Weekly Photo Challenge: “Texture”

Well bless my lucky charms.

Nearly 100 years ago, the widow of cereal magnet C.W. Post donated land to the city of Battle Creek, Mich., with the express purpose of creating an arboretum for one and all to enjoy. At its entrance, a grove of ash trees provided a beautiful opening to the 72 acre emerald of cereal city.

Rather than haul away the deceased trees, however, the city’s leaders used a little imagination and enlisted the talents of artisans and craftsmen. Armed with chainsaws and paint, they turned the fallen forest into a series of mythical carvings of wizards, castles, dragons and the like.

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A carving of Leila Post Montgomery, who donated the land that became Leila Arboretum

Started in 2015, “Fantasy Forest” attracts thousands of visitors each year. The story of its creation adds a little texture to the fabric of this midwestern city, which once thrived on a middle class economy built not only on Post and Kellogg cereals, but also on factories that produced baked goods, pet food and parts for the state’s auto industry.

As the city tries redefine itself, the textured craftsmanship of Fantasy Forest provides a unique attraction that can only help remove the tarnish of shuttered factories.

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All photos copyright Stephen Wissink.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures


8 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: “Texture”

  1. Lovely photos from the arboretum, and it looks very much unique indeed. The Fantasy Forest is quite the imaginary theme, and interesting to see each character in a different pose and sporting different expressions. Looks like there’s a medieval theme to it too, touching on a bit of the past.

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