The Land Where Giants Live

Bernheim forest

I loved this tree with sculpted limbs!

SO where is the land in which giants live? . . . you may wonder. Well, we discovered where at least one family of them lives, while visiting Wes’ parents in southern Indiana this past week. His parents have been to see the giants at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest located in Clermont, Kentucky, and had been wanting us to see them as well, since they’re so amazing! I must admit that I was delighted to visit them in person, after having only seen them in photos, and as we all know, things like friendly giants are so much better in real life! 

The trio of woodland giants were crafted by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, using recycled wood from the region. This “giant” task was to help Bernheim celebrate their 90th anniversary back in 2019. The giants are accessed via walking trails through the woodland. It’s great fun to round the corner and voila’ there sits a huge smiling giant, and you can’t imagine just how big they are, until you’re standing beneath one.

Thomas Dambo giant sculptures Little Elina

Jeanie and I with Little Elina 

Thomas Dambo giant sculpture Little Elina

Obviously Elina likes playing with rocks

A short distance from Little Elina, sits Mama Loumari, lounging back against the trunk of a large tree. It’s no wonder that she’s taking it easy while the other two children play, as she has a baby giant inside her belly! The tale goes on to explain that the dad is off hunting, and I say good luck to him with trying to find enough food to keep his large family fed . . . Ha Ha!

Thomas Dambo giant sculptures

Now that is what I call a BIG toe . . . HaHa!

While I think the main bodies may be constructed with slats from old wine or whiskey barrels, I can plainly tell that her luxurious hair is made from large limbs and sticks. 

Thomas Dambo giant sculpture Mama Loumari

A bit farther through the woodland sits Little Nis admiring his reflection in a small lake. Or perhaps he’s watching the fish, but whichever it may be, he’s obviously quite mesmerized with it, since he hasn’t moved at all since 2019! 🙂

Thomas Dambo giant sculptures Little Nis

Once again, you just can’t appreciate the grandeur and scale of these giant sculptures until someone is standing by them. I can only imagine what it must sound like when their stomachs growl, LOL!

Thomas Dambo giant sculptures at Bernheim forest

Berheim Forest is a beautiful place to spend a relaxing day, even on a gray day. The four of us enjoyed driving through the park a couple of times, and stopped to take a relaxing walk on the Canopy Tree Walk, rising 75′ into the air. Once you reach the end, you’re rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the forest below!

berheim forest canopy tree walk

That’s a teeny tiny Wes out at the very end of the canopy walk

wes siegrist at Bernheim forest

Jeanie, Wes and George feeling high!

There are several other wonderful sculptures along the trails at the forest, such as the one below, crafted by Artist Justin Roberts, using invasive species most threatening to whippoorwill habitat, which were harvested at the arboretum. Justin entitled the piece “Sounds of a Whippoorwill – Bernheim“, and intends to bring awareness to the birds population, and the encroachment of invasive plant species on their habitat. Being a lover of whippoorwills and their beautiful song in the night, I loved this sculpture and it’s statement. 

Bernheim forest sculptures

Another cool sculpture is part of Bernheim’s Playcosystem. Crafted by Artist Jayson Fann “Spirit Nest” is a fun tree house art installation that allows children big and small to enjoy playing on and in it.

Jayson Fann spirit nest sculpture

“Spirit Nest”

As you can see from the photos, we all enjoyed a peaceful time out in nature at Bernheim. We also enjoyed a lovely visit with his parents, spending the rest of our time there on the farm, taking walks to the pond and trying to feed the fish, which sadly weren’t hungry. Wes and I rang in the New Year back at our little cabin in the woods, and I started off the year in a most delightful way! It was warm enough that I was able to eat breakfast on the front porch, while watching the numerous birds visiting our feeders. There were so many birds as a matter of fact, that it almost seemed too good to be true, like one of those ecards you get, where the peaceful setting showcases a few birds eating, and then more and more birds keep flying in and joining them until it looks like a fairytale setting. Well, that’s exactly how it was yesterday morning, and so spectacular that I was moved to tears with feeling truly blessed to be able to share it with so many feathered friends!

As we embark upon this new year, I’m reminded of a wonderful saying “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away” ~Maya Angelou. May you experience times throughout this next year, that truly take your breath away.

bernheim forest trail

Wes and I wish you a Blessed New Year filled with peace, good health and much laughter!

See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, located in Oradell, NJ, until January 16th, 2022

Society of Animal Artists The Kingdom Show
The Midland Center for the Arts, located in Midland, MI, until January 16th, 2022 

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our WEBSITE

Contact us by EMAIL

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

2 thoughts on “The Land Where Giants Live

  1. Denise Horne-Kaplan

    I finally had time to relax and take in this great journey thru the land of the giants.. Thanks for sharing and of course your narration makes even more enjoyable

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