Monday, November 18, 2013

Moon, Mushrooms, and More

I opened the front door at 6:00 this morning to call Jesse (we pretend that he comes when called;  really he decides whether or not to avail himself of the opportunity to scoot inside) and saw such a gorgeous sky that I drew it right there on the spot.  This moon is called the Return of Little Cold Moon by some Native American groups,  Full Beaver Moon by others, and it was full last night.  This morning a few clouds were around it in the west as it started to set.  Beautiful Mercury was shining nearby.

Later in the morning I set out on a longish hike with my friend Annie.  We started out at around 2800 feet near a sign that said Eastern Continental Divide.  The trail went slowly and steadily up and up and up through rhododendron and oak and ash and pine forest.  We met some neighbors of Annie near the top, which they told us was 3500 feet.  At the top the trail ended at some large flat stones that made a good overlook, and about ten feet behind the stones the wind began to blow like a mistral, icy cold and fierce.  Step back ten feet and it was calm;  step up ten feet and it was like a different day.

We decided to draw, so we backed up around 20 feet, out of the wind zone, and found a relatively comfortable log to sit on; and we drew the woody polyphores that were on every tree trunk and log.  I know very little about these things, but I can look up things in my mushroom field guide, and I would guess the ones in drawing 937 are crowded parchment or Stereum complicatum, the most common of the Stereum.  Drawing 958 might be a kind of oyster mushroom, but I wouldn't take my word for it!

In the evening I went to my journal group gathering, and drawings 939 - 942 are from that.  We met at a member's wonderful house, and I drew a few of her many artifacts as well as a portfolio of paper hand-beaten from local fibers including okra, mulberry, slippery elm, and Japanese knotweed.  Maria (drawing 939) grew several varieties of okra this summer and was in the group that made the paper, much of it from her okra.

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