Selasa, 15 Desember 2009


O.K. One more: a short film adaptation of Ivan Turgenev's "Mumu." The palette of colors is beautiful...muted but rich. Again, thanks to Karin for hooking me on Russian animation....

Senin, 14 Desember 2009

Russian Animation

My friend Karin has a history of posting links to wonderful Russian animation films. Her latest link ("The Insects' Christmas," made in 1913) led me on a search to find more treasures. Here is one that is magic. Magic. Thank you, Karin!

Jumat, 11 Desember 2009

A Visit to Hazel Ridge Farm

Tommy and I had a special outing after school yesterday. I picked him up and we went directly to Hazel Ridge Farm, home of Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen and Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, for a holiday open house. Gijsbert has illustrated many children's books and Tommy has always liked his work, and always wanted to visit the farm.

The workshop is a wonderful place, full of bookshelves and windows and paint and bits of our natural world. We also walked most of their 40-acre farm, a blend of prairie, ponds, woods, and gardens. Here is the little cabin pictured in Kelly of Hazel Ridge:

Sabtu, 05 Desember 2009


We have our first cold weather of the season. The skim ice is forming on the ponds in Woldumar, but it is not too cold to climb trees.

Woldumar is a beautiful place, with a nice mix of habitat -- wetlands, hardwoods, ponds, and old fields. Bluebirds like the fields, and we saw about five! I took several pictures, but this is probably the best:

Kamis, 03 Desember 2009

Ken Burns

Last night I heard Ken Burns speak at the Wharton Center. His prepared portion of the evening was really polished, in a rather too polished sort of way, but the Q&A was (naturally) more spontaneous, revealing, and invigorating. He's invigorating because his enthusiasm for his work is visceral and contagious, and his interest in and love for this world is so pure. He has such fiery ambition, he has a record of relentless achievement, and yet he has this great gentleness about him, this calm sort of spirituality that pervades his work. He has defined his work (or others have defined his work...the attribution is sketchy in my head) as "emotional archeology." That's a wonderful description, and it was great to hear him talk about it last night.