Posts Tagged ‘Nature and Wildlife’

Courtesy Dallas Arboretum

Community Contribution

The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill opens at 1:15 p.m., Oct. 6 at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, adding another feature to the internationally recognized display gardens.

The 2-acre site, originally a ravine filled with bamboo and poison ivy, has been transformed into a series of Texas Stream cascades and reflecting pools lined with Encore azaleas and woodland plants, and featuring more than 80 varieties of Japanese maples.

More than 200 trees were hand-selected and range in size from weeping varieties only 2 feet tall to a large, signature specimen believed to be more than 100 years old.

Mike Rawlins, Dallas mayor, Joan Walne, Park Board president, Steve Coke, chairman of the Arboretum board, city officials, and other dignitaries will be in attendance, including Rowland Jackson, president of Newman, Jackson Bierbestein, along with architect Milton Powell and Partners, who designed the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn and Stage four years ago.

A gathering plaza off the Arboretum’s main walkway, the Paseo de Flores, is at the top of the hillside. Clear sheets of water spill from the limestone walls into two large bowls that flank the view of the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and White Rock Lake in the distance.

At the plaza level, a reflecting pool cascades down the narrow boulder-shaped ravine and meanders down a stone runnel to dark reflecting pools at the base of the hill. The concert lawn walk is enhanced with views of natural waterfalls and rivulets for concert patrons.

More than 1,000 tons of giant boulders were installed by the Beck Group to create this natural water course. Winding walkways lead visitors down the hillside, crossing the rill, or stream, on a featured Maple Bridge.

West of the bridge is the Maple Terrace display that features circular rows of contrasting colors of maples. Distinctive night lighting will create a magical setting for evening concerts, garden parties, and weddings.

The Red Maple Rill completes the master plan for the adjoining concert lawn and stage that was also commissioned by Mrs. Rutchik in honor of her late husband, Martin Rutchik. The completion of the Red Maple Rill provides additional VIP concert seating in an overlook that offers a  vista of both the rill and White Rock.

Completing the Red Maple Rill also increases the Arboretum’s collection of Acer species and cultivars to more than 120 varieties, said Jimmy Turner, senior director of gardens.

“This installation will help us evaluate these new varieties and species for their adaptability to Texas gardens and landscapes. From a horticultural standpoint, the Red Maple Rill is an important addition to the gardens because of the impressive collection of maple species and cultivars.”

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Courtesy Image

By Bruce Felps

Nature appreciation, creative arts, and friendly fun come to the Bath House Cultural Center this weekend in the form of CommuniTREE, a new event organized by Amy Martin and Earth Rhythms.

The event takes place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sept. 24,  along the shore of White Rock Lake.

It’s intended to commemorate, educate, and participate in all things tree beneath the live oaks that surround the Bath House.

Presentations, according to the press release: Continue Reading »

Um, pumpkins, lots of pumpkins — Courtesy Dallas Arboretum

Community Contribution

Fall foliage will be but one attraction this season at the Dallas Arboretum.

The botanical gardens opens its Cinderella Pumpkin Village Sept. 17. The display runs through Nov. 23, and features the fleeting beauty’s life-size pumpkin-styled carriage, with topiary horses, awaiting fairytale photo opportunities.

The grounds will be filled with more than 50,000 pumpkins, squash, and gourds. Guests will find displays featuring 45 varieties at unexpected locations — stacked near the entrance, lining the Paseo de Flores, and marking the steps to the Women’s Garden.    Continue Reading »

By Bruce Felps

Giraffes fascinated little James Sikes of Lakewood, so much so, according to the Dallas Morning News, his parents nicknamed him “Jamesie the Giraffe.”

The nickname now stands, tall, as a legacy to the boy’s brief life. He passed away July 16 from a brain tumor, but the Sikes family neighbors, community, and cyber-friends made sure the 8-month-old’s memory would be honored. Continue Reading »

Hawk v. Squirrel in Lakewood — Courtesy Photo

By Bruce Felps

Yesterday’s item about predators in the area generated a couple of e-mailed responses about similar dangers to small animals, and wild animals don’t differentiate between domesticated creatures and those of the wild.

A gentleman named Clay Drury, if I’m correctly deciphering his e-mail address, snapped the sidewalk-side photo at the top of this piece at some point along Sperry Street. That would be a hawk dining al fresco on a fresh serving of squirrel. Continue Reading »

By Bruce Felps

About a week ago, a report came in of a small dog in Wilshire Heights who endured an attack by some sort of indigenous life-form.

The attack left the dog with puncture wounds below its ears and a nasty infection.

Well, a follow-up missive originating from the 5800 block of Monticello Avenue arrived last night bringing a caution of what might have caused the puncture wounds or at least a warning as to why leaving small pets outside alone is not a real good idea. Continue Reading »

By Bruce Felps

This topic seems to arise periodically, and likely will never go away.

An e-mail message from the Wilshire Heights Neighborhood Association brought word of a small dog, about 17 pounds, recently attacked by “something” in the dog’s backyard. The something left two large puncture wounds below the dog’s ears, which became infected and nearly killed the canine.

According to the e-mail message, “We believe there is a large predatory critter in the area, but we have no idea what it is. It might be a coyote, bird of prey, raccoon … whatever it was, the thing got into a fenced yard and out again after attacking the dog.”

The something almost assuredly did not attack for sport. It was more likely hungry or had little ones to feed.

The president of the Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association, involved in the e-mail thread, mentioned coyote sightings in the area.  Continue Reading »

"White Rock Boat House" - Color photograph by Todd Landry

By Bruce Felps

The White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration concluded last weekend but the lake remains the jeweled accessory that pulls together the East Dallas community garment.

The Bath House Cultural Center pays tribute to White Rock with a photographic gallery called White Rock Lake: An Inspiring Work of Art, which runs through Oct. 1 in the White Rock Lake Museum. The Bath House’s Enrique Fernández Cervantes  serves as curator of the showing.

The exhibit features the work of local photographic artists J R Compton, Brian Hiltz, and Todd Landry. A free artists reception takes place from 7-9 p.m., July 9, at the Bath House. Continue Reading »

By Bruce Felps

Dallas Water Utilities this weekend presents the 17th annual Water-Wise Landscape Tour, which highlights 22 landscapes heavy on native Texas plants that go light on water use.

The self-guided tour takes place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., June 4. The water department will set up three base points — at which 30-minute “MicroTalks” on water-wise techniques will occur every hour on the hour — the closest of which is the White Rock Pump Station. Continue Reading »

A group organized by Amy “Moonlady” Martin gathered Saturday to pay tribute to a 100-year-old tree at White Rock Lake. — Courtesy Photo

Community Contribution by Amy “Moonlady” Martin

For more than 100 years they stood, four great American elms behind the Bath House Cultural Center. The felling of two and the impending death of a third moved people deeply. Considering Earth Rhythms’ long history at the Bath House and the embrace of tree imagery in our logos, we felt something had to be done, culminating in Goodbye to the Bath House Tree held this Saturday. Continue Reading »




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