Saturday, October 31, 2015
Hades had tricked Persephone, who had been careful to not eat or drink anything, into eating six pomegranate seeds while she was in the underworld; so she was condemned to spend six months of the year there. During those six months Demeter mourns and withholds fertility from the earth. This was the ancient Greek explanation for the seasons. Halloween falls midway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice, and was considered the beginning of winter. Opposite Halloween on the calendar and midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice is Beltane on May 1, considered by the ancient Greeks to be the beginning of summer (May Day).
This year we return to the what seems to be increased dark on November 1, when daylight savings time ends. I've been at rituals where pomegranates were paired with apples, the fruit of immortality in some traditions. Pomegranate seeds in their luminous gel are completely edible and excellent for you, supplying you with great amounts of vitamin C as well as numerous antioxidants, fiber, etc.
Friday, October 30, 2015
These first two drawings are from my journal from that summer, and I can feel the sun and hear the bees and the lapping of the water against the little beaches and smell a sweet undetermined floral smell when I look at these rough sketches.
I like the sketches because they show the structure of the flowers and explain the structure of the fruit.
In the drawing at the top left you can see the swollen base of the flower, which is the multiple ovary container and turns into the vaguely six-sided fruit that's filled with all those seeds in their glossy gel.
Tomorrow: inside the pomegranate for Halloween!
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Monday, October 26, 2015
Originally I was planning to cut another woodcut, but since this is not going to be an edition, just two copies, I decided to do a painted/drawn book, something I haven't done in a while and really miss doing. I need to practice drawing plants until I have them in my hand and can paint them more freely. By late this afternoon I was seriously needing to go outside even though it was chilly and drizzly, and when I came back from a couple of miles slogging up a muddy path, I felt ready to start. I tore off a small slice of the paper I want to use and that I had prepared by pouring fluid acrylic and water over this morning. I really like the tiny scene that appeared. And when I went out to get the mail, in it was a tiny accordion book made by Angela Bart of New Orleans and sent to me by my sweet cousin Denise, and it is the perfect size for the teeny tiny drawings. I decided to fill the accordion book with these little sketches and then see how big the finished book wants to be. It may not get any bigger, and that's fine too.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
On the right is a wooly bear that we saw this morning while walking around the lake. It was almost completely red. What's the deal-- cold winter or warm winter predicted by this caterpillar?
Drawing 5774 is the place where Jacob and I used to launch our canoe before we had a slip at the lake, when he was around 5 years old and we had to portage the boat through the neighborhood from his house. It sat on a little folding set of wheels that we would fold up and carry with us in the canoe.
Drawing 5776 is of the lone turtle that was trying to sun itself on this mostly cloudy breezy day.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Most wonderfully, as halloween approaches every year, the college farm crew students climb up and place carved pumpkins in the openings, and on halloween they usually light the little pumpkins! And after halloween they often abandon the pumpkins, and it's great fun to watch them slowly slump in and melt away over the next few increasingly cold and windy weeks. Today I noticed that the pumpkins have been placed and are now haunting the neighborhood! In a celebratory mood I bought a little pumpkin for our porch table, shown at left. AT the right are this year's pumpkin faces.
Friday, October 23, 2015
And we moved over to another deck where we drew a large nesting box for water birds.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Monday, October 19, 2015
I surely miss Jacob, who has always been ready for any adventure. He, of course, is having far greater adventures this year than I am. Last week his host family took him to Venice, where he got to see and photograph the Doges' Palace, San Marco, and the Venice Biennale!
Meanwhile these pickerel pods are fascinating. I split one open so I could see the collection of pea-like seeds. I may return them to the backwater tomorrow but put them in a wetter location so that they have a chance of sprouting next spring.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Friday, October 16, 2015
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
The Thread Exchange has literally millions of spools of thread, every kind and every color imaginable. (Local bookbinders: they carry waxed linen and other bookbinding threads, the kind we can hardly find around here!) The prices are wonderful. They de-spool their enormous spools into smaller spools. The very kind woman who helped us showed us a large bin of partial spools--actually the leftovers from de-spooling-- and invited us to fill a cardboard box with the colors we wanted in the weight of thread we needed. She sold us the boxful for a single digit price. Above are our spools! We also ordered a few complete medium-sized spools that we can pick up tomorrow. You can find out about about this great business at www.thethreadexchange.com and order on line. Asheville people call 800-915-2320 for business hours and location!
Monday, October 12, 2015
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Friday, October 9, 2015
I googled them when I got home and determined that these are probably Black Jersey Giants. The curious thing about them is that they were sitting in a pile-up under the tree. Every now and then one or two would venture out into the grass and peck a few times; then they would scuttle back to the heap. I've never seen hens pile up like this before!
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Isn't the odd little design on the bottom of the chestnut amazing? It is on all of the fully-formed ones.
Monday, October 5, 2015
Also shown here are 's miraculous figs that we picked from her very own fig tree. She planted the little tree three or so years ago, and it has done well but dies back every winter and none of its figs ever ripen. After all the rain we've had the past few weeks, those hard little green babies plumped up and turned purplish yellowish green. When we bit into them this afternoon at book club, we tasted the best figs ever.