Sunday, January 12, 2020

Deadwood Arches

A woody installation curves along a walkway outside the Smithsonian American History Museum. With shapes reminiscent of gothic arches, they invite you to touch their irregular surfaces, smell their woodiness, peer inside and through them. This installation is all about deadwood: fallen branches and trees that no longer live but still stand. Signs describe how living things depend upon deadwood for shelter, protection and sustenance. Looking closely I see the holes bored by insects, patches of fungi and areas scratched or worn down by both animals and weather. It's a magical sight that will remain with me when I pick up fallen branches in my yard.