For some reason brother Jeff did not include this on the list of Things Everyone Should Experience in Northern Wisconsin. We met a nice man at a park in Minocqua (the same park wherein dear Brother Craig and his Lovely Wife decided they were In Love) who told us of a 1.5 mile walk in the woods that his grandkids loved. Stating that “some people love it, some hate it,” he told us about an art show where artists were displaying their creations in the woods. Well, when some people love it and some hate it, you have to see for yourself, right?
When we arrived at the nature preserve, a clearly marked path showed us the way to experience the art exhibit. I wish I had the brochure for you, because the descriptions were the highlight. However, dead pop tarts and dirty diaper wipes led to the demise of the brochure. So I shall do my best to re-enact the show.
The theme of the exhibit was humankind’s invasiveness in nature. And you were reminded to stop and consider whether you were “invasive” or “native.”
1. This fallen tree was covered with plastic bugs to show how asian beetles traveled over to America and have damaged thousands of trees. Actually, in a strange way, this was cool.
2. Several exhibits were just random words . This one begged to be demonstrated.
3. These were our two favorites. The first is a turtle shell. The second was called Tornado and had lots of kite-shaped fabric things hanging down in a swirling pattern. How these relate to invasive/native, I’ll leave up to you to figure out.
4. Of course I’ve saved the “best” for last. This fabric wrapped around the tree is to symbolize a white collared shirt with cuff links. To show the gentrification of the woods.
See the ring of chairs around the tree? Randomly throughout this area, there were rows of chairs, or just one chair so you could sit and think about whether you were being invasive or not.
And the next display was of plywood chainsaws covered with suet. Why? So that the birds could eat the suet and feel like they were fighting back against the chainsaws (development) that had destroyed their trees. The suet was gone by the time we got there, so I bet there’s a lot of empowered birds flying around the Northwoods.
5. All in all, the exhibit was fun. The art all led to a kind of Twilight Zone experience. Since we were the only ones on the trail at that time, it was just us and the three kids running around with all the art and empowered birds.
I don’t know why they couldn’t just let nature be nature and let us be our little invasive selves without guilt.