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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Considering Lilies

This lily, purchased at a summer festival and planted late, decided to bloom as the weather turned cold.  Rather than see it literally "nipped in the bud," I cut a stalk and brought it in.  The color seems to vary according to the level of light and camera angle.

The remaining stalk was still loaded with buds, so a week later I snipped that also.  This newly opened bud reminds me of a white rose unfurling.

How lovely, the ornamental lilies in their simple elegance.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More Autumn Musings...

The tamaracs are golden
Against the woodlands dark
As Autumn steals their splendor
And geese to instincts hark.

stripped of all their glory and pretense
laid bare
arms lifted, writhing,
plead with the wind for mercy.
Tattered garments flutter down
and lie in ragged heaps
about their feet.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Seasonal Transitions...

Bunches of lovely flowers from the gracious summer gardens...

Summer's end is rather nostalgic.  I went with sis's kids to the nearby ice cream shop more often than I care to admit, but I didn't sit out on the back deck at dusk enough times, listening to the croaking bullfrogs and peeping birds readying for nightfall.

Tree trunks, dark with autumn's rain
cling to leaves which spin and strain
wearing fiery colors bright-
Crimson, orange and gold delight! 
Strong and stronger, winds now blow
teasing us with threats of snow.
Like confetti, leaves swirl down,
form discarded brocade gown.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Put The Metal To The Paper?

A recent MMSA group swap, Black & Metallica, caught my imagination.  I had a lot of fun assembling these 3-D post cards. With special packaging perhaps they will reach my swap partners intact.
Strips of Food Container Foil & Antique Paper Fastener

Magic Mesh In The Background & Antique Paper Fastener

Magic Mesh and Washi Tape Accents & Antique Paper Fastener

Metallic Ribbon & Antique Paper Fastener

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Darling Delightful Dahlias

I was so pleased to watch 
these flowering plants grow 
tall along the fence.  
Today's cool raindrops 
their lovely petals.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Small Wonders At Dusk

As I stood in the gentle breezes of nightfall,
a stark white light to the west
peeked down from behind a leafy bower:
the sickle moon, and it was upright-
not cupped like a cereal bowl as in times past.
Had the earth righted itself since last I noticed?
An axis is a curious thing.

Two fireflies hailed each other
within the sparsely fruited branches
of the ancient crab apple tree.

To the south, a large white cloud bank
steadily and swiftly rose
against the darkening canopy.
Among its layers
played opposing bursts of sheet lightening.

With so much to watch, 
I didn't know which direction to face.
I wanted to drink it all in at once.
So seldom I stand silent and still,
eyes and ears attuned
to the natural world around me.

Anticipating the storm,
no twinkling stars dared grace the skies
this night.

And then- the mosquitoes began to land.

Picking My Way Through The Seasons

For me, each summer/fall is associated with different harvests. Each ripening fruit presents an opportunity to put up preserves. First are the strawberries, then the blueberries.  The delivery truck from Georgia brings an out-of-sequence delight:  luscious southern peaches.  Black caps precede (or should I write "pre-seed?") red raspberries; then come blackberries, elderberries, local peaches, and lovely Concord grapes. Last of all apples, of which Cortland and MacIntosh are my favorites.  I enjoy making up the various fruits into jams, jellies and fruit butters for nice holiday gifts which sit pleasantly on a warm piece of buttered whole wheat toast on a cold winter's night.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Flowers, Victorian, Maple Syrup

This Asiatic lily is the cheeriest lemon color!

A charming  pink & purple Victorian house in Scio, NYS

I tried my hand at canning local maple syrup...

Double Day Lily along the fence line

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fly Away...

This lovely Tiger Swallowtail butterfly was trapped behind the garage door window.  It took a lot of coaxing to get it to crawl onto my hand so I could set it free.

It seems to be staying around, as I've seen it since that day.

From Feathers To Fur

Not so long ago I was constantly watching baby robins grow from naked scrawny hatchlings to punk rockers with huge crooked beaks- and then into spotted fledglings.  I never saw them fly away, but one day they were gone.  I experienced empty nest syndrome.

