Monday, January 31, 2011

unhappy trails

i'm not happy to see this trail, but i want to make sure
so i followed it 

there was a urine patch close to the white pine
and a messy eater's evidence underneath 
but the trail continued out through the old front horse pasture 
by the apple tree that the gray mares loved to shade from the sun under 
and across the road and into the stone's woods 
a closer look
and there it was. way up. porcupine. 
not a good neighbor when there are up to seven dogs in these two homesteads.
i hope i can discourage it.
a distraught dog who tries to chase this critter away can easily become a pin cushion. 
wendy will ignore, not so the others.
9 degrees. pink cheeks, frozen thighs, happy border collie. a fine walk.
for visual delight go look at these books!!!
joanne kaar's wonderful books from her recent project.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

not indigo

 release command, "ok!"
 ok! she replies
 dreary skies and more snow and deep cold predicted tonight. again.
 this one doesn't mind.
 exploring the roadside.
and she's back!
too much of a good thing, poor man's fertilizer. 
wendy doesn't mind. this winter, i do. 
it surprises me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

journal work

using a brayer to make color areas
 not worried about mixing ideas
beginning a rainbow 
learning style/interest inventory 
three students, all young. two HATE writing, are ok with reading, or rather being read to, and are pretty good at canned worksheets. one is pregnant. one is 17, the others 15. 
we do very few worksheets. 
i drag them out of their comfort zones, and reward them with art time in their journals. 
sneaky me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

teaching zines

today we started another six week block of afternoon art classes. i have only one or two students. so we can concentrate. today i worked with a very together young man. 
he only draws 'shrooms. 
so i introduced to him the origami book, making a simple book from a single sheet of paper. the cool thing about this? copy machines and 8.5 x 11 inch paper. 
and because aimee makes comics i like, i included a figure. my student got to work.
he went home with a handful of editioned zines, i demanded one (and got it!)
my dummy
his story. he placed a colophon on the last page. another zine maker!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

since when

since when does 26 degrees feel warm? since 26 below zero, that's when! we just returned from a walk in the newly falling snow, and wind, and i didn't wear long johns and i'm nicely invigorated and feel really hot indoors! imagine if we had skied.
some critters know how to spend the winter.
 in my library, between two surfaces
last night while sitting at the table my spine actually shivered, as a little group of coyotes began singing within spitting distance of my house. i couldn't spot them, but it startled me. 
this is a very small room, it used to be the toy room, then the art room, where the kids made things. before i painted it, the walls were fairly decorated.
behind the basket in front of the little medicine cabinet is where i found the spider's nest 
books. all small, by me. and carol and aimee and roberta and shanna and sarah and amanda and susan and joanne and margot and asao. a tumbler by ian and a basket by gin. cheers!
and inside the cabinet? a heron's skull!

Monday, January 24, 2011

crazy cold

i haven't experienced this kind of cold since the early 80s when i lived in the five ponds wilderness area of the adirondacks. wendy tried her best to walk without putting down her paws and was not happy with me when i insisted she "do her business".  the paper mill isn't frozen, the kitchen hot water and the bathtub hot and cold are frozen. the furnace runs frequently and i'm wearing hannah made wool socks. school was delayed, now closed. the table my sister sent over looks like deep winter...wishing all you in winter safe travels through this cold snap. i'm fine, and i hope you are, too.
and i forgot earlier--three chickadees were talking when i was out, gossiping about the weather, no doubt.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

a thank you and a pink book

 thankyou to you who visit wake robin. hard to believe that my words and pictures hold *something* for you. i'm glad. it makes getting through the darknesses easier. 
below zero at midday. one water tap is already frozen.
and sometimes in this strange interbetweenplace, 
by means of the interpixies, as india says, magic happens. 
i have made some fine friends this way, through conversations. 
this piece of vellum is a beautiful pink. carol taught me how to dye it.
i filled it with things...
a title
and a poem
for aimee, who is far away in california.
mills students: look out! great semester ahead!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

january cold

 yesterday after school. lots of tracks in front of the barn, temporary visitors
 the cold was coming on, it's pretty cold today.
 a nest is built here every year, or improved if it hasn't fallen. 
the chicks aren't bothered by the bees? 
 some icicles for jude, they form on the wild grapevine and virginia creeper on the barn
 there were prints in the barn, too, but the wild animals that visit are savvy and avoid the rotted flooring that hannah's friend put her foot through!
this is actually one of the barn's basement windows. it's how i felt on friday, the end of a hectic, difficult week at school. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

a special book or two

you may have caught on to my passion for books (ha!) but maybe not to my passion for field guides and natural history books. old ones, especially. the dedication of natural historians amazes me. they take their time. they look. they listen. they look and listen more. they record with pencil and paints. 
at school we take the students to job sites three times a week. one of our sites is a library.  each year we help with the friends of the library book sale, we sort, arrange, and after it's over box potentially salable books and throw away many, many others. it's painful to throw books out. i retrieve a few that the library is happy to donate to us. and i'm happy any time a student wants a book. (maybe they'll read it.)
who knew anyone would study these?
apparently pollen loads on bees can be color traced.
look at those reds! 
and blues. and i'm not sure, but i think she painted these! possibly not, but they are wonderful, thick paint chips.
 dorothy hodge traced these pollen loads by color to their flower sources. by season. 
and now i wonder about the pigments in pollen! 
she painted and drew all kinds of color chips and bees and pollens.
and another cool book
such treasure!
more pollen loads.

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