Wednesday, June 27, 2018

gone and rain

i'd not been walking at the farm much (my place) because of
and being Home.
and there it was--or wasn't.
the structure I'd laughed at and called barnhenge or woodhenge,
 and so did this little one, 
gone before it hatched
the most beautiful of blues.
except for all the other blues.
 reading about color and how we respond to it, and what moves me,
i read about ochres, i add them to pulp, i paint with them,
i read about madder,
five new plants will go into the garden soon.
i read about the properties of dyes and pigments and lakes
and find i know so little.
but still i get extremely excited about it all.
two writers online have been exploring madder's properties
as dye and as ink.
(are you reading these two?)
(hint: Sally and Tim)
i recently ordered a new copy of Hiroko's book,
a second edition which includes more treasure.
i ordered it from Washi Arts
Linda Marshall's wonderful online store.
Linda carries Japanese Paper Place products for US customers
and she is a delight to do business with.
(and to know--she was in my Seattle North Country Shifu class last summer)
 i got these little somethings in my package:
 such beautiful wee samples to touch and use up happily.
 here's the sample sheet of the kozo Hiroko favors,
added in right before the title page
 and in the 2018 edition: 
these samples of kami-ito,
one natural, one dyed
 a special thank you to my PBI student James Spyker 
who told me about the new edition 
which included these kami-ito samples!
a soft rain happened sometime today after noon,
after some morning gardening and then mowing my lawn
one of the most dreadful jobs I have
isn't quite so awful anymore.
 anyway, off my porch i saw this little one
 unafraid in the beginning rain
 munching grass in my porch perennial garden.
 this baby needs to be watchful and wary
(there is a narsty disheveled old he-cat who ambles by every now and then)
but little cottontail was quite calm so close to human me.
 yesterday i saw a doe with two beautiful fawns, in, of course,
the middle of the road.
i had no time to get the camera, watch the three on the hilltop, and watch for traffic.
a dangerous place to be pulled over.
so you will have to imagine them
in their cinnamon and white spotted legginess, 
mamma all legs and exquisite ears herself.
on the road, 
on a hilltop, 
the north woods holding them in close
disappearing into the green at the beep of my horn. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

being here

my town.
the marquee at the American Theater:
sometimes when you have big events and so much going on it's hard to return to the day to day just because you want it so much and yet you still have things to do: mowing the lawn, laundry, cleaning enough so i can bear living in it... dealing with the wildlife is always an issue, at my house or at Home. 
where i am for a few days taking care of the elder dog Gwen and her younger and quite silly friend Tess. summertime is always busy in the north country, things to do, plants to grow, ideas to nurture, hikes to walk. i had the very great pleasure of meeting with a Master Naturalist on Saturday, who had sent out an SOS regarding populations of a lily he's helping research. while my observation located three plants, not the exact but a related species, but it did contribute to his data and he'll monitor them. I got to ask a ton of questions, and see how the science brain pays attention in a similar way to the artist brain. 
twilit birds are hard to capture
with my old red canon:
a great blue heron on the pond
i now often feel like the plants and animals and indeed the rocks and streams are fellow beings, not features of the landscape. at Home my partner found a woodcock nesting close to the house, so close that you could see the hen doing her job. he had seen three eggs before he realized what was happening and stopped going too close. it's been a while since then and the other twilight, after i'd started brushing my teeth, and as i was wandering around with toothbrush and mouthful of bubbles as i often do, i looked and i saw a little bird that was round and chubby and odd. it was a juvenile woodcock. mouthful, i tried to tell him, without alarming the bird through the big window. then there were three, all acting like goofballs, one cocky as all get out. they were making kid-style woodcock calls, too. 
i couldn't get a photo, it was too dark.
two goldfinches (or other closely related finch)
i tried to doctor the color a little, but it was too overcast.

 one of the four i've seen this year
snapping turtle mama, with attached rider.

 down the road several miles a neighbor has four clydesdales
 this one's my favorite
 we've also watched a pair of Baltimore orioles gathering
the tents from tent caterpillars, pulling them off the tent-shape like a spinner preparing to spin silk from a hankie. 
the new fawns are growing well and unfortunately one was road killed. 
this season there are many road kills, but that's what happens when humans
speed around in motors.
just the news from the north country.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

rail trip

weekly news:
i got the dry flax papers out of the blotters
stacking up a little pile of biggish sheets.
and hung up the felts at zone 4
before i prepared to visit toronto.
 this brick was part of one of the chimneys that rudy dismantled last winter
 lichens grow well here.
 beautiful miniature universe
 and the unused back door latch.
i still find debris that i clear away when i mow.
 7 am rainy morning trainride
 before i took the photo i thought there was a detectorist!
i got really excited.
then i looked at the picture.
 lake ontario
 and a tiny detail,
fringe made with cloth!
part of an installation
by Sally Thurlow
that wendy and i found by serendipity
and a visit to see Andrew's book after the launch at Swipe Design
i'm excited to read my copy because i really liked
and used The Inner Studio in my teaching.
just a coming together
the way this vibrant city does it.
brick and mortar
and beaver in unexpected places

text and textile are everywhere
and here, in so many languages, 
i'm ashamed i know only english.
i would have gladly learned other languages
when my mind was young and supple.
now i listen eagerly, and enjoy without understanding.
can you imagine how wonderful 
it would be to discern
bits of the
conversations heard in passing?
or, better, to greet the speaker in their language?
after the second trip to soma 
(and the second chocolate and this time burnt honey gelato)
and one last stop at this very cool bookshop
we went back to wendy's to find the electricity was out. again.
off i went in an uber to union station
and then to brockville on the train, 
drove over the two-mile-long ogdensburg bridge
which moves, i know, because i walked it half way once,
swaying in the sky.
wendy's healing hands
resting for a while
between chocolate, talk, rolling blackouts, and love.
yes, she's wearing my shifu patch
a my kami-ito knit bracelet with roz hawker's silver amulet.
i hope she's resting today.
i am, with happy memories.
and now it's the next day
and i've planted a garden at Home,
mowed the grass at my place, 
and begun preparations for a visit i will tell you about.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

the post i should have written*

mother sugar maple


 june garden

 fallingdown barn
 by the barn
 fridge message
new maiwa threads
* i found my old camera and am delighting in its company. 

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