Metamorpho-Nest Transforms for a New Role

Plants and animals prepare for fall in Metamorpho-Nest by Andrea Wilson Mueller of Inside Out Landscape Design.

Fall brings an entirely new atmosphere to Metamorpho-nest. The monarch butterflies have left and are on their journey to Mexico. the days are getting shorter and the temperatures cooler, signifying the beginning of dormancy. Some plants lose thier leaves quickly when temperatures begin to cool, while others go through an entire second phase of beauty. The leaves of the sassafras (Sassafras albidum) tree turn a warm orange color in the fall; the Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) turns a bright yellow-orange; and, the leaves of the Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica) turn red. These colors are a result of the decrease in chlorophyll and the resulting exposure of other pigments in plant leaves as the nights get longer. Some plant material, such as the Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) and the American Beech (Fagus gradifolia) produce fruit into the early fall.

Regardless of how they outwardly show it, all plants are preparing for the next season. For the wildlife that remains here through winter, this preparation is important because it is the beginning of habitat creation. What may look like dying leaves and peeling stems to humans, is the foundation of a winter home for everything from insects to birds to mammals. In addition, the invasive Japanese honeysuckle that was used to create the actual nests of the sculpture will support multiple dwellers amongst its twigs and shedding bark during the colder months. Metamorpho-Nest not only illustrates the metamorphosis or transformation of living plant material and wildlife over time, but it also illustrates the conversion of something invasive and destructive into something that provides shelter, a necessary aid to wildlife.

So as it turns from blooming showpiece to dormant slumber, Metamorpho-Nest continues to transform. Leaves that once provided shade for living creatures now transition into shelter from the cold. Soon the snow will fall and we will see an even different phase. Come witness the transformation for yourself and visit JSP to check the progress of this living sculpture. You may be surprised to see how quickly things change. Every season brings a new beginning!