Treefollowing on a cold windy day—note bundled-up photographer reflected in window.
Back in March, I decided to follow a pair of hawthorns growing next to the building that houses the Department of Visual and Literary Arts at the University of Wyoming. By July, I had concluded these most likely were Russian Hawthorns, Crataegus ambigua, following suggestions of several readers; also, Russian Hawthorn cultivars are popular in Wyoming. But I still haven’t checked with the University landscaping folks for confirmation.
Despite the severe cold last week (low of 0º F, -18º C), my hawthorns were covered in leaves—a mix of dull green and several shades of reddish brown.
With their haws fully ripe, these trees revealed that they are more productive than I had thought. But they still are slackers compared with their fecund neighbors!
Above and below: my hawthorns.
Above and below: neighboring hawthorns loaded with ripe haws.
The inclusion of literary art intrigued me. When I first visited, I assumed this piece on display in the lobby was an example:
Or perhaps the works currently in the main gallery—Joanne Kluba’s Artist Books:
L’Atlantide, Artist Book; Joanne Kluba, 2003.
Mindfullness, Artist Book; Joanne Kluba, 2006.
But no. Literary Art refers to creative writing, which was transferred from the English Department just recently. This is where Wyoming coal comes in.
Wyoming’s economy is being hit hard with the decline of coal, a major source of state income. Multiple big mines have closed, their companies now in bankruptcy, including Peabody Energy—made famous in John Prine’s Paradise.
As a result, the University of Wyoming has cut and reorganized programs. Though the English Department still exists, creative writing was put in Visual Arts—no idea why. At least it wasn't eliminated, as was poetry.
|Departmental sign not yet updated.|
This is my contribution to the monthly virtual gathering of treefollowers, kindly hosted by The Squirrel Basket. Consider joining us! It's always interesting and fun—and no pressure :)