the elders speak

it feels like tired summer, 
the cicadas and crickets chorus their endsong: 
the elders are listening. 
maurice kenney wrote this
he said at a reading that he wrote this before his morning coffee.
i think i've loved bear since reading this.
i saw a bear lumber quickly across the road where i walk
behind my place last summer.
is summer this bear?
this bear
by Judy Serebrin
is beautiful, 
having landed in my arms today.
below is what might have been
 wild plum fruit leather
sadly not successful.
below is today's table
full of grace
from fiona dempster and barry smith
reminding me to celebrate world day of peace
september 21.
i will share this message with my new class, 
six of whom i met on wednesday.
 judy martin's poem
pigments from heidi in washington
 and below
milkweed in aimee's book
 and what am i working on?
(besides syllabus and lesson plans and dyeing and spinning and foraging and observing miracles like wild plums growing here?)
 a new edition
covered with bark cloth, 
linen thread text.
 this is the dummy where i work out the kinks.
 hopefully it will be done soon.
happy week, 
and a beautiful beautiful moon to sleep under.


the season is going gold
and there are marvels in our sky
holy moly
scared off the neighbors
days shorter with nights crowding into them.
a neighbor pulled in and said
would you let me know if you see my bull.
he's really sweet, a black cross, but he jumps fences.
never seen anything like it,
he's after apples.
there are windfalls around the trees,
a wealth of good food and soon cider.
i said, of course!
living in the country...
then there's this stuff,
i've collected it before, 
but in the GREAT studio CLEAN of 2018
it resurfaced, like the madder and so much else.
and i've been focussed on flax paper 

fern dust.
after researching this is what i've found 
(botanists, can you add more?)
"there are thin, brown, paper-like scales covering the newly emerging fiddleheads. 
the scales fall off as the fiddlehead grows and elongates... 
the brown paper-like covering..."

a soft rosy tints the raw flax
with tiny dark bits
sheet formation is irregular because i was pouring the pulp
in my sink
in a modified method using rubber bands and one of Britt Quinlin's moulds
in the horrid humid heat
while outside the clothes hang no longer drying in the new rain.
it makes me irritable. 
here is a drying sheet with the last little bit of fern dust until next spring

2/3 raw flax beaten just over an hour

1/3 fiddlehead fern dust, blendered.
if it wasn't so hard to gather i'd make paper with just that dust.
the Maine Cooperative Extension online calls it 
"papery covering on the emerging fiddleheads"
i call it fern dust.
i've written my syllabus for my fall class. it looks like a hill with a few words and a star.
i have a bunch of nephews, one sends me wonderful stuff. 
like a red fox skin he prepped himself
or a walrus tusk chip.
my nephew gathered some earth for me many years ago.
it's from the hill behind his childhood house
and is typical for the Niagara Gorge.
i will make some colorant with it soon.
there's a wee class in soil painting this week at the VIC,
i'm going to go and be a student.
maybe soils will be a part of my fall class...
well, both of them are,
but the one i'm particularly revved about is her milkweed paper primer.
(the other one is more than amazing)
it's fantastic and affordable and you must order one. 
go for the deluxe!
while you're there, go looking around her site.
you will be amazed.