With the Saints of the Holidays: Part II Saint Nicholas

“As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound…”  Clement Clarke Moore

John Bartram Kirk R. Brown
Before there was Santa Claus, there was St. Nick. Jolly, plump, elfin.
Saint Nicholas began his saintly life in what is now a province of Turkey.  His was an age that saw sweeping changes in the geo-political world of the Roman Empire.  It was during his term as Archbishop that Constantine the Great divided the empire between capitals in Rome and Constantinople.  Nick was at the crossroads of history.
Perhaps it’s why history has taken such great note of him. 
Saint Nick John Bartram
Saint Nicholas has been transformed by time and customs.


During his life, he is given credit for being a very nice guy:

He gave dowries to three girls who would otherwise have remained husbandless.  The three bags of gold that he dropped through their window (or down their chimney!) can still be seen today as iconic symbols outside any pawn shop door. 

He resurrected three young boys out of a vat of curing spices after they’d been slaughtered by a hungry local butcher.  Our own tradition of serving ham for the holidays might have started with that pork barrel.

He was responsible for taking by deception two years supply of wheat from a ship’s cargo meant for the emperor in Constantinople.  By miraculously replacing the grain, the sailors successfully delivered the measured cargo but the starving people of Myra had not only sustenance but seeds for spring planting.  This is a reason why he has become the patron saint of sailors.

For whatever reason, this man has become the icon of gift giving in a season of darkness.  His named has become synonymous with impulse we have to give until it hurts.  People even collect images of him hoping that more will be deposited on his journey around the world on Christmas Eve.


Santa Claus John Bartram Kirk R. Brown
A shrine to Saint Nicholas


He lives in a magical world of light and eternal happiness.  His journey is one that we would all emulate.  Whether he is named St. Nick, Sinterklaas, Santa Claus, Pere Noel, or Father Chrismas, he fills the world with joy.  Let us join with his goodness this holiday and welcome in the New Year with good cheer.


John Bartram Kirk R. Brown
The world would be a bluer place without Saint Nicholas!

With the Saints of the Holidays: Part I Santa Lucia

“Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter.  Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it!”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This season is ripe with reasons for celebration.  It is the ancient passage of the sun through its winter solstice.

Muhlenberg College Santa Lucia Festival
Dr. Carolus Linnaeus celebrated the Festival of Santa Lucia in North America this year.
Dr. Carl Linnaeus visited the North American colonies this season at the invitation of the Viking Lodge.  That is the group who is selected by the Trustees and Faculty of Muhlenberg College to assist in the production of the annual Santa Lucia Festival service at the Egger Chapel.
Their members make up the choir of angelic voices while the parts in the pageant are given out to the children of faculty members.

John Bartram Kirk R. Brown Speaker Lecturer Horticulturist

The choir is made up of members of the Viking Lodge. The children of the Santa Lucia Festival are family of Muhlenberg College Faculty.

Santa Lucia (Saint Lucy) was a real person during the time when Roman Emperor Diocletian was actively engaged in the eradication of Christians.  Many apocryphal stories are woven around the legend of her torture, blinding, martyrdom, and strong faith.  Many miracles are attributed to her intercession.  Hers is also one of the few hagiographies that was transferred almost in its entirety from Roman Catholicism to Lutheran Protestantism. 
Saint Lucy is a favorite of the Swedes and other northern cultures.  Her story is one of bringing the light of Christianity to darker (read pagan) cultures.  Her crown of evergreen and candles combines the much earlier traditions of Norse legend with celebrations of the winter solstice and Christian piety. 
Her special day is recognized on our current Christian calendar by its proximity to the Winter Solstice on the old Julian date.  You’ll remember that it was Pope Gregory XIII who in 1582 corrected the drift of our annual vernal equinox by dropping 10 days out of that year and adding our celebration of Leap Year.  It’s all about the sun and worshipping its return in time for the spring planting.

Santa Lucia Carl Linnaeus

The Star Children carry lights into the darkest night during the Santa Lucia pageant

So, Lucy’s lights helped our faithful and/or pagan Swedes to know when they should gather in the sheafs, put away the pigs and cows, and watch out for the spritely Tomte.  These last are the creatures of the forest who come in-doors to taunt and tease with their tricks and trials.  They are always the cutest and most-anticipated of actors because they are portrayed by the youngest members of the family.

