. We are grateful Syosset High School will spend two full days to safely offering a graduation ceremony.
We know this is just a little bit of the effort being made to make up for so many who are missing out on all the fun of being a senior; who have instead had to navigate the second most exceptionally challenging roll out of an education transformation in their lifetimes; and who are now facing extraordinary uncertainty regarding how their next chapter will play out.
We want to hug them all.
We are also thinking of the teachers who have done so much to make that education transition happen. This is not how they wanted their creativity finally unleashed again! We think of too many tears shed, while missing out on getting to get misty eyed over the kids they’ve shepherded to this moment. We are thinking of a beloved teacher retiring this year who, instead of getting to celebrate it, got to wave to a few of her students and parents as she helped out at a no-touch pick up of locker contents.
From Long Island Weekly: Above and Beyond: Long Island Teachers Step Up During Coronavirus
Newsday reports of how Long Island Celebrates Class of 2020 with Lawn Signs, Parades, Senior ‘Adoptions’ and More.
News 12 LI Covers Schools Lighting Up to Honor the Class of 2020
E-News offers Every Celebrity Celebrating the Class of 2020
John Krasinski’s Some Good News hosted these amazing quarantine commencement conversations.
Here is Business Insiders list of The Best Commencement Speeches of All Time.
The Muse offers Five Commencement Speeches to Inspire You
To those Graduating: All our best for whatever comes next. We wish you all the greatest of success.
Dudley Music at Coltrane Day 2019. Photo by Katheryn Laible
Part of that article with Roger Tilles talks about the power of dedicated teachers. This reminded us of a discussion we had with two incredible local artists, Diego Garcia and Dudley Salmon, who are among those featured in the Huntington Arts Council ” DEC the Walls Exhibition”
Check it out. It’s amazing.
We met Dudley through the local endeavor to advance the legacy of John & Alice Coltrane, and then he and Diego together when he was performing at another volunteer’s gallery opening. It was a deep and meaningful conversation. We will be following up!
One interesting note: While the musician is deeply grateful for his art teachers, the inspiration Dudley really wanted to talk about was his biology teacher…
It was his passion for the arts, his appreciation for teachers, and his firm belief grounded that the arts are fundamental to a good education that first led us to be intrigued by Roger Tilles. We got to sit down with him a million years ago last December. While so much has changed since then, we believe what he had to say remains relevant, perhaps even moreso than it was…Continue reading