Sunday, February 23, 2014

February round-up -- monarch butterflies, local art show and roof ice sculptures

post #178
      I have had too many bits to keep up with myself this month, so today's post has three that have been waiting in the wings.  The first is a New York Times article about the monarch butterfly way stations.  Click HERE.  Actually, this bit is all about wings....  I am definitely going to be doing more milkweed preserving in the years to come.

       The next bit is from a local art show at the Rowan County Art Center (formerly the county courthouse.)  The Cave Run Arts Association had the exhibit space this month (February), and all members could enter three pieces, 15 artists in all.  These next photos were made during the opening reception.  It is very possible that the exhibit will be coming down soon, so I apologize for not getting this information out sooner!  

The largest painting in this photo is by my husband, Frank.

this day, one of the three photos by me

      The Arts Center has several studios, and they were all open during the reception.  These walls show the amazing watercolor work by Linda Brewer.  Linda teaches a weekly class in here, thus the work tables and chairs.  She shares the office with photographer and mixed media artist Priscilla Gotsick.  
                                                             *   *   *   *   *   *   *
      Even though today there is no snow on our ground, it has been quite the month for the white stuff.  I made several photos of this shed -- it shows what can happen with the right combination of snow, of melt and of overhang....

going, going  --  but not yet gone!

       I am finishing today with one photo from 5 days spent with grandchildren this past week.  Oh, the satisfaction of placing those last two pieces of a puzzle!  Well done, kiddo!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

keeping tracks and speaking up

post #177
       First, Appalachian residents we need and appreciate -- even if we are not sure what all they do and which tracks are whose:

Can you find three tracks??  Was the squirrel jumping up or jumping down??!!!

A vole-like creature? 

someone please please please tell me what makes this lovely design!

a deer on the move

     It is still snowing almost every night around here!  I find it hard not to notice, which is why I mention it at all.  Luckily the relatively warmest day of this past week was Wednesday, when I was able to be one of many taking part in the annual I Love Mountains Day in Frankfort, our state capitol.   Kentucky is by necessity having to reexamine its energy dependence on cheap coal, both because there is less available coal and because there is more awareness of the environmental devastation of such practices as mountaintop removal mining.  Coal has not been kind to the health of communities it affects, where the true cost of coal has been carried by the residents of the region, many who live in poverty with impaired health issues.
      Anyway, here is a photo I took from an airplane ten years ago.  This still happens.

                                                     a "gone mountaintop"

      Here are some photos from Wednesday's march and rally at the Capitol:

I love the generations in this photo.


    It might be obvious that I see a connection between the richness of the wild life in our area and the urgent necessity to speak up to keep the natural world from being destroyed.  The diversity of our amazing forest and our clean water sources ("We all live downstream.") is not a guarantee. This means speaking up and being involved in preserving our Appalachian heritage by envisioning brave new solutions to the energy we also depend on.  It feels in these times as if greed has a stronger say than common sense!  So thank you, voles, and thank you, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and other groups with vision.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter still, but not forever!!??

post #176
         I am definitely distracted by the weather, thinking of people everywhere who might be cold without electricity, wondering what the next storm will bring, and still hoping that it won't be just the bad bugs left to greet us come spring and summer.  On the ridge, my neighbors have their electricity back, and the repaired water generators are providing water.  The trees and bushes are slowly standing straighter as the ice load lightens.  Today I am including a few winter views I made photos from in the past week, but I want to start with a moment of regular life from last weekend -- an event at our local independent bookstore!
       George Ella Lyon came from Lexington to do a reading from her newest book of poems, Many-Storied House (University Press of Kentucky, 2013.)  She had a good crowd, at CoffeeTree Books in Morehead.  It was so nice to see her.  And hear her.  I think these  poems are some of her best, which is saying a lot.

       So, on to the driveway, the view from the kitchen window, and such:

the sycamore tree in our yard

two cardinals -- look closely

this morning
A flock of robins came through early in the week!

      On the political front, this is the week for the annual I LOVE MOUNTAINS day, at the state capitol.  It will be cold but not stormy, so I hope at least 1000 of us can flock to Frankfort on Wednesday.  Here is the link to learn more about it.   I am sure I will take photos while I am there.  It is sad to think we have to go year after year to stick up for our beautiful mountains and for the health of the people in live among them.  What are we going to do about having fewer and fewer forests left to provide for us?  What about the essential nature of clean water?  It is too easy to blame Obama or the EPA for dimishing coal jobs, but the reality is much more complex.  It's a lot about jobs, of course, but coal is no longer in a position to be the hero.  May I repeat the truth that the coal counties of eastern Kentucky have been the poorest counties in the state, with the greatest number of health problems, yet coal was supposed to have been providing prosperity.  To whom.

      I'm finishing up this post today with two cousins on one of multiple recent snow days!  (Technically, they are first cousins once removed.)  I hope the schools are able to open this coming week, somehow, at least for a few days.  Good luck to everyone!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

the beauty and wonder of snow and ice - a reminder

post #175
      More cold here, more ice, some snow -- and I was back to the waterfalls to see what had frozen up, or down.  Luckily, this time a friend, Lucy, could go with me -- she is also a photographer.  We enjoyed seeing what we could how we could plus watching out for each other on the way there and back. 

      First here are three of the photos Lucy made the day after my last photos -- after additional melting had gone on overnight.  Like me, she had wanted to return after a refreezing-of-it-all cold spell, and so we did.
I love this photo of hers - she caught a beautiful moment in the life of these icicles.

the pile at the bottom of the big falls -- almost completely melted

a view we don't often see, from the side
     Next some of my photos, from two mornings ago -- a cloudy, chilly day, with lots of ice.  The first three images were made at what we call the second waterfall, looking over it and then looking across the ledge of it.

closeup - without crossing the ice....
          Along the creek:

   At the big waterfall, the ice pile at the bottom had gotten large again:

and the top "funnel" long and lovely again:

Lucy at work -- thanks so much for the company!
      Note: Lucy and I could barely hear the ice flowing over the ledge of the second waterfall.  So I'm making yet another try at sharing a brief video. I have no idea if the quiet sound of the water will come across on this blog.  If it's too quiet, please let your imagination do the flowing, gently and steadily: