Goslings, Penn Relays, Stunt-Bike Riders, and a Tree Farm at the Museum?

If you haven’t noticed, the goslings have hatched. The first one I spotted was on Monday in the Wissahickon, and I spotted them along the Schuylkill by Wednesday. Beware: mama and papa geese get very angry if you bike near them. Expect a lot of hissing. The little cutie pies are heavily guarded, but if separated from their gaggle, they can be hard to spot, and even if you do see them and slow down, Mama and Papa Goose will likely yell at you anyway. As a protective mama myself, I feel their pain. Do be careful.

Goslings along the Schuylkill Trail, first week of May, 2012

Aside from the occasional swerve and stop to avoid the newly hatched goslings, the ride to work and back has been pretty straightforward these days with the trail along Lincoln Drive re-opened, but Penn Relays did put a bit of a twist on the commute into work at the end of the week. On my way in yesterday I was stopped no less than 5 times in Penn Park as I made my way in and was asked to show my ID. Interestingly, I mistakenly showed my husband’s ID once and the security guard didn’t blink an eye (hmmmmmm). Anyway, as a lifetime runner I do love Penn Relays, but geesh do they stop up traffic (automobile and pedestrian).

While the runners from Penn Relays will be packing their bags after tomorrow, watch out for the stunt bike kids who have been spotted again this spring underneath the bridge near the museum. Apparently they find jumping down into the middle of the crowded path quite fun sport, but I imagine the one who got an earful from my husband this week won’t be back too soon…

On a mostly unrelated (but almost as annoying) note, has anyone else noticed the recent plantings in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art northwest entrance? Is it just me, or (at least from a distance) do these planting resemble a tree farm? I realize they are not actually a tree farm, just some sort of rectangular planting of evergreen hedges with something green in the middle (I haven’t taken the time to actually stop and take a closer look). Nonetheless, would anyone with more landscape architectural sense/background care to explain what they were thinking? One of my favorite sections of my bike commute is along the museum, and they have done amazing things just in the last few years with the landscaping, but the tree farm is definitely not the highlight.

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7 comments on “Goslings, Penn Relays, Stunt-Bike Riders, and a Tree Farm at the Museum?

  1. Ken says:

    I think this explains the intent of the plantings behind the art museum:
    http://www.philamuseum.org/press/releases/2012/908.html

    Sol LeWitt: Lines in Four Directions in Flowers

    Summer 2012—Summer 2014

    A leading figure in the international conceptual art movement, stressing the importance of ideas in a work of art. Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) uses basic geometric forms—the quadrilateral, triangle, and sphere—or variations of these shapes and a limited palette of the three primary colors, red, yellow, blue, as well as black, to devise systems that are not based on theory or logic, but are randomly selected. Throughout his career, LeWitt was commissioned to produce proposals for site specific outdoors drawings, most of which remained unrealized. The proposal for “Flower Garden (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia)” was conceived in 1981 when the artist was invited by the Fairmount Park Art Association to create a work for a site in Fairmount Park. He selected the Revolutionary War Heroes Park, behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and submitted a drawing with instructions. The project was not realized at the time.

    Originally, LeWitt proposed a garden which would consist “of flowers paintings of four different colors (white, yellow, red and blue) in four equal rectangular areas, in rows of four directions (vertical, horizontal, diagonal left and right) framed by evergreen hedges of about 2 feet in height. In the winter the rows of plants would retain their linear direction, in the summer the flowers would bloom and provide color. The type of plant, height, distance apart and planting details would be under the direction of a botanist and the maintenance by a gardener.” The proposed flower garden will now be installed in mid-summer 2012 at its intended site, between the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s West Entrance and the Italian Fountain. LeWitt’s vision will be executed by Philadelphia-based architectural firm OLIN, who is also responsible for designing the Museum’s Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden adjacent to the Sol LeWitt: Lines in Four Directions in Flowers site.

    With support from the Philadelphia Art Commission, the Fairmount Park Art Association, the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, this project will activate the area of Fairmount Park as seen from the Museum’s Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden and illuminate the expansive breadth of the oeuvre of an artist in the Philadelphia Museum of Art collection.

    Sol LeWitt Lines in Four Directions in Flowers is made possible by a generous grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

    • OK, that helps…but I will still see a tree farm until they get some color in there…

    • So good to meet you in person, Ken. I noticed your friend’s Jamis (I love my Jamis), but I didn’t notice what type of bike you ride. I ask because my husband is about to buy a new bike so I’m taking recommendations for him…Happy Biking!
      Jane

      • Ken says:

        I have a confession. I asked about a half dozen women if they were Jane before I found you. That’s creepy, isn’t it? 🙂

        I have a Giant OCR2 for my commuter bike. It’s a road bike to which I added a rack and fenders. I’m about to replace the derailleurs with a NuVinci hub because I keep having shifting problems.

        My road bike is a Specialized Roubaix Elite, which I do *not* recommend. It also has shifting issues and I use it about 1/3 as much as the Giant.

        If I were to do it again, I would still buy a Giant, but for a road bike I would look at the Trek Madone or the Cannondale Evo.

        Jamis makes great bikes too, but I am somewhat contrained by what the two bike shops near me offer. I live near Keswick Bikes in Glenside and find the people at Abington Wheel Wright to be the nicest people ever.

  2. That’s funny, Ken. At least it got you talking to people on the trail!
    Thanks for the bicycle store tips. We use Wissahickon Cyclery in Chestnut Hill and Trophy Bikes in West Philly, but I think we’ll be looking around this summer at other places as well so it is good to have other recommendations for bike shops.

  3. Ken says:

    I need no encouragement to talk to people on the trail. It’s how I met Faith. A year ago, I was in the kitchen when I got a text message. My wife asked, “Who’s that?” “Oh, just a woman I met on the trail today.”

    My wife then gave me the third degree about how I came to exchange phone numbers with a woman I met for the first time that morning … etc. New rule: Never exchange phone numbers on the first meeting. 🙂

    Good luck with the bike shopping. The anticipation is one of the best parts.

  4. […] Well first of all, I was wonderfully wrong about the new garden in front of the museum (aka, the Christmas tree farm). Once all those green plants bloomed their vibrant flowers, it turned into a beautiful array of […]

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