Sunday, July 13, 2014

Many Moons Have Passed

"Forest", watercolor, 11" x 15", VClaff 2014

Many moons have passed since last I wrote! I didn't wander off into the forest, 
never to be found again, or spirited away by faeries... no, I am here. I am 
quite well, in fact, better than I've been in a few years. My health is better, 
my grief is there, of course, but less on the surface now. I've been off on 
adventures since last I wrote, and found as the days turned into months 
since I've posted here, it felt harder and harder to know where to begin! I've 
not been visiting blogs much, nor spending as much time plugged in, but I 
imagine it might well be seasonal. 

I spent the early spring in the studio, determined to be in there regularly 
this summer. A few new pieces emerged that feel good to me. Not sure if 
the first two are finished, though they've been sitting for a long while now. 
In these photos, you might see that most are still wet.

"Forest Glow", watercolor, 11" x 15", VClaff 2014
"Hemlock", watercolor, 8"x10", VClaff 2014

"Hemlock Grove", watercolor, 8"x10", VClaff 2014
The winter invasion of mice after Pasha's passing has continued, though I'm getting 
it under control with a relocation program, new foam insulation under the house 
plugging up the mouse entryways, and peppermint oil packs in strategic places. I've 
had a number of small, adorable mice trap themselves in various buckets, this one 
greeted me one morning in the kitchen sink. At this age they are so adorable that 
relocating him or her outside alone was a bit challenging for me! 

Mid June found me in Vermont at the beatufiul farm of my dear college roommate, 
J'Amy. I had a wonderful visit with J'Amy and her family, and stayed with her mom, 
Sue at her little cottage surrounded by amazing gardens. Unfortunately when we 
went on the big garden tour, I didn't have my camera.

At the farm one evening, we were lucky to find a huge cecropia moth seen 
here with J'Amy's daughter, Leeya. We determined that this must have been 
the female as there were as many as 19 others flying around us, all interested 
in this one. It was magical!! 

Back in the forest, a new garden bed went in, and it has been a great year 
for moths, including the enchanting luna moths. 

A long overdue renovation project is underway thanks to a development grant 
I received from a local corporation. New siding to replace old, rotting shingles, 
a drain under the house so no pond forms in heavy rain, new entrance stairs, 
a new downstairs bamboo floor (!!!!) and varioius other wonderful gifts including 
a new gas cookstove and a backup heater so I might be able to go away in winter! 
One factor in my long absence from here has been the presence of workmen here 
every weekday and various projects I am undertaking alongside them. My usual quiet 
summer with the mosses has been overtaken by this project and LOTS of people 
here. It is well worth it, however, as my gratitude for the improvements is over-
flowing! With the completion of the bamboo floor downstairs this week, and a 
few details here and there, I believe the six weeks of work will be coming to an 
end. I am very ready for some quiet time with the mosses.

Once the new stairs went in, I suddenly HAD to paint the doors green... 
maybe I was influenced by the daily visits of the luna moths. 
I was lucky to capture a little video of two on the screen 
one evening. I find luna moths to be quite otherworldly.