Moving toward March

Posted on February 18th 2019 by Catherine Redmond

Cold Sun, 2019, Archival Digital Print

Just back from feeding the flock.  It is a lesson to watch these marvelous birds and learn their ways and observe their different personalities.  TickTock remains wary of me, but we are now accustomed to each other and he understands the gist of what I say.  When I tell him to get the girls, he rounds them up and brings them into the coop like a dutiful herding boy. And…

She’s on her way.   Yes, in a rag sweater, silk underwear, a heavy coat and scarf, mittens and arctic boots, but Spring is trudging closer and will be on scene soon.  This photo was taken two weeks ago and already things have markedly changed and the slight softened and warmed in spite of snow storms and freezing temps.

 

 

8 Below Zero

Posted on February 2nd 2019 by Catherine Redmond

Early Morning, The Hudson, 2019, Archival Digital Print

The take-no-prisoners cold frames all conversations, actions and outcomes.

Frozen switches make the trains late

Frozen water makes the chickens parched

Frozen ground hurts the dogs’ feet

They stop, lifting one paw and then another

Confused that play hurts so much.

 

 

 

Winter Nests

Posted on January 16th 2019 by Catherine Redmond

Light in the Darkness, 2019, Archival Digital Print

Just now I spotted a nest so low on the branch that I wondered how those hatchlings survived. It is right out the front window in a thicket of flowering bushes and would have been well hidden when there was full foliage. Nevertheless, I thought that the feral cat I feed would have spotted it last summer and had a meal. In this time of year last summer’s nests are visible and they are everywhere.  Tiny ones, ones in pouches, slung from branches like pot hammocks and big ones high up.  We can think about such things during this time when the Earth is deep in sleep and we can dream of life when she awakens again.

When you live on land rather than cement every season is important and pleasurable.  Winter is no longer just something to be endured but filled with quiet to remember and to plan and especially to appreciate.

 

A Quiet New Year’s Eve

Posted on December 31st 2018 by Catherine Redmond

Morning Light Through the Dusty Window, 2018, Archival Digital Print

A quiet New Year’s Eve

We await a fresh start

Perhaps a moment

A stop by the woods of sanity

on a

Snowy evening.

 

 

Night at 4:30 PM

Posted on December 19th 2018 by Catherine Redmond

December Fireworks, 2018, Archival Digital Print

The Sun sets in the afternoon now. It is night at teatime now.  But, the Solstice is nearing and soon we shall pass that marker and know that the Sun will start to shine on us longer and longer each day. It is a time for celebration as we turn to the renewal of spring. Weeks, months to go of snow, sleet and cold but the promise of change must have been placed in us eons ago and given us hope.

Everywhere there is beauty in this quiet time. A certain bird, a surprising rock, a configuration of twigs and light and a building edge that seems almost glowing with rightness. It is a time of a drawing consciousness, too.  To draw is to connect to the first thought in the mind.  Much of what we see as lack and emptiness in today’s paintings and drawings is rooted in secondary source as the end product rather than the beginning of the trip. But, once engulfed with the possibilities of this most primal of forms a world opens that is like nothing else.

The world waits while we dither away on small stuff, waits for us to simply See.

The sun is sharp

Posted on December 2nd 2018 by Catherine Redmond

Early December Sun, The Minotaur’s Shadow, 2018, Archival Digital Print

The sun gets sharp and the Minotaur can see his shadow. These are the waning days of the calendar year. No matter how harsh the weather there is a gentle quality here, something I didn’t know I missed or even yearned for, until I found it.

I watch our coarse president from Queens, his tawdry boorishness exuding from his orange face, creepy flat eyes, and always angry mouth. This is the face of what we have become.  God help us!

As the year turns, let us hope that the Minotaur returns to his labyrinth and a new gentleness returns to all.

 

First Snow

Posted on November 16th 2018 by Catherine Redmond

Thinking of Southern Sung Painting, Archival Digital Print, 2018

Our first big snow and the roads were bedeviling last night.  I left town on an earlier train trying to get home before the worst of it hit.  But Amtrak is not reliable and we were stopped for forty minutes in the Bronx because of a stalled Metro North train ahead of us.  This is customary now.  Infrastructure deteriorates by the day and our politicians dawdle.

Once in Hudson and heading home, the white sheets of snow,  the winds, and the lack of any guide other than the midline studded strip, made for impressive conditions.  I missed the turn-off from 9H but was able to back up on the highway since no one was on the roads.  Turning off onto my country road it was worse, but the sight of a huge plow blinking red and white like a happy Christmas tree up ahead was a beacon and it guided me safely home.  After feeding everyone I fell into a deep and grateful sleep.

All worth it to be able to live in this paradise.

The New Beginning of Darkness

Posted on November 10th 2018 by Catherine Redmond

The New Beginning of Darkness, 2018, Archival Digital Print

We turn to winter and the short days and long nights. The rains have been continual from late summer and leaves are layered and matted in wetness now.  Today high winds. It will be a daunting cleanup in the spring but no time to consider that. Instead it is bird seed enough, leaks plugged, getting a heater for the chicken coop, bringing in wood for the fireplace and printing in the studio.

I found the shed skin of my resident snake who lives (I hope) in the walls.  I dread opening a drawer in the flat files and finding him sleeping cozy on my Fabriano or Arches.  He keeps the mice down for which I am grateful.

In this interval after the frenzied election and so much worry, the calm of the time before the snows is a gift.  I continue to be a hermit and see no one.  But on teaching days my train friends are reliable commentators on the state of the world.  Standing there together waiting for the first Amtrak from Albany I cherish their bonhomie, quick wit and insight.  How lucky I am to have found this place in our troubled world!

 

Webs, Connections and Lessons

Posted on October 14th 2018 by Catherine Redmond

Tuesday Morning Web, 7.28.15, 2015, Archival Digital Print

This morning as Winter lurks over the hills and the first frost came in the night, I reflected on the nature of our paths. I found this miraculous web in the grass while temporarily living in the Shenandoah Valley during what was the worst period in my life.  This utterly beautiful construction was made by an anonymous spider who invested hours of work in the cause of catching something to eat.  I wondered at the time if the spider was aware of its aesthetic or if it just spun a web because that is what a spider does.   Was it aware of how fragile and perfect this construction was?  We can’t know.  But there it was that damp morning, spectacular in the way it caught the light and turned it to diamonds.   It reminds me now that during dark times we must do what is in us to do.  Maybe someone in our web will have delight and catch diamonds from it.  Nature has lessons if we listen and look.

 

The Eternal Reliability of the Turning

Posted on September 16th 2018 by Catherine Redmond

TockTock Free Ranging in the Plant Shed, 2018, Archival Digital Print

There is reassurance in the turning of the wheel and in spite of the things that seem disruptive, each settles in and is absorbed as life continues, the sun rises and travels through the sky and sets in the west only to rise again into our eternity. Maybe not all of eternity but certainly in ours, the life of a mite relative to all time.

My new boy TickTock escaped his crate when I brought him home from a Connecticut farm and is free-ranging in the plant shed.  My confidence in being able to catch any living bird has been challenged by this fast and beautiful boy.  I keep telling him about the six hens who await his morning song and beautiful feathers but TickTock wants none of it.  He’d rather perch and poop on my washing machine.