Tomte gremlins gnomes elves sprites

The Tomte are always the youngest children participating in the pageant

After the pageant, all assembled adjourn to a feast that includes a hot spiced toast to the ancient ways.  Glug or Glog or Glub-glub-glub.  It’s the sound that the marinated raisins and almonds make as they are swallowed whole in the partying mix.
Carl Linnaeus was present to lecture on this particular festival of light and the reminder it brings all of the reason for the season.

John Bartram Kirk R. Brown as Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus celebrating the Santa Lucia Festival with the Viking Lodge

On a cold winter’s night, it’s a grand way to stay warm.  A very good and toasty time was had by all!  Gut yul!

When Colonial Dames Are Neither

“I must not write a word to you about politics, because you are a woman!”  John Adams (to Abigail)

John Bartram Kirk R. Brown

John Bartram interrupts the official duties of the Doorman of the house belonging to the National Society of Colonial Dames of America

I received a request to appear at the home of colonial dames in New York City.  What was I to think?  How should I respond with such a chasm of misinterpretation potentially drawn out before me?  Colonial dames?  Do gentlewomen easily accept such a label?  But, it would seem to present a perfect opportunity for a John of any age to appear.  So I took my heart in my hand as I responded to the contact.

“What does the group want from me?” was my opening gambit.

“Well, some of our members have heard of you and we’d like to know what you could do for us.”

My age sometimes betrays me.  I was slightly confused.  But I gamely pushed on:  “I can do much, Madam.  But who or what specifically do you wish to appear?”

“Is there anyone else you do?”  The confusion multiplied exponentially.  She was good, this woman to whom I was speaking.

Not wanting to give too much away, I hesitated and tried a round-about route:  “Many lives intersect in all of God’s creation.  Each of us play many parts and live in many ages.  I can be many different men to many audiences.”

There was an intake of breath.  I felt myself blushing.  Perhaps I had gone too far.

“Let us begin again,” I said.  “Perhaps it would be better to tell me what group you represent and why your confederation of ladies gather to become enlightened.”

That opened the flood gates of information.  I discovered that I was being asked to present a horticultural lecture to the members of The City Gardens Club of New York City.  Confusion was at an end.  Arrangements were discussed and a date was confirmed.

John Bartram Lives, Kirk R. Brown

John in the gracious entry hall of the magnificent Colonial Dames when speaking with members of the City Gardens Club of the City of New York.

Unlike any of my preconceptions, the group was perfectly well-behaved and attentive.  If anything, I was more the fish out of water.  Imagine, a centuries’ old Quaker cavorting with the sophisticated horticultural doyennes of the City Gardens.  I was humbled.

I was even ushered into the event by a man of my own time and dress.  We saw eye to eye about the ease with which the world can be deceived by looks.    Time distorts even the truth of the original intention:  Colonial and Dames are not an abstraction in this marbled hall.  The ghosts of history ask us to attend to the needs of country, family and honour. 

And I am present to speak on the living world of horticulture.  It is a thread of centuries.  And I feel as though I’ve come home.

Then they served tea.  I didn’t note who poured but a great good time was had by all…

John Bartram Lives, Kirk R. Brown

Tea was set and served after the horticultural presentation.

With the Spirits of the Holiday

“Bibamus, moriendum est.”    Seneca 

Rhuby is served in celebration of a life well lived
This would appear to be John Bartram’s Cat’s favorite spirit.

For most of my early life, religion forbade me to imbibe.  In age, I’ve turned that corner and reflect on Seneca’s wisdom:  “Let us drink, for we must die.”  Temperance and forbearance aside, there is a newly introduced liqueur crafted from some of my best intentions and surest herbs.

Benjamin Franklin sent me a case of Rhubarb roots in 1770.  I planted them and they thrived.  From my garden, it was introduced to the rest of North America.  Long esteemed for its medicinal properties, Rheum, was traded by its root only.  It was many years before people came to understand that the stalks and leaves could be used for culinary benefit also. 

I was the first to make a tea out of extractions from the leaf.  It was delicious fortified with other steeped herbs and flavoured with sugar or honey.  Now someone has taken my elixir and increased the proof of its benefit.

