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saille is planting praxis
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15 + 173 points

The Taking Tree by saille is planting praxis

October 3rd, 2008 1:30 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Hide ten objects in ten trees.

The "what" of the environmentally-conscious method of this completion became obvious the moment I adopted a less human-centric perspective on whom I was hiding 'objects' in trees for. But where?

In order to avoid both city traffic and the possibility of getting caught in crossfire in certain parts of West Baltimore, my daily commute zigzags through many sections of parkland and other forested state land that locals use as parks. Every work day, I spend some of the drive looking wistfully at the trees and swearing that some day I'll really stop and walk around and enjoy these gorgeous surroundings at less than thirty miles an hour. Every day, the familiarity of schedule wins. To force myself to break this awful habit, I left for work earlier and came home a bit later every day for a week, stopping at the parks along the way. I imposed upon myself the following rules for tree hiding.

1. Only one object placed per stop (parking space), thus one per trailhead. This kept me from being lazy, and also from avoiding stopping in several parks that were in far less dodgy neighborhoods than I'd feared.

2. Park must be along a route I have taken to or from work, somewhere I wanted to investigate but never did.

3. Object may not be seen from the road (but must be accessible to birds or squirrels). This will make me walk further and actually explore.

Setting out with these guidelines in mind, a thoroughly rewarding and occasionally picturesque exploration just out of sight of the beaten path unfolded.

But first, the baking.

main_treebatter67874.jpg
Birdseed Batter: it disturbed me slightly that the only lard-free recipe I could find for birdseed balls that could be hung from ribbons was nearly identical to the one for wheat-free cookies I make for folks with allergies, except with birdseed instead of oats.

main_treetestball67875.jpg
Test Ball: the embedded ends of the ribbon are not tied, so that once the ball is eaten or disintegrates, the ribbon (nesting material) will fall off and never strangle the host tree. but will it hold?

main_treealmightytoa67876.jpg
we now enlist the help of the Almighty Toaster Oven. Respect it or suffer its burning wrath.

main_treetestballhan67877.jpg
The test ball holds: the embedded ribbon holds, at least in the humidity-controlled environment of an indoor kitchen wall. this leaves me with the next conundrum of how to shape ten objects intended to be hidden in trees and eaten by wildlife.

main_treebabies67878.jpg
Babies! I am going straight to hell. (Also, are babies made of seeds alive or dead?)

main_babiesplate68021.jpg
after baking an entire batch of ten children, i realised perhaps the witchy halloween theme of the kitchen has too deeply affected my psyche. it is too late to turn back.




Indeed, it is too late to turn back.

1. Gwynn's Falls Trail, Gwynns Falls Park
gwynnsfallstrai68229.jpggwynnsfallstree68230.jpg
(geotagged below)

The first one was not terribly interesting at first, but it seemed like a passable start: a groggy Monday morning full of autumn air and good intentions. Then I turned around to head back to the car just in time to see this:


gwynnsfallssunl68231.jpg
(big)


My heart was happy. This was exactly what I was hoping for. On to work, and the next.



2. Wyman Park
workcookie68234.jpg
(geotagged below)

And again, not a hundred feet from where I am hundreds of times a year, a peaceful moment I hadn't previously stopped to notice.

worklog68232.jpg
(bigger)



3. City-owned forest, across from Wyman Park
main_wallcookieleft68239.jpg
(geotagged below)
main_wall268238.jpg

Cookie is a bit hard to see, but is hanging from the tree on the left.


4. Catonsville Park
csccookie68237.jpg
There's practically a Mangrove forest back here. And a football field where children play in some organised manner, uniforms and all. I lived near here for five years and it never caught my attention.



5. Druid Hill Park, South entrance, statue.
druidhillparkwa68235.jpg
(geotagged below)
druidhillparksq68236.jpg

I always wondered what the statue was on about. It's William Wallace, apparently. Who knew there was that much of a Scottish population here to care? It was very difficult, here, to place the object where it couldn't be seen from the surrounding loop road. I couldn't climb any of the trees without attracting attention, so it would have to go in ground cover, instead. The squirrels discovered immediately. In fact, this guy ran off with it while I was fussing with the flash on my camera. I sense squirrel fishing in my future.


6. Leakin Park, Eagle drive entrance.
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(geotagged below)
main_leakincookie68242.jpg
main_leakinyouareher68240.jpg

The sign said 'you are here'. The rain from last night on the sign said 'it is wet', and that one shouldn't be climbing trees in office attire including 4 inch heels. But I was compelled, much to the detriment of my boots and, as I would discover later in the week, one of my knees. But there was ivy, you see:
main_leakinivy68243.jpg


7. Hanlon Park
main_lakecookie68531.jpg
(geotagged below) with our very own red triangular tower.

I arrived just in time for a sunset, which almost made up for the fact that I really ought not have stopped here:
main_lake68532.jpg


8. Carrie Murray Nature Center
mantissign68599.jpgnaturecenter68600.jpg
(geotagged below)

As expected from signage on the main road, the nature center is a park building with a few outdoor enclosures for native kid-friendly animals, room for nature-oriented kiddie parties, trails. It also had some unexpectedly priceless signs. And another unexpected sign: one of the first of Autumn:

naturecenterred68601.jpg


9. Druid Hill Park, from Wyman Park Road entrance
druidhillnorth68602.jpg
(geotagged below)
Another ground-level hide, as this is stretch of the park also comes mighty close to the loop road and open fields. The pavilion, however, is what I'd stopped for:

druidhillnorthp68603.jpg


10. Patapsco State Park, Hollofield Area

Friday, I cut out of work early to place the last object, saving what I knew would be the best location for last. the bridge in the overlook is the road that I travel back and forth to just about anywhere.
patapscocookie68605.jpg
(geotagged below)

patapsco68604.jpg
The end.


