Sunday, June 30, 2013

How does your garden grow?

post #144
     Busy week, good family times, and meanwhile every day and night gardens are growing food!  I returned to visit my neighbor, Sandy, Friday, after the sun was done, to take some photos in her garden.  It is always inspiring  to see a garden well cared for, before the weeds take over or the produce gets eaten up, perhaps by raccoons or deer --  and then there are, of course, the hungry-for-vegetables garden growers themselves.  These photos are meant to show the current status of things, in late June, in eastern Kentucky.

     First, an overview of the central part of the garden, with green beans, onions, corn, and sunflowers:

       Sandy's big corn is two weeks away from being able to be picked:

      Pollination continues:

     Her corn rows for a second crop are just starting to grow tall: 

Then there is other stuff, like zucchinis,
and green beans, ready to pick:

     Sandy also grows flowers.  Living on a hill only inspires her.  It certainly doesn't slow her down (so to speak....)

      Earlier in the day, we had visited Sandy, but the midday light washes out the deeper colors of almost anything, including gardens.  But we had so many fun things to see there, like rabbits, ducks, chickens, kittens, ponies, and rabbits.  The first photo shows my daughter and granddaughter checking out the corn:

and some baby rabbits,

      and then a two day old rabbit, one of many kept in a cage in the barn:

       That night, after returning home from Sandy's, where the sky had been amazing,  -- setting red sun lighting up the underside of dark clouds -- I was able to see the same evolving sky from down in the hollow where I live.  Stunning.  And so this seems like a good place to end today's post.  Thanks for sharing all this with me -- Ann

Sunday, June 23, 2013

hay bales, butterflies, and sunny cheese

post #143
     Today in Kentucky is warm.  I got up early very early to roam around in case there was a place to take a photo of the enormous moon, full, and "really close" to the earth.  Of course, getting up early on one of the longest days of the year is not the best idea a person could have.  Another bad idea is to live far from a flat horizon.  Hills are everywhere, hiding stuff.
     As any reader can guess, unfortunately I couldn't find the moon.  There were some clouds, here and there, so maybe it was hiding or maybe it had gone to bed before I got out and about.  According to the Farmers' Almanac I could have just missed it.  Tomorrow the moon will be way easier to find, so I might try again.  It was lovely out, however, and haying is in progress around here, so that is what I took some photos of.  Since it's sometimes hard for me to wait to share my photos, I am going to post some of them now.
     The first two are in a place I have shown in earlier posts.  The hay back there is not yet cut.  Some of it was beaten down by rain last week.

        Then I went to a field I often photograph since the road runs along the ridge nearby.  And it is beautiful.  As of this morning, this part of the farm has been mowed, raked, windrowed, and baled.  The bales will be picked up soon and driven away.  Some will then be encased in white plastic.

        The next three photos show a second section of the field, which may be being mowed as I write.  I love the view from this corner of that farm, looking north.

    By now the sun is getting higher and higher to the east.  I tried to make its light work for me in the next two photos, and I think it did.  Too much sun can mess things up.

       By the time I got home, the sun was definitely too bright for most picture-taking purposes.  But since I need a photo of "milkweed in the meadow," for that Appalachian alphabet manuscript, I took some photos of our milkweed plants anyway.  Our neighbor will be coming over soon to mow our fields, and I wanted to be sure I didn't miss this chance.  Of course, the pod of the milkweed is what I think about with this plant.  I hope the plant stays standing until the pods form and burst open with their soft and white whispy seeds, looking very milky.  I've learned today that its name actually comes from the white sap, which is poisonous.  Many insect species totally depend on this plant. 
      It is handy to have some growing right near our house.  For the next few weeks, I will be taking photos of this butterfly-friendly plant in as many kinds of light as I can manage.

        Recently I have been having viewers from up to ten different countries each day!  For those visitors who follow me regularly, you will remember I have planned to share the story of the book I was part of.  I am still working out the best way to present it.  I haven't forgotten; that post will happen, and soon.  
       In the meantime, to celebrate the solstice, I am sharing the cheese platter George Ella presented to our writers group on Friday, June 21.  What an artistic treat!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

a change of plans and planes

post #142
        It is now Sunday, 8 pm, and the adventure of the day is that I am stuck in the Detroit airport for several hours.  So the post I had planned will not happen in full today, but luckily there is always next week.  
         Instead I would love to share some photos I took yesterday during a happy time at the beach in La Jolla, California.  (We were there for a nephew's college graduation.)  I experimented with the sports setting on my camera, finally.  So much fun!  I didn't even have my polaroid filter with me, but hey, starting somewhere is better than not starting at all.  My granddaughter ran back and forth and back and forth on the hard sand, following the incoming waves, loving the running and loving the water.  The first photo shows our nephew with his first cousin once removed, who is on the move!

       I am still shy/reluctant about showing faces of most people I know, especially the very young ones, in a public forum.  I remain wary of privacy and digital intrusion.  I know, everyone does it, all the time, but that doesn't mean I am comfortable with it for myself.  In any case, I think the happiness shows in these photos, even without a frontal smile.   It does mean that my favorite photos from yesterday are not in this post.

