Sunday, January 14, 2018


and this morning as i was thinking
about the cold (-21) and the sun shone brilliantly
on the snow
there was a loud thunk.
i looked at the window as a large bird recovered and flew up.
must have hit the upstairs west window and fallen,
and landed on the utility pole in the back yard.
it was stunned, not behaving as they usually do.
pileated woodpecker.
cock of the woods.
 immediately after the collision
on the dark side of the pole
 moved around to the sunny side
 got bearings and flew off.
 these birds are what woody woodpecker,
he of ancient cartoon fame, was.
 i don't remember a thing about that cartoon
besides his weird laugh
which is nothing like the call that named this one
cock of the woods.
another north country name.
and i have finished off two pounds of flax fiber
made into 8.5 x 11 sheets 
(some are with my papermaking partner melissa schulenburg)
 beautiful flax with the remnants of other paper pulp
(that thin white line)
indicating that the felts are dirty
but oh, these deckle edges!
 i made the last little post of about 20 little sheets at home in the kitchen.
i added some inclusionsincluding 
habu wrapping string (silk wrapped paper thread)
and mica or shell iridescence
which didn't photograph.
 it's always good to make paper.
even through the cold of winter.
it looks like i can see a few sparkles on this sheet.
this is NOT glitter, more like mica dust. 
but it's there.
there was also this,
the life of death video
happened to come along this morning.


  1. such a beautiful poignant animation & love your hand made papers look forward to seeing the books you make with this lot!

  2. It seems to me from afar V, that everybody (including woodpeckers) is trying to work out what to make of this deeply cold winter. Glad that it was only stunned and flew again... The papers look so beautiful and gentle, and habu nearly yalways adds somethings special doesn't it? hope you remain warm and safe.

  3. wonderful pics of the woodpecker, hope he is ok- love to make paper, yours is stunning- haven't made any in years

  4. mo, i wish my camera could eliminate the darn screen on th eoutside of the window, but in this case it helped the woodpecker.
    fiona, i think you are right. we've gotten used to mild winters and this one, with mood swings from 30 below to 60 not to mention flooding and thawing...under it all the ground is still not frozen solid four feet down, like it used to be.
    susan, i've no reason to believe woodpecker isn't ok, so i'm believing. thiese flax papers make me so happy.

  5. That loud thunk ... so telling and often leaving behind an imprint from the sheer force of creature on glass. I recently looked up from stitching at my window, alerted by the sound, to see a small gray bird nestled in massive blue agave fronds, its neck seemingly broken. I watched for minutes, willing it to rise against all reason ... and felt tears come as it improbably did just that.

  6. liz, a very, very happy moment for you. and with the pileated for me, too.

  7. Oh, I have 3 of these lovely woodpeckers that I feed here in my backyard. They are so cool to watch. Your handmade paper is wonderful!

  8. karen, you have 3 pileateds sharing the backyard? wow. are the a family group?


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