Monday, July 23, 2012

Duck, Duck, Duck, Goat - Finding Peace and Art in My World

Garden Duck and Me
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Trying to comprehend the nature of violent acts we humans continue to inflict upon
each other in the 21st century is beyond my understanding and personal nature.
Colorado, the latest tragedy, stands along a list of shootings we have experienced
in recent years in this country. As a supposed leader of the world and civilization,
the US continues to engage in the brutal wars in the Mideast and started two in the
last ten years.  Deluged with the awful events of the weekend from newspapers,
internet and TV, I began to think about how one creates peace and harmony in one's
Garden Duck
I decided to take my camera out with me for my "muck-up" and morning feeding
with the "boys"- a time that gives me much peace and starts the day with the rising
sun, fresh air, and welcoming four legged "folks".  Along the way to my barn I noticed
Garden Duck.  Garden Duck was left by the last inhabitants of my house and
I have enjoyed his plastic presence in my front yard.   So picking up GD, I trudged
to the barn to feed.  The shadows of me and Duck against my barn caught my eye
immediately and I began to snap shots.  Duck was very cooperative.  I had to stop
taking photos to actually feed Ziggy Starman, Finian, Rainbow, Abbakiss, and
Cloud, because they were hungry and looked like they were about to call the "crazy
people" police and report me. We had our usual goat crowding and vieing for a
scratch and recognition before I could return to my camera.  Such a wonderful way
to start a day.  Then I took Garden Duck and reentered the corral.  We posed ourselves
with my manure rake as munching was heard all around the barnyard.  I love the sound
of crunching and munching because it means everyone is well and nourished.

Garden Duck, Me, Rake

Leaving Duck outside the barnyard so very curious goats would not move him around
the pen, I picked up my manure fork to start mucking and began to dance and hum. I
was not "Singing in the Rain", but "Humming in the Sun".  I never know what I will
do in the corral because I am so happy around the animals.

Dance with Manure Fork
My corral is a large U shape starting with the barn area. I pick up my wheel barrow
throw my manure fork inside and "roll".   As I walk and clean up  horse poop from
the hard clay soil, I am followed by my dogs Rooe and Cooper.  My mind wanders to
all areas of my life.  I think about my mother and how much I miss her and sing a
refrain from a song that was written about her in her garden for her memorial by my
sisters dear friends, Ingrid and Michelle of "Dinosaur Rock".  I remember the last
fragmented conversation I had with my Dad who will soon be moved to a facility for
dementia patients. I listen to a songbird singing on the wire above me and give out my
own whistle.  I watch Cooper race the neighbor's dog along the fence and hear Ziggy
crunch on his pellets, eating from a bucket further down the corral.  I think about my
work and studio and the experimentation of new directions I am tackling.  The sun
begins to heat the air and the temperature rises as I continue my work.  Rooe barks at
a passing rabbit and Abbakiss gives some concerned "baas" as he watches me move
down the corral from his pen where he and Cloud are having their breakfast.   The
animals are at peace and feeling content which settles my mind.  

The Goat Tree
I stop by what I call "the goat tree" which is a juniper with bits of green left only on the top.
The goats have chewed the tree as far as they can stand on two hooves.  Ziggy usually
brushes against the tree to scratch an itch.  The dry grey branches make an interesting
sculpture in space.  I continue on picking up Ziggy's food bucket and checking the water
trough towards the end of the corral.  I glance up at magnificent South Mountain to inspect
the weather from the North and enjoy the view as I pass Ziggy and Destiny's (horse
girlfriend) shade tree.  The tree has a flat underline where the two horses have eaten the
leaves as far as they can reach with their arched necks.

South Mountain and Ziggy's Shade Tree
Walking back up the corral, my wheel barrow is heavy and the air is warm.  The dogs
follow me and I am ready to dump the poop in the yard on my back west property.  I
maneuver my wheel barrow through a small side gate and just barely manage to sneak
through before Abbakiss, who likes to "visit" the other yard, barges the gate.  Return-
ing to the corral with an empty barrow gives me great satisfaction each day with a
task well done. The "boys" gather around me and the empty wheel barrow.  Ziggy
is busy with the serious task of eating in the barn. 

Me, Abbakiss and Wheel Barrow
I untangle myself from the goats, give Ziggy a pat, and place the wheel barrow by the
side of the barn where Cloud will soon become the "captain" of the barrow, jumping
inside to command from a position of height.  I exit the gate and place my manure
fork by the barn for the next adventure with "mucking up".  I pick up Garden Duck
and replace him in the garden and go off to eat my breakfast.  All is peaceful at the

Duck back in Garden

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Edgewood Summer Eve

Looking West towards my garden and the Sandia Mountains

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Summer in New Mexico is a magical time that lengthens the days and moves into
golden light during the evening hours.  I had spent this particular Sunday with my
partner, Bill, digging a trench around my studio that flooded with the last monsoon
downfall.  Hot and dirty work, I was relieved to take a shower and have some dinner.
But the light and garden beckoned me outdoors again with my camera to wander my
property and take pictures.

I began snapping pictures of my front garden but soon decided I needed to ex-
periment with other ideas.  My truck caught my eye and I had one of my "Ah Ha"
moments as I looked through my camera pointed at the truck windows and
responded to the imagery of the reflections that captured wonderful dualities of
figure, landscape and truck anomalies.  Next I shot the chrome behind the side mirrors
that also distorted shape and image. Other parts of the truck also created various piece-
meal parts of me and what was behind me.  I was happy.

Truck Fun!

More Truck Fun!

Moving on to the back of my property, I explored the flowers, mint, lilac, and pond.  Tall
mullin, lambs ears, salvia, hollyhock, red hot pokers, and my stone forms begged for attent-
ion from my camera.  Every few weeks Bill and I take a trip over to our friends, Deb and
Chuck to haul more rocks from their property to ours.  They have an abundance of granite
that permeates their land and ends up on ours.  I love arranging each rock shape in the
garden. The rocks tend to disappear as the garden grows in Spring and Summer.

                                           Red Hot Pokers and Pond                                                   
Back Garden and Pond

As I was taking pictures, my goats and horse came over to the fence to beg for a "nibble"
of greens and watch my peculiar activities.  My dogs were also afoot but hard to photo-
graph.  The evening shadows appeared as I meandered over to scratch some heads and
turn my camera to the barn yard. 


Abbakiss and Ziggy Starman

As the sun continued to slip lower in the vast sky, my shadows "accosted" me.  I began
to pose on my house wall.   I felt like I was in an old silent movie show.

My "Movie Show"
It was a lovely evening in Edgewood.