I take the quotes directly from the manufacturer in Philadelphia (but the photographs are my own!)

“RHUBY is based on a centuries old Pennsylvania recipe and is totally unique in the marketplace. There has never been anything like it…at least not since 1771. This is the year Ben Franklin sent John Bartram America’s first rhubarb seeds. Bartram proceeded to make a delicious garden tea with rhubarb, beets, carrots, lemon, petitgrain, cardamom, pink peppercorn, coriander, vanilla, and pure cane sugar. We took this recipe and turned it into a spirit!  There are as many ways to enjoy Rhuby as there are vegetables in a summer garden.”  http://www.artintheage.com/spirits-products/introducing-rhuby/

The producers have included a wonderful small broadside that they attach to every bottle.  It describes the connection between Franklin, Bartram and Rhubarb.  The purchaser can find my picture in the upper left hand corner of the label.  And my name under it, also!  I thank them for the notice.  Even more, I thank them for this truly enjoyable decoction.  It is noble in its originality and venerable in its history.  Even my cat has a nose for it–as demonstrated above.

At this time of year, it is especially appropriate to think about the creativity we all enjoy in celebrations.  This libation would garner untold and rapturous praise for the crafty host or hostess who served it. 

To your health and good will!

Rhuby John Bartram Kirk R. Brown

Rhuby enjoys its moment in the spotlight on John Bartram's kitchen counter


A Garden For the Trees………… Part IV: Awbury Arboretum

“A great many roots may be put in a box…under the Capt’s bed or sett in the cabin.  Nail a few small narrow laths cross it to keep the catts from scratching it.”    Peter Collinson in a letter to John Bartram 1735/36

“A box…20 inches or two feet square and 15 or 16 inches high & a foot in earth to be enough.”  Peter Collinson to J.B. 1735/36.  From which dimensions can be deduced the average size of the space underneath the ship’s Captain’s pillow.

Construction of a sea chest sturdy enough to withstand the weather of the North Atlantic crossing.
Without knowing how much it would impact my life, I began a correspondence with Peter Collinson.  He was a cloth merchant, a draper, who was also passionate about botanical science.  He became much more than my English friend.  He was at times mentor, contractor, intermediary, treasurer, benefactor, and Quaker.  Once begun, the correspondence led to a trade in actual botanical specimens and later to business in nursery production.  The first of its kind in North America.
The English could not get enough of the material that was free for the taking on my travels north, south, east and west.  Wherever I went, there was an abundance of material to be collected, catalogued, transported, and grown.  The shipments became regularized into “Bartram’s Boxes.”  A Five Guinea Box was delivered to the subscriber with a guarantee that it contained 100 different species of plants:  roots, cuttings, switches, corms, bulbs, slips, or seeds.  With as many as 1000 total bits of plant material to the carton.  At the greatest, we shipped 32 boxes.  That’s 32,000 plants. 
It wasn’t easy!
And the success of the venture was, by and large, dependent on the grace and good favor of the captain of the vessel that carried the crates.  It was a rough trade with a lot of vagary about it.  It could take months or in some cases years for the assignee to receive the shipment.  Sometimes–actually in more cases than I care to consider–the shipments didn’t arrive at all.
War.  Storms.  Theft.  Destruction by vermin, cats, crew, or passengers.  Ruination by salt water.  Baked in torrid calms or frozen in icy winters.  Captured by French Men-of-War in an unending series of conflicts and clashes.
The elements that conspired against the success of our venture were many and maniacal in their insidiousness.  But we persevered and ultimately triumphed. 

John Bartram in the Cope House

John Bartram welcomes all of the captains in the Cope House

A ship’s Captain was always welcome at our table and in a spare bed.  Kindness to him was always repaid with a better berth for the plants we were trusting to his traffic over the seas.   My wife was constantly encouraged to give them hospitality in my absence.  They were the partners in our endeavor who could most quickly ruin the merchandise. 

They could literally “sink our ship!”  

The Cope’s were another Quaker family in Philadelphia.  Their trade was in trade.  They owned and operated one of the most successful shipping enterprises out of the docks.  Their packets were some of the fastest and sleekest to be found in the world of their time.  And with the thriving of their business our trade was enriched.
Bartram’s plants were responsible for reforesting the entirety of Southern England.  It had been denuded after the great harvest of trees that built the wooden wall to defend the Island against the Spanish Armada.  My shipments went directly into the ground of some of the finest country homes and aristocratic landscapes of the English supremacy.
And money flowed both ways across the Atlantic.  Fortunes were made in the trade that included the horrors of slavery as two legs of the shipping triangle.

