Monday, October 21, 2019

Wild at Night in the Garden

How's that for a title? I am, of course, referring to the Wild Rising installation at the Desert Botanical Garden. Last week, I shared some thoughts on the daytime experience--now I'm back with nighttime.

The garden at night is wonderful for locals during the warmer months because it allows you to spend some time outdoors and around plants without taking in the full heat of the day. For non-locals, though, your visibility is limited. There is lighting and some sections are quite well lit, but others are going to be less viewable. So there is naturally less to look at at night. Presumably this is why they tried out Electric Desert, their nighttime exhibit last year--but I quite frankly hated most of those installations. I found them extremely disruptive to the garden experience.

Wild Rising, though, remains just as fun during the night as the day--and it is perhaps even better because of the more limited visibility of the rest of the garden. You have less plants to look at, so now you have some colorful animals to look at. And the bright colors aren't disruptive to the other desert colors because all of the colors are shaded by night. The bright colors become simply bright lights.

The meerkats are solemn even in pink and green and purple and yellow. And these two share a moment even more tender and special in the darkness.

The snails, which I wasn't completely certain on during the day, were lovely at night. They're warm and glowing and happy. 

You can hardly even tell that this one is taller than a person. 

The medium-sized blue one on the edge of the path now appears to light the way. 

As for the penguins, they are in fact quite poetic at night. Green lights standing stalwart against the black. 

And the frogs? Well, they're just as cute and silly at night as during the day. They seem to be singing a jolly song, to remind you that even though this art is meant to bring up serious environmental topics, the world is still a place of wonder, a place to enjoy. And that is precisely why it is worth treasuring with our actions. 

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