Category: Grounds

Babes in the Woods

October 31, 2018

By Volunteer Docent Robin Hazard Ray

The expression “babes in the woods” is used today to describe people who get in over their heads in situations they do not fully understand. But originally Babes in the Woods was a folktale, then a ballad,[1] then a stock script for pantomimes (English theatricals done for the kiddies at Christmastime), as familiar to people of the nineteenth century as Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. As we shall see, it had resonance for several notable people buried at or affiliated with Mount Auburn. (more…)

Biophilia & Biodiversity: A Celebration

September 27, 2018

Edward O Wilson, Harvard University Faculty Emeritus in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, has been a transcendent figure in the world of biodiversity research.  His long and storied career of field study, writing, and teaching, has led him to be called “a Darwin for the modern day.”  In his 1984 book “Biophilia,” Dr. Wilson fostered what has been referred to as… the love of life and the living world; and the affinity of human beings to other life forms.

He described biophilia as…

“the rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.”

The concept of biophilia is taught at many institutions and groups based upon it’s ideas and applications meet regularly in communities all over the United States.

Join us on Saturday November 3, 2018 at 3pm at Bigelow Chapel for our inaugural Biophilia meeting.  The event will be led by David Morimoto, Director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Lesley University.  Speakers from the local academic and research community will share stories about working with Dr. Wilson, or of his influence on their own work.

This event is free and open to the public.  Space is limited.

Please rsvp to Paul Kwiatkowski, Wildlife Conservation & Sustainability Manager at: pkwiatkowski@mountauburn.org or at 617-607-1956.

 

 

 

 

Horticulture Highlight: Asa Gray Garden

July 5, 2018

And all rare blossoms from every clime

Grew in that garden in perfect prime.

            -Percy Bysshe Shelley

We encourage all to visit our newly renovated Asa Gray Garden. In collaboration with the award-winning Halvorson Design Partnership and R. P. Marzilli Landscape Contractor, this garden includes a diverse mix of 130 taxa of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, annuals and bulbs which will provide four-seasons of color, texture and interest. An enlarged central water feature and reflecting pool help create a sense of calm within this newly re-designed meditative landscape.

made him feel as if the fountain were an immortal spirit

that sung its song unceasingly

and without heeding the vicissitudes around it…

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

In lieu of specific plant discussion, we recall this garden’s namesake, the preeminent nineteenth century botanist, Asa Gray (1810-1888). The eldest of eight siblings of a farmer/tanner in Sauquoit, New York, he graduated from Fairfield Medical College in 1831. Lynn Barber in The Heyday of Natural History 1820-1870 states, “At the beginning of the nineteenth century, all laymen and most scientists believed that the earth and all the species on it had been created by God in six days towards the end of October in the year 4004 B.C.” Gray eschewed an incipient medical practice for a botanical life that led to decades of research and publishing. Later botanical renown positioned him to become the foremost American advocate of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), when in 1859, Origin of Species revealed the then heretical theory of evolution and the process of natural selection. (more…)

Angels of Mount Auburn

December 27, 2017

Images of celestial beings are found throughout the Cemetery, proudly posing on pedestals or tucked into the decorations of many monuments.  The brochures below include some of the many angels and cherubs found at Mount Auburn.

Join Rosemarie Smurzynski for a tour of Angels & Cherubs at a future date to be announced!

A Guide to Angels in Mount Auburn Cemetery
and their Role in Consoling the Human Heart

The word angel derives from the Greek “angelos” which means messenger.

In Islam the word for angel is “mala” which also means messenger. (more…)