Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 15 - 30/30 Challenge - More Biking & Painting

Greenhouse, Bailey Arboretum
6" x 6", watercolor, $35

I love to ride my bike - and I don't do it nearly enough. Today I took a longer excursion to Bailey Arboretum in Lattingtown. It's a lovely little place - with free admission.

I love this little visitor center house and greenhouse. I just sat in the grass and sketched and painted. Chickadees and nuthatches were all around in the trees. Little butterflies flitted about. The sun peaked in and out of the clouds. Painting plein air is a wonderful way to experience the outdoors.

The Volunteers for Wildlife also make their home here in the carriage house and there are birds (hawks, owls, crows) that are housed here because they have been injured in someway or can't hunt for various reasons.

There are some lovely features there - a children's activity garden, a pond, a tiny little castle, beautiful and rare Dawn Cypresses, small but pretty lawns and acres of woods to explore. It's a great place to go snowshoeing in the winter.

About Bailey Arboretum:
Frank Bailey was born in Chatham, New York, in 1865. He became a senior officer of the Title Guarantee and Trust Company. However, he felt “something was missing from his life.” He looked back on excursions with his father, keeping “a sharp lookout for unusual trees and plants” as some of the happiest moments in his childhood. In 1911 Bailey bought a house and 45 acres in Locust Valley.

He was not interested in building a “French chateau or an English castle, like so many other houses in the vicinity,” and mocked the pretensions of his neighbors by naming his property “Munnysunk.” What distinguished “his place from all others is the enormous number and variety of trees.” His hope was to influence the practice of horticulture so that “tree gardens may some day become as common as flower gardens.”