Yesterday I spent time in Dean’s Woods in Knoxville, TN. This is a 20 acre plot that is owned by the University of Tennessee and used by the biology department, essentially as an outdoor laboratory. It has been 15 years since I went there to photograph and now I am kicking myself that I had forgotten how beautiful it is here. Dutchmen’s Breeches, Squirrel Corn, 2 species of Trillium, Celadine Poppies, and the list goes on of what is blooming right now.
Ken McFarland, biology professor at UT for 30+ years, met me there and let me tag along as he and one of his students, Johnny Warren II, cored some trees to try to better understand a tree fall. My project in Dean’s Woods is much more encompassing than that as Ken works together with his students and the Martha Washington Heights neighborhood group to help eradicate invasive exotic shrubs and vines. To raise awareness of this beautiful area, to raise awareness of the exotic plant problem and to hone my video skills is my task at hand.. I will be spending a few days over the next several weeks shooting in Dean’s Woods. If you are in the area, and would like to help out, the next planned assasination is scheduled for this coming Saturday April 2 at 10:00AM. No special tools required. No names will be taken and no special brownie points award, just the great feeling you get from hard work and knowing you are making a difference in our environment..