Knee deep in June

by LeAnn Luce, West Region Program and Earned Income Manager

“… Tell you what I like the best —
‘Long about knee-deep in June,
‘Bout the time strawberries melts
on the vine, — some afternoon …”

— James Whitcomb Riley

For many of us at our Indiana State Historic Sites, June brings a much needed reprieve from all of the hustle and bustle of holding site related events and having thousands of school children visit our historic treasures during the months of April and May. A welcome necessity in keeping our Indiana State Historic sites doors operating and open.

For most of our site managers, programmers and other site staff, this is a marathon month or two of activity and affords little time to enjoy their own site’s surroundings and the comings of goings of spring. While the phenomenal events of Mother Nature’s show of emerging flora and fauna are noticed, most staff are simply too busy to reflect upon her daily gifts.

And then it happens … we find ourselves “Knee deep into June” and we notice the special things Mother Nature has been saving for us — a new born baby fawn and her mother, a nest of hungry baby birds, new butterflies enjoying June foliage and a beautiful box of flowers that only just now have reached their prime. We see it and we are thankful for these sites and the wonderfully special places we work. This ain’t no ordinary job!

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Come and visit our Indiana State Historic Sites … I can assure you it has been worth the wait!

There’s a party going on right here …

by LeAnn E. Luce, West Region Program Manager

Mother Nature is throwing a surprise party and you are invited! The colorful fête is going on right now at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site. On display is an enchanting mix of flora and fauna she has decorated with. The 211 acres of gardens, forest, lily ponds and trails are vibrantly alive with flowers, buds, frogs, bees, birds and the intoxicating smells of flowers in bloom.

What a phenomenon this spring is! The early warm weather has just made everything pop — in some case right before our eyes — here at the site. The annual daffodil display is the icing on the cake!

So come right now to the party for the best spring eye candy and enjoy the spectacular views Ms. Nature has painted for us! Here is a sneak peek to whet your appetite:

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Nature’s Palette, Always in Style

Written by Davie Kean, master gardener at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site

Ironweed

Ironweed

Somewhere, there are people who are paid to predict (or create) which colors will be ‘hot’ for the coming year. Apparently there are people who are color blind in the fashion sense — unable to decide for themselves what color to wear or decorate with. There are even websites to consult when in doubt.

I choose my color schemes on my daily drive to work, and at home enjoying the view from my porch. I follow nature’s seasonal palette rather than fashion’s fickle trends. I’m not sure where the color consultants get their inspiration, but indirectly, it probably comes from the same source as mine.

Anyone who has looked at photographs from National Geographic or Discovery magazines will recognize that even the most outlandish colors were first found in nature. Hot pinks, florescent greens, electric blues — Mother Nature just smiles and thinks, “Been there, done that.”

Fashion color preferences are cyclical. Every few years, ‘naturals’ are the latest cool thing (again). Sometimes we fall under the illusion (or delusion) that we have created these colors or color combinations, but we are really just copying or interpreting what has always been around us.

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