Archive 2008 - 2019

Random Art in the Woods

by Arvind Ananthan

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." – Henry David Thoreau

I’d like to think most of us humans are nature lovers with a strong connection to the flora and fauna around us. Nothing rejuvenates your spirit and clears your head, or your pet’s bowels (:-), like a nice walk in the woods every day. My wife and I take turns walking our dogs in the nearby Ashland state park regularly; sometimes it’s a short 40 minute jaunt, and at other times it’s a full 3+ mile hike around the scenic lake.

As a fan of Thoreau and his musings, I get distressed sometimes when I come across junk in the form of beer bottles and plastic bags/wrappers that throws off the vista, and disturbs the entire experience.

So imagine my pleasant surprise, when I came across this random but beautiful work of art/craft on a hollow tree trunk. This seems to be the work of an anonymous local artist– possibly a regular dog walker in the state park, or even a local kid with a really good heart and desire to make a difference.

In the past, I’ve found this same hollow space of this not-quite-dead-yet tree filled with trash. Good-natured passersby like myself use our extra doggie bags to clear the trash and bring it to a nearby trash can. But this beautiful tapestry of brilliant blue cloth, decorations, and a faux bird nest totally transforms the area around this tree, and brings instant joy the moment you turn the corner.

Here’s another picture of this lovely tree stump along with the lake (and our dog Oliver) in the background.

Kudos and heartfelt thanks to this anonymous artist.

Comments (5)

Thoughtful reference to Thoreau-one of our first ecologists! Also, brought back many happy memories of my family and I walking around Walden Pond,canoeing and enjoying its natural beauty. Thanks! Ann Moore

Ann Moore | 2016-05-02 12:45:03

Well said my friend!

Anne and my pack of 4 legged kids | 2016-05-01 19:41:09

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a beautiful piece about this. I appreciate the time it took to photograph the "artwork" and write the accompanying prose. I also appreciate the Thoreau quote, truly one of my favorite pieces of American literature. You've inspired me to ditch my plan to do yardwork and go for a hike today instead.

Brad Jackson | 2016-05-01 07:15:47

We agree, the tree art at Ashland State Park is delightful.....thank you to the creator. Mary Alice Breinlinger and my four legged friend, Winston

Mary Alice Breinlinger | 2016-05-01 06:54:13

Very nice....!!

Ben Clarkson | 2016-05-01 04:51:53