OPEN  – Please adhere to social distancing while at the Sanctuary and we advise everyone to wear a mask while visiting.  

July 2020 Newsletter

What’s Inside:

Warm Summer Greetings!

Warm Summer Greetings to You All! The Sanctuary gardens are now lush and bursting with color! The late afternoon rains this early July have been a welcome respite to June’s long dry spell. It seems as if all the plants are growing inches every day! Come and Enjoy!

Three Sisters Sanctuary continues to closely follow updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, with our collective commitment to wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and frequently disinfecting surfaces and washing hands, we have all assisted in flattening the curve in Massachusetts. 

This is a time to maintain our preventive practices and our vigilance. We thank all our friends and visitors for wearing masks while in the Sanctuary and continuing to stay a minimum of 6 feet apart.

Events & Happenings

Our Beautiful Airbnb is Now Available!

Ready to get away from it all? Experience the Magic of the Three Sisters Sanctuary after hours!  Delight in the colorful sunset, the pale moonlight, the twinkling stars and soft daybreak! Revel in the flower-filled gardens, caress the large stones, walk the labyrinth, reflect at the wetlands, listen to birdsong! Explore the area- swim and kayak at the nearby DAR State Forest, visit Chapel Falls, hike the many trails, enjoy the country roads and return to s’mores around the fire pit! Our charming, two-bedroom, two story, private apartment is furnished in the Arts and Crafts style with eclectic artwork and accommodations for 4 guests. We are following the Airbnb enhanced cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. To book, please visit https://threesisterssanctuary.com/stay-with-us/


A Call for Volunteers!

We would love to have you garden with us! There is nothing quite like gardening in the serene and magical landscape of Three Sisters Sanctuary! Help us maintain and continue to create the healing gardens that have been 27 years in the making.

Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

In the Gardens

Gardening with Cesi at the Sanctuary: July Fireworks!

by Cesi Marseglia

The month of July is an explosion of color in the gardens at Three Sisters Sanctuary! Everything is lush and verdant as summer truly sets in. Echinacea and daylilies compete for brightness in the Butterfly Garden, their purples and yellows complementing each other. Hostas are blooming, sending up long spires dripping with delicate, bell-like flowers. Black-eyed Susans are opening their yellow faces to the sun and the trumpet vines, their trumpet-shaped red flowers making them a favorite of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, are readying themselves to bloom. The tall grasses, bright green with the recent heavy rains, sashay in the breezes.

For bird lovers who visit the Sanctuary, a small family of House Wrens have made their home in a hand-painted birdhouse by the Dragon’s Den. The parent wrens frequently seat themselves atop the dragon’s forked tongue to rest as they tend to their little ones. Their burbling and buzzy songs ring out across the gardens. 

While June was a very dry month, July is starting out with some much-needed rain. The birds and amphibians in the wetlands are singing praises for the soaking precipitation! All the recent transplants at the Sanctuary are rapidly becoming established in their new beds. The newly-planted succulents in our latest installation, the Bears in the Enchanted River garden, are already sending up bright yellow flowers. We clustered them tightly to create our desired illusion of a stream. As the month goes on, the Bear Garden will become more and more established. Look for it the next time you visit Three Sisters Sanctuary and let us know if you can also see the mother bear with her blond mane walking along the river with her cubs!

A Walk With Richard

By Richard M Richardson, Environmental Artist
Creator and Caretaker

This July, I am very grateful for the afternoon heavy rains that have soaked the grounds and given a strong boost to our recent transplants. The new garden I have been creating is named “The Blonde Bear and Her Cubs in the River of Enchantment.” 

The shape of this particular garden creates a feeling of movement, like a river flowing. The “mother bear,” a large bear-shaped rock with a yellow granite “mane,” plays in the “water” with her “cubs” tagging along behind her. This area is meant to make you feel like you’re walking along the edge of a river bank, looking down at all the stones, pieces of driftwood and the plants that intermingle naturally with the undulating outline.

The pieces of driftwood in this particular garden that have been bestowed to me from many different people over the years, have suddenly come to life in the “River of Enchantment.” Using these pieces aligns with my desire to create environmental art with the materials that are already on the property- just like the stones found here that have now become the mother bear and her cubs.

