Friday, December 02, 2016

Fantasy Forest at Leila Arboretum

Doug's brother, Dennis, lives not far from the Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek, Michigan; so the three of us occasionally visit there together. I had previously posted about the Fantasy Forest at Leila Arboretum here; but, on our most recent visit this past October, we found that several more sculptures had been added.

There is so much detail in these sculptures that they really need to be seen from all angles, but then you'd be bored silly with all the pictures.

Backpacker Moose

Paul Bunyan and His Blue Ox, Babe

Gnome Village

I'm not sure what fantasy figure this one represents.

Lady of Leila


Beware the Kraken
According to Wikipedia, the "Kraken is a legendary sea monster of giant size that is said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland." A closer look at the sculpture reveals a ship in the creature's tentacles.

Ship Held Captive in the Tentacles of the Kraken


Troll Totem

Saber-toothed Tiger
The Saber-toothed Tiger carving is not in the Fantasy Forest but sits, instead, near the entrance to the Kingman Museum in the Leila Arboretum.

The Fantasy Forest was born from a grove of ash trees killed by the Emerald Ash Borror. Rather than remove the trunks of the dead trees, it was decided to invite wood-carving artists to work their magic. Those artists have truly created a Fantasy Forest to delight "children" of all ages.


  1. Amazing creativity here, Linda! Wow!

  2. Wow, all of those structures are awesome. I especially like Babe the Blue Ox and P. Bunyan. Have a great weekend!
    p.s. I'm waiting on a lil package from B&H Photo. Will send email after it arrives.

  3. Fascinating for sure and not in the least "boring."...:)

  4. What a fun set of carvings. I have a tree carver down the road from me and he has tons of work to do.He retired as a banker ,so it is fun to watch his magic.

  5. A lot of work has gone into those sculptures.Obviously these are made by very talented people.

  6. These are great. I love the whimsy of the backpacking moose, the gnome's village (there's no place like gnome!) and the and the captive ship. They're all so well done but those appealed to me most of all. Thanks always for sharing your days. :)

  7. Linda - It was really a great idea and has been well done by the artists involved.

    Toni - I liked that one, too. I wish you all the best with your new "toy." Glad you were safe from the terrible fires.

    Troutbirder - Thank you for the visit and the very kind comment. Glad you weren't bored. :)

    Steve - Those tree carvers are a talented bunch. I'll bet your neighbor is no exception.

    Ruth - I think you've said it very well.

    Hilary - There's so much detail in that gnome village...well, on all of them, really. I almost missed that captive ship. It was so tiny at the top of the Kraken sculpture.

  8. Those sculptures are really amazing looking with so many intricate details and lovely colors.

  9. It's amazing the talent people have to create these works of art from trees!

  10. Mersad - The details become more evident when the sculptures can be viewed from all sides.

    Diane - It's a sight to see, for sure. There are some amazingly talented woodcarvers out there.

  11. So much imagination and fun. I would love to sit down on that "throne" with the red bird, eagle perhaps, one would surely feel powerful and important in that seat. :)

    1. I thought it was a nice touch for them to include a couple of those "thrones" for folks to sit on to have their pictures taken. It makes the "forest" more interactive, for children especially.

  12. Thanks for sharing this. I am one of the artist. I created the Troll Totem chair the first year, and the Lady of Leila the second year.
    This was such a unique opportunity for the artists and a great way to give these trees a second life. I really enjoyed the events. Since then I’ve been back several times. I enjoying seeing people taking photos of themselves and their children sitting in my troll.
    You can see more of my art at I also have some sculptures for sale right now.
    Thanks again.

    1. Liz, I'm so glad you stopped by and left a comment. Both of your pieces are amazing. The Fantasy Forest was such a tremendous idea. I do wish they could put in a paved trail among the sculptures, though. My brother-in-law is disabled, and it's just too difficult to push his wheelchair through the grass. He has to look on from afar.


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