Sunday, August 19, 2012

15 Days Left of Through the Lens of L.H. Bailey

There is only 15 days left to view, "Through the Lens of L.H. Bailey: Plants, Places, and People." View the world through the eyes of America's Father of Modern Horticulture, Liberty Hyde Bailey. The exhibit closes September 15th. The Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum is open, Thursday-Sunday, 9-4 pm. Today we offer a another wonderful extension of the exhibit.

Many times in warm countries I have been told that the climate has transcendent merit because there is no winter. But to me this lack is its disadvantage. There are things to see, things to do, things to think about in the winter as in the spring. There is interest in the winter wayside, in the hibernating insects, in the few hardy birds, and the deserted nests, in the fretwork of the weeds against the snow, in the strong outlines of the trees, in the snow-shapes, in the cold deep sky. To many persons these strong alternations of the seasons emphasizeand punctuate the life. They are the mountains and the valleys. The winter is a part of the naturalist's year. -L.H. Bailey, The Nature Study Idea

Sunday, August 12, 2012

L.H. Bailey Featured in New "Ink Trails" Book

Authors Dave and Jack Dempsey know well their state of Michigan and its richness in culture. Their new book Ink Trails: Michigan's Famous and Forgotten Authors —the first of its kind— explores the secrets, legends, and myths surrounding some of Michigan’s literary luminaries including South Haven’s own Liberty Hyde Bailey. 
    You can purchase the book through our blog link above and also meet co-author/historian Jack Dempsey on Saturday, September 8th, from 3-5 at Lake Michigan College, South Haven Campus. Here is an excerpt.

    "The fruit orchards blanketing the Southwest Michigan hills all the way to the vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula might be described as Bailey Country. Lake-moderated breezes nurture trees and shrubs bursting with produce. And if production itself were not enough, the landscape all up and down the West Michigan shore surely would delight Bailey today, with field upon sun-embraced field reaching as far as the eye can see.
     Bailey’s ego never outgrew the humble setting of his childhood:

      I do not yet know why plants come out of the land or float in streams, or creep on rocks or roll   from the sea. I am entranced by the mystery of them, and absorbed by their variety and kinds. Everywhere they are visible yet everywhere occult.

     He never lost his fascination with the natural world—discovering new plants, or determining how to keep farmers more in tune with the land they should love. Bailey had no such lack, having grown up in the embrace of the family farm. This experience deeply influenced him throughout his long life, for he would vouch that his writings “all came out of South Haven. My roots are here and my experiences here must enter into my consciousness. All life comes out of childhood.” Growing from the fertile West Michigan soil, the life it yielded would enrich many a printed page."