Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wherever the sunlight dappled...

Crab Spider 
I just had to share this observation.  I walk around with my camera in hand or in lap, whatever the transportation mode may be at the time of my "ah-hah!"  moments or my "the light, the mist, the moisture that Iris blue sky- grab the camera!" distractions to whatever it is I may be doing at the moment.  Yes, even driving...but only on back roads and only when I'm putting along, ready for that moose to step out or to catch that bear streaking away from a blackberry patch.  Those moments of moving mammals aren't often caught with any great focus other than my absolute shift to awe and wonder, then and only then- does the camera become meaningless and I just mentally make note, or as I like to say- moments like that are carved somewhere within me and I draw upon them when I get to thinking that this old world is such an ugly place sometimes.  (Although, that kind of thinking is pretty fleeting with me and not carved anywhere as I am able to shift away from those dark, dampening spirit thoughts and move directly towards the sunny spots that warm and revitalize.  That's just how I roll people!)
Yoga-like position

So, onto the subject of the matter...Ron Howard's collaboration with his daughter and Canon in an open call to all photographers,( professional and dabblers- like me, to submit theme related photos that basically they're going to be building a movie around-Imagin8tion) really got my juices flowing.  By golly- I was going to get their attention with some fantastic shots or wondrous event unfolding right before my lens...well, that didn't happen- I didn't get their full attention, but no matter!  The thing that caught mine, and is now etched and carved into my wonder vault- was a tiny little creature potentially easily missed and so very well hidden in plain bright sunlight that I almost didn't see her.  And taking the shot was extra difficult, even after adjusting to the bright light and bright pink of the rose she boldly perched herself on- this little Crab Spider, this clever huntress made me stop and really observe.  She sat in sun spots on the rose petal as to camouflage herself...in sunlight!
I could have sat there all day, learning from that little lady- watching her make the most out of her brilliant abilities...she mesmerized me and to this day, I'm still caught up in the web-less wonder of it all.

Wherever the sunlight dappled, that's where she fixed herself.

  Deception-"an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers", that'd be me...

Take care-

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

oh the high hopes...!

Those that till the soil and plant the seed, till the souls too of all who share in the bounty of the garden. 

Oh my, I sure have had a full dose of humanity this week...and tomorrow, it only gets better.

Our first farmers market begins Thursday in Princeton Maine.  Trouble is...not many crops to speak of.  Sure, they're all mostly in the ground, but the ground is boggy, cold and the sun hasn't shined much since...geez, I can't even remember!

I do have a fine crop of fresh photo greeting cards though.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute to get all those finished, but- I was feeling vulnerable.  My heart and soul in those pics, deep and quirky as it may be- will others follow along, see the logic in a tiny frog sitting on a leek?  Or the small spider on a fallen leaf floating down a spring fed brook, brown on brown and yet the light just hitting all the high marks- an arachnid sailor with eight legs and countless eyes; a tiny spectacular bug in all it's brilliance- will that compute?
Whether or not the thought that I put into it leaps off the surface I suppose isn't really important, but the story of why or how or when- that would be plenty to take in and then tell- although I do hope folks will be willing to share some of their Hallmark dollars with me too.

Ahhh, the wondering of it all consumes me- happily I might add.  Well, maybe there is one exception- I have to deal with an insidious sort...all the patience I must bear.  All the tolerance I can stand...  To a point and then, well- that's another vulnerability popping up.  A few people around here are under the impression that I don't get angry, or impatient or wobbling mad.  I'm a champion wobbler, let me tell you!  I get just as balled up as anyone I suppose, though I seldom strike out as it seems to serve no purpose other than my own...and what's the sense in that?   Usually I gather up my camera- mad, glad happy or sad- off I go and find expression in all sorts of landscape and fauna.  I get those pictures downloaded and see just why I took a certain shot.  Only then do I fully understand my motivation- in the light and the dark, the shadows and the shine; always I see that life is composed of opposites.  Pictures tell the story that I could not- in all my humanness, comprehend until the shot was fully exposed.  

So there you have it, a telling of the days and weeks leading up to a tomorrow that so many are looking forward to.  What started with a tiny dream comes to full fruit tomorrow as we give this community something that gathers all the opposites together in what seems to me, a sacred place of opportunity.  Story telling, art, hand crafted Maine-made creations, food- (this our commonest bond) will somehow I hope, blend us all together for a time.  When that first car comes rolling in the parking lot- oh the high hopes we'll all have!
I will have the camera, I will take the pictures, I will historically depict this great day for our little community.  I know it's not Washington crossing the Potomac- but it is a moment in my life I don't want to forget because of it's tiny triumphant message.

"He who digs a well, constructs a stone fountain, plants a grove of trees by the roadside, plants an orchard, builds a durable house, reclaims a swamp, or so much as puts a stone seat by the wayside, makes the land so far lovely and desirable, makes a fortune which he cannot carry away with him, but which is useful to his country long afterwards." 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, June 6, 2011

Another chicken analogy..

Good morning.  The weather seems to be aligning with farming today, I have half the gardens planted although the peppers and tomatoes are none too happy as the night time temperatures went back into the lower 40's, quite steadily...  We started all of our transplants this year from seed, so I'm especially protective of these plants.  (I have had need to replace Kale with seedlings from local organic farm as something found all my starts delectable.  I think slugs...they got almost all of my broccoli and cabbage too.  I sprinkled wood ash all around the perimeter of these rows and now, no more problems.)

We found out the hard way- chickens don't like their coop all lit up.  When we moved the "snow birds"  back to their winter home from their Florida-like Hoop/Coop, egg production dropped a bit and then we kept finding half eaten eggs in the nests.  I've never had this problem before and couldn't figure out exactly who the culprit(s) were and why- (given that they are extremely well fed with yummy greens to boot), they would eat their eggs!  When they entered their summer home, I thought it best to do some spring cleaning and open up all the doors and windows to the fresh sunshine and breeze!  I took down window and door coverings, turned their laying boxes to face the doors and loaded the cubby holes with extra sweet smelling hay- nice, dry and sunshine!  The stress from the move, their dark hay-bale shelter from the hoop coop was no more, and they proceeded to be like cannibals and eat their own eggs.  (I have noticed as well that it is the chickens who are not laying, the ones with the bright yellow legs, as opposed to the hens with the bleached-out ones, who are the culprits a/k/a soon-to be-Sunday-dinner...)
So, quite by accident the Big Fish was inside the coop, turned the boxes to the wall so he could set a trap and catch the egg eaters one at a time with the only available laying box to the other gals.
Low and behold...a funny thing happened.  When I went to check for eggs, which became a very frequent endeavor as I didn't want to leave free lunches laying around...I heard a fuss coming from the boxes.  My head said don't stick your hand in there, weasel or snake or worse?????!  Like a fool who smells the milk carton even though it expired a month ago- I wiggled my hand down in there anyway.  Two hens were sitting on top of each other with six or so eggs underneath them!
There was only enough room to barely slip a fat hen through between the wall and the box, but by golly- my Houdini hens did it and we have had no more problems.

Egg production is up and consistent, egg eaters are blind in the dark and I have learned a most important lesson-

It is not always in sunshine that we do our best production.  Sometimes it is the dark places we find ourselves in that bring about the restorative balance most needed for a fresh new start.

Another chicken analogy brought to you by a true wonder...and a happy ecstatic egg collector! Take care-