John Bartram Kirk R. Brown

Ground plan for the creation of the Cope family compound that was to become Awbury Arboretum

With their success in shipping, the Cope’s purchased acreage west of the city.  Germantown in the early days was a very rural and pastoral setting.  The Cope property became their haven and summer refuge against the formal heat of the city house.
Germantown PA John Bartram Kirk R. Brown
The original Cope house at the heart of the Awbury Arboretum

First, one summer-house was constructed on a knoll at the high point of the land.  Then, it was joined by the construction of additional houses for dependent generations of the original family.  Sons, daughters, grandchildren, spouses, in-laws and cousins.  It became a family compound.  And then it was gathered up and preserved with an endowed trust for nature.

The Cope summer property became Awbury Arboretum.  It was a sanctuary for grand trees and memories of another world in a gentler age.  The landscape was designed in the English Country manner.  In other words, in the style of an English Country Manor.  http://www.awbury.org/
It was the style then in vogue.  That vogue was established by the export/import of my trees and shrubs to a list of subscribers setting new standards for landscaping the South of England. 
Let me clarify my point:
Awbury Arboretum John Bartram Kirk R. Brown
The Cope house in the English-style landscape of the Awbury Arboretum
John Bartram traveled throughout North America to discover and identify North American native flora.  I exported it to England where the novelty of the plants becomes the rage of an age.  This new 18th Century trade in luxury goods from our wildlands is used to decorate the landscapes of the English countryside.  The new style is identified with the English Aristocracy and is exported back to the colonies to be copied as if our “betters” were allowing us the use of an exotic gift.
John Bartram Kirk R. Brown Awbury Arboretum

John Bartram stands at a focal point in an English-style landscape at Awbury Arboretum. It is the closest that he's gotten to the actual thing.


In other words, MY plants came back to us identified only as select parts of an “English Country Landscape.”  Somewhere, God is laughing.  At the time, my family just continued to sell the same trees.  They just didn’t have to ship them as far.


A Garden For the Trees…………. Part III: Medford Leas Arboretum

“I and most of my son Billy’s relations are concerned that he never writes…”     John Bartram to his brother, William about John’s son William in a letter dated December 27, 1761.

Medford Leas New Jersey John Bartram
John Bartram is pictured with his great-grandson times seven removed John David Bartram.  There are two more generations of John that follow him throughout my patrimony.  This is a unique view into four generations with some of my numerous descendants.
For a long time, I have forgiven Billy for the many shortcomings with which I took exception to his life during my days with him.  We could not reach consensus on a number of his major personal choices.  His failure to write to his mother while on his plantationing experiment in Florida came as no surprise to me.  But it caused her extreme anguish and mental distress.  I am happy to say that subsequent generations of my descendants have not been so unfilial or inconsiderate. 
I have had the pleasure of speaking to several groups in the midst of which I recognized my direct great-grandson, J. David Bartram.  On my last visit to Medford Leas, he even served as the specialist in charge of my acoustic, visual and electrical media needs.  He is a spirit of my own making.  He defines the future and takes responsibility for it! 
J. David Bartram lives under the banner of the natural preserve in which he now resides:  Medford Leas.  The “J.” stands for John because his father was similarly named.  There was the chance for confusion, so the family adopted what had been given as his middle as the name for his recognition.  With his permission, I quote from the description of his parcel of land:
“Situated on the edge of the Pine Barrens, the Barton Arboretum and Nature Preserve of Medford Leas is a unique blend of accessible public gardens, collections, and preserved natural areas set amidst private residential space. Spanning more than 200 acres with campuses in Medford and Lumberton, NJ, the Arboretum offers visitors a diverse horticultural array of designed gardens, landscaped grounds, meadows, natural woodlands and wetlands, and one of the most extensive plant collections — including natives — in all of southern New Jersey.
The Arboretum’s mission is to promote the appreciation and knowledge of horticulture and to emphasize the importance of integrating nature into people’s living, working and recreational environments. Further, the Arboretum strives to be a model for good land stewardship by achieving greater ecological responsibility through bio-diverse and sustainable practices.”    http://www.medfordleas.org/
With David caring for the technical needs on my last visit, I spoke to the members of the Pinelands Garden Club with visitors attending their annual luncheon from the Haddonfield and Moorestown Garden Clubs.

