Friday, October 27, 2017

Magnolia Trace, Huntsville, AL (10/26-27/2017)

Thursday, October 26, 2017 (continued)
We arrived at Magnolia Trace and checked in with security at the gate where we were given our room key and directions.
Magnolia Trace opened in 2003, became an affiliate of ACTS in 2008, and fully merged with ACTS in 2014.
The guest room was really just a guest room
The bathroom did show upgraded
features that are available
Including the large walk-in shower
A typical hallway
Dining room (the buffet is used for Sunday brunch)
We were seated with residents Ira and Bernie S for dinner, who provided their insight about the community. All the residents we did meet were natives of Huntsville, but they told us of others who came from other states. The dining room is only open for dinner and Sunday brunch, with table service.
Look at the presentation of the chocolate tart dessert!
The Bistro is open for lunch and dinner
The beverage bar in the Bistro is open all day, but not at night;
in the morning, complimentary pastries are set out on the bar
Plenty of tables in the Bistro, and a Pictorial History of Huntsville
The activities calendar in the mailroom
The internal mailroom
A tiny meditation room
The larger fitness room is in the main clubhouse
Near the dining room is ACT III, a lounge or party room!
Most of the amenities are on the third floor of the clubhouse.
Jigsaw puzzle table
Billiards room
Arts & crafts room
Library and research center
Card room (note all these rooms have a sink)
Looking down at the clubhouse atrium
Back to the main level of the clubhouse:
Mailboxes are in each wing

Friday, October 27, 2017
Independent living apartments, where the ground floor
residents can create their own landscaping
The garden villas are duplexes or stand-alones
Entrance to the clubhouse
Clubhouse atrium
The pool is in a separate building with a smaller
fitness room and a workshop and craft room
All units include a washer and dryer and there are storage units of 4' x 4' x 8'.
Magnolia Trace is about two and three miles from hospitals. Colleges are about two and four miles away.
The closest major airport is Birmingham International/BHM, 105 miles away, although the Huntsville Airport is 16 miles.
After the tour with Jason M, we departed to drive, taking almost 11.5 hours.
Cotton fields in Alabama

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Huntsville Botanical Garden (10/26/2017)

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Today we left Westminster Village in Spanish Fort and drove to another ACTS retirement community, Magnolia Trace in Huntsville, AL. We were not to have a tour until the next day, so upon arriving in Huntsville, we went to the Botanical Garden.
Huntsville Botanical Garden entrance
Relatively new, the Huntsville Botanical Garden was built from scratch from 1980-1985, and continues to grow through the generosity of the community. There are several buildings around the gardens that are used as venues for events and weddings.
One of the exhibitions at the Garden is Wind, Waves, and Light: Kinetic Sculptures, featuring stainless steel installations by George Sherwood. Wind speed and direction, shades of light, time of day, precipitation, and seasonal color transform the qualities of light and movement of the sculpture.
Flock of Birds (2013) by George Sherwood
There was also a Scarecrow Trail, Gilded Gourds, and Gourd Art installations.
Kent with gourds and a friendly scarecrow
Cupola chandelier
Gourds along Little Smith Lake and
Memory of Water (2014) by George Sherwood (KSS)
Anemone of Gyres (2015) by George Sherwood (KSS)
Teledyne Terrace
Gilded Gourds display if gourd types
It's a Small World by the Thorens (KSS)
Cracked up with Flowers by Neva Beasley (KSS)
Interesting plant contrast with Capsicum annuum/Ornamental Pepper
and Dichondra argentea/Silver Ponyfoot (KSS)
Railway Garden with a G-scale train and trolley donated by a member
along with the track and buildings, while the layout and village
were constructed by a pair of Boy Scouts and the landscaping
 done by the Living Arts Bonsai Society (KSS)
Arbor of found branches (KSS)
Wow, an art installation made of gourds! (KSS)
The Ugly Duckling (you can barely see the dark green "ugly duckling at the end of the line) (KSS)
Donors Plaza with Turns (2015) by George Sherwood
Turns kinetic sculpture
This area is maintained by a robotic mower! (KSS)
Tamiko with huge Camellia sasanqua 'Rosea' (KSS)
Look! Callicarpa americana var. lactea/
White Beauty Berries (KSS)
Aquatic Garden with Chinese style pavilion, Great Blue Heron
sculptures, and the Colarium kinetic ssculpture
Colarium (2017) by George Sherwood (KSS)
Harvey by by Lotus Landscape Inc., on the Scarecrow Trail (KSS)
Magnolia macrophylla/Bigleaf Magnolia
Van Valkenburgh Daylily Garden
'Sheer Excitement' (KSS)
'Triple Cherries' (KSS)
Becky Basil by the Herb Garden Party -
Kelly, Susie, Erin, which took first place
among the scarecrows
The Herb Garden's Knot Garden, coming from Elizabethan England
features geometric patterns using dwarf hedges; St Fiacre
graces the center as he was a 7th century hermit with healing skills
Basella rubra/Red Malabar Spinach (KSS)
Solanum integrifolium/Ornamental Eggplant (KSS)
Life Without Limits by UCP Parent Group (KSS)
Frohliches/Happy or Merry by the Steigerwald Clan
(Paula Steigerwald is the CEO of the Garden)
Master Gardeners' Demonstration Garden
Trading Post Treehouse decorated for Halloween
We are Family by PFLAG Huntsville
Eloise McDonald Probst Guest Center (2017)
Purdy Butterfly House (the butterflies
are usually in residence May-September)
A Yellow Belly and Red Slider turtles (KSS)
Rocking chair view from the Guest Center over Little Smith Lake