Rabu, 29 Juli 2009

The Bruce Peninsula

We left early Saturday morning, drove through rain to the Blue Water Bridge, and crossed over the bridge as boats in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race passed beneath us. Then we headed north to Goderich, had lunch at Bailey's, and headed to the Benmiller Inn. We hiked along the Maitland River, swam, had a great dinner at the Inn, and read in the top floor of the old Woolen Mill as rain pattered on our windows. In the morning we had breakfast beside the river and headed north again, up to Wiarton and then along the curvy, narrow road to Cabot Head. That is a wonderful drive. We explored the old light house and wandered down to the rocky shore, where we saw FOUR Eastern Rat Snakes in about four minutes. Then we searched for a letterbox hidden along a side trail and headed north again to camp in the Bruce Peninsula National Park. It's a fantastic stretch of country. The Niagara Escarpment bulges up through there, and there are beautiful cliffs, streams, hills, and wildlife habitat. UNESCO has recognized it as a World Biosphere Reserve.

This hike was beautiful.

Among many fine moments: Reading the latest issue of the New England Review at the camp ground.

The road to Cabot Head:

Senin, 20 Juli 2009

Poet House

Sometimes, in stretches when I am not writing, it's hard to think about how to start again. I suppose it's like trying to time your entrance into or under an already skipping rope. Whole rotations swing by and still you stand there, trying to figure out how to jump in. Well, you just have to jump. And I just need to write. My poem-a-day partnership with Karin in April was fantastic. I didn't think about timing. I didn't think about tripping or getting tangled. I just wrote. Yes, Tommy was in school. Yes, I had whole chunks of the day when I could isolate myself from interruptions. And yet, I wrote on weekends. I did not let any activity stall me. I wrote almost anywhere. Something has changed, and I have a thousand excuses why I can't squeeze in writing. Last week, I canoed the North Branch of the Au Sable from Dam Four to Kellogg Bridge. (Exactly. One cannot paddle and write at the same time.) It's a pretty stretch, and along the way I spotted this little screened hut on a small island. I can't stop daydreaming about it. It's enough to get me writing.

Sabtu, 18 Juli 2009

Earth Spirits

I've just completed these custom Mother and Child Earth Spirits. I tried out a new yarn (Paton's Spirit, appropriately enough) and it comes out lovely and fuzzy when you brush it. It was a mix of autumnal colours, and then I also used a deep red mohair to give a bit more variation.

Dawn Spirit and Tumpkin

I was asked to make the creatures with some similarities to my Dawn Spirit and Tumpkin, so I decided to try doing them with pointed heads, but ones which are angled backwards, and with ears and horns somewhat like the Dawn Spirit.

I was really pleased at the way the mother came out - you can never tell when you start crocheting, whether the idea you have in your head is going to work, but it seemed to this time.

It was fun to try and make the child, to do it not just smaller, but differently proportioned so that, hopefully, it seems childlike. I used the same sized eyes, so that they would seem bigger - I think eyes are the only part of the body that never grow. I also gave him much smaller ears, and no horns - he's too little to have those yet.

Well, I was very happy with them both, and so was my 7 year-old son. He looked at the child just after I'd finished it and said, "Can I have him?"
I explained that I'd made him especially for someone else, so no, he couldn't. He then said, "All right, I'll have the Mummy one then!"
He was none too pleased when I said that they were both already taken - I think I'll have to make him something soon!

Rabu, 08 Juli 2009

More Letterboxing

I wrote earlier about letterboxing, and now I write about it with actual experience.

Here is the stamp I carved today. This was my first attempt at carving, and I'll look forward to doing it again, and making more stamps. My friend Julie joined me, which made the process very satisfying. I also baked scones, so the kitchen is full of flour and rubber shavings.

We have gone letterboxing too, and collected two stamps: one in the Baker Wood Lot on campus, and one at a local park. Here is the first one, collected in the Baker Wood Lot:

Minggu, 05 Juli 2009

The Woods 40

Last weekend, my family gathered at "The Woods 40," a chunk of land in Oceana County that was once my great-grandfather's. My great-grandpa cut wood there, taking along his dog and, often, my grandma. She loved it. It was a couple of miles from their farm -- close enough to visit with some frequency, but just far enough from daily life that it must, always, have felt special to be there. She missed it when she went away to college, and as much as she loved the farm she created with my grandpa, I think she needed the Woods 40, and Oceana County, in her life. We camped there every summer when I was a girl, in a meadow by the edge of the woods, up the hill from a creek where we waded, swam, and collected clay. They were wonderful trips, full of cousins and aunts and uncles, and, always, my grandma and grandpa. We returned there last weekend, without my grandma or grandpa. We missed their physical presence, but it was easy to feel near them, easy to believe they knew we were there. We had such fun bushwacking and bird watching and wading and exploring. It makes me happy to think how satisfied my grandma would be to know we were there together, watching bats and fireflies, cooking pie irons in the camp fire, and looking for wild flowers.

Here is the result of a mud fight.

Here is the meadow.