Sunday, July 26, 2015

water, flowing and clear and needing protection

post #241
         Try to imagine owning a piece of property where a creek starts, emerges, one that joins up with three other creeks along its way before going over several water falls and only then leaving the spot on this earth which we've "owned" for over 45 years.  The hills on this place are like a protective circle around us, with the creek located through the middle of it all and nourished by run-off through healthy trees whose roots hold the hillsides.  We are cradled by this hollow, as it is called in Appalachia.  We are rich in our connection to the earth even if, ironically, our property's "value" is not that much.
         I have written in other places about the privilege of living on these 90 acres.  And about the job of stewardship. In this day and age even our small bit of the earth requires care as well as good fortune so that the woods don't burn down, that the Ashland Oil pipeline doesn't leak -- it is on our property but runs along the edge by the road -- and that invasive plants don't choke out the native ones that work more in harmony with the whole.  
       There is also the huge problem of it all being taken for granted. During a recent conversation in a car with three very smart local teens, it turned out that none of them knew the name of the dogwood tree then in bloom throughout the woods and along the road we were driving on!  Now they know the name.
        This is my photography blog, however, so it's time for one of the things I can do: share the love in a visual way. I decided to try to give a brief sense of the creek on its journey.  Several of the photos have already been on my blog over the last five years, but, hey, what is life anyway except seeing things with new eyes as we go along!!
a joining on our place

another joining, heading downstream

farther along

THE ROCK IN THE CENTER IS WHERE I WAS SITTING SO I COULD USE MY BODY TO MAKE LIKE A TRIPOD. It always amuses me that viewers are rarely curious about where I was when I made the photo.

the creek in full force from spring rains

the same creek, later in the spring, during another year

the creek during a dry spell, so strange to hear no noise from running water

same view, a bit closer to the tree, summertime

the second waterfall

   I also made a brief video, just with my iPhone, that goes for 30 seconds.  Water flowing, giving life.  The still shots from this same location are shown above. It had been raining a lot, so the creek edges are more washed over than usual.  I hope you have time to take a look.  (Note: I finally figured out how to embed a vimeo video! I am thankful to be on good terms with my close companion "trial and error.")

clear Kentucky creek from Ann W. Olson on Vimeo.

       I am not the only one grateful to feel the life force a particular piece of land provides.  It makes me ache for the families whose long held pieces of land are being abused by the extraction economy that prevails in so many places in the mountains.  The most recent outcries against more stingent regulations for keeping streams clear simply frost me.  As KFTC (Kentuckians for the Commonwealth) and other groups have been saying all along, we ALL live downstream and we SHOULD care deeply about how our water starts out. 
        With that work in mind, I am ending with a video of the song "Black Water", written by Jean Ritchie.  Jean died recently at age 92, but she spoke up and sang out in her chrystal clear voice for many years, a Kentucky treasure. I copied this video from a piece by writer Silas House that he posted on his FB page.    JEAN RITCHIE SONG: BLACK WATER

Saturday, July 18, 2015

fawn visits, Minnie Adkins Day, and a baby snake!

post #240
        I had big plans to do a thoughtful post about clean water today. In fact, I am kind of obsessed with this topic, and I have some video ready to share.  But realistically water will have to wait a week when I will have more time than I do now to give the topic justice. In more than one sense of that word.
        It happens I do have these great fawn photos I've wanted to share.  I know deer are tick bearers, garden destroyers, and not very bothered by humans this time of year. In a word, pests.  They are also lovely.  And this fawn is a constant wonder! This is the first year I have had fawns running joyful circles around the house. It is no coincidence that this is also the first year there has not been a proper vegetable garden on the place.
        The doe that comes the most often to the two apple trees near the house seems to visit with a big fawn and a smaller one. I'm told a doe can take over the care of an orphaned fawn, which is what seems to have happened here. Most of these photos are of the smaller fawn as it acquaints itself with all the areas I can see from inside the house.

This is the best I could do to get both fawns in the photo with the mom.
in the lily garden....

another view of the stairs down to the house

       Then there is the baby snake, on the porch, but moved to the stream, obviously not by me since I am taking the photos....Thanks, Jason!

      Next, this is what I did this morning -- be part of the Minnie Adkins Day at the Little Sandy Lodge, near Sandy Hook.  Here is a photo of Minnie, who with her own charisma and hard work and artistry has stirred up a great deal of arts activity in our area. In typical Minnie fashion, she is telling me how great she thinks the bib is -- promoting someone else's work even though she is our star.

