Nature Friday ~ July 26, 2019

Welcome to the last Friday of July. Today we join our good fur-iends and Nature Friday hosts, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard with a ‘flashback Friday’ about the nature we encountered this week.

You may recall me mentioning my plans to visit the Lavender Festival at Denver Botanical Garden’s Chatfield Farms location but what I didn’t mention was a different reason for visiting-to see the recently opened Stickworks exhibit and what a great two-fer it turned out to be.

Nature provides us not only with gorgeous flowers like lavender, but also many of the building materials we use to build homes. Enter internationally recognized artist Patrick Dougherty who builds open-air, site-specific stick sculptures who recently completed his 300th installation of his career. This was not his first in Colorado. Dougherty has completed a handful of sculptures in the state, including the one still standing in Vail. This spring, he returned to Colorado to construct a distinctly different exhibit at Denver Botanical Gardens Chatfield Farms location.

“In One Fell Swoop”

Each exhibit is specific to the site upon which it is installed and all of  Dougherty’s creations are created using locally-sourced materials to minimize the environmental impact. Because Colorado is relatively arid, this exhibit is expected to last longer than average installations. I know I’ll be visiting the Chatfield site often over the next  couple of years.

Artist standing in front of  exhibit, “In One Fell Swoop” [courtesy of 303 Magazine]

As he frequently does, Dougherty utilized a dedicated team of volunteers when he created his stick installation at the Chatfield location. Denver Botanical Garden volunteers helped shape the structure, weaving small branches to ensure the sculpture’s integrity as well as in the finishing touches. The Botanical Garden staff used sticks from within the grounds, as well as materials from neighboring homeowners spring cleaning efforts and material from BLM land. Two truckloads of long yellow sticks from the Fort Collins area helped create the sweeping sense of motion of the snakelike shaped structure.


The scale of this maze-like installation is impressive at 60 feet by about 30 feet and towers at 13 feet high.Stickworks

Drone footage shows the exhibit during construction.

Photo by Scott Dressel-Martin, courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens.

Shall we go inside and take a closer look?Stickworks



The intense sun of Colorado has already weathered the structure in just three months.

Incredible, isn’t it? Because nature provides more than just sticks and stones, here are a couple of other beautiful images from Chatfield’s Lavender Festival. Included with more than 2000 lavender plants was the joint venture with the Butterfly Pavillion in a seasonal habitat containing Swallow Tails, Monarchs, Mourning Cloaks and Painted Ladies butterflies.

Lavender Butterfly Butterfly Butterflies

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to get out there and enjoy all that nature provides. And now for a couple of images from our garden that began blooming in the last couple of days. Isn’t nature grand?

Flowers Flowers

Nature FridayLive, love, bark! 🐾

59 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ July 26, 2019

    1. No doubt they’ll get their grubby, er tiny hands and teeth on more than one or two branches.

  1. The flowers and the Butterflies were beautiful, a bit undecided about the sculpture though. It’s probably the Philistine in me. :o)

    1. Perhaps it’s a “you had to be there” to fully appreciate the outdoor art installation. 🙂 But at least you enjoyed the flowers and butterflies. 👍🏻

    1. It is pretty impressive. He has had installations all over the world, but nothing in the your area that I was able to find. (Closest locations were probably Topeka, Indiana & Tennessee).

    1. Definitely a fun place to hang out in and explore. Looking in or looking out-remarkable views.

  2. Wagnificent!🐾🐾
    Dog gone it! Patrick Dougherty’s work is pawtacular 🐾🐾
    What a treat to visit & walk through. Working on it would be pawsitively wooftastic!
    Thank you for sharing him, the wingtastic butterflies & beautiful flowers.
    💜nose nudges💜

    1. His work is incredible. I looked at exhibits from all over the world and was blown away. So grateful he built one here!

    1. It was great fun poking around all the little nooks and crannies and looking out on the farm’s grounds.

    1. And I plan to do it again many times. As soon as the temperature drops. Can’t wait until autumn for those golden hues shots. 😊

  3. Wow, those stick sculptures are quite impressive. And you showed us some lovely flowers too. Happy weekend.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. His work all over the world is amazing. What a vision he has with simple materials.

    1. Thanks, it was a great day for a visit of everything incredible about this summer.

  4. I’m so glad we got to see the stickworks art. Your photos are terrific. I hope to share mine next soon. The butterfly exhibit was inspirational. Thing is, we couldn’t smell the lavender… could you? We got right down in it too. LeeAnna

    1. Glad you were able to experience this incredible outdoor exhibit (even if it was super toasty). Sometimes you need to touch the stems to release the scent once the plants have passed the bud stage. But I know being around all those plants impacted drivers leaving the lot-they are far more calm and considerate exciting than when they arrived. 😇

    1. My pleasure. This long lasting exhibit should provide loads of a-‘maze’-ing photos for a long time.

  5. oh this post made me smile!!! You captured some AMAZING, AMAZING SHOTS!!! I wish I could have strolled through that structure with you! That is mind-boggling!!!! Fantastic photos, great job my furiend!

    1. I would have loved having you visit in person. We’d have had a blast and laughed so much!

    1. They really captivated my imagination-I turned into a 5-year old exploring the various rooms and nooks.

        1. Can’t wait until this autumn or even winter to see this structure in a whole different light. Literally.

    1. There’s always so much to see at the main garden but also much to see and explore at the Chatfield location. P.S. Had no idea you had family in Denver!

      1. All 4 of my husband’s kids relocated to Denver about 20 years ago. He was there last year for a Red Rocks concert. I haven’t been in a few years but we periodically visit. They usually come here so they can visit all their friends.

        1. That’s very cool-love Red Rocks! Denver is a really nice place to visit. Just ask the thousands who came for a visit and stayed over the past 5 years who can usually be found on I-25 all hours of the day. 😬

    1. Thanks. The lavender smell on a warm day is intoxicating and even with the cluster of leaving the parking lot, drivers are much more calm and patient. 😊

    1. Isn’t something else? I could have stayed for hours exploring every nook and cranny.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.