      PART 2:  MONDAY ADD ON -- Part of what I had ready for this blog got lost when the airport wifi quit last night, so I quickly posted what I could.  Now I want to replace the California bit I had ready to go:
       On this trip, I was able to stay a few nights with a close college friend.  This fall she plans to try to take on a major conundrum.  Over a century ago, somehow, a lone redwood tree started to grow on a hillside north of San Francisco. This was a long time before the Golden Gate Bridge was built (see this fascinating history of the bridge) which was in the 1930s.  Today most of the houses in the area are close together and have been there a very long time.  But not as long as the tree!  Now the tree is tall, growing in between her house and the neighbor's.  The tree is member of the family, in so many ways, but it can't be guaranteed to behave well.

     Before seeing my photos, however, here is a poem to keep in mind, written by Jane Hirshfield, who now lives in the same town:
It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books --

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.


 Now here are the photos I took one morning. 

the tree, the house
closer look, the bougainvillea
the rest of the tree, the roof

the tree's view to the east

        Any suggestions??  I guess this is another graduation of sorts!  Possibilities competing with the unknown.  And some inevitables thrown in for good measure.  Along with beauty.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sideway Gallery, mostly

post #141
     This week I want to share some more photos of the Gallery I have where I work as well as where I display my note cards and framed photos.  I have a big printer there that I am learning how to use; there is no room for the printer at my house!

      First, here's another photo from the Art Fair I was part of last weekend, called A Day in the Country.  In addition to a live customer, it shows more of how our booth was set up, me on the left, Jennifer Reis on the right.

       Now here are a few more outside photos from Sideway Gallery (on Sideway Road....)  showing the wisteria reaching its peak.  The building came with wisteria.  And I let it do what it will -- and then I take photos of it!!

     Next, two interior shots that show the living room/kitchen area downstairs, which is a very open space.  Since I can't remember anything that I can't see, the cabinets are also open.  They take their colors from the big rooster photo!  However, what little cooking I do over here is with a hot plate or a toaster oven.  So far, this works out just fine.

          Both these photos were taken with my iPhone, while I was sitting on the couch.  I use my laptop down here quite often.  In fact, this is where I am sitting at the very moment I write these words....
          The gallery is several miles from my house.  If anyone wants to come by to look or to buy, please do call ahead to arrange a time.  The gallery number is 606 -738-6119.  I have said from the beginning that I am open by chance or by appointment.  Thanks for coming by today via this blog post!

other visitors to Sideway Gallery....

         Next week I will show the book that got me started in all this photography stuff fifteen years ago and talk more about how pieces of my work life fit together.  (The book title is Counting on the Woods, written by George Ella Lyon.  As she and I often say, the woods are counting on us all.)

      And last, as is obvious from what is in this blog, a lot of what I do is outside, in eastern Kentucky.  I keep an eye out for all the changes that go on around me.  This last photo shows recent activity at one of our bluebird houses.  I like the organic green roof concept.  I am fortunate to live and work where I do.

NOTE: LATE BREAKING NEWS at 9 pm Sunday -- I just heard that all the baby robins in the nest from several posts ago managed to make it out of the flower pot and into the big world!  Amazing! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

art fairs and my gallery

post #140
      Despite more than two and a half years of posts, I have not yet explained all that much about what I do or where I work or even what individual artistic path I have chosen to create for myself.  There has just been so much other stuff I have been eager to share.  Today, however, I will begin a try at establishing a sense of the places and spaces that make my work life happen.  
      A good place to start would be yesterday, a day spent in a fair with other artists, trying to sell my stuff to whomever comes by.  I had been invited to take a 10 x 10 place on a carpet in the hallway of the Morehead Conference Center.  There would be 6 or 7 of us in a row outside of the main room where 50 folk artists from ten states would be displaying and selling during the Kentucky Folk Art Center's A Day in the Country.  This made for a building busy all day with art and artists! (We all agree to stay there from 8:45 to 4.)
     I was able to share the space with my creative friend Jennifer Reis who does embellished fabric art as well as metal jewelry.  She also crochets jewelry.  It's way more fun to be sharing the setting up, which includes final design decisions for the space, as well as to be helping each other out during the day.  It also helps that her work and mine are easy to tell apart....
       Here is a photo of our "booth" all ready to go at 9 a.m. yesterday morning:

     It is of course hard to tell what will sell on any such day.  I had at least 75 different note cards on display.  But, for some random reason, my two best sellers of the day were writing spider and country crossing.  I only had five copies of each on hand.  Both were purchased because the customer had a longterm specific project in mind.  I do enjoy learning what speaks to people who come by to buy....

     I have come to admire the artists ENORMOUSLY who can set up weekend after weekend, and/or who can work around hot sun or rain.  I don't even have a tent because my note cards would not do well in most kinds of weather, plus I am not patient enough to do it by myself all day long.  I trust it is obvious that there is a lot of work involved in getting art work ready for an event, in setting up the day before an event starts, and in taking it all down at the end -- in an organized enough manner to fit it back in the vehicle and, later, in the space it came from to begin with!  For me, yesterday was cushy -- a rug!  No need for a tent!  The restroom and water fountain just across the hall!  Air-conditioning!  WiFi!  Live guitar and then banjo, with singing, at the end of the hallway!   But even so I didn't earn enough money to make up for the total time spent.  It's great publicity, however, which is important.  And I don't want to be working by myself every single minute, which is why the FUN part is so great as is the interaction with people who like my photography. 
       It is all part of that work any art path takes, one which we each have to determine for ourselves. 

      I've already written more than I expected to, so I will save the other gallery photos and thoughts for next week's blog.  Here are just two photos, both of the outside of Sideway Gallery, and there are more!  in just 7 days!

Wisteria appears!