Mrs Watts was notable for being a naturalist at Morton Arboretum in Illinois and for writing a series of books including "Reading the Landscape of America" and "Reading the Landscape of Europe"
She illustrated her own books. Her spare, ink drawings removed all extraneous, distracting detail and subtly exaggerated the features she wanted the reader to attend to. In many ways, her drawings were far superior to photos for her purpose.
|Mrs Watts was a master of time progression. Her compositions created indelible memories that were easily recalled.|
|Hedges are a good metaphor for "Remnants".|
Hedges are begrudgingly laid around the edges of fields or verges of roads. It is a small percentage of the area dedicated to the main business of growing a crop.
Hedges are where most of the diversity exists. There is even a movement in Europe to register "Ancient Hedges". Ancient hedges are identified by the number of species per given length of segment. (quick read on Ancient Hedges)
During WWII, the Allies fought field-by-field, hedge-by-hedge through Western France.
During WWII, much of Europe collected berries, rose-hips and "fluff" from hedges. The berries and rose-hips provided much needed Vitamin C (in short supply due to submarine warfare shutting off the supply of citrus) while the fluff was used for bandages. Mischievous boys discovered that the seedy, insides of rose hips (R. canina) made an excellent itching powder.
During Holodomor (the 1933 Ukrainian famine), families gleaned foods from hedges to survive after the Soviets raked every grain, potato and turnip from the kulaks' homes. Filberts, dandelions, nettles, rose hips, haws, sloe, plums, quince, Cornus mas, rabbits to snare, nests to look for eggs.....
Many older pear and apple cultivars were found growing in hedge-rows and were propagated.
|Construction of a traditional, European hedge. This is a hedge that has just received its 20 year maintenance. Big wood is hinge-cut, tipped and woven between hurdles to compress it and make it impenetrable. "Horse-high, bull-strong and pig-tight"|
|Another view. How would you like to fight a war with defenders on the other side of this, peering through tunnels they cut through the hedge. Not much opportunity for flanking.|