Sunday, April 18, 2010

The "Wayback" Machine

Listed as one of the "1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die", Living History Farms tells the amazing story of how Iowans transformed the fertile prairies of the American Midwest into the most productive farmland in the world.  The development of agriculture throughout the ages is on display, as multiple sites representing different eras are authentically farmed or worked by interpreters in historical clothing.

Hop into the “Wayback” machine and go to a 1700 Ioway farm, displaying farming habitats and techniques employed by the Ioway Indians.  Next, travel through time to an 1850 Pioneer Farm, complete with a log cabin and split rail fence.  From there, follow the trails to the post-Civil War town of Walnut Hill, and experience community life on the Iowa frontier in 1875.  Finally, stop for a visit at the 1900 horse-powered farm and witness the dramatic changes in farming brought on by the Industrial Revolution.  Before returning back to the future, stop by the Flynn House. One of the few historic buildings original to the Living History Farms property, this 14-room estate was considered one of the finest in the area.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Garden Sanctuary

WolfCounselor spent the last day of the first decade of the 21st century at the beautiful Des Moines Botanical Center.  It is one of the most popular cultural attractions in Iowa, providing educational, recreational, and community resources to thousands.

Strolling through the lush vegetation on a bitterly cold Iowa New Year's Eve, the short poem "Garden Sanctuary" by Doxis Palmer best summed up the experience:

You who walk,
Maybe with troubled thoughts,
Come, enter here and rest;
And may the sweet serenity of growing things,
And the heavenly peace,
Be mirrored in thy soul.