Thursday, April 26, 2018

still catching up

yesterday there was a starling in my kitchen, misguided into the old chimney,
one that rudy removed the top part of.
that starling comes from a long line of starling spring chimney nest makers.
it didn't like the kitchen after i opened the chimney nipple.
it did like flying away.
there have been mice, too, there big fat ones
living high off the hog in my bag of black eyed susan seed. 
they went outside 
(and undoubtedly came back in through some hidey hole).
 two days in the yard,
trimming, raking, 
picking up branches, leaves, mortar, bricks and nasty sharp pieces of metal roof offcuts.
i found these yard sticks.
objects to contemplate, and whittle.
rosa rugosa, 
wild black raspberry, 
rose of some sort that i replanted from the old milkhouse to my house.
 and this is the final pile, almost, 
i added another 30 or so sheets
of the paper I've made that's still here 
since the election.
THAT election.
 there are stories here. 
the pink sheets were a dark red shirt
that belonged to a friend's deceased husband.
creamy yellow is milkweed seed fiber from gin petty.
the little boxes are full of tiny sheets, mostly flax, colored with earth pigments.
there are sheets that are large and long and tiny and lots between.
a plethora of paper.
this would make a tiny library of books, perhaps.
i was hesitant at first, trying things, and then it all 
now i have some books to make, 
but first, 
a sampler for my "records".
and in local news, 
the atv'ers are trying to get riding on roads legalized.
currently this is against nys law.
(atv makers say they're not designed for road use which is, 
instead, quite dangerous)
their reasoning: 
 getting from trail to trail on the roads between. 
where they propose to have a trail speed limit of 25 mph.
these are multi-use trails
shared with people riding horses, bikes, but mostly humans on foot  
and in winter, snowmobiles and skiers and snowshoers.
i hate the snow machines, noisy and stinky,but they don't ruin trails.
atv's on our fragile public lands will cause erosion amongst other abominations.


  1. what a beautiful array of materials ready to become !

  2. mo, there's so much here! yikes, time to make some books!

  3. I do love all your paper. But I do not know what an ATV is. Oh I just figured it might be an all terrain vehicle. Now would that be like a quad bike maybe?

  4. I remember when we had ducks in the chimney, lol We had just moved into an old farmhouse. My mother was horrified and called the police, happy memories

  5. trace, maybe? great on farms, etc, but they tear up trails on fragile forest lands. especially when going 25 mph through spring mud season.
    susan, must have been a nice big chimney!!! ducks, wow. did the police come?

  6. oh, what an exciting assortment of papers, your library of books will be wonderful. I think I have finally found and boarded up the last hole for the racoon to get into my crawl space - he/she was crying at my door last night, "please, please let me in"!

  7. well, jean, in my hometown there was an old guy on our street that had a bunch of raccoons in his house, like cats. i was fascinated. but i hate them in the house! i have trapped two mice so far. probably the other two i saw are a breeding pair and are hunkered down, er, breeding.

  8. This brought memories of all the critters that have found their way into chimneys in our homes through the years: gray squirrel, brown sparrow, black snakes (yes, plural ... and they were mad!) ... all safely escorted back to their native lands, all leaving behind stories to tell.

    Please do show us some of your whittling, both before and after ... I tried my hand at it when we first moved to Texas and quickly (re)learned the lesson of how hard it can be to work in three dimensions.

    Liz A

    liz, i showed those soapstone ones a while back. if anything cool appears, i'll show it. i did make a nifty bone folder/burnisher this week, only whittled a little.

  9. I love those twigs V - and their potential - as well as the stories of the critters. And the papers as a record, markers of time in between - how fascinating!

  10. fiona, those twigs made the jungle (lawn) work much easier to continue.

  11. I love imagining a whole library of your handmade books & your sticks, and am trying to imagine living in the wildness that you do!

  12. hazel, such kind imaginings. my wilderness is definitely a challenging place, but i love it. it has an old name: the great north woods. it's largely disappeared, but here we are so fortunate. and the goddamn atvers think they deserve to tear up the foot trails...

  13. I'm sorry for the battle you're in with them. I'll imagine them falling off cliffs, or being stomped flat by moose. (The ATVs, not the people, they'll just run away having learned their lesson!)

  14. we hav ecliffs but few moose, we do have black bear. your imaginings sound a little like narnia...and i absolutely appreciate them!


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