A BOSKY OF MONKEY TREES: A COPSE OF ARTCAMPERS
Having recently celebrated our first anniversary, David and I, as a very married couple, still go out for drive-arounds on way-back roads looking to see what we can see. Again and again we say, “Look at that!” “Did you see that?” “What is that?”
During one of our country-roads-drive-arounds in the early days of our courtship David exclaimed, “Look at that bosky!”
I love learning new words. Words and their meanings are precious to me. This is what I learn about “bosky” when I check in with Wikipedia:
The term “bosky has roots in Middle English. Originally bosk, busk and bush were all variant spellings of a word meaning shrub. Bush is still familiar to the modern ear, and busk can still be heard in the dialects of a few places in northern Britain. Bosk, too, survived in English dialects. Although bosk disappeared from the written language, in the early seventeenth century bosk provided the root for the woodsy adjective bosky, which today is also used as a noun. By 1815 bosk (also spelled bosque) had reappeared in writing, but this time with the meaning a small wooded area."
Today when David and I point out a bosky on our drive-arounds, we’re calling attention to a small setting with a bouquet of trees or shrubs that look like miniature woods in a broader landscape.
When David and I blended our two households and our two gardens, we rushed to set up our new home before our wedding. Selectively we brought with us only as much as we had time to place. I brought my lamb’s ears, gifted to me by my artCentral intern, Maddie. The beginning of our monkey tree bosky came with David as part of his groom’s dowry—a single desiccated root hurriedly rescued and plucked from beneath a tangle of out-of-control morning glory vines. Both the lamb’s ears and the root miraculously survived and flourished, especially the monkey tree root.
When I tell you that we have a bosky of monkey trees in our front yard, just imagine a dense cluster of lush trees adorned with a canopy of fern-like leaves above sensuously curving trunks and limbs going every-which-way. They look quite exotic in the corner of our front yard back-dropped by our tall weathered wooden fence.
In truth, we’re not sure they’re really monkey trees. When I go online to learn more about their origins, the monkey tree images on Google look entirely different from the flourishing, fern-leafed monkey trees in our front yard. David calls his sister, Ginny, the original source of his first monkey trees. She tells us monkey tree is the common name always used and passed down through their generations, and that she’s been told they come from the sumac family. Sure enough, looking again online, I find photos of various sumac varieties, some very similar to the trees in our bosky. Some with the lovely yellow and golden colors just like those displayed by our monkey trees in the autumn.
Whatever their proper name we treasure the sweet, mystery trees in our beautiful bosky. In their uniqueness they remind me of the clusters of artCampers that will soon be appearing at artCentral for our eighteenth summer camp. Gathered together our campers are an undulating, mysterious mass of creative energy appearing each morning to be nurtured and nourished and encouraged to flourish. They will flourish, and they’ll all make golden treasures of art to carry home as happy reminders of a summer well spent.
Have you registered your artCamper-wanna-be? Classes are filling up quickly, but there’s still plenty of room for your artist-in-the making! Registration forms are available in Carthage at artCentral, Carthage Public Library, Cherry’s, The Deli, KOKA Gallery and The Palms. In Joplin you’ll find registration forms at Spiva Center for the Arts, Cleo’s Picture Framing and Design and Crackpot Pottery and Art Studio.
You can also go online and download the registration forms from artCentral’s website: http://www.artcentralcarthage.org/artcamp-2018.html.
Complete your artCamper’s registration and add your check for tuition, then drop them through the front door mail slot at Hyde House, 1110 East Thirteenth Street, or in the mail to artCentral at POB 714 in Carthage.
This year’s new crop of artCampers is sure to be a most delightful bosky, arriving to animate Hyde House hill with their making of fun and art and friends. I’m super excited to see them—a brand new copse of creativity!