Recently I was looking out at the nest, when I noticed the new tenant.  Cute and furry, bright-eyed and striped, a chipmunk was curled up in the hollow of the nest.  Then it hung its head over the side.  It couldn't seem to get comfortable.  Then it sat up.

When it crawled out and went down the tree I thought I might have scared it away.  Minutes late, it was back, cheeks full.  I guess it got hungry and went to get take-out!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Small Wonders of Nature

I love peonies, so beautiful and fragrant, yet they only last a few days and then they are gone until next summer.  On this day I stuck my nose into a large blossom to smell the sweet perfume.  When I looked down, I saw that I had barely missed inhaling an unusual white spider with pink markings on its body.  It kept putting it's front legs together, appearing 6-legged instead of 8-legged.  And then, I ran for the camera.
Goldenrod Crab Spider 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

GELLI PRINTING: Painting Over The Printed Page

Some of these pages came out of an old medical reference book.  The chapter on "How To Happily Grow Older" was interesting.  I don't stop painting and over-painting until the dining room table is covered with papers waiting to dry.  That's when I put the paints away and clean up my home made gelatin printing surface.  If I'm not as careful with pressure, or the edge of the brayer while rolling out my paints, I  have to melt the plate down in the microwave, then pour it back into the baking pan to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
NOTE:  I have been able to keep using the same plate without remelting/remolding for several weeks at a time.  The gelatin plate stores at room temperature indefinitely with no problem.

GELLI PRINTING: Junk Mail Snatcher

True Confessions:  I look through waste baskets in the PO lobby.  Not in an obnoxious way, of course.  I don't hover over patrons waiting to snatch their cast-off's.  In fact, I wait until the coast is clear before I sidle over to the trash.  If they didn't want me to look at it, they would have put it in the locked paper recycling bin.

Every so often some auto dealer sends out large fliers with a fake key attached.  I scarfed up a pile of those red/white/blue striped slick folders and have begun to paint over them on the gelatin plate.   Hey, they're cheaper than brown Kraft envelopes.  In fact, they're FREE!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stone Walls Along The Countryside

There is something about a stone wall.  It defines property.  Divides one plot of land from another.  It provides a place to pile up stones cleared out for future planting of crops.  But it is also a strenuous labor of human hands.  Each rock carefully placed in position, leveled, balanced, aligned with the others, for the harmony of the whole wall.  A good place for squirrels to frequent.  A base for eventual moss coverings.  In time, a surprise find when overgrown with trees. Humble monuments to the farmers of yesterday.  Fading demarcations with the passage of time...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

And a few more trip pictures

I almost didn't recognize the town I left behind five years ago:  new expressway exits/on-ramps, double-lane highways, numerous high-rise hotels were some of the changes to the landscape.  It seems the economy took off when I departed.  Hmmmmmm..............
The little peak on this porch roof charmed me, as you might imagine, so I pulled over and took the picture hoping everyone was gone to church.  It would freak me out to see strangers stopping to take pictures of MY house!
 This charming Victorian mansion graces the top of a rise in a small village.
Friends and I had a delightful lunch together in this depot made into a diner.

Waterfalls Amidst My Wanderings

This dirty snowbank was probably 8 - 10 feet tall (compare to the telephone poles), although it had been much higher before temperatures rose enough to reduce its bulk.  With the snow still melting,water levels of creeks, rivers and falls were at a high mark:

Time Takes Its Toll

More pictures of my wanderings during a visit to friends:

This garage (barn?) caught my attention.  Obviously no longer in use, it spoke of days gone by and was a little sad sitting all alone by the road, doing its best to stand up to the ravages of winter storms and hot summer suns.  I was tempted to look in the broken windows.

Wanderings... barns and silo's

These barns were sprinkled over the countryside and I enjoyed immensely taking pictures as I drove in between friends' houses during my stay.  The corn shocks were in an Amish field.  I had never before seen stalks piled up in teepee shapes!