Sunday, June 28, 2015

a visit in wonderland: rhododendrons at Carter Ford

post #237
      My daughter and granddaughter are visiting me for a week, so yesterday we went exploring! The wild rhododendrons are out, and a wonderful place to see them is at Carter Ford. This requires a drive on a narrow dirt road which luckily is currently in pretty good shape, though no one else was there in that magical place. I don't usually show any photos of my family on this blog, but today it can't be helped. I like to tell stories with my photos, and they are very much part of today's story.
the actual "ford"

view to the right, looking upstream

roadside, near the ford

looking for treasures

finding a millepede!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....

       Magic has been happening at the house as well!  First, the fawn -- whom I first saw last week running around and around the house!  Later, with the doe (its mom, we assume), it came to check for apples that might have fallen in the field.  We have also seen a big box turtle, a very long snake which we think is a black snake, plus, of course, various birds, skinks, butterflies and, every evening, lightning bugs. 

     We also enjoyed meeting a brand new, freed from the shell, cicada!  We watched it hang there until fully separated from its shell and dried. It then took off. I will show more photos of it next week.  It was beautiful in its own insect fashion, and a good way to celebrate all the coming out that is happening this week as we learn about how human beings also need the same freedom to be themselves!!  Our best practice can be to support one another on this process throughout our lives.

       I will show additional photos of this event next week, but now it is time for me to get back to some more adventures with family.  I am so grateful to have this time with them.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

a hemp preview

post #236
        A friend with a farm, in McCreary County, applied to be one of Kentucky's 100 farmers approved this year for growing hemp. It is a new program, long overdue.  
       She has dogs living with her, and a horse, a donkey, a goat -- these three returned here after life experiences other places -- and some chickens, two cats, and some cattle. 
       She also runs a B and B there, Farm House Inn Bed and Breakfast, which does well, even though the place is not the easiest to find! Hint: It is near Cumberland Falls State Park. I visited her Monday, which I don't often get to do since she lives four hours away, in the southern part of the state.
       Here are some of the photos I took connected to the hemp project:

extra hemp seeds, after the field was planted

trying to be very clear that this is 1) legal, 2) really hemp, and 3) new to the agricultural scene

early plants, waiting for the cultivator to be fixed and up and running

another attempt to be clear about what is going on and what they are hoping to learn this year

These parts are to show what the plant will offer after growing fully instead of how they look today.

Peg kindly models her HEMP HAT, all made from hemp, including the woven band.

         Now here are some photos of the dogs, cats, chickens, and cattle who live with her.  The legs at the top of this first photo belong to the goat in the second....

the rooster, ruler of the roost....

        I might as well go whole hog here, despite there not being any hogs, and show portraits of each of four dogs, one of the cats, and the donkey with his horse mentor.  Very apparent is the fact that life is pretty good down on this farm!


       Thanks, Peg, for your hospitality and friendship and your stewardship. So many of us in Kentucky hope this hemp undertaking will prove successful for our state!  It once was good for Kentucky, and it could be good once again

Sunday, June 14, 2015

returns, to the folk art, to our place, and to the milkweed

post #235
     Yesterday I finally returned to the KY Folk Art Center to redo some photos I made a week ago, this time using my good camera instead of my iPhone.  I am much happier with the results, though who knows if the difference is noticeable on this blog.  But since I do these posts mostly for my own happiness, it has been worth the extra effort.  So, as a follow-up to  last week's post, here, now, are two more photos of that intriguing laundry scene by Robbie Mueller:

       Back home, until the neighbors come over to mow our fields, I asked for a temporary single path to the barn!  It turns out to be a wonderful thing to try to make a photo of.  These are three of my tries, the last one being with my 70-300 lens, the first two with the 124-105 lens.


       I share the next two photos as a way to think about how to hold the camera. You can see the two same bugs on the flowers in each photo, so it is clearly the same bunch of daisies, but I think the photos look quite different, which fascinates me.  You may or may not agree, but I'm just saying.

       Then late in last night's evening light, I drove the car up to the milkweed plants at the end of our driveway that I had photographed for a year beginning in June 2013.  Last year they were pitiful, but this year they once again seem to be flourishing.  Maybe they have loved all the rain we had in April. Or something like that. I took the car so I could sit in the driver's seat, with the window down, and use my trusty bean bag on that window ledge as a way to hold the camera steady in that low light. The wind has mostly stopped blowing by then; all is quiet and full of wonder.

       There remain two photos, of quirky visitors to our place.  Though all are welcome, some, like the deer, are pretty hard to live with sometimes, especially when it comes to sharing the garden.
a visitor on our cow bell doorbell

a visitor on our steps

          THANKS FOR BEING A VISITOR -- perhaps quirky, perhaps not -- TO THIS BLOG!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Kentucky Folk Art's A DAY IN THE COUNTRY

post #234
       Yesterday was overcast and therefore not too warm -- a great day for a Folk Art Fair outdoors and for the annual gathering of renowned folk artists in the Morehead Conference Center.  The new exhibit at the Kentucky Folk Art Center nearby, called "Come We to the Summer," is wonderful.  I took just a few photos at the exhibit and inside the Conf. Center and on the street between them, photos meant just to share the experience; they are not meant to be art works in themselves! (NOTE on 6/14: redid both these photos with my better camera yesterday.)

 two of my favorite pieces, by Lonnie and Twyla Money, in the exhibit

butterflies in a bottle!

       For some reason, this last piece I am showing from the exhibit really caught my fancy. I didn't have my good camera with me at the time, so I have not done the work justice.  I was lucky enough to be able to talk to the artist himself later when I was next in the Conference Center where the folk artists each had a display area.  We talked some about the emotions connected to hanging out laundry. I too love to take photos of laundry in the sun, and he had an additional laundry work of art at his "booth".  NOTE: will redo this laundry photo on next week's blog.  Please take a look!

         Of course I asked for permission to take his photo, with a Lincoln sculpture he had sold that day.  Thank you, Robbie Mueller (!

       Outside I visited the booth of an Elliott County artist, Linda Johnson, who is fearless with a needle and thread.  I love her granny doll, based on her own grandmother, which is not for sale.  She needed to bring her to a family reunion happening today and tomorrow. The doll's hair is in a bun in the back, and her slip is designed to show below the dress, just like for real.

        And I ask you, what is the fun of a folk art fair without some singing and strumming!  Here are two photos of Thomas Albert, who brings so much energy to his playing -- and whom I have known since he was a youngster.  I caught him with his "wry look", and then while he was performing with a friend.  I missed a good photo of an earlier group featuring Jesse Wells from Morehead State University's Kentucky Center for Traditional Music.

      All in all, a very good day.  I will share more next week, but I am off soon to Berea, Kentucky, for the memorial celebration for Jean Ritchie, one of Kentucky's musical treasures, who died last week at age 92.  Such a generous spirit.  Her Appalachian dulcimer playing, her songs, her beautiful voice, and her kindness will long resonate in these parts.