Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Growth

One of the most life-affirming moments in the movies comes in the otherwise-grim Ingmar Bergman classic, The Seventh Seal. An actor, who is resting for the night in the sanctuary of a tree, looks below to find Death sawing the tree down. He pleads, to no avail. His engagements have been cancelled, his contracts have been annulled. The tree crashes to the ground, and as the echoes of the crash still float on the air, a tiny squirrel scampers up onto the stump.

No squirrel here, but our masterful grounds and landscaping guy, planting a new tree where the old one grew. John scoured nurseries from here to Albany to find just the right tree -- about six fee tall, healthy enough to grow strong, slightly flattened on the side that faces the path. bushy out over the water. As time goes on, he'll prune it from the bottom so that it grows tall rather than wide.

Here's the new tree going into the ground.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

...and down


I'll post the planting of the new tree, and follow its progress, as those events occur.

In Youth It Sheltered Me

Here's the tree c
oming down.

all photos by Pat Richards

Monday, May 07, 2007

Say Goodbye

Say goodbye to this wonderful old tree, that's been a part of Opus 40 forever. We've kept it going on life support and nutrients for the last decade or so, but there's no life left in it now.

Tomorrow it comes down, and a new tree will be planted in its place, thanks to the generosity of the Richards/Jessup family of Santa Fe, as a gift in honor of their daughter Alexandra's wedding, that will take place this June.

Trees's a fact of nature. An environmental sculpture, unless it's a temporary piece like the ones Christo and Jeanne-Claude make, is always a work in progress, and always a collaborative work. Your collaborator is Nature, and you collaborator doesn't always like you very much, and she rarely has the same ideas you do.

And if you don't keep up your end, Nature may just decide to scrap the project altogether, as was the fate of many of the earthworks of the 1970s. We're dedicated to making sure that doesn't happen to Opus 40. We have said that Opus 40 could stand for a thousand years, and it could, but not quite in its present form -- all kept up for viewing, and for walking on. That takes a lot of work, and a lot of money. We're good on the first, always struggling on the second.