Tag Archive | Tanglewood

Nature Photos From My Beautiful Quarantine Berkshires Vacation!

japanese red maple photo by gail worley
Japanese Red Maple (All Photos By Gail)

The original vacation plan for Summer 2020 called for me to fly from New York City to Barcelona on June 4th. There, I would meet up with my Los Angeles-based sister, and we’d spend two days site-seeing and recovering from jet lag before departing on an adventure-packed, seven-day cruise through the western Mediterranean. Sigh, I fucking love to cruise.

Obviously, those plans changed. In May, our sailing was predictably canceled by the cruise line due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While I was relieved to receive a full-refund on my paid fare — and overjoyed with the bonus of nearly $1,000 in onboard credit for a 2021 rebooking — I was also super bummed to know that I would likely not be getting out of Manhattan this summer. First world problems: they are a  thing.

g and t in the berks photo by gail
This Glass Holds The Remains of a Very Stiff Gin and Tonic

It cannot be overstated then that my summer was miraculously saved by friends who own a home the Berkshires, where they’d been quarantining since March. They generously offered to host me for a week of doing basically what I do in Manhattan — eating and going for walks — but with way better food and immeasurably more awe-inspiring scenery, not to mention (but you can see I am about to) air that smells like honey, and the absence of blaring sirens. It was the best week I’ve had in three months. Please enjoy a selection of photos from my many nature walks taken during the vacation that restored my sanity.

white pines view photo by gail worley
The Berkshires: Stunning Even When It’s Overcast

My friends live in a private community accessed from a narrow road set about a mile off of a rural thoroughfare. On summer evenings (during any normal year), you can sometimes hear faint music drifting over from Tanglewood, where I saw a fantastic concert by Squeeze with these same friends last August. Sadly, Tanglewood’s 2020 season has been canceled.

reeds against the sky photo by gail worley

Instead, the soundtrack includes choruses of bullfrogs hiding among the marsh reeds, and a rush of wind through the endless trees that can make you look over your shoulder to confirm that no cars are coming.

marsh pond photo by gail worley

This marsh and pond are just across the road from a private beach. There, you can take colorful kayaks out onto a lake, which is called the Stockbridge Bowl.

lake view through the trees photo by gail

I could gaze at at this view for hours.

Continue Enjoying the Scenery, After the Jump!

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Tanglewood By Shayne Dark at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Tanglewood Distance
All Photos By Gail

If you haven’t been to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden yet this summer, you really must go while the Lily Pool Terrace is still in bloom, which is through September. Also new to the Garden (since July) are three large-scale installations by Canadian artist Shayne Dark, who brings his work to Brooklyn Botanic as part of a yearlong sculpture exhibit.  The first one you’ll see, when you enter at 150 Eastern Parkway, is a group of bright blue-painted poles, which is called Tanglewood. The sculpture sits in the center of the Osborne Garden lawn, which allows viewers to approach it from a distance.

Tanglewood 1

In the excerpt below, from a conversation with Dark, the artist talks to Garden staff about the inspiration behind this work, how he chose his materials, and how he goes about installing such large, complex pieces in a public space.

Tanglewood (2014)

This work was inspired by Dark’s childhood growing up along the Ottawa River, in Ontario. “In the spring, logs coming down the river would get tangled up in the bend, and the men would come running out to break up these log jams. As a child, I was fascinated by this.”

The sculpture is constructed of cedar poles normally used as fence posts, painted a vivid blue. “For me, color is one of the easiest things to respond to and enjoy.” Dark used a matte theater paint that he discovered years ago while working with his brother on set designs in the Ed Sullivan Theater. “It’s also the same color used to create a blue screen effect. When you use it, there’s an optical illusion, a blurring effect, which is kind of surreal.”

Tanglewood 2

“Other pieces you might place so as to hide and reveal, but for this particular piece, it’s crucial that there be space around it so that your perspective changes as you come closer…so that it becomes monumental,” says Dark.  Each installation of Tanglewood is unique, and Dark added individual posts to the sculpture once it was placed on-site.

Installation in Progress

Tanglewood Detail
Tanglewood Detail

Tanglewood with Planter

Tanglewood will be on exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden through July, 2017.

Glass Balloons Sculpture

Glass Balloons Sculpture

Glass Balloons Sculpture photographed by me in Tanglewood gift shop, Lenox, Massachusetts during Berkshires Adventure Weekend, Summer of 2012.