Archive for July, 2009
We were cutting wood yesterday – a beautiful old birch which the power company cut down this spring. Even though it died a year or so ago, it had stood like a sentinel at the end of the driveway, thick and tall and stark white against the darker foliage and the sky. I loved that tree though I never actually photographed it. It was down before I realized it was being cut and it made me sad.
I love the patterns of birch bark. I’ve taken many photos as studies for some of my fabric work, but I was surprised today by the patterns I saw in one of the logs. To me it looks like clouds, or water marks, or elegant moire fabric.
Monte’s first experience with water was when she was still quite small. We had traveled to Maryland where it was rather warm. She was clearly uncomfortable because of the heat and on one afternoon, launched herself into our daughter’s goldfish pond. She swam around a bit and we hauled her out when it became clear that she was tiring and had no way to get out because of the steep sides of the pond. Then she went all winter without a swim.
When we planned our Hawaii trip, I made arrangements for Monte to stay with the breeder. She lives on a working farm with sheep, cows and chickens… and six dogs, two of which are her siblings, and two others, her mother and a half sister. Monte had gotten a bit prissy from the princess syndrome and she was in for an education.
Long story short, she did just fine, carving out a little place for herself in the dog hierarchy and getting familiar with the activities and particulars of farm life. One of these is the farm pond. After a few tentative paw tests, Monte joined right in on the pond fun and now she is quite comfortable in the water.
We took her to beautiful Knapp Pond in Cavendish, VT, partly so I could do some sketching and partly so Monte could show me how she swims. One of her siblings was along too and they both had a great time in the water. She proved rather proficient at retrieving a stick.
One of the fun things we did in Hawaii was to hike to the top of Koko Crater. There are several ways to do this. One is slightly easier taking several hours, one is realtively short and difficult. We chose the short one which involves hiking straight up the old supply railway to the bunkers at the top. From a distance it looks like stairs. In actuality it is railroad ties. I decided to see how many there were and picked up a small stone for every 50 steps. I picked up 20 stones – that means 1000 plus 15 additional plus or minus a few for missing ties and losing count once.
The view looking toward the top and back down to the bottom:
The views from the top were lovely. Looking one way one can see Koko head and the lovely Hanauma Bay, famous for snorkeling.
Looking out the other way, one can see the inside of the crater and on up the coast.
My little handful of stones:
One of my favorite blogs to read is written by Jane LaFazio, an artist in Southern California. She regularly posts pages from her journal and lovely photographs of the places she’s been and her art classes. Her sketches are simple and beautiful, ink and watercolor, little snippets of nature in her neck of the woods. Because of her, I’ve been inspired to try to keep a more regular journal and our trip to Hawaii seemed like the perfect time to start. It’s been harder to keep it up since we’ve gotten home but I’m trying. I know it is good to practice drawing – it trains my eye to really see and I have a more intimate knowledge of what I’ve drawn. Here are a few pages….
While we were in Hawaii, I needed to shop for a dress for the wedding. And you can’t have a new dress without the right shoes. So here we are in Nordstroms at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. We’re all done buying shoes and we’re headed out when I spot a large woven piece of art hanging behind the counter. On close inspection, it is made of newspapers woven carefully to make a tapestry of a street scene. The clerk behind the counter tells me it is by an artist named Gugger Petter. Check her out. The only camera we had was a cell phone which didn’t do this amazing piece of work justice. I’m posting a close up but you can go to her site to see the whole thing. The one I saw is listed under works: street scene: 5 of 6.