Snow Day at Woodwynn Farms

February 7, 2017

I couldn’t stop taking photos this morning!

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The Road To Woodwynn Farms.

 

 

Today was pretty special out at the Woodwynn Peace Garden!

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Solstice – 2016 at the Peace Garden

December 21, 2016

When “Solstice” was first installed at Woodwynn (last spring) I promised myself to be there at sunrise on the morning of the winter solstice. And today, with Deryk, I did just that. We arrived early. It was still very dark and we walked around as we waited for dawn, almost feeling the world turning under our feet in order to reveal that first glow in the sky. At first we heard an owl and then other birds awoke with different sounds. A flock of geese flew over and we laughed at the trumpeting noise. There were clouds today so when the light did appear, it gave a soft, shadowless feeling. There’s an infinity of moods in the Peace Garden. This morning was extra special.

As many of you already know, the sculpture was inspired by a quote by Albert Camus: “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” (as translated in Lyrical and Critical Essays, 1968)

Here are a few photos:

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Article about the Peace Garden

August 8, 2016

Starts on Page 6 of the August “Eyes on BC”.

By David Morrison.

 


Skydiver and fish

July 24, 2016

Great day at Woodwynn yesterday. Caught this very special moment with my cellphone!

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End of June – Woodwynn Peace Garden

June 30, 2016

Something new from Deryk….  this one didn’t “get away!)

(We’re watching the movie “Big Fish” to celebrate.)

We had a warm spring so perhaps the timing will be different in future years, but this year, June was an amazing time of colour in the Peace Garden. The lavender bloomed all month and many of the sage plants bloomed as well. We actually expected all of the sage plants to flower but it seemed to be pretty random. Perhaps since they are still really relatively new plants (just a year old) it will take time for them to all flower or perhaps there will always be some plants that don’t flower in a given year.

 

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Apple tree lane is thick with apples that are full size and quite red at this point and beautiful pink poppies appeared by magic near the meditation nest.

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We’ve kept up with the watering. We’ve almost kept up with the weeding….

We never stop appreciating the beauty of the location and we are always grateful to be a part of the farm!

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And there are interesting developments around the farm outside of the Peace Garden as well 🙂

 


Some much needed rain at the farm today

May 28, 2016

 

Sage, apples, lavender – everything is growing beautifully at the Woodwynn Peace Garden! With the weight of the fruit, some of the trees needed staking and that was on today’s task list.

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And we’ve been watering for several weeks now – with an easier system than last year… bigger barrels, more of them, and a pump with long hoses that spray. This is bliss compared to last year – small barrels, a holding tank, a short hose and the dip-the-pitcher-into-the-buckets-that-are-too-heavy-to-carry method of hand watering. This was slow, but it did give us a chance to assess each plant every time we watered. Now that the plants are well-established, they need less attention and less water as well so it’s still a task, but not as grueling as last summer. Just the same, all the water still comes from a distant pump on the farm and has to be transported with a truck.

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Even with our easier system, the forecast of a cooler summer is welcome to us! We were delighted with today’s rain. Glad that the volunteers who came out today were not afraid of the weather and we thank them for all the weeds they pulled! The compost heap is now Very Full. We have the weed situation basically under control, but we know that those thistles and blackberries would dominate quickly if we left things for more than a few weeks. That’s why we keep at it, every week, during the growing season.

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Oh and I can’t stop playing with panorama shots and iPhone “special effect” apps. This image is the east barn near the pump house.

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Solstice – sculpture at the Woodwynn Peace Garden

April 23, 2016

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“Solstice”
by Elizabeth Wellburn, Samuel Houston
and Deryk Houston

These are photos of “Solstice” – our sculpture that has recently been placed in a very special location at Woodwynn Farms in the Peace Garden. It is placed in best possible spot to capture the first morning light on the shortest day of the year – the Southeast corner of the Peace Garden. Light flows through it at various times of day during other days of the year as well.

The theme of “Solstice” is transitions (seasonal or otherwise) that happen to people and to the natural world. The sculpture is steel, plexiglass and recycled glass (most of it kiln formed) and I created the translucent design using a glass on glass mosaic technique.

Sometime near the beginning of the construction of the Peace Garden (about three years ago) I knew I wanted to create a piece of art for that location and I wanted it incorporate the cathedral-like quality of coloured glass. I had a strong desire to express my ideas about the winter solstice – the shortest day but also a time of transition to a time of more light. Finding the inner strength to move beyond dark times seems to me to be what Woodwynn is all about. And the solstice is an important marker of the cycles of seasons that are so much a part of farm (and human) life.

An Albert Camus quote from Return to Tipasa (1954) inspired me:

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” (As translated in Lyrical and Critical Essays (1968), p. 169; also in The Unquiet Vision : Mirrors of Man in Existentialism (1969) by Nathan A. Scott, p. 116.)

I planned out colours to evoke the four seasons. The bottom left is winter – in icy blues with a few hints of berry red. Moving clockwise there is a panel with the pastels and fresh greens of spring. At the top the turquoise sky shines above colours that might be found in a poppy field or a watermelon patch. Amber and gold are next for autumn and then we complete the cycle with winter once again at the bottom right.

I worked with Samuel and Deryk to develop a structure to house the glass to have a sheltering quality as well as the feeling of a seasonal clock. I feel comfortable and at peace with the solid, rounded design. It serves as an archway over a natural stone bench that allows a visitor to sit and look down at the valley.

Previously this piece was installed in Nanaimo, near the Port Theatre and it stayed there for one year until it was time for us to donate it to Woodwynn. It is now in the spot that it was designed for and I am really happy to see it there!

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