Thursday, October 19, 2017


the phrase i woke up thinking of this morning
was this:
"it's not enough to physik a jay bird"
something my folks used to say.
they had many lovely mountain sayings that i've mostly forgotten.
i found several of the tiny things that were in the soil of this pot

shells, pebbles
knocked onto the porch one day.
and on another day i also found this one's
been in the poor old hibiscus.
my jaybird must be looking for a physik.
as i continue making paper from what's been given me,
small batches that keep me happy
and prompt book ideas,
from rag:
white-cotton/linen shirt
lavender-patagonia hemp skirt
green-cotton off cuts in many green tones from st armand 
and an accordion booklet beginning here is now complete.
flax paper
tow linen threads (20)
a few tiny greasy yellow beads
 how many times (at least 10) do i have to rinse
black walnut dyed cotton woven tape
before i can let it dry?

 and here it is on a lokta shifu square
 on the walk hunting season has begun
which makes me pay attention.
 this large doe isn't too worried. yet.
milkweed pods are splitting
after the first hard frost this week.
 red maples dance
but autumn color is late and subdued
in this strange long warm autumn.
the ticks became active after the frost.

the traffic on my walk 
 expells exhaust that doesn't make me choke.
 i need to get 
my milkweed harvest stripped and cooked
this is last years harvest
perfect for a mouse or a bird's nest.
that big bag of stalks that's waiting needs my attention
before it's so retted that 
only the birds will use it
though that is a noble use.
on this walk i was happily reminded to get to that chore soon.


  1. have loved blue jays ever since I was a little kid living in Tulsa, was surprised to learn they are in the family Corvidae but makes sense with their love of shiny things & bold ways!

  2. mo! you lived in TULSA??? what a nifty surprise. all of the corvids are bossypants birds and this jay has had quite the love affair with my pebbles!

  3. beautiful dark walnut dye. love your little blue jay, quite different from my bold, noisy Stellar's jay.

  4. Jays have returned here. They are mostly absent in summer. Wish we had more milkweed, I keep planting seed but so far it has not worked, but the bull thistle has kept all the small birds happily eating and I've enjoyed them. Ticks are tiny here, beware, found a seaweed and rose spray for the dogs to help with that and on my clothes too. Wonderful blackest of black walnut. Enjoy your walks. xox

  5. jean, the blu jays are just as snarky and noisy as stellar's. this one was out of his/her element, and wary of being caught. they like the woods and open spaces to get away.
    corrine, jays hang out in the woods in summer, having family time. where i live on theedge i see both behaviors. milkweed should germinate...hmm. black walnut is super on lokta shifu.

  6. I have a large jay -- sometimes two -- who likes the sunflower seeds in my feeder. He weighs a bit much, so always sets it swinging as he tries to hang on and get them!

    Thanks for the beautiful Eastern autumn photos...we have mainly gold trees out here (no sugar maples). And your papers are equally lovely. :-)

  7. margaret, it seems like you always miss the northeastern autumn. our colors are very quiet this year.

  8. I'm always delighted at every jay sighting, and love your dark walnut shifu. I took some samples, materials, etc. from your workshop across the country to share with my sister (including your sweet tiny loom). She was properly impressed with it all. ox

  9. hazel, that's lovely! i'm happy you shared and hope your vacation was a real rest and recouping of your energy.

  10. Wow, Velma, I haven't heard or even thought of that oft-spoken quote of mom's. Thanks for writing it. Green...hmmm....:) BW: LOVE the pix. Majestic looking deer. Claudia

  11. claudia, i KNOW, i woke with it in my mind. i often remember fragments of mountain talk at the oddest of times.

  12. fiona, gentle is a good descriptor for this autumn


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