Central PA Arts Fest 2012 and the PSU Arboretum

This morning I biked to campus, then walked through the Central PA Arts Fest that is held annually on the Penn State campus and in downtown State College. Many of the artists and vendors are very familiar to me now, for I’ve been seeing them every summer for the past 6 years. Most years I stop and talk to artists and move leisurely through the displays–this year I was preoccupied and it occurred to me after I returned home that I had walked through rather quickly and not spoken a word to anyone all day.

A sand artist at work.

Banners and food and people.

Drawing on Heister Street.

Heister Street (which is closed to vehicles during the Arts Fest) is a giant canvas. One section is reserved for art students from various schools. This morning many of the students were hard at work, sketching and drawing on the road in their assigned spots. As I stood on the sidewalk watching them I was struck by how bright their hair was. I guess art students are predisposed to dying their hair all sorts of colors.

After walking a circuit around the Arts Fest I biked to the PSU Arboretum. Many sprinklers were running when I arrived. I took this picture of a perennial geranium by one of the sprinklers:

A perennial geranium freshly watered by a sprinkler.

I saw an ornamental Allium that was new to me:

An ornamental Allium in the arboretum.

Near the parking lot there is a bed that contains many purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea). It’s a hot, dry area. From a distance the flowers look nearly perfect:

Purple coneflowers from a distance.

When you walk up close you see that the vast majority of the flowers are feeling the effects of time and stress:

A stressed purple coneflower.

Another stressed purple coneflower.

Another stressed purple coneflower hosting a bee.

It’s interesting what this says:

  • Even stressed and dying flowers may be beautiful.
  • Appearances may be deceiving, without careful examination we miss signs of distress.

At the pool that hosts aquatic plants I saw water mimosa (Neptunia oleracea). I had never seen it before.

Water mimosa at the PSU Arboretum.

Artwork and plants. A nice way to spend a few hours today. . .

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Filed under General, Horticulture

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