The plants I am using are called “sedum.” They are low-growing plants that require very little attention or bedding in order for them to thrive and blossom. I have been nurturing these plants for well over 25 years, so harvesting what I need is a pleasure. There is such continual growth in all of the gardens that any extra plants culled from one area are always transplanted to another emerging part of the Sanctuary.

I have also decided that the area inside the “River of Enchantment” will become a bed for “hens and chickens” succulents. I have wanted to create a surplus of this plant for some time and now will do it inside this bed. 

I designed this garden with our gardener, Cesi Marseglia.  Initially, we made two revisions on the drawings over the course of the beginning of the Spring. We began construction of the garden in early June and by the very end of the month, over half of the plants have been installed. Additionally, my vision is to incorporate ground phlox into the walkways.  

Collaborating with Cesi has been essential as not only does he have a vast knowledge of plants, but he can also do landscape design on the computer which has helped me immensely. The new garden is already beautiful even though newly installed. Please visit “The Blonde Bear and Her Cubs in the River of Enchantment” the next time you come to Three Sisters Sanctuary!

Meet The Artist: Fred LeBlanc 

 by Dawn E Dobson

In the last decade or so, an unprecedented global shift of great magnitude has occurred: everyone suddenly has a camera in their hands by way of the ubiquitous cell phone. This phenomenon has turned the internet upside down. It precipitated social media, the ever-expanding, mind-bending platform where photos and videos race around the world getting “hits” and “shares” and “likes” by the millions.

But before drones and selfie sticks, there were light meters, f-stops, exposure times and dark rooms.  And beyond vacation memories, family portraits and your last culinary creation, photography is an art form that can capture our imagination, broaden our minds, move us to tears, and fill us with wonder and joy. This is the realm of professional photographer, Fred LeBlanc. 

Born in Holyoke, MA, Fred LeBlanc spent his childhood in the Pioneer Valley. He clearly remembers the day the old Holyoke Community College was destroyed by fire on January 4, 1968. His enrollment in a mechanical engineering program now cut short by disaster, he made an adventurous decision and enlisted in the Navy.

“This was in ’68, so of course the Vietnam War was in full swing,” said LeBlanc. “I was assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin. Over the next four years, I was able to experience some of the world’s great destinations by sea- Hong Kong, the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia.”  

Returning to New England, LeBlanc attended the Rhode Island School of Photography and upon graduation began his career as a professional photographer.  Over forty years later, the times may have changed, but his dedication has not. 

“I started out working for a professional photographer in Springfield and a few years later bought his business,” states LeBlanc. “I did a lot of work with the big corporations in the area, such as Uniroyal and Friendly’s, and had many assignments at the local universities- everything from portraits to sporting events. I also did photography for real estate magazines and was published in local and national newspapers as a freelance photographer. This was all before digital photography, back when we had to make a photograph, not just take a photograph. I printed in my own darkroom for 30 years.” 

Although now semi-retired, Fred LeBlanc still answers when a trained photographer is called for and continues to freelance. One of his great joys is working aboard several vessels of the historic Windjammer fleet along the coast of Maine. For the past 15 years, his stunning photography of these graceful ships capture the romance and adventure of a classic sailing vacation. For LeBlanc, it has been a chance to merge two paths of a road less traveled- his love of the ocean from his navy days and his chosen art. 

The key to any long and successful career is evolution: the ability to embrace and adapt to the inevitable, changing world. And Fred LeBlanc is continuing to evolve in the mastery of his craft. Artistry and creativity are in the forefront of his latest endeavor, Light Painting Photography. 

“Light Painting is created in the camera with no post processing; it falls into the category we call ‘S.O.O.C.’…Straight Out Of Camera,” explains LeBlanc. Light Painting uses darkness as a backdrop while handheld lights and long exposure times produce an otherworldly photograph filled with streaks and colors of streaming light. LeBlanc also uses a glass orb to enhance images with a crystal ball-like impact, creating intriguing focal points and injecting a mystical component to his work. Fred LeBlanc is a member of the Springfield Photographic Society and has lectured at camera clubs across the region. He has taught digital photography at the Greenfield Community College and conducted seminars, workshops and group photo-excursions throughout New England and Canada. Stay tuned as Three Sisters Sanctuary hopes to host a small group workshop with Fred LeBlanc in the future! www.fredleblancphotography.com

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