Leila Philip and Garth Evans




Thou hast arranged all things by measure and number and weight
Wisdom 11:20


Shagbark hickory
                       Juglandaceae Carya



alternate pinnately
compound, 8-14 inches
with 5 sometimes 7 leaflets
lateral leaflets
are obovate
                       to lanceolate
terminal leaflets
are much larger than
the laterals, margins
                       serrate and ciliate,
rachis stout and mostly
glabrous, green
                       paler below



monoecious; male flowers are
yellow-green catkins
hanging in 3's, 2 to 3 inches long;
females are
very short
in clusters
at the end of branches,
both appear
                       in spring.



nearly round, 1 1/2 to 2 inches,
with a very thick husk;
nut is
4-ribbed, and the seed is sweet and delicious;
                       in fall.       



stout and
usually tomentose,                                                                  
but may be somewhat
near terminal bud,
numerous lighter lenticels;
leaf scars raised,
3-lobed to semicircular—
                       (best described as a "monkey face");
terminal bud brown,
pubescent, covered with 3 to 4
brown scales,
more elongated than
                       other hickories.



At first, smooth
and gray,
broken into long, wide plates
attached at the middle, curving
                       away from the trunk resulting in
a coarsely shaggy appearance.


  A tall tree
                       over 120 feet, with
a straight trunk
and an open
round to oblong

Notes for the casual observer: looks like Shellbark hickory, Red hickory, Mockernut and Pignut hickory.








Garth made these watercolors during a twelve-month period in his studio, which looks into the woods in the quiet corner of Connecticut:

I was thinking about polarities and contrasts, about how disparate things can come together to make something new. I was thinking about the man-made world and about the natural world, about what is natural and what is artificial, what is organic and what is geometric.


Leila wrote these poems in the same quiet corner of Connecticut during the same twelve-month period that Garth was making the watercolors:

Each poem began with an observation of the natural world. I was thinking about how we locate ourselves where we live, what we bring to that relationship and what we take away. I was thinking of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s call to “see” the ordinary landscapes around us as a means of insight, delight and self-awareness


Water Rising began with our desire to collaborate on a creative project.  We started in the spring. Each of us made works in genres that were not central to our primary practice. Garth is a sculptor, and for twelve months, made watercolors. Leila writes book length prose, and for twelve months, wrote poems. We did not want the writing to illustrate the images, or the images to illustrate the writing so we worked independently. Only when the twelve month time period was over, did we bring the watercolors and the poems together to see what connections had appeared. We were surprised, amazed, and delighted.

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