Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas is for Trains

Having a little boy means that I have spent more hours looking at train displays this season that I had in my previous thirty-some years.  And when I get tired of watching the trains go round, I start people watching.  There are a lot of little boys, and a lot of grown men, who love trains.  And then I start plotting my dissertation regarding the gendered love of locomotives.  Because, really, I'll amuse myself with anything to keep me patient while Toby watches the train for just One-More-Minute.

Except at the United States Botanic Garden, however, where the display held just as much magic for me as for my little train-lover.

The backdrop to this train display were dozens of fanciful houses--all made from plant material.  And shoot, they didn't list the artist on their website, which is disappointing, because these creations deserve to be credited.

Many of the houses were animal themed.  The top one is for a porcupine, above you'll see an opossum dwelling (upside down & hanging from a limb, ha!) and below are huts for zebras and giraffes.  Fun stuff.

I loved the details.  Check out the little kitchen garden on the side of this house.  With pumpkins!

Or the walnut cross section and grape vines that adorn this doorway.

Or the little walnut hanging cradle.  On the table there's an acorn full of seeds, set out like a bowl of fruit.

If it wasn't so darn wet outside, this would inspire me to get outside and make some fairy houses.  Until then I'll settle for taking another visit.  The train-boy wants to go back, and I'll be happy to take him.

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