A dream poem

I love a good stormy night. The window sashes knock around and the streetlight casts these very dramatic, dancing-tree-limb shadows inside the bedroom. I wake up enough to wish we had a metal roof to hear the rain on - a sound I find deeply comforting. In our house, powerful dreams always roil up in these conditions... Often dark ones, but last night, I got to walk down a dirt road in Vermont and wonder at all the heavily laden citrus trees (grapefruit-sized, pear-shaped blood oranges!). I've had similar dreams before, about Vermont (in real life, we hope to move there soon)... We drive there, and it is magically warmer - the leaves haven't fallen, but are just beginning to turn, and it's 70 degrees out.

In other news... A belated but heartfelt thank you to Summer of the beautifully curated blog Design is Mine for her kind mention of my artwork, and to FitPregnancy for recommending my bad woodchuck as good nursery art. And a note to locals: If you haven't already been there, Lyn Carey's shop, Earth and Wears, is so much fun! Lyn has a whole lot of enthusiasm and a really vibrant, energetic style, and I'm very happy my prints are now included in her selection of "handmade lovelies." The store is on Main Street in Dallas, PA.


the Each Week, One Beast project: week 4

A small spotted pig, having suddenly come to a halt.

I've delved into the wide world of pig varieties, via Google images, and have developed some preferences (based entirely on aesthetics and not at all on practicality). If anyone is reading this who might be considering what gift they'd next like to give me, here's what I want: a basket containing one each of the following piglets: Ossabaw Island, Black Iberian, Peccary, and Wooly (which is really more of a sheep-pig two-in-one combo deal).


Pennylvania lemons...

...and other delights!

What a lovely weekend it was! This past year, I finally learned what my Meyer lemon tree wants: a steady diet of gallons of fish emulsion, supplemented with iron-rich small mammal sacrifices. It has thrived, and produced enough plump, rosy-tinged lemons to dream up all kinds of treats... So this weekend, the first lemon was squeezed into a 20th Century (using this recipe, but cutting back on the lemon). My dear, inspiring, all-around-tons-of-fun friend Cadyn spent the weekend with me. We went for walks in the lovely sun, did a bit of crafting, cooked and ate and talked and drank. Our husbands went on a whirlwind tour of major east coast cities on what I've been calling their "black metal brocation," and while I have been informed I've not categorized the musical genre accurately... well, poetics over factual details, right?


the Each Week, One Beast project: week 3

Someone stinky, considering an about-face to follow her own tail...


the Each Week, One Beast project: week 2

This is my catch-up beast for the second week of January, a long-eared owl. We saw one, once, while mucking through a swamp on top of the next ridge over... I believe we woke it up, and would likely not have seen it if not for its enormous amber-colored eyes - like two tiny lanterns glowing inside the dark hemlock boughs. Though I am not an owl expert, I will declare the long-eared - an especially tall, skinny owl - to be the Muppetiest of them all.


the Each Week, One Beast project: week 1

I have come up with an idea! An exciting idea! And as is typical of me, I came up with it two weeks late! It's called the Each Week, One Beast project, and what it means is, each week in 2013, from here on out, I'll post a new animal drawing. Since we are already 2 weeks into the new year, I shall soon be posting 2 retroactive beasts to catch me up. My usual pearled earth posts will continue, but in addition, I'll present to you one animal, someone who I may or may not know personally, and who is probably of questionable character. This beaver, as you can see, is likely to bop someone on the head with his twig at any moment.

You can keep up with the beasts right here on the blog, or like my facebook page, where I'll also be posting them.

Fox Valentine

After the first big snowfall, Matt and I followed the many fox trails up on the ridge. At one point, two sets of tracks intersected - the snow was trampled in that spot, and from it, one set of pawprints made a big, bounding loop. I imagined two hunters out enjoying the moonlight... when they met, they touched noses, wrestled and chased a greeting in the snow.

This Fox with Woven Roses is now available in my Etsy shop as a Valentine card or print.



I've spent my first days of 2013 furiously scratching away with pencil and paper. For company at my desk, I have discovered the BBC's Best of Natural History Radio, where they do cute and endearing things like compare a rotten log, teeming with larva, to a "nice plum loaf," and exclaim crikey! over some particularly happy encounter in the great outdoors. They have also taught me my favorite new word, rewilding, which I intend to apply to myself as a new year's resolution of sorts. That does not mean I will practice my barehanded trapping techniques in the thickets of the city... But I will remember all year that life just looks a whole lot less cranky if I spend a minimum of an hour huffing it over hill and dale everyday. No excuses of it being too icy or there being too much work to do.

That word rewilding calls up so many fantastic images for me... So if I am being indulgent, I'll also hope for it to mean this in 2013: feral ponies - herds of them! spotted, speckled, patched and black - will storm out of the hills and smash the pavement with their gilded hooves. Stardust and borage flowers will blow out of their manes behind them, and in their path will be left a beautiful destruction.

Happy January! I hope for something wild and new for you, too.