+ larger

shiny tree picture to hide the horror lurking within
birdseed batter
test cookie
almighty toaster oven
the test ball holds
babies
ten baked babies
gwynnsfalls_trailmap.jpg
gwynnsfalls_tree.jpg
this is really big and you want to click on it.
pretty bridge!
this is really big and you want to click on it.
cookie is on the left.
wall_2.jpg
catonsville park
it's william wallace, apparently.
and the squirrel gets it before i can even turn around.
leakin park willow
leakin_you_are_here.jpg
leakin_cookie.jpg
leakin_ivy.jpg
hanlon park, with cookie
lake.jpg
mantissign.jpg
naturecenter.jpg
naturecenter_red.jpg
druidhill_north.jpg
druidhill_north_pavilion.jpg
patapsco_cookie.jpg
patapsco.jpg

45 vote(s)


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21 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by Minch on October 3rd, 2008 1:44 PM

uhm. praxis crush. you're awesome. damn this new voting system. vote vote vote. harumph!

(no subject)
posted by Spidere on October 3rd, 2008 1:58 PM

:) I've gone geocaching in some of those parks.

I love the witch-baked cookie children! Nice take on this task.

(no subject)
posted by saille is planting praxis on October 3rd, 2008 2:08 PM

Neat! That's something else I'd like to get into, but haven't quite justified acquiring the equipment. Yet.

There's also an episode of The Wire that mentions finding bodies in one of those parks, which I am glad I did not discover until I returned home not having found any bodies.

Wow
posted by Morte on October 3rd, 2008 2:17 PM

This is the nicest completion I've seen yet for this task, and you gave me wonderful idea for how to complete it myself (nothing like yours). And if you had found a body you could have called me...I'm running low on males. :)

(no subject)
posted by saille is planting praxis on October 3rd, 2008 2:24 PM

ooh, yay. I'm looking forward to more completions of this one.

mm. crunchy bodies.

(no subject) +1
posted by susy derkins on October 3rd, 2008 2:28 PM

I hadn´t seen something this BIOME in a long time. Nice.
silverpeso-vote69853.jpg

(no subject)
posted by saille is planting praxis on October 3rd, 2008 8:00 PM

eek. As a quite new player very much drawn to that group's tasks and intention, that statement means an awful lot to me. Thank you!

(no subject)
posted by Meelar on October 3rd, 2008 2:32 PM

Flashbacks to the Wire...I really enjoyed reading this.

(no subject)
posted by emma ungoldman on October 3rd, 2008 2:52 PM

I'm so glad I have vote points left! As susy derkins says this is super BIOME and it's simultaneously beautiful and, uh, kind of Blair Witch Project. Which seems ideal to me. (I also saved one of your photos for a desktop background -- the one with the sunlight coming through the trees.

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on October 3rd, 2008 3:19 PM

I'm pretty keen on that one m'self.

Bee vote
posted by Jellybean of Thark on October 3rd, 2008 3:19 PM

Market Bee

Star of the Week vote
posted by Jennifer Juniper on October 3rd, 2008 3:54 PM

staroftheweek.jpg
Gorgeous and thoughtful with a right-on-ness about it that makes me happy. I'm so glad you finally stopped to explore!

(no subject)
posted by lefthandedsnail on October 4th, 2008 5:58 PM

I need to task so that I can have points just so I can come back and vote for this!
Lost count of how many kinds of awesome this is!

Treasures for the forest creatures!
posted by Physics Girl on October 4th, 2008 6:58 PM

Great idea!

(no subject)
posted by Amoeba Man on October 8th, 2008 11:03 AM

Awesome pictures, and a simply smashing completion.

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on October 17th, 2008 8:33 PM

Bird cookies in the shape of people...delightful.

(no subject)
posted by The Beekeeper on October 28th, 2008 11:43 PM

Just lovely!

(no subject)
posted by Mister Opinion on December 3rd, 2008 1:07 PM

Praxis which involves baking, nature's more private places, and something vaguely fetishistic? FTW!

(no subject)
posted by Morte on December 3rd, 2008 1:48 PM

Yeah, Saille is teh awesomezzzzzz.

(no subject)
posted by Eidhnean entwines on May 28th, 2009 11:53 AM

Dingoes Squirrels ate my your baby. ;>

(no subject)
posted by Wetdryvac on September 11th, 2009 1:59 AM

*grins*

Right then. That's a happy thing that is.