Thursday, November 15, 2018

as the season darkens

into winter,
 there is still light
 a flash of white in sunlit grasses
 and tess appears!
 not far from the place where i spotted a kingfisher 
several times, but
didn't see this day, probably gone south.
 we see ducks here, too.
 which tess ignores. 
i mean, there could be grouse close by so--off she goes.
 in the corner closest to my little garden between the granite ledges
 paper wasps were practicing their craft.
this is BIG.
 raccoon activity along the road
 and i've taken to talking back to these ravens
who gather nearby and quark loudly, 
as teenagers do.
there were seven yesterday.
i'd rather embarrass myself by quarking,
 trying out conversation
than take photos, 
so i didn't get all seven.
 popple/aspen and a trace.
 and it's gotten very very cold. 
in the single digits yesterday morning.

 neighborhood barn
 in front of which 
a plenty of high bush cranberries.
quite a crop.
but they're my neighbor's, 
not mine.
before the snow
it was clear and very cold.
and then it came
freezing everyone right up into little balls or broken pieces
but i love the cold
love how it makes me attend to its demands.
even though i do whine about it from time to time.
snow is expected again.
and the last of the sumac leaves here are gone. 
one branch broke completely
showing sumac's fragile heart.
stay warm and well and creative.
and the sumac?
it was in the pot today and the prints are drying.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

buckthorn/staghorn sumac/milkweed

i sometimes think i could study botany in order to understand plants better.
but i also know myself, 
i'd be going off on tangents and would rebel against thorough scholarship.
this is only to say that i'm not particularly interested in doing this, 
not really, 
really.
but then i go outside and look around and know that i don't know the names, 
let alone the personalities 
and properties 
of many of my neighborwood plants.  
i had a shepherd visiting for a long weekend, 
and his 2 year old intensity, energy and ability to focus
were such a joy to be around. 
frances knows how to pay attention. 
especially to the snow in the new yard.

if i was still for a while
i found that he would do his best to keep me company.
intermittent sunshine and much rain 
and now, 
now these leaves are mostly down.
the fruit crops, 
wild and domestic apples, 
invasive and magical buckthorn, 
raspberries, blackberries, crabapples, haws, 
gray dogwood, wild grapes, staghorn sumac, and many others are everywhere.
oh, and paper wasps' summer home
fell out of the tree.
i did try once to pulp this paper to make pulp, 
but it was more like sludge.

milkweed constellations
my favorite paper plant (except all the others)
beautiful.
some late goldenrod, highbush cranberries (i think), yarrow,
all went into the contact print bundles 
and the dye liquor.
we've had only bits of sun and one sunny day all autumn.
it's locking up into winter now.
my neighbors have these for sale on friday and saturday
i'm told they're delicious.
sumac against the autumn sky
working in my kitchen to make prints involves 
buckets of metals and the occasional appropriated weight.
and a lot of vegetation spread out on a cloth.
my biggest round pot with some copper pipe 
and apple twigs
and aluminum and steel.

the fierce, diagonal autumn light 
all around my fallingdownbarn
made of recycled barn
and giving way to age and weather
i have staghorn sumac moving onto my place
giving me lovely leaves and stems
but not yet one horn,
but i can find them 
on the roadside, 
instead.
did you vote yet? DO!

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