Pinelands Garden Club Medford Leas New Jersey John Bartram Kirk R. Brown

A large group was gathering as J. David Bartram help John set up his presentation for the day's entertainment.

 I am constantly amazed at the ease with which I am welcomed into any group.  This day was an especially notable opportunity.  It is with some hesitation that I take on the weight of performing in front of good friends let alone members of my immediate family.
I always question my abilities under such circumstances.  I have what I think is called “stage fright!”  But for this case, in particular, I thought of life’s great circle.  How rare it is when we can see such a span of life and connection and history all in one place.  How amazing it is to me that after all of these years, one of my heirs has chosen to reside in an arboretum.  He has put aside some amount of personal convenience and elected to live with the trees.
So to the old question:  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  I have to inquire whether my penchant for Botany is something internal to my  being.  Is this “natural seed” something that can be passed on through the generations?  Did I give David his passion for the Horticultural world?  Or, is this need to live in and with nature a reflection of God’s true nature?
In either case, if there is such a thing, can this seed be transplanted into the lives of others who care less or not at all about preserving God’s nature?  That has become an adjunct search to the main premise of my travels.  I am looking for the “seed” that will give others the spark to preserve and protect.  Our society must evolve and perhaps if we can find the way to transplant this seed we can all change that much the quicker.
We shall grow with time and need.  Let us pass the seeds of our own sustainability.  That is a hope for the children of my grandson’s grandson times seven.  It could be such a wonderful world!

A Garden For the Trees……… Part II: Jenkins Arboretum

“The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to its culture…”
– Thomas Jefferson, Memorandum of Services to My Country, after 2 September 1800.

Cypripedium spp. (Lady-Slipper Orchid) is our native North American species. It can be found throughout the northeast on the floor of the forest.

I have added more than 200 plants to the international horticultural inventory.  Although it is wrong for me to state it, I am proud of this accomplishment.  That sense of pride has certainly come at great cost with little chance of repayment.  I have spent months of my life in inconvenient travel through miles of forest trails climbing countless trees and mountains in search of unique and wondrous new species.

My pride is one of the seven deadly sins.  But I consider this transgression less than many that my fellow men easily commit without thinking.

Jenkins Arboretum John Bartram Kirk R. Brown

A path along the small-leaf laurel border at Jenkins Arboretum

Nowhere has the pride of my inventory of plant material been more favorably showcased than Jenkins Arboretum!  It is a natural gem in my horticultural crown.  I have been there in many seasons and I will continue to return because there is always some fresh delight waiting to attract my eye.  If there were to be a better designed heaven-on-earth I would not recognize it as greater than this:  http://www.jenkinsarboretum.org/

Azalea Jenkins Arboretum Philadelphia PA

The sun sets on a small leaf laurel. One of the my personal favorites.

  Although it has a number of magnificent specimens of many trees of my introduction, Jenkins has a large collection of small-leaved laurels and other relatives of the family that has come to be called Rhododendrons.  Jenkins has plants of the genus Kalmia.  And let me say that Peter Kalm, then and since, was a common thief and user.  He took food at my table!  He was sent to my garden by Carl Linnaeus to plunder my treasures, steal my secrets, and accept all of the “free” plants he could stuff into his valise.  He spent three years in North America “discovering” its many horticultural wonders.  He returned in triumph as the founder of dozens of unrecognized and unknown species.  Carl named Kalmia after HIM.  Not me!  It was an astounding rebuke to all of my hard-won knowledge and hard-earned collection of unique plants.  Peter Kalm’s collecting triumphs came mostly by digging them out of my front yard!  Just imagine the supreme audacity of the man! 

When I think of how I treated him as a second son, the wrath builds up within me.  I am at such odds with this person who stooped so low as to willfully accept my hospitality while at the same instant was considering how many of my other children he would steal from under my nose.  There was a time when the wrath of God would not have been equal to my fury.

Wrath.  It is but another deadly sin!  So, I fought against it and overcame it.  And through discussion and prayer with my wife, Anne, the feelings gradually faded.  I am whole again.

Jenkins Arboretum Philadelphia garden John Bartram Kirk Brown

Forest floor filled with ephemeral spring blossoms of Aquilegia canadense and Tiarella

On a quieter note, Jenkins Arboretum has a dusting of spring ephemerals sparkling on the floor of the forest in April and May:  Mertensia virginica , Tiarella, Trillium, Aquilegia canadensis.  Everywhere one looks there is a reminder that spring blooms eternally.  Spring is a celebration of rebirth and abundance.  Glorious.  The term ephemeral carries with it a meaning that may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In man’s haste to clear and root and build and expand, these spring ephemeral plants are threatened with extinction.  Because they disappear during the heat of summer, they many times escape our memory.  In my travels, I always remember where they’ve been.  But many times, once I’ve noted them and wished to collect their seeds in the following season, I’ve returned to find the colony gone without a trace.  They can disappear at our passing.

The Cypripedium or Lady-Slipper Orchid is one more of these delightful spring ephermerals.  It is a true native of North America.  You might remember that within every box of plants that I shipped overseas, I included a root of our native Lady Slipper Orchid.  It was a trademark.  And a challenge.  I dared the English aristocracy to make such a spring as ours that would allow them to bloom.  It took years and the creation of an industry of glass-house manufacture until Peter Collinson was able to duplicate the perfect combination of nature’s cycle.

Jenkins Arboretum

Mr. Harold Sweetman chats with John Bartram prior to his appearance at the lecture.

Mr. Harold Sweetman, the director of Jenkins Arboretum, has put a clump of these fine Lady’s Slippers at the intersection of the main trail with the lesser path to his front door.  He lives within his domain.  His is a perfectly sustainable life.  How I envy his existence. 

Envy!  That is the third of the deadly sins that I have admitted since the start of this observation.

And with that I should end to tempt God’s forbearance no longer.  I beg your forgiveness.

Building a Garden For the Trees…………… Part I: Philadelphia Gardens

“The personal right to acquire property, which is a natural right, gives to property, when acquired, a right to protection, as a social right.”    James Madison
Philadelphia Bartram's Garden John Bartram Kirk Brown

John surveys the extent of his land along the river south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I have been neglectful of my posting responsibilities.  I have been too much in the public eye of late to take the time and trouble to put my pen to paper and communicate all of the wonders that I have passed in my continuing travels. 

Public display gardens in America were virtually non-existent in the days of my youth.  As you know, I was among the first to commit a large amount of acreage to the cultivation of plants for the express enjoyment of the public and testing of the growing success of varieties of species.  I owned seven hundred acres of high-quality farm land.  There was excess to use for the betterment of society through my study of Botany. 

I believe in the preservation of natural resources.  We shall develop that theme throughout the next several postings.  I was arguably the first man on record to write about the connection between the plant and animal world.  These days, the world has become smaller and our resources more challenged by encroachment from our infernal pollution.

It is up to us as individuals and corporate entities to set aside land for preservation.  We need to recognize the value horticulture adds to our life’s quality.

John Bartram Medford Leas Arboretum

John Bartram speaks to his audience at Medford Leas Arboretum

But these days there are many more gardens open to the public.  And Philadelphia is a haven of horticulture.  I was pleased to be invited to three collections of trees–three large assemblies of plants on preserved acreage–three arboreta–to speak about my life and times with views that I strongly hold on how the world has been developed in my absence.  From my perspective of 300 years, much has changed to challenge God’s preeminent vision for His natural scheme of things.  We have taken on a God-like mantle and would wield his mighty sword to craft our kingdom within our own child-like design.

I have visited at three public gardens, attended one large-scale conference, ate through several dinner meetings, and witnessed a gathering of Colonial Dames in New York while at the same time speaking to several hundred people over these recent days.  I acknowledge how much energy that has taken out of my aged bones.  But I continue to thrive on the enjoyment I receive from passing the news that we can have a positive impact on our environment.  We can choose to plant trees, collect nature in preserved areas, and tread more lightly on the resources that are limited by our passing.  I am encouraged by the crowd’s response!  I will post in quick order my thoughts on these visits.

Hopefully in time for the winter solstice!