Menokin Photography Contest Deadline is Approaching

Just a reminder that the deadline for entries for the Menokin Photography Contest is October 15th.

This beautiful fall weather is the perfect time to come to Menokin and take pictures. The property is open even when the Visitor’s Center is not.

Can’t wait to get your entries!

Coming through the gate at Menokin makes you immediately slow down and relax.

 

The Give and Take of Indian Pipe

Yesterday, a visitor spent long hours in the morning hiking the trails of Menokin. She shared this photograph of Indian Pipe that she found growing along the trail.

Indian Pipe (photo by Beth Sanders)

I did a little research and found out some interesting facts about Indian Pipe.

  • Indian Pipe doesn’t have chlorophyll, the stuff that makes plants green. It is a waxy, whitish color (though this plant is a lovely shade of pink). It turns black when it gets old.
  • Indian Pipe is usually seen from June to September. It grows in shady woods with rich soil and decaying plant matter. This plant is often found near dead stumps.
  • Since Indian Pipe has no chlorophyl, it can’t make its own food like most plants. Therefore, it has to “borrow” nutrients, either from decaying plant matter, or from another organism, such as a fungus.
  • Meanwhile, the fungus itself has another relationship going on with a tree. The fungus’s mycelia also tap into the tree’s roots. Many fungi and trees have this type of relationship — it’s called a “mycorrhizal relationship.” The fungus gives nutrients to the tree and the tree gives nutrients to the fungus. Both organisms help each other out.
  • Even though Indian Pipe gives nothing back to the fungus or the tree, it is a food source for small bumble bees, which visit flowers for nectar. The bees return the favor by pollinating the Indian Pipe. 

You are probably already humming the “Circle of Life” Lion King theme song in your head or out loud by now. Hope you have enjoyed this little nature lesson. Share your own photos of Indian Pipe if you have them.

The Menokin Foundation Takes to the Road

The popular Banner Lecture Series offered at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, VA will host two guest speakers in October, both co-sponsored by The Menokin Foundation.

These programs will be held at the VHS, which is located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond, VA.

The first takes place on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at noon, and features Dr. John C. Coombs, a professor at Hampden-Sydney College, discussing Planter Oligarchy on Virginia’s Northern Neck.

Unlocking Menokin’s Secrets: Archaeological and Landscape Research at a Northern Neck Plantation takes place on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at noon, and will be presented by David Brown and Thane Harpole of DATA Investigations.

One of the great houses to survive from colonial Virginia, Menokin was the result of a unique collaboration between John Tayloe II of Mount Airy and Francis Lightfoot Lee, the husband of his daughter Rebecca. Tayloe gave Lee a life interest in 1,000 acres of his vast Richmond County estate and, as a wedding present, built the plantation house and surrounding structures.

David Brown at work at Menokin.

Though scant written records remain, other clues offer insight into this adaptation of European design to the environment of eastern Virginia. David Brown with DATA Investigations will discuss recent archaeological and landscape research conducted at the site.

Reservations are not required for either lecture. Admission is $6/adults, $5/seniors, $4/children and students, free/members (please present card) and to Richmond Times-Dispatch readers with a Press Pass coupon. Parking is free. For more information visit: www.vahistorical.org/news/lectures_banner.htm.

Meet The Family

The current issue of Virginia Living has an article about the magnificent colonial plantation home, Mount Airy. This 18th-century architectural masterpiece was the girlhood home of Rebecca Tayloe Lee, wife of Francis Lightfoot Lee of Menokin.

In fact, the Menokin property was once part of the estate of John Tayloe II, who carved out 1,000 acres and financed the building of Menokin as a wedding gift for Frank and Becky.

These exquisite photographs by Roger Foley give you a peak into the genteel lifestyle of the Mount Airy residents. The article offers poignant insight into the nature of living in – and caring for – an iconic family home.

Here is a link to the article in Virginia Living.

These 10th generation great nephews of Rebecca Tayloe Lee are playing, living and growing in the same house where she grew up.
You can almost feel the breeze wafting through the great hall of Mount Airy.
Moose has gone to heaven, but lived a heavenly life at Mount Airy alongside his statuary brethren.

Planter Oligarchy on Virginia’s Northern Neck

Virginia Historical Society Banner Lecture Series

Dr. John C. Coombs, Presenter

Co-sponsored by the Virginia Historical Society.
Program held at the VHS located at 428 North Boulevard, Richmond, VA

The rise of a distinct class of affluent families to economic, social, and political dominance in Virginia during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries is without doubt one of the most important developments in the Old Dominion’s early history.

As a group, however, the “gentry” were far from homogenous. John C. Coombs will draw on research for his forthcoming book The Rise of Virginia Slavery to discuss the foundations of power that were common across all ranks of the elite, as well as the circumstances that allowed the Carters, Lees, and Tayloes to achieve distinction as the colony’s “first families.”

Dr. Coombs is a professor of history at Hampden-Sydney College and coeditor of Early Modern Virginia: Reconsidering the Old Dominion.

Reservations are not required. Admission is $6/adults, $5/seniors, $4/children and students, free/members (please present card) and to Richmond Times-Dispatch readers with a Press Pass coupon. Parking is free.For more information visit: www.vahistorical.org/news/lectures_banner.htm

“Come Into My Parlor…”

…said the spider to the fly.

Cool nights and warm mornings generated a dense fog this morning that painted the spiderwebs at Menokin with drops of silver. Not one to let a Kodak moment pass, I had to record the beauty to share with the world.Image

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