Paper Forests

I've been messing with the mulberry paper tree sketches. Playing with the possibilities of collage. Not exactly sure where it is going. A sun in gold iridescent ink is need of course.


The gold pigment settles out of the medium to the bottom. I always like how it looks. The effect on paper is actually more subtle.

 I'm liking the layered look of the trees. It gives the feeling of spaces between things. The relationship of distances between and where we are in that. Air and space is not empty, but filled with an incredible amount of things whizzing in-between, we are just one of these forms, as are trees and rocks and birds and mountains...but all those in-between spaces... filled with potential and surprises.

I'm liking the stitching as well. Things being pulled back together. The thread is an iridescent blue. I wanted bronze or copper but alas, the sewing box is pretty empty of such things. So blue it is.  We shall see how things progress with this piece. I am curious as to where next.

On The Teachings of Winter Trees

I promise that if you bundle up this winter and walk your daily walk, the winter trees will teach you more in this season than in any other season.

A winter tree has presence. The eye can not pass over the homogenous blur of summer green. Those of you who walk your winter walk, know this. Gone is the soft green dress of leaves and instead there is the starkness of limb and branch. The winter tree has character. This one, a double trunk, this one, a broken leader, and that one and undulating bend that brushes the ground.

Winter trees draw you closer in an intimate relationship. As your eye gazes at their texture and colour, the winter trees become familiar. Pearly greys, hazy greens, slick and smooth, textured and lichened. We come to know these trees, and we come to a knowing of trees and how they move in this world.

And we come to know where we stand, how we walk, and how we move through our small corner of the Earth. Our daily walk with winter trees rehabilitates us to our sense of place. We become engaged to the world around us.

So before deciding that this winter will be like every winter, a time of curling up and waiting for spring, bundle up and greet your winter trees and walk with them. They have many teachings to share. 

A Golden Reminder

A friend who was staying over remarked that the golden leaves of the deciduous trees kept making him think that the sun was out and shining. When he glanced out of the window, he would again be tricked into thinking the day was blue and sunny despite the unceasing rain.

And of course, in one way, he wasn't being tricked with sunlight having been once used to make the leaves to begin with. Preserved Sunlight. A wonderous thing.

The weeping birch tree in my yard, with its fine, delicate leaves is like a spire of dappled sunlight against the grey sky. It is a fifty foot lightning rod, though in this case,  a sunlight rod, that is channeling the gold energy of sunlight back into the earth.

How fitting for the coming of winter and the darker days ahead. When the last gold leaf falls, I shall imagine the earth below storing and holding the golden energy for the greeness of spring.

In this way, my weeping birch is a reminder of the continuous flow of energy, energy that changes, transforms and transmutes.


Ravens and Trees

Yesterday, between rain splashes, we built the planter boxes for the raised beds. We were kept entertained by the comings and goings of four ravens.  Lots of raven-talk going on with all their fluting, popping and quorking and metallic boinging noises. We wondered what they were saying. They kept flying into our Grand Fir, literally crashing into it, with wings all akimbo, having a good discussion and then flying off to another tree and doing the same thing. (It reminded me of kids canonballing each other in a pool.) There were two sets of ravens and I wonder, now that they are paired up, if they are getting the rules of territory under their belt and deciding which couple was getting what neighbourhood.


And on another note, here is the Grand Fir with stars.

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Weeping Birch

In the yard we have a very tall weeping birch of many colours. The graceful weeping branches hang about the trunk like a soft burgandy mist while the trunk itself is clad in delicate shades of greens and blues due to the moss and lichen. The trunk is riddled with holes made by, from what I've seen so far, the Red-bellied Sapsucker, though there may have been others drilling before we moved here and I've yet to see them. The tree is light, airy and delicate and bridges the space between the weight and presence of the enormous Grand Fir to its left and the evergreen-ness of the Douglas Fir to its right. Weepingbirch
From its branches I've hung the bird feeders, and the juncos and chickadees posture and tussle along its open limbs. Toward evening, the dimming light illuminates the trunk to a glowing whiteness, before it enfolds all in a slate-blue darkness and finally, the ink of evening. When the stars are out, they are tangled in the topmost net of fine branches until the morning brings the Varied Thrush to sing them free.


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