       A great many craft vendors set up. The heat was rather severe; at least it was dry, unlike last year. Everyone is a good sport. I only stayed three hours because I have out-of-town company, my college roommate, Meg.  Between the heat and the bright sun, I only made a few photos. Be sure to enjoy the last one!!

This happens to be my set up. I was the only one without any shade, but my neighbors let me sit closer and closer to them as the sun moved across the sky. I figured I could stand half a day that way. I enjoy being surrounded by so many in the community who are also pursuing their art choices.
      This last photo, the funniest, is saved for the end. It still makes me laugh, even tonight. Enjoy!  And be ready next week for my plea for speaking up loud and clear for clean water.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Spring photos, part 2 of 2, cicadas and Indian Pipes

post #239
      Welcome, world, especially my many readers in Greece and Ukraine who seem to come here weekly despite the unrest and struggles in their countries.  We certainly and fervently wish you safe outcomes.  Greetings, too, to new readers who discover my version of life in Appalachia. Actually I only get a number for each country where there are viewers, so I don't really know if readers are new or not. But I hope some are, and thus the welcome to you! Also, it is now easier for me to answer reader comments, as I learned today in responding to a comment I received on last week's post.  Anyway, enough housekeeping, and back to bugs and Indian Pipes and such!
       In early June, my visiting daughter sat on the outside steps for some reason, thereby discovering some fascinating bug activity underneath the railing. It all took about an hour.  Emerging moments:

leaving the shell

hanging out and drying out

progress on the milkweed

Indian Pipes, 6/4/15, with Maura., who found them
same pipes, 2 weeks later, soon to be finished
an additional photo from our time on Carter Ford
 and two more photos of my daughter and her daughter, on Carter Ford, to show better how beautiful they are.

I have had some trouble with the photo prep routine this week, so the photos may not be as clear as usual, which isn't as clear as I'd like anyway.  Work to do soon, so my apologies for now.  Here is one last photo, for fun.  The caption is what went through my head when I saw these gooseneck garlics doing their thing. It comes with thanks to Melva for providing these gooseneck garlic plants.  

"Look! They went thataway!"

Sunday, July 5, 2015

some spring photos I don't want to leave behind, part 1 of 2

post #238   
       My spring has been full, with places to go and beauty to behold. Last week's post shared our visit to the rhododendron at Carter Ford, the week before was hemp growing and included Peg's four dogs and her other farm companions.  Before that were two posts mosty about Kentucky Folk Art, following several posts featuring cemeteries in Eastern Kentucky.  
       I was able to be a few other places as well, however, and then there are the treasures found during walks to the waterfalls. So this week and next I want to share some photos from here and there, literally. I guess, just to be convoluted, this display also doesn't give me any good excuse for saying "I never get anything done...."

      My first share comes from my long drive up to Massachusetts in May for a visit with my daughter and her family before I went to my college reunion.  Here are some photos, a few from several places during my trip:

My daughter and her daughter live near my college, so they came over to visit. That's when we explored this garden area. I was totally taken by this bush design and by the tulips in the next photo!

This photo is full of tradition, the seniors standing all along the sides as members of each of the reunioning classes walk down the middle on our way to an outdoors auditorium area the day before their graduation.  Getting the clapping hands of my classmate (Beth, aren't they yours?) was purely the luck of the moment, not staged or planned.
    Sort of "on my way home" I went to see my sister, Robin, who lives near Boston. She grows remarkable gardens and has great skill with her drawing pens.  Her recent exhibit had made it home but had not yet been packed up, so I was able to take some photos of that:

     I find her work amazing. I can't imagine the patience and skill this takes. I would be including some garden photos as well, but I was there midday with bright sun, so nothing I could have photographed in the short time I had would have been worthy of what was growing there.  Sorry!

      I went next to visit close friends Susan and Henry who live on Cape Cod.  Henry is a 9th generation Cape Codder!!  Their home and land always has wonder shining all over it. Does the red-winged blackbird show up on the screen between the two swans? I am sending them a copy of this photo in an 8x12 size. It is sharper in real life than whatever it ends up being on my blog.

     Susan and I managed to be on the beach while between rain showers.  I LOVE IT.

     When I made my next segment of the trip, to Connecticut, where my high school friend Elisabeth lives, I went through quite a bit of rain. I timed it well, however. This is what greeted me -- such an abundance of color!  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to take more than about 6 photos all together.

      I did make it home finally, pretty worn out for awhile, but it is now fun to be sharing these few photos and revisiting the people and places without ANY driving involved.  Next week there will be the Kentucky photos, but I would like to end with one today that I think about often. I will try to include it in next week's post as well so that I can explain more about this Memorial Day family potluck. Thanks for traveling along with me.