Help me count the ways that this photo of Sylbie Yon at Lockerly Arboretum (Millidgeville, Georgia) reminds, us of the rewards earned when we visit arboretums, parks, state parks, state and national forests, nature centers, wildlife management areas, national monuments, nature reserves and our national parks.
This was 2017, and these cultivated orchids were inviting, elegant. Unlike those British TV series, of the days of Victorian elegance, of home that most of us could never have entered at the time, these orchids were there for all, almost bringing you to a swoon, when you, as Sylbie, approach, close and admire the beautiful, soft form.
Last night was the Oscars award night. No, I didn’t. Me? I’d much prefer to spend my time about, hiking, and seeking real beauty, fragile and not in need of 3 hours of makeup, surgery, hair, color and jewelry adornments.
Back in May 2017, I wanted to see new Georgia locations, see them for their botany and the butterflies. Sympathetic to my tales of often finding myself lost on those linearly long Georgia state roads (Georgia on maps looks small . . . then I drove Georgia, and discovered that that state of Georgia is Huge, and maps, for their own reasons, distorts the relative size of this Peachtree state, making it appear much smaller than it actually is), Sylbie offered to give me a tour of some middle Georgia botany and fauna destinations.
The drive to Millidgeville wasn’t too long, and after a quick tour of two impressive universities, George College and State University and Georgia Military College, we drove a short distance to Lockerly Arboretum. Extensive acreage featuring dozens and dozens of standout trees and shrubs, all planted by the once-time owner of this sylvan 60 acres. A fine breakaway place to take in wondrous trees and habitat.
Sylbie smiles to us here on a bridge over a flowing creek. She also does yeoman’s service as a right-hand woman to the founder and soon re-creator of Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat II, now redesigned and relocated just a mile north from its 2017 location. This is a photo of a can-do, get the job done, no excuses former County Commissioner, the kind of folk who operate behind the scenes, and are instrumental in nurturing